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How to Create the GOAT of Lead Generation Campaigns

By January 12, 2023Lead Generation

Generating new customers is the lifeblood of your business.  

Even a company like Google constantly has to focus on getting new customers and keeping them.  I know because I was part of the marketing team that was regularly taking customers away from one of Google’s product lines to the point where they were so irritated that they bought the company. 

Most companies just plain suck at creating lead-generation campaigns or they don’t have the resources they so desperately need to keep the doors open.

It’s not rocket science, but it does take effort and resources to create the GOAT of lead generation campaigns.  So I’m going to break this down for you so you can apply it to your business.

Start Lead Generation By Identifying Your Target Customer

This is pretty basic, but it tends to be forgotten.  If you don’t do any kind of segmentation of your target customers, it’s time to embrace customer segmentation.  If you send the same message to everyone then it’s too generic.  You can’t be expected to craft a message for every different type of customer, but try to break it up into a minimum of three groups. That should be pretty easy to accomplish.  

These groups should be based on their unique needs.  What makes one person need your service or product over another? Address their core need and you’ll convert a greater percentage into sales.

There are a lot of great tools for breaking down the characteristics of your target audience such as seamless.ai for B2B targeting and Lumentis.io for B2C targeting.

What Problem Do You Solve (The Grunt Test)

Your campaign should only focus on solving one problem at a time.  If you try and accomplish multiple things, then you are going to confuse your possible customer.  You don’t want to make them have to think, but you want them to react and engage.

You can use the Grunt Test to help you through focusing your campaign message.  Your campaign should answer the following three questions as fast as possible.

  1. What do you offer?
  2. How will it make my life better?
  3. What do I need to do to buy it?

 With any campaign you are most likely sending them to one of your web pages to convert, so the third item is going to be clicking a link to learn more about solving the first two questions.

Create Killer Landing Pages 

Once you have the possible customer convinced that you have the solution to their problem, you’re hopefully taking them to a highly targeted landing page.  

The Header

The landing page needs to be solely focused on the campaign problem.  The top heading should come as close as possible to letting the visitor know the answer is contained on the page.

Remove as many distractions as possible to help them get to the solution as fast as possible.

The Content

The content of your page is focused on providing the solution.  This could be a list of products on sale for the campaign or if you are B2B, the webinar that answers all of the questions.

The Conversion Action

The faster we can get a visitor to add to cart, fill out a lead form, or click a link, the greater the chance you have of converting that person into a customer.  So try and reduce the number of steps it takes for a person to convert.  

If you add too many fields to a form submission or the wrong types of fields, it creates friction in the mind of the visitor and they have time to pause and think about whether they want to keep going forward.  Complexity kills conversions.

Set Up A/B Tests

Converting visitors from a campaign can be challenging depending on how well the target customer knows your business.  Most are either going to ignore your campaign or they are going to bounce away.

If you are targeting a broad audience, then it is in your best interest to use customer experience optimization everywhere you can.

Ad campaigns and email campaigns are unusually the first touchpoints you have with someone unfamiliar with your brand.  If you are using either of these to reach new customers, start the campaign out using A/B tests to find what messaging and design works best to get people to your landing page.  This information can also help you tweak the messaging on the landing page itself.

Second, build variations of the landing page to determine if you can convert more people with one design over another.  

Once you start learning what converts best, you can remove the losers and focus your time and budget on what does work best.

If you are looking for a place to start, check out more details on beginning with conversion optimization.

Setting Up Phone Support

As you can imagine, direct mail by itself, or just a paid media campaign can deliver leads, but actual customer interaction will have a significant impact on your targets turning into customers.

You’re going to want to set up both a phone outreach campaign and a phone customer support campaign.  Bigger businesses can sometimes do this internally, but to do it well and at scale, you are going to want to outsource your phone campaign to partner companies like Marketing Support Network as it is going to be faster and produce better results.

Create Remarketing Ads

Before your campaigns start, you will want to set up remarketing ads to follow people around the Internet  You will primarily want to focus on Google and Facebook remarketing.  Remarketing campaigns do not drive high conversion rates, but they do remind people about your solution.  Use this as a chance to reinforce your campaign story.  

Because remarketing ads are displayed on someone interacting with your brand at your primary landing pages, you may consider setting up secondary landing pages for remarketing that enhance the overall campaign and not just sending them back to the original page.  Consider even sweetening the conversion by offering an extra incentive. 

Time for Direct Mail #1

With this campaign, we are targeting brand new customers, whether they are businesses or consumers.  They may not be aware of your brand.

So our focus is trying to tell a story, one which solves their problem.

Whether you are targeting consumers or businesses, a well-designed direct mail campaign is still a good option to get in front of potential customers.  We aren’t talking about just creating a  postcard and sending it out.  It has to be more creative and more personal than that.

There are lots of ways you can create unique direct mail campaigns.  Remember your goal with direct mail is to build awareness of the brand and your solution.  It must remain in line with the focus of the campaign so that your target customers are not confused.

