When you’re feeling sad and blue about not having enough leads, just give something away! Yes, give it away!
Often we’re working hard to think of fancy lead generation techniques when they’re right in front of us. What we can do is give away some of our expertise in the form of free content. It can be “how-to” ideas on social media, blog posts such as this, webinars, public speaking engagements at the local Rotary or Kiwanis clubs, articles in our own or others’ e-newsletters or columns in the local newspaper or business magazines. Set up your iPhone or computer video camera and shoot some video of yourself giving away free advice. Post it on YouTube or Vimeo and then repost the link to your social media and/or blog.
Your best content — ebooks, white papers, webinars — should be put behind a form on a landing page so that people have to sign up to access them. That way, you are not only getting their permission to send them the content, you are also getting their permission to market to them. (You DO realize that you must have permission, right? No dumping of your LinkedIn contacts into your database — it violates the federal CAN-SPAMM Act of 2003!)
When people provide their contact information, you know that they are interested in what you have to offer because they have pre-qualified themselves and opted into your database by asking for your free download. You first gave themselves something of value — a blog post or social media post — that they found helpful, attracting them to your site in the first place. No money is changing hands, but information is the form of barter and it is often more valuable than money.
Making this lead generation technique work for you — the landing page form
Lead generation forms are very important to the success or failure of your campaign. When you ask people to fill out a form before they download an ebook or register for a webinar or other “freebee,” there is tension between your need to get them to complete as much information as possible so that you can segment your list and their desire to provide as little as possible. The more desirable your content is to them, the more willing they will be to provide information.
56% of marketers consider optimizing form logic to have a very significant impact on website performance, and 46% of marketers consider optimizing form layout to have a very significant impact, accord to MarketingSherpa’s 2011 Landing Page Optimization Benchmark Report.
But you’ve only got about six seconds to convince them to fill out that form!
So how much should you ask for? There has been a lot of research done to determine optimal length. Some says you should only ask for an email, while others says you can ask for 16-20 pieces of information. Eloqua says that seven is the optimal number of form fields. Other research says you can ask for more.
Both Hubspot and Marketing Sherpa recommend that you consider what your goals are for all of the fields that you include and to set up A/B tests to determine what longer vs. shorter forms do to your conversion rates. They both say that there are no hard and fast rules. Which is to say, like with most marketing decisions, there is an art to this science.
Regardless, this is one lead generation technique that does works. So get out there and start giving stuff away!
- 15 Metrics Every Marketing Manager Should Be Tracking (hubspot.com)