Generating leads that are both high in quantity and quality is a marketer’s most important objective. Surprisingly, only 1 in 10 marketers feel their lead generation campaigns are effective. Why?
There can be a lot of moving parts in any lead generation campaign and often times it’s difficult to know which parts need fine tuning. In this guide, we will expose 18 techniques marketers should utilise to increase leads and revenue.
So, what goes into a lead generation engine? First, let’s take a look into the mechanics of high performing lead generation campaigns….
The mechanics of lead generation
Before we dive into the tips, we should first cover the mechanics of lead generation. The best lead generation campaigns contain most, if not all, of these components. From a tactical perspective, a marketer needs four crucial elements to make inbound lead generation happen. These include:
An offer is a piece of content that is perceived to be high in value. Offers include e-books, whitepapers, free consultations, coupons and product demonstrations.
A call-to-action (CTA) is either text, an image or a button that links directly to a landing page so that people can access and download your offer.
A landing page, unlike normal website pages, is a specialised page that contains information about one particular offer, and a form to download that offer.
You can’t capture leads without forms. Forms will collect contact information from a visitor in exchange for an offer.
The tips in this article will cover each of these elements so that each component is fully optimised to help you generate the most leads for your business. Now, let’s get started.
Section 1: Creating irresistible offers
“Yes” is one of the most powerful words in the human language. And if you think about all the things we do as marketers, it’s ultimately to get people to say “yes” to our offers.
When an offer is exclusive, scarce, or in high demand, it becomes more desirable. Whether they are whitepapers, free trials, memberships, sales promotions or downloads, these irresistible elements can overcome a lead’s typical friction, doubt or concern.
Why do these elements work? Because they trigger a psychological reaction that makes an offer more valuable. People need to perceive the value of your offer to be greater than what you’re asking for in return. The higher the perception of value, the more irresistible the offer. So how do you create irresistible offers?
Lead Gen’ Tip 1: Use the Element of Scarcity
If you look at the principle of supply and demand, you’ll notice that when supply is limited, demand goes up. Scarcity has a psychological influence on us, making us want something even more if there isn’t enough to go around. Scarcity is great because it creates a fear of shortage, and thus a sense of urgency.
Limited Time Offers
Limited time offers are among the most popular in the scarcity category. Just think about your average car dealership. Practically every advert is a limited time deal. “Get 0% financing before it’s gone!”
Limited Quantity Offers
When something is of limited quantity, it suddenly becomes more unique or exclusive. In some studies, limited quantity or supply offers have outperformed limited time offers. Why? Because it’s hard to tell when an offer of limited quantity will suddenly become unavailable, while a time-based offer has a known end time. Limited quantity offers are great for not only getting people to say “yes” to your offer, but to avoid procrastination completely.
Limited Time and Limited Quantity
Groupon is the perfect example of using both tactics. All Groupon deals end within a certain time frame, and they limit the number of people who can buy a Groupon. That’s a powerful combination. The site also packages these scarcity tactics with discounting, which is another great value-add, especially for ecommerce businesses.
Lead Gen’ Tip 2: The Bandwagon Effect
It’s a natural tendency for humans to copy one another, even without realising it – we like to be a part of tribes and social communities. So when we notice our social circle is doing one thing, we tend to follow suit. One great way to make an offer more valuable is to show that other people are participating in that offer.
Proof in Numbers
When possible, a great way to indicate how awesome an offer is to mention the number of people who have purchased, downloaded, signed up or donated. Just make sure your claims are not only true, but believable.
Lead Gen’ Tip 3: Focus on Creating an Amazing Title
Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO and co-founder, once said that “you can have a great offer with a bad title and no one will download it. But if you have an amazing title, suddenly everyone wants it.” Yes – people do judge a book by its cover. If your offer is a piece of content, such as a whitepaper, ebook, or presentation, put effort into creating an amazing title.
Lead Gen’ Tip 4: Create Offers for Different Buying Stages
The most common offer I see on most websites is “Contact Us.” Sure, you want all your prospects to talk to sales, but not everyone is ready. As you know, buyers are more likely to do their own research before even engaging with a sales rep. And, every prospect is at a different stage of exploration. Some may need more education than others. That’s why it’s important to develop different offers at different stages of the buy cycle.
