Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You: Understanding Inbound Lead Generation
01.25.2016 / Posted in Articles, Direct Marketing
Many businesses set growth as a primary business objective. Whether selling widgets or cars, cranes or business solutions, the sales funnel doesn’t work without leads. And leads don’t magically appear in your funnel with an established interest in your product or service or knowledge about your company.
This is where marketing and sales intersect. Marketing creates a buzz around the business by finding unique ways to attract people. The goal of marketing for lead generation is to provide potential clients with enough targeted information about your company to generate interest. When someone contacts your company with an interest in your product or service, they become a lead.
Lead Generation Defined
Lead generation is a focused marketing effort to establish interest in products and services among a target audience in such a way that the interest generates a potential new-business opportunity for a sales team. Quality lead-generation efforts target carefully defined and researched prospect groups with targeted messages and deliveries that connect directly and quickly.
The two main types of lead generation are outbound and inbound:
- Outbound lead generation involves reaching out to contacts with a direct pitch to buy a company’s product or service. For marketing, outbound lead generation efforts include e-mail marketing and direct-mail efforts. (In sales, outbound efforts include cold calling and door-to-door in-person visits.)
- Inbound lead generation delivers targeted, tailored information and content about your company and its products and services to your prospects. Following a trail of intriguing information builds interest, driving a prospect to make contact with your company from a place of genuine interest and a deeper understanding—meaning that they’re further along the sales funnel when they turn into a lead and are easier for the sales team to close.
Outbound and inbound lead generation are effective marketing and sales techniques. Typically, a company uses a combination of inbound and outbound efforts to populate the sales funnel.
Inbound Lead Generation
Consumers increasingly research on-line to choose companies and products that meet their needs. The easy availability of information on the Internet means prospects can get fairly far down the decision path on a product or service before ever making contact with someone at a company.
Inbound lead generation uses the power of the information age to attract a steady stream of potential customers to your website, landing page, or social media accounts with compelling information—and it keeps them engaged with content, slowly building their interest in your services and products over time. Inbound marketing is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to convert strangers into customers.
In today’s digital world, many of the techniques used for inbound lead generation involve the Internet, including social media, websites, search engine optimization (SEO), and e-mail. The interaction your potential customers have with each of these channels can be measured, and these metrics reveal precisely how your prospects engage with your company online.
A successful inbound lead generation strategy always includes strong calls to action. Sending a prospect a case study showing how your product or service has benefited others in the industry is not enough. A call to action can take the reader to a landing page or website where you can collect more information about the prospect and educate him or her further about your company and its offerings. Or the call to action can encourage the reader to call or e-mail to schedule a meeting, experience a product demonstration or video, or sign up for a webinar.
However you decide to generate leads for your business, you should strategize about the best methods for lead generation. Further, you cannot market successfully without an understanding of your target audience, including interests and behaviors, to ensure the messaging and content are of interest. Segmenting your lists by interests, behaviors, job title, or other factors is helpful to create specific messages and content for specific groups of people, allowing you to tailor content that will resonate with your target audience.
If you need help increasing your leads and haven’t used inbound lead generation methods as part of your sales strategy, contact FrogDog.