Lead Generation For Dummies book cover

Lead Generation For Dummies

By: Dayna Rothman Published: 03-31-2014

Learn how to get your message heard above the online noise

The buying process is greatly changed. With the Internet, the buyer is in charge. If your product is going to compete, you need to master 21st century lead generation, and this book shows you how. It's packed with effective strategies for inbound and outbound marketing tactics that will generate leads in today's market. You'll learn the basics of lead generation, inbound and outbound marketing, lead nurturing, ways to track ROI, and how to score leads to know when one is "hot". Follow the steps to create your own personalized lead generation plan and learn how to sidestep common pitfalls.

  • Lead generation involves a strategy for generating consumer interest and inquiry into your product as well as a process for nurturing those leads until each is ready to buy
  • Techniques include content marketing through websites, blogs, social media, and SEO as well as outbound marketing strategies such as e-mail, PPC ads, content syndication, direct mail, and events
  • This book explores the basics of lead generation, inbound and outbound marketing, lead nurturing, tracking ROI on campaigns, lead scoring techniques, and ways to avoid many common pitfalls
  • Provides steps you can follow to create your own personalized lead generation plan

Lead Generation For Dummies is the extra edge you need to compete in today's technologically enhanced marketplace.

Articles From Lead Generation For Dummies

page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
83 results
83 results
Lead Generation For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 04-25-2022

The world of marketing, sales, and lead generation has plenty of jargon, so here's a glossary of terms to help you know what's what. Also, here is a round-up of eight incredibly useful free apps that help you with everything from evaluating your website for broken links and good search engine optimization (SEO) to determining how engaging your marketing emails are.

View Cheat Sheet
How to Make Your E-Mails Hit the Inbox: Deliverability Lessons

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

There is a lot of noise out there in today’s consumer's inbox. Your good reputation as a sender is critical to your e-mails actually making it into the inbox. The content of your e-mails is important too, of course, but marketers need to start paying attention to how their e-mails are being delivered as well. Here are some steps to take to ensure that your e-mails are being delivered to your recipients and not landing in a spam folder: Become a trusted sender: When your subscribers opt-in to receive your communications, make sure that you are clear about what he should expect. For instance, how many e-mails will he receive? When will he be receiving them? What sort of e-mails do you send? Most importantly, follow through with your promises. Create great e-mail content: If you are sending out e-mails with bad content to your subscribers, you risk having them unsubscribe and not engage with your company. Plus, recipients always have the power to mark your e-mails as spam. Keep a clean database: Keep a keen eye on your data. Verify e-mail addresses before you send your e-mails. Make sure to regularly scrub your database to remove inactive, incorrect, and duplicate e-mail addresses. You can do this yourself with your operations team, or you can hire a third-party data cleansing service. Choose a reputable e-mail marketing solution: There are a lot of options out there for e-mail marketing or marketing automation solutions. Make sure you choose a vendor that can handle bounce codes, feedback loops, and connection optimization. Think about complaint rates: Your e-mail marketing platform will warn you if complaints are being made against your company. Take these very seriously. A suggestion is to create an e-mail alias to handle spam complaints. Make sure you register this e-mail address with anti-spam groups to show that you are responsible and have made yourself available to address any complaints. Watch your HTML code: Make sure your HTML code does not have any errors. E-mails that have coding errors can quickly cause your e-mail to be sent directly to spam folders. Have an obvious unsubscribe option: Of course, you never want your subscribers to unsubscribe from your communications, but you must include unsubscribe information in your e-mail anyway. Use a one-step unsubscribe process that is easy to find and easy to follow.

