How to Start a Lead Generation Business With No Experience
Recently, the concept of "lead generation" has been heard everywhere. However, not everyone understands how to apply this well-publicized marketing tool.
Lead generation is the process of creating targeted traffic of potential customers with contacts. Revenue in a business directly depends on the quality of its setup. How many and what kind of leads get into the sales funnel? If they are few or untargeted, there will be no sales.
Predominantly, business development now comes down to finding ways to increase sales. Many believe that it's the increase in targeted requests for cooperation, rather than improving the quality of the product or the terms of cooperation, that will give the desired super profits and development.
All in all, the lead generation today has become one of the main ways to attract potential customers to sales and information sites. This way of attracting customers is an alternative advertising campaign, which sometimes may not bear fruit and will only become a source of additional unnecessary costs.
However, if a company has a properly built development strategy, attracting new leads should be the basis of enterprise marketing.
What Is a Lead in Business
The concept of "lead" is defined as a targeted request from a potential client via a website/social network or other advertising and promotion channels for the company's products/services.
In fact, a lead is an application from a potential customer to a company through the advertising of this company everywhere on the Internet, on television, in the press, and the like. Today, this tool is particularly popular on Google, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok.
In terms of sales departments, leads can be:
- Quality leads are referrals from potential customers who can become (loyal) customers;
- Low-quality leads are also called "quasi leads." These are false appeals from individuals or entrepreneurs who, for certain reasons, cannot become the company's customers, whether it's a low budget or a discrepancy between the needs and offers of cooperation.
Only a quality lead can become a potential client. The ratio of the number of leads to the number of customers that remain is called "conversion." For example, a company that received 100 leads, was attracted through advertising, of which 10% later became customers of the company. In this case, the conversion of leads to customers is 10%.
To summarize, businesses need a lead generation to increase the number of customers the company has.
Quality Lead Components
The quality of leads depends on a combination of factors. These include:
- Advertising campaign setup;
- Specialist skills;
- Marketing manager experience;
- Quality of web resources;
- Sales department organization, etc.
How to Turn a Website Visitor into a Lead?
You want to show your website visitors information about the product/service on the site and other resources. Moreover, you need to attract your target audience - that is, a certain circle of network users.
A visit to the website or feedback from a person also makes him/her your potential customer. Add a QR Code on your home page that directs visitors to a contact form to fill in their required details to get in touch with you. Thus, you want to motivate your site visitors to leave their contact information for feedback. You can also leverage a PDF QR code generator for website visitors to download information on your business in a pdf format, such as brochures, information pamphlets, sales decks, etc.
Lead generation for business is an opportunity to attract potential customers in a cheap and quick way. That's why this service is in demand today in the "B2B" market.
Opening a lead generation business means launching a company, which also needs to protect the rights of its owners. Therefore, before official registration, you should think carefully about the structure of your future business. At this point, it is worth considering an LLC, which handles this task to the best of its ability.
If you're a freelancer, you can also engage in lead generation, if you can provide your clients with the following aspects:
- High-quality content on your site (usability, working keys, correct naming, great colors, fonts, and buttons);
- Viral content creation;
- Engaging client "magnets" and knowing how to engage in a dialogue;
- Developed site identity;
- Up-to-date information on the site;
- Knowing how to use all available marketing tools.
The cheapest, easiest, and most accessible way to attract leads is the Internet. This means that not only large corporations but also startups in your city (e.g., local coffee shops, eco-food stores, etc) can become your clients.
Customers benefit from a budget way to attract their target audiences to their websites or social networks.
Lead Generation Channels
A lead generation channel is an advertising channel, which allows you to attract potential clients. There are many various offline and digital channels like email marketing, live events, print, content marketing, landing pages design, television, radio, website optimization, SEO services, PPC, retargeting, and other channels.
Basically, the context of "lead generation" usually means digital advertising because of the concentration of different tools for lead generation and the ability to analyze all the actions of advertising in real time.
