Online lead generation isn’t a simple process. Truthfully, anything with over 5 steps is not simple, unless they’re extremely easy and simple steps. And if anyone ever hands you an “8 Easy Steps To Online Lead Generation” book, we suggest you lend it to a toddler to be used as a coloring book, or to a bulldog as a chew toy.
No, lead gen is not simple. Any lead generation campaign has multiple pieces that need to work together in order to provide a customer journey that ends in conversion. If one piece fails, the whole process can be thrown off.
For example, if you have an email communications flow set up but your website isn’t effectively collecting contact info to feed into that flow, you’ll have to redesign your website or landing page. Likewise, if your website is effectively collecting info but you don’t have an automated communication response set up or customized content ready for new leads, you’ll need to revisit that part of your campaign.
The ideal way to build a lead gen campaign is with all the pieces in mind. But with budget, timing and other constraints, companies often have to focus on repairing what’s most important. To get a clearer idea of what could be hurting your campaign the most, here are 8 ways a lead gen campaign can go wrong, and how to fix it.
- Missing audience segments: It’s not often we come across a company that targets messages to the entirely wrong audience, but you’d be surprised how often we discover untapped or overlooked audiences after thorough research. A comprehensive audience research strategy is imperative to understand who you’re targeting (and not targeting) and how they’re interacting with the lead gen process.
- Not monitoring media: It’s extremely important to pick the right media channels for your goals, but what’s even more important is monitoring those channels and making changes based on performance. If you don’t have a flexible media deployment, your lead gen campaign could, for example, be stuck serving media for saturated products, services, or audiences with poor marginal utility and bad ROI. Use media channels that you can adjust on the fly to find the perfect mix.
- Missing a Call to Action: Whether it’s a piece of branded content, a banner ad or a video on Facebook, your creative work in a lead gen campaign should always drive audience members to the next step in the sales funnel. This is very different from a typical commercial that’s usually about promoting a service or offering, with little direct call-to-action. Often, companies try to reuse old creative that simply doesn’t have a call to action that fits within the campaign, but in lead gen, a compelling call-to-action is everything.
- Not valuing the landing page: The landing page is where your lead gen campaign is put to the test—you finally have your target audience’s full attention, and now it’s time to make the sale. If the landing page is poorly designed, written or structured, then all your hard work is wasted. These pages need to get customers as close as possible to conversation, so remember to focus on design, layout and messaging.
- Missing a communications flow: A landing page often collects contact information in addition to prompting action. Once you have that information, like an email address for example, you need a good communications flow to take charge and send your leads emails based on what information you’ve gathered about them. It’s imperative that newly acquired leads don’t just sit around waiting.
- Not nurturing leads: Based on years of experience and private research, we’ve concluded that in higher education marketing, 53% of the time a lead is converted based on lead generation, and 47% of the time a lead is converted based on lead nurture. Do you want to leave that 47% on the table? A lead nurture program that involves custom content and email is one of the most important and yet least capitalized steps of the campaign, and should be heavily considered for every campaign.
- Not measuring success: Throughout the campaign you need to test and measure your success. Pay attention to where the audience goes on the website, what content or emails they’re responding to and what audience type is becoming most interested. It’s extremely important that you have the ability to measure prioritize metrics and be able to measure a conversation the way you want to.
- Promoting a bad website: While you’re busy designing this whole campaign and driving audience members to landing pages, your main website should also be collecting information from audiences on its own. Of course, this doesn’t “just happen.” idfive uses Action Driven Design so that every page of our client’s website can act like a landing page. Not only do we design all pages to collect info and get people to act (while also providing necessary information), we also design them to collect the type of user info that helps us refine targeting. And so the lead gen process begins anew.
Tending to all of the moving parts in the lead gen process takes time. We rarely see a client start the entire process from scratch; that would imply that they have no website, email template, logo, audience research, or anything. Just a marketing budget.
Still, full-proofing your lead gen process means taking every aspect into consideration. To learn more about how to improve your lead gen campaign or how to start one from scratch, sign-up for our monthly newsletter or give us a shout!