View Article
Top 10 Lead-Generation Blogs

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Due to the fast-moving technology landscape, best practices for marketing and lead generation change constantly. Keeping up with top lead-generation blogs is a great way to stay up-to-date with the latest and greatest new tips, strategies, and channels to try. Here are ten of the best. Ann Handley Created by Ann Handley, Marketing Prof’s chief content officer, Ann’s blog focuses on content, social media, and lead generation. Ann’s blogging style is marked by a humorous and creative approach to all things marketing. HubSpot The HubSpot blog is known for its conversational style and the approachability of its posts. Publishing sometimes 10 or more blog posts a week, they keep readers up-to-date on numerous marketing topics ranging from the basic to the advanced. Marketo The Marketo blog offers readers a diverse set of marketing and lead generation topics ranging from social media, content marketing, marketing automation, and everything in between. The winner of numerous industry accolades, the Marketo blog publishes five or six posts a week. Convince and Convert One of the top social media blogs created by author and speaker Jay Baer, Convince and Convert focuses on social media, content marketing, and lead generation. Convince and Convert also features posts by a variety of well-known marketing writers, in addition to regular posts from Jay himself. Copyblogger Copyblogger is a fantastic and informative blog created by blogging guru Brian Clark. It's a great resource for all things blogging and content marketing. They post about five or six articles a week and cover a wide range of marketing and lead generation topics. Duct Tape Marketing Created by John Jantsch, a leader in small business marketing strategy, Duct Tape Marketing is more of a general marketing blog featuring both inbound and outbound thought leadership. Forbes named this blog one of the top 100 best websites for entrepreneurs. Event Manager Blog Event Manager Blog is a comprehensive blog focusing on all things events. Learn about event planning by industry, internal company event planning, event technology, and how to leverage social media for all of your events. This blog is a great source of inspiration and tips. Predictable Revenue If you want to learn about more about sales and closing deals, Predictable Revenue is the blog for you. Founded by Aaron Ross, blogger and consultant, this blog shows you how to turn your business into a sales machine. Social Media Examiner One of the leading blogs on social media, Social Media Examiner features a variety of well-known industry thought-leaders covering all things social. Learn about social channels, how to track social media return on investment (ROI), and more. TopRank Blog Created by digital marketing agency TopRank and founders Lee Odden and Susan Misukanis, the TopRank blog emphasizes search engine and inbound marketing best practices.

View Article
Best Practices for Enabling Your Sales Teams

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Your sales team is a key part of your lead-generation strategy. The sales reps are the first human touch that your leads will have with your company, so make sure that your reps understand your messaging and know what content is available to help their sales efforts. Here are some best practices to consider when enabling your sales teams: Provide product and messaging training: As a marketer, you are constantly being tasked to create messaging around the company and any new product or service launches. Your sales teams need to be adequately trained to relay that messaging to leads. Make sure to set up training sessions for every message change, and provide a cheat sheet of sound bites for them to mention. Give them a script to reference: Provide your sales teams a script to reference during their sales calls. Make sure that they know key talking points about your company and provide them with objections and rebuttals so that they know what to say if a lead says no right off the bat. Make sure they know what content is available: Make sure your sales teams know what new content you have released. Whether it is a datasheet or an ebook, your sales teams can use these tools on sales calls. Just make sure that your sales reps know exactly what each asset is about and how it can help during the sales cycle. Provide a database of content in one place: It’s great that you create new ebooks and content assets each month, but does your sales team know where to find them? Make sure you are putting everything in one place so that a sales rep can find everything she needs. This could be a cloud storage service such as Dropbox or Box, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool such as Salesforce, a company Wiki, or some other location your sales reps know to look for new content. Create and maintain relationships with sales reps: Many marketers work in a silo and don’t interact much with the sales team, but this is the wrong way to go about sales and marketing alignment (which you need for successful lead generation). Have regular check-ins with sales, let them know that you are available to help, and consider scheduling joint team-building activities.

View Article
Top Social Media Metrics to Watch

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Using social media for lead generation is an absolute must, but the problem is that many marketers have no idea how to track a return on investment (ROI) of their efforts. How should you think about tracking ROI and what should you track? Check out this list of social media metrics to help you get started: Number of followers or friends: A good indicator of how your social channels are performing is your number of followers or friends. Are those numbers trending up or down? How many new followers are you attracting each week, month, and year? On social channels: How often are your followers engaging with you on social channels? How many retweets are you getting? How many comments? How many Likes? How many clicks? Make sure you are watching the trends. By closely tracking these metrics, you can start to determine what type of content is working best on what channel. Conversion rates: This is a big one. Track how many people who visit you on social channels turn into leads. You can track this by ensuring that every offer you put out on social channels links to a form. You can add tracking codes to each landing page through your marketing automation software so you know which leads came from social campaigns. Buzz indicators: There are many social buzz indicators, such as People Talking About This on Facebook and other insights. Each social channel has its own unique buzz indicators, so make sure you are tracking these. Traffic: How much traffic comes to your website from social channels? You can track this through Google Analytics or your marketing automation tool.

