Sales Leads can be generated online using various methods and processes. Depending on the industry vertical and lead type, these practices tend to change. However the practices are generally followed by all lead companies and businesses for web lead generation with suitable changes and modifications. Note that terms such as internet leads, web leads, and website leads are used to refer the same - prospects identified and collected from the internet.
Both the B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) leads are generated using the same methodologies and processes. However the sales cycles are much longer for B2B leads and hence additional practices are applied to follow-up and convert the leads.
Lead Generation Strategies
Lead generation is the process of directing potential buyers (prospects or leads) to a web site and capturing their contact information for further follow-up and conversion.
You can generate your own sales leads or buy leads generated by other lead generation companies. Internet Lead Buying is more pronounced in the B2C segment as the number of consumers looking for goods or services is much higher than the number of businesses. Whereas B2B businesses tend to employ their demand generation efforts and acquire leads online.
Lead generation is a time taking process. While some quick successes can be gained initially, it takes time and efforts to scale up the lead volume and reduce the cost of lead acquisition. In fact, it is to lose money on the internet lead generation business!
Web traffic is driven to the lead generation and capture web sites using either SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or Paid Advertising (PPC) strategies. While SEO is a long term strategy, PPC can produce quick results. You can deploy web 2.0 and social networking media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) strategies to complement the SEO efforts to drive lead traffic to your web resources.
Internet Lead Capture Methods
Lead information is captured using one or more of the following components:
- Landing pages
- Squeeze pages
- Quote request forms
- Contact us pages
- Webinar registration forms
- Sign-up forms
- Newsletter sign-up forms
- Whitepaper download pages
In whatever name these are called, it boils down to capturing the contact information of the prospective customer. The pages / forms could be made of various sizes and contents. For example, sign up forms could be as simple as two data elements (name and email address) or multiple pages of data input. For example, insurance quote requests and mortgage requests are made up of multiple pages with dozens of data fields.
Shorter the lead capture form, more leads can be captured; however the quality may be low. The longer forms provide lower number of leads, but the quality of leads will be much higher.
Lead Generation Best Practices
Here are some key tips for designing lead capture forms and lead generation campaigns:
- Use shorter forms, but make sure that the information collected is enough for further follow-up
- Validate all landing page form fields for valid data format. For example, email id, phone number, etc. can be validated easily.
- Mark required fields clearly and make sure that the prospects enter the data in these fields.
- Provide clear instructions and make it simple. For example, if the prospect is required to enter the State or Province, provide a dropdown of states so that mistakes can be avoided.
- Avoid unwanted data fields
- Avoid incentivizing prospects to enter their information in the lead capture forms
- Spell out clearly what you will do with the collected information
- Spell out your anti-spam policy
- If you are selling leads to other parties / buyers, inform the prospects what they can expect from the buyers
- Once leads are captured, de-dupe the same and mark if found to be duplicates
- Integrate lead capture forms with a lead capture, distribution and management system, such as LeadPro 24|7
- Scrub the leads captured by the lead management system to weed out bogus leads
- Verify lead information collected via the landing pages. For example, LeadPro 24|7 can be used to verify the phone numbers, and physical addresses and provide a Quality Score.
- Distribute the leads immediately to your sales channel or to the lead buyers using Lead Assignment / Distribution engine built-in into your lead management system.
- Deliver leads to the sales team / lead clients using one or more delivery methods: Email, Fax, SMS / Text messaging, API interface, Form posting, etc.
- Leverage text-to-speech tools (provided by LeadPro 24|7) and automatic dialers to reach out to the sales agents, so that they can promptly follow-up with the prospects.
For more information on lead generation best practices and how LeadPro 24|7 lead capture, distribution and tracking system can be leveraged to enhance your internet lead generation efforts, please contact us with a brief note about your business operations.