3 Online Marketing Channels for Lead Generation
The Internet used to only be good for generating brand awareness, but that’s no longer the case. Today, it helps businesses attract qualified leads and move them through the sales funnel, and in the case of ecommerce businesses, automates the sales process entirely.
With the right lead generation tactics, your business can attract more customers with less work—and who wouldn’t want that? However, it’s only effective if you take the time to research your options and choose the channels that are right for your goals and budget.
After all, not all leads are the same: A nonprofit looking for charitable contributors will want to collect leads in a different way than a manufacturer selling industrial equipment to international businesses. So how can you start attracting and engaging with the right people? On this page, we’ll discuss three of the best online marketing channels for lead generation.
If you want to learn more, keep reading, and give us a call at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist.
The best online marketing channels for lead generation
Before we get into the three methods below, it’s important to note that the most important “channel” is your company’s website. Your site is the heart and soul of your lead generation, and should be optimized both for search engines and for conversions. Not only should it be optimized, but it should become a resource for leads. That being said, if you’re already confident in the quality of your site, it’s time to expand to other platforms and channels.
Each of the following online marketing channels has been noted for its strong performance. Try creating a marketing strategy that incorporates one, all or a combination of several to help you attract new prospects that can be turned into customers, influencers, volunteers, employees or supporters depending upon the type of high-value leads you want.
1. Email marketing
Surprise! Email marketing is one of the best channels for lead generation. This is a shock to many people who assume that just because email is one of the oldest online marketing tactics, it’s not one of the best.
The truth is that even though it’s certainly not the most high tech channel out there, it’s still one of the best. It gets your business directly into customers’ inboxes, and is much more cost-effective than extensive PPC campaigns or remarketing.
Email marketing comes in many forms:
Drip email campaigns send timely, relevant emails to potential customers. They are spaced out over several weeks or months, and are only sent to people who have opted in by giving you their email addresses.
Leads are sent “drips” consisting of short emails with strong calls-to-action over a pre-defined period. These campaigns often generate very high ROI, because they allow you to tailor your content to exactly where a lead is in the sales funnel.
Email newsletters are popular in all industries. In fact, you probably got a few in your inbox this week. But did you open them?
Unfortunately, many businesses spend hours writing newsletter content, only to slap on a subject line like “Weekly newsletter.” If you choose to create emails for your customers, be sure to spend some time A/B testing your subject lines and finding out what entices your subscribers to open.
As long as subscribers don’t opt out, there’s a good chance they’ll eventually click on one of your links and convert. E-newsletters aren’t meant to be a quick sell, but do provide a steady stream of leads over time.
Thank you emails
These are automated emails sent to buyers immediately after they’ve converted. If you’ve shopped online, you’ve no doubt received quite a few.
After making a purchase, you get a thank you email, often with an incentive to purchase again in a very specific time frame. It’s a smart way to turn one-time customers into repeat customers.
2. PPC (pay-per-click) advertising
Has your business explored the benefits of PPC advertising? A well-thought-out campaign can snag online leads for short- or long-term purposes. Plus, you can set your budget so you know you won’t overspend.
PPC advertising requires that you keep several factors in mind:
A description of your target lead(s)
Without this knowledge, your PPC advertisements may falter because they’ll be seen by people who aren’t really interested in what you’re offering.
Knowledge and application of keyword optimization
Determining which keywords to use for each PPC ad is essential. If you’re new to keyword research, it may be worth your time to work with an Internet marketing firm to help you uncover the best keywords for your PPC campaigns.
Considering that millions of companies around the word use platforms like Google AdWords to run PPC ads, you need to make sure that yours stands out. As with other types of online marketing, the stronger the content, the higher the returns.
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3. Social media
Yes, social media is a player in the field of online lead generation channels. No matter which social media channel you choose—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc –you have the opportunity to reach new customers, as well as build relationships with existing ones.
You may think that the occasional status or photo is enough to constitute “being active on social media.” But unless you’re only interested in checking that box to show your boss, that strategy really isn’t worth your time. Instead, you have to strategically develop a plan for your social media lead generation:
Map out the social media posts you want to make each month
This can be done with a simple calendar, as long as you commit to a schedule. Be certain that you mix your posts up, and remember that not every post should be about your company directly—doing so discourages human interaction.
However, don’t be afraid to ask your followers to take actions, such as signing up for email newsletters, taking polls, or using a special “available by social media only” coupons and discounts. If you take the time to genuinely engage with your customers, they’ll be happy to help.
Post on a regular basis
Experiment with what works for your company. Don’t try to bite off more than you can chew, but recognize that social media is fast-paced, and posting once a week just isn’t enough.
Your followers want real-time information, and if you lose their attention, your competitors will be more than willing to pick up the slack.
Strengthen your social media lead generation with paid ads
Some social media channels like Facebook and Twitter offer paid ads that operate on a PPC model. Although you may be hesitant to spend money on what is often considered a free channel, the truth is that the organic reach of Facebook business pages and tweets is pretty dismal.
By using paid options, you can reach more customers and better engage with those who already follow you on social media. This gives your company an added boost and another chance to stand out.
Other online lead generation strategies to consider
Looking for more online lead gen channels? Dive into webinars, content syndication and apps to drill down deeper and attract the interest of new prospects. If you’re thinking about taking your business to an international level, don’t forget that there are online channels available throughout the world that aren’t used on a regular basis by people in the U.S. or Canada.
If you want to start using the Internet to generate leads for your business, don’t hesitate to contact us! Our dedicated team of Internet marketers can help you develop a strong online presence that will attract traffic, boost conversions, and help your business succeed.
Ready to earn more leads online? Call 888-601-5359 or contact us online today to learn more about how WebFX can help.