We all know how essential leads are to a business, and even at the best of times, it’s tricky to figure out how to get them.
Lead generation is not an easy task, but ultimately it’s a necessary one, particularly with the uncertainty many of us are facing at the moment.
Many businesses will spend a significant portion of their time and marketing budget on lead generation. Despite this, though, many still struggle.
In this blog post, we’re going to offer up eight hacks that will help you answer the question, ‘how can I collect quality leads after lockdown?’
#1: Keep Things Simple
To produce higher converting forms, take away anything that may be clouding the process that isn’t necessary. You’ll find that very few of your website visitors will want to be filling out an unnecessarily long form.
It can be tempting to collect as much information as possible via your lead gen forms. However, the truth is, you’re actually more likely to be putting people off, in which case you’ll be left with nothing. Instead, just keep things simple.
This good example from Website Grader consists of just a URL and an email field:
That said, if there is information that you’d really like, but is not essential, you could mark it as an optional field. Conversely, if you’re required by legislation to collect that extra information, ensure that it’s marked very clearly.
This way, you’re still gathering the additional information, but still giving your prospect the minimum amount of work to do.
Once you’ve collected their information, you can then begin to nurture them along your sales pipeline.
#2: A/B Testing
A/B testing is one of the very best ways to ensure you’re increasing your leads over a long period, and the lockdown presents a unique opportunity to begin making those tweaks.
Your audience is specific to you, and therefore they are unique. Sure, research will tell you that bold colours that contrast with the rest of the web page are best as calls to action, but your own results may show you that some other technique is converting better. If that’s the case, then stick with it.
While it does take time to find out the true results of your A/B testing, now is as good a time to start as any.
This example below from Humana, shows a website banner during an A/B test:
Once the colours were tweaked, the copy altered and the background image changed, the company reported a massive 433% increase in click-through rate.
While of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll achieve such a considerable improvement, continual testing over time will steadily increase your lead generation, as you begin to find what works for your audience.
#3: User-Generated Content
While content creation should be high on your agenda, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the one that needs to create it. User-generated content is an ideal vehicle for achieving several marketing goals, including generating new leads.
Airbnb is known for their authenticity, and their user-generated content strategy is just about as authentic as it gets.
The brand's Instagram account isn’t used as a vehicle to push their services. It is instead used as a portfolio of photos taken by guests to showcase a range of beautiful accommodations from all over the world.
Guests are encouraged to share their photos using the #Airbnb hashtag, with the best images used on the Instagram account, which, at the time of writing, has 4.7 million followers.
The result is essentially an online brochure of inspirational and gorgeous images for customers to browse through when looking to book their next stay.
Not only does this technique provide an additional content type to mix into your social strategy, but it’s also exceptionally effective at pulling in leads, especially at the moment when more people will be looking to social media for community and comfort.
Keep a close eye on your social media for posts from your audience that you can utilise in your quest for increased leads.
#4: Improve Your Offering
Sometimes, the reason you aren’t generating the leads you want is simply that you aren’t offering your audience something that’s valuable to them.
However, by spending time improving what you’re putting out there, there is a very real chance you can increase your leads considerably.
It’s a good idea to consider how the pandemic may have changed your target audience's needs and desires. After all, that which is valuable to your audience may not be so for another, so it’s vital that you really immerse yourself in this task so you can create something that they crave.
There are plenty of things you can consider, but no matter what you decide on, you must be sure that you’re offering them something that isn’t readily available elsewhere.
Social media is a massive tool in your arsenal, and you’d be foolhardy not to utilise it to it’s fullest potential.
Hosting giveaways on social media is a fantastic way to drive engagement and therefore targeted leads that you know are interested in what you do. This is especially the case these days; people are looking for ways to stay positive and free stuff is always a winner in that regard!
The key to a successful competition is first, to offer a valuable prize that speaks to a specific demographic – if you’re offering cash or something similarly generic, you’ll attract pretty much anyone, which means you’ll end up with a collection of people that are strangers to your brand.
Secondly, you need to make entering super easy. As we’ve already mentioned, if the process is convoluted, you’ll succeed only in driving people away.
Social recommendations through family and friends are one of the most powerful marketing methods available to your business. Consumers are 90% more likely to trust a brand that has been recommended by someone close to them.
Hosting a competition is one of the best ways to harness the power of your existing audience, who can help you bring forth a new crowd of engaged consumers.
#6: Live Chat
In this day and age, people just don’t want to be on hold over the phone to speak to someone forevermore and a day.
In fact, 60% of consumers name live chat as their preferred form of customer service communication.
Live chat is effective in two ways, firstly it helps to vastly improve your customer service interactions, but it’s also a great way to generate more leads.
By using live chat, you can engage with your prospect there and then, while they’re browsing your website. Better still, you can customise your communication based on the whereabouts they are on your site.
If a ready to buy consumer has a question about your product, more often than not, they are actively looking to make that purchase. When live chat is available to them, it’s easy and convenient.
On the other hand, if that facility isn’t available to them, you may have lost the sale. Unless you’re an incredibly niche business, there will always be a competitor out there that is better equipped to deal with their query.
#7: Exit-Intent Popups
If you aren’t able to engage with your audience in real-time, or you aren’t able to get to them in time, make sure you don’t let them leave without getting your message across.
An exit-intent popup is a great way to reach leads that would otherwise be leaving the website with the possibility of not returning.
To push the potential of your popup, it’s advisable to include the lead offering we talked about earlier.
This could be a discount code, or some other great deal that encourages the people to hand over their information.
If all else fails, in a good deal of cases this final push is enough to convince them to offer up the information you want or at the very least, spend a little longer on the site.
This popup from leesa.com is a fantastic example of an effective exit popup:
The first thing that most obviously grabs your attention is the $100 discount, and who wouldn’t be interested in that?
And secondly, the call-to-action is incredibly compelling, rather than the standard ‘Subscribe’ or ‘Submit my email’, it immediately associates handing over an email address with a direct benefit.
It’s certainly worth playing around with your designs and wording on this front, to find out what best works for your audience.
#8: Web Push Notifications
Lastly, no matter how successful your lead generation hacks are, there will come a time when your audience will exit your website.
There’s no need to fret though; you can retarget these leads and encourage them to come back using web push notifications. Web push is a very efficient lead gen tool since you can gain a lead when someone simply opts into your notifications at the single click of a button.
Your lead won’t need to provide their name, email, or any additional information, which is often enough to convince them to opt-in.
Web pushes can be delivered to both desktop and mobile devices, which is precisely what makes this hack so powerful. It can be used for a variety of marketing purposes, from reminding people to complete your sign-up form, or when you’re trying to promote your offering.
Lead generation is not an easy task even at the best of times, but this selection of eight, creative lead gen hacks should make your post-lockdown strategies just that bit easier.
By creating an all-encompassing strategy that includes both onsite and offsite techniques, you’ll be in a great position to pull in more leads than ever before.
This post was submitted by a TNS experts. Check out our Contributor page for details about how you can share your ideas on digital marketing, SEO, social media, growth hacking and content marketing with our audience.