A Beginners Guide to Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing
The human attention span has fallen from 12 to 8 seconds. It’s not your fault because we are overloaded with lots of information at a given time.
How does this information overload affect your lead generation process? Before understanding the cause, I’ll share the meaning to help you understand the concept.
Lead Generation is a process of collecting email, phone number and other details which give you more information about the potential customer.
It serves as an entry gate to capture and stimulate the interest of your target audience and convert them into buyers of your product or service. The exchange of contact information reflects the initiation of interest or inquiry in visitors’ mind.
No matter how expensive is the commodity – say 1000gm gold – it doesn’t qualify for the lead generation. The commodity being same across all the suppliers, they don’t need any customer education. If people want it, they just buy it based on their budget only.
What makes for a Lead?
The minimum requirement for lead generation is to have an email address. In most of the cases, it is the combination of email and phone number. So, the following metrics don’t qualify for lead generation:
- Site visitors
- Retargeting pixels/tags
- Push notification subscriptions
- Some form of opt-ins where people opt in to receive information from you.
Let’s say; you are looking for a new apartment. Unlike buying a bar gold which is just a commodity, there are various factors to shape your decision. To evaluate your needs and the current market offer, you require the help of a salesperson to simplify the process.
For that, you need to share your contact details. As you can’t make an instant decision, such complex offering go through the following stages:
- Requesting for the site visit.
- Sharing the contact information with the sales team.
- Confirming the visit via email or phone number.
- Visiting the site location
- Resolving the doubts about the location
- Taking time to understand whether the apartment is a good fit or not.
- Contacting the sales team to either confirm your booking or asking for other locations.
Why is Lead Generation so Important?
After understanding the concept, now it’ll be easy for you to understand the cause and importance of the lead generation process.
In the age of information overload, human attention has become scarce. 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data is created every day. It’d take 10 million Blu-ray disks to fill this information. If we pile up these disks, their height is equivalent to the height of four Eiffel towers on top of one another. If you are visualizing its vastness, let me remind you again. It is the estimate for a single day only.
Taking the cue from the above mind boggling data, it’s not hard to understand why the human attention has fallen from 12 to 8 seconds. With the bombardment of information from all directions, it becomes difficult to catch the attention in the noisy surroundings.
The attention scarcity has transformed the buying activity. With the increase in noise and the decrease in attention, marketers find difficulty in attracting the buyers.
Now, the need for finding new ways to reach customers and get heard in the noisy environment increases with each passing day. As every information is within a snap-of-a-finger, buyers gather tons of information online before the purchasing decision.
Gone are the days:
- When you target customers with mass advertising. Now, you require one-on-one interaction to understand the audience behavior.
- When you find your target audience. Now, they find you through search engines, social media channels, and other sources.
- When you blast emails at a particular time. Now, you have to connect with your audience on a consistent basis for building a strong relationship.
- When you approach ill-informed buyers for manipulating their decision-making process. Now, prospects approach you with the proper research work to refine their interest accordingly.
How to Generate Leads via Digital Marketing
Generating new leads is vital for expanding the scope of business. The primary motive for content planning and marketing strategies, which requires an immense amount of time and resources, is to generate leads. Lead generation works on the barter system. According to Wikipedia,
Barter is a system of exchange where goods or services are directly exchanged for other goods or services without using a medium of exchange, such as money.
A person fills out the form for the free case-study, podcast, trial, or and an e-book. A bibliophile signs up for the free weekly subscription of a book recommendation. A business owner tries the product demo for simplifying his business solution.
What is the common link among all these individuals? Everyone is more than willing to exchange their contact details for receiving the value. Here are some lead generation ideas:
A webinar is a one-to-many communication medium where the organizer can reach a large set of online viewers at a single time. It is an inexpensive approach to impart your knowledge and win the trust of your audience. The leads become easy to capture because the action takes place live and the audience receive the answer to their queries instantly.
2. Downloadable E-book / Case Study / Industry Report
As readers love to extract maximum value in a minimum time, E-books comes out as one of the simplest ways for lead generation. Make an easy-to-digest PDF version of your blog articles. To add curiosity element, tell your readers to sign up for the bonus points which you have mentioned in the E-book only. Take emails for sharing the in-depth case study of your satisfied clients and the industry reports.
3. Networking Events
With everything going digital, you can’t underestimate the power of networking events. If you have a promising offer, these events can turn out to be a goldmine of most valuable contacts and leads. Prepare your introduction speech in advance to not sound hesitant and unprofessional. Take your business cards and ask your prospects to share their cards, if they have any.
4. Purchase of Front-End Products
These are low-cost, low-risk products to acquire the new customers without making any profit. They are easy to sell because first-time buyers don’t want to spend a lot of money on their first buy. The same people become a lead for the future products from where the actual profit comes.
