Collecting Leads – best practices for lead generation [UPDATE]

Last updated: December 18, 2023 Written by: Sylwester Karnuszewicz
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    Once upon a time, there was an unsuccessful peddler. His lack of success came from him never leaving his house. He would just sit on his front step and shout: “Best offers! Another great discount! Check it out!”. As you may probably know by now, he didn’t sell a thing, ever. Is there any lesson in this story? Of course there is… don’t do that.

    It’s not like I’m giving you some revolutionary advice, here. Everybody knows that you have to go out and tell people about your products or services to sell something… unless you’ve got an internet connection. What you need now are called leads. Learn how to generate them and use this knowledge in upcoming marketing campaigns!

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    How to generate high-quality leads

    Unlike the peddler from the story at the beginning, you actually can sit at home and sell anyway. The internet provides tons of possibilities, but there are just a few you should use at this time. If you want to get the best leads, you need to choose the right sources, prepare an offer (leads aren’t for free!) and engage!

    Here’s a handful of sales lead generation tips:

    handful of sales lead generation tips:
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      A marketer’s path

      If your goal is to sell more, you can’t stop at the getting leads point. After they’ve become generated, you’ve got to skillfully move them through conversion and convince them to become a customer. Did you know that almost 4 out of 5 leads never convert into sales? Put an end to these crushing statistics by implementing these few techniques:

      Lead scoring

      Simply put: it’s the process of choosing the best leads you’ve gathered. You should rate them on a specific scale based on what your target audience is. There are some characteristics, such as job, wealth or age, which may have a tremendous impact on a buyer’s decision. There is significantly lower chance that a 16-year old teenager will buy a big screen TV before a 48-year old. In this round, we’ll give a higher score to the older customer. But there’s more to it. The information we get with our lead is just one side of the coin. On the other side, there is their behavior. How they act on a website or landing page can tell us way more than metrics. Using analytic tools we can check how much time people spend on our landing page and what exactly do they do, while they’re here. If you’ve never heard about marketing personas, now it’s time to catch up! It’s a marketing technique that will greatly help you in lead scoring. Buyer persona is a fictional character that resembles a real customer with a specific set of features. Describe every persona with their name, age, gender, job, interests and whatever you’ll find important. Here’s an example of how a persona may look like: Basically, this is how lead scoring works. A higher score means a way better chance to finish the transaction. The gathered information will help us build another target group and send information about our next offer to an even more specific audience. That can significantly raise your sales!

      Lead nurturing

      Start with giving something away. Everybody loves freebies, but it should be valuable. Prepare a professional e-book with a bunch of helpful tips & tricks. Take your time to design it well, invite professionals to cooperate. They’ll get a free publication, and you’ll have more diverse content in the e-book. If the lead says “yes,” you are on the right path! Next step: create a landing page with a newsletter sign-up form. If your lead signs – that’s another “yes”! Then send a newsletter (not more often than once a week). Is it opened? “Yes!”. Did they click the link inside or download a file? Another “yes!”.
      Landing page template
      These small steps lead your subscriber to the buyer’s decision. If there were enough “yes”es before, there should be another – the most important one. Proceed to check-out? Yes! Remember that lead nurturing can be a long-term process. Establishing a relationship with clients does not happen overnight.

      A Buyer’s Journey

      Buyer's journey stages
      Every buyer is on a journey, and it’s your job as a marketer to recognize which step they’re on. Every stage requires you to take different actions and prepare diversified content. There are three main parts of a buyer’s journey, though they may slightly vary:

      Awareness stage

      Usually, it’s the first step of a buyer’s journey. At this point, he or she can’t be called a buyer yet. This is where the majority of customers-to-be start. They need concrete information. They’re looking for inspiration and hoping to make discoveries. While they’re seeking, your offer is just one out of hundreds. Here’s what to do regarding your content:
      • prepare educational blog posts
      • answer questions in a professional and comprehensive way
      • inspire your readers – mark the pain-point which your product or service can resolve

      Consideration stage

      The second stage is when your leads have shown an interest in what you offer. But how can you tell if they are already at this step? See what they do on your blog! If they are reading advanced guides, expert content and your “About” page, that’s it! At this level, buyers know exactly what they are looking for, but they need to choose whose services to use. Convince them that you know what to do:
      • prepare some industry reports to show that you know precisely what’s going on in the market
      • write case studies
      • let them see some realizations to show your actual work with other clients
      • shoot a video presentation of your product

      Decision stage

      Your website visitor is now educated, and he or she has considered various options. Now the time has come to check the budget and make up their mind. So they visit your pricing page, read case studies and search for information in the “Contact” tab. Many marketers consider the decision stage as the final one, but they couldn’t be farther from the truth! After purchase, your customers use your product or service and expect it to work without any problems. If they’re right, they may become your advocates. But if you don’t meet their expectations… We call this a post-purchase stage. Making your client feel satisfied is up to you – let’s get to it:
      • continue your instructional blog posts so your customers can find any information they want
      • prepare a loyalty program, encourage clients to rate your products
      • send newsletters with special offers and discounts
      • be there in case of any trouble – answer all questions, offer high-quality customer support
      Office good work practices

      Best practices

      Lead generation strategy takes practice and experience. Here are some tricks that will help you go through all stages of it:
      1. Make your content relevant, high quality and well optimized. Write on a regular basis and deliver different formats to your visitors: blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, webinars and more.
      2. Time is money – establish contact with new leads immediately after they sign up. It is said that subscribers who receive welcome message are 33% more likely to stay with the brand. What is more, 35-50% of leads choose a vendor that responds first!
      3. Focus on getting leads to build a long-term relationship with clients. Set goals and try to achieve them. Plan your marketing actions ahead!
      4. Develop buyer personas – associate your leads with specific characteristics and create future campaigns for real people! Learn more about creating marketing personas here!
      5. Follow the PAS formula: – P stands for PROBLEM – learn what the challenges and aspirations among your leads are – A stands for AGITATE – show the scale of the problem and make your subscribers aware of the consequences of not resolving it – S stands for SOLUTION – provide a solution to a problem and convince leads that it’s the best one out there
      6. Plan your landing page carefully. Remember that it should have one purpose. Spend some time on thinking how it will look, what you want to achieve and what you would want to see on it if you were a customer. Check out the graph below and put your form in a terminal area. It’s the highest converting spot on most landing pages.
      7. Use landing pages to announce every special offer you’ve prepared, new products or events organized by your company – they are highly converting, easy to use and build. Also, measuring their results is very intuitive and requires no IT knowledge.
      8. Use the power of Real Time Marketing (RTM) – comment the most important news of the day via humorous graphics or social media posts (Twitter and Facebook seem to be a perfect platform for it). Remember to do it politely, avoid controversy, and… act instantaneously! Keep in mind though, that it’s a risky thing – you never know, how the public opinion will react.
      9. Ask again. As I’ve said before: place quality over quantity! Remember that while gathering leads, send an e-mail with confirmation link after a newsletter sign up. That may result in fewer subscribers, but they will be more valuable to you. You don’t need people who’ll eventually delete every message from you without reading them. This is why you should ask again before putting someone on your mailing list.
      Learn how to improve your landing page effectiveness! “The best way to predict your future is to create it” – these are the words of Peter Drucker, truthful ones. In order to generate leads successfully, you need to start doing it, and once you’ve started – never stop. Save predictions for a time when you’ve got some serious data. Try to improve with every action you take – and that’s pretty much it. Good luck!