We’ve all been through it. You know, the moment you’re about to dig into the best darn pile of spaghetti and meatballs you’ve ever seen.
Just as you twist your fork in the pasta, spear a mouth-watering meatball, and go in for the first savory bite … the telephone rings. “May I speak to Lindsay Kow-low-witch? ” asks the telemarketer on the other end. “This is an important message considering your oven preferences.”
This frustrating interruption is exactly why we’re here to discuss inbound lead generation. What is inbound result generation? It’s a solution that can save your business or organization from being that annoying, disruptive cold caller who is ruining spaghetti nights for pasta lovers all over the world.
Let’s start with defining a lead, and then we’ll cover what online result generation is, why you need lead generation, how you qualify someone as a leading, how you make results, and why inbound result generation is much more effective than simply buying leads.
What Is a Lead?
A lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form.
As a result, you’d hear from a business or organisation with which you’ve already opened communication … instead of getting a random cold call from someone who purchased your contact information.
For example, maybe you took an online survey to learn more about how to take care of your auto. If you got an email from the auto company that hosted the results of the investigation on their website about how they could help you take care of your automobile, it’d be far less intrusive and irrelevant than if they’d only called you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even care about car maintenance, right?
And from a business perspective, the information the auto company collected about you from your survey responses assistances them personalize that opening communication to address your existing problems.
Whenever someone outside the marketing world asks me what I do, I can’t simply say, “I create content for result generation.” It’d be totally lost on them, and I’d get some really confused looks.
So instead, I say, “I work on finding unique ways to attract people to my business. I want to provide them with enough goodies to get them naturally interested in my company so they eventually warm up to the brand enough to want to hear from us! “
That usually resonates better, and that’s exactly what lead generation is: It’s a style of warming up potential customers to your business and get them on the path to eventually buying.
Why Do You Need Lead Generation?
When a stranger initiates a relationship with you by showing an organic interest in your business, the transition from stranger to client is much more natural.
Lead generation falls within the second stage of the inbound marketing methodology. It occurs after you’ve attracted an audience and are ready to convert those visitors into leads for your sales squad( namely sales-qualified results ). As you can see in the diagram below, generating leadings is a fundamental point in an individual’s journey to becoming a delighted customer.
Now that we understand how lead generation fits into the whole inbound marketing methodology, let’s walk through the steps of the lead generation process.
First, a visitor detects your business through one of your marketing channels, such as your website, blog, or social media page.
That visitor then clicks on your call-to-action( CTA) — an image, button, or message that encourages website visitors to take some sort of action.
The CTA takes your visitor to a landing page, which is a web page that is designed to capture result datum in exchange for an offer.
An offer is the content or something of value that’s being “offered” on the landing page, like an ebook, a course, or a template. The offer must have enough perceived value to a visitor to merit providing their personal information in exchange for access to it.
The form on your landing page is a series of fields( like in our example above) that collect information in exchange for the offer. Forms are typically hosted on landing pages, although they can technically be embedded anywhere on your site. Once a guest fills this out — voila! — you have a new leading!( That is, as long as you’re following lead-capture form best practises .)
See how everything fits together?
To sum it up: Visitor clicks a CTA that takes them to a landing page where they fill out a form to get an offer, at which point they become a lead.
By the style, you should check out our free leading generation tool. It helps you make lead capture forms immediately on your website. Plus, it’s really easy to set up.
Lead Generation Marketing
Once you set all of these elements together, you can use your various promotional channels to drive traffic to your landing page to start making leads.
But what channels should you use to promote your landing page? Let’s talk about the front-end of leading generation — result gen marketing.
If you’re a visual learner, this chart shows the flow from promotional marketing channels to a generated lead.
There are even more channels you can use to get visitors to become leads. Let’s go into depth on these and talk about a few others.
Content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you make content to provide guests with useful, free information. You can include CTAs anywhere in your content — inline, bottom-of-post, in the hero, or even on the side panel. The more delighted a guest is with your content, the more likely they are to click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page.
