For most online marketers, success boils down to how much revenue your campaign generates. That revenue is tied to paying customers, and paying customers are just leads who made it through the sales process. Accordingly, many online marketers measure their success in terms of how many leads they were able to generate. It’s a good number to know, for sure, but there’s one major problem with it: it doesn’t tell you how good those leads are.
Working with five great leads is better, and will result in more revenue, than 100 irrelevant or uninterested leads. That 100 number is flashy and looks great, but without substantive lead quality, it’s essentially useless.
If you’re not seeing the increased revenue you want or expect out of your campaign, try implementing one of these strategies to improve your lead quality:
Your content marketing strategy, if executed with care, can be your greatest source of incoming leads. Writing regular high-quality content and using the power of social media channels to syndicate that content will naturally attract dozens, and in time, hundreds of leads to your website. In order to maximize the conversion potential for those leads, and ensure that those leads are as qualified as possible, you need to adjust your content strategy accordingly.
For example, if you own a repair company, but you only do work for small- to medium-sized businesses, writing content about home repairs would attract a large number of people to your blog—but those people wouldn’t belong to your key demographic, and your lead quality would correspondingly go down. It’s better to write and publish content that caters to a highly specific type of person—the kind of person you’d love to come in as a lead.
Additionally, you can spend more time on social media, reaching out to individuals you know would make good leads and following them. This will get their attention and gradually shift your following to be mostly comprised of prequalified leads.
Another option is to set up one or more highly specific landing pages for your users. For example, instead of vaguely leading people to your website and a generic contact form, you can create a specific landing page for each of your products or services (depending on how many you have). These specific landing pages will explain exactly what the product is, and speak directly to whichever demographic you’re targeting.
The downside to this strategy is you will likely see fewer conversions. Not everybody visiting a car dealership is going to be interested in buying a new, red sports car, and not everybody visiting your landing page is going to be interested in what you’re selling. But by sacrificing the sheer volume of leads, you’ll be effectively narrowing your lead pool to only the most interested and qualified candidates. You’ll have sacrificed a flashy number in exchange for a faster, more valuable lead pool.
You can direct users to these specific landing pages using whatever marketing channels you want; for example, you could tie different landing pages into different blog categories or link them to specific groups of PPC ads.
Speaking of advertising, selective demographic targeting is possible with many types of paid online advertising. For example, Facebook ads allow you to get incredibly specific with the types of users you advertise to. You can select an ideal gender, age range, selection of interests, and geographic location, and the social network will only display your ads to people meeting those requirements. The keys to harnessing this to its maximum potential are knowing which demographics make for the best leads, and engaging those demographics with compelling design and copy.
Start by categorizing your incoming leads in terms of their identifiable demographic qualities, and measuring how successful each follow-up is. When you aggregate your data, you should be able to identify which qualities result in the most successful opportunities, and you’ll be able to favor those qualities in your advertising from there on out. Incorporate multiple designs and different lines of copy to run A/B tests once you roll out your ads. That way, you can determine the best type of messaging to use for your future campaigns.
This strategy is especially useful for filtering leads that must meet a series of different requirements. Essentially, you’ll be creating a workflow for your users to follow, from initial entry to point of contact. You can structure this however you’d like; as an example, you could have a social media post that introduces an article by saying “Are you a small business owner? You’ll want to read up on these energy tips” and filter your audience to only small business owners interested in saving energy. Then, your article could focus exclusively on electricity, filtering out any small business owners who want to save on gas or other forms of energy. Finally, you can end your article with a link to a landing page by asking “Do you use more than X kW of electricity a year?” and filter out low-energy businesses. The landing page could filter out even more unqualified leads.
Including multiple steps like this will lower your conversion rates and through-traffic, but it will increase the quality of your leads. Your goal should be filtering out as many bad fits as possible in the least amount of steps.
This is by far the best long-term strategy you can incorporate in order to maximize the quality of your online leads. Start by defining all available marketing channels that eventually lead to a contact. This could mean setting up a different landing page for each medium, tracking user behavior based on points of initial entry, or simply asking “how did you hear about us?” on a contact form. Run your marketing campaigns as you normally would, and sort those leads into different categories based on how they initially found you.
Once you’ve done that, measure the quality of each lead in terms of two characteristics: the lead’s level of interest, and the quality of the fit. You can measure the interest level by gauging how enthusiastic the lead is about your company, and you can determine the quality of the fit based on how neatly the lead fits into your model of the “perfect” customer. Find a way to aggregate those measurements, and compare the averages of each category. By the end of your analysis, you should have a very clear idea of which advertising or marketing channel generates the highest quality leads. Knowing this, you can cut some of the lower-quality channels, and focus more on your efforts toward the more successful medium.
Truly successful lead generation strategies are ones that give you the best opportunities, not the most opportunities. Setting up a system that feeds you only the most qualified leads will eventually save you time, money, and stress.
If you don’t want to build new landing pages or new user workflows, you can at least get started with understanding and catering to your ideal customer demographics. Every action you take counts toward refining your lead pool and perfecting your lead generation strategy.