Someone at the top of the buying cycle may be more interested in an informational piece like a guide or ebook, whereas someone more committed at the bottom of the cycle might be more interested in a free trial or demo. You don’t need to pick and choose; create offers for each phase, and include a primary and secondary CTA to these offers on various pages throughout your site.
Lead Gen’ Tip 5: Use High-Value Offer Formats
Not all offers are created equal. Some “formats” of offers perform better than others at converting leads. For example, what’s more valuable, a whitepaper or an ebook?
Below are the type of offers, in order of performance, that generate the most amount of leads.
- Ebooks or Guides
- Templates or Presentations
- Research & Reports
- Kits (multiple offers packaged together)
- Live Webinars
- On-demand Videos
- Blog (including offers in the nav or sidebar)
- Blog posts (if there is a CTA in the post)
- Middle-of-the-funnel offers: Demo Requests, Contact Sales, RFP, Etc. (more sales-ready offers)
It’s important to test different types of offers with your audience to determine what works for you. While ebooks score high on our list, you may find that reports, videos or other formats do better.
Section 2: Calls-to-action that Result in Action
Calls-to-action (CTA) are the secret sauce to driving people to your offers. If your CTAs aren’t effective at capturing people’s attention and persuading them to click, then it makes the offer useless.
CTAs can be used on product pages (non-landing pages), in display ads, email, social media, direct mail and pretty much anywhere you can market your offer.
But not all CTAs are created equal. In a world where every brand is fighting for consumers’ attention, it’s critical that prospects choose your offer over your competitors. In this guide, we’ll uncover tips to creating CTAs that rock.
Lead Gen’ Tip 6: Place Your CTA Where the Eye Can See
Calls-to-action do best “above the fold” – the space where your web page is viewable to the user without having to scroll down. According to heat map analysis, anything “below the fold” will only be viewed by 50% of people who visit your page. Doubling impressions on your CTAs can significantly increase your lead count.
Lead Gen’ Tip 7: Clarity Trumps Persuasion
Often times, marketers will put more focus on being clever than clear. Be crystal clear about what offer is in your CTA. And be specific. If you’re giving away a free guide, say “Download our FREE guide to X.” If you’re hosting a free webinar, say “Register for our FREE webinar on X.” X should clearly convey a compelling benefit of receiving the offer. This is much more effective than “Download Now” or “Get a Free Article.” These simply aren’t specific enough.
Lead Gen’ Tip 8: Use Contrast to Make CTAs Stand Out
A call-to-action is meant to stand out, so if your CTA blends in too much with your site design, no one will notice it. You want as many eyeballs to land on that call-to-action as possible, so use contrasting colours to make the CTA stand out, and more importantly, use design to make it clear it is a clickable call-to-action.
Lead Gen’ Tip 9: Link Your CTA to a Dedicated Landing Page
This tip might seem minor, but it’s incredible how often businesses miss this opportunity. Calls-to-action are meant to send visitors to a dedicated landing page where they receive a specific offer. Do not use CTAs to drive people to your homepage.
Even if your CTA is about your brand or product (and perhaps not an offer like a download), still send them to a targeted landing page that is relevant to what they are looking for. If you have the opportunity to use a CTA, send them to a page that will convert them into a lead.
Lead Gen’ Tip 10: Promote Offers on Product Pages
CTAs shouldn’t be one size fits all. If your company offers various products or services, you may want to consider creating a different offer for each of them. Then you can place CTAs linking to each offer on the website pages that are most relevant to that offer.
Section 3: Landing pages that Convert
Landing pages are one of the most important elements of lead generation. The use of landing pages enables marketers to direct website visitors to targeted pages and capture leads at a much higher rate.
What’s great about landing pages is that they direct your visitors to one particular offer without the distractions of everything else on your website. Visitors are on a landing page for one and only purpose – to complete the lead capture form!
