Category: Lead Generation

How to Build a High-Converting Lead Generation Form

Fact: people don’t like online forms (gasp!). And it’s not hard to see why: Online forms require extra work (and time) and typically stand in the way of a consumer getting what he or she really wants—like a piece of content or access to software.

This is not great news for marketers, who are tasked with converting website visitors into customers through lead generation forms. Luckily, there are proven ways to reduce form friction and get prospects to hand over their valuable information.

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The Single Most Important Thing Every B2B Marketer Should Know About Content Marketing.

The chances are, you’ve read a lot about content marketing on the 60 Second Marketer and other blogs. You’ve heard that it’s an effective way to build awareness for your business and/or position yourself as a thought-leader in your industry.The model has a lot of appeal – if you provide tools, tips and techniques to your prospects, they’ll build a relationship with you that results in sales later down the pike.You’ve also heard about marketing automation, which allows you to target prospects with email campaigns that drive them back to your website. That process – re-marketing to prospects who have expressed an interest in your company – should result in plenty of inbound leads, right?

What you may not have heard is that neither of these systems work as well as many content marketers would have you believe.

There’s a problem with the model outlined above. It’s a problem that has a lot of people scratching their heads wondering what went wrong with their content marketing program. The problem is that most content marketing programs don't incorporate something called The Final Mile.But before we talk about The Final Mile, let’s do a quick recap of how we use content marketing to drive prospects to 60 Second Communications, the marketing agency behind the 60 Second Marketer.Many years ago, I was in charge of business development for BKV Digital and Direct Response, an agency that is still a major sponsor for the 60 Second Marketer. One day, driving home, the phrase 60 Second Marketer popped into my head. The phrase had a familiar ring to it and had a hook that I thought would appeal to fellow marketers around the globe.A short time later, I approached Brent Kuhn (the K in BKV) about doing a website called the 60 Second Marketer that would generate leads for BKV. He really liked the idea and encouraged me to build out the site and use it as a lead generation tool for the company.Remember, this was before HubSpot, before the Content Marketing Institute and before Social Media Examiner, so the concept was way ahead of its time.Over the course of several years, the work I did on the 60 Second Marketer turned into my first book (How to Make Money with Social Media, the second edition of which will be released soon) and then another book (Go Mobile, which was the #1 best selling mobile marketing book on Amazon when it first came out). The blog and the books ultimately lead to a career as an internationally-recognized speaker, which is a great gig if you can get it.After just about every speech I’d make, whether overseas or domestically, someone would say, “I really like everything you mentioned regarding social media and mobile marketing. Can I talk to you about doing a social or mobile campaign for my company?”When people would ask me that question, I would give them a tongue-in-cheek answer that would always generate a nice chuckle – “I don’t actually do stuff. I just talk about doing stuff.” (Fortunately, people took the comment in the light-hearted way I wanted them to.)All that said, the questions from people brought up a larger issue, which was why don't I do this stuff? I know a great deal about it and would probably generate better results that most other companies. And, besides, what better way to write about digital marketing than to actually do it and report on the results!So, we launched an agency called 60 Second Communications, which specializes in the science of marketing. It wasn’t long before we had clients on our roster that included The Coca-Cola Company, Holiday Inn, TransUnion and Samsung.

Putting Content Marketing to Work for Your Business.

