We all want more sales leads, right?
In this article, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide for four field-proven lead generation techniques.
Each of these can be used to start generating more sales leads for your sales team. We’ve also included examples and recommendations from recognized thought leaders for each method.
The four techniques we’re about to cover are how to:
- Generate Warm Leads from Your Current Website Traffic by Using Leadfeeder
- Use LinkedIn Successfully
- Use Old-Fashioned Direct Mail
- Generate Awareness Through Content Marketing
(Note: Want to discover new leads, prospects, and gain new insights about your customers? Try Leadfeeder for free.)
1. Generate Warm Leads from Your Current Website Traffic by Using Leadfeeder
Leadfeeder is our tool and we’re really proud to offer it as an option that works great in combination with any of the other strategies on this list.
Leadfeeder is a highly customizable tool that does many things to help marketers.
It’s core strength is identifying companies that are already visiting your website, tracking the pages they visit, then providing you the information you need to reach out to those companies.
Leadfeeder turns anonymous traffic reports (which you can’t turn into sales leads) into actionable lists of contacts your sales team can directly contact to see if they’d like to know more.
If someone from your target market visits your pricing page three times in a day, for example, wouldn’t you love to be able to reach out and get in contact with that person?
Leadfeeder enables exactly this kind of response.
Leadfeeder is a fantastic compliment to any other marketing strategy—including the three other lead generation methods we describe below. When you run a campaign, Leadfeeder helps you track who visits as a result, what they’re looking at, and if they might be a good prospect for your sales team.
We don’t have to tell you that LinkedIn is a goldmine for marketers and salespeople who learn to use it well.
There are two ways to harvest leads on LinkedIn:
- The free search tool
- The paid LinkedIn Sales Navigator tool
When it comes to getting warm leads off LinkedIn, you’re going to need to do more than send out a connection request and cut-and-pasted sales messages.
Mandy McEwen at Modgirl.consulting says, the best way to scale your business via LinkedIn is to only target your dream clients or customers.
LinkedIn allows you to do this by giving you powerful search tools to target and find those who would most value your services.
Here’s a slightly condensed list of the steps Mandy recommends:
Step 1: Create Buyer Personas
Before you start connecting with people, you’ll want to sit down and take a few minutes to create your ideal buyer persona. This can include:
Think carefully about what your ideal client or customer is like as their persona will have a direct impact upon the next few steps.
Step 2: Use Keyword Research
What keywords do your prospective clients or customers use when searching LinkedIn? Create a list of around ten keywords that these people probably use when performing a search.
You can use such tools as Google Keyword Planner, Buzz Sumo, and Answer the Public to come up with a good list of keywords. You can also look at the profile pages of other people who offer the same or similar service that you do.
They will help guide your content and profile creation efforts and can even improve your organic profile rank in the search results.
Step 3: Optimize Your Profile
Optimizing your profile will allow people to instantly see how your products or services can help them. You can accomplish this by putting their job title or industry in the headline section.
Be sure to add various forms of media such as images (if relevant) and video, and even small additions can help. According to an article by LinkedIn career expert Catherine Fisher, profiles with a photo “receive 21x more profile views and up to 36x more messages” on the platform.
To create videos, the webcams on most computers and phones are good enough to create a short but sweet 30-second video that will allow people to make a personal connection with you.
Examples, samples, and statistics sprinkled liberally throughout your profile can also help highlight past work. If at all possible, try to provide past or current client testimonials as social proof can help instill a greater sense of trust.
Step 4: Share High-Quality Content
Content is king when it comes to LinkedIn. It sets you apart from the rest of the pack as a thought-leader, and someone people would turn to for advice.
When you create content, be sure to center it around the pain points of your audience. The content can be anything from a free download, webinar, video, LinkedIn post, or even a lead generation piece.
You should also include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of every piece of content. Ideally, it should ask for their contact info or direct them to visit your website for more information.