Start Your Digital Ad Campaigns

You will want to start your ad campaigns about the same time or shortly before your first direct mail campaign.  Our goal in doing this is to help boost brand awareness about your solution to their problem.

So all of your landing pages are done, now it is time to start your ads. 

There are a LOT of options for advertising your products and services. 

The top two are going to be Google Ads and Meta Ads.  These will get you in front of the largest possible audience. 

If you are B2B, looking into LinkedIn Ads should be part of the mix.  There are many many more platforms and ad types that can be used. 

We want to go where our customers can be found and we did that in the very first step of this lead generation campaign. 

Best Ad Platforms

Google Ads

Meta Ads

LinkedIn Ads

Bing Ads

IQM

Hopefully, you set up A/B testing for your ads and UTM tracking parameters to know all the details on measuring performance as we don’t want to waste our money on low-performing ads.

One thing to consider doing with your social media advertising is to run content-boosting ads.  This is an inexpensive way to build awareness for your brand.  You will not get many conversions, but you will be exposed to possible audiences your marketing ads will not reach.

Social media advertising is in a unique position to deliver an almost story-like ad experience for customers, unlike search ads on Google. 

Since you have created a story throughout this lead generation campaign, look to creating an ad nurturing series you can use over time on social media using images or video to help introduce people to your brand.

Time to Get Direct Mail #2 Out The Door

It is now time for your second direct mail campaign.  In theory, the target audience should have been exposed to your brand by now.  This is where you can start getting a little more serious about selling.  You should probably introduce an incentive offer to get their attention as long as it is still focusing on the customer’s pain point you are solving.   Be sure to include a QR code and a URL for them to visit to learn more about your solution.

Just like before, try to avoid sending out a simple postcard as it will probably be missed entirely.  As long as it is on brand, try using eye-catching graphics, color, and messaging as you only have a second to grab them.

Phone Outreach Campaign

Your outbound phone campaign should be focused on expanding the story you have been building so far and only targeted to the potential customers you have previously identified.  

Your phone campaign should be geared towards building trust with these prospects and not just in-your-face selling as we will turn these possible customers away.  We are trying to build brand awareness with the customers through this GOAT lead generation campaign.

Time your phone outreach campaign to begin after they would have received the second direct mail.  You could mention the offer from that campaign if you included one.  

Also, make double sure they have not already tried reaching out or took a conversion action in your CRM.  You don’t want to annoy someone who may already be in the sales funnel.  You’ll want a different approach for this audience.

Try going for a soft transaction like a commitment to a future meeting, attending a webinar, or some other way of getting an email address for nurturing them in the future.

Email Nurturing Campaign

So you have been collecting new leads in your CRM all along.  Some are turning into customers, others are somewhere else on their journey to becoming a customer because of your campaign.  

It is a very rare circumstance where you want to do a cold email to these contacts.  Email is reeeeally powerful but risky for cold audiences.  

What you absolutely need to do though is set up a nurturing email stream.  This should at a minimum be broken out to people who have not turned into customers vs those who have.  If your target audience is big, you should do more segmentation if possible.  It is recommended that you do a minimum of 3-4 emails to your target audience that has approved interaction with your brand.  

At its simplest, an email nurturing campaign is going to be mostly educational, and not just about how awesome you are.  Try and give any free advice, tips, tricks, or hacks that can help them solve their problem or how other people have used your product/service to solve it.  

Definitely include a conversion action, but don’t make it about the sale until the end of the nurture.

Monitor Results and Modify The Weak Points

No campaign is perfect.  This is why you better have a solid understanding of data and analytics so that you can make the right decisions on what is working and what is not across all of these moving parts.

Your team needs to be super nimble to do this analysis and make decisions quickly on what to change.  Some things can’t be changed, but they can be improved going forward or for future campaigns (you’re not going to want to do this just once).  If you need a guide for your team on how to set this up, check out our guide to Building High Converting Websites.

Bonus Points if Possible

So there are bonus points to improving this lead generation campaign if you have the ability.  Try and either get an article posted in a magazine, email newsletter, or similar source that your target customers may use.  You should do this hopefully right before the beginning of this campaign so that basically it launches right after this to get the biggest advantage.

Another bonus point is if you can be a guest on a podcast that your audience listens to.  Podcasters are always on the lookout for new people to talk with.  This one is a little harder and you should probably already be doing guest podcasts or have one of your own if you are going to use it as part of a marketing campaign.

Bonus Points for B2B Companies

If businesses are your target customers, then look to using LinkedIn to connect with multiple people ahead of time.  DO NOT PITCH on LinkedIn.  You will lose the prospect really fast.  There are a lot of great articles out there on LinkedIn strategy, so I will leave that to your research, but this can be a valuable way of softening up your target audience.

John Paul Mains

John Paul Mains is the Chief Marketing Scientist at Click Laboratory. He loves all things digital, but especially SEO and analytics. If you're interested in learning more, his LinkedIn profile is https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnpaulmains/.

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