As marketers, we spend absurd amounts of time and resources creating content and planning campaigns. For many of us, the end goal is to generate new leads that will eventually become paying customers.
In marketing, lead generation is the initiation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads. The methods for generating leads typically fall under the umbrella of advertising, but may also include non-paid sources such as organic search engine results or referrals from existing customers.
Leads may come from various sources or activities, for example, digitally via the Internet, through personal referrals, through telephone calls either by the company or telemarketers, through advertisements, and events.
Online lead generation creates new selling opportunities by converting site visitors to prospects. Prospects are classically qualified through completing a profile form and then tailored communications delivered.
How can you tap into this very huge digital space? The answer to that is Online Lead Generation. This is now the age where cold sales calling and elaborate sales team efforts are slowly ebbing away into the past. What business owners need now to tap into this bountiful market are effective digital marketing tools specifically designed for maximum lead generation results.
There are many tools of these kinds available for businesses to use, however it would be best for business owners to select which lead generation technique will cater to their unique business needs and environment.
These ideas were intended to guide you in making your ultimate goal of increasing sales and revenues through effective online lead generation techniques. In no particular order, here are key techniques to improving online lead generation as recommended by experts in the field of Digital and Internet Marketing.
- Landing page/Website optimization
- Lead generation by Search Engine Optimization
- Multichannel interactions like call-back and chat
- Event-triggered or behavioral emails to follow-up initial contact
- E-newsletters to educate prospects about your brand and deliver relevant offers to encourage conversion
- Through PPC (pay per click) advertising
- Through Social Media
Lead generation is often paired with lead management to move leads through the purchase funnel. This combination of activities is referred to as pipeline marketing.
Lead generation is an Internet marketing term that refers to the generation of prospective consumer interest or inquiry into a business’ products or services through the Internet. Leads, also known as contacts, can be generated for a variety of purposes: list building, e-newsletter list acquisition, building out reward programs, loyalty programs or for other member acquisition programs.
A lead usually is the contact information and in some cases, demographic information of a customer who is interested in a specific product or service. There are two types of leads in the lead generation market: sales leads and marketing leads.
There are three main pricing models in the online advertising market that marketers can use to buy advertising and generate leads:
- Cost per thousand (e.g. CPM Group, Advertising.com), also known as cost per mille (CPM), uses pricing models that charge advertisers for impressions — i.e. the number of times people view an advertisement. Display advertising is commonly sold on a CPM pricing model. The problem with CPM advertising is that advertisers are charged even if the target audience does not click on (or even view) the advertisement.
- Cost per click advertising (e.g. AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing) overcomes this problem by charging advertisers only when the consumer clicks on the advertisement. However, due to increased competition, search keywords have become very expensive.
- Cost per action advertising (e.g. TalkLocal, Thumbtack) addresses the risk of CPM and CPC advertising by charging only by the lead. Like CPC, the price per lead can be bid up by demand.
Recently, there has been a rapid increase in online lead generation: banner and direct response advertising that works off a CPL pricing model. In a pay-per-action (PPA) pricing model, advertisers pay only for qualified leads resulting from those actions, irrespective of the clicks or impressions that went into generating the lead. PPA advertising is playing an active role in online lead generation.
A common advertising metric for lead generation is cost per lead. The formula is Cost / Leads, for example if you created 100 leads and it cost $1000, the cost per lead would be $10.
It is still up to the business owner or digital marketer to choose, test, and validate which of these tools will fit perfectly well with their business niche or nature.
The key here is start using these tools now, generate more leads that you can handle – and reach your Digital Marketing goals for 2016 and beyond.
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Written by: Stacy Goodman
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