How to Generate Leads for Your Small Business

Posted on February 2, 2020 by BoldEyeMedia

Your business needs leads. It’s how you grow. It’s how you thrive. It’s how you bring in new customers. But qualifying new leads takes a lot of time and energy and, sometimes, it may not seem like it’s worth your time when many of your leads turn out to be cold.

What if there was a way to create a system that would deliver pre-qualified leads to your doorstep with only a little extra work on your part? A way that you could provide valuable information to prospective clients while introducing them to your business and drive sales?

You can do just that with an automated lead generation system. The keyword here is: automated. This kind of system only requires you to create the content and set it up. Then, it runs on its own. The great thing about an automated lead generation system, apart from saving you time and money, is that it can work with your existing website. (No need for a costly redesign to implement this system!)

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    How it works.

    A lead generation system works by taking a prospective customer through a series of emails and small commitments leading to a call-to-action email designed to deliver interested parties to your sales team. It works like this.

    A prospective customer lands on a custom landing page promoting your content and unique selling proposition. This content has been designed to solve a problem you know your customers are looking to solve. They can get this content for free by signing up with their email.

    Once they sign up, they are taken to a thank you page. This is an excellent opportunity to give them more information about your business and point them to other resources they may be interested in.

    The action of signing up puts them into your lead generation cycle. The cycle begins with a welcome email containing the content they signed up for and informing them that they will be receiving more free content over the next few days to help them solve their problem. The content in this email and download should give them an immediate benefit.

    The next few days will contain your nurture emails. These emails provide snippets of valuable content that expand on the services your business offers while building on the free content they signed up for and giving them quick expertise. All of this builds trust with your prospective clients.

    This whole process can be automated through an email automation software or website. (There are some great free options on the internet that you can find with a little searching.) Starting an automated lead generation program is just like adding a new member to your sales team without having to hire anyone.

    Your first step is figuring out what product or service you want to promote in your first sequence and then working backward to what problem your customers are looking to solve through that product or service.

    ” Marketing automation helps small businesses compete with large organizations by helping them accomplish more with less manpower and time. Automation need not necessarily be expensive, contrary to popular beliefs. ”

    – ducttapemarketing.com

    Lead Generation & Marketing Automation For Small Businesses

    What problem do your customers want to solve?

    Customers don’t want to know all the great things about your product. They want to know how you and your product/service are going to help them solve their problem. Your messaging throughout the lead generation process needs to be focused on your customers.

    Think about the product or service you want to promote through this process. What problem is it solving for your customers? What problems have previous satisfied customers used the product or service to solve? How does your customer feel after they’ve used your product or service and benefited from it? These answers will form the basis for your lead generation’s content so you’ll want to think of more than one problem that will solve for your customers.

    Customers want to hear better ways to solve their problems. When you talk directly to them about how you can do that, they’ll pay attention and try harder to understand your offering.

    Next, think of five or so ways that your product or service will solve these problems for your customers. Will it automate a labor-intensive process? Will it help them outsource something they don’t find enjoyable? Will it give them expertise in a field they need to know about?

    Once you’ve expanded on these customer benefits, you will have the content for your lead magnet. A particularly impactful way to format this content is in a Q&A. For each benefit you list, think of a question your customer might ask in relation. For example, if you are an SEO company offering local search services, your customers may ask “What is Google My Business?” This question allows you to expand on the importance of GMB for attracting local customers. For the customer, it readily answers a question they have and demonstrates your expertise.

    Most importantly, you will want to make sure the content is customer-focused, not product-focused. When you talk directly to your customers like this, they’ll pay attention and want to know more about how you can help them.

    ” A Google My Business account lets you show up in search results when people are looking for you online. It’s free, which makes it an affordable marketing tool for small and big businesses alike. ”

    – blog.hootsuite.com

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    Nurture your customers.

    Now that you have your lead magnet, it’s time to create the emails that will nurture your customers through your sales process. These will be sent on a timed schedule following the triggering action: signing up for your lead generation content.

    The best way to create this nurture sequence is to create an email for each of the product/service benefits that you cover in your lead generation content. These emails should be in a conversational tone and provide the recipient with actionable content they can implement in their business right away.

    At the end of the nurture sequence, there should be a call-to-action email that directs them to a purchase page or a calendar page where they can sign up for a sales call with your team. Customers that have made it this far in the series and take this action are leads you know are very interested and ready to buy.

    So, here is what your automated email sequence should look like:

    • Welcome email: Thank the customer for signing up, deliver the content, and explain that there will be more nurture emails.
    • Nurture sequence: Touches on all the benefits covered in the original content and providing action items and immediate expertise to the customers.
    • Call-to-action: Gives your customer a way to purchase or book a sales call.

