Leads are people or businesses that have the potential to become customers or clients. They are essential in business as they are the driving force that will either make or break a business.
There are several types of leads, each with their own benefits:
- Cold leads are those from people with no interest, these lists can be compiled and moved on at any time as they would need convincing to convert to a sale.
- Warm leads are people who have shown interest and these people need to be of a higher priority when reaching out.
- Finally, hot leads are those who are interested in the product or service and have either actively searched for it or have shown great interest. Hot leads are the most likely to convert and need to be on the top of the list when reaching out.
Getting these leads takes time and requires strategy. A successful leads list can fuel a company’s growth and take them to the next level. In business-to-business (B2B) settings, there are a couple of tried and tested methods to generate leads such as email outreach, search engine optimization (SEO) marketing, and social media marketing.
B2B Email Outreach
Email prospecting or email marketing has been used for years. Hubspot took a survey in 2021 and found that 64% of all marketers using email marketing were successful in hitting their goals. The emails featuring new products or services were the ones with the most click through rates and brought in the most prospects.
Having successful email outreach means knowing your audience. The majority of email recipients who cancel email subscriptions do it because of the high frequency. Finding the right amount of emails to send out over any given period of time can make or break your email strategy.
Sending people useful information will also raise your chances of successfully creating a lead. Emails that hit pain points will get your audience’s attention faster. Offering “free” useful information such as research or statistics will also help to gain the trust of your audience. If you use the top half of your email to educate your audience without boring them, your bounce rate won’t be as high.
Respect your audience’s time with your emails. No one wants to read an email with a huge block of text. Keep the information concise, formatting clean, and make it easy to read. No one has time or willpower to read long emails not sent by their boss. Think elevator pitch but in an email.
Another way to create a leads list is to have a marketing team, specifically one focused on organic leads. While it’s also possible to have the same team do paid advertising and bring in leads that way, the SEO aspect can be applied to both.
Search engine optimization was just being fleshed out in the 90s. Today if a webpage isn’t following SEO convention, chances are, it won’t appear on the first page of a search engine.
Google is the biggest and most used search engine on the planet. Most SEO practices are targeted at getting content to the first page of Google, making it highly competitive.
Long-tail keywords, which are usually longer and more specific key terms, are better for bringing potential leads in. Knowing the types of query searches your audience makes can help in this regard. Google autofill or websites like AnswerThePublic can help with this.
Making content on your website with long-tail keywords will help draw in readers. In addition, having quality content that people actually want to read will help you rank higher. The longer people stay on your page, the better it is for your ranking.
Adversely, a high bounce rate, or the percentage of viewers who leave your site after viewing one page, means your webpages will score lower than they otherwise would.
If the content you display is worthy of your audience’s time or if it solves a problem they have, you have a higher chance of having them fill out a contact form or subscribing to an email list.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing has gained traction as a leads generation tool. Aside from websites like Facebook and Instagram, which are mostly used for leisure activities, LinkedIn has been used by many businesses as a B2B lead generation tool.
The widespread use of social media is what makes it a perfect place to gain leads. You can display your product or service, educate your audience, and interact with them all in one place. While it’s rare for leads to just trickle in without first interacting with them, it can happen.
The real way to pursue leads on LinkedIn would be to reach out to people. Join groups of people with similar interests and try to help them.
For example, if you’re selling graphic design services, reaching out to people who are looking for graphic design work is a no brainer. In a more complex example, if you own a company who sells virtual assistant services, reaching out to different industries that you know have a high amount of backend tasks is a good idea. Contacting real estate agents or other types of business people that you see as successful may yield good results.
What makes LinkedIn a much more powerful platform than most others, is the ability to directly message the people you need to. This means you can send personalized messages instead of generic ones. Research has shown that a more personalized experience has a higher chance of generating a successful lead or even a sale.
The Wrap Up
Generating leads is a critical part of business. Successful businesses have established ways to generate leads that work for them, whether they’re business-to-consumer or business-to-business. Email marketing, proper SEO marketing, and social media marketing are all great ways to build lead lists. No matter which you choose to fit your business, it should be noted that these are all strategies that must be properly monitored in order to work. You will only get the results you want if you put in the necessary effort.