Leads are some of the most effective means to measure the growth of your business. They can also be a tricky thing to manage.
Leads can be generated through various methods, though some are more effective than others depending on the nature of your business.
While there are many different lead generation strategies, quality is not always guaranteed, so you need to set a firm budget for acquiring these kinds of leads.
Lead sourcing is an ideal way to get ahead of the competition, but not all businesses have the necessary resources to allocate since quality leads are expensive, making it difficult for those that have a smaller budget to compete for new customers.
Thankfully, this doesn’t always have to be the case. There are free lead generation strategies that can be just as effective as expensive alternatives. But before we dive into it, let’s first explore the four essentials every lead generation strategy needs.
The Pillars of Lead Generation
Chances are – a significant number of your website’s visitors will never return if you don’t have a way to capture their information. And since Google’s latest core update changed some of its defining web page judgements, visitors are able to avoid marketing messages more easily.
To adapt to changing times, a new strategy must be applied, and Strategic Marketing Consultant and Facebook Ads Specialist, Nicholas Kusmich, suggests two ways: 1) give before you ask and 2) each step of the marketing process must be valuable in and of itself.
The first one calls for mutually beneficial methods that allow potential leads to opt-in to effectively gather information, and one way to do this is through lead magnets.
Client acquisition requires an optimized process that converts visitors into leads, but a problem arises when first-time visitors are unable to leave their information, which is why they never hear from you again. This is where lead magnets come in.
Lead magnets offer value to your site visitors in exchange for their contact information. They tend to come in the form of eBooks, training videos, trials, webinars, and white papers. These freebies present an opportunity for a trade-off where you offer them valuable content or tools in exchange for their contact details, which facilitates future communications.
Landing Page Conversion Techniques
Landing pages are crucial in converting your visitors into leads. They can be any page a visitor lands on after clicking on an ad, a call-to-action button, or any other marketing trigger.
Landing pages should be separate from your main home page and have the dual purpose of capturing leads and warming them up to become your next customers. The goal of your landing page is to educate your visitor with enough information to make them proceed with a purchase.
It’s also worth noting that your landing page should always deliver on the promise that you made on your ad source to reduce bounce rates.
Not all leads are created equal, and they must be prioritized by their levels of engagement. This is where lead scoring comes in, so you can prioritize your best leads that are closest to making a purchase decision.
This method can quantify interactions your potential customers have with your content through a point system, with values assigned to the type of engagement they’ve made. You can add or deduct points based on positive and negative attributes like downloading an eBook or opting out from your mailing list.
This point-based system used in identifying your hottest leads will save you a lot of time and money when trying to hit your target market and taking advantage of sales opportunities.
Free Lead Generation Strategies
Generally considered one of the most effective ways to reach your target customers, email marketing is still widely used as a marketing tool due to its direct approach and most importantly, its low cost.
Aim to send personalized emails with an opt-in method that utilizes an attractive call to action strategy. This not only helps you gain subscribers who enjoy receiving emails from you but also boosts your chances of conversions.
Free tool for the job: MailChimp
Writing blogs regularly helps keep your website fresh while building visibility on Google keyword searches.
An 11-blog per month target can help increase your lead volume by up to 4X, while increasing traffic by up to 3X, according to a Hubspot Benchmarks report. Don’t forget to include links to other websites and a prominent call to action.
Free tool for the job: WordPress
Social media is a great modern marketing channel thanks to its high penetration rate and sheer volume of users. Posting content and sharing what others post consistently can improve your visibility and boost your metrics.
You can amass a loyal following by building relationships with your potential customers through valuable social interactions. This is also where you can communicate and share information through dialogue whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other social channels.
Free tool for the job: Hootsuite
Organic Search Marketing
Organic Search Marketing is arguably one of the most effective methods for consistent, long-term lead generation. Despite its broader scope and higher level of difficulty, organic search optimization still drives a significant portion of new leads for most businesses.
The SEO landscape is highly competitive and has been for some time now. But as long as you’re keeping up to date with the latest best practices and algorithm changes, you’ll be able to optimize your website’s pages accordingly.
Free tools for the job: Google Analytics
Referral marketing programs involve effective tools and techniques that generate a consistent flow of leads referred by existing customers. This can be done by reaching out to your existing customers who can recommend your products or services to others.
The best way to get the ball rolling is through promos or rewards as these provide incentives for existing customers to act as referrers.
Free tool for the job: GrowSurf
Online reviews or testimonials are the new word of mouth in that most consumers look for these reviews before making a purchase.
Most customers are driven to leave a review if they are satisfied and happy with your product or service, or because they are disappointed, so make sure it’s the first reason.
Free tool for the job: G2
Create Landing Pages with Effective Calls to Action
Your visitors won’t know what to do next if you don’t give them specific instructions, so make sure you give them a clear and concise call-to-action included in your marketing components.
A more potent combination is creating a dedicated landing page with a call to action for specific offers that are relevant to what they are looking for.
Free tool for the job: ButtonOptimizer
Digital and social marketing may be great channels in generating leads, but nothing beats personal contact when it comes to opening a two-way dialogue with your potential customers to develop trust.
As a marketer, you should attend networking events and consider being a presenter at these events when the opportunity arises. Even a 10- to 15-minute presentation could be huge for generating direct leads or even a referral from those who’ve seen said presentation.
Free tool for the job: Your amazing personality!
Free e-books or White Papers
As mentioned in our lead capture strategy, we must give before we ask, so offering something of value relevant to your product or service is a great way to turn your visitors into quality leads. High quality content attracts users, provides an incentive to engage, and increases your chances of converting visitors into leads.
Free tool for the job: Canva
Videos get 66 percent more qualified leads and hit a 54 percent increase in brand awareness per year, so start shooting informative videos, webinars and live chats to encourage engagement with your audience.
Make sure to include a clickable call to action button in your videos to funnel your leads to a relevant landing page where they can be further driven down your sales funnel.
Free tool for the job: Biteable
Generating quality leads doesn’t have to be expensive. All you have to do is keep the four essentials in mind as you build your lead generation methods and create a plan that combines all your chosen free strategies. Keep this as a reference for when you want to give your customer acquisition efforts a boost without breaking the bank.