Leads generation is a very popular internet marketing topic. Almost every online business owner believes that they need more leads. And there is a good reason for that. Without fresh new leads on a consistent basis, any online business will soon disappear into oblivion.
In other words, it will die.
So, seeing as leads generation is such an important aspect of any online business, this article explores a few key fundamentals and strategies that will help you acquire enough leads to create a sustainable online business.
Let’s get right into them, shall we!
But just before that, what exactly is leads generation? I like the definition given by About.com. Essentially, leads generation is the practice of soliciting inquiries from potential customers.
In other words, leads generation is the process of getting people who are likely to buy from you to inquire about your products or services. It’s the process of getting your potential customers to ask for more information from you.
This means that they start chasing you rather than you chasing them. And that’s exactly the way you want things to pan out. You want to be the hunted rather than the hunter!
When your potential customers ask for more information, they will have to give you contact details of some sort so that you are able to give them the information they require.
That contact information can be an email address, a phone number or physical address. The information you choose to ask for depends on your aim as you will later see.
Fundamentals of Leads Generation
In order to succeed with leads generation it is important to understand the fundamentals. They form the basis of the strategies that will talk about later.
The first fundamental of leads generation is that it is important to use several strategies at the same time. This is crucial to the success of your online business. If you rely on only one strategy, what happens if it suddenly becomes unable to generate leads for you?
Your online business goes out of business, that’s what happens. And the temptation is to think that a strategy could never become ineffective. The uncomfortable truth is that it can.
So it is critical to use a number of strategies at the same time to get fresh new leads for your online business. This enables you to create a stable and sustainable online business that consistently acquires a sufficient number of interested leads.
The second fundamental of leads generation is that it is important to vary the amount of information that you ask for.
So in some cases, you can ask for only names and email addresses. In other cases you can ask for names, emails, physical addresses, and phone numbers.
What’s the point of doing this?
The point is that, depending on the amount of information you ask for, you will get a different type of lead. You will also get a different quantity of leads.
For example, if you only ask for names and email addresses, you build a huge list of leads faster. However, if you ask for names, emails, physical addresses and phone numbers, you will build your list much slower but the quality of the leads will be much much higher.
The people who give you more information will be more likely to buy your products or services. They want what you have to offer so bad they are willing to give you as much information as you ask for. If you even get their credit card details, you are onto some serious winners!
So varying the amount of information you ask for enables you to acquire different types of leads at different rates. That’s important to know when creating your strategy.
The third leads generation fundamental is target marketing. This is one of the most important topics in internet marketing, maybe one of the top 2 topics. It could even be the most important topic because everything else flows from it.
Target marketing is marketing that focuses solely on the people who are most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. This means your products, services, ads, free information, sales letters, etc all focus on solving the problems of your ideal potential customers.
Why is this important? Well, if you don’t focus your whole business on your target ideal customers, few people will respond to your offers and you will eventually fail. So if your business offers information on how to lose 100 pounds in 50 days, your ads must talk to people who want to lose weight.
You MUST place your ads in places where those people are likely to be found like weight loss magazines. Your free information must provide tips that will help them get on the road to successfully losing weight.
If you place ads in muscle building magazines, the people reading those ads probably won’t be that interested in losing weight. Can you see the power of target marketing? You can learn more in this comprehensive article.
The fourth fundamental of leads generation is that it is highly beneficial to create a system that works without your constant involvement. This is enables you to create an online business that can generate a more or less predictable amount of leads on a consistent basis.
Let me give you an example of a simple leads generation system. Let’s say you have a coaching program where you teach public speaking. You can find 10 newsletters that target people who are interested in public speaking. Once you find these newsletters, you can then write a variety of leads generation ads and test them to see which ones cause the most people to ask for more information from you.
When you find the best performing ads for each newsletter, you can then run them in the newsletters on a monthly basis. Let’s say on 3 consecutive days of each month. If every time you run those ads you get a more or less consistent amount of new leads, you have just created a dependable leads generation system.
It can be that simple. There is more to it of course, but that’s the gist. With such a system, you can even hire someone else to implement it and monitor it for you.
The last leads generation fundamental is that it is important to remember the power of referrals. They are the best type of lead you can ever acquire.
