If you have an online business, you’re selling something. It might be a product of your own, a service you provide, an affiliate product (or most likely multiple affiliate products), etc.
No matter what you’re selling, in internet marketing, you need leads!
So, what exactly is a lead?
A lead is a potential buyer. And more importantly, a qualified prospect that has been proven to be interested in your products or services. A lead isn’t guaranteed to buy, but they are far more likely to because they’ve shown interest in your niche market.
How does one go about generating qualified leads?
You need to entice them to offer their contact information in exchange for something of value. It might be a free report, a training video, a discount or coupon, or something else—but it should be something consistent w your product that delivers real value.
In other words, offering a discount coupon for a coffee shop is NOT going to get you qualified leads if you’re selling model cars.
A guide on how to lose weight is NOT going to get you qualified leads if you’re offering a graphics design service.
Sure, a few of those people might be interested in what you’re selling, but you want people who have clearly demonstrated some level of interest in the types of products or services you are offering.
Here is a simple example:
If you’re offering dog walking services, you might offer a free report on training your dog, or how to get bargains on pet supplies, or even a coupon for 50% off the customer’s first walking session.
The first thing you absolutely must do if you want to generate leads is to sign up for a service that will allow you to build a database of leads through a web form.
In internet marketing most people simply use an autoresponder service such as Aweber or Sendlane, but there are also services that will let you collect, store, manage, and search many different types of information if you need more details from your leads.
If all you need to collect is name and email, which is fine for most online marketing purposes, you can just use a simple autoresponder system.
If you’re looking to collect more in-depth information, you might want to go with a CRM, or customer relationship management, software. This type of software has in-depth information collection and management, allowing you to build a database of customer information that you can use for marketing purposes. These systems are generally much more expensive than a smart autoresponder.
Once you have chosen your system and set up your initial campaign, it’s time to think about creating your offer, which many people refer to as your “lead magnet”. Think of it like fishing, where your leads are the fish, and your lead magnet is the bait that lures them in.
One of the great things about internet marketing is that you are able to reach a very specific target audience who is very interested in your niche and by automatically delivering to them something of real value (that you set up one time), you have collected a prospect that you can offer products and nurturing content to over and over again at very little cost. All of this is done with automation and on the schedule you set up.
Remember, this lead magnet offer should appeal directly to your chosen demographic. You can’t expect to catch a catfish with a flashy lure meant for bass. While it’s possible, it’s not likely, and you’d stand a much better chance of catching a catfish with something that is known to appeal to them—such as chicken livers, or earthworms, or stink bait.
Try to think about what might appeal to your target audience. What would they be interested in learning that they don’t already know? What would they be interested in getting a discount on? Most people create a special report as their lead magnet. If you have the ability to create or purchase video training or a webinar that is professional and delivers real value on your niche topic that makes a great lead magnet as well.
Often reports that are lead magnets are 10-20 pages, but they may be up to 50 pages or so, depending on how much you want to say. Longer reports are more appropriate when you have a complex subject and aren’t selling information on the topic.
For example, if you’re in real estate and selling houses, you can give away a 50-page guide on how to find the perfect house, including information about stuff like zoning regulations, homeowners’ associations, utilities, road frontage, home inspections, etc.
But if you’re selling a course on SEO, a shorter report, say 20 pages, on a small segment of the topic would be much more appropriate, because you don’t want to give away all your information for free.
You can always outsource the creation of your lead magnet, or purchase a high-quality PLR product that you can use. This will save you a lot of time.
You might also consider just offering a hefty discount coupon to visitors, especially if you have a product that is in demand in your niche. This is very useful if you have a recurring business model or a sales funnel with upsells that will allow you to use the initial sale as a loss leader and make more money on the back end later.
Once you have your lead magnet ready, be sure to set up the lead magnet to be delivered via email as a follow-up message after people opt-in. You don’t want to have to send all those freebies out manually!
Check your autoresponder’s help files to find out how to set up a follow-up email that contains a link to your lead magnet. The process will be slightly different for each service, but it’s not difficult. It’s about as easy as sending an email.
Then it’s time to create the squeeze page to promote it!
Be sure to test your system once you set it up to be sure everything is working properly. Technology is wonderful but it is very specific and things must be set up correctly. You want to subscribe to your own squeeze page and see exactly what your subscriber will see. This way you can be sure the pages look the way you want them to look and make any changes you want before you test it on real visitors. You also want to be sure that you receive the lead magnet on the schedule you set up so you know your subscriber will have a good experience with you.
Another beautiful thing about internet marketing is the way that automation sets you free. Once you have set up your squeeze page, optin in form, and lead magnet it will work for you 24 hrs a day and 7 days a week gathering leads and delivering your lead magnet, while you are sending traffic to your squeeze page, working on other ways to grow your business or just living your life!