By now, you may be asking yourself how the story of 60 Second Communications relates to you and your role as a B2B marketing professional. Remember how I said that one of the benefits to launching 60 Second Communications was that we’d be able to report back on the results of our campaigns? Well, we’re ready to report on some of our findings.A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reported that more than $5 billion a year is spent by U.S. organizations on content marketing and social media. But if content marketing and social media don’t work, then why are companies spending so much money on them?There’s a simple answer to that question -- many companies don’t know how to measure the results of their campaigns, so they don’t actually know if their efforts are generating revenue. It’s true. According to a survey by Mzinga and Babson Executive Education, only 16 percent of those polled said they currently measured the return on investment (ROI) for their content marketing and social media programs.The good news is that there are companies at the other end of the spectrum that do measure the results of their campaigns and are showing positive results. But they have a secret to their efforts that most other companies aren’t using.What’s their secret? What makes their campaigns work where others haven’t been able to figure out the secret? The answer is that they understand something called The Final Mile.In order to understand The Final Mile, you have to understand the journey your customer has made to your company. If you’re like most business-to-business companies, buying your product or service requires an investment on the part of the prospect. In some cases, the investment might only be a few hundred bucks, but in other cases, the investment might be several thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars.If the investment your prospect needs to make is in the thousands of dollars, what are the odds that someone will make the purchase without a person-to-person contact? In other words, what is the likelihood that someone will receive a white paper, read a blog post, then plunk down a grand or more on your product or service?Which leads us to The Final Mile, which is the need for a well-spoken member of your company to generate a person-to-person contact with your prospect in order to lead them down the path towards customer-hood. No amount of white papers, e-books, blog posts or emails is going to convert the typical B2B prospect into a customer without some form of person-to-person contact.

Isn't Communicating via Email Enough? The Answer is No.

Now you may be saying, “But we have a salesforce and they use email to connect with prospects. Isn’t email enough?” The answer is no, especially if your customer lifetime value is greater than $1,000. (For more on customer lifetime value, read this post on the 60 Second Marketer blog.) When was the last time you spent more than $1,000 on any product or service without conducting an in-depth interview with a salesperson?That’s right, never.So The Final Mile – and this is the key point I’m making – is the connection between you and your prospect that can only be made via a live, person-to-person conversation. No amount of emails, white papers, e-books or blog posts will do the trick. In the end, you’re going to have to pick up the damn phone and make a sales call.I know that freaks most of you out, but it’s the truth. There’s no way to close a deal with a B2B client prospect with a customer lifetime value greater than $1,000 if you’re not going to smile and dial. The good news is that picking up the phone and making a sales call gets easier with every call you make, so there's really nothing to be afraid of.

Results from Our Program. And Exceptions to the Rule.

Of course, for every rule there are exceptions, but generally-speaking, no matter how good your content marketing is, you’ll need to put in the time and effort for outbound sales calls in order to close a B2B sales effort.What have been our results using this methodology? (Remember, 60 Second Communications is a marketing communications firm, which means we live in the B2B world and have a vigorous new business system in place.)Here’s your answer. Using the old methodology – which was to let our content marketing build awareness for us and generate inbound leads – we would generate 1 new lead per month, which was totally lame, especially considering that lead was usually a small business with little or no budget.But whenever we’ve embraced The Final Mile concept – in other words, whenever we’ve gotten off of our butts and picked up the darn phone to make outbound sales calls – the results have been 300% to 400% better than just using the inbound approach. That’s right, we would generate 3 to 4 times the number of viable leads using The Final Mile concept than we would using the traditional content marketing approach. And the leads we generated were 10 times better than the leads generated from pure inbound marketing programs.

One Last Secret You Need to Know.

There’s one last secret you need to know about before you put this technique into action – outbound sales calls usually result in leaving voice mails (which will be a relief to many people). That’s right – nobody answers their phone anymore. The result is that you’re generally leaving a mini-commercial for your company every time you leave a voice mail.The trick to leaving a voice mail – and this is important – is to instantly send a follow-up email after the voice mail. This one-two punch results in a 20% response rate for our company. That means for every 10 voice mails and emails I send, I start a dialogue with 2 new companies, which is terrific considering the results of the old method were so much worse.

Action Steps for You.

