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How to Create a Lead Generation System for your Business?

Summer Nguyen | 04-08-2021

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Lead generation is a critical driver of growth for eCommerce businesses. It is your key to unlock the door between your brand and buyers to build a relationship, influencing more sales. Unfortunately, generating leads is also one of the biggest challenges that marketers face.

Why? Because the whole process is colossus to begin with: you need a system to create content, attract traffic, convert visitors, and then qualify leads to start contacting and sending an offer. And all these need to work together while you fight for consumers’ attention in a cluttered online environment.

But, I have good news for you: Building a lead generation system is not that complicated. In this guide, I’ve broken down all you need to know and each stage of creating a lead generation process that truly converts. Whether you are just a beginner or a marketing expert looking for a new strategy, you will find straightforward explanations with actionable steps to take once at a time.

Let’s start with defining what a lead is, then we will cover how you can generate leads effectively. Dive in!

What is a lead?

What is a lead?
What is a lead?

A lead is any visitor who shows an interest in the goods or services your company offers but who may not be ready to buy.

This interest is represented in the form of communication, such as consumers providing a name and email address for a piece of content.

Don’t confuse leads to potential customers. There is a difference. A lead is still a potential customer who still needs to be more qualified to become a prospect. (This means they are suitable for your business and may want to buy from you in the future.)

Leads are part of a sales lifecycle that consumers follow as they transition from visitors to customers. Not all leads are the same, nor are they equally qualified. There are different types of leads, depending on how they qualify and their lifecycle stage.

What is a lead generation system?

The process of lead generation is about attracting and converting target audiences into someone who shows interest in your company’s product or service. Some examples of lead generation tools are coupons, blog posts, live events, online content, opt-in form, and even job applications.

This process works by driving the targeted traffic to your eCommerce website, capturing visitor information, and nurturing people who match your potential buyers’ personality. This is the first step in creating a meaningful relationship with your prospects.

That’s exactly what lead generation is about: warming up potential customers to your brand and driving them to giving you their information.

While there are many ways for consumers to make a purchase with your company, there is always a process leading up to the purchase decision. A lead generation funnel will help you visualize the entire buying journey and find where to influence it. This allows you to segment audiences, implement lead capture tactics, nurture prospects, and convince them to buy.

A lead generation funnel is essentially the journey a lead takes from the moment they exchange information to the point of becoming a potential customer. We use a funnel model here because each stage will have fewer leads with suitable criterias to buy from you. Eventually, a small percentage of your lead list will become customers.

With marketing automation and retargeting, your content can provide the right messages at the right times to progress your leads. Let’s see the typical stages of a lead generation funnel:

  • Top of the funnel: Your funnel starts when an audience first visits your eCommerce website. With a wide audience, your goal is to build awareness and trust by offering content like blogs, guides, podcasts, videos, social media, etc. You should focus on providing value and create trust among readers at this stage.
  • Middle of the funnel: This is where visitors are ready to give their information and become leads. This is where you offer content with solutions to their problems, such as white papers, published ebooks, newsletters, tools, or webinars. Your offer will depend on your target audience, resources, and offering.
  • Bottom of the funnel: When leads reach the bottom of your lead generation funnel, they become prospects. You have nurtured them with relevant solutions and knowledge, now it is time to sell. At this stage, leads have already considered buying from you, so give them the last nudge with discounts, case studies, social proof, comparisons, demos, and FAQs.

Each stage of the lead generation funnel will require different content, from low to high friction. It is paramount to the success of your sales cycle, so you will need some patience. Start by defining the unique needs and offers that your funnel may have in your industry. A clear understanding of how your content for leads fits in each stage is the next step.

As you keep building your lead generation funnel, you will also build the foundation for your lead nurture efforts and lead qualification.

Why does your business need a lead generation system?

Why does your business need a lead generation system?
Why does your business need a lead generation system?

Lead generation is always considered critical for eCommerce success. Why? The answer is simple in just two words: Sales cycle. When a stranger initiates a relationship with your brand by showing organic interest, the transition from stranger to buyer is much easier. Your sale cycle therefore gets shorter with more potential for gaining loyal customers.

Lead generation often falls within the second stage of the sales funnel. It occurs after you have attracted the interested audience and are ready to convert visitors into leads. Capturing buyer’s information at the beginning of this process gives you the valuable opportunity to influence the buying decision. With buyers facing more distractions everyday, you would need all the influence you can have.

More than that, you can qualify your leads and figure out which one is most likely to generate revenue for your eCommerce business, then focus your time and energy on these high value leads.

