Every business is searching for the all-important lead that will bring them their next sale or client. A successful way of doing this is by using digital advertising. Some examples of this are posting Facebook and Google ads, email marketing, or driving traffic to their website using SEO (search engine optimization). 

By definition, a business lead is a person who is interested in the product or service you sell.

Take, for example, marketing on Facebook. You post an advertisement on Facebook and someone reads it. They want to find out more, so they click it. This then captures their name, address and phone number and invites them to call or email.

The same holds true for Google ads. Someone searches for a product or service on the internet and when they find it, click on it to find out more. This also captures their name, address and phone number and invites them to call or email.

In fact, Google & Facebook both offer PPC or “Pay Per Click” ads that you do not pay for unless someone clicks on them. 

Now let us look at email marketing. 

Say you are sending a promotional email to 2000 customers who you have previously engaged or have done business with.  Or, if you have the right kind of emailing platform, you may do a broad email marketing campaign to potential new customers sending out 100,000 emails. 

With email marketing, you track a couple of factors for leads called “opens” and “clicks”. 

An “open” means that the email was opened. A “click” means that not only did they “open” the email, but they also clicked on something in the email to find out more about your company and what you have to offer. 

Often in email campaigns you already have their contact info and ‘clicks” and “opens” will let you know of their interest. 

SEO or “Search Engine Optimization” can also bring you leads by maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. 

SEO can get you leads if your website has a way to capture their information and persuade people to call or email you.

Leads from Facebook, Google ads, email marketing & SEO are all viable ways to meet the definition “a business lead is a person who is interested in the product or service you sell”.

Now if you used these methods correctly and have gotten all these leads from your various digital marketing campaigns, how do you turn them into sales?

In digital marketing this is called a “conversion”. 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “conversion” is defined as “the process of changing or causing something to change from one form to another”. 

A conversion could be someone reading a Facebook ad and then clicking on it. Or someone clicking on it and then calling a number to find out more. Or the conversion you really want of someone calling in to find out more and then selling them your product or service. 

All leads are not created equally.

Depending on the type of leads you get from your digital marketing, the actions you take can vary greatly to convert them into a sale.

For example, you send someone an email and offer a “½ off buy now” deal and they come immediately to your office with a wad of 100-dollar bills and demand your services. 

This would be very different than someone who fills out a form on your website interested in a “1/2 off buy now” deal and when you call them, they do not remember the name of your company.

Most leads fall somewhere in between these two extremes and depending on how “hot” the lead is, may require several steps to actually create a sale.

Too often I see businesses initiate digital marketing campaigns and then expect immediate conversions to sales. This can happen, but more often it takes several actions to make the conversion.

Here is an example: 

John has an Electric Company in a major metropolitan area. He sends out 1 million emails to businesses and residents in a 15-mile radius of his office. The email does not try to sell anything, but instead is more of just an introduction and talks about safely using electrical appliances around your home and business. 

10,000 emails are opened and 1000 click on a link in the email that brings them to a landing page. A landing page is a standalone web page, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. It is where a visitor “lands” after they click on a link in an email, or ads from Google, Bing, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or similar places on the web.

The landing page has a $25 offer of an electric inspection of their home or business. 5 people call to set it up. 5 others leave a number to be called.

7 appointments are set. 3 new customers get electrical work done. 

The other of the 10,000 emails that were opened but the person did not click to the landing page are put into an opt-in emailing system that has a higher open and click rate to drive them to the landing page.

Also, the emails are put into Google & Facebook remarketing campaigns, where they get targeted ads to drive them to the landing page. 

This digital campaign took 6 months. But it produced 20 new customers. 

So, in conclusion, businesses definitely need a constant flow of new leads and digital marketing is a great way to get them.

But unless you do the necessary steps to convert these leads to sales.  Which can often be several steps and take some time you will just be wasting your time and money and your leads will not “Give You Liberty”, only… 

By Carl Schumacher

Recruiting Manager, Author & Digital Marketer

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