Published by: Eric Goldstein, Director of Customer Engagement and Marketing Automation, BrandStar Tech
To succeed and grow in business, you need a steady influx of customers. Once a base of customers is established, it can grow exponentially from there. These are obviously not new concepts, and yet many companies stumble and falter when it comes to generating leads.
Leads are a true challenge for businesses. They are in a unique class of their own. Unlike friends, neighbors, and family who are likely to support you–to an extent–and help get your business off the ground, leads have no ties to your business. Generally speaking, they are interested solely on the merits of your products or services. For someone to become a lead, there has to be an interest, and if there’s an interest, there’s a much higher possibility of a sale. This sort of organic interest is extremely powerful and is vital to a businesses’ long-term survival. It’s why it’s so important to understand how to generate leads and what mistakes to avoid.
Knowing this, here are just some of the most common mistakes made when attempting to generate leads. Because it’s not just about generating more leads, but generating better leads.
1. Marketing To The Wrong Audience
You may be saying to yourself, “There is no wrong audience. Anyone can be a potential customer; it’s just a numbers game.” This is a misconception, and can be a costly one with little-to-no ROI. Yes–flashy, expensive, mass advertising campaigns can reach large groups of people, but larger groups usually mean broader groups. They’re not targeted to specific audiences, which would be more likely to produce better leads. Instead, they reach people who may have no interest in your business, or who may just ignore it altogether. If it’s a numbers game, think of it like this: would you rather spend more money on a campaign that reaches a wider group of say, 20,000 people, with just 1% of those becoming leads, OR spend less to run a consistent, targeted approach to 1,500 people with half of them becoming leads? The answer is obvious. Focus your efforts on a lead generation strategy that will produce a solid ROI.
2. A Generic Approach
Even within a specific target audience, there are variations. No one single lead generation tactic is going to speak to everyone, as they will have unique needs and be at different stages of the buyer’s journey. Some will have weighed their options, gathered all the info they need, and are ready to buy now, while others are just beginning to consider your products or services. The temptation is to focus solely on campaigns geared toward those ready to buy–and there should be content catered to them–but really, the greater emphasis should be placed on those still deciding and needing more information. They are the ones likely to opt in and provide their information for this content. It takes time to develop different campaigns and promotions for different stages of the buyer’s journey, but doing so allows you to nurture all potential leads down the line.
3. No Clear Calls To Action
Lead generation campaigns are a great way to engage consumers and encourage them to interact. Not doing so is a missed opportunity and can cause your pool of leads to shrink. A well-written and placed ad isn’t enough for most. It should be a more immersive experience, where consumers are literally asked to do something (otherwise, they won’t do anything)–whether that’s to leave questions or comments at the end of a blog post, download free content like infographics, ebooks or whitepapers, or sign up for a free trial or webinar/demo. People enjoy free things, and these types of offers and calls to action don’t make them feel like they are just being forced to buy, but rather, that you believe in your products or services and are willing to win them over. It’s the “give to get” philosophy. Just providing these types of options will produce more, and better, leads.
4. Expecting Quick Results
We live in a world of instant gratification. When businesses spend money on campaign efforts, they want to see results and they want to see them now. They want to make sure they’re getting their money’s worth, but this is just an unrealistic expectation and is not how leads work. Under this mindset, if the lead generation tactic being used doesn’t bring the expected results within a couple weeks, it gets scrapped and a new one with the same expectations is put in its place. This is not the strategy to cultivate leads, and it really is just that: cultivating. Think of lead generation like gardening. In gardening, you don’t just randomly drop seeds into the ground, and then, after a couple weeks with no flowers or produce, dig it all up and start over. No; to be successful, you spend time on the front end to prepare the land so that plants may grow. You feed them and you nurture them, but, most importantly, you give them time to grow and produce high yields. Lead generation works the same way. It’s a “farming” versus a “hunting” mentality. Spend time developing a strategy that remedies the issues discussed in this article, and then sustain that strategy over a period of months so that it may grow, improve, and produce high yields for you.
5. Not Using Lists Effectively
If, after giving them time, internally-designed lead generation strategies are not producing results, there is the option to buy leads from an outside service–generally in the form of email lists. This can be an extremely beneficial route to go, but you still have to put in the work. It’s important to choose a lead generation service that understands what you do and who your target audience is, to avoid the mistakes we’ve laid out here. It’s tempting to just choose a service quickly out of desperation, but do they provide lists that are specifically catered to your industry and your audience? Good lists are tools, and to get the most out of them, you have to know how to use them. This is where companies can struggle. Lists are just the starting point. They give you a good footing to go off of, but you still need to implement a strategy. Identify and segment people from the lists that would be your best targets. Use the data to create a personalized, not a generic, approach. The goal is always to turn these prospects into qualified leads, and then convert that group into clients and loyal advocates who, not only want to receive your content regularly, but willingly share that content within their own professional and social circles.
Don’t Miss Out On Those Great Leads!
These are just a few of the more common problems seen with lead generation strategies. Knowing them is half the battle. Knowing what to do about them by creating robust, successful lead generation campaigns is where we come in. Let our marketing and lead generation experts take your brand further and work with you to put a plan into action. For more information on our lead generation background and services, and what they can do for you, please contact us HERE or at (844) 200-2525.