In this article, we’ll look at simple lead generation best practices you can implement right now to drive leads into your sales funnel and convert them into paying customers.
In fact, these lead generation best practices skyrocketed our leads by 224% in just one month.
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Following these lead generation best practices will help you reach pivotal marketing and sales goals:
- Consider the end-goal first
- Define your target audience
- Implement live chat to generate leads
- Design interactive content
- Make use of CRM software
- Encourage online reviews
- Display your contact number
- Invest in targeted PPC ads
- Create great content that draws visitors
- Show social proof and testimonials
- Promote your brand with contests and affiliates
- Be active on communities like Quora
- Provide freebies to your visitors
- Avoid "cookie-cutter" site templates
- Use power words to describe your offer
- Add trust seals to your website
- Place lead-capturing forms on every page
- Collect emails for personalization
- Optimize for mobile devices
- Score your leads correctly
- A/B test lead-generating CTAs
1. Consider the end-goal first
Clearly define what a lead means to your business. Do you consider anyone that signs up for your offer as a lead, or someone that fills out your contact form, or maybe it’s someone that requests a callback.
Related: 16 Lead Generation Questions You Need to Ask for Success
Whatever your goal is, it’s important you define it up front. It's basic, but nonetheless essential to do before you move forward. It forms the basis of metrics you will use to measure how successful your lead generation campaign is.
Also, set up a sales funnel ahead of time that nurture leads into customers.
A typical online lead generation funnel has a few key steps:
- Marketing: advertising your product or service to bring visitors to your website through content or social media.
- Demand generation: using targeted programs such as webinars, events, whitepapers, and live demos or free trials. Depending on what the lead does or how they interact with your site and content, will categorize the lead as a target or prospect.
- Nurturing: developing and reinforcing the relationship with leads or prospects at every stage in the funnel to ensure they continue the journey to the next stage.
- Action: the lead became qualified and completed the funnel by purchasing your product or service, becoming a customer.
2. Define your target audience
Everything starts with knowing your audience. To create great products, or high-quality content that really resonates, you need to know their pain points.
Recent studies have shown that 48% of buyers are more likely to consider solutions that are personalized to address their specific business issues.
By creating the right buyer personas for your target audience buying cycles, you can really get to know your audience.
Apply the wrong buyer personas and your conversion rate will suffer, you’ll end up targeting users that simply don’t need your product—no matter how great it is.
Creating the right buyer persona for each stage of the journey is crucial to successful lead generation campaigns.
3. Implement live chat to generate leads
Live chat is a great way to engage your customers as soon they get to your website. Starting up communication like this gives you the chance to guide them, answer questions, and understand their specific needs.
A recent study by Forrester shows that 44% of online customers consider live chat as one of the most important features a website can have.
Today’s generation expects a quicker response, faster resolution, and exceptional customer service.
LIVE CHAT SOFTWARELive chat that brings conversations to life
How can live chat generate leads?
- Improves conversion rates: Visitors can quickly connect with live chat agents when they face issues. As a result, waiting time is reduced and customer satisfaction increased. Live chat gives real-time support to customers, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
- Captures customer contact details: Before connecting customers to agents, get them to fill in a form with their phone number and email. This helps with following-up down the line.
- Proactive chat: When return customers initiate live chat, their details are already available to you. This helps build better rapport and has a positive impact on lead generation.
- 24/7 availability: Users could contact you at any hour. Providing live customer support 24/7 makes sure you don’t miss out on any potential leads. Of course, customer representatives’ work shifts need to be arranged accordingly.
The numbers really back up how important live chat is: (according to eMarketer)
- 38% of online visitors purchased a product because of live chat
- 63% of customers who participated in live chat were more likely to return to the website
When visitors come to your website they are often ready to buy, but if there’s no one to guide them and answer their questions, they may lose interest and switch to your competitor.
Live chat also helps foster trust—it’s a much more satisfying experience for users to feel they are dealing with a real person.
4. Design interactive content
Interactive content engages users, whilst providing them with real value. In return, you get their contact information. Customers are usually willing to give out relevant information if they get something out of it.
Consequently, you can use this information to create a detailed buyer persona and segment them accordingly.
Here's an example:
Let’s assume you are trying to market an ecommerce makeup store. You could create an effortless product recommendation quiz like this one from Outgrow:
Customers will feel compelled to provide their contact information to find out which makeup set suits them best. The company will also receive other relevant information like their budget, skin type, and so on, which can be used to create personalized targeted emails to help boost sales.
5. Make use of CRM software
According to Capterra, 53% of top-performing companies are investing in CRM to drive sales productivity. In the modern marketplace, CRM tools are crucial for generating leads. You need to analyze, understand, and plan for market trends and consumer behavior.
Using your CRM software properly involves:
- Customer analytics: CRM analytical tools can retrieve data regarding age, purchasing habits and geographical locations. Use this to modify your outreach approach for generating leads accordingly.
- Social networking: One of the most effective methods for connecting with your clients is through social media. You can post various surveys on social media platforms and store the data in your CRM software.