If you are able to establish a sales strategy that generates quality leads and can convert, you’ve unlocked the key to have sustainable growth for your eCommerce business. In short, lead generation is the fundamental point in your buyer’s journey to become a delighted customer.

How to create the best lead generation system

How to create the best lead generation system
How to create the best lead generation system

To succeed in lead generation, you need a reliable system that consistently funnels leads into your sales pipeline. Creating the best lead generation system involves several key steps to ensure effectiveness and efficiency:

Define Your Target Audience

Define Target Audience

You should identify and understand your target audience, including their demographics, interests, pain points, and preferences. This will help you tailor your lead generation efforts to attract the right prospects. Let’s examine your existing clientele. Who are they? Engage in discussions with your top customers to uncover details such as their background, objectives, online activities, major obstacles, and decision-making process when selecting a service provider.

The data that you can use to build these personas are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Location
  • Challenges daily
  • Words to describe problems
  • Desires to improve the current situations

Set campaign goals

Begin your marketing campaign by setting clear, specific goals. Avoid vague objectives like “generating the most leads possible.” Instead, use past performance data to establish targets for metrics such as website visits, leads generated, and conversion rates within a defined timeframe. If you lack historical data, calculate the value of a lead for your agency and work backward to determine the number needed to meet sales goals. Additionally, assess your sales team’s conversion rate and industry benchmarks to estimate the number of visitors required to achieve your objectives.

Create engaging content

eCommerce marketers often struggle with personalizing customer communication, as many find it challenging to understand their customers’ needs. By creating detailed buyer personas, marketers can tailor content to different audience segments, moving away from generic messaging. Content should vary in length, type, and detail based on the buyer persona data, aiming to highlight the business’s value and offer solutions. To guide customers through the sales funnel, marketers need to address their specific needs and barriers at each stage. Additionally, content should be delivered at the right time and through the appropriate channels where buyers are active. Including clear calls-to-action (CTAs) in content helps gauge customer readiness to become leads. Ultimately, engaging and relevant content increases the likelihood of conversion.

Implement Multiple Channels

You should Utilize a variety of channels and tactics to reach and engage potential leads, including content marketing, social media, email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising, and networking events.

Track and Analyze Metrics

You are advised to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversion rates, lead quality, and customer acquisition cost to measure the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts. Use analytics tools to identify areas for improvement and optimize your strategies accordingly.

Continuously Test and Iterate

It’s necessary to experiment with different strategies, offers, messaging, and channels to identify what resonates best with your target audience. Test various elements of your lead generation system, such as CTAs, landing page design, and email subject lines, and iterate based on data-driven insights.

Best lead generation approaches

Best lead generation strategies
Best lead generation strategies

The best lead generation approaches can vary depending on your target audience, industry, and resources. You have a range of promotional channels at your disposal to direct visitors to your landing page and kickstart lead generation. However, which channels are best for promoting your landing page? Let’s delve into the forefront of lead generation — lead generation marketing.

If you’re wondering how to generate leads in digital marketing, it’s crucial to examine your current online channels and pinpoint conversion opportunities. This encompasses everything from your website to your organic and paid social media activities.

Content Marketing

Using content is an effective method for directing users to a landing page. You are advised to create valuable content such as blog posts, videos, eBooks, or webinars that address your audience’s pain points and interests. Moreover, you should offer this content in exchange for contact information through forms or subscriptions. You can also include CTAs anywhere in your content — inline, at the bottom of the post, in the hero section, or even on the side panel.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is your way of increasing the number and quality of visitors from organic search results. SEO can help you get large numbers of visitors to the top of the lead generation funnel.

When you have a piece of content that ranks high for a relevant search query, it will drive sustained traffic. More importantly, this type of traffic is free. When people search for your brand and products, they naturally have the buyer’s intent and are near to the purchase decision.

What you need is a set of unique keywords that are related to your products and also is worth competing for. Then, you create content around these keywords and optimize them for the search engine. After gaining the traffic from your content, your lead magnets would turn visitors into leads by offering content that continues to help the reader.

SEO provides a low friction way to capture leads’ information and make sure they have solid interest in your business.


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Email

Email provides an excellent opportunity to connect with individuals who are already familiar with your brand, product, or service. Since they have already subscribed to your list, it’s simpler to encourage them to take action. You should send personalized and relevant emails to nurture these leads and guide them through the sales funnel. Additionally, let’s use persuasive and action-oriented CTAs to encourage recipients to click through to your website, landing page, or product page.

