[Qualified Leads] What are Leads and who needs them?
Many small business owners ask the question: “Do I really need leads for my business?”
See, a lot of people seem to think that because they only promote affiliate offers, or because they just publish Kindle books, or they have some other reason to believe they do not need leads, that they should not bother having leads.
I used to think that for many years, I was happy to just have a stream of customers come to me when they needed my services and disliked the task of setting up an autoresponder and having to send emails every day. My excuse was: I do not know what to write every day and besides, I did not want to sound salesy, boy was I wrong.
The simple fact is, leads are potential customers, not only that leads are a great source of inspiration as when you develop a good relationship with your leads and have 2 way communication, you get to listen to them, discover their pain points and the provide solutions for them.
Leads—especially QUALIFIED leads, are the bread and butter of pretty much any business you can think of.
What exactly are lead—or more specially, QUALIFIED leads?
A qualified lead is someone who has expressed interest in what you have to offer. They have already been qualified as being interested by giving their contact information in exchange for something related to whatever you are selling. Now please remember people buy people, not things. These people have shown interest and trust in you and what you have to offer. Treat them with kid gloves. They are important, listen to them and offer solutions.
Someone who subscribes to your email list is a lead, because they have given you their email address specifically because they were interested in you and your products, or in whatever freebie you gave them in order for them to get to know you.
It does not matter what you are selling, even if you’re promoting affiliate products, Kindle books, or a YouTube channel you’re using to get AdSense revenue. Leads are essential.
Leads are traffic. Leads are sales.
Below I will highlight:
why leads are so important,
what type of information you need to collect from your leads?
how to get people to give you their information, and more.
If you think you do not need leads, think again. No matter what you are doing to make your living, leads will be your bread and butter!
If you think you need some crazy expensive software to generate leads, think again! Some of the best systems are remarkably affordable!
Do I Need A Special Tool or Software to Generate Qualified Leads?
If you want to generate leads, you technically do not NEED a special tool or software to do it. You could do it manually by asking people to email you their information and you could send them their Free product manually.
Doing it manually could be tricky though if you want to build a list of leads of any decent size, as you would have to store the information in some form of database and find a way to keep communication with your list.
Time is a Valuable Superpower when used effectively! That is why most people use some sort of system to collect and manage their leads.
Some people just use an autoresponder or email marketing service, which is perfectly awesome if all you are looking to build a list for email marketing purposes. If you only need basic information such as name and email address, that is all you need.
In fact, there are some free options you can use until your list grows, MailChimp, for one has free account that you can use until you reach about 2000 leads before you must start paying. Mailer-lite has a free account for up to 1000 subscribers or leads.
However, if you have more advanced needs, such as when you need to collect information like income, buying habits, and other information, you might need to use a more advanced system.
This means using a customer relationship management system, or CRM. A CRM is an all-encompassing program that allows you to collect leads from squeeze pages
or even when a customer makes a purchase, and then sort, segment, manage, and use that list of leads.
Does every Marketer need a CRM?
If you are not selling anything of your own, and you are not offering any high-ticket items like one-on-one coaching or something expensive like real estate, you probably do not, a simple autoresponder system will suffice.
If you ARE selling high-ticket items, or you are selling your own products, then a CRM can be invaluable for getting sales, especially repeat sales, because there are additional functions built-in into it that can help you target the right leads with the right offers at the right times, potentially increasing your sales dramatically.
If you are not collecting the right information from your leads, you are really missing out.
What Information Do You Need From Qualified Leads?
You might be wondering what type of information you really need to collect from your leads. Is name and email enough, or should you be gathering more detailed information?
Well, the first thing you need to do is look at your business model. Are you selling something complex or expensive? If so, it might make more sense to collect detailed information from your leads.
If you are just collecting emails to market affiliates products, then a simple form asking for name and email address is probably all you really need.
Why, you may ask, would I not just request as much information as possible from each lead? What if I need that information later?
Well, the average person is not going to fill out a full page of information just to get a 20-page report or a discount coupon. A lot of people do not like to give out any personal information, and may even use a throwaway email and a false name to download a free report. So
why would they be comfortable giving out their home address to a total stranger?
Of course, if someone is looking for a more expensive item, they would probably be more inclined to give more information because they know this type of item requires more information than a name and email address.
So, what exactly should you ask people for?
The answer is simple: Ask for only what is necessary.
Never ask people for anything more than you really NEED. The more you ask for, the lower your conversions are likely to be. People want to put in the least amount of effort possible. Some people will not even enter a name and email address to receive a freebie. They just leave once they realize they cannot just download your offer.
So it’s important to make your offers as user-friendly as possible, which means asking for the least possible amount of information.
Sit down and make a list of the information you think you would like to collect from leads. Create your form based on that information and test it with some traffic. Does it convert well? If it is, you are doing great. If the conversions are terrible, you should remove
as many fields as possible and collect only the information you feel is critical.
Remember, you can collect more information from leads later in the process. The important thing is to collect their contact data before you lose them forever.
Next, let us look at what makes people enter their information, and how to create a great giveaway to entice people.
What Should I Offer Potential Leads?
Have you ever been stopped by someone wanting you to take a survey? Perhaps it was at the shopping mall, at the grocery store, or perhaps even online?
Did you take the survey? If so, what did they offer you to get you to do it? If not, why did you decline?
