What is a lead generator?
In the online marketing world, a lead generator is a tool or service that helps you collect contact information from potential customers. To motivate qualified leads to give you their email address, you offer them a free gift, also called a lead generator or lead magnet, related to the problem your business solves.
The purpose of this free offering is to compel potential clients, leads, to give you their contact information, just like metal would be irresistibly drawn to a magnet.
To have that powerful effect, you want your lead magnet to be full of valuable content for your ideal client. No one is going to give you their email address just because you asked for it. Your offer has to be enticing enough for your prospective customers to be willing to add another email to their already cluttered inbox.
Why do you need a lead generator for your small business?
Lead generation is essential for any business, no matter the size. To survive and thrive, every business needs to bring in new customers regularly. Automated lead generation tools make this process easier and more efficient.
As a small business owner, you are already in charge of…basically everything. A good lead generator is like having a 24/7 sales person on your team — it takes some of the work off your plate so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.
How can automated lead generation tools help your small business?
There are many ways in which lead generators can help your small business:
- Lead generators help you gather information about potential customers more efficiently.
- They allow you to track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
- With your potential client’s contact details, you have a way to follow up after they’ve expressed interest in your product or service.
- Automated lead generators are more cost-effective than other lead-generating activities.
Effective lead generation strategies for small business owners
There are many traditional, yet often time-consuming, ways to find potential customers:
- Trade shows
- Direct mailing
- Cold calling
- Guest speaking
- Hosting webinars
- Door-to-door marketing
- Ads in local media (magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, etc.)
Although those methods do still work, there is a cheaper, more efficient way to generate leads. This better method is outlined in Donald Miller’s book Marketing Made Simple and Business Made Simple courses. It’s what we use with all of our clients:
⭐ Put a valuable piece of content on your website and give it away in exchange for an email address.
If you’ve done the work to develop a clear company message and built a website designed to convert, then it only makes sense to engage with the people who come to your site but aren’t quite ready to buy (which is roughly 90% of your web visitors). You don’t want these curious customers to come to your site and leave without you ever knowing. So post your lead magnet on your site — in a permanent spot on your homepage and as an exit-intent popup — so you have a way to continue the relationship with potential customers.
Step 1: Create a lead magnet
After we nail down a new client’s clear messaging, we create their lead magnet or lead generator.
An effective lead magnet should:
- Solve a piece of your ideal client’s problem.
- Provide a quick win.
- Establish you as an authority.
- Frame your product or service as the ultimate solution.
- Include an easy way to contact you/ buy your product or service.
There are different types of lead magnets. What one you choose will depend on your business. For some of our clients, a downloadable PDF is a good way to deliver valuable content. However, many businesses effectively generate leads through things like webinars, quizzes, coupons, or even shortened coaching sessions.
Step 2: Automate the process
You want to automate the lead generation and lead capturing process. We usually create opt-in forms or landing pages connected to our client’s email management system that we then publish on their website.
We set up the email management system to automatically send the free content when someone opts in by putting their email address into one of the signup forms.
This lead generation strategy saves you time and money. You can set it up once and, as long as you continuously drive traffic back to the form, you can practically generate leads on autopilot.
Step 3: Nurture the relationship through email
Because the quality content in your lead magnet is related to the problem your business solves, you already know that these new leads are qualified leads. Now you can continue to generate interest by providing additional value through email marketing.
To do this well, set up a series of automated emails that educate your potential client about how your product or service will solve their problem.
These content marketing efforts lessen the burden on your sales team. You write down the information once and can send it to new customers time and time again. Your sales team can then focus on contacting people who are opening your emails and showing they are highly interested in what you have to offer.
At the end of each email, you want to be sure to include your call to action, which is a button or bolded phrase telling your potential customer exactly what action you want them to take. You should use clear direct language: schedule your visit today, buy the course now, etc.
This lead generation strategy allows people to self-select and take action when they are ready, instead of feeling pushed into a sale too soon.
Step 4: Bring more traffic to your lead generator
Now for the last, and possibly most important, step. After you have built your lead generator, you have to drive traffic to it. This step does require continual effort. However, since the rest of your sales pipeline is already set up, you can more efficiently convert those new leads into paying customers.
To bring traffic to your landing page or lead generator, you want to create content that always points potential leads to your sign-up form.
When you run paid ads, point them toward the landing page for your lead magnet instead of directly to your product or service. This gives you more time to nurture the relationship through email marketing and increases the possibility of a sale.
On your social media channels, include a link to your lead generator in your bios. In your social media posts, occasionally write about the benefits clients receive from downloading your lead generator. By getting social media followers onto your email list, you are, again, increasing the chances that they will purchase your product or service.
If you have the opportunity to speak at a conference, on a podcast, or write a guest post, share a link for the audience to sign up for your lead generator.
In essence, any time you are out promoting your business, send people to your lead generator and let the automation do some of the work for you.
Go create an automated lead generator for your business!
If you want to generate leads and continue growing your customer base without breaking the bank, automated lead generators are the way to go. They’re cost-effective and they work like a charm – all while freeing up your time so you can focus on your business.
Ready to get started? Schedule a call today to discuss how Guide MKTG can help you set up an automated lead generator designed to convert potential customers into sales on autopilot.