Let’s face it, without leads, your business – may it be of any scale, will probably fail. To survive in a highly competitive market, your business needs a consistent stream of qualified leads, resulting in steady customer growth. But how do you effectively reach your target audience? How can you ensure that people who visit your website are actually interested in your product or service?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 85 percent of B2B marketers identified lead generation as their most important content marketing goal. Therefore, an end-to-end lead generation strategy can help attract and nurture interested prospects, and convert them into future customers.
Let’s dig deep into some of the most effective lead generation strategies that can help you boost reach and skyrocket conversions.
Use Gated Content
By gating content, you can ensure that your audience can access an informational asset on your website, such as a whitepaper or an eBook, by filling out a registration form. This enables you to collect data related to your audience, which helps:
- Attract high-quality visitors as most likely, people genuinely interested in reading the content piece would make an effort to fill out the form.
- Build valuable relationships with them by knowing more about their tastes and preferences.
- Segment your leads based on the information acquired through the forms and cater to them accordingly.
Plainly, gated content can improve your reach and lead conversion rates by several folds. Interested in trying out gated content for lead generation? However, to use this technique effectively, it is important to ensure that you’re creating high-quality content for gating.
Host a Webinar
According to a survey by ON24, 76 percent of marketers said that webinars enable them to generate more leads. It is no surprise that conducting a webinar can be a compelling way of amplifying reach, strengthening bonds with existing customers, and generating new leads. Here are a few reasons why you should include webinars in your lead generation plan:
- Webinars allow you to surpass the geographical barriers as participants can attend your webinar from any corner of the world.
- You can establish authority and build credibility among the target audience by creating webinars around relevant topics that address customer pain points.
- Webinars provide you with a great opportunity to qualify leads via in-webinar polls and questions or follow up surveys.
- Most webinar hosting platforms allow you to record them, which can be later used as gated content on your website or for email marketing purposes.
Needless to say that the ability to reach a massive audience makes webinars a powerful way of generating high-quality leads.
Create an Information-Rich Newsletter
Another popular way of using content as a lead magnet is to create a value-packed newsletter. Your company’s newsletter can include information regarding new blog posts, product updates, upcoming events, or special discount offers. This does not only allow you to stay relevant in the minds of prospects but also helps in sharing product promotions, driving leads further down the purchase funnel.
Nevertheless, it is a known fact that internet users are already bombarded with tons of offers and promotions. Thus, to make the audience sign up for your newsletter, the key is to make it informative and not sales-driven.
Provide a Free Trial
Offering free trials is one of the oldest yet significant lead generation methods, commonly used in the B2B market. It involves providing a free trial of your product to leads that fill out a form for a given period. This not only makes your prospects accustomed with your product but also helps them compare it first-hand with the other available options in the market.
According to the founder and COO at Notejoy, Ada Chen Rekhi, the free trial conversion rates can range from 1-10 percent to as high as 40-50 percent. So how do you make your free trial marketing tactic work?
- Offer a product free trial without asking for credit card information to reduce friction.
- Remind the leads when their free trial is expiring to ensure that they’ve tested all the available features of the product.
- Provide a discount if they purchase the product before the trial expires to build good relationships.
Add a Website Live Chat Feature
A survey by Kissmetrics reveals that 38 percent of online customers made their purchase because of the live chat session. A website live chat is one of the simplest yet most essential lead generation techniques, often used by businesses. This is because it allows you to reach out to your website visitors and communicate with them in real-time.
However, to make live chat your ultimate lead generation hack, below are a few tips:
- Add your name and picture to the live chat window for personalization.
- Use data gained from the live chat’s analytics to enhance the customer experience.
- Offer incentives, such as coupons or discounts for a convincing live chat session.
SEO is an evergreen marketing technique that can help drive traffic to your website, resulting in lead generation for your business. To begin with this tactic, you need to optimize your website’s content for SEO, define your target audience, identify relevant keywords, and keep an eye on your SERP rankings.
The power of SEO can be used to level up all types of businesses. For example, if you are a financial advisor or a consultant in the same field, you can opt for strategies pertaining to SEO for financial advisors. This will enable you to get found by prospective clients and rank above your competition.
Utilize Email Marketing
Communication channels have modernized over time, with the advent and proliferation of social media platforms. However, email marketing still remains one of the most effective ways of reaching out to the target audience. But we know that customers receive billions of emails daily, so how do you make your emails stand out? How do you ensure that you’re generating leads for your business via emails?
Apart from writing a killer subject line and nailing the preview text, it is important to add personalization to email marketing campaigns. For instance, you can add content in your emails based on the audience’s interests to improve the reach, click-through rates, and conversions.