Email is a great place to reach the people who already know your brand and product or service. It’s much easier to ask them to take an action since they’ve previously subscribed to your listing. Emails tend to be a bit cluttered, so use CTAs that have obligating copy and an eye-catching design to grab your subscriber’s attention.
Ads and Retargeting
The sole purpose of an ad is to get people to take an action. Otherwise, why spend the money? If you want people to convert, is to ensure that your landing page and offer match exactly what is promised in the ad, and that the action you want users to take is crystal clear.
The great thing about utilizing your blog posts to promote an offer is that you can tailor the entire piece to the end aim. So, if your offer is an instructional video on setting up Google Search Console, then you can write a blog post about how to select your marketing metrics … which would make your CTA highly relevant and easy to click.
Social media platforms make it easy to guide your adherents to take action, from the swipe up option on Instagram narratives to Facebook bio links to bitly URLs on Twitter. You can also promote your offerings on your social posts and include a call-to-action in your caption. Learn more about social media campaigns in this post.
You can break down a lot of barriers to a sale by offering trials of your product or service. Once a prospect is using your product, you can entice them with additional offers or resources to encourage them to buy. Another good practice should consist of your branding in your free versions so you can capture other potential clients, too.
Referral, or word-of-mouth, marketing is useful for lead generation in a different way. That is, it gets your brand in front of more people, which, in turn, increases your chances of generating more leads.
Whatever channel you use to generate leadings, you’ll want to guide users to your landing page. As long as you’ve built a landing page that converts, the rest will handle itself.
Why Not Only Buy Leads?
Marketers and salespeople alike want to fill their marketings funnel — and they want to fill it quickly. Enter: The temptation to buy leads.
Buying leadings, as opposed to organically generating them, is much easier and takes far less time and attempt, despite being more expensive. But, you might be paying for advertising anyway … so, why not just buy results?
First and foremost, any leads you’ve bought don’t actually know you. Typically, they’ve “opted in” at some other site when signing up for something, and didn’t actually opted in to receiving anything from your company.
The messages you send them are therefore unwanted messages, and sending unwanted messages is intrusive.( Remember that disruptive bellow I got when I was trying to eat my spaghetti? That’s how people feel when they receive emails and other messages from people they didn’t ask to hear from .)
If the prospect has never been to your website and indicated those who are interested your, products or services, then you’re interrupting them … plain and simple.
If they never opted in to receive messages specifically from you, then there’s a high chance they could flag your messages as spam, which is quite dangerous for you. Not merely does this train to filter out emails from you, but it also indicates to their email provider which emails to filter out.
Once enough people flag your messages as spam, you go on a “blacklist, ” which is then shared with other email providers. Once you get on the blacklist, it’s actually, really hard to get back off of it. In addition, your email deliverability and IP reputation will likely be harmed.
It’s always, always, always better to generate leads organically rather than buy them. Read this blog post to learn how to grow an opt-in email list instead of buying one.
As we covered in the first section, a leading is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service. Now, let’s talk about the ways in which someone can actually show that interest.
Essentially, a sales lead is generated through information collection. That datum collect could come as the result of a chore seeker showing interest in a position by completing an application, a shopper sharing contact information in exchange for a coupon, or a person filling out a kind to download an educational piece of content.
Gauging a Lead’s Level of Interest
Below are just a few of the many styles in which you could qualify someone as a result. Each of these examples shows that the amount of collected information used to qualify a leading, as well as the that lead level of interest, can differ. Let’s assess each scenario 😛 TAGEND
Job Application: An individual that fills out an application form is willing to share a lot of personal information because he/ she wants to be considered for a position. Filling out that application shows their true interest in the job, hence qualifying the person as a result for the company’s recruiting team — not marketing or sales squads.
Coupon: Unlike the job application, you probably know very little about someone who has stumbled upon one of your online coupons. But if they find the coupon valuable enough, they may be willing to provide their name and email address in exchange for it. Although it’s not a lot of information, it’s enough for a business to know that someone has interest in their company.
Content: While the download of a coupon indicates an individual has a direct interest in your product or service, content( like an educational ebook or webinar) does not. Therefore, to truly understand the nature of the person’s interest in your business, you’ll probably need to collect more information to determine whether the person is interested in your product or service and whether they’re a good accommodate.
