In most of my client conversations about campaigns, goals, or metrics, the discussion almost inevitably turns towards leads.
“How do we get more leads?” “We want leads!” “Which ads will get us leads?”
While getting leads is an important part of any business, it’s essential to keep in mind that there is no one-and-done activity for lead generation. Sure, you can pay for them and build a lead direct campaign, but these are expensive, inefficient, and most importantly are short-term blips. You pay a lot of money for low-quality leads.
A full-funnel lead strategy
You need to think of lead generation from the full-funnel approach. At the top of the funnel, you make an introduction and make the audience aware of your brand. In the middle, you give them timely and relevant information to get them interested. At the bottom, you close with an exchange, providing value for value. It might sound like a lot, and it might sound expensive, but it doesn’t have to be (and the results speak for themselves).
When using this model, it not only increases lead conversion, but it can also make customers three times more likely to purchase from you.
Think of lead generation like dating. Walking up to a random stranger at the bar and immediately asking for their number doesn’t come with a huge success rate. And even when it does, those relationships don’t tend to last. But, if you start a conversation, have a good night together, and then ask for their number (assuming there is a good fit), the ratio starts to tip in your favour. This is the same with marketing, the, “hi lead, can I have your phone number?” approach doesn’t work too well. But when you build a base and create some interest, you start to see more success and more quality.
So how can you put the funnel into action and make it successful?
Here are our top 5 tips for maximizing lead generation:
1) When it comes to advertising, strike a balance between high volume and cost-per-acquisition
Creating lead-generating ads is all about striking the right balance between volume and cost-per-acquisition (or CPA). On the volume side, targeting a broader audience online will cast a wide net and come at a lower cost-per-thousand because you are bidding on less specified audience traits. On the cost side, however, a broader audience will have a higher cost-per-acquisition as you’ll likely have less qualified viewers, therefore creating fewer clicks which drives up costs.
The balance comes from finding the sweet spot between the two. If you don’t have a broad outreach (volume), you are likely limiting the overall quantity of leads but if you go too broad, you’ll start to see your CPA get out of control (Cost). This takes practice, testing, and a lot of expertise.
2) Give your leads equal value for their information
When you’re asking your audience to share their email address, phone number, or more, think about the value they’ll receive in exchange. Are you giving them equal value? If you’re asking for contact information and not being specific about what they’ll get in return, you’re not going to see a good success rate. Here’s an example of a good call to action:
“Provide your email address and receive a free copy of our first-time homebuyer’s guide.”
Why is it good? The benefit is clear to the audience. They give you their email and in return, they get a guide to help them through the homebuying process. The value exchange feels equal.
3) Deliver on lead expectations
Once you have the lead, you need to give them what you promised to get their information. If you promised a first-time homebuyer’s guide, you better send it and in a timely fashion. This consistency is critical to the overall health and credibility of your brand. If you’re making promises to your audience and not following through, even if it seems small to you, it’s brand damaging and you’ll lose precious audience trust.
4) Don't over-promise
Equally as important as delivering what you said you would is making sure you don’t overpromise. If in your lead capture effort you promised a follow-up with a salesperson or consultant, make sure you have the resources and processes in place to actually follow through. If you leave the audience hanging, they’ll remember, and it will cost you.
5) Measurement matters
Measurement always matters, but it’s essential with lead generation. Keeping a dashboard like Google Data Studio can help with monitoring metrics such as campaign spend and CPA. Your dashboard can be your central location that pulls in data from your analytics and campaign sources including Facebook, display, or email campaigns and automating calculations. Having a bird’s eye view of all your campaign activities and costs will help inform decisions that balance your marketing spend by channel to achieve the most effective media mix.
Perhaps even more important than digital monitoring is the monitoring of your offline channels and the effect those have on conversion and leads. Taking the time to compare your website traffic patterns to offline media in market can ensure more accurate attribution to lifts in traffic or conversions. For example, do you see an increase in lead volume when your television campaign is running? Is there a correlation in website traffic increases while you have billboards in market? These are the kinds of questions that can be answered by taking a deep dive into website metrics and your offline buying presence. These questions will be essential to understanding the power of your lead generation campaigns.
Better methods mean better leads
This all might seem like a lot to wrap your head around but really, it’s no different from any successful relationship you’ve had. You need to pay attention to what the consumer may need from you, nurture the value they see in you by staying in touch with relevant information and be attentive when they are ready to engage with you. This also ensures you are bringing in leads that are primed to convert rather than a stack of cold prospects (like swiping right on every Tinder profile you come across).
The other half of the equation is tracking your quantifiable data to find the best mix of tactics to bring consumers into the funnel and guide them towards conversion. Be diligent in tracking your spend and market presence by tactic and relating that information back to measurable data points like website visits, form fills and conversion rates. Look for the patterns that help you determine if you need to spend more or less on specific channels in your mix and ensure you are considering economic factors that might also account for changes in your data trends.