In today’s competitive landscape, generating a continual stream of leads is not something that can happen overnight. Hence, if you want to boost your reach and conversion rates, the key is to experiment and identify which combination of strategies stated above work for your business. This is because every business is unique, and what works for your company might not work for another company.
Adding Expert Quotes Into Your Content: A Beginner’s Guide
Writing an insightful, engaging article on a topic that you’re unsure of is always a challenge, but getting readers to respect your opinions and ideas is even tougher.
If you don’t have evidence to show that you’re offering an informed opinion, then readers will check out, and your content won’t resonate in the way you expect.
An ideal way to enhance your content and back up any ideas you may have is to include expert advice and quotes.
So, if you’re writing about a topic on which you are not well-informed, or you just want to back up your theories, then asking professionals and experts for quotes and insight could be the ideal solution.
The majority of the article will be your own work, but adding short quotes from experts can give your writing gravitas.
Working with respected experts in their field can add prestige to your work, and if they agree to promote your work if they are included, then they will give you additional reach.
To find out more about how to source the best experts, and get quotes that benefit your content, carry on reading.
Send Out A Media Request
One of the easiest ways to get experts to send you quotes and collaborate on your writing project is to send out a media request.
Effectively, you’ll be getting them to come to you, saving yourself time and effort seeking them out.
Media request services such as ResponseSource, ExpertSources or Gorkana can give you access to a wide range of experts and PR representatives.
Some sites don’t need you to make an account, but if you’re regularly sending out media requests, then it might be an idea to make one so that you can keep an eye on your requests.
If you write on the same topic regularly, you can even repeat your requests to get a steady stream of responses.
For each request, you need to select relevant categories; try not to choose too many, so that you don’t end up with everyone responding to you.
At the same time, if you go too niche then you might find yourself with too few replies, so try to strike the right balance. It might take trial and error, but eventually, you’ll get there.
When describing your article, share very few details so that no one else can steal your idea, and you can vet experts before you ask them for a quote. You can inform experts once they respond and offer you a quote.
Tell them what you’re going to offer and then ask them to reach out to you if they’re interested in contributing, then send your request and work with the service provider to get it approved and up on their site.
Personally Reach Out To High-Ranking Experts
If you have specific experts that you’re interested in featuring in your article, or you just want to boost your chances of getting relevant quotes quickly, then you can do a little manual outreach alongside your media requests.
First of all, you need to find relevant sources. If you already know who they are, then you’re good to go, so skip ahead a few sentences.
If you still need to find them, then try putting keywords related to your chosen topic into Google to find organisations or businesses in your niche. You can then get in touch with them to see if a spokesperson would be happy to collaborate with you on your article.
Another great way to find relevant sources who will be willing to share information with you is to find experts who’ve already done it. Read articles on your chosen topic and identify any experts who regularly contribute, then seek out their personal websites to find contact details.
Once you have a list of individuals and companies to contact, reach out to them or their media spokesperson. Much like your media request, your email should be brief- once you have confirmation that they are willing to provide a quote, you can give them a definite topic to write about or a question to answer.
Offer A Link Back In Return
As you are asking for their time and expertise, most experts will want something in return, but it is uncommon to pay for this opportunity, and if your sources do get paid then you might need to disclose this to readers.
Usually, most expert sources will be happy to provide you with a quote, particularly if it’s only a short one, in return for a backlink to their website or professional profile.
Backlinks are crucial for any website’s SEO, but it can be time-consuming and expensive to build them yourself.
Offer all of the experts that choose to provide a quote, and whose information you use, full credit and a backlink. They can suggest the anchor text, and as long as it isn’t spammy you can use this.
You can also suggest that if they share the article on social media and tag your pages, then you will reshare their post. This approach incentivises them to share the content with their followers, giving you additional promotion for very little effort.
Check The Credibility Of Your Sources
When you receive responses from media requests, you need to verify that they are legitimate experts in your niche.
If they haven’t already provided one, then ask for a link to their website and review it to see how legitimate they are. Put their name into Google and look out for any reference to them, so that you can verify that they are, in fact, an expert in their field.
If possible, try to find some examples of work that they have contributed to, so that you can see what kind of quotes they provide and whether or not they will be a good fit for your article.
Be prepared to share examples of your own writing with experts; this verification process works both ways, and they will want to make sure that they are providing their expertise to a respected website and a writer who will create a high-quality article.
Get Approval For Any Edits You Make
When you’ve received a positive response, you can ask a question or request a quote on a particular topic which will fit into your article.
Every expert quote is different; some might be complete, proofread and ready to go, while others will be rough bullet points or long, run-on streams of thought.
