What would it feel like to have a consistent stream of perfect leads? A fresh supply of your ideal prospects, all warmed up and ready for conversion?
This isn’t a pipe dream. It’s the daily reality for market dominators and leading players. And it can be yours once you learn how to consistently generate high quality leads.
Step One: The Best Way to Generate Quality Leads, then scale it out by systemizing what works best.
Effective lead generation isn’t haphazard. Your approach to it should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant or Realistic, and Timely or SMART.
- Specific Objectives. What’s your concrete mission? Is it to get website conversions, book appointments, or generate leads that earn you revenue? Are you targeting your entire potential customer base or only a specific demographic?
- Measurable. How will you measure, track, and analyze your results? Pick out the metrics and KPIs that matter. Include staple metrics like click-through rate, conversion rate, time to conversion, and return on investment.
Also consider more informative ones like customer lifetime value, conversion rate per channel, and revenue attribution markers.
- Attainable, Achievable, and Actionable. Are you capable of pulling this off? Lead gen takes skill, savvy, and resources. Are you basing your goal on something realistic or are you working off false expectations set by marketing influencers?
- Relevant or Realistic. Make sure your goals are grounded in reality. Analyze whether or not your lead gen expectations are congruent with the market, economy, and business climate, along with your resources, capabilities, and offer.
- Timely. What’s your timeframe for this? If you want to generate leads for a time-related goal or event, then you already have a firm deadline.
Otherwise, you may want to break your efforts down into monthly and weekly sprints. Create time-bound goals with built-in periods for reflection and analysis.
Step Two: Identify and Understand Your Target
Pinpoint exactly who you need to generate leads from. This can be pretty simple when you have only one buyer and product user to think about.
But sometimes there are multiple buyers or when one person is making the buying decision on behalf of someone else.
Identify the buyers and decision-makers you need to convert. Then begin to profile their behavior to find your most effective entry point.
- What channels are they most active on?
- Which of these channels do they talk about things relevant to your product?
- Which of those channels are most appropriate for your offer?
- How do they talk about the pain points and interests related to your offer? Note the specific terms, complaints, phrases, and sentiments.
Add this behavioral insight to your market research and target demographic information. It will help you create action-oriented, tactical buyer personas.
Step Three: Develop Qualification Filters
Lead qualification makes sure you convert real buyers who fit the profile of your ideal customer. This might be the most critical step.
You don’t want to generate a mass quantity of generic leads or even buyers. Introducing lead qualification conserves your time and resources. It concentrates your efforts on driving more precise business results. A basic lead qualification system filters for the leads that are most likely to become buyers. And it eliminates the ones that are too difficult to convert. More refined lead qualification filters for the buyers who are your ideal clients or customers. You can finetune this to get rid of hassle customers or select for those with a higher lifetime value. You’ve already started this in your channel selection and copy development. But you can introduce more once you’ve attracted them to you. At a minimum, you should qualify leads for:
- Budget and Funds. Can your leads afford your product? Or do they value it enough to find the budget?
- Authority. Is this a purchase they can make on their own? If they do, do they have the personal freedom to continue their business relationship with you?
- Need and Challenges. Interest is fine, but how much do they really need it? Are there any painful consequences of not making a purchase? Look deeper to find the meaningful challenges that your offer solves.
- Timing. Is there a legitimate time element tied to their challenges and needs? This one isn’t about artificial scarcity tactics. Look for genuine reasons why a lead might prioritize your product.
Use these qualifiers to develop topics and questions to use throughout your marketing funnel. You can tailor your content, form submissions, and lead magnets with them.
Don’t focus on only drumming up awareness, interest, and conversions. Always qualify your leads to make sure you end up with ones that matter.
Step Four: Prepare and Deploy Your Marketing
The profiles and qualifying information you just developed tell you who the real target is, what matters to them, what language they respond to, and where this should be used. Now convert this into deployable copy, content, and assets.
Use content mapping to guide your content development. You can create a table for this or brainstorm it out with a free-flowing mind-map.
- Write out your buying cycle stages.
- Fill in the topics, challenges, needs, concerns, and issues relevant to each one.
- List the social channels these are discussed on, along with the ones that are most appropriate for you to contact them on.
Now create pieces that are appropriate for each stage’s interest level.
- Awareness, Engagement, and Top-of-Funnel: infographics, social media posts, checklists, tip sheets, blog posts, videos, and quizzes.
- Consideration, Evaluation, and Middle-of-Funnel: case studies, white papers, pillar blog posts, webinars, e-books, and datasheets.
- The decisionx, Purchase, and Bottom-of-Funnel: sales pages, consultations, and demos.
The material you build around this will be more precise, relevant, and impactful.
Step Five: Score and Scale
- Analyze the leads you generated and converted, along with the ones that flunked.
- Determine the similar traits and attributes in each group. Look at demographics, work titles, ages, marketing engagement, online activity, etc.
- Look at these traits over time and try to pick out the most influential ones.
- Check your marketing metrics and any attribution analytics you have.
- Score each trait based on its conversion power. For example, if a certain job title makes a prospect 5 times likelier to convert, you can give this either 5 or 50 points.
- Tailor your future marketing efforts towards the key traits.
This is a precise, reliable way to consistently generate quality leads. Once you get a handle on things, you can begin to buy ads and work the process at scale.