These three general instances highlight how lead generation differs from company to company, and from person to person. You’ll need to collect enough information to gauge whether someone has a true, valid interest in your product or service — how much information is enough information will vary depending on your business.
Let’s look at Episerver, for example. They use web content reports for lead generation, collecting six pieces of information from prospective leads.
Episerver provides a great example for what to ask for in a lead gen kind 😛 TAGEND
Full Name: The most fundamental information needed to personalize your communication with each lead.
Email: This serves as a unique identifier and is how you will contact your lead.
Company: This will give you the ability to research your lead’s industry and company and how the result might benefit from your product or service( principally for B2B ).
Role: Understanding an individual’s role will help you understand how to communicate with them. Every brand stakeholder will have a different take and perspective on your offering( chiefly for B2B ).
Country: Location information can help you segment your contact by region and hour zone, and help you qualify the result depending on your service.
State: The more detailed information you can obtain without sacrificing conversions, the better. Knowing your leadings nation can help you further qualify them.
If you’d like to learn more intermediate-level tips on datum collecting and what you should ask for on your leading gen forms, read our post about it here.
Lead scoring is a way to qualify leadings quantitatively. Using this technique, leadings are designated a numerical value( or score) to determine where they fall on the scale from “interested” to “ready for a sale”. The criteria for these actions is completely up to you, but it must be uniform across your marketing and sales department so that everyone is working on the same scale.
A lead’s score can be based on actions they’ve taken, info they’ve , their level of involvement with your brand, or other criteria that your sales team decides. For example, you may score someone higher if they regularly engage with you on social media or if their demographic information matches your target audience.
Borrowing from the examples above, you might devote a result a higher score if they used one of your coupons — an action that would signify this person is interested in your product.
The higher a lead’s score, the closer they are to becoming a sales-qualified leading( SQL ), which is only a step away from becoming a customer. The rating and criteria is something you may need to tweak along the way until you find the formula that works, but once you do, you’ll transform your lead generation into customer generation.
So … you’re getting web traffic and producing leads. But how are you doing compared to other companies in your industry? How many results should you really be making?
It’s tough to figure out if your leading generation strategy is working if you aren’t looking at industry data. That’s why we partnered with Qualtrics to survey more than 900 marketers from all different industries in North America and Europe to create a demand generation report with data on website visitors, results, possibilities, clients, and revenue.
Did you know that 74% of companies that weren’t exceeding revenue objectives didn’t know their visitor, result, MQL, or sales opportunities numbers? How about that over 70% of companies not achieving their revenue objectives generate fewer than 100 results per month, and merely 5% produce more than 2,500 leadings per month? These are just a few examples of what you’ll find in the report.
For in-depth reports, download our Demand Generation Benchmarks Report. Below are some useful highlights.
Expense per Lead, by Industry
The media and publishing industries report the lowest expense per lead at $11 to $25. Software, information technology and services, marketing bureaux, and financial services companies all report the highest average cost per lead at $51 to $100.
Leads Generated per Month, by Annual Revenue
Unsurprisingly, the more revenue a company has, the more leads they produce. The differences are most drastic at the highest and lowest objective of the spectrum: 82% of companies with $250,000 or less in annual revenue report making less than 100 results per month, whereas merely 8% of companies making$ 1 billion in annual revenue report less than 100 leadings per month.
Leads per Month
We found that 58% of companies made 500 leadings per month or fewer, and 71% made 1,000 or fewer. However, as we ensure previously, the companies having the most success are also the ones generating the most leads.
Here’s how the data broke down by company size 😛 TAGEND
Lead Generation Software
We found that the most successful teams use a formal system to organize and store leadings: 46% employ Google Docs, 41% employ marketing automation software, and 37% employ CRM software.( Hint for HubSpot customers: Google Drive integrates with both HubSpot Marketing Hub and HubSpot CRM .)
Online lead generation encompasses a wide range of tactics, campaigns, and strategies depending on the platform on which you wish to capture leads. We talked about lead capture best practices once you have a visitor on your site … but how can you get them there in the first place?
