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Global Coupon at Canada Marketing Summit 2014: What’s Your Lead Generation Strategy?

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Lead generation, anyone? It’s that time of the year again: the start of a whole new season of marketing conferences and summits. Global Coupon is proud to sponsor the third Canada Marketing Summit this year, focused on marketing, advertising and lead generation online.

What are your lead generation tips? What are the biggest lead generation mistakes you’ve learned from? Here are a few basic steps drawn from traditional marketing, that are just as relevant (and that work equally well) in the online marketing environment.

1. Who are your prospects? The first step is to understand who you want to sell to. Sure, you already “understand” that “everybody” could be a prospect. But you also instinctively know that some markets are more receptive to your product or service than others. The more specific you are about who you want to reach, the more specific your marketing message can be – and the more leads you can potentially generate. Use the “80/20″ rule to start with: target the 20% of your customers who actually generate 80% of your revenue.

 2. Connect with your customers. Don’t just promote your company with a sales pitch and contact information – what are your prospects’ pain points and what solutions do you have? Use words in your online ad or offer that describe how your customers might feel about the problem (that of course, your product/service will solve), and words that describe what they are looking for when they purchase a product and service such as yours. Focus your text/audio on what your prospective customers will gain from you.

 3. Create a lead-generation ad, not a sales ad. What’s the difference? A lead-generation ad produces leads. It isn’t supposed to close the sale. Online ads, whether they are text, audio or video, are often extremely small or short because space on your monitor or mobile/tablet screen is limited, consumer data plans can be expensive, and customer attention spans online are much shorter than when they’re browsing traditional media ads. If a prospect clicks on your online ad to visit your website, it’s done the job.

4. Have a lead-generation landing page, not a sales page. What does that mean to you? It’s not a page with mainly sales messaging, or just your home page. Lead generation is often a long term strategy: you need to build your customers’ trust, sometimes over weeks or months, before they will “buy into” what you’re going to sell them. Your landing page’s job is to show people that you, your product or service is trustworthy. That’s it. If you try to “hard sell” your product or service too quickly, your prospective customers may be turned off and simply leave. But if you offer to send them free information they may value, in exchange for their contact information, or suggest that they bookmark your landing page so they can return to it more easily for more great insights, a higher percentage of those clickthroughs may follow up with you – and that’s another step along the path to closing your sale with them.

5. Build a relationship. How does this work? Once you have your prospect’s contact information, or once you have them coming back for more, you can educate your prospects, keep building that trust, and eventually start an actual sales and conversion process. You will succeed when your follow-up converts a percentage of your leads into customers. Timing is a factor, as well: some of your prospects may not be in a position to buy right now, but might be in the right frame of mind or at the right point in their business cycle up to a year from now. If you’ve got the right lead generation process in place, over time you can convert a higher percentage of your leads even if they don’t convert to paid customers right away.

Remember: you’re selling to people. People are still people, whether you’re approaching them online, in print, or in person. Your biggest mistake is to start selling too early in the lead generation process. Your biggest advantage lies in thoroughly understanding your target market. The speakers at CMS 2014 will be able to offer trending insights that build even further on these tips. Our Global Coupon blog (yes, the one you’re reading right now), and our Facebook and LinkedIn pages, can be pretty informative too. But of course, don’t just take our word for it.

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