online lead generation article showing a couple making a purchase online
Online lead generation is marketers’ #1 priority in 2020

With less than 4% of website visitors ready to commit to a purchase, it is no wonder that generating quality leads is marketers’ top priority.

To help marketers optimize their investment in digital, in this article we tap into the expertise of an award-winning agency Titan Growth and their extensive experience with single and omnichannel lead generation strategies.

Read on for expert insights into setting up a lead gen strategy and the most effective channels to use, including:

  • Search engines
  • Paid Media
  • Amazon Marketing
  • Email Prospecting

What Is Online Lead Generation?

Online lead generation is the process of attracting potential buyers to your online sales funnel.

The most commonly used digital tactics for lead generation are PPC, SEO and content marketing.

A typical online lead generation strategy entails:

  • A defined sales funnel, including marketing channels and lead magnets
  • Defined buyer personas
  • Strategically developed content that addresses the users’ pain points
  • SEO strategy for search rankings and organic traffic
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What Is Online Lead Nurturing?

Online lead nurturing is a series of digital strategies developed to cultivate a relationship with prospects. These strategies help with brand retention and moving the user down the conversion funnel.

Online lead nurturing tactics including:

How To Generate Leads Online: 4 Steps To Setting Up Your Digital Lead Gen Strategy

The basic principles of lead generation are, and always will be:

1. Provide a supply to someone’s demand.

and

2. Adapt to your audience!

With these in mind, let’s look at the four prerequisites for a successful online lead generation strategy.

Step #1: Redefine Leads Across Channels

The first point of lead distinction is the method through which it has been obtained, namely inbound vs. outbound marketing.

Inbound marketing acquisition funnels are designed to attract -or “pull”- prospects into becoming leads.

Outbound is the exact opposite; It relies on actively pursuing leads by “pushing” marketing messages to them.

Why does this matter?

The premise is that if a lead searches you out, they will be more receptive to converting, but they are also likely talking with other potential venders that they sought out. When you contact a potential customer out of the blue, and they are receptive to what you are selling, you are likely the only potential vendor that they are talking with. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and both have tremendous value if executed properly.

- Says Danny Shepherd, President of Titan Growth.

The four marketing channels that we will discuss later on in this article are the touchpoints for gathering prospects into the funnel.

It is important to adjust the strategy towards capturing quality leads rather than aim for vanity metrics like more website traffic where most users might never convert.

To identify which visitors make the best leads for specific businesses, Shepherd proposes this standard categorization:

  • Inbound Lead: A visitor that has signed up for a newsletter or visited a website
  • Marketing Qualified Lead: A prospect that shows potential to buy
  • Sales Accepted Lead: A prospect who is ready to transition from marketing to sales
  • Sales Qualified Lead: A prospect ready to buy

The four steps to take in order to attract quality leads are:

  • Collecting information about past sales and customers
  • Creating ideal customer profiles and buyer personas based on demographic and technographic data
  • Creating audiences for each marketing channel that targets them
  • Creating content and campaigns that fit these audience’s needs

Lead generation begins and ends with a brand’s audience.

Defining how the audience relates to the predefined ideal customer profile, and each marketing channel can help in capturing quality, ready-to-convert leads.

Also, keep in mind that an audience on one marketing channel might require a different approach than a very similar audience on another channel. It’s important to do a lot of A/B testing to find the campaigns and content that best convert your ideal audiences.

inbound vs outbound lead generation
Inbound marketing attracts, outbound marketing pursues leads

Step #2: Design Landing Pages And Lead Magnets With A Single, Clearly Defined Goal

Landing pages designed for attaining high-quality leads are simple, visually attractive and focus on a single purpose. This means they call users to take a single action.

The three pillars of a high-converting landing page are:

  1. Unique selling proposition (USP) that contains these key elements:
    1. A headline that is to the point, generates urgency and solves visitors’ pain points.
    2. Sub-headline that takes up no more than two lines and expands upon the value from the headline.
    3. A lead magnet which can be a special offer that makes itself available when visitors respond to a CTA.
  2. A call-to-action (CTA) with a single conversion goal whose best practices include:
    1. Being text specific to USP and avoiding generic text like ‘Submit’.
    2. Simple and short forms that do not ask for anything more than needed for capturing a prospect.
  3. Attractive hero image, graphic, video or any other media that is displayed above the landing page fold, that immerses the audience into the landing page story and builds trust through on-point brand messaging.

Some landing pages may benefit from brevity, while others convert better when they’re longer and include elements such as social proof and detailed descriptions.

 

illustration showing website performance and people ab testing online lead generation strategies
A/B test your landing pages to find the layout your audience responds to the best

Step #3: Use An SEO Strategy That Targets Specific Audiences And Quality Leads

Search engine optimization helps businesses target specific, relevant audiences and drive prospects, besides just improving their page rank.

The main benefit of a well-developed SEO strategy is increasing the influx of quality leads to the website.

