6 steps to building a lead generation campaign

Lead generation

Find prospects, turn them into leads and convert them into customers. Here are six steps to build a lead generation marketing campaign that works. 

At a glance

  • Make it easy for leads to find you. Savvy SEO strategies will help.
  • Give your leads a good reason to hand over their contact details – make your lead magnets valuable.
  • Develop your ideal customer persona and make it your go-to reference for qualifying leads.
  • Nurture your leads beyond the sale for a relationship that will keep on giving.

1. Know your target market

Understand who you are targeting with your digital marketing. A good place to start is looking closely at your existing customers: 

  • What products are they interested in?  
  • What digital platforms do they use?  
  • What are their demographics?  
  • What are their buying habits?  

You can then use this information to help figure out what your leads – your prospective customers – might look like and where you might find them, or as we’ll see below, how they could find you. 

2. Be discoverable

Think inbound marketing – where cold calling, direct mail and banner ads were once key, today’s consumers are discovering you first. Consumers educate themselves about the products they’re interested in, researching, comparing and checking out reviews. 

A key role of inbound marketing techniques like search engine optimisation (SEO), blogging and social media, is to make it as easy as possible for those potential customers to find you.  

An optimised profile and can’t-look-away clickable content on social media could increase traffic to your website. And Facebook still reigns, delivering 65% of all social media traffic – that’s more visits than all other social media networks combined. 

But nothing beats search which remains the single largest online traffic source, delivering more than 50% of most industries’ web traffic. What does that mean for small businesses wanting to be found by potential customers? Logically it means they ought to consider SEO campaigns to increase visibility.  

The good thing about SEO is that even a little can make a noticeable difference – starting with some basic keyword research and building up to a strategic approach means you can see what works quickly while planning for the longer term. 

3. Offer compelling lead magnets

Now you’ve captured the attention of your prospective customer, you need their contact information so you can nurture the connection and support them further along the sales funnel.  

But why would they hand it over? Answer: because you’re going to give them a valuable resource. This is also called gated content – it might look like whitepapers, ebooks, how-to guides or access to a webinar, and it sits behind a form, so to download it, someone needs to provide their email address and agree to be contacted. Some industries or audiences might not suit ebooks and the like, so other types of lead magnets such as free trials or demos might work instead.  

The art is making sure it’s a win-win exchange: you get a lead’s contact details and they get something that makes their lives easier or solves a problem. Even better – they associate that solution or ease with your business. 

Check out a lead magnet in action: our Email Lead Generation Template makes email marketing easy (and we’re not even asking for your email address in exchange).

4. Lead qualification and prioritisation

At this point you might be thinking, terrific, I’ve got all these leads, now let’s go in for the hard sell. Steady on – you’re not quite there yet. Even people who consented to providing their contact details and downloaded the free ebook might not be ready to become your customer or client.  

That’s why it’s important to qualify your leads before you start spending time and resources on getting them over the line. To maximise the impact of your efforts (or your return on investment – ROI), you’ll want to invest those resources into the leads most likely to become customers.  

Lead qualifying frameworks could help you make this forecast more accurate by measuring how closely a lead fits your ideal customer persona as well as assessing the nature of their engagement with your business. Did they retweet or like multiple social media posts, for example? Or did they not open a single email, let alone click on a link within the email? Based on those actions, who is more likely to keep moving through your sales funnel? 

5. Nurture your qualified leads

Even your highest-scoring leads might not be ready to buy yet so keep nurturing their positive sentiment towards your business.  

This may be via automated emails that offer further assistance and advice about what you’ve discovered matters to them. This is an opportunity for you to build trust, demonstrate authority and deliver relevant offers.  

You might also consider engaging with them on another preferred channel – including social media. Either way, you’re getting to know each other better. 

6. Make conversion easy

When your lead is ready to become your customer, make it straightforward. Be right where they expect you to be. Have what they want to buy in stock. Offer the payment options they prefer. Have customer service or tech support ready to respond to any questions.  

And remember the relationship doesn’t end once a sale is secured. Think ‘reviews and renews’. A good source of new leads is existing customers – ask for reviews, make their advocacy for your brand easy, and continue to nurture them so you’re the easy choice when it’s time to buy again or renew a subscription.

Need flexible access to funds that could help your business grow? Speak with one of our small business lending specialists.

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