    Think of this sequence as a replacement to your traditional lead follow-up procedures. With an automated lead generation sequence, you don’t have to sift through all of your leads trying to find the hottest ones. You don’t have to waste your time trying to nurture leads that never had the intention to buy. By ending on a call-to-action, you are bringing qualified, ready to buy leads straight to your door.

    ” Lead nurturing is the process of developing and reinforcing relationships with buyers at every stage of the sales funnel. ”

    – marketo.com

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    Building a predictable pipeline.

    The best part about an automated lead generation sequence is the effect that it will have on your sales pipeline. Instead of the rollercoaster of one month of an influx of contracts and another of delivering work ending in a third where you have a drought of new business, an automatic lead generation sequence keeps your pipeline full of interesting leads with no extra work on your part.

    Prospects that enter the lead generation sequence will be nurtured automatically, with no additional touchpoints needed on your end. They will be primed and waiting for you to deliver once they’re done. The only limiting factor to your pipeline is your capacity.

    Let’s pause here and talk for a second about all the valuable data that this sequence will bring to your business. After a few months of running your lead generation sequence, you will be able to calculate your conversion rate. That is, you will have a better understanding of how many people you will need to talk to create a sale.

    Here is a simple example. Let’s say you have 300 new prospects entering your pipeline. Of those prospects. From those prospects, you talk to 30 people and end up with 15 sales. Here, you would have a final conversion rate of 5%.

    To find your conversion rate, you divide the number of sales by the initial number of prospects. If you do better with formulas, that would be “(Final Sales) ÷ (Initial Prospects) = Conversion Rate).

    So let’s say that each sale is worth $1,000 dollars and you want to increase sales by $5,000 per month. Now you have a way to figure out how many prospects you need to talk to in order to raise your sales by that amount.

    To figure that out, you need to work backward. In this scenario, we know that $5,000 is equal to 5 sales. When we look at our conversion rate equation with these variables, it looks like “5 ÷ X = .05.” If you can remember all the way back to algebra, you know what’s next. We can multiply both sides of the equation by the Final Sales variable. This cancels it out on one side so we end up with: Initial Prospects =  Final Sales x Conversion Rate. So, if you need to make 5 sales with a 5% conversion rate, you need to talk to 25 prospects.

    ” If you aren’t using a sales pipeline, you may be driving blind: you may lack insight about how effective your sales process is and where your deals are. ”

    – pipedrive.com

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    Test, tweak, build.

    Once you’ve successfully launched your first lead generation sequence, it’s time to evaluate. What is working well and what isn’t? Would a different subject line help with your open rate? Carrying out A/B testing on your sequence is as important as having a sequence as that is what will help you optimize it so it is performing at its best.

    When A/B testing, it’s important to only change one or two things at a time. That way you will know the impact of each change. If you change everything at once, it’s hard to tell what the most impactful change was.

    You can also repurpose the content you’ve created for these lead generation pieces to boost your website’s SEO. As a small business owner, you know how important your time is. In fact, you probably even know how much your time is worth. Maximize the ROI on these pieces by incorporating the content into your blog or social media. You can even make them into a YouTube video for your channel.

    Now that you’ve put one sequence in place, there’s nothing stopping you from building more. Many small businesses have five or even ten automatic lead generation sequences going at once to keep their pipeline full of vetted prospects.

    ” A/B testing is an invaluable part of any marketing strategy. It allows you to rely on data to make smart choices about how you communicate with your audience. ”

    – optinmonster.com

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    Get A Lead Machine that works while you sleep!

    People buy from companies they know, like, and trust. They buy because they feel connected to the business. A well-designed lead generation sequence shows your potential customers that you understand their problem, have the expertise needed to help them and that you care about educating them. It creates an emotive response in them and makes them feel connected to you.

    Remember that using a lead generation sequence, a customer signs up to receive a specific piece of content: your lead generation magnet. Once they’ve signed up, they enter an automatic email sequence based on that content. This sequence gives them little bits of information and education based on their initial interest. The final email in the sequence is a call-to-action to book a call with your sales team or make a purchase.

    By using a lead generation system, you’re ensuring that your business is dealing with customers who are engaged and informed. They liked what they saw and want to work more with you to get even more value for their business.

    The people who end up booking a call with your sales team have chosen to walk with you every step of the way through your sequence. They have shown they are potentially committed to the solution that you offer and are primed to buy.

    Lead generation systems help you say goodbye to the unpredictable sales rollercoaster. You can use this outline today to put your first sequence into place and see how much it can change your business.

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