Does this B2B content marketing system appeal to you? Here are a few action steps for you to get started with this method:
  1. Don’t Abandon Content Marketing: Yes, content marketing is over-hyped, but it’s still a vital component of the overall system, so don’t abandon it.
  2. Keep Using Marketing Automation: Marketing Automation is another important component of your overall campaign, so don’t ignore this either.
  3. Pick Up the Damn Phone: It’s an old technique, but it still works. Pick up the phone and leave a voice mail message for your prospect. (Side note: Don’t be caught off-guard if they actually answer their phone – we've found that 1 out of 10 prospects do.)
  4. Follow-Up with an Email: This is the last piece of the puzzle, and it’s an important one. In most cases, people will delete your voice mail. But 2 out of 10 times, if the voice mail is followed-up by an email, they’ll respond to your email. And that, my friends, is pure gold.
I hope these tips are of some help to you. We'd love to hear about your experiences with B2B lead generation. Leave us a comment below if you have insights or observations of your own. Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with national and international brands. He is the co-author of "How to Make Money with Social Media" and "Go Mobile" and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe. 

31 Clever Marketing Tips to Generate More Leads

 

Need more leads? Of course you do!

A well-optimized landing page is one of the most effective methods of generating authentic leads for your business. It drives traffic to your website, develops familiarity with your visitors and can gain you warm leads.

But what marketing campaigns increase traffic to your page and drive conversions? What value exchange does your business need to increase leads?

Here are 31 tips to generate more leads with your own landing pages.

1. eBooks - If you’re like most businesses these days, you blog. If you blog well, you’ll have a series of related articles with comprehensive how-to tips or stories. Take five to ten of these themed articles and turn them into a resourceful eBook. Set up a landing page on your website to email-gate your book and give it away for free. You generate warm leads and get seen as a knowledge leader in your sector.

You don’t have to be a B2B to generate leads with ebooks. B2C’s use this tactic too, with recipe, do-it-yourself or fashion books.

Here’s an example from 60 Second Marketer, of how to give away a free ebook and develop closer ties with your readership:

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2. Webinars - Host a webinar related to your industry. Get people to sign up through your website to get leads. Webinars warm your leads, as you’re speaking directly to future and returning prospects.

3. Live workshops - Similarly to a webinar, host a live workshop to educate your demographic about an industry related tip. Make it engaging, with questions that you ask your viewers. You could even make a test at the end - that participants pass or fail!

4. Pre-recorded webinar series - When you’re planning your webinars, make themed content that can easily be made into a series about your topic. Record your live webinars to reuse your valuable content - and generate more leads. Use five or more webinars to create a series on your website. Email-gate it with a teaser landing page to invoke leads.

5. Podcasts - Make podcasts by reading out your blog content, for example. Make a themed series to create a valuable source of information. Podcasts are great marketing tools as your customer can listen to them at work, home or on mobile.

6. Whitepapers - Hey, when you’re marketing to business, speak the language of business. Whitepapers are brilliant for B2B’s. Condense an eBook topic into high level tips. Create a two to three page paper that’s easy to scan and packed with information. Generate leads for your sales team.

7. Industry report - If you’re a B2B, compile statistics, charts and data related to your industry. Condense your findings into the most relevant points. Design your report into an easy to scan format.

8. How-to hub - Create content in various formats, such as blog posts, infographics, slideshares, ebooks, webinars, short videos and more. Put themed content together to create a rich, useful how-to hub for your customers.

Lowes Home Improvement rules the how-to hub. They have a wealth of information with videos, tips and more. It generates leads - and creates a comprehensive community hub.

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9. Free demo of service or product - Give a free demonstration of how your product or services works. Get people to sign up through an email-gated landing page on your site.

10. Free consultation - Offer a free personalized consultation of your services, in exchange for an email.

11. Appointment booking - Make a page on your website for people to book an appointment with you. Get them to submit an email or phone number so you can follow up with them quickly.

12. Event registration - If you’re hosting an event, whether online or offline, make a registration page to generate leads. Your page could direct attendees to another site like eventbrite or cvent.

13. Pre-launch ordering - When you’re introducing a new product - give your most valued customers the special treatment to get it first. Set up a pre-launch page to start marketing your product and get leads.

