How do you get people to purchase your products and avail of your services? You lead them down to your sales funnel and you put up a marketing plan popularly called in the digital world as “lead generation.”
But what is lead generation?
In a nutshell, lead generation is when you identify people who are most likely to be interested in your business and give them an offer that hopefully, they can’t resist. In this process, you try to convert strangers into willing customers organically by using different lead generation channels.
Lead generation is also the process of nurturing the relationship between your brand and prospective customers. A person may not purchase from your website right away, but with lead generation, you can tell him how your product or service will solve his problem. By piquing his interest, you’ll be able to capture the person’s vital information (typically his name and email address) and use this information for your marketing campaign later on.
Back in the day, lead generation marketing strategies took place in traditional media channels, such as the commercials you see on TV and advertisements you read on papers and magazines. Nowadays, lead generation is so much more sophisticated, thanks to the internet.
The internet affected buying behavior in many ways. Customers are bombarded with various selling tactics daily that they’ve become much more selective of what they want to pay attention to. For instance, you won’t pay attention to every sponsored ad you see on Facebook, but you’re most likely to tune in to brands, products, and services that you are most likely to buy and use. Marketers are looking for people who are most likely to become paying customers.
Best Lead Generation Strategies
Marketers and business owners need to figure out the best lead generation strategies to grow your business. Here are the proven most effective strategies for digital marketing for lead generation that your business should be looking into:
· Email marketing
Ask any seasoned digital marketing expert, and you’ll most likely find email marketing as one of their best B2B lead generation strategies. Email is more than two decades old, and it remains to be one of the best lead generation tactics there is today. The goal of email marketing is to be able to connect with the person directly and entice him with superb content, fantastic offers, and exclusive discounts.
· Content marketing
Marketing through content is another essential strategy in successful lead generation. In this method, you utilize content as your primary driving tool for conversion. Blogging is one of the most popular content marketing strategies, where you provide the audience with pertinent information about your brand, products, services, and the industry in general. It also helps to remember that apart from text, content marketing also covers other content formats, such as audio, video, slideshows, infographics, and more.
· Social media marketing
With the rise of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest, marketers have come to prove that social media is not just the perfect place to connect, but also to market. Social media marketing has a lot of both organic and inorganic lead generation strategies. Organic ones include post content with calls to action, while inorganic strategies often take the form of one-click online lead generation strategies. The great thing about using social media marketing is that you can target your audience in crafting your ads, and the cost is affordable too.
Opt-ins are forms where your audience leave their information in exchange for something of value. With opt-ins, your value proposition should be something that your audience is interested in, and they think it would help solve their problems. In return, they willingly provide you their email address, which later on becomes part of your email list.
· Customer referrals
If one customer has been pleased with your product or service, they might be more than willing to testify about your business through referrals or word-of-mouth. This marketing is old and traditional, but it never fails even in the digital era. For business owners, incentivizing the referrals can drive a lot of leads to their business. For instance, you may give away referral bonus to every new customer your loyal clients send your way, while the new customers get discounts on their first purchase too.
The best lead generation to grow your business isn’t the same across the board. Some businesses work well with social media marketing, while others get more leads from the client referral system. What’s important is to test each strategy and use tools to quantify your data.
Email Marketing as a Lead Generation Strategy
Now, were going to talk about email marketing as a lead generation strategy. Email marketing, as already briefly stated, is the process of marketing your business both to potential and existing customers through email.
There had been talks in the past that “email marketing is dead,” especially at the age of social media. While it’s true that there are now billions of social media users around the world, do you know what they all have in common? An email address. You need an email to be able to sign up on these platforms, and these platforms even send their updates, promotions, and other content to your email.
You cannot underestimate how powerful email is as one of the marketing strategies to grow your business. If you need more convincing about how incredible email marketing is, take a look at the statistics below:
- There are almost 6 billion active emails in 2019.
- 83% of businesses are utilizing email newsletters as an integral part of their marketing strategy.
- 59% of respondents report that their purchasing decisions are being influenced by emails.
- 59% of marketers believe that emails are their most significant source for ROI.
- Marketers believe that emails are 40X more powerful and effective in acquiring customers than Twitter and Facebook.
