Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of doing business online. Do you know how it’s done?
There is more to it than simply throwing up a website and hoping they’ll come. You’ve got to have a plan. It would help if you drew a diagram illustrating your sales funnel. First, draw the sales funnel for your organization – the offline funnel. Then, draw a separate funnel for your online business. You will likely notice some similarities, but you should also note some differences.
Your sales funnel is your plan for driving sales online. At the top of the funnel, where the wide mouth is, both you and the customer have a low commitment to your relationship. Therefore, you have no reason to ask for any information from your customer and your customer has no reason to give you any information. As the funnel tube gets smaller, your commitment (and your customer’s commitment) gets bigger. That’s when you begin to share information.
You should map out when you need to get information from a customer and how much you are willing to give up in order to get what you want – contact information. Plus, what kind of contact information is necessary? Do you need an e-mail address? A mailing address? A phone number? Cell phone or fax? Know what you need and don’t ask for any more than that.
The tools that you use to generate leads online are essentially the same tools that you use to make sales. But you aren’t necessarily doing both tasks at the same time. Typically, your website is the place where visitors go to make the final purchase. But your website could just serve as a lead generation tool in order to capture information for your sales team to follow up on. Either way, you’ve got to drive traffic to that website. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Article Marketing
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Display Advertising
- Video Marketing
- Podcast Marketing
- E-mail Marketing
- Social Networking
- Social Bookmarking
You may have noticed that marketing online is a lot like marketing off line. Again, similarities and differences. The most important thing is to know your sales funnel and to map out the information exchange – when, who, why, etc. What will you give to get what you want and what will your customer give to get what she wants? Lead generation needs a plan. Do you have one?