Step 5: Create Connections & Build Relationships
Use the buyer persona you created earlier to figure out which filters you should use in the targeted search feature on LinkedIn. Find those who closely match your buyer persona and send over a connection request.
People tend to ignore generic or blank connection requests, so try to personalize yours as much as possible. Find something in common such as past schooling, industry news, or ask a question about something new in the industry.
Step 6: Offer Lead Magnets
After the initial outreach, you can keep the conversation going by offering free content. Look at their website or take a cue from an earlier discussion and see if there isn’t a way you can help them with a particular problem they have.
A blog post, whitepaper, or short video can be offered as a token of goodwill—at which point the law of reciprocity will come into play and can use this as a springboard for a sales pitch.
Step 7: Nurture the Leads
By this time, you’ve established yourself as a trusted expert and should have several warm leads to follow up with.
Don’t entirely give up on those who haven’t yet converted. Try to send two to three messages per month with new content or valuable resources that will continue to keep you on their radar.
By methodically working your contacts on LinkedIn and providing free valuable advice, you’ll be the first person they think of when they need to hire a professional.
3. Use Old-Fashioned Direct Mail
With so many businesses focusing their marketing budgets on “online,” competition for the mailbox has never been lighter.
Unlike marketing emails, which can be deleted in a fraction of a second, direct mail has a greater chance of being seen and opened. USPS estimates that around 81 percent of people scan or read their physical mail on a daily basis.
The marketing gurus over at StreamWorks have given some tips on how to prepare an effective direct mail campaign:
Step 1: Segment Your Lists
Unlike email, the cost of a direct mail campaign can add up quickly. This is why it’s essential you scrub your lists to ensure that you’re not spending money on a mailer that will most likely get thrown into the trash can.
StreamWorks suggests that you accomplish this by segmenting your lists. Each demographic will have slightly different pain points, and you want to make sure that your mailer is 100 percent personalized to the recipient. This can help to increase the response rates exponentially.
Step 2: Keep the Message Clear (And Don’t Forget the CTA!)
At this point, you’re going to want to think about the type of mailer you’re planning on sending out. Will it be a simple postcard or something as exotic as a handwritten coconut from Hawaii?
Once you have the ideal mailer in mind, you’ll then want to begin the copywriting process. Keep the message clear and simple and be sure to include a CTA.
You can track the performance of the campaign by adding a pURL in the CTA, which will lead to a specific landing page on your website. The analytics program your website uses will then tell you how many people came to that particular URL on your site.
Step 3: Add Some Creative Ideas (Like SWAG Boxes, etc.)
Aja Frost from Hubspot Marketing has given a few unique tips on what kind of mailers to use if you want to go above and beyond a standard postcard or sales letter.
Such unique ideas as empty iPad boxes (with a promise of the real one if they accept a sales meeting), SWAG boxes of clothing for an entire department, and even content kits with printed out marketing collateral can all help turn a cold mailer into a warm lead.
“Great content is the best sales tool in the world.” -Marcus Sheridan
In content marketing, the goal is not to promote a brand as such, but rather provide valuable information that can and will be shared by those who consume it. This in turn will stimulate interest in services or products over time.
Mary Fernandez from OptinMonster says there are seven steps to driving new B2B leads from content marketing.
Step 1: Define Your Customer Avatar
Much like LinkedIn and direct mail, you have to know who your ideal customer is before you target them. Mary gives several examples and an exercise to accomplish this.
Once you have your ideal client or customer in mind, you can begin the planning phase.
Step 2: Create a Content Plan
The customer avatar that you settled on will determine the type and kind of content you create as well as where you promote it.
Your ideal customer/client will be located at a particular point in the funnel, and it’s up to the content you create to guide them through to the next step(s) in the buyer’s journey.
Come up with a content plan that will target your buyer personas and promote it on relevant channels. A content calendar can help with planning, and several free and paid tools will help with scheduling and posting.
If your writing skills aren’t the best, or you’re finding that it’s taking far too much time to create content, you can always hire a professional copywriter or content marketer.
