Before you run an advertising campaign, launch your website or send our an eDM for lead generation purposes, one issue that MUST be thought through carefully is your ultimate goal for that marketing piece.
Specifically: what is your offer or call to action?
Sure, the end-game is to make more sales. That's a no-brainer.
However, when planning your lead generation strategy, remember that, (depending on your product or service), you need to take a two step process.
Lead generation is just like going fishing...
When you go to catch fish, it's best to know which type of fish you're after
You then need to choose your spot, select the right bait and present it so it is appealing and easy to reach to get a nibble.
Getting that nibble is the first step.
From there, you can FINALLY bring in your catch.
It's pretty much the same when using print advertising or the web for lead generation. If your advert is trying to do too much, you'll end up scaring people away.
Trying to do to much?
I mean setting the bar too high — and trying to sell your product or service directly off the advertisement, when you should really be only trying to sell the first step. Whether that be an appointment, a phone call or an email response, this first step HAS to be your primary focus.
This is especially the case when you are marketing a high-value or complex product or service.
If you set the bar too high and ask for the sale BEFORE people are ready to make the jump, you may lose them altogether.
To generate more leads, make that first step more appealing.
Motivating people to respond so you can talk to them on the phone (Or face-to-face or via email) is the first step. Actually signing on the dotted line and buying the product or service is the second step.
It doesn't matter whether you offer legal services, computers, lawn mowers, caravans, accounting services or houses, you must up-sell the VALUE of that first, introductory conversation — thus increasing the number of people who will take it up.
Let's say you are in the inground swimming pool business. No one is going to read your advertisement or get your letter in the mail, pick up the phone and buy a $20,000 pool off you. They will need to have you look at their garden, talk about pool shapes, landscaping, filtration, heating, paving and even access for installation.
So, selling that meeting (And PLEASE don't call it a "Free Measure And Quote!) has to be your primary objective for your advert.
You need to make people WANT to talk to you — and that means presenting your primary offer so that it has a high perceived value. It is the first step. It must sound yummy.
To increase the perceived value, make sure your copywriter explains:
- What will happen when you visit their home and
- What information your prospect will get as a result of talking to you.
In the case of the pool installer, (you can adapt this to your own service offering), key points may include:
- Will they gain good, solid and useful knowledge? Allocate space in your advertisement to tell them the difference your insights will make... and how they will be able to move forward with confidence.
- Will they learn how to avoid making a mistake with their choice of pool? Include information in your direct mail letter that highlights the common buying errors that people make... and how you'll explain what to do to avoid this.
- Will they get ideas on how to make their garden more enjoyable? Use your website to talk about your expertise... and how you'll walk through their yard and help them to get it right — so they add value to their lifestyle and to their home.
- Will they get a better understanding of the types of filtration system or heater? Tell them how you'll explain the differences... and give them a good understanding of the different systems available so they make the RIGHT choice.
Each of these points adds value, and gives people good reasons to take that first step and become a lead you can follow up.
Stay on message with your brand
One final point...
Interwoven with your lead generation strategy, remember your brand strategy. As you write the copy, be sure to keep the message consistent with your brand promise.
If your brand promise is about "care and attention to detail", then include this in your sales letter. If your brand promise is focused on "rapid response", then base your lead generation materials around that theme. If your brand promise is about your "wide range of solutions", then be sure to weave that message into your advertising campaign.
This is important.
No, more than that, it is vital.
You want to make sure that prospective clients KNOW what you are about. They need to understand the value that you bring to them, and how they will be better off talking to you than talking to your competitors. This, in turn, builds confidence, and will greatly increase your response rate.
To do this, keep your lead generation message on brand. This, combined with an appealing offer will significantly improve your ROI, and give you an advantage from the get-go.