Lead Generation: What is It & How Does It Increase Online Sales?
Lead generation is a term that many people have heard of but appear to run a mile when asked to implement it. It’s a rather simple concept and you are almost certain to have done it already without even realising it.
Simply Put, What is Lead Generation?
First of all, we have to ask what a lead is. A lead is someone showing interest in you, your product/service or your company. If the lead is followed, it may result in a sale.
Essentially, lead generation is getting potential new customers to come to you. The difference is that they initiate the relationship, not you. Normally, customers will provide you with their contact details, such as an email or phone number. Customers who sign up are expecting to receive information from you – making them much less likely to reject what you have to say. However, you need to lay the groundwork to accumulate the leads.
What Are Some Examples of a Lead?
All industries will rely on following leads to ensure revenue for the business. So what can you consider a lead? Here are a few examples:
- Recruitment: When someone applies for a job, it shows the recruiter that the applicant is interested in the role.
- Retail: If a potential customer likes your page on Facebook or signs up for an email newsletter.
- Hospitality: If someone leaves a review on a review site, such as Trip Advisor.
How Do I Generate Leads on My Website?
Once a customer visits your site, their information as a lead or sale is your top priority. There are a few ways that you can achieve this:
By providing forms for customers to give their details, this will lead to customers giving their details over to you. However, many will be unwilling to give you it without some sort of trade such as a discount code.
Providing an offer for your potential customer/lead to part with their information. The offer has to be worthwhile, such as a 10% discount code for a retail website, for them to give up their details.
By providing call-to-actions, such as a sales image or a sign-up button, you can instruct your potential customers what you want them to do. These call-to-actions can be anything you want it to be. Most CTAs are instructing the user to use their service, part with their information or part with their cash. An example is a ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Buy Now’ buttons. However, you can be as creative as you like that represent your brand.
However, all this is all irrelevant if your website is not optimised for your customers’ experience. If your website is poor, then the leads generated will simply go to your website and then bounce. Ensuring your website is well designed, aesthetically pleasing and up-to-date, your bounce rate should be low and should be generating leads.
So How Do You Get People To Your Website to Become Leads or Customers?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Once you have a website, ensuring that your website appears near the top of search results on phrases relating to your business/products is a top priority. Google is used by 1.17 billion people per month. By having your website near the top, it is the best way to increase traffic to your site substantially.
EXAMPLE: A florist with a website optimises their website by choosing to focus on Townsville and provide a lot of information about flowers. Their website would list when a potential customer searches ‘Townsville florist’.
Blogs are important as many customers are now self-educated and will search online for information. You should provide quality content that informs and make your brand stand out from the noise. This will lead to more conversions.
Another reason why blogs are great as they can be shared on social sites. By having a call-to-action (such as subscribe to the blog or share on social media), it will encourage prospective customers and re-engage old ones.
EXAMPLE: A company selling shoes may blog about the latest footwear fashion with a call to action to buy shoes or sign up to an email newsletter.
This method is a really useful tool for those who are already interested in your business. These are usually warm or qualified leads and are usually close to making a purchase – but are waiting for the funds or a sale to do so.
By emailing directly to these leads, you can email sales offers, news items or new products of interest. Ultimately, these will take them back to your site to make a sale.
EXAMPLE: A man read the blog about the latest fashion for shoes and decided to sign up for the newsletter to keep up to date. In the future, he sees a shoe he likes and is taken back to the website for more information.
Social media has been a great liberator of the consumer. People who have bought your product may be talking about it on social platforms – making it easy for prospective customers to find out from other customers’ experience.
Social media from a company’s perspective has shifted from direct sales to branding in recent years. This is great for lead nurturing through instilling trust through your market knowledge. It is also great for creating hype for an event, product launch or sale through call-to-actions to visit your website, download coupons etc. This is also particularly useful when combined with paid social advertising.
EXAMPLE: A man who enjoys playing video games follows a game retailer on Facebook. The games retailer posts that they have a sale on a selection of titles. The man reads this and clicks to see what is on offer and then makes a purchase.
· PPC – Paid ads on Google
· Asking/paying for your content to be shared by industry influencers.
· White Papers – become the ‘go-to’ industry expert for information.
There are also many offline methods to generate leads, such as trade events, word-of-mouth and print advertising.
Are your online channels not generating leads? Is your website not up to the job of converting potential customers? Contact GLW and see how we can increase your sales through your online presence.