This data from Marketing Sherpa confirms what most we know to be an essential truth; the two top priorities for our clients are:
- generating leads
- converting qualified leads into paying customers
This hasn’t changed from the “old” days when lead gen was synonymous with direct mail and trade shows. Today, most buyers start their journey towards purchasing in your category at a search engine. Which is why you must make your website an integral part of your lead generation strategy; it’s how potential buyers will find and familiarize themselves with you.
Your website is an integral part of your online lead generation machine – but the machinery itself is far from simple. There are lots of things that can and will go wrong.
Here are 8 problems we see marketers regularly making, problems that are getting in the way of their ability to generate leads through their website.
Not focused on developing exceptional content
You can’t force people to be interested in your product or service, especially when they’re just browsing the web for answers to questions they have about a topic of interest. Sure, your product or service might solve their problem, but to draw people into the top of your funnel you are going to need exceptional content that is designed for people early in their journey. This type of content is not product-centric its problem-centric. There is a time and a place for product-centric content … towards the lower-middle or bottom of the funnel.
Exceptional content is content that gets your prospect to stand up and take notice. They may chuckle over it, share it, store it, go through it with a pen and a highlighter. Something so good that they want to study it, dissect it and share it. Did we mention share it multiple times. Well heh. We’re content marketers and know that being redundant on purpose helps to get your content noticed.
Exceptional content is how you gain the prospect’s trust, warm them up to your brand and earn the right to have that product-centric conversation should the opportunity arise.
Not knowing when your site visitors convert into leads
Does your infrastructure allow you to see when site visitors convert into leads? You need some sort of technology in place to alert you when a new lead has come to your website Because timing is everything.
Not only is it useful to see patterns in the consumption of your content, but you want to assess how ready they are to buy.
Especially if the answer is “so ready that they’re asking to speak to a sales person now” – you want to make sure that your sales person gets that notification to contact them while they’re hot. And hopefully, you’re the first to call.
Refusing to test the quality of your landing pages
Sometimes, landing pages just don’t convert the way you expect them to. But if you don’t test anything, you have no benchmark to gauge how well they are performing.
This is why it’s important to use conversion rates and A/B testing to see which elements of your landing page are working for you.
If you have lots of visits but no conversions, the offer may not be compelling enough. Or it’s the copy. Or the layout. Or maybe it’s the form? You get the picture. If you don’t test, then you don’t know.
Not opting your leads into automated lead nurturing campaigns
The key here is automated. Use marketing automation to opt people into targeted campaigns, based on how they behaved on your site.
In theory you could make this a manual process, but in reality you and your people have better things to do. Things that make better use of your problem-solving brain.
Not leveraging the power of segmentation
Think about what differentiates each segment from one another. If segments have different concerns or challenges, then you should not address each set of customers in an undifferentiated manner. Split them up into different campaigns and approach them with targeted messaging.
If you don’t have time or money to research your buyer’s problems and challenges, talk to your sales people to figure out what message will best resonate with each segment, and tweak your campaign strategy accordingly.
Not capturing lead data in forms
Your form is the most crucial element of your landing page. If you know what to ask of your leads, then you’ll know how to segment them.
If you’re not asking for enough information, you can’t segment. If you ask for too much information, they’ll drop off. The best way to strike that delicate balance? Two ways. Append data to leads in real time (yes there is technology that does this) and stop asking your prospects to give you information you already have or can get with ease.
Not scoring leads based on their quality and likelihood to close
If you’ve ever heard a sales person tell you that marketing is delivering too many leads that are unqualified, most likely it is because you do not have a lead management / lead scoring process in place. Developing one will save you a lot of time and headaches.
Marketing and sales must agree on what qualifies a sales-ready lead, then you can set up a way of scoring leads so that only those that reach a certain score can be deemed ‘sales-ready’.
Scoring should be based on two elements; the demographic information they give you and their behaviour on your site. Again, marketing automation is essential to do this effectively, at least without inducing an ulcer!
Failing to communicate lead data to your sales team
By ‘lead data’ we mean more than what they put in your form. We mean what they viewed on your site, in what order they viewed it, when they first filled out a form, any other forms they filled out, etc.
Why? So your sales team have a better idea of who they’re talking to. So they can personalise their approach. So they know what their prospect is interested in and can make the conversation relevant to them. This is incredibly valuable for sales people.
The key drawback is you can’t track their behavior without some form of marketing automation in place. We use Hubspot, Marketo, LoopFuse, Optify, Pardot – variously – depending on our clients needs. Our point here is only that there are lots of technology solutions available.
The Bottom Line
Keep in mind. Technology alone won’t right what is wrong with your lead generation program. You also need the resolve to do it right and an agency partner who can help you figure out what’s wrong, diagnose the problem very quickly, and fix it with all due speed. Our humble suggestion. Contact us to improve your lead generation program at firstname.lastname@example.org