Let’s dive into lead generation strategies for a few popular platforms.
Facebook Lead Generation
Facebook has been a method for result generation since its inception. Originally, companies could use outbound connections in their posts and information in their bios to attract strangers to their websites. However, when Facebook Ads was launched in 2007, and its algorithm began to favor accounts that used paid advertising, there was a major shift in how businesses used the platform to capture leads. Facebook made Lead Ads for this purpose. Facebook also has a feature that lets you put a simple call-to-action button at the top of your Facebook Page, helping you send Facebook adherents immediately to your website.
Twitter Lead Generation
Twitter has Twitter Lead Gen Cards, which let you produce leadings immediately within a tweet without having to leave the site. A user’s name, email address, and Twitter username are automatically pulled into the card, and all they have to do is click “Submit” to become a lead.( Hint for HubSpot users: You can connect Twitter Lead Gen Cards to your HubSpot Forms. Learn how to do that here ).
LinkedIn Lead Generation
LinkedIn has been increasing its stake in the advertising space since its early days. When it comes to lead generation, LinkedIn created Lead Gen Forms, which auto inhabit with a users profile data when they click a CTA, building it easy to capture information.
PPC Lead Generation
When we say pay-per-click( PPC ), we’re referring to ads on search engine result pages( SERPs ). Google get 3. 5 billion searches a day, inducing it prime real estate for any ad campaign, especially result gen. The efficiency of your PPC campaign relies heavily on a seamless user flow, as well as your budget, target keywords, and a few other factors.
B2B Lead Generation
B2B is a particular business model that requires a particular approach to lead generation. HubSpot found that SEO is the top resource for capture business results, followed closely by email marketing and social media. Not to mention, effectiveness varies by channel.
In any given lead generation campaign, there can be a lot of moving portions. It can be difficult to tell which parts of your campaign are working and which need some fine-tuning. What precisely goes into a best-in-class lead generation engine? Here are a few tip-off when building lead gen campaigns.
Utilize the right result generation tools.
As you insured in our data, the most successful marketing teams use a formal system to organize and store their results. That’s where leading generation tools and lead generation software come into play.
How much do you know about the people visiting your website? Do you know their names or their email addresses? How about which pages they visited, how they’re navigating around, and what they do before and after filling out a result conversion sort?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions, chances are you’re having a hard time connecting with the people who are visiting your site. These are questions you should be able to answer — and you can with the right result generation tools.
There are a few different tools and templates out there that’ll help you create different lead gen assets to use on your site 😛 TAGEND
CTA Templates: 50+ free, customizable call-to-action( CTA) templates in PowerPoint that you can use to create clickable CTA buttons to use on your blog, landing pages, and elsewhere on your site.
Lead Generation Software Tools: This free tool from HubSpot includes lead capture and contact insights features, which will rub any pre-existing forms you have on your website and add those contacts to your exist contact database. It also lets you create pop-ups, hello bars, or slide-ins — called “lead flows” — that’ll help you turn website visitors into leads immediately.
Example of a slide-in lead flow.
Visitor Tracking: Hotjar has a heatmap tool — a virtual tool which creates a color-coded representation of how a user navigates your site — that helps you understand what users want, care about, and do on your site. It records guests and tells you where they expend the most time on your site. You can use it to gather information on your lead generation sorts, feedback kinds and surveys, and more.
Form-Scraping Tool: A kind scraping tool that collects submissions on your website’s existing forms helps you automatically consolidate all your leads into your contact database, regardless of which form guests submits to your website. HubSpot clients can create and embed kinds use HubSpot, which automatically populate into your CMS. Non-HubSpot clients can use a sort creation tool like Contact Form 7, JetPack, or Google Forms, and then use HubSpot’s free collected forms feature to automatically capture kind submissions and input them to a contact database.
Create amazing offers for all different stages of the buying cycle.
Not all of your site visitors are ready to talk to your marketings squad or see a demo of your product. Someone at the beginning of the buyer’s journey might be interested in an informational piece like an ebook or a guidebook, whereas someone who’s more familiar with your company and near the bottom of the journey might be more interested in a free trial or demo.