Traffic Sources and Lead Generation
- Contextual advertising is one of the main sources of traffic, which can be used for lead generation. All user search queries are indexed by Internet search engines, and contextual advertising tools allow you to display information about the product, which he/she is currently looking for. Contextual advertising is paid if the user goes to the posted live link and is interested in the offer. Most often, Google Adwords is used to place contextual advertising;
- Targeted advertising is customized based on the needs and features of the target audience;
- Blogging, vlogging, and other kinds of diary entries on the web;
- Lead generation tools and aggregator sites: LinkedIn Sales Navigator, LeadPages, OptinMonster, HubSpot, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Quora, Twitter Ads, Instapage, Mailchimp, etc.;
- Lead exchanges. To make money on lead generation, offer your clients single-page (landing pages) from scratch and customize their main sites. Pick one product for one landing page only and describe its features and advantages, and collect reviews about it.
How to Develop an Effective Lead Generation Plan
A lead generation plan ensures that you are targeting the right people to find quality leads.
Check the following 5 steps to creating a solid lead generation plan:
- Identify your leads. Start by identifying your goals and what makes someone the right lead for your business. You need to create a profile of your customer. Also, make sure your sales and marketing departments agree on the definition of a quality lead;
- Define your offer. Research your target audience and use the results to find out what kind of offer will attract leads. Your offer doesn't have to be big as long as it brings real value to those you are targeting;
- Choose the right tactics and channels to capture leads. For instance, if you have an eCommerce store, you can run an Instagram giveaway or offer a discount. However, if you're in the B2B industry, you might want to consider LinkedIn marketing or content marketing. A landing page with a high conversion rate is a must if you plan to advertise.
Setting up lead generation is a process where you begin to build relationships with your potential customers at every stage of the buyer's journey and sales funnel using relevant content. This is a very powerful strategy since it gives you the opportunity to gain the trust of your target audience by demonstrating to them that you are an expert in your niche.
If you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can set up automatic lead syncing to process leads more quickly. Manually loading leads can lead to a long delay between receiving a potential customer and then reaching out to them.
- Study your target audience and their behavior. Ultimately, the effectiveness of your traffic source depends on the characteristics of your customer's portrait. Here's a list of the most promising sources for lead generation, however, you don't have to use all of them at once:
- Personal blog;
- Targeted advertising and SMM on social networks;
- Contextual advertising on Google;
- Catalogs and aggregators;
- CPA networks;
- Ad networks;
- Banner advertising;
- Review sites.
- Measure and optimize. Use metrics such as your subscriber count, conversion rates, click-through rates, and lead capture rates by channel to assess your effectiveness. Determine what worked and what didn't, then use the data to improve your next marketing campaign.
How to Retain Your Collected Leads
Different businesses have their own ways of retaining leads and processing data. There are businesses for which only first, artificial contact with an audience is important. However, for the most part, companies are interested in processing potential customers' data in a quality way and generating interest with content or free offers until their potential customers become regular customers.
In modern companies, CRMs are used for the proper processing of lead data and modus operandi. Implementation of such a system should be performed by experienced professionals. However, without the initiative and desire of the owner, any innovation is impossible. He/she should become the #1 reformer who, by his/her own example, will start using the new system.
Lead Generation for Money
Today, companies offer businesses to provide a certain number of leads in exchange for money. Entrepreneurs don't even need to set up advertising - simply get leads and pay a certain amount of money for them.
Basically, such schemes are possible in certain niches. For example, there's an intermediary who specializes in leads interested in buying furniture pieces. He/she collects them by properly setting up ads and selling them to entrepreneurs who are willing to purchase them.
Alas, there are many pitfalls in this seemingly simple scheme, which are different for each business. That's why we recommend using any tools to attract customers, particularly leads, only with the participation of at least one experienced professional.
Now that you're familiar with the overview of lead generation strategies, let's move on to lead generation ideas to implement in 2021.
Lead Generation Tips and Ideas
Choose a product for your leads carefully - it has to be the right people. Developing a user-friendly tool and offering it for free is one of the best ways to attract potential B2B customers. When your solution helps people solve their problems, they're happy to share their contacts. A good alternative is to offer a trial version of your product. You give people a chance to experience all the premium features, say, for 30 days at no charge.