Blog

Get more leads with blogs

Using your blog posts to promote an offer offers the advantage of customizing the entire content to match the desired outcome. For instance, if your offer is an instructional video on setting up Google Search Console, you can create a blog post discussing how to choose your marketing metrics, ensuring your call-to-action (CTA) is both pertinent and easily accessible. Explore the strategies to get more leads from blogs right here

Social Media

Social media helps to generate more leads by providing businesses with a powerful platform to increase brand visibility, engage with their target audience, and promote their products or services. Through strategic content creation and sharing, businesses can reach a wider audience and attract the attention of potential leads who may not have been aware of their offerings otherwise.

Social Media

Social media advertising also offers advanced targeting options, allowing businesses to reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviors with precision. Additionally, social media platforms offer built-in lead generation tools, such as lead ads and contact forms, that streamline the process of capturing leads directly within the platform. By actively engaging with followers, sharing valuable content, and leveraging customer insights, businesses can build relationships with leads over time and ultimately convert them into customers.

Product Trials

Product trial programs help to generate more leads by offering potential customers the opportunity to experience the value and benefits of a product firsthand. By allowing individuals to try out a product before making a purchase, businesses can reduce the perceived risk and uncertainty associated with trying something new. This can be particularly effective for products that require a higher level of commitment or investment from customers.

Product trials also provide businesses with valuable feedback and insights from users, which can help improve the product and inform future marketing and sales strategies. Additionally, offering product trials can create a sense of urgency and exclusivity, motivating potential customers to take action and sign up for the trial before it expires.

Referrals

A no-brainer strategy to generate leads is by asking for referrals. The method comes with trust baked in since your referral network already knows about your brand. The easiest way is to utilize your existing client base and ask if they know who may also be a fit for your product or service.

Building a affiliate network is one of the most effective ways to generate leads. Be specific about your target customers, and your network will be a great source for high quality leads. If someone refers to your brand directly, you have the first conversation at the top of the pipe.

To encourage more referrals, you can include a small incentive for your network and existing customers.

Communities

Nowadays, if you have any interest, there is guaranteed an online group to talk about it. Facebook, Reddit, Quora, LinkedIn, and more are the social media platforms that you can find groups with engaged members that discuss relevant topics to your company.

There are many approaches to communicate with a target community. You can join as a member with the same interest and build your reputation from the knowledge you have, then your group’s friends would check which company you are on. Or you can build your own brand’s community with promise of good deals, first access, and more in-depth information.

The best thing about these communities is that they are in their safe space to talk about any topics, so you have many chances to jump in the conversation. However, make sure you know what their languages are to communicate in the right way. Also, don’t oversell your business, or you may get banned soon.

Google PPC lead generation

Google gets billions of searches everyday, making it a prime channel for any ad campaign, including lead generation. Paid channels like PPC (Pay per click) are perfect to have some short term wins and gain more organic traffic in the long term. With a robust targeting tool, Google PPC helps you find where your audiences are and present the lead magnet.

The effectiveness of your Google PPC campaign relies on a seamless user experience, your budget, target keywords, and more factors. Which is why I list this method less effective than other organic methods, since you are not sure about the quality of the leads.

That is also a good reason for us to have a lead qualification process, telling us which leads to focus more effort and have a better conversion rate.

Webinars

One of the most common methods for connecting with potential clients and generating leads has emerged recently is webinars. An intimate environment that encourages open discussion and interaction can be created by hosting a live event and inviting your target audience to attend.

Building rapport and trust with your audience through webinars is a fantastic strategy. You may offer insightful knowledge, establish yourself as a trusted advisor in your field, and position yourself as an authoritative.

Additionally, webinars offer a fantastic chance to upsell and cross-sell your offerings and services. They give visitors a full overview of your services and encourage them into making a purchase or signing up for a free trial. The tech-webinars offered by ActualTech Media give companies a platform to learn about technology and what’s offered on the market.

How to quality your leads

How to qualify your leads
How to qualify your leads

Many of your leads are not ready to purchase or find your company’s products worth buying. That sounds scary, but it is true. A lead qualification process will help you determine which leads are more likely to convert. To do that, you need something called “lead scoring.”

Lead scoring is a qualification method that allows you to automatically add numeric points to your leads based on predefined criteria.The final score will identify which leads are more relevant to contact or which communication methods to use. The scoring process can be broken down into these steps:

#1: Define the ideal leads

To filter out irrelevant leads that won’t convert into valuable customers, you will need to identify attributes that your most valuable customers have, both when they are in the lead up to purchase and are already customers. These attributes can be:

  • Demographic data
  • Personal information
  • Online behavior

These attributes and values are built through your sales data, analytic, and even some intuition. After you have your set of attributes, assign each one a score - the higher the score when the attribute has more value. The combined score will give a good indication of how a lead fits your product and how far they can come in the buying process.

