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Lead generation has to be the honey’s bee of your Inbound marketing strategy. Whatever you do, you will be depending on content to reach out and get more leads, right?
If you agree that content is key and you’re serious about your online strategy read this quick “Lead Generation Guide”.
Developing an effective lead generation plan of action is something that most companies struggle with. In this post, I will show how to get value for money with these actionable tips, ideas, plugins and processes to create your b2b lead generation.
But let’s see some important stats, first. Here is what we’ve learnt:
Content marketing stats
Content priorities plus three content marketing objectives:
- a) Driving Sales and/or increasing Leads
- b) Engage Customers/Buyers/Influencers
- c) Boost Brand Awareness. ( Source: Curata)
- 80% of B2B have a content marketing strategy. (32% documented, 48% not documented) Source: C.M.I
- 70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. (Altimeter)
- 32% of B2B marketers say they have a documented content marketing strategy. (Content Marketing Institute, 2015). Source: Hubspot
- 60% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. Source: Hubspot
- 74% of marketers say converting leads is their top priority in 2016-17. Source: Hubspot
- 47% of buyers viewed 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep. Source: Hubspot
Video marketing stats
- 45% online visitors watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week. (HubSpot, 2016) Source: Hubspot
Email marketing automation
We all suffer from lack of traffic and time to generate leads during our business lifes. Email marketing automation is one of the key components within your online strategy. If you’re already using an email automation system you should probably consider integrate a complete marketing automate process.
What are the big marketing challenges for your business?
As discovered from the various market research stats above – here are the most important aspects for marketers to consider:
a) Engaging with online readers;
b) Increasing leads;
c) Boost brand awareness.
Did you noticed that these three are increasingly interdependent? I let you work this one out.Marketing challenges - solution tip: Offer easy access to your #content, research/listen, and engage with relevant content. Click To Tweet
Lead generation process – The quick walk-through guide in 10 quick easy steps
and see how to get your lead gen. approach working.
1. Draw your email strategy approach
Log onto mind42.com to design a birds-eye view of your strategy. You can also grab a pen and paper and jotdown what your business needs are, followed by your campaign goals.
Then go and check your personas pain points. Do a brainstorm and draw your first content draft. Develop your content as needed and always keep it simple.
2. Create punchy – relevant blog posts
Write great blog posts with relevant keywords and lead-magnet. Show your expertise and aid without fluffing around, this will pay off. Create useful content about your product or services.
This will increase your chances to engage, connect with your community and of course be found on search engines. Your website will be shared or bookmarked.
3. Insert attractive offers – Call-to-action (CTA)
Insert relevant offers within your page. You can and should insert a call-to-action at the middle and/or end of your page. Something like: “Sign Up for a free white-paper or research guide”.
This is a powerful way to get leads. By doing this you’ll also present them with an opportunity to get to know your business a bit better.
Optional: Hire a freelance web designer to create one to three call-to-action images/buttons.
4. Create lead magnets
One important step in your lead generation process is to create a lead magnet – aka “Opt-in bribe” – that offer value in exchange of an email address or when signing-up for a particular email list.
Examples are: an eBook, white-paper, software product, report, tip sheet or video series.
Even though it’s free, you should still spend some time and effort writing the “header” which is normally a short description. Then, you’ll need a detailed description. This is the message you’re going to write/use to get your visitors to type their email address and subscribe to your list. Invest good time here as it will pay off in the long run.
TIP: An effective lead magnet will help your website visitors solve a problem/task and learn a specific skill by offering a free downloadable digital item. Also, the lead magnet should be directly related with the content on the page or post.
Optional: add an attractive/relevant image to your magnet.
5. Create a landing page (optional)
This step can be optional, depending on what you are trying to achieve. Use a landing page to show the particular benefits of one product or service.
This is a great way to move your audience onto a particular funnel.
If you decide to go with a landing page, you have a few options.
Option 1: Select your WP theme’s landing page Template. This is the quickest and cheapest option, but often not offering a great design.
Option 2: Create your beautiful landing pages using tools such as: Thrive content builder or Leadpages.
Option 3: Learn how to create your landing pages.
Tip: Digital Marketer: recently wrote a great article on how to increase conversions.
6. Sign up with an Email Marketing Service
It’s time to choose an email marketing service (EMS) to create your campaigns, lead-magnets and email forms. You’ll be needing this type of service to gather and nurture your leads.
To stay competitive here are some of the most cost-effective email marketing solutions in 2019.
Here are some of the free email (EMS) services that I recommend.
MailChimp: This is among the most popular email marketing services. They offer quite a few features. These include many list management, autoresponders and drip campaigns.
Drip: Flexible and versatile, from email to contact management it allows you to automate the entire email service. Free for starters or businesses with little budget and/or between 1 and less than 100 susbscribers.
For those with more serious needs you can update to the next level – Prices will increase based on your subscriber’s numbers. This service also includes better options (email tracking capabilities, open and click rate…)
Note: They were recently acquired by Leadpages.
Paid Email Marketing service (EMS)
They offer intelligent marketing automation features – it is a bit expensive, but it’s totally worth the monthly investment. Most companies are using marketing automation because it can help in marketing processes.
Example: when leads freeze over-time, marketing automation steps in as your marketer helper to get you other qualified prospects.
- Drag-and-Drop campaign builder to design your marketing campaigns,
- CRM to link and manage all leads/ sales automation campaigns,
- Various automation process to include SMS messages to your subscribers,
- Create custom goals and reports,
- Great for ecommerce mobile signup forms,
- Beautiful email template editors.