Make sure you’re creating offers for all phases and offering CTAs for these offers throughout your site.
Yes, it takes time to create valuable content that teaches and fosters your leadings down the funnel, but if you don’t offer anything for visitors who aren’t ready to buy, then they may never be coming your website. From checklists to templates to free tools, here are 23 notions for leading generation content to get you started.
If you want to take personalization a step further — which will help boost your conversion rate — try using smart CTAs. Smart CTAs detect where a person is in the buyer’s journey, whether they’re a new guest, a result, or a customer, and display CTAs accordingly. Personalized CTAs convert a whopping 42% more guests than basic calls-to-action.
Hold your messaging consistent and deliver on your promise.
The highest-converting lead gen campaigns are the ones that deliver on what they promise and create a seamless transition from ad transcript and design to the deliverable itself. Make sure that you’re presenting a consistent message throughout the process and providing value to everyone that engages with your leading capture.
The aspects of your result gen campaign should mirror all else on your website, on your blog, and within the product that you will eventually try to sell. If not, you’ll have a difficult time getting your lead to the next lifecycle stage. Your campaign should be about more than simply procuring an email address — it should be about developing a new customer.
Link your CTA to a dedicated landing page.
This may seem obvious to you, but you’d be surprised how many marketers don’t create dedicated landing pages for their offers. CTAs are meant to send visitors to a landing page where they can receive a specific offer.
Don’t use CTAs to drive people to your homepage, for instance. Even if your CTA is about your brand or product( and perhaps not an offer like a download ), you should still be sending them to a targeted landing page that’s relevant to what they are looking for and includes an opt-in form. If you have the opportunity to use a CTA, send them to a page that will convert them into a lead.
If you want to learn more about how to build and promote high-converting landing pages, then download our ebook on optimizing landing pages for conversions.
Get your marketings team involved.
Remember when we talked about lead scoring? Well, it isn’t precisely doable without your marketings team’s input. How will you know what qualifies a leading for sale without knowing if your defined SQLs are successfully sold? Your marketing and sales teams need to be aligned on the definitions and the process of moving a leading from MQL to SQL to possibility before you even begin to capture leads.
Also, be open to evolving your relationship with sales and how you guide leads along your funnel. Your definitions will likely need to be refined over period; merely make sure to keep everyone involved up-to-date.
Use social media strategically.
While marketers typically think of social media as best for top-of-the-funnel marketing, it can still be a helpful and low-cost source for lead generation as shared in the lead gen strategies above. The key is using social media strategically for lead generation.
Start by adding connects immediately to the landing pages of high-performing offers within your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media posts. Tell guests that you’re sending them to a landing page. That way, you’re setting expectations. Here’s an example from one of our Facebook posts 😛 TAGEND
You can also do a leading generation analysis of your blog to figure out which posts produce the most results, and then make a point of regularly connecting social media posts to them.
Another way to generate leads from social media is to run a contest. Contests are fun and engaging for your adherents, and they can also teach you a ton about your audience. It’s a win-win. Read our step-by-step guide for growing your email list use social media contests, which covers everything from choosing a platform, to picking a winner, all the way to investigating your results.
Remain flexible and constantly iterate.
Your lead generation strategy needs to be as dynamic as the people you’re targeting. Trends alter, behaviors shift, opinions morph … so should your lead gen marketing. Use A/ B split testing to see what CTAs perform best, which landing pages convert better, and which copy captures your target audience. Experiment with layout changes, design, UX, content, and advertising channels until you find what works.
There you have it, folks. Now that you know more about how to generate leadings for your business, we recommend you try HubSpot’s free leading generation tool. Use it to add simple conversion assets to your site( or scraping your existing forms) to assist you in learn more about your site visitors and what content prompts them to convert.
The basics we’ve gone over in this blog post are just the beginning. Keep creating great offers, CTAs, landing pages, and kinds — and promote them in multi-channel surroundings. Be in close touch with your sales team to make sure you’re handing off high-quality results on a regular basis. Last but not least, never stop testing. The more you tweak and test every step of your inbound leading generation process, the more you’ll improve lead quality and increase revenue.
Read more: blog.hubspot.com