Lead generation is often top priority for marketers today since it keeps the funnel full and generates revenue. Yet despite its importance, many business struggle with how to generate leads effectively.
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The acquisition of new online customers is a resource-hungry undertaking and it can often seem like you’re running to stand still.
Think of it this way. You optimise your website to secure the best possible natural search results but of course all of your serious competitors are doing the same so it’s a process that never stops. You employ a great agency to create cutting edge display ads that catch the collective eye and imagination of your customers. But the web is full of great-looking multi-media ads. Some really do capture the imagination and perform much better than average in terms of click-through rates, engagement and ultimately sales, but a great many struggle to gain traction in an environment where consumers – who let’s face it simply want to get on with things – see and largely ignore 1,000s of display ads every day.
And the truth is that it can be very difficult for businesses to make themselves heard in an environment where there is so much competition for the hearts, minds and wallets of target consumers. There’s plenty that can be done of course. You can buy more ads, target ads more effectively and hone your campaigns through A/B testing to ensure you’re using the creative that generates the best response. Equally you – or your agency – can try even harder to improve your natural search rankings while refining your use of keywords to get the biggest bang for your buck from paid search. All of this will drive additional numbers to your website.
But what happens when the customers get there? The truth is that the vast majority will drop off well before they reach the point of making a purchase. Some will simply arrive at the home or landing page and leave without really looking around. Others will spend time, looking at individual products and may even fill a shopping cart before bailing out. Only a select few will convert.
The numbers game:
Ultimately performance – in terms of sales – is driven by getting as many people as possible to the site. If you have 5,000 visitors a day and 1% convert that’s 50 sales. Up that figure to 10,000 and sales double. Hence the never-ending struggle to build traffic.
However, it’s important to remember that you can also improve sales by taking steps to improve the conversion rate, once customers begin to look around. That’s where live engagement can play a hugely important role in qualified lead generation.
It starts with the analytics. By following the customer on a journey that leads from say a search engine or affiliate site through your home page and on to the product, you can build a pretty good profile of each and every individual. More specifically, by deploying smart analytics you’ll be able to establish what each customer is interested in and whether or not he or she needs help. Equally important you’ll be able to identify potentially high value customers. This kind of data will in turn inform an engagement strategy that allows you to offer help through live chat, a telephone callback, tailored content or multimedia. It’s an approach that echoes the service we all receive in bricks and mortar stories and it’s a proven way to boost sales and qualified lead generation.
Building traffic is a hugely important undertaking but it shouldn’t be the be all and end all of the acquisition marketing strategy. When a customer comes to your site, you control the environment and the experience. And by targeting and engaging with the hot leads and those who need assistance, you can begin to create an experience that supports the needs of your key customers. That support will feed directly through the bottom line.