These are the types of things you need to think about when you collect leads. What would your customer expect to receive to be convinced to take the time to fill out your form and trust you with their personal information?
Most people offer a free report. Reports can be a great way to get people to fill out your lead capture form, but only if they offer valuable information that they are looking for.
Let us say you are selling a course on how to publish a book on Kindle. A free report on how to get more sales to a Kindle book would probably be a great lead magnet, however, a report on how to make money as a graphics designer might not be as interesting. They are two different markets, even though there might be SOME crossover, but probably not enough.
Remember, you want QUALIFIED leads, and part of being a qualified lead is having at least some direct interest in the subject.
You cannot qualify a lead as being interested in your Kindle publishing course if you offer them a report on being a designer!
Of course, it does not HAVE to be a report. You could collect leads from graphic designers by offering a free package of photos, they can use in their designs. Or you could collect leads from people who collect baseball cards by offering them a discount coupon for your
online baseball card shop.
Think about what your average buyer would be interested in and offer that to them. This is called a Lead Magnet, as it is what attracts the lead to you.
Once you have a great lead magnet created, it is time to create the squeeze page to capture people’s information.
What Makes A Great Squeeze Page?
A lot of people think of a squeeze page the same way they think of a sales page, and in some ways
they may seem similar.
So when you create your squeeze page, you need to accomplish two main objectives:
- You need to make people comfortable enough to give you their information. This means including a promise that you will not spam them.
- You need to convince people of the value they will be getting from your lead magnet, and you need to do it in as few words as possible.
Your squeeze page only needs a few basic elements to get most people to give you their information:
- An attention-grabbing headline that makes people want to learn more. Perhaps a short sub-headline that provides a little more information.
- A few bullet points that let people know exactly what they will receive, and WHY it will benefit them.
- A call-to-action that tells them exactly how to get their freebie. (By filling out the form and pressing the submit button.)
- Your lead capture form.
- A guarantee that you will never spam your subscribers or share their information with other parties.
That is, it!
People do not want to read a five-page sales letter just to download a 20-page report or a discount code. They have better things to do with their time.
Secondly, people are getting more and more fastidious about giving out their email addresses, because they do not want to be inundated with spam any more than they already are.
You can also include a short video if you think it will help convince people to fill out the form, but if your headline and bullet points do their job, a video is not necessary.
Do not make it with a bunch of fancy graphics, either. A picture of your offer (such as the report cover or a graphic of a coupon) and an interesting submit button are the only graphics you really NEED. Remember, flash graphics can actually detract from your message.
The only exception would be if you are selling something to designers or artists, or to people who are INTERESTED in design or art.
It is also important to test and tweak your squeeze page to increase conversions. Try testing different headlines, different bullet points, different layouts, and different graphic colours.
Reducing The Workload Of Qualified Lead Generation
The process of generating leads is simple, but if you think it is too difficult or too much work for your skill level, there are a few things you can do to reduce the workload and make the process run more smoothly.
The first thing you can do is consider outsourcing some or all the work. It is a lot cheaper than you probably think to outsource these days. Just check sites like Fiverr and Upwork and you will find a lot of very high-quality workers who are willing to work quite cheaply.
One such membership is: The Power Lead System
This site has tons of premade lead generation kits specifically geared toward the internet marketing and business-to-business markets, so if you are in anything related to these areas, you can get most of the work done for you just by signing up!
If you are not in these types of markets, you can also purchase squeeze page templates that you can use by just inserting your own information. Many of them come with instructions that guide you through the entire process of editing them and adding your own lead capture code.
If you are using a report as your lead magnet, you can just create the document in your favourite word processing program such as Microsoft Office, Open office, or LibreOffice. Then just export to PDF, and you have got a report.
You can also include your coupon code in a document that people can download once they have given you their information.
Another major time saver is automating the delivery of the lead magnet.
This is done by creating a follow-up message in your mailing program (such as MailChimp, or Infusionsoft, or whatever system you are using.) Just create a message that thanks people for joining your list and provides a link to the report. Make sure you host the report on your own web hosting and test the link in the email by having it mailed to you as a test and then clicking the link.
Getting Traffic to Your Squeeze Page
This is the step that gets you a stream of Rabid buyers flooding your inbox.
No matter how amazing your offer is, how great your squeeze page is… it’s all useless without this one thing:
Before you start throwing a ton of expensive paid traffic at your squeeze page, it is critical
to test it first and make tweaks to ensure it converts. Why waste money sending paid
traffic to a page that might not convert.
So, begin by sending a bunch of FREE traffic to a squeeze page first, so that you
can test it, track conversions, and make changes until it converts well. Find the sequence
that converts best, then I start sending paid traffic to it.
Some great FREE sources of traffic include:
It may be a little tricky to get traffic from these sources directly to your squeeze page, so you might want to set up a blog or content website and send traffic to your articles first, and from there send traffic to your squeeze page.
If you use WordPress to run your site, one GREAT way to grab attention is by using a WordPress
plugin to attract attention to your squeeze page.
So, what are the best PAID traffic sources?
Below are few good traffic sources to try:
There are plenty other paid traffic sources, which may be more expensive, have more of a learning curve, or may not convert as well.
I hope you learned something out of this article and got inspired to take action to reach your goals, and I hope you will tune in to read my next article.