One terrific strategy for creating a large of pool of interested and motivated leads is to develop a lead generation incentive, which is given free of charge on request in exchange for contact information (usually a first name and email address).
That incentive can be a short video, audio, or document that has high perceived value because it contains pertinent information or tools that fulfills a need, answers a burning question, or somehow supports progress. It might look like a checklist, a process outline, a template, a "swipe and deploy" example, or perhaps even an ebook containing "secret" or insider information not usually available without a price tag.
No matter what it is, the incentive must be so interesting or valuable that people who don't know you are willing to give you their contact information just to get at it.
Once you've created that lead generation incentive, the question becomes: Where to distribute it?
Obviously, you'll want to post it on the home page of your website so that your visitors can see and get instant access to one of your most compelling pieces of information, but that's by no means the only place you can promote your lead generator.
Here is a short list of effective places to promote your lead generation efforts:
In the signature line of your email.
In addition to your contact information, you can add a line inviting others to get your free incentive (although you will call it your special report or whatever) plus a link directly to the sign up page. (See my article on signature lines
In your newsletter
, both electronic ezine
and hard copy version of your newsletter, you can place what looks like an advertisement for your lead generator, or you can include it as a content piece (like a short article), or even just a link.
In your referral or joint venture partners' newsletters. This could look like an ad, or be a short blurb (like a news brief or special offer) or simply a link, depending on your agreement with your partners.
On your business cards.
Most effective: A teaser ("Find out how to...") or a call to action ("Get your FREE Report...") with a link on the back of your business cards
. Create a custom shortened URL so it's easily found. For example:
Find out how to double your business: http://tinyurl.com/SohoReport
With QR codes
, which could be on your business cards, but also on your flyers, brochures and other collateral materials, as well as on signage at your place of business. You could add QR codes
to your signage when you attend or host events. But don't wear your QR code on your body (T-shirt, coat, etc.) or on your name tag, because the first may be difficult for others to scan, and the second will definitely create an awkward moment for both scanner and scannee.
Through the media via a press release.
Maybe the New York Times
won't include it, but a short, clever press release to local/regional media could result in a mention or two, and it is certainly worth a try. Remember to include the national and local chapters of associations that include your ideal client population on your mailing list, and be sure to tailor your release for them. It is surprising how often association newsletters will include mentions of free resources, so why not yours?
This list wouldn't be complete without mentioning your social media
. You can post the offer on your FaceBook
page, your LinkedIn
profile, and on your Biznik profile, for starters, and even in your follow thanks message on Twitter. You can also post messages alerting your followers and fans that you've got this cool thing to offer them, but don't repeat the same message.
Search engine pay-per-click ads may also bring in qualified leads if you offer the right incentive. Since this costs money, I strongly recommend first making sure that the incentive your offer attracts the right prospect, and that your follow up sequence converts well, either to a sale or a sales conversation. Your goal is not to get this lead generator out to as many people as possible, but rather to as many of the right people as possible, because it is expensive to pay to get your freebie to those who will never buy.
Direct mail is also a great way to promote your lead generator. Assuming you can get a hot list of well-qualified suspects (FYI: a prospect is someone who has raised her hand to indicate interest, and a suspect is someone who fits your ideal client profile but has not yet connected with you), this is a solid way to surface prospects while getting them into your lead nurturing sequence.
Depending on your product or service and market, you may even try traditional advertising vehicles such as Valu-Pak mailers and other very targeted publications. Just make sure that your ad is for your lead generator, not a general appeal. Specifying the action you wish them to take, and offering a free reward is far more likely to spur response than a simple brand ad.
This is merely a short (and obvious) list of where to place your lead generator, and there are no doubt 10 more great places, if you just open your mind to the marketing opportunities out there. Your ideas?
How to Maximize Your Lead Generation Efforts (c) 2012 Veronika Noize. All rights reserved.