Benefits Of Email Marketing
Whether you’re a huge or a small business, email marketing must be a fundamental part of your lead generation strategies. Email marketing offers numerous opportunities for lead generation, but it’s popularly used for these specific benefits:
1. Email is direct and personal
How would you like to let people know that you’re launching a new product or have an upcoming promo? Evidently, calling all of your customers one by one would be very tedious. However, sending them emails isn’t.
Emails allow you to send exclusive content to your customers, making them feel that they are special, and your business thinks about them. Additionally, email is direct and personal; it’s as if you’re talking to the customer face-to-face. You give your customers the feeling of exclusivity, and that makes them feel closer to your brand as well.
2. It is time and cost-efficient
Even huge companies use email marketing as one of their top lead generation strategies, but those who operate small businesses can significantly benefit from email marketing as well, without breaking the bank.
Crafting an email isn’t as time-consuming as drafting a letter to be sent via the post office or giving out flyers on the street. Entrepreneurs think of their time as money, so any time lost over something that could easily and quickly be done is time wasted. With email marketing, you can craft one email and then send it out to all the people in your email list in just a few clicks. The ROI potential from email marketing is also impressive, with one study saying that businesses get $38 for every dollar they spend on their email marketing campaign.
3. It builds brand credibility
The reason why most people give away their email addresses is that they’re familiar with the brand or business. So, if you’re new in the industry, people get skeptical. Email is such a personal thing, and most of us won’t give it away without any good reason.
When you’ve acquired people’s email addresses, it tells you that they trust you. You then want to nurture that trust by giving them helpful content and access to your business’ promos and discounts. You give your subscribers the first dibs to whatever it is that you’re offering at the moment. Along with those emails, you’re able to build a connection and nurture the relationship. As they get more familiar with your brand through those emails, people are coming to trust you more and more.
4. People use email every day
Did you know that most people check their emails on their mobile phones upon waking up? So if you’re a small business or a startup, sending your customers email gives you an excellent opportunity to be seen first thing in the morning. Not only that, most people check their emails at least once a day, and 68% of the customers’ open emails from businesses. It only goes to prove that with email marketing, you have the opportunity to put your brand in front of your audience, right from their screens.
Why Do You Need An Email List?
At the core of your email marketing campaign is your email list. This list consists of the email addresses of people who have shown interest in what your business has to offer. These people have already seen or read about your business, and by giving you their email address, they also permit you to penetrate their inbox with engaging, useful content.
If you’re new to email marketing, you’re probably wondering why you even need an email list in the first place. To help you understand the importance of an email list, here are the top reasons why your business needs to have it:
1. It is your own list
The email list is a valuable business asset because it is something that you own. Social media doesn’t guarantee you anything when you acquire friends or connections. When they roll out updates or enhance their algorithm, you have no control over what happens to your account.
However, an email list is an entirely different thing. The list is something that you can call your own, and you have control and power over what you do with it. Even if Google rolls out new updates from time to time, your email list remains as it is.
2. It is a targeted list
The people you have on your list have shown initial interest in your product or service. With a little more convincing, this could very well be the same people who’ll shell out money to get your business. Therefore, an email list is a targeted list. You didn’t acquire those addresses randomly. Instead, you have them because the people who own them want to hear more from you.
3. You can market to them directly
When you post a promo about your business on social media, you can’t say for sure who would take an interest in it. People scroll through feeds mindlessly all the time, so that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll even take 10 seconds of their time to read your post.
An email list allows you to market directly to your potential and existing customers. Since they signed up, you know that they’re interested in your business, and by virtue of segmentation, you can even create different emails to market different products or services, whichever that fits the needs of that specific segment. Plus, you get to do that at the privacy of your recipients’ inbox.
How to Grow Your Email List?
Now that you know why you need an email list, the next thing in order is how to grow your email list. Remember, you can’t be just sending out emails to random people and expect to see sales rolling in. Your email list must be targeted, and your content intentional to see the difference.
But it’s also worth noting that the more people there are in your email list, the better the chance of improving your bottom line. You can use all the fancy words you like, insert eye-catching graphics, and spice up your email to the littlest detail, but if your list lacks both quality and quantity, then your campaign won’t generate the desired results.
Here Are the Top Ways to Grow Your Email List:
1. Utilize the sign-up sheet
Provide a sign-up sheet for any business event, whether you’re a bazaar, a trade show, or a conference so that it’s easy for people to provide their information.
