Internet lead generation refers to an integrated set of marketing tactics which use the Internet to generate sales leads for your business or organization. Every business needs new leads in order to grow. Whether you buy internet leads or you create an internet lead generation strategy, the Internet can be the source of the majority of your sales leads. You will use various opportunities available on the Internet to bring sales leads to your web site. Once they reach your site, you will begin the process of nurturing them through your sales funnel and convert them to customers.
What are the Components of Internet Lead Generation Plans?
1. Understand the characteristics of your target customer. What are the customer’s needs and how can you meet them?
2. Where can you find your target customer on the Internet? Does the customer use social networking, read blogs?
3. Create an offer or a free gift that has enough appeal to your model customer to encourage him or her to come to your web site and give you permission to contact him/her and contact information.
4. Develop a thorough process of lead nurturing to move these people from prospect to customer status.
5. Build the kind of ongoing relationship with those customers to (a) understand their ongoing and emerging needs, (b) keep them interested in your products and/or services, and (c) reward them for their loyalty.
What Kind of Offer Should I Use for Internet Lead Generation?
Virtually every Internet lead generation strategy in use today relies upon the offer of something of real value to the customer or prospect as incentive to visit the web site and provide contact information and permission. The nature of your offer depends on the kind of business you operate. For example, if you sell products, a discount might be the best incentive. If, on the other hand, you provide a professional service (such as a law practice or a CPA firm), expert information might be of more value to the prospective customer you want to attract with your Internet lead generation process.
Businesses use a variety of offers and approaches to draw people to their web sites. Some of the most popular Internet lead generation offers are: white papers or special reports, free products, secret information, games, quizzes, contests, etc.
The tactics generally used in Internet lead generation are many and varied. You can buy leads from lead companies or you can generate your own leads by advertising and building visibility on the web. For example, you might use blogging or social media activity to draw attention, you can hold seminars, webinars or tele-seminars, you can optimize your web site, particularly for local search, you can place pay-per-click ads or buy other types of advertising, you can use mobile marketing, article marketing or online directories. All of these Internet lead generation tactics can be woven together for maximum effect. The Internet lead generation tactics you use to attract attention will likely include mobile messaging, pay-per-click ads, social media and Web 2.0, blogging, paid ads on web sites, buying ad space in other media, web site optimization, article marketing, and more. New opportunities to reach consumers seem to arise almost daily.
The fatal mistake made by many small businesses is that they believe it is only necessary to get people to visit their web site. They seem to think people move themselves through the sales funnel and that they become lifelong customers by magic. Nothing is further from the truth. In a solid Internet lead generation strategy, once customers visit your site the work begins of nurturing your leads, guiding them through the sales funnel, and earning their loyalty.
In everything you do and throughout each of the five components of your Internet lead generation strategy, it is vital that you be consistent, reliable and trustworthy. Remember: people prefer doing business with people they know, trust and like. Building that relationship is the goal of lead nurturing.
Finally, always reward the loyalty of your customers. Internet lead generation can open the door, but you must still invite each customer to walk through the door and stay. Listening to your customers, providing solutions for their needs and continuing to build a valued relationship will make them customers for a lifetime.