One of the biggest challenges for businesses of all sizes and from every industry is developing consistent, reliable and cost-effective lead generation systems. The question, “how can I get more leads?” is the most common request we receive. Every business can benefit from more leads – even businesses where capacity is limited. There is an enormous amount of power when you get more inquiries than you can reasonably accommodate. Having more leads than you can handle allows you to fire bad customers, test new strategies, pricing and ideas, etc., etc. It’s virtually impossible to have too many leads.
This 5 part blog series will provide you with a detailed strategy and insights on what you can do to double your web leads. Now, if you’re only getting a lead or two a month from your website, doubling your leads isn’t all that impressive. Focus on the mindset more than the specific “doubling” aspect. We’ve helped dozens of small businesses triple and quadruple their leads (and some much, much more). Similarly, if you don’t have a website (you need to get one!), you can still benefit from the marketing concepts and framework which we’ll discuss.
Why “double” your web leads?
You should start thinking “double” because incremental goals stink. When asked about their marketing goals, too many business owners start with little goals – things like: “To increase leads by 10%.” On a positive note, at least “increasing leads by 10%” is a specific, measurable goal! The problem is, this type of goal is NOT what you need to motivate a change in behavior. But a MAJOR change in behavior is exactly what you need if you want to double your leads per month!
Surely you’ve heard the quote, “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.”
By definition, if you want a different future result, you MUST change your current behavior(s). Incremental goals don’t facilitate the chemical changes in your brain that need to occur to get you to radically change your current behavior(s). You need BIG goals.
If you had a million dollars to spend on marketing, what ONE thing would you do with it? If you wanted 100 leads per month instead of 10, what three things would you do differently than you’re doing today? Start asking yourself big questions and come up with some goals that excite you and force you to change the way you market your business today.
Lead generation is industry specific
In a later blog post (part of this series), we’ll get into some specific lead generation strategies. Before we do, it’s important that you recognize that lead generation tactics are industry specific. If you sell to other businesses, you’ll need to embrace a different strategy and tactics than a company selling to consumers. Nevertheless, the overall framework is the same and the framework and process is what we’ll focus on the most.
The new marketing landscape
Think about your current marketing budget – where do you currently spend your money? Excluding referrals and word of mouth, what’s your number one lead generation strategy? For most companies embracing the Internet, their top lead generators are online strategies like: Search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click advertising (PPC), opt-in email newsletters, etc.
The world of advertising is changing FAST. Blue Corona tracks advertising and marketing strategies – online and traditional – for over 100 companies (from a variety of industries). One major change is that all advertising is now web-centric. TV ads and radio spots ask the audience to go to a website to do something. Print ads reference a landing page or ask the reader to become a fan on Facebook. Everything is moving to the web.
Another major shift in the advertising world is that today’s consumer is considerably better informed than one 15-20 years ago. Think about it – if someone needed a new roof 15 years ago, where would they have gone to learn more about different roofing options, materials, pricing, etc.? The library? No way. At best, they’d learn from a neighbor, but more likely they’d call your roofing company and you’d educate them as part of your sales process.
Well, this still happens… except now it’s your website doing the educating. No one likes to feel stupid. The average consumer (at least the kind you want to do business with) wants to get some basic information about your product or service BEFORE they contact you. If you’re not providing this information on your website, a) you’re not getting found on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing and b) your prospective customers are getting educated by your competitors and are more than likely calling them first when they are ready to move forward.
The previous paragraph is so critical it might be worth re-reading.
To double your web leads, you must transform your thinking and your website
The marketing landscape has changed. If you change your thinking and your website, you’ll benefit from the new environment. If you don’t, you’re getting left behind with every passing day. This isn’t sales rhetoric – it’s fact. Too many business owners think of (and treat) their website as if it were an online brochure. Your website is NOT a brochure. A brochure is a pathetic substitute for a sales rep. Doug Kaplan, owner of Windy City Publishing, is famous for saying, “paper doesn’t sell; people do.” This is coming from a guy that publishes magazines, direct mail, and a variety of other brochure type products!
Your website is a sales rep with a built-in sales funnel attached to it. Have you ever had a sales rep working for you? Well, if you have a website, you do now! If you’re going to take advantage of the shift in the marketing landscape and generate more leads, you MUST treat your website like a sales rep. Sales reps are responsible for educating and inspiring action. They have measurable quotas and goals. They create activity.
The same principles of sales management apply to website management
You need to treat and manage your website exactly the same way you would a sales rep – except your website doesn’t have feelings, works 24×7 without complaint and never asks you for a vacation or to explain the company benefits package. Any one that has spent any time managing sales reps knows that there are two basic “knobs” you can turn to increase a sales rep’s performance:
Activity – make more calls, book more appointments, send more proposals, close more sales
Close Rate – become more proficient at making contacts, converting contacts into appointments and proposals into sales
Well, your website also has two knobs:
Traffic – get more people to the site
Conversion Rate – convert more visitors into leads
The simplest way to double your web leads is usually to track your site, establish your site’s current visit-to-lead conversion rate and double your traffic – assuming your conversion rate is greater than 0%! It is usually FAR easier to reliably increase traffic than it is to increase website conversion rates. Both are possible to improve, but finding cost-effective ways to get more qualified visitors to your site is going to be consistently easier than finding ways to increase conversion rates.
This being said, if you want more web leads, you are going to create a process and framework to turn both knobs – traffic and conversion rate – UP!
About The Author: Ben Landers is the President and CEO of Blue Corona, a data-driven, inbound internet marketing company. Submit an inquiry to book Ben to speak at your next conference or event.
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