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6 Ways to Get Quality Business Sales Leads that Actually Convert

Are you looking for ways to gain more quality business sales leads that don’t waste your time?

In order for your business to grow, it needs plenty of genuinely interested potential customers to engage with. After all, without sales, you can only get so far.

However, as you’re probably aware, finding ways of reaching the right people can seem elusive. The internet is full of contradictory tips, advice and companies promising to get you more leads than you know what to do with. In fact, some of them can sound a bit too good to be true.

As an experienced digital marketer, I understand it can be frustrating when you don’t know where to turn for help. I feel it’s my responsibility to try and help guide businesses towards ways of getting better quality leads that actually convert, which is why I’ve decided to come up with this blog post.

Below, you’ll find six ways to help you gain more business sales leads for your business – whatever that might be. But first…

Why you shouldn’t buy business sales leads

If you’re thinking of buying your leads online, please stop right there. These are what’s known as cold leads, and when you call them up or try to engage with them, they won’t have a clue about who you are or what your business is offering.

This means that very few of them are likely to become customers, and you’ll be wasting your own time as well as theirs. As digital marketing agency Three Deep says, most of the leads you’ll get from these online business sales leads companies will, quite frankly, suck. Here’s why (from the same link):

“In most industries, online lead generation is a big business. If you start a company and prove that you are able to generate a steady stream of leads for a particular product or service, you will find a ready market willing to pay you for the leads you generate.”

This is pretty much the same across all industries, but the next point strikes a particular chord with me, and I think it will for you, too:

“Last year I was doing some research on home mortgage rates. I found a site that asked me to register to check rates in my area. Within the first 30 minutes of filling out that form I got calls from three mortgage companies. Three more called me within the first hour. I couldn’t believe I fell for my own lead generation tactics!

So, what can you do instead? Well, here are six ways to get more business sales leads that actually convert:

1. Harness the power of emotion for better results

It’s been proven that websites with a stronger emotional impact produce a greater intent to buy, according to researchers as Missouri University. So, next time you write a web page, a blog post, or well, anything at all, try to tap into the emotions of your audience.

Here’s what entrepreneur and avid marketer Neil Patel has to say on the matter:

“When your content drives people to a state of happiness or joy, they will automatically respond to your offers, feel obliged to share your content, and will stop at nothing to tell others about you.”

So, when you’re next writing a piece of content, you could really benefit from including one of the following (via Kissmetrics):

  1. Psychological triggers – focus on feelings, rather than product specifications, with emotional words such as ‘exciting’, ‘blissful’ or ‘delighted’
  2. Memorable experiences – talk about life events that relate in some way to what you’re saying
  3. Visual storytelling – include videos, photos and infographics where relevant
  4. Social proof – what are other people saying about their experience with your product or service?

Give it a go – you might be surprised at the results!

2. Use LinkedIn to gain higher quality leads

In all my years publishing content, I’ve come to learn for myself that LinkedIn is one of the best places to post it. Not only was I getting plenty of great comments and feedback from contacts and groups I was posting in, I was also getting more quality leads as a result.

This is backed up by the fact that in 2014, over 80% of social media leads came from LinkedIn, making it THE top social media platform for online lead generation.

In order to get the best results from LinkedIn, my advice here is to post your most valuable, well-received content, ask questions and respond to people’s comments. Keep it engaging, and don’t be afraid to share the odd link or resource that doesn’t come directly from you.

Share your content with relevant groups, and work on gradually building up a quality list of relevant contacts who share your interests and who will interact with you.

3. Maximise your online sales leads by testing, tracking and optimising

There are plenty of ways you can maximise your marketing efforts to get more business sales leads. All it takes is a bit of time and understanding.

And okay – having a good sales team (or getting good at calls yourself) is part of it, too. For instance, did you know that 80% of sales are executed by just 8% of salespeople? That means there’s a lot of failed attempts to learn from.

The first and most important thing, however, is understanding how online leads actually work. Where are these people coming from? Knowing the process your online leads are making to get to your website in the first place will ensure you can help them more in future. In fact, it may involve a process very similar to the one I’ve talked about previously.

Next, I’d highly recommend using various tools and software to help you test, track and optimise your content and marketing efforts. There are so many tools out there you could be using, so there’s no excuse not to keep improving! They can tell you anything from who is opening and clicking on your emails, to how visitors are interacting with your website, and any roadblocks they are experiencing along the way.

All of this will help you become so much better at acquiring quality new business sales leads.

4. Get more leads out of social media

Really like the idea of using social media, but just feel like you’re not doing something right? There are plenty of great tips out there to help you!

For instance, did you know you should never send people to your home page from social? Always send them to the relevant page you’re promoting, and only promote content or pages that you know is already converting, so you can get the most out of your ad budget. Using trackable links will also be able to tell you more about where your leads are coming