- Nurturing your leads: Once you have the data, make sure you reach out efficiently. Your CRM’s email marketing software can help you contact the right customers at the right time.
- Integrate your CRM with live chat software: By doing this, you can record and read chat histories and conversations in your CRM tool. With the relevant information at your fingertips, you can serve your customers much more effectively.
Through proper use of sales CRM, you will generate more leads because you connect with your customers in a more professional way.
Let's continue with our list of lead generation best practices.
6. Encourage online reviews
According to BrightLocal, “88% of respondents confirmed that they trust and will check online reviews before trying something for the first time.” And 68 percent were willing to write a review when asked to.
The second statistic highlights an opportunity to really boost conversions and sales. Encouraging your existing customers to share their experience is the most effective way to enhance your brand image and attract new customers. Employing this strategy encourages long-term customer relationships.
7. Display your contact number
Even if your customers don’t actually call, including a contact number on your website really helps to create trust and cement your credibility.
In fact, adding a phone number at the top of your page (this is especially true of the homepage) has been proven to increase conversions by up to 53%.
Here’s an example from Zappos, the popular shoe store. As you can see, there’s a phone number at the top of every page.
Your customers can relax in the knowledge that, should they need to, they can call up and talk to someone
8. Invest in targeted PPC ads
According to WordStream, the top 3 paid ads get 41% of clicks on that page. PPC, or pay-per-click, is a model commonly applied in internet marketing. In it, the advertiser pays a fee every time a user clicks on one of their ads. Think of it as a tactic for buying traffic to your website.
The best part about PPC ads is that the ads instantly appear on the first relevant search page for the user. As a result, you get maximum exposure to a highly appropriate audience, informing those users about your product.
How is PPC helpful in generating leads?
- reaches visitors who are searching for your offering or similar
- brings more traffic to your website and immediate keyword rankings
- possible to see what the audience is searching for and therefore craft your email/message according to their needs
- track ROI down to the cent
- grow your database of leads and remarket them accordingly
PPC gives exceptional results if used wisely. Proper analysis of your keywords and target market is requisite in achieving the best possible ROI. Without adequate planning, PPC can result in a lot of wasted money.
However, if you are prepared to do the proper research on your offerings, target audience, and budget, as well as employing the right expertise, PPC could prove to be one of your best lead generation strategies.
9. Create great content that draws visitors
When it comes to grabbing your users’ attention, content is a great way to do it. Content that is relevant, catchy, informative, interesting, and useful, can go a long way to convincing users to do business with you.
Remember, even though you can promote your product or service through website content, don’t use it simply for that. Instead, provide users with valuable information, and include information about what you do, and the market you serve. There is a good chance users will see you as an industry leader if your content portrays the right image.
Of course, you want to present your product or service as a perfect solution to users’ problems. Nevertheless, you can still seek to provide an overall view on the subject, and position your company as an expert.
Once you know what to put in, the next question is how to distribute it. There are a few different ways you could choose to interact with your users.
- Memes or comical content
- Podcasts etc.
As you can see, there are a lot of options available. Remember though, only post relevant content, and do it through the appropriate medium.
10. Show social proof and testimonials
If you’re not using testimonials and media content on your website, you're leaving so much on the table. Testimonials say a lot about your credibility and are great for building trust.
This is especially true if your testimonials and recommendations come from reputable people.
Video testimonials, or even pictures, get the message across and fast and can do wonders for your conversion rate.
11. Promote your brand with contests and affiliates
Don’t the brick and mortar shops near you organize contests and competitions? Well, there’s no reason your website can’t do the same. In fact, some marketers have been at it for ages. According to Wheel of Popups, gamification increases average conversion rate by 13%.
Users love it when prizes are on offer, and they love it even more when they win them! Often known as digital sweepstakes, it panders to their competitive spirit and helps you grab their attention. Get them to write some slogans or taglines, participate in quizzes, post pictures, or share your content—then offer them something in return.
Imagine how many active leads you can gain by running these types of contests.
You can also merge them with sign up forms, surveys, and email listings. Offer your users the chance to enter a contest and sign them up. Offer discount and rebate coupons as prizes, or even free items to some winners.
Aside from contests, your company could invest its time and resources in starting an affiliate marketing strategy.
Companies often hire affiliates to boost their promotional program and convert leads for them. Affiliates are an easy way to improve sales numbers, but only if the plan is well targeted. The scheme also incentivizes affiliates to work effectively in promoting your brand and bring in the leads, as performing well is the only way they get remuneration. It’s win-win.
Here's some more lead generation best practices to try...
12. Be active on communities like Quora
With 100 million unique monthly users, Quora is a very popular website. Your company can use it to generate leads. Apart from answering user queries, the website also allows you to add links to your page and therefore indirectly market yourself whilst providing honest answers.
This is a fantastic way to interact with users. You just have to open up an account, be active, and search for the relevant opportunities to get involved.
Besides Quora, there are several other question and answer websites around. For example, you could be active on answers.com, or Yahoo answers, among others. There are also several community websites where you can generate leads by participating—like Reddit.
