For those just starting in email marketing, lead generation must appear almost mystical. It is also an essential and you need to crack it. However it is a straightforward process, although one that requires constant effort.
Let’s start with what lead generation is: Gaining the contact details, in our case mainly email addresses, of potential customers. Once you have that little gem you can encourage them to sign up to your email marketing lists using simple steps. Once you start expanding and competing with the big guys it gets a bit more involved.
The good news is that lead generation, even at the most sophisticated levels, is based on a few basic precepts. If you build a strong foundation everything else is just step by step progress. All you need to do is make the best use of every interface with customers.
For instance, the classic way of gaining leads is via a website. Visitors come, like what they see, sign up for goodies and before long you have a new subscriber to your email marketing lists. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a subject in its own right, and a big one, but many of the processes for lead generation are also great for SEO.
This includes blogs. They can be a cost effective method of generating visitors. Regularly post interesting and informative articles on subjects that will interest your target audience and you will get repeat visitors whom you will turn into subscribers.
Include sign-up forms in your website. Offer gifts, such as ebooks, or better still get them to subscribe to enewsletters. Hype it. Tell them how useful they will find the hints and information. When they find that you play fair, they will be more likely to trust you and that encourages them to become subscribers.
Use social media. Email marketing is essentially targeting and this is a good place to start. Aim at those whom you want on your lists. Don’t forget that online forums are an excellent place for lead generation. Many post questions and if you have any expertise in the subject be free with your advice. You’ll soon be regarded and as oracle, and if they trust your opinions, they’ll visit your website for further help.
Nothing is too cheesy. Discount codes work, as does the inclusion of a reduction in price for their next purchase. Don’t be afraid of copying the methods other companies use. You will soon work out whether they work for you. I’m a sucker for the ‘invite a friend’ promotion as sharing something valuable is what you do as a friend.
Use all interfaces with customers, both actual and potential, to get them to sign up. There are trade fairs, counters, servicing and repair visits but be careful that your staff stick to the laws.
Build a personal relationship with your customers as personal recommendation is the gold standard for lead generation. Publish testimonials everywhere.
Any links should go to a specific landing page designed to get potential customers to sign up to your email marketing list. The design of the page should focus on that one aspect.
We will cover the next steps in a later article.