As such, you might need to write up the quote. You can also remove any irrelevant information that’s been provided, and turn it into a professional quote that shows the expert, and you, in the best possible light.
It’s crucial that you send this amended quote back to the expert, and get written approval before you publish your article.
If you’ve just reworded their information and not changed what they say, just how they say it, then you should be fine.
Once it’s all approved, you’ve got at least one quote to add gravitas to your work.
Send A Link To Your Content To Contributors
As soon as the article is published, part of your promotional activity needs to be to tell all of the contributors and ask them to share the link.
As mentioned earlier, you can offer to reshare their posts if they tag you on social media. You could also ask for a link to their piece on their site if they are willing.
Remember to stay cordial and maintain the relationship; you never know when and where you might encounter them again. Even experts that you don’t put in your article should be treated with respect and manners.
Overall, any content creator or SEO that wants to write engaging, insightful articles that readers and algorithms love needs to be finding experts to back up their claims.
As this article proves, it’s easier than it looks to find these experts and many of them are more than happy to help. By providing a quid pro quo, you will both benefit from your association.
Hannah Stevenson is the Content Marketing Manager at UK Linkology, the UK’s highest-ranking link building agency. A former journalist and experienced blogger, she has written a wide range of articles and included experts from across the corporate and public sector landscapes in her writing.
Email Conversion Rate Optimization: A Comprehensive Guide
Email doesn’t work anymore.
Do you agree with this statement? If yes, let me show you how important it is today and how to write an email that really converts. If no, this comprehensive guide will help you improve the email conversion rate at no cost.
Let’s start with a few numbers:
- Email is the top connection for 86% of professionals (HubSpot)
- Email is the most widely used tactic for customer engagement in Europe, North America, and APAC. 77.6% compared to 62% and 61% produced by content and social media respectively. At the same time, 37% of respondents claim email as the most effective method for customer loyalty and retention (only 13% mentioned websites and 11% named social media) (dotdigital)
- 47% of respondents mention email marketing as the most effective marketing channel (GetResponse)
- ⅕ of the emails are opened within the first delivery hour (GetResponse)
- Compared to social media, email is 40% better at converting (The Annuitas Group)
Is email dead? Hardly so.
The next step is to define what a conversion rate optimization is and why it is important to you as a professional.
Understanding the Conversion Rate Optimization
If you are new to email marketing, let’s first find out what an email conversion, conversion rate, and conversion rate optimization are.
Email conversion is a change of the recipient’s status to an upgraded one. For example, from a cold lead to a subscriber, from a subscriber to a free user, from a free user to a once-paying, and so on. So every time a person upgrades to a higher position, this is called a conversion.
The email conversion rate is the proportion of delivered emails to the conversions. The formula is as simple as ABC:
If you’ve sent 500 emails and only 20 of them converted people, the conversion rate is: 20/500*100%=4%. Fast and easy to calculate.
The email conversion rate depends on the goal. The more goals you have, the more conversion rates you will have to calculate.
As a professional, I have to give a few numbers and disclose info on what a good email conversion rate is. I’m sorry, but I cannot do that. The reason is not that I’m too lazy to find this data on the web, nothing of that kind. There’s no exact number on this issue.
Here’s the thing. At least, there are two niches, B2B and B2C, and the CR for them varies. There are dozens of email types, and their conversions are multiple. There are hundreds of industries, and their CR differs. There are thousands of campaigns and goals, and each of them is unique.
The conclusion about the good email conversion rate is a cliche, but the truth is: the good email conversion rate is the higher one than you have now.
The email conversion rate optimization is a combination of actions aimed to improve the email conversion rate. Its importance is obvious. If you aim at high sellings and growing revenue, you aim at high conversions.
How to Improve the Email Conversion Rate
The email conversion rate needs thorough studying. With a few years in email marketing, I’ve found that the email conversion rate depends on two factors. The human (the way people perceive your message) and technical details (that do not depend upon your recipients).
How to Write a Converting Email
The email conversion mainly depends on the way you write them. The subject lines, design, appropriateness, and many other details. Here’s a shortlist for you to check whether your email is attractive and converting.
Tip #1. Persuasive subject line
The first thing that catches your eye is the subject line. It defines further interaction with an email and whether your email is doomed to success.
- 32 characters are enough; stick to 6-10 words
- Think of whether emojis are appropriate. Note that they may cause low delivery and high spam complaint rates
- Reduce spam triggers to a minimum; use conversion words
- Ask questions, create a sense of urgency, use numbers, personalize the subject line
Tip #2. Pre-header
The pre-header goes right after the subject line and it gives the readers a brief overview of what your email is about. This is the next step that tells them whether the message is worth their attention or not.