View Article
8 Useful — and Free — Lead-Generation Applications

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Many applications and websites are available to test your lead generation techniques and strategies. From determining how to test a landing page, to seeing how your emails look on various devices, to seeing how well your website is optimized for keywords, free tools can help you do lots of things. Take a look at this list to learn about eight useful and free lead-generation applications: Marketo's Landing Page Split Calculator: Determine how many versions of a landing page you should create for your A/B test and how long the test should take to execute. Litmus Email Testing: Input your email HTML for a report on how your email looks on various devices and email clients. HubSpot's Marketing Grader: This gives you a free report on how you are currently doing with your online marketing strategy. Check My Links: Check your website for broken links. My SEO Grader: Check your website to determine how well it is optimized for a specific keyword. A/B Split Test Significance Calculator: Check your A/B tests to determine if the results you get are statistically significant. Marketo's Marketing Automation ROI Calculator: Calculate how to optimize your revenue cycle and evaluate your sales funnel. Click to Tweet: Add a Tweet This link into any of your blog posts or website content. Simply create the tweet you want your visitors to use and generate a link for easy social sharing.

View Article
Familiarize Yourself with Lead Generation Terms

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

When you're getting started with lead generation, you should familiarize yourself with a variety of basic terms. Here is a glossary of some basic lead generation and sales terms and definitions for your reference: Bottom-of-funnel (BOFU): Prospects that are at the bottom of the sales funnel and nearing a purchase. Budget, Authority, Need, and Time (BANT): A method for qualifying likely sales prospects. You want to talk to people who have the budget, authority, need, and time for your product or service. B2B: Business-to-business. B2C: Business-to-consumer. Call-to-Action (CTA): Asking a lead to take an action. A CTA often takes the form of a digital image that encourages a lead to move closer towards making a purchase. Click-through rate (CTR): A percentage of how many users actually click a link; a way of measuring the success of online or email sales campaigns. CMS (content management system): A computer system that allows users to publish and edit content from a single interface. Inbound marketing: A marketing strategy that earns the attention of customers, drawing them in to attract new business through content marketing, search engine optimization, social media, and more. Lead generation: The marketing process of stimulating and capturing interest in a product or service for the purpose of developing a sales pipeline. Lead nurturing: The process of building relationships with qualified prospects, regardless of their readiness to buy. Lead scoring: The technique of assigning leads a score based on points given to a lead's demographic attributes, behaviors, and web activity for the purpose of sending warm leads to sales. Middle-of-funnel (MOFU): Prospects in the middle stages of the sales funnel. Outbound marketing: The process of pushing your message out to customers through general advertising and other paid programs. Pay-per-click (PPC): An Internet advertising model where advertisers pay every time their ad is clicked by a user. Return on investment (ROI): The results gained for your dollars spent. Sales and marketing alignment: Collaboration between the sales and marketing team for common definitions of what constitutes a good lead and closed-loop lead lifecycles. Sales funnel: The progression that your company tracks while generating, qualifying, and closing leads throughout the sales and marketing lifecycle. Service-level agreement: A part of a contract where a service is defined. Top-of-funnel (TOFU): Prospects in the top or beginning stages of the sales funnel.

View Article
12 Steps to Creating a Lead Generation Content Piece from Start to Finish