2. Ask shoppers to leave their email address at the counter
If you operate a physical business, you can ask your customers to drop their email addresses into a fishbowl for the chance to score a prize.
3. Create a giveaway
Host a giveaway wherein joiners are required to provide their email addresses when they sign up. Further, make the giveaway viral by adding extra points to participants who share the giveaway to their social circles.
4. Use the “forward” button
Make sure to add a “Forward to a Friend” button in your newsletters, and request your subscribers to forward the content to their friends.
5. Start a club
For example, those who sign up for your birthday club are given access to exclusive discounts when they buy from you during their birthdays. Of course, make sure they sign up using their email address.
6. Create a teaser for your newsletter
Give the audience a glimpse of your newsletter by showing a small excerpt. If they want access to the entire material, have them signed up with their email.
7. Use a coupon as a lead magnet
If you operate an e-commerce store, a coupon or voucher is an excellent way to gather email addresses.
8. Answer questions in forums
Sites like Quora allows you to share your insights and opinions to questions within your field or industry. Make sure to link your landing page within your answer.
9. Create a gated offer
Write content, such as a whitepaper or e-book, and link it to your landing page. Visitors who want access to the material need to provide an email address.
10. Do a survey
An online survey allows you to collect valuable insights about your visitors and what they think about your business. Make sure to include a request for their email address.
11. Create opt-ins strategically
Pepper your website with opt-ins, especially in popular pages, so that your visitors never miss them.
12. Host a webinar
Conduct a free webinar for your audience and have them sign-up with their email addresses. Webinars are fantastic ways to build rapport and engagement with your audience, and they also help grow your email list fast.
13. Engage the audience in your YouTube videos
End your videos with compelling CTAs. Mention that you have a link on the description box for more details and updates.
14. Offer discounts for initial orders
You can entice a customer to make his first purchase from you by giving out a first-order discount. Not only will this improve sales, but you’ll also capture the email address of potential subscribers.
15. Set up a subscribe app on your Facebook page
A subscribe app, which is typically located at the upper part of the Facebook page, allows you to capture the email address of your potential and existing fans.
16. Optimize your blog for email capture
A blog is an excellent opportunity to relate to your audience. Make sure that your blog contents aren’t just enticing, but also relevant and useful. Also, end your blog post with CTAs to subscribe so that they’re always updated with new posts. Finally, set up commenting in such a way that they need to provide their email address when they leave a comment.
17. Set a lightbox
A visitor may navigate your website without opting in. Setting up a lightbox allows you to capture that person’s email for one last time before he steers away from your site.
18. Cross-promote with an influencer
Influencer marketing has become famous and powerful, thanks to social media. You can utilize this strategy by pairing up with an influencer. Make arrangements with the influencer in such a way that he or she promotes your content or opt-in to her email list and vice-versa. This is another excellent way to grow your email subscriber list.
19. Ask for feedback
Encourage your visitors to share their insights about you, your site, or your business. Locate a feedback form at specific parts of your website. Alternatively, you can have a live chat feature wherein you can talk with the audience.
20. Guest posting
Guest posting is an incredible way to improve your reach as well as grow your email marketing list. Create compelling content to be posted on other websites, and don’t forget your call-to-action, asking readers to subscribe.
Taking Care Of Your Email List
These are just some of the easiest ways to grow your email list fast. You need to make the conscious effort of integrating lead generation in every possible area of your campaign. You don’t have to do all of them simultaneously. Just pick a few tricks from this list and focus on them. You can integrate other ways on how to grow your email subscriber list as you go.
Finally, remember that it isn’t always easy to get people to subscribe to your email list, but if you don’t find your content or value proposition appealing or useful, unsubscribing is just one click away.
So, if you’ve grown your email list to the desired amount, you now have to take care of it and maintain it. Always be on the lookout on your bounce rate and figure out why your emails aren’t reaching the recipients. It’s also wise to segment your list and curate exclusive content for each segment to keep them interested. Your content must carefully match what your subscribers need.
As a closing, email marketing will always be an essential part of digital marketing, and as long as we are using emails, it won’t be going away. Your business will undoubtedly benefit from having and growing your email subscriber list as well, so better start building your list now than later.