Online lead generation has become one of the most popular ways for companies to attract new leads and to get a better understanding of who is on the website and what they are interested in. However, setting up a successful online lead generation program requires a set of essential components. If your firm is interested in starting an online lead generation program, it’s important to understand what steps are required in order to begin generating and capturing leads.
Lead generation campaigns need to be centered on a compelling pain point or issue faced by your prospects. For CPA firm, items like recent law or regulatory change requiring compliance, business or financial “thorns” that are impacting top or bottom line performance, or micro or macro economic trends that are keeping prospects or clients up at night are just a few examples of the types of issues that can be used to build a campaign.
2. The Offer
There are basically three types of offers you can present to prospects, each keyed to different parts of the buying process: TOFU, or top of the funnel offers designed to deliver education and awareness, MOFU or middle of the funnel offers designed to tie the education process to your firm’s qualifications, and BOFU, or bottom of the funnel offers designed as one of the last steps for converting a lead into a client.
3. The Device
Offers need to be packaged into a device, like a whitepaper, seminar, eBook, report, etc. Each type of device you might consider comes with its own unique set of logistical requirements (i.e., where do I get the content and who’s going to write the white paper?), and each will have indirect/ resource and possibly direct costs. Also, different types of offers (TOFU, MOFU, BOFU) will use different types of devices.
Lead generation involves both on-website and off-website promotion (outbound) to reach eyeballs for conversion to leads. A critical and challenging part of lead gen success is having a large and accurate database of prospects, with e-mail addresses, that represent opportunities to promote your offer and device. List segmentation is an important part of the lead generation process. Basically, segmentation involves slicing and dicing your email database into various segments and tailoring the content in your emails to those individual groups of contacts. Because your firm’s prospects are at different points in the sales cycle, or have different interests based upon their role in their company or organization, the objective of list segmentation is to reach the right prospect at the right time with the right message.
5. Call-to-Action Buttons
Essentially, a call to action, or CTA, is a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down a conversion funnel. It is an essential part of inbound marketing as well as permission marketing in that it actively strives to convert a user into a lead and later into a customer.
6. Landing Pages
Your lead gen efforts need infrastructure for lead acquisition and capture. This is done through constructing a landing page in the background of your website where you can capture an eyeball’s contact information and start the process of generating lead tracking and conversion metrics.
7. Off-Site Promotion
There are a variety of paid and non-paid media tactics you’ll want to consider and integrate into your campaign. These include paid e-advertising like LinkedIn and Google AdWords, banner advertising, and non-paid tactics like promotion of your offer through your social media accounts or your e-newsletter. The centerpiece of off-site promotion should be e-mail – it’s relatively inexpensive and produces the first set of metrics you’ll want to employ for measuring ROI.
8. Metrics and Analytics
A significant part of the transformation in professional services marketing is based on the quantity and quality of metrics that can be easily acquired. You’ll not only want to measure things like quantity of leads secured through the campaign, but also, conversion metrics like visits to leads, landing page effectiveness, and the effectiveness of the various tactics you’ve deployed for promoting the offer.
9. Lead Nurturing and Automation
Since it’s likely that most leads you acquire through your campaigns will not be sales ready, you’ll want to consider including a lead nurturing strategy as part of the campaign planning process. You may need 3 or more “touches” before a lead is sales ready, and with the marketing technology that’s available today, this process can be automated and virtually hands-free.
10. Marketing Technology
There are a number of costs associated with online lead generation, including those for securing the right technology. You’ll want to consider using some type of marketing technology, like HubSpot’s all-in-one software that can help with the creation of CTA buttons, landing pages, email, automating the lead nurturing process, producing data for analyzing results, and more. Firms are also turning to CRM products like SalesForce and Microsoft Dynamics to help with implementing and keeping track of prospect interactions. If you are interested in learning more about HubSpot, get in touch with us.