Lead generation is an obvious fit for companies that have email marketing capabilities. No lead produced on the Internet these days is stronger in my experience than those that originate from email publishers. And of course email marketers know how to make a list of opt-in email addresses produce again and again which makes their publishing model a great one in terms of ROI. I believe as lead generators we could all do well following in some of the footsteps of email marketing. The one that stands out to me is applying targeting to your marketing efforts. One of the strengths of marketing to a database is that you can accumulate information about the habits of a consumer and predict what purchases might be on the horizon in some cases.
With this kind of knowledge in hand lead generators can act as a sort of concierge to the consumers in their databases. You are in a unique position when you have data. If you use it effectively you can reach consumers at the right moment with the right offer, something that offline marketers struggled with for decades.
Traffic is so expensive and leads so valuable a commodity that it makes more sense to create a relationship with a consumer than it does to rely solely on constant, fresh generation of traffic by publishers. Any lead generation expert who wants to control costs can benefit from applying a few principles of a good concierge when marketing to a database whether it be through email, SMS, ad serving technology, or other channels.
1. Be sympathetic. Face to face interaction allows for a lot of questions to be asked but automated interaction with consumers online or offline has more limitations. Try to put yourself in the consumer’s place and imagine what message would mean the most to you.
2. Be proactive. Overdoing follow ups or ad serving is certainly not going to win long-term consumer relationships for you but neither will being silent for too long. Just as you would face to face with customers you need to make sure to ask questions now and then to find out what’s going on in their lives. Once they respond be sure you are ready to react with some good recommendations or suggestions.
3. Ask how things worked out. First chance you get follow up with the consumer to gauge how helpful you were to them. In terms of automated media this could happen instantly or a day after the consumer completes some type of online action, be it a lead or a purchase. If you have a call center your follow up might be much more personal of course but the end goal is the same. You want to establish in the consumer’s mind that your company is there to help when making purchasing decisions becomes time sensitive.
Ultimately what you want is for the consumer to have a way to get to you whenever a need for help exists. This type of two-way communication allows you to change the dynamic of lead generation. Publishers have long known the value of good content and good services but I am not sure I or others as lead generators are always as good at building long-term relationships with consumers. If you perfect it then you can expect your lifetime value on any record in your database to increase but more than that you can take control of revenue opportunities that previously were slipping by you undetected.