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

A critical part of developing a lead generation strategy that rocks is creating content to fuel your sales campaigns. But creating a content piece can be hard. Using an ebook as an example, here are the steps you need to take from idea to publication: Formulate your idea. What are you going to write about? Consider mapping your content to business priorities and industry hot topics, or simply ask your sales or customer service team what customers and prospects are talking about. Find a subject matter expert. Does anyone in your organization know a lot about your chosen topic? If so, ask him to be involved with information-gathering. If not, are you prepared to do the research, or will you outsource it? Determine who is writing the content. Do you have the expertise to write the asset in-house? If not, you need to find a reliable outsourced writer. Make sure you thoroughly vet her work before contracting the project. Create an outline. This step is often overlooked. Make sure you create an outline that goes over what topics you intend to cover and what the format of your ebook will be. Write the draft. If you are working with a contract writer, you will want to set him up with your subject matter expert for a brain dump, where you can educate the writer on your topic. When you have all of the information you need, write your draft. Go through the first round of edits. After you have completed your draft, you need to edit it. Do a round yourself and ask a colleague to also do a round to get another perspective. Rewrite as necessary. After you have your edited first draft, it’s time to rewrite. Incorporate and address all of the edits. Do one more round of edits and a final read-through. Send the final text to design. Either choose an outsourced designer, or send it to your internal designers. Some designers require you to create a brief explaining the project and any ideas you have. Do design edits. After it is in the ebook design template, go through and do another round of edits. Look for content issues, but also look for design issues such as a graphic being in the wrong place, or branding that isn’t quite on-point. Publish your content. When you get the final designed version back, it’s time to publish. If you have a resource center, make sure it's posted there. You should also decide whether you want to require people to register through a form before they download the content. Promote the content. Make sure you promote through social, email, pay-per-click ads, and other lead-generation programs.

View Article
7 Examples of Outbound Marketing that Generate Sales Leads

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

Inbound marketing is getting a lot of buzz; the key to successful lead generation is a well-rounded marketing mix. This includes both inbound and outbound marketing techniques. Through outbound marketing programs, you actively go out to find your customers, often via paid channels. Another distinction to make is that inbound marketing works for broad lead generation activities, but outbound is good to amplify your inbound efforts and target specific opportunities. And in many cases, outbound techniques can have that "wow" factor to make your company stand out since these strategies are often highly targeted with an obvious call-to-action. As a result, good outbound marketing can lead someone down your sales funnel at a faster rate, assuming he is a good lead. PPC (pay-per-click) advertising By paying to advertise on search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, your message can be seen by leads searching for keywords specific to your business. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads show up on the side and top of the organic search results and use targeted ad copy to tempt leads to click a high-value offer such as a content piece that relates directly to a search term. PPC ads also take the form of banner advertising on many websites and can be found on social channels such as LinkedIn. Content syndication Content is the fuel for your lead generation efforts. But it's not enough to merely put content on your own website: You also want to make sure it is seen by thousands (or millions) of potential leads. Content syndication can take the form of both paid efforts, selecting websites that will host your content, and nonpaid efforts, like writing a guest blog post on an industry association's website, or sharing your content through RSS feeds and social media. Many content syndicators require that leads fill out a form asking for contact information such as email addresses, address, company, and so on, adding more qualified leads to the database. Direct mail Although there are many views on the effectiveness of direct mail, when combined with the other efforts listed here, direct mail can be a highly effective way to reach and engage your target audience. By focusing on sending creative and targeted communications, you can grab the attention of someone who has previously not responded to other lead generation efforts. Event marketing Event marketing is a fantastic way to generate leads, create lasting relationships, and engage with current customers for upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Events often take the form of webinars, conferences, tradeshows, or seminars and offer your company a chance to meet your leads face-to-face and form a lasting impression. This helps you cement relationships and top-of-mind when your lead is ready to make a purchase decision. Inside sales An important part of being successful with your lead generation efforts is the ability to turn marketing leads into sales pipeline. Your inside sales team can help you with this. Inside sales takes marketing-generated leads, calls and qualifies them, and then hands them off to an account executive or a more experienced sales person to close. The team is often considered part of the marketing function because without its help, marketing leads often don't get called and can dry up — you definitely don't want the fantastic leads you have worked so hard to generate sitting neglected in the dark. Email marketing Email marketing often uses leads already in your database or leads from a list. By creating emails to promote content pieces, events, new product launches, and so on, you can create additional buzz and demand for your company. Email marketing attracts leads to your website, blog, social channels, events, and webinars, making it a fantastic channel to move leads through your sales funnel. Lead nurturing and lead scoring Many marketers forget that lead generation is not finished after the lead has been acquired. Instead, it's just beginning. Many of the leads you have generated and brought into your database are not quite ready yet to buy. So through lead nurturing, systematically sending emails that move a lead closer to a purchase, you can help turn your lukewarm leads hot. And by assigning leads scores based on how closely they fit your buyer profile and where they are on their buyer journey, you know exactly when a lead needs to be sent to sales. You don't want a hot lead that is itching to make a purchase going cold because no one is calling him.