Three SEO techniques that good agencies use to generate more high-value leads are:

  • Targeting queries that match ideal customer profiles.
  • Testing title and meta descriptions that stimulate ideal customer profiles.
  • Create content that target audiences and ideal customers find valuable.

Engagement metrics like click-through rates and conversions are some of the most important metrics to track SEO lead generation success.

Setting up goals, and using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help you identify which landing pages and content are driving the most leads for your business.

Besides organically attracting leads, SEO content that provides value to your target audience, such as blog posts, infographics, videos and so on, also nurtures prospects that come into the business' sales funnel.

Just keep in mind how your SEO relates to the rest of your sales funnel and content marketing strategy. Content marketing and SEO are long-term plays that work in conjunction.

While, ideally, you would craft a landing page that converts well AND ranks high, that can be a challenge.

It’s important to find that delicate balance between user experience and search engine optimization.

Step #4: Use Highly Granular Paid Ads

With paid ads, businesses target new prospects and ideal customer profiles, which allows them to generate leads faster than with most other marketing channels.

Paid ad campaigns on Google or social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook owe their high success rates to very specific and highly granular targeting.

Some strategies that businesses should consider are:

  • Making highly targeted ad groups and launching ads that accurately align with their target audience
  • Creating landing pages for ad campaigns. When asked about landing pages, the team at Titan Growth said they encourage businesses to create dedicated landing pages for their ad campaigns to ensure message and UX consistency, which increases click-throughs, moving the lead further into the sales funnel.
  • Targeting more specific keywords by using a mix of long-tail keywords and phrase matches in all campaigns.
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4 Most Effective Online Lead Generation Strategies That Attract Highly Qualified Traffic

There are numerous online lead generation channels, but not all attract and capture high-value leads, i.e., those with purchase intent.

Here, again we pulled in the expertise of Danny and the team at Titan Growth.

Having been in business for 16 years, Titan Growth has seen a lot of changes over the years. Their experience in digital marketing favors these four lead generation strategies:

1. SEO Lead Generation: Reach Audiences With Purchase Intent

Good SEO is the SEO that targets very specific audiences - as we’ve seen in the previous section.

In Titan Growth’s experience, the SEO lead generation strategy comes with five distinct benefits.

Benefit #1: Quality traffic increases

SEO uses informative and keyword-relevant title tags and meta descriptions to not only help drive traffic to your site but to attract the right type of people to your site — the people mostly like to read what you’re writing and buy what you’re selling.
- Danny Shepherd

He also highlights that optimized tags and descriptions help increase CTR and qualified web traffic.

Benefit #2: Higher ROI

40% of businesses’ revenue comes from organic traffic because SEO helps track every aspect of marketing strategy outcomes, such as conversions, traffic, and individual metrics like user engagement.

The wealth of analytics allows decision-makers to calculate the value of their SEO strategy and provides insight into the optimal ways to grow business.

Benefit #3: Cost-effectiveness

The inbound nature of SEO helps businesses save more money compared to outbound strategies.

Since SEO also targets users who are actively looking for your products and services online, the traffic resulting from SEO is more qualified than many other marketing strategies. This results in even more cost-savings for companies.
- Explains Shepherd

Benefit #4: Site usability improves

SEO improves site navigation for users and search engines.

Rearranging a site's architecture through on-page optimization makes pages easier to find and boosts search engine crawlers’ efficiency when indexing your website.

Good SEO creates a positive user experience, decreases bounce rates, boosts time spent on site, and improves page load speed.

Benefit #5: Boost in brand awareness and credibility

High rankings on search engine results pages means more exposure for the business. This helps users associate a brand with targeted keywords it is ranking for.

Users generally believe that results on the first page are more trustworthy and credible.

If your pages rank in one of the top three SERP spots, especially for competitive keywords, it can instantly boost your reputation and convey social proof. [...]So, the more your pages and content rank in high positions in search results, the more chances you have for users to see your content and associate with your brand.
- Danny Shepherd

2. Paid Media Campaigns: Attract Qualified Leads With In-Market Audiences And Remarketing

Paid media campaigns’ in-market audiences present a group of users that exhibit a high potential for buying a brand’s product or services.

In-market audiences weed out customers who are ready to purchase and show business’s ads to them.

In-market audiences’ behavior, collected by analyzing their browsing habits, is used to predict future buys and show an ad directly to a customer that is looking to buy a product or a service your business can provide.

Pulling from Titan Growth’s extensive experience, Shepherd says:

Google lets you set in-market audiences as a targeting method in your Google Ad campaigns. Google will then show your ad to people who are most likely to click through and convert.

The reason this works like that is that a particular user is likely to take the action the business wants them to take.

In-market audiences connect business with consumers who are in their final purchase stages, which is near the bottom of the funnel. They essentially skip all the previous stages of leading the prospects down the funnel, from the top and middle part to the bottom.