Amazon rules in pre-launch lead generation:

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14. More information - Encourage website visitors to get more information from you when they have a specific question they need answering.

15. Newsletter sign up - An oldy but a goody, generate emails leads with a newsletter sign up. Then send out relevant, interesting engaging content on a regular basis.

16. Exclusive membership - Set up an “exclusive membership” club. Give your customers good reason to join the club by offering the best deals, coupons and being the first know your news.

17. Free trial - Offer a free 14- or 30- day trial to generate interest in your product with a risk-free trial. Let your prospects ‘kick the tires’ so to speak. Once someone’s signed up for your offer, keep in touch with email.

18. Free quote or assessment - If your business doesn’t have set pricing models, make an easy-to-fill-in form on your site for quotes. This works well, for example, in real estate, plumbing, custom drapes and other related businesses.

19. How-to guides - Somewhat like the free ebook, make how-to guides for your business related services. How-to guides focus on specific practical tips to generate interest.

For example, if you’re a real estate broker, create a ‘how-to’ guide on successful real estate investing. Make it easy to download with an email address so you generate leads.

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20. Product catalogue - Make it easy for potential customers to download a catalogue in exchange for an email.

21. Daily tips -  Send out daily tips or inspiring quotes related to your industry.  For example, a spa might send out daily tips on how to reduce stress.

22. Discounts and Coupons - Host a coupon directly on your website. Coupons are great lead generators as they attract people who are interested in your particular deals - and they can you an immediate sale.

23. Loyalty programs - Create loyalty program campaigns, such as a “refer a friend” promotion. Give progressively better discounts and exclusive offers to customers bringing in the most referrals.

24. Free gift  - Give an actual physical gift for free. Offer a free, branded t-shirt, or a sample of your product. Mail it out to your potential customers in exchange for their email and contact information. There’s nothing quite like giving something of tangible value to deepen your customer ties.

25. Choose a book cover - This is a brilliant tactic to both involve your readers in your content, and start to market your upcoming piece…

Jamie has done this superbly, by reaching out to his readers and asking us which ebook cover we prefer. He doesn’t generate email leads (he uses many other engaging tactics to show up in our inboxes!),  but he does spread the word about his book and gets us interested in its future success.

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26. Sweepstakes - Host a sweepstake. Make it easy to enter by email-gating it. Give away a prize with the perceived value to motivate your niche to enter.

27. New product name - Get your customers involved in business decisions. Ask for input into a new product you’ve developed or designed. Using this crowdsourcing tactic, you not only get leads, you spread the word about your upcoming product offering. The more vested a person is, the more likely they’ll buy your product - and tell their friends.

28. Product development input - Take the “name a new product” contest a step further, and crowdsource the design and development of a new product. This works well, for example, in a short manufacturing process such as fashion and food.

29. Product label choices - Get your prospects to engage with you - and generate warm leads - by letting your consumer tell you which label they like best.

30. Themed photo contest - Get user-generated content (and leads) by hosting a photo contest on your website. Keep your photos themed with a business marketing campaign to deepen the connection with your consumer and your brand. Motivate by offering a valuable prize.

31. Reuse themed user-generated content in a book  - Ask your visitors to submit their favourite recipe, fishing tip, or online marketing tip. Give a relevant, valuable prize and a chance to be featured in your upcoming book. Select the best entries from your UCG contest to compile tips in an ebook. Give it away for free to all participants. Email-gate it for others.

Conclusion

Use smart marketing strategies to generate more qualified leads for your business. It doesn’t have to be hard. Give your consumers what they want to get authentic leads - and increase sales.

Do you use landing pages on your website? What marketing tactics increase conversions for you? Share your successes in the comments below.

Krista Bunskoek is a Content Marketer at Wishpond. She has written a number of online marketing ebooks like Google AdWords for Small Business and Website Contest and Promotions. You can reach Krista through her twitter handle @kbunskoek or her Google+ page.