View Article
Grow Your Business with Lead Generation

Article / Updated 03-26-2016

No matter the size of your business, you want it to grow. You need to reach your customers through different marketing channels — social media, search engines, your website, events, and more. By creating a well-thought-out lead generation strategy that maps to business priorities, you effectively grow your business by generating more leads for your sales teams to call. Marketing has changed. It isn't enough anymore to purchase an ad in a print magazine, buy a list of leads, and have your sales teams call on a bunch of cold prospects. In today's world of mobile devices and social media, you need to do more than cold call to close a sale. Plus, having your sales teams call leads that are never going to buy is a huge waste of time and money. You want to do more than generate more leads, you want to generate better leads (or warm leads). What are warm leads? They are potential customers who are very close to purchasing by the time they reach your sales teams. But how are you going to grow your business through lead generation? Find more leads Every business could use more leads. More leads are more potential customers ready to buy your product or service. Finding an abundance of leads is hard — really hard. And it has become even harder and more complex due to the changing nature of the Internet and the rapid pace at which today's businesses are expected to grow. Marketers of yore tried to generate leads through many outbound (and often aggressive tactics) such as cold calling, batch and blast email tactics, tradeshows, print and radio advertising, and list purchasing. Although outbound techniques certainly have their place and are indeed part of a well-rounded lead generation strategy, used alone, they can be a turnoff to many of today's buyers. Modern marketers also need to employ tactics like social media, content marketing, SEO, and similar strategies to generate more (and warmer) leads for their sales teams. Enhance prospect relationships Even more important than generating a ton of leads is generating a ton of qualified leads that are interested enough in your product or service that they could potentially become customers. Generating leads like they are going out of style won't matter if they are bad leads. Today's buyer self-educates. And because of the open nature of the Internet, he has high expectations for customer service. Additionally, today's buyer values relationships and trust, and likes to interact with brands on a more personal level through social channels such as Facebook and Twitter. He wants to be spoken with, not spoken at. Companies today need to focus on creating relationships with leads so that when a buyer is ready to purchase, your company is top-of-mind. This is done through engaging leads with educational content, being active on social channels to develop a following, face-to-face interactions at events, and other relationship-building lead generation tactics. The days of the faceless corporation are over. Your buyers want to engage with you as they would engage with a friend. Consumer companies like Coca-Cola, Nike, and Apple do a great job creating relationships with customers through storytelling, great branding, and creative lead generation tactics. Appealing to your buyer creates brand ambassadors, ultimately helping you grow your company and generate more high-quality leads. Maximize your spending Lead generation enables you to maximize your spending as a marketer and ultimately gain greater credibility within an organization. Marketing has been increasingly pressured to produce metrics and be accountable for a budget, and is often scrutinized for wasting expensive sales resources calling on bad leads that are not qualified in any way. Because lead generation provides you with the framework for measureable campaigns, return on investment (ROI) becomes easier to report on. Lead generation helps you focus on program ROI, evaluate leads to determine sales-readiness, and nurture leads that are not quite yet ready to buy. By being focused and strategic with your lead generation strategy, you can truly begin to maximize your marketing spending while making sure you are focusing on sending qualified leads to sales. Additionally, tactics like social media, blogging, content marketing, your website, and SEO give you a huge bang for your buck. Instead of renting attention, as you would in paid programs, you are owning your own attention. What is the difference? Well, renting attention is paying someone to borrow their audience — like an event or a paid ad. Owning attention is the ability to develop your own following through content marketing and social media. And when you combine these techniques with paid programs such as events, email marketing, and inside sales, you can truly maximize your spending. Be more strategic Creating an integrated lead generation strategy for your business enables you to capture and nurture leads in a more strategic way. Many companies lack a lead acquisition strategy. Marketing managers may place a few ads, start a Facebook page, or create a three-page ebook, but they think of lead generation as a tactical part of marketing. Instead, you need to think of lead generation holistically and strategically in order for it to be effective. Integrate many facets of your marketing department including events, email marketing, social media, paid programs, lead nurturing, and sales to thematically concentrate and maximize your overall efforts.

View Article
page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9