Top 10 Blunders of Lead Generation Marketers
Lead generation and nurturing are the primary goals of many marketing departments, and the modern Web offers more ways to generate those leads than ever before. Yet, there are countless ways for a lead-generation program to go wrong. Here are 10 blunders that waste marketing time, money and leads.
1. Weak Offers/Content
Content marketing is one of the most important aspects of lead generation today. According to Marketo, prospects are doing almost 60 percent of their decision-making before they ever engage with your company. If you aren't investing in a content marketing strategy that provides your prospects with timely, relevant information, you're going to be left behind.
2. Does it Pass the WIIFM Test?
WIIFM stands for "What's in it for me?" Don't fill up your marketing calendar with fluff for the sake of looking active. Take a long hard look at your campaigns and put yourself in your prospect's shoes: Would you give over your valuable personal information for this offer/demo/whitepaper, etc?
3. Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
If you aren't planning three months ahead, you're already behind. You know that requirements will change, that sales will come and demand a unique campaign due in one day—but if you can plan the 80 percent of your lead gen activity that can be controlled, you'll be much better prepared to take on so-called "emergency" jobs.
4. Too Many Calls to Action
You spend time and money getting prospects to your landing page, and instead of providing them with a targeted offer that matches your ad copy, you send them to the homepage or product page and bombard them with offers. Make sure each campaign has a specific purpose and success path for your prospects to follow to minimize abandonment.
5. Dropping the Ball
You've spent the time creating great ad copy, landing pages and content, and your new leads have signed up. Now what? New leads should immediately be processed and sent down an appropriate path. High-value leads should be called within 24 hours, and other leads should immediately be placed in a nurturing campaign designed to acquaint them further with your company. Letting fresh leads go bad is one of the worst errors you can make.
6. First Impressions Mean Everything (Design)
Your guidance counselor wasn't lying to you: first impressions are vital. Make sure your ad copy, website and content have a professional, intuitive layout and appearance, and that your user experience is pleasant and unobtrusive. This initial contact will set the tone for all future interactions with your company.
7. Activities Not Tied to Revenue
Marketing has undergone a radical shift in recent years: Thanks to online revenue performance management tools, we can now track marketing's contribution to revenue. If you can't demonstrate a ROI/ad spend for your lead generation activities, expect to be treated like a cost center by upper management.
8. Not Tracking Numbers That Matter
Web analytics are very useful for tracking activity, but lead generation marketers need to track results. Make sure you are tracking the metrics that really matter in lead generation—form abandonment rates, clickthrough rates, lead to opportunity conversion rates, etc.
9. Not Testing
Instead of putting all of your efforts and ad spend into one channel or message, test various parts of your campaigns to see what resonates most with your prospects and which tactics, messaging, form length or even page color scheme result in the most leads. Bonus tip: Make sure your results are statistically significant before declaring a testing winner—a good guideline is waiting to evaluate a test until 100 participants have run through it.
10. Failure to Innovate
Lead generation channels and tactics have gotten easier, cheaper and faster to deploy than ever. Try something new, bold or downright crazy with your next campaign. As long as you can deliver your message on brand and solve a problem for your prospects, the methods you use to get there are limitless!