Why? Because they already trust you. Their friends or acquaintances told them about you, so they believe that you must be a great and trust worthy business to deal with. But in order to get these leads, you need to absolutely “wow” your current customers and leads.
In other words you need to deliver what you promised and exceed their expectations. When you do that, people won’t help but refer other people to your business. They will have to talk about the wonderful deal and experience they had when doing business with you.
So remember that pleasing your current leads will help you get more leads of the highest quality.
Now that you are clear on the fundamentals, let’s move on to the strategies. But before we begin, it’s important to note that you will need an autoresponder to effectively get leads online.
An autoresponder allows you to capture your potential customer’s contact details. It also allows you to automatically deliver your information. Each time a new prospect submits their details, they instantly and automatically receive their information via email.
If you are offering physical books or CD’s or DVD’s then of course you will need to send that information via mail.
So the only basic tool you need to effectuate a successful leads generation strategy is an autoresponder. Aweber currently leads the field because it is the best at making sure that your prospects actually receive the information you promised them. So it’s the autoresponder I recommend.
Ok, let’s get into the strategies. The first strategy you can use to generate leads is to offer a free report on a hot topic in exchange for your prospects contact details. Doing this will cause those who are interested in that information to submit their information into your autoresponder in order to access the information.
This is the most common leads generation strategy for most online businesses. Why? Well simply because it works.
The second strategy involves offering a free consultation. If you plan on selling a high priced product, program or service, this is a good strategy to use. In case you haven’t noticed, most high priced coaching programs offer a free consultation in exchange for several of your contact details.
The aim is to offer you some really helpful information during that free consultation and then offer you even more powerful help in the form of a high priced coaching program. Several people will decide to pay for the information after getting a taste of the valuable information provided during the free consultation.
The third leads generation strategy you can use in your online business is to offer your prospects a free trial of your products or services. This is a really powerful strategy because it allows you to generate a special type of leads.
These are not just any leads. They are buying leads. Whenever someone tries your product for free, they will have to submit their contact details and even their credit card details. After the free trial, their credit card will automatically be charged the product or service price.
Now, obviously not everyone who signs up for the free trial will buy your stuff. But the point is that, you will be building a list of prospects who are interested in buying stuff. Quite alright, some of them will sign up just to try the product/service for free with no intention of ever buying the product/service.
Those are tyre kickers and you can gradually eliminate them (fire them!) from your list of leads if you choose. But there will also be many people who genuinely want to try out the product or service to see if it meets their needs.
If it doesn’t, they will ask you not to charge their credit card. That’s fair enough. Perhaps, later on in the future, one of your other product or services might tickle their fancy and they may buy. Those people are quality “buying” leads and its worth going after them, or rather, getting them to come after you!
The last strategy we will look at is using Webinars and Teleseminars. A Webinar is simply an online seminar. In other words, it’s a web seminar. Anyone with an internet connection can sign up to it and listen live as the host makes his or her presentation.
A Teleseminar on the hand is a seminar that’s conducted over the phone. People simply dial a certain number at a specified time and listen to a live presentation over the phone.
Both Teleseminars and Webinars are powerful ways to generate leads because people love them. We love the idea of listening to someone teach us something live. These leads generation strategies are a bit like the idea of offering a free phone consultation.
However, they are just done on a huger scale. If you hold a Webinar or Teleseminar, you will speak to several people at the same time. Of course you won’t have the benefit of them talking back to you in the moment. But you can always allow for questions at the end of your presentation.
Using these 2 strategies will help you build a list of responsive leads very quickly as many people will usually sign up to an interesting well marketed Webinar or Teleseminar.
To host a webinar you can use the software provided at GoToWebinar.
To host a teleseminar you can use the software provided at Instant Teleseminars
So I hope you now have a foundational understanding of leads generation. Take time to incorporate as many strategies as you can in order to build a business that consistently gets a sufficient amount of fresh leads. The above 5 strategies will help you get started.
But they are by no means the only ones. As you build your online business, you will undoubtedly come across more. Try them out and see if they work for you. If they don’t, try out other strategies. Eventually, you will find your own mix of powerful, profit creating leads generation strategies.
And that’s a Marvelous thing indeed!
To Your Success,
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