#2: Collect the relevant information

You will need enough information to gauge whether your leads have a true, valid interest in your brand’s product or service. How much is enough will highly depend on your type of business. In general, here are the information that you should at least have:

  • Email address: This is an unique identifier and will be the communication channel for you
  • Country: Location information lets you segment your contact by regions, time zones, and languages.
  • Name: This is a fundamental piece of information to personalize your messages.

Of course, you can ask for more information, but you should strike for a balance between collecting as much data as possible and having an acceptable conversion rate. The more data you ask, the higher risk your visitors can bound from the idea capture process. Having their email addresses is enough to start a campaign.

#3: Lead scoring

A lead’s score can be based on your lead’s actions, information they provided, and the level of engagement, or any other criteria. For example, you can score a lead higher if they engage with your social media more regularly or if their demographic information matches your brand’s target audience.

The higher score a lead has, the closer they are to becoming sale-qualified leads. You will need to tweak your criteria until you find the formula that works, but yonce you do, your lead generation system will become a customer generation system.

Ultimately, what matters is that you find the right leads so you can focus your effort on those most likely to bring revenue to your eCommerce business. The better you score your leads, the higher quality leads you can find.

How to nurture your leads (with emails)

How to nurture your leads (with emails)
How to nurture your leads (with emails)

After qualifying your leads, you have a list of people that fits within the sweet spot of your company. But you can’t ask them to buy yet, since many of them are not ready. You would need a process called lead nurturing - warming up your leads to a point they become customers.

Since buying intentions can get cold pretty quickly, your nurturing effort needs to be consistent so even if your prospects don’t buy yet, they will remember about your company. An automation campaign such as a drip email campaign will be your best opportunity to nurture your leads.

If they aren’t ready to buy, you will need different offers for different parts of the buying process. How about a free template? Or an informative how-to guide? Or letting them have fun in the community? Particularly small eCommerce businesses can really benefit from some lead nurturing emails.

With an platform like AVADA Email Marketing, you can easily send drip emails to provide values throughout the lead generation process. Someone only at the beginning of the buying journey can use interesting information like an ebook or a guide, while someone more familiar with your company can be more interested in a free trial or a coupon, since they are already near the bottom of the journey.

It will take some time to figure out what content to nurture your leads, but if you don’t offer anything, they may never come back to your website. Here are some list nurturing ideas to try out:

  • Courses
  • eBook
  • Demos
  • Contests
  • Guides
  • Checklist
  • Templates
  • Events
  • Webinars
  • Free apps
  • Audio books

You can set timing for your drip email campaign in our app, just make sure your email follow ups are helpful, not a sales pitch, and continually improved. And you don’t need to create all of the content above. Just one at a time and you can already try sending out email campaigns to see which type of content suits your leads or potential customers best.

Some more tips

For any lead generation system, there can be a lot of moving parts. You will need data to see which parts are working and which need fine-tuning. For a best-in-class lead generation system, here are a few tips:

  • The right lead generation tools help you organize and store your leads’ information. Some good lead generation tools should help you understand more about the people visiting your website and create different lead gen campaigns to use on your site.
  • Link your CTA to a dedicated page: If you have a specific offer, the best way to introduce it is through a landing page. CTAs, even when just on an email, should take visitors to where they can receive the offer, not the homepage of your site.
  • Use social media to your advantage: Adding links to your landing pages with offers within your social media accounts and posts. Or you can run a contest to grow your email list and find more leads.
  • Drive traffic by ads: Your landing pages don’t have to gain leads only from emails, you can also use Google Ads, Facebook, or Linkedin ads to drive traffic to them.
  • Attend a networking event: Offline events may be another great way to generate leads and meet your ideal customers. You can build a personal brand to connect with your leads and give them something of value before offering your products.
  • Remain flexible: Trends change, opinion morph, behavior shift, and so would your lead generation system. Use A/B testing to see which CTA, content, email, landing page, or offer is more relevant. Experiment until you have a lead gen system that works for your eCommerce.

Final advice

There you have it, all you need to know if you want to build the best lead generation system. Keep creating great offers and content to promote in a multi channel environment, then you will see more quality leads in no time. The more you test every stage of your system, the more you will improve your result and increase revenue.

The entire lead generation process can look daunting, but I’m here to help. If you have any questions on building your own system, leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and best of luck with generating leads for your eCommerce!

Summer

Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.



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