Lead generation should not be just a numbers game, gathering as many leads as possible within marketing spend. There is more to lead generation than driving a low cost-per-lead. Don’t forget lead quality. Lead quality can suffer because of a number of failings in your lead generation strategy.
1. Targeting—Dropping the Line in the Wrong Pond
It's more effective to land fish when you cast your line in the right places. Too often lead generation practices focus on volume and are not accountable for lead quality. Your cost-per-lead (CPL) may be less than $3.00 at acquisition but engagement drop-off could vault your cost-per-qualified-lead (CPQL) to over $10.00 as poorly targeted leads abandon you after first touch. Marketers need to focus on where to cast their lines.
2. Messaging—Are You Talking Their Language?
"Are you talking to me?" The famous line from Deniro's Taxi Driver echoes how millennial buyers often feel when they sift through marketing assets. Prospects don't engage unless your message resonates. Content creation beats delivery in the marketing asset management hierarchy when it comes to lead generation. Customer-centric content is the core asset for the new marketer. Speak their language for greater effectiveness.
3. Timing—Buy Now or Buy Later
Like a good comedy sketch, timing is important in lead generation. Too often companies treat leads as a commodity to be managed in the same manner following acquisition. However, lead generation, by its nature, is dynamic. Leads are acquired at different stages in the buying cycle; therefore, messaging must account for sales cycle status. Connect with your leads according to their buying cycle status by delivering escalating messages to meet appropriate cycle intervals and you’ll see better conversion rates.
4. Channels—Don't Limit Your Choices
Too many times enterprises rely solely on an outbound, dialing-for-dollars strategy when what they need is a multi-channel deployment. Lead generation is less effective when limited to one channel. An optimized lead gen strategy combines disruptive (outbound) and permission-based (inbound) channels.
If there's anything we've learned over the past five years, it's that buyer control is changing how we must approach lead generation. It requires an agile strategy that integrates messaging across multiple media, especially phone, search marketing, social media, mobile, email, and display, as well as offline channels.
5. Acquired Leads – Once You Get Them, What do You do With Them?
Lead generation doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Your lead gen strategy should be integrated within a comprehensive lead management strategy. Once acquisition takes place, marketers must take ownership and deploy appropriate lead nurturing practices to channel generated leads appropriately. You don’t want to lose prospects just because they aren’t sales-ready so deploy automated lead nurturing tools. A simple drip campaign can keep your prospect from forgetting about you and sending your lead generation efforts back to square one. When a lead is acquired, lead channeling should be optimized to deliver high-value leads to the most appropriate nurturing channels then distributed to sales in the most efficient manner.