Sick of reaching out to leads cold and feeling like one of those telemarketers who drives you crazy?
Or getting a “please don’t bother me again response?”
Or seeing low conversion rates.
Fortunately there’s a better way. I’m not saying outbound strategies don’t or can’t work when done right. However, they should be part of an inbound/outbound sales and marketing strategy that drives leads to you instead of you going out to find them one-by-one.
Not so long ago, my only way to get new customers was outbound. Which is ridiculous if you consider that I was selling content marketing…
I could sell it, but I thought it was too much work to do for myself. No wonder it was a hard sell…potential customers could tell I didn’t really believe in it because I didn’t practice it.
Little did I know that inbound and content marketing, yes, was a lot of work, but it was much easier to close deals and it felt much less salesy. I didn’t have to pound on doors. Instead, after about 90 days of putting my content strategy in place, leads were pounding on my door. My close rate skyrocketed (I don’t have great metrics on what it was before, but I can tell you it was dismal. Now it’s above 50%).
That’s why I’m excited to share my lead generation strategy. Because it works. It takes time to build, but once you do, the only hustling you’ll be doing is to keep up with all the new deals you have.
So what exactly is a lead generation campaign?
A lead gen campaign is essentially made up of a valuable resource (lead magnet) plus a nurturing email sequence for anyone who signs up plus a way to attract leads to your resource.
It takes planning, effort to execute, and time for leads to come in, but you’ll see conversion rates and deal close rates break new records.
I wouldn’t be telling you about this if I hadn’t seen it work for myself and my clients. Here’s how you can do it for yourself:
Building your campaign
Step 1: Pre-campaign
Before you go out trying to generate inbound leads, first you need to develop an audience. This means putting putting out helpful content, positioning yourself as a guide to your customers, and actively building and engaging with your audience on at least one channel.
If you haven’t done this yet, stop, take at least a few weeks to start, and then go to the rest of these steps. You don’t have to have a huge audience, but you do need to have one.
Trust me, you’ll be glad you put in this effort. During the few weeks it takes to build your audience, you can also build your campaign…but wait to execute until you have at least a small, growing audience. The good news is that because of social media, just about all of us already have an audience. We just need to make sure we are targeting the right people and nurturing them so they’re ready to listen and buy.
Step 2: Plan your goal and objective
While it’s easy to throw a fancy PDF out into the ether and expect to get something from it, you won’t be able to measure the success of your campaign without a goal and objective.
Do you want to use this resource to raise brand awareness, generate new leads, or nurture old ones? While most lead magnets can do all of the above, you should be looking at one main objective so you know the right audience to target.
If new leads are your objective, your goal is how many new leads you want to generate within a certain time frame. I’m sure you’re aware of SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. I’m not going to go into the ins and outs of SMART goals because plenty of people have written on this topic, but your lead gen goals should fit these criteria.
What I find is companies just want leads, as many as possible, so they throw out some crazy-high number. When you look at their current site traffic and lead generation, however, there’s no way one simple lead campaign can move them from 5 leads a month to 500 leads a month in a short time frame. To set your goals, Hubspot has a simple template that takes your current metrics and helps you set achievable goals.
Step 3: Develop your lead magnet
Now that you know your objective and goal for your lead gen campaign, you can start to develop your lead magnet. Sometimes people are tempted to skip straight to this step (myself included), but if you don’t know what you want your lead magnet to do for you, it’s hard to plan the right one.
Consider your audience
Who will be reading or using this resource? People with a specific occupation or in a specific industry? If you’ve gone through the process of knowing your customer, this part should be easy for you, but don’t neglect it either.
Create a resource that helps them solve a problem
No one will download your lead magnet if it’s a glorified sales pitch. It should be actionable content that helps them get a quick and easy win. Here are some examples of types of lead magnets that are simple to create and helpful to your audience:
Video training series
There are tons of other things you can do to provide value, so be willing to think outside the box, but this will help you get started.
Step 4: Create an email autoresponder series
The whole point of your lead magnet should be to generate new leads and nurture them for the long haul. If you simply send them their free resource and never contact them again, all your hard work will be for nothing. On the other hand, if you send each new lead a manual email every week, you’ll be doing tons of extra busy work that may not be worth the effort. This is where autoresponder campaigns come in handy.
Most email management platforms like Mailchimp or Constant Contact allow you to create campaigns that automatically go out to new subscribers. This keeps your new leads nurtured and saves you tons of time.
I could write a whole series on a good email autoresponder (and I probably will soon!), but for now here’s a few key things you can do to use this type of email blast effectively:
Your campaign should contain at least 5-6 emails automatically sending every 4-7 business days.
No sales pitches allowed. Just like your lead magnet, these should be valuable and helpful. You can tell stories, offer quick tips, and provide industry insight. Your goal is to develop trust and provide value.
While these shouldn’t be a sales pitch, you should include a call-to-action in every email telling your customers how to work with you – you could offer a free consultation call or a demo of your product to show how it can help solve their problem.
Step 5: Promote the heck out of it
Once your lead magnet is created, you need to promote the heck out of it. You can’t just post about it once and expect great results.
Instead, a good lead gen campaign includes a robust distribution strategy. Channels and content format will vary depending on your company and your customers. However, I always recommend a blog post series surrounding the lead magnet and a full court press social media campaign.
I learned quickly that one social media post didn’t generate enough traction for my lead magnets, and while the right amount can vary, I typically post about it 3-4 times the first few weeks (more depending on the channel) and then taper off.
I try to run a new lead magnet every quarter – that isn’t entirely necessary for you, but just keep in mind that if you want to keep generating leads from an existing lead magnet, you will need an ongoing strategy to keep promoting your campaign.
Want more about how to drive marketing success in 2019?
At the end of last year, I put together a 2019 Health Tech Marketing Success Checklist and it’s still available. It’s never too late to get your marketing on track for a great year.
If the 2019 Marketing Success Checklist helped turn around your marketing for 2019, please comment or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear your story!
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Whitney is a consultant, speaker, and writer on a mission to help life-saving, life-changing technology break through the noise and achieve mass user adoption. Learn more about her here.
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