The web abounds with lead generation potential. All the various forms of digital marketing and your brand’s website can be powerful tools for attracting new attention from consumers and building relationships with them that increase sales and customer loyalty.
But, as with anything, there are smart ways and not-so-smart ways to pursue online lead generation. Below are three mistakes that are all too common, along with some direction for turning around the effort if you’re guilty of making them.
Buying Lists of Email Addresses
There are plenty of places on the web to purchase lists of email addresses, and some businesses get tempted by such an easy way to inflate their own contact lists. But it’s a waste of money, and it can damage your brand.
People who haven’t opted in to contact from you don’t know or care about you. Any promotional email you send them based on nothing more than having paid some random third party for their address (most certainly without their consent) is spam.
Mass-emailing spam damages your IP address reputation, especially when recipients flag your messages as unsolicited junk. It becomes increasingly likely that your emails—including the legitimate ones—get bounced or redirected into people’s spam folders. Also, when people notice they’re getting spam from your brand, it damages your human reputation as well. Nobody likes spam.
Real leads—those that stand any chance of progressing to sales—are people from your target market who’ve made the conscious decision that they’re interested in what you have to offer. Take a look at some healthy ways to grow your opt-in email list.
Only Creating Content for Late in the Buyer’s Journey
The 5 steps of the buyer’s journey represent an important process that consumers go through. It starts with recognizing a need or desire and continues through to making a purchase—and ideally repeat purchases—to address it. People look for specific, different information and reassurances in each stage.
Content marketing is an effective way to provide valuable information to people who may want to buy what you’re selling. But not every visitor to your website, social media page, guest blog post, or other point of contact is looking to buy right then and there.
Many of them are just starting to think about a particular pain point. They aren’t even sure yet what might be the best way to proceed to address it. So, if all your content is focused on selling your specific solution, you’re losing a lot of leads.
Different individual pieces of your overall content marketing strategy should speak to people at all the different stages of the buyer’s journey. That helps you generate far more leads, and it provides more opportunities to nurture these relationships through the various stages.
Not Placing Strong CTAs on Enough Website Pages
If you’re doing things right, you’re getting an ever-increasing amount of targeted traffic to your website. Your content marketing, social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, and other efforts are hopefully driving people from your target market to your site.
But what happens when they get there? Too often, they land on a page that may or may not answer their questions, but then it just leaves them hanging. There’s no obvious next step in forming a relationship with your brand. Many of them leave your site, and it’s up to the fates whether they remember you again or return. In other words, your site failed to convert an interested party into a solid lead.
The call to action (CTA) is the solution. Just about every page on your website should have one. If it’s a blog post, think about the mindset of the person who wanted to read it. What stage of the buyer’s journey are they probably in? How can you usher them along to the next phase and the next element of your sales funnel with one simple action?
Think about each page this way. On some pages, you might do best offering additional information in the form of your monthly newsletter. On others, people may be ready to contact you for a free quote. Relevant, thoughtful, targeted CTAs are the key to shoring up the leads that come to your site.