Lead Gen’ Tip 11: Elements of an Effective Landing Page
Landing pages are used to convert visitors into leads by completing a transaction or by collecting contact information from them. Landing pages consist of:
1. A headline and (optional) sub-headline
2. A brief description of the offer
3. At least one supporting image
4. (Optional) supporting elements such as testimonials or security badges
5. A form to capture information
Lead Gen’ Tip 12: Remove the Main Navigation
Once a visitor arrives on a landing page, it’s your job to keep them there. If there are links on the page to move about your website, it will distract the visitor and decrease the chance of them converting on the page.
One of the best ways to increase your landing page conversion rates is to simply remove the main navigation from the page!
Lead Gen’ Tip 13: Match the Headline of the Landing Page to the Corresponding CTA
Keep your messaging consistent on both your CTA and the headline of the landing page. If people click on a link for a free offer and then find out there’s a catch on the landing page, you’ll instantly lose their trust. Similarly, if the headline reads differently than the CTA, it might lead to confusion, and the visitor might wonder if the CTA is linked to the wrong page.
Lead Gen’ Tip 14: Less is More
I’m sure you’re aware of the rule “keep it simple, stupid.” The same applies to landing pages. A cluttered page means a distracted visitor. Be brief and to the point; it’s in the offer itself where you give more information. In addition to your headline, include a brief paragraph explaining what the offer is, followed by a few bullet points outlining the benefits of the offer.
Lead Gen’ Tip 15: Emphasise the Benefits of the Offer
Make it clear in your brief paragraph and/or bullet points what the benefits of the offer are. It’s more than just listing what the offer is comprised of; it takes a bit of spin. Instead of “Includes specifications of product XYZ,” say something like “Find out how XYZ can increase productivity by 50%.” In other words, convey the value of your offer clearly and effectively.
The landing page copy tells the visitor what they will receive when downloading the offer.
Section 4: Optimised forms
Forms are the key to a landing page. Without them, there is no way to convert a visitor into a lead. They come in handy when it’s time for people to sign-up, subscribe to your site or download an offer.
The following tips will cover how to build great landing page forms.
Lead Gen’ Tip 16: The Right Form Length
You might be wondering how much or how little information you should require with a form. There is no magic answer when it comes to how many fields your form should contain but the best balance would be to only collect the information you actually need.
The fewer fields you have in a form, the more likely you will receive more conversions. This is because with each new field you add to a form, it creates friction (more work for the visitor) and fewer conversions. A longer form looks like more work and sometimes it will be avoided all together. But on the other hand, the more fields you require, the better quality those leads might be. The best way to determine what works best is to test it.
Lead Gen’ Tip 17: To Submit or Not to Submit
That is the question most of your visitors are asking. One of the best ways to increase form conversion rates is to simply NOT use the default word on your button: “SUBMIT.”
If you think about it, no one wants to “submit” to anything. Instead, turn the statement into a benefit that relates to what they are getting in return.
For example, if the form is to download a brochure kit, the submit button should say, “Get Your Brochure Kit.” Other examples include “Download whitepaper,” “Get your free ebook,” or “Join our Newsletter.”
Another helpful tip, make the button big, bold and colourful. Make sure it looks like a button (usually bevelled and appears “clickable”).
Lead Gen’ Tip 18: Make the Form Appear Shorter
Sometimes people won’t fill out a form just because it “looks” long and time-consuming. If your form requires a lot of fields, try making the form look shorter by adjusting the styling.
For example, reduce the spacing in between fields or align the titles to the left of each field instead of above it so that the form appears shorter. If the form covers less space on the page, it may seem as if you’re asking for less.
Generating leads online has the power to transform your marketing. Using great offers, calls-to-action, landing pages and forms – while promoting them in multi-channel environments – can reduce your cost-per-lead while delivering higher quality prospects to your sales team.
The basics here are just the beginning. This blog contains many best practices for every aspect of lead generation to help bolster your conversion rates, but these tactics are only the tip of the iceberg. Continue to tweak and test each step of your inbound lead generation process in an effort to improve lead quality and increase revenue.
So, speak to our team today and see how Blabbermouth Marketing can impact your sales and marketing, drive new growth, and help your business grow!