How to Generate Leads Without Relying on Third-Party Data

How to Generate Leads Without Relying on Third-Party Data

Use these tips to drive traffic to your business when external targeted advertising isn’t an option.

This past August, Apple announced its intention to release a new system update to its iOS software. The update, according to Apple, is meant to better combat both the storage and transfer of content containing child abuse. Since the company’s announcement, however, iPhone and iPad users all over the world have expressed their concerns over how the update could potentially be used to mishandle the private information and data stored on their devices. Even Will Cathcart of WhatsApp publicly slammed the update on Twitter, citing it was “the wrong approach and a setback for people’s privacy all over the world.”

Since the announcement, Apple has addressed these concerns in a preliminary iOS update, 14.5.1. This update released a feature that allows iOS users to prevent chosen apps on their devices from controlling how their private data is gathered and used. While the update has been hailed as a vast improvement in its protection of user privacy, the feature has left many businesses— specifically those that generate revenue through targeted advertising— scratching their heads as to how they can pivot their model to work around this update.

Create Enticing Lead Magnets 

Since companies can no longer “cookie” customer data, or track consumers’ activity on their applications and websites, they will have to find more organic ways to generate leads. Although one option for businesses is to outsource their lead generation initiatives through a third-party source or platform, these sources can range anywhere from several thousand to several tens of thousands of dollars per month. Furthermore, it can be difficult for these sources to understand the specific needs or goals of the company’s lead generation strategy, raising the risk of impacting the bottom line without generating a profitable ROI.

Knowing this, the best way to organically develop a greater number of raw leads is to improve your company’s offering (i.e., your value proposition) to those customers right from the start. The clearer that proposition is, the easier it will be for a greater number of customers to understand if it will provide value to them. The more customers find value in it, the more likely they are to convert into organic leads for your business.

Virtually every business and brand operating today relies on the strength of their value proposition to attract customers to their products or services. Without it, the ability to generate a larger amount of high-quality leads is extremely hindered, if not outright eliminated. If your value proposition is not clearer or more enticing than those of your competitors, it can easily lead to your company being overlooked by a greater portion of its target markets.

Every business must ensure that their lead magnet, (a free item or service that is given away for the purpose of attracting leads to your sales funnel) begins with a strong value proposition so that people will be more likely to opt-in. This can be accomplished by offering an introductory service to customers willing to give you their basic contact information, such as a free trial subscription to your service or 20% off their next purchase with you for subscribing to your business’s newsletter. Once customers opt-in to your service, this places them at the top of your funnel, and allows you to begin contacting them to advertise your products and services. 

Prior to Apple’s 14.5.1 iOS update, advertising algorithms were able to target specific consumer behaviors and demographics on web pages and social media platforms, which allowed lead funnels to grow more efficiently. With the update, however, businesses will have to track the behavior and activity of customers at the top of their funnel on an individual scale (rather than a collective one). 

The upside is that through pinpointing customers at this stage of the lead generation process, you can continue enticing potential clients with your value proposition, increasing your business’s chances to create a positive transaction with these customers at a lower cost.

Diversify Your Business’s Outreach Strategy

When a business can control its lead funnel from top to bottom and at all levels of the transaction, it can better predict which customers will result in a transaction. From this point, the company can then focus on how to better target those customers throughout each individual stage of its sales funnel and pinpoint the messaging necessary for those customers to continue perceiving the company and its offering as valuable.

Thankfully, there are several ways that companies can regain control of their lead generation, and sales funnel, many of which are entirely free. For example, many businesses are now building up their own subscriber lists and updating their contacts internally in order to rely less on Facebook or Google for marketing.

While social media is a great (and free) tool you should be utilizing to gain new customers and find your target audience, with the new iOS update, you now have to find other ways to drive consumers to platforms where you have full control, such as internal email marketing lists. Email outreach and newsletters are just some of the ways to build a list of viable potential customers and track their activity. 

Since your business owns this list, you're no longer forced to rely on a privacy policy or other factors limiting you or your business’s capabilities in targeting leads as potential customers. Instead, you can send a single email blast to all of these targeted leads with the click of a button. You’ll also be able to access insights such as whether the lead engaged with your email, how long they spent reading, and whether or not they clicked any links embedded in your email. This is a great way to find out where to make changes and adjust your strategies accordingly to ensure your audience is converting and that your emails and funnel are effective. 

Here are a few other ways to diversify your business’s outbound marketing efforts without including third-party data or applications:

  • Revisit and improve your company’s internal search engine optimization (SEO) strategy
  • Email or cold call existing customers with promotional offers on your products or services
  • Invest in agile and flexible short-term platforms to improve your internal lead generation

By regaining control of your business’s targeted outbound initiatives, you are creating a free way to market your business’s products or services to potential leads who have already expressed interest in your products and services. Now, rather than relying on third-party data or platforms to send your value proposition or other internal messaging you can do it yourself. In this way, regaining control of your business’s outbound marketing is similar to diversifying your mediums or avenues of obtaining leads.

Increase Your Customers’ Lifetime Value

We’ve covered ways in which your business can improve its organic lead generation and diversify its outreach to target a larger number of customers or leads without third-party data. Now, it’s time to consider how your business can gain more revenue by increasing the lifetime value of your customers instead of spending money to acquire new ones. 

For example, one of the most effective ways to gain more revenue right away is by increasing the average order value of transactions made by your current leads or customers. How? Start by cross-selling or upselling additional products throughout your sales process. By constantly offering and recommending upgraded products and/or additional services the customer might be interested in, the overall order total starts adding up. If you make this a standard practice in your business for every customer you’ll watch your revenue increase dramatically. 

The more value you can add to your products and promotions, the more likely you are to secure a repeat transaction from existing customers in the future. Ones that may even result in an additional cross-sale or upsell without spending any more time or money on customer acquisition. Remember, it costs three times as much to acquire new customers as it does to retain current ones. 

Regardless of how you decide to improve your customer lifetime value, the takeaway is this: understanding how many of your leads or customers become repeat customers, as well as how much they order per transaction is crucial information to any business, but especially businesses who have historically relied on the collection of third-party data to highlight their customers’ behavior. Moving forward, you can use that information to further maximize your revenue with your current customer base as you scale your business.

Forge Your Own Path

Overall, it may feel that Apple’s 14.5.1 iOS software update is a roadblock for businesses relying on third-party data to increase their lead and revenue generation. But data-centric companies have utilized ways to overcome this for years. 

Businesses should focus on creating lead magnets with enticing value propositions to draw potential customers into internal email lists or platforms. This will help businesses control all kinds of activity tracking to discover what their leads and customers want, and which leads can be targeted for upsells, cross-sales, and repeat business without relying on third-party data for lead generation.

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.

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