13. Provide freebies to your visitors
A great way to collect data and generate leads is to offer various freebies to your visitors. Psychologically, free stuff is extremely efficient in attracting users. If your users find your freebie offering useful or informative, then they will be happy to provide you with their details.
Some of the most effective freebie offerings are:
Newsletter: You can offer a weekly or monthly newsletter that provides unique, informative content. To do that, you need to draw in the user with eye-catching one-liners so they feel the need to give their details.
As you can see in the image above, the Chive has creatively designed their newsletter pop-up, helping attract people to subscribe to their newsletter.
Ebooks: Who doesn’t want free and informative eBooks? You can offer your customers handy eBooks in exchange for their data.
Whitepaper: Whitepapers are an effective way to not only generate leads, but also impress your users. You can convince your users by offering them various ideas and content about your product or service.
14. Avoid “cookie-cutter” site templates
Nowadays, there are lots of pre-designed website templates around. However, when it comes to creating a good lead generation website, it’s important you make it stand out.
Invest in creating a top-notch design. It’s worth it because customers will see you as more credible if you have a good website.
A customized, professionally done website design, that’s clean, responsive, and user friendly, really works. Consider your website design as your chance to make a first impression on users. If they don’t find it appealing, it’s likely they’ll just walk away.
15. Use power words to describe your offer
Use power words to nudge users into taking action. If you want them to subscribe to your newsletter, go ahead and ask.
When visitors hit your site, if they don’t see words like “get”, “download”, “have”, and other words that invoke action, they may well leave.
16. Add trust seals to your website
Adding trust seals to your website will increase trust in your brand and encourage users to do business with you.
Trust seals provide your users with a guarantee. OrientalFurniture.com increased their conversion rate 7.6% by adding the BuySafe guarantee.
The BuySafe seal guarantees the delivery of purchases up to $500 and also offers $10,000 guaranteed protection if a customer’s identity is stolen on the website. You should use trust seals that guarantee strong protection like this.
17. Place lead-capturing forms on every page
Give yourself a better chance of persuading potential customers to fill out forms by placing them on every page, and making sure they are in positions where they can be easily found.
It’s a good idea to use visual cues like arrows to show them where to look. Minimizing the number of fields in your forms is likely to improve completion rate and increase the number of subscribers since the form will be easier to fill.
18. Collect emails for personalization
Companies make extensive use of personalized emails as a strategy to generate leads and grow their business. Personalization provides the reader with a human touch, creating a much more engaging experience than generic, automated emails.
A great example of this comes from Netflix. Many people spend a lot of time searching for the right movie/content to view on Netflix rather than actually watching it. Hence, Netflix provides an option to run, or add, a particular movie via personalized email.
Netflix knows the importance of providing personalized emails, users cherish useful suggestions from companies, and in the end this helps to generate leads for your organization.
Using a pop-up box is one of the easiest ways to gather email ids. Just remember to make an attractive looking box that’s easy to locate, and importantly, is easy to get rid of if someone doesn’t want to engage with you.
According to one study, a website generated 1,375% more registered email ids thanks to the installation of a homepage pop-up box.
19. Optimize for mobile devices
According to Think with Google, 48% of a mobile customer’s research starts with a search engine. And about 48% of customers say they feel frustrated and annoyed when they land on websites that are poorly optimized for mobile.
As the days go by, more of your target customers are using mobile devices to find you and read your content, so it’s important you make your website mobile-friendly. Optimize your website for mobile, make it responsive, easy to navigate, and make sure it functions as desired.
20. Score your leads correctly
The lead scoring system allows you to prioritize your leads according to their engagement with your content. Not all leads are ready to buy. Segmenting based on their level of engagement in the buying cycle is critical to your success.
Set up your lead scoring system in such a way that you know who is ready to buy, but also exactly what those leads are interested in.
Having an effective lead scoring system allows you to focus on your most engaging leads, whilst continuing to nurture leads that aren’t yet ready to buy. This will allow you to save time and money, whilst gaining an advantage over competitors as, sadly, over 79% of B2B marketers are yet to establish a lead scoring system.
21. A/B test lead-generating CTAs
Test your CTAs, the colors that convert the most, lead magnets that convert best. Keep testing until you find what works best for your target audience.
Use tools such as Google Optimize to create variants of pages, buttons, and messaging. By connecting your A/B tests to analytics or goal reporting tools, you're able to view which tests had the most impact on lead generation.
Summing up these lead generation best practices
These lead generation best practices are used by the biggest companies to increase their customer base and sales. Find out what's working for your organization and learn to improve upon it. Be sure to put these best practices to use, and you’ll acquire more leads, make more sales, and increase your business profitability.
You've seen how to bring in more visitors and turn them into leads, the next step is improving conversion rates. This will allow you to scale the number of leads you capture based on the visitors to your website.
Quick and easy ways to improve conversion rates
Learn how to leverage on-page tweaks and the Acquire platform to boost conversion rates.
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So, which of these live chat best practices does your business follow? Let us know in the comments.
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