That part is already done, remarks Shepherd.

That’s because the audience is comprised of users who have already “bought in.” Now all you have to do is close the sale.
- He concludes

Because of all this, in-market audiences spell a high ROI, because a lot less money and resources are spent marketing to people who are not ready to buy.

Additionally, creating remarketing campaigns for visitors who have shown a high propensity towards converting is a smart move.

You can effectively serve ads to individuals who have visited specific pages on your site, interacted with products, or even previously purchased something.

Both eCommerce and non-eCommerce brands can leverage the power of remarketing to improve the quality and ROI of their ad investment.

3. Email Marketing Lead Generation: Increase Brand Retention & Nurture Leads

Email marketing is an effective strategy for nurturing valuable leads and increasing brand retention.

These best practices produce the most lasting results in email lead generation.

  • Newsletters with high-value and relevant content: The first rule of generating leads with email campaigns is creating newsletters that provide high value to your recipients, answer their pain points, and offer solutions to their problems.
  • Drip campaigns to nurture leads: Also known as triggered emails, these emails activate automatically when a user takes a specific action such as downloading a white paper or placing an order. The email marketing system sends out a series of emails with content customized according to the specific recipient’s needs and affinities.
  • Segmented emails: Making lists of segmented emails according to subscriber behavior makes emails more relevant to specific groups of recipients. User behavior that can serve as a basis for email segmentation are:
    • Subscriber signing up
    • Links that the subscriber has clicked in an email
    • Clicking through on an email but not converting
    • Not opening the email and resending an email with the different subject line
  • Gated content: The common strategy is to drive traffic to a landing page (or a squeeze page) and ask users to enter their information in exchange for free content.

4. Selling Your Products On Amazon: Meet Your Audience In The Marketplace

The advertising platform for sellers on Amazon, Amazon Advertising, lets businesses promote their products to their target markets via

  • Sponsored products
  • Sponsored brands
  • Sponsored display
  • Stores
  • Display ads
  • Video ads
  • Amazon DSP

Vendors that utilize Amazon advertising and marketing can reap the benefits of this solution, such as:

  • Direct access to every aspect of the sales funnel from the awareness stage to conversion.
  • High exposure to high-value prospects.
  • Competitiveness through presence on a huge and global platform.

Though catering mostly to brands on their platform, Amazon gives retailers a good reason to join and advertise.

52% of all online product searches happen on Amazon, which ranks in the top three companies for net digital ad revenue.

As a result, in 2019, Amazon collected $14.1 billion in advertising revenue.

Titan Growth suggests that businesses that look to increase their eCommerce sales can use Amazon Advertising in the following ways.

  • Establish your goals: “It’s important to identify the key metrics you want to track to verify the success of your ads,” says Shepherd. For instance, generating conversions would be a primary indicator if driving sales is your objective. Impressions would be a metric to look out for if brand awareness is your goal, and so on.
  • Implementing the right tools: Understanding the opportunities Amazon offers through its platform provides businesses with a competitive edge. These opportunities come in the form of sponsored ad formats, remarketing, audience lists, and organic listing optimization.
  • Optimize detail pages of prioritized products: It is advisable to pick the products that are most important to a business and focus on advertising them - these are usually top sellers. These items are in season or generally in demand. “Make sure that those product detail pages adhere to the 3 C’s by being Clear, Concise, and Compelling. Use high-quality images, descriptive titles, and relevant product information with at least five bullet-point highlights,” says Shepherd.
  • Wise up about your budget: After coming up with an advertising budget for Amazon, allocate the part of that budget to get the largest share of coverage. The best practice, according to Titan Growth, is to place the majority of the budget into sponsored product ads and divvy up the rest between sponsored brand and product display ads in order to see which ads work best in certain locations.
  • Test and optimize:Use Amazon Advertising’s insight from data and stats it provides to its users to optimize your products and create ads with maximum potential. “Whether optimizing copy to impact CTR, altering keywords for better ACoS, or updating product details to increase engagement, make sure you are constantly eliminating underperforming content and allocating your budget where it provides the best results.”
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Takeaways On Online Lead Generation

In order to attract and retain leads with strong purchase intent, your business needs to:

  • Redefine leads across all channels into several distinct categories.
  • Design landing pages and lead magnets with a single converting goal.
  • Use SEO tactics that target very specific audiences and quality leads.
  • Use highly granular paid ads that accurately align with target audiences.

Titan Growth’s business experience suggests that the most effective tactics for attracting high-value leads are

  • SEO lead generation that reaches audiences with purchase intent.
  • Paid media campaigns that focus on high ROI strategies like remarketing.
  • Email marketing that boosts brand retention and nurtures leads.
  • Amazon Advertising that meets your audience directly on the marketplace.

If you have additional questions or would like to chat with the team we interviewed, you can contact Titan Growth. Titan Growth is offering complimentary audits to qualified DesignRush readers. Get yours today!

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