Show lead generation pop-ups on your website. Fashion giants like Toms, Shopbop, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Mango have been using this B2C lead generation technique for years. Pop-ups are also a favorite method of bloggers to attract more subscribers to their email marketing campaigns.
A smart banner or welcome bar is usually located at the very top (or bottom) of a website. It hangs in there and appears once the site opens. Smart banners are useful to showcase your free shipping, promote flash sales, giveaways, free coupon codes, links to your upcoming webinars, etc.
Original Data and Research Reports
If you've done original research, you can use it to attract more leads to your business. This lead generation method works well for B2B companies because business customers are often looking for ideas to understand their end customers.
Approximately 91% of B2B professionals consider webinars their preferred type of content. One webinar can attract more than 1,000 leads.
Social Media Advertising
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn offer ads to your potential clients. You can use them to run an ad campaign to get basic contact information from your leads, i.e. their full names, email addresses, phone numbers, etc. Additionally, Instagram offers the capability to find instagram by phone number, allowing businesses to enhance their outreach strategies and connect with leads more efficiently.
Don't Be Slow
To get the most out of your leads, make sure you reach out to them in a timely manner (i.e. process them quickly). Don't leave your leads unaddressed!
Leads should be processed as quickly as possible (not once a week).
Process your leads as efficiently as possible: call, find out whether your customer is comfortable to talk to, politely clarify if he/she left a request, placed an order, etc. Answer all questions and ask if the customer has any issues/wishes left.
If your customers confirm their action on the site, you need to serve them properly: make sure the product is delivered (or services provided) in a timely manner, send a specialist to their address, etc. Offering a bonus, discount, or a prize is also a good idea.
Company managers should be more proactive so as not to lose their potential customers. Consider assigning a separate team for processing.
Consider Your Metrics
Don't forget about metrics. Here are the three most important metrics you should always consider when analyzing the effectiveness of lead generation campaigns:
- Customer lifetime value (CLTV) is the profit you get from the client for the entire time you work with them;
- Cost per lead (CPL) - i.e., cost per potential client - measures the amount each potential client costs your marketing team. The average cost per lead varies depending on your targeting;
- Return on ad spend (ROAS) is a percentage/ratio that tells owners/investors if a business is profitable enough to justify a moving trajectory going forward. ROAS = advertising revenue / advertising costs * 100%.
Mobile Optimized Landing Page
Adapt your landing page for mobile devices. To do this, check if the lead form is clearly visible, its fields can be easily filled in, and if the CTA button is big enough for convenience.
Don’t Leave Your Customers
Once you've served your customers, don't forget about them, work with the contact information you receive, and enter the information into CRM systems (e.g. Monday, Salesforce Sales Cloud, Quickbase, Zoho) to turn them into your regular customers. Choosing the right CRM system is crucial for effective customer relationship management, and when comparing options like Monday vs ClickUp, each offers unique features to nurture and retain your customer base efficiently. A high-quality CRM will help you nurture leads and build better long-term relationships with customers. Even before interactions with the sales team happen.
Competent Lead Strategy
Don't waste your time researching, analyzing, and copying your competitors and then blaming them for copying. It's better to sit down and think through your own competent lead generation strategy and then improve it by trial and error.
The business of lead generation includes the work of attracting applications. High-quality tools associated with increasing the effectiveness of the advertising campaign are the basis of the lead generation process. Your well-being grows with your clients' well-being. This is the key to strategic development, crucial for successful relationships with your customers.
Test, analyze, and change your tactics. In the field of lead generation, you have to constantly work, develop, and do everything possible to make your ad campaigns more effective. The Internet is full of potential customers - the sky's the limit. Thus, the more competent your lead generation strategy is, the more quality leads you will get.
Article contribution by Jean Wilson Murray
Jean Wilson Murray is a legal expert who has been helping aspiring entrepreneurs start their own companies for seven years already. During this time, he has investigated all the pitfalls in choosing the financial and management structure of a business, the establishment of companies, as well as the legal structures of enterprises and has become a highly skilled professional in this field.