- DO write it
- The pre-header limit is 40-130 characters
- Do not copy and paste the email subject line; continue its idea
- Engage people to open the email
Tip #3. Personalization
The personal approach is the king.
To not look like a spammer who sends emails right and left, reach out to every recipient in a personal way. The name is not enough, you need to go deeper: the company they represent, the content they share, their pain point, etc. The more details, the more personal and human-like you sound.
Tip #4. Email design
The email design matters. Using colors in emails is a science. To evoke a definite feeling or emotion, you can use different colors. When crafting an email, you turn into a designer. How awesome is that?
- Don’t go over the limit of three colors
- Use corporate colors
- Implement one-column layout
- Insert many white spaces
Tip #5. Appropriate content
Two things demand mentioning.
Do not send people what they do not need. Otherwise, you are not a professional email marketer, you are a spammer.
And the second point. Share the content that aligns with the stages of the customer lifecycle. How can you re-engage someone who has just subscribed? That’s the thing.
Tip #6. Visuals
People love visuals and respond to them better. With pics and videos, you can engage and grab the attention of your subscribers and clients. On the other hand, they may have a negative impact on both the tech filters and people. To be on the safe side:
- Keep the ratio of pics to text 20-to-80
- Reduce the files’ size to make the email fast-to-download
- Use gifs and cinemagraphs if videos are too heavy
Tip #7. Bright CTA
A high open rate is great. Yet, you are searching for high conversions. To improve the email conversion rate, you need an outstanding CTA, call-to-action.
To design it, use the color that contradicts with the email background. Use a link to a purchase page or the one you need; no one will spend time redirecting from one page to another. Make the CTA short and super-fast-to-read.
Email Conversion Rate Improvement: Technical Details
You can compose the best converting email, but you may still not achieve the desired result. This could be due to not only the email content but a few tech details.
Tip #1. You are sending too many and/or shortened links
Links always have a negative impact on emails. They trigger spam filters. If your email doesn’t reach the inbox, there’s no way that the conversion will happen.
To track the links, the tracking tool covers your link with its own one. So the link doesn’t look as it is. People may get confused about it and guess it’s spam or a virus. Moreover, you may want to shorten links that influence the email deliverability and recipients negatively too.
Solution: One link per email. No shortened links.
Tip #2. The emails you send are overloaded
Attachments. These files help you disclose more info on an issue but they compromise either. They make your message heavier. Moreover, HTML-emails professionals love are heavy too. These two things can lead your emails to the spam folder.
Spam folder = zero conversion.
Solution: Avoid files within your emails, send links instead. Give preference to plain-text emails.
Tip #3. You are reaching out too rare or too often
Did you know that 48.5% of email recipients report spam if they are emailed too often? At the same time, 43.9% of respondents state that they would love to get fewer emails. Here’s what the stats show:
You can read dozens of reports and studies (as I did), but be not on time. Most researchers agree that the best time to send emails is from Tuesday to Friday in the working hours. The keyword is most. Not all. It depends on your niche, industry, target audience, and a few more details.
Solution: Research. Communicate with your audience to know how often and when exactly they need your emails.
Tip #4. No A/B tests
There’s only one link in your email, you’ve found the best time and frequency for emails. But the email conversion rate is still not as high as you expected. What’s wrong with it? As you know, the issue may be with the subject line, colors, length, CTA, or anything else.
Solution: Conduct A/B and split tests to find what doesn’t work in your emails. Draw a hypothesis, create emails for the test, and… Test them out!
Tip #5. Your emails are not optimized for mobiles
User-friendly interface and usability. Over ¾ of people check their mailbox on mobile devices. Do you realize how many potential clients you may lose if your email design slips on mobiles or loads for too long? No one will wait for an email to load or re-open it on their PC.
Solution: The email mobile-optimization is a must-have for a professional like you.
Tip #6. You are not aware of the email campaign stats
How many emails do you send? How many people open them? How many recipients convert? These and a few other metrics are vital to you. When reaching out to people by means of emails, it’s of the highest importance to follow the campaign statistics.
Solution: Choose an automation tool, like email drip campaigns, that allows you to get the fullest insight into the email campaign performance.
Convert to the Fullest
With a clear understanding of what the email conversion rate optimization is, it gets easy to realize why you need to work on it. With a clear understanding of why you need to optimize your emails, it gets easier to craft an email that will grow the conversion rate. With an easy-to-follow list of tips and solutions, it gets super-easy to compose a converting email.
Ready to boost email conversions? Just do it!