Active Campaign allows you to request a quick demo beforehand.
Suitable for: all small to medium-sized businesses, and enterprise.
Plans start from: 500 contacts =$9/month – 1000 contacts =$17/month – (14 days free trial) – up to $149 for enterprise level.
I haven’t tried this solution but it was initially on our top 5 list.
We selected because this solution is affordable unlike many other on the market. But we also liked the quality features versus money in this popular email marketing service.
- Beautiful mobile responsive and landing pages,
- Segment and track your contacts,
- A/B testing, and autoresponders.
- Integrates with major third party lead generation solutions (SalesForce, OptinMonster, Google Docs, etc.)
- Online Surveys
- Phone, chat and online support
Suitable for: small to medium-sized businesses, and/or those just starting out. Plans start from: $15/month.
7. Create and grow your mailing list
Your next (important) step is-building a mailing list on the email marketing system of your choice. Pick any of the recommended below.Thrive Leads is the ultimate list building plugin machine for WordPress.
You’ll be able to easily build any opt-in form in order to streamline your site’s lead generation. It offers you every feature you’ll ever need to quickly grow your email list.
Some of its best features:
- Get over 55 + opt-in form templates.
- Insert opt-in forms anywhere you need.
- Drag and drop editor for easy form customisation.
- Advanced opt-in form targeting options.
- A/B split testing functionalities.
- Reporting system/statistics…
Price: $67 one-off payment – includes: one year support and lifetime updates.
OptinMonster: is great to run on one or multiple WordPress sites. It started as a plugin, but it’s now an complete online lead generation tool.
Price: Starts from $19/month, (or $9/month when paid annually) with more plans to unlock more features.
8. Personalise the email
The idea behind this is to only give readers/visitors access to your freebie, after they’ve confirmed their email. In other words, find out if it’s a legitimate email or not.
- Headers: Pick and add a relevant keyword into your header to trigger the readers interest. They’ll be quick to confirm the email address and get their free ebook or whatever you decide to give away.
- Subject line: Create controversial, educational or challenging subject lines.
- Keep it simple: clear, concise, simple and engaging
- Add Call-to-action in your email. “Download” -” Get your” etc. Remember the funnel principle, your email must advertise your CTA.
- Remember to create a welcome and thank you page.
9. Opt-in forms, plugins and services
The plugin selection below also integrate with major email service providers (ESP). Meaning the new-sign-ups are automatically funneled to your ESP. The idea is to keep your sign-up form as simple as possible.
- Inviting headline– Make sure your headline describes the benefits off your offer.
- Clear description– Is your description brief, clear and to the point? Use bullet points to help the reader’s eye quickly scan what they will get.
- Attractive visuals– Include an image of the lead magnet if you can (e.g. a mockup of your eBook). A photo of a person looking towards the opt-in form is also a great way to boost conversions.
- Two fields– Don’t try to get more than a first name and email address. Asking for too much information will scare people and will reduce your conversions.
Here are some of the best opt-in form that I recommend:
Easy Opt-Ins for MailChimp: This is a nice plugin that gives you a simple but effective opt-in form that ties well into MailChimp. You just just need to enter your MailChimp API key, then the list to push to and the tool does the rest.
Thrive Leads: You can quickly grow your mailing list – versatile with great features to explore – it is in my view among the best, easy to use, but also is a very effective opt-in form. (See point 7 above)
- Email course series
- Templates, themes (35+)
- Tagging and targeting options
- Email Automation triggers
- A/B Testing
Optin Cat: Allows you to ad pop-ups, sidebars, widgets, post boxes, 2 step opt-in form for your website.
Pricing: is a one-off purchase for personal – business or Elite
Popup domination : is light-weight, superfast and mobile responsive.
Some of the best features:
- Email themes
- Geographical Targeting
- PopUp Triggers
- Customizable Designs
- A/B Testing
- Geo targeting and more…
Price starting: £7/ $9 month – or pay annually and get 4 months free.
Ninja Forms: is a fantastic double free plugin that allows you to create endless types of forms. They also offer multiple (paid) options and integrations to Stripe, CRM’s etc.
On a plus side – they will give you access to the major email service providers (EMS).
10. What’s the next step?
Now, you can start work out your plan, select the email service you think will work best for you and have a lead generation system running on your WordPress site.
The next step on your “To do list” should include:
a) Come up with various email campaigns ideas (reach local businesses)
b) Place lead generation widgets or lead magnets on the sides of blog posts
c) Write inspiring emails series (start with one or two)
d) Create an autoresponder to build trust – also called “Lead Nurturing”
e) Sharing yours and influencer’s content on social media – this will build a relationship and increase visibility along with brand recognition.
f) Email tracking performance of everything that you send.
If you have any questions about the content of this article or other related items, feel free to drop me an email.
Additional next steps:
Growing your business requires time, money and resources, so I’d say, pick, test and learn more about the tools that I shared (above). Whether you’re a B2B or B2C, you’ll need a lead generation system/process to power-up and build brand awareness.
Use this lead generation post as your personal guide and start building your brand image, whilst improving your leads. Invest time sharing and/or advertising your content via platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, FB, Instagram these are excellent social platforms to help you increase e-newsletters subscribers, shares/views and ultimately sales.
I can say that these are a great combination of tools to start your marketing pipeline thatwill help you grow your audience.
Be aware that this post has some affiliate links. This means we receive a commission if you click and make a purchase. We only recommend processes, books and plugins that we believe will genuinely help you improve your business.