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Lead generation is the process of generating consumer interest for a product or service with the goal of turning that interest into a sale. In online marketing this typically involves collecting a visitor’s contact information (called a “lead”) via a web form.
Lead generation is a core part of the sales funnel for many B2B companies since their products can cost thousands of dollars and web visitors less likely to buy their product or service directly from the website. Collecting leads allows the businesses to educate and nurture prospective customers through e-mail marketing, before reaching out to them directly via salespeople.
Lead gen is also important for ecommerce and other businesses, as e-mail marketing remains one of the most effective channels for marketing online, and gathering a prospective customer’s contact info allows the business to market to them later, even if they do not make a purchase immediately.
There are two main components to the lead generation process: getting traffic to your site and then convincing them to share their contact information with them with you.
The first step of the process is finding an effective way to attract prospects to your website. Depending on your company’s goals and budgetary constraints, there are many ways to start attracting prospects to your site. The following are the some of the key ways which businesses use to drive traffic:
Once visitors start arriving to your site, the next step is to convert them into leads via an online form. This can be done in many ways but involves getting users interested in your product or service and getting them to submit their contact info, often through the use of an incentive (known as a “lead magnet”).
Here are common ways that businesses generate leads for their businesses:
Once a lead is created, businesses need to pay close attention to nurturing the lead. This nurturing process typically involves marketing automation campaigns via e-mail with content that helps to educate and persuade the prospect.
After a lead has been nurtured, a prospect can be convinced to make a purchase on the website or by reaching out to a salesperson. In enterprise sales, it is often the sales team that reaches out to the prospect to close the deal.
Aside from driving more traffic to your site, there are many ways in which you can optimize your website in order to drive more leads.
Since content is often a key incentive for driving leads, experiment with different pieces of content and lead magnets to determine what type of content performs the best. This typically involves identifying your key buyer personas, and creating content that would be compelling and useful to them.
Beyond incentives, often a key part of the conversion funnel that can be optimized is the lead form. Although it is beneficial from a business standpoint to collect as much information as possible about a prospect, more forms fields leads to a reduction in form submissions. Experiment with different form lengths to see what is optimal in terms of lead capture and lead information.
There are many other aspects of a site that can be optimized as well, from having a clear call-to-action to making the site distraction free and easy to navigate so that users can easily get to the content that you want them to. For more lead generation ideas, see our post on 50 B2B lead generation ideas.
Although there are many elements of your site that can be improved, you don’t want to just implement them all at once and hope for the best. That’s what A/B testing comes in.
A/B testing allows you to test out different changes on your site to segments of your traffic in order to determine whether they have a positive impact on your conversion rate on not, and what exactly the impact will be. Testing allows you to make data-driven decisions about changes to your site, rather than just going with your gut.
Whether you are making changes to your lead forms or testing out different lead magnets, A/B testing software such as Optimizely makes it easy to show different versions of your site to your visitors, so that you can determine which version performs the best.
Start testing with Optimizely today and drive more leads for your business without having to spend additional money on traffic!