5. Inbound Phone Calls
If a lead calls you, it means they are already interested in your offer. They just want to decide whether your business is the right fit for them or not. Ask their name and email address to stay in touch after the call. Be prepared to take care of their needs in a personalized way.
Here’s What You Can Do After Lead Generation
In the competitive marketplace, where every marketer is eyeing for buyer’s attention, consistent communication is the key. One of the best ways to communicate consistently is via Drip marketing.
Today’s prospects don’t become customer overnight. To position your company as the best choice, start educating your prospects for building trust with your vision.
If I have generated leads for my digital marketing course, it doesn’t mean that they are ready to buy my courses instantly. My leads determine the right time for the launch of my paid modules.
As a lead holder, my prime objective is to establish a healthy relationship with prospective buyers before their buying decision. I have to nurture them to convert the cold leads into hot ones who are ready to become the paid members. They drive and control my research process.
Lead Nurturing: Converting Cold Leads to Hot Leads
Lead nurturing, an integral part of a successful business model is the process of building a long-term relationship with your leads who might turn out to be an ideal customer in future. Nurturing requires time and patience to wait for the right moment to present your paid offer.
Keep the following points in mind for building a healthy connection:
- Build Relationship: In the introductory mail, ask your leads to introduce themselves. Give them a chance to share their expectations and aspirations. Treat them as your friend and build a relationship.
- Respond with Utmost Care: If you get a response, read it carefully to understand their current state. You’ll know where a particular lead stands in the buying process.
- Develop the Art of listening: Frame your future mail interactions based on subscriber response. Let your leads take the lead in formulating the content.
- Fill the Gap: Intensify the need of your offer by filling the information gap. When someone up signs up for my free digital marketing course, the person is not entirely sure about the scope of digital marketing. My primary purpose is to free them from the insecurities about digital marketing industry with the help of blog posts and emails. I tell them how they can work as a digital marketer, how they can start their digital marketing agency, and how they can work from home as a freelance digital marketer. With this information, their desire to learn digital marketing shoots up.
- Involvement: Take feedback from your leads to understand their mood. As one-way conversation becomes dull, keep your prospects engaged by asking them questions. Help them to choose the right product offering through email or call. It shows that you are not after money but your leads. Share the testimonials of your existing customers to highlight the reliability of your offer. The more you show involvement, the more your conversion ratio for paid product increases.
How to Transform Hot Leads into Customers
If you struggle to follow up on leads, all your efforts go in vain. Without lead conversion, you can’t thrive and survive. A mere delay in the follow up might mean losing the business to your competitor.
With every lead, you don’t only lose your money. You’re wasting the time which you invested while generating the lead. The money, which you’ll lose from the non-paying leads, will balance out through payment from other leads.
Never aim for the 100 percent conversion. Say, you generated 100 leads through your free giveaway. It doesn’t mean you’ll convert all those 100 leads into sales. To increase the conversion rate, aim for the high quality leads in the first place.
Keep the following pointers in mind for transforming your leads into sales:
1. Focus on the User Action
Attribution highlights the user actions (behavior, events, or touch points) of your paying customers. Keep a close check on your Google Analytics reports to determine which channel is converting more. It helps in understanding your desired outcome – turning your leads into paying customers.
Customer journey analysis brings together those user actions to identify the areas for improving customer experience with the intention of achieving the desired goal.
2. Follow up Emails and Phone Calls
Most of the times, leads are interested in your offer but not ready to make the buying decision. In that case, you must convince them with follow-up emails. For high-ticket items, one-on-one conversation converts better than emails.
So, make the phone call and make your prospects think ‘what am I going to miss if I don’t avail this offer?’ Also don’t test the patience level by irritating your prospects with endless emails and phone calls!
3. Use Lead Scoring
Lead scoring kicks in when you have to separate the good quality leads from the ‘I-want-some-time-to-decide’ leads. First and foremost, evaluate the worth of lead scoring system. If you are not getting enough leads, don’t waste time in this filtration process.
Say, you are generating 100 leads a day for your weekend high-ticket training program. But, each sales person can’t make more than 25 calls. For that, lead management becomes necessary to pick the high-quality leads.
Analyze the demographics, activities, and behaviour of your leads. Converse with your team members about what factors determine the perfect make for a qualified lead.
Lead generation and lead nurturing are the two side of the same coin. You can’t nurture your leads without sowing the seeds of lead generation. On the other hand, generated leads have no significance without the nurturing.
Personalize your interactions. Build relationships. Make your free offers so irresistible that leads start thinking ‘If I’m getting tons of value for free, what I will get from the paid offers.’ At every stage of the buying process, convey the following message: I’m here to help you achieve your objectives.