How to get those quality leads and prospects flowing in.
Lead generation is not simply important in marketing; one could argue it is the most essential part and purpose of the process.
Attracting, capturing and retaining those relevant leads in order to move them along your sales cycle is no mean feat. It takes brains, guts, persistence and - above all - a carefully planned strategy.
Why is Lead Generation Important?
The buying process has changed, and marketers need to find new ways to reach buyers and get heard through the noise. Instead of finding customers with mass advertising and email blasts, marketers must now focus on being found and learn to build continuous relationships with buyers.
In other words, customers now have access to an almost unlimited source of information - the Internet, which they use to self-educate and research. There is a hidden buying cycle going on that marketers must gain access to by providing useful content in exchange for data capture.
The challenges to lead generation
The core challenges in lead generation are:
- Ensuring you are generating high-quality leads
- Converting those leads into customers.
While customers may spend time browsing your site and viewing free content, the process of lead generation starts when a user clicks on a call to action and provides their contact details in exchange for something. Now you have a lead.
There are a number of key website tools that CMOs and marketers can use to encourage, enhance, and optimise this process.
5 key website tools to use for lead generation
The principle of A/B testing is well established in digital marketing. It consists of conducting a simple split test to find out which of two different options is most attractive to customers and most effective at encouraging leads to sign up. The variables being tested could be anything from design and layout to wording.
Audiences are split into two groups, with 50% exposed to one version, and 50% to the other version. By comparing lead generation rates, you can establish which combination has more impact. Readily available testing tools like VWO can be used to analyse in this way and improve sales and conversions.
Web personalisation is one of the hottest areas in lead generation. Research consistently shows that personalised experiences make audiences and customers more likely to engage with websites and purchase from ecommerce sites. In one study, 43% of marketers reported an increase in conversions after using personalisation techniques.
Web personalisation tools allow you to treat the people landing on your site as valued individuals. Platforms like Evergage allow you to serve personalisation for content marketing on different sections of a site. Other tools, such as IBM Coremetrics integrate with web analytics to facilitate personalisation for cross- and upselling.
Applications like Google Analytics provide large amounts of useful information about your web visitors, which you can exploit in order to start providing a more tailored and personalised approach online. This information includes data such as pages visited, time spent on site, geographical location, and even demographic and interests.
CMOs are now capitalising on this in-depth data in order to drive lead generation through better delivery of customer-specific, tailored web experiences. For example, you can use demographics and interests for customer segmentation, for smart remarketing of content, or to test which content works best for different segments, and vary it accordingly.
More and more companies are waking up to the popularity of live chat customer service - it has a 73% satisfaction rate, compared to 61% and 44% for email and phone respectively. Live chat is particularly popular among younger demographics, with over half of those aged 18-34 stating it as their preferred channel of communication.
According to Kurt Marco at Forbes, live chat works best when it has an inbuilt layer of intelligence, using behavioural data about customers to help target those users and prospects who are receptive and ready to entering the lead nurturing funnel.
Call tracking allows marketers to draw links and associations between marketing sources and leads generated by telephone. Different campaigns and keywords can be assigned to unique telephone numbers, making it simple to measure and track which campaigns are driving phone leads.
Notwithstanding the explosion of digital marketing and sales, telephone leads are still considered by 65% of businesses to be their most valuable ones. The rise of mobile also means that some are predicting a resurgence in phone enquiries helped by the ease of the click-to-call function.
Last word: Mix, Match, Test and Optimise
With so many great tools out there to help boost lead generation, intelligent CMOs will know that the best approach is to try different applications, test their efficacy, and optimise to improve performance over time. One thing, however, is certain: intelligent and effective lead generation will be absolutely vital to the success of your marketing strategy.
- Lead generation is arguably the most essential part of the marketing process
- The key challenges are attracting good quality leads, and converting them into customers
- A/B Testing, Website Personalisation and Analytics all offer ways to hone and tailor customer experiences for maximum effectiveness
- Live chat is an increasingly popular way to directly engage with potential leads online
- Call tracking monitors which campaigns and activities are generating valuable telephone leads
Find out everything you need to get those quality leads pouring in! Download The CMO's Definitive Guide to Marketing Automation