Online businesses are different from the standard local store in your neighborhood. They require a different approach as it relates to acquisition of customers. No matter what business you choose online, you must have a strategy to bring potential customers to you. After all, it is not like your local restaurant, in which the owner may personally know some of his customers. No, in this day and age you must be more creative. How is this done?
On line, a customer is first called a “lead”. Once a lead visits your site or URL there may be the potential of interest in what you are offering. There are a few ways to initially connect with leads. Some methods include the following…purchasing leads from a lead generation company, placing ads on the internet, writing articles that talk about your business, writing newsletters, funded proposals, etc. The list goes on and on. In this article I will speak specifically about the differences of various lead generation systems. I will attempt to point out the issues that are most critical for your online success. Let’s begin…
Purchasing leads from a lead generation company seems simple enough. Finding the names has already been done for you. It is a simple exchange of your money for a list of names. Of course, the next step is not so easy. You must contact them to see if they have an interest in your offer.
Lead generation companies have to attract copious amounts of names through their advertising in order to fill the orders of online businesses like yours. And, in most cases, these leads are sold to more than one business. So, in essence you are paying a dear price for very generic leads, leads that, most likely, have been approached by other businesses prior to your contact with them. This fact greatly reducing the possibility of “your” lead having an interest in your business.
Generating your own leads starts you on the path of much greater success and much less stress. Whether you use online ads, article writing, or newsletters you must have a system in place that will maximize the lead’s contact with you and most importantly give them a good reason to become associated with you. For example, let’s say you write an Google ad on a particular service that you offer. When a person on the internet clicks that ad, that person has already qualified themselves as an interested targeted lead. Can you see that this lead is much more likely to do business with you than a lead that simply filled out an online questionnaire?
Here is a specific example…let’s say you are building a network marketing business. What lead would be more likely to investigate the business that you are offering? A lead that answered on online questionaire and agreed that yes, he wants to make more money? Or a lead that clicked on your ad that stated something like, “looking for a motivated business builder to grow a new network marketing company? I think the answer is obvious. One lead is generic, the other is very specific. Most lead generation systems that I am familiar with understand this difference and don’t use the generic questionnaires that are prominent with companies that simply sell leads. Let’s continue…
Does your lead generation system have a lead capture page? This is by far the most critical aspect of a lead generation system. If you don’t get their contact information then they cannot be considered a lead! Why, then, can you still see systems online without a lead capture page?
Ok, let’s agree that you would never use a system without a lead capture page. Once the lead has given you their contact information you must have a system in place that will automatically contact this lead on a consistent basis. Research indicates that most potential customers need greater than 7-10 exposures from you in order to truly connect with you. So this “autoresponder” system is critical. Unfortunately, some lead generation systems have auto responders that have very generic, uncompelling messages that really do nothing to foster an online relationship with your potential customer or business associate. The best lead generation systems have very personalized, daily messages that will give your lead a topic to reflect upon. When I say very personalized messages I mean messages that are branded to you! (Your info, your contact information, your photo, etc). Something that will help this prospect connect with you and your service. The most compelling way of “selling” is not selling at all. In my opinion, expounding upon the BENEFITS FOR YOUR LEAD is the best way to interest them. Each time they receive an email, the autoresponder should give the lead a link or option of how they can get more information about that particular daily topic. The more current and up to date the topics the better these emails will be received. It is not unusual for a lead to purchase from you or join you after the tenth contact!
Do the links bring the lead to a direct sales page? In other words, does your system give the lead the option of buying something from you? It might be an opportunity to join your business. Maybe an exciting informational packet can be offered for purchase. If you don’t offer something, you will certainly not sell anything.
We are not done yet…Unless your system has a way to rigorously track what your leads are doing, all the work you had done to this point has left you short. For example, does your system show you exactly how deep the lead got into your information and offerings? This information is vital. Each lead will have various degrees of interest and will investigate your information to different levels. You must know how much information the lead has obtained in order to know what information will be most appropriate next. While at first glance this might seem complicated, with a solid lead generation and tracking system this is all done automatically.
In summary, to efficiently and profitably market your business you must have an online presence. An up-to-date lead generation system that methodically attracts your leads, educates them, and gives them opportunities to purchase, gives you a heads up on your competition. The ability to track them is the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae!