So here we go again, you’ve shaken off the cobwebs, dusted down and started to get your act together on how you plan to improve your lead generation activities to help your business succeed. You do have a plan right? Don’t laugh, that’s not such a silly question. It’s amazing how many people I speak to who just get on with ad-hoc marketing activities and expect everything to somehow fall into place.
So just in case you don’t have a plan or your still thinking about what to do and how to do it, consider these 5 questions in your lead generation plan:
1. Is your database clean and up-to-date?
For many businesses the database is at the heart of their lead generation activities and is the most important asset they own but the maintenance of this asset is neglected. Contacts are continually added but none are ever removed. Sure, a growing database looks impressive but what’s the point in sending direct mailers or email to people who have moved on or to companies who no longer exist?
Put together a database management process and don’t be afraid to purge your list. Separate it into active, dormant and dead and put a programme together to fill in any gaps you have on those contacts on the active list, wake up those on the dormant list and decide whether it’s worth the effort to target the dead list.
2. Have you segmented your database?
Sending out vanilla flavoured messages to your complete database is a definite no-no. Your audience will switch off or unsubscribe. You end up minimising the impact of your messaging and your targets may miss out on a fantastic offer because they now ignore whatever you send.
Chop up your data into several buckets and run separate marketing campaigns to each segment. That way you can customise your messaging and focus your offers at those who will be interested, rather than to everyone.
3. Are you sending your audience to the right places?
Whatever marketing campaigns you’re running please don’t send your audience to your website home page. It won’t be tailored to your offer. The best practice is to build specific landing pages focused on the campaign with a clear call to action (CTA) e.g. Book Now, or Download the brochure.
If for any reason you can’t do that, send your audience to the page that’s most specific to what’s on offer e.g. if you run a hotel that’s offering a weekend package, send them to the accommodation and tariff page. Don’t expect your visitors to do all of the work – they won’t. Make it as easy as possible for them and you’ll see the benefits.
4. What are you doing with the leads you collect?
I’m surprised on a regular basis with people who think the collection of leads is the end game – it’s only the beginning. Not everyone who visits your site may be in buying mode (hint: but they probably will be at a later date).
Generally contacts get fed into the sales funnel and many businesses operate on the “wing and a prayer” method that those contacts flow through the funnel magically becoming leads, then prospects and then a sale. Don’t leave it all to chance, nurture those leads through the pipeline by engaging with them, provide additional information that may help them decide to become a customer. By scoring those leads as they progress through the funnel you prioritise the opportunities, nurturing them until they become sales ready.
5. Are you matching your content to the buying cycle?
As mentioned above, visitors to your site will be at differing stages in the sales or buying cycle. So they won’t all be interested in downloading your general brochure. Make sure that you’ve added content that is educational for those at the research stage of their search, content that validates and supports your service offering through case studies and endorsements for those who have engaged with you. And don’t forget content that helps eliminate the post purchase blues for those who have already done business with you.
Answering these 5 questions during the planning stages of your lead generation campaigns will save you time and money and help increase your conversion rates. If you’d like some additional information on how to progress, read my ebook: 6 stages to inbound marketing success.
If your lead generation activities have stalled and you’d like to find out more about alternative marketing methods to help your business grow, get in touch on 01803 413481.