Step 3: Choose Your Distribution Channels
Now that you have your content you’ll want to think about where and how it should be distributed. You can choose from organic channels such as YouTube, SEO, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Keep in mind that it may take several months for the organic content to get noticed and start driving traffic.
This is why many people will split their content promotion methods between organic and paid.
Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and even paid banners can all drive vast amounts of traffic in a short period of time.
Step 4: Optimize Your Website
Finally, you’re going to want to optimize your website. You can use free tools such as Pingdom to determine if the $5/month shared hosting server is causing your site to slow down (protip: it probably is).
There are many websites out there that have “best practice” guides that will give you tips on how to perform on-site SEO. This will not only help with organic rankings but with on-site conversions as well.
Make sure you have an opt-in form in your sidebar and an exit-intent pop up as well. There are many paid and free opt-in forms available for HTML or Wordpress websites.
Step 5: Create Landing Pages
Many companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year on paid advertising, SEO, and other forms of online traffic generation, only to have a fraction of that traffic convert.
Worse yet, these same companies may not fully understand why this is happening. All they see is an over-exaggerated bounce rate on the landing page.
While the topic of how to optimize your landing page could take up an entire blog post, there are certain elements that every landing page must have. If you need a landing page builder to make this process easier, UnBounce, Instpage, and MailChimp all offer drag-and-drop tools and templates.
According to the experts at WordStream, there are eight things you can do to optimize your landing page for lead generation.
Keep Forms Short
Internet forms that ask for too much information can contribute to the high bounce rate on any given website page. Look at your lead capture forms and ask yourself if they’re asking for too much information.
Usually all that’s needed is a name and an email address. People dislike giving out vast amounts of personal information from both a time and privacy perspective.
Use Consistent Messaging
Ensure that the snippets in the organic search results closely match the landing page on your website.
The same goes for paid advertisements.
People come to your site for a reason, and if they can’t find what the ad or organic search result promised them, they will bounce.
The keywords you bid on, your landing page, and even the titles of individual website pages can all have an impact on bounce rate.
Keeping the messaging consistent throughout will ensure a high-quality visitor experience.
Make Your Content Scannable
Nobody likes to read a massive wall of text. Break up those manifesto-esque paragraphs into bite-sized chunks that someone can easily scan in a matter of seconds.
Better yet, try to bold important keywords and phrases so that the scanners can get the gist of what you’re talking about.
Bullet points are a great way to break up a big block of text and offer the scanners amongst us an easy to way to quickly digest content.
Add High-Quality Visuals
Using free stock photos for your visuals is so 2009. If done correctly, high-quality visuals, such as images, graphics, or videos can completely transform a landing page.
This is one area that some people might have to spend a little bit of money on to get things dialed in correctly. There are plenty of paid image sites out there that have millions of photos to choose from.
Use Social Proof
If your business doesn’t have a Fortune 500 client or two, you can always add social proof in the form of client reviews and testimonials. It will help increase both conversions and trust.
If you don’t have any reviews, you can always reach out to your past clients or ask future ones to fill out a card or online form.
Engage Readers with Live Chat
New leads can quickly be generated from a live chat box installed on your landing page. If you don’t have a customer service department, you can hire a live chat company whose operators will handle and forward questions and leads.
Remove Barriers to Conversion
A cluttered landing page will only confuse people. Remove unnecessary boxes, banners, ads, and any confusing language or graphics that could distract from the goal of a conversion.
In a nutshell, don’t make people think. Have the entire landing page laid out in such a way that it’s completely intuitive for the end user.
This may take some time as you a/b test and experiment which landing page design works the best.
Getting new sales leads isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. You have to go where your ideal clients or customers are located. Once you reach them, be sure to offer a personalized experience which can increase conversions and loyalty.
By using the above tools and techniques, you should find that with a little bit of effort and some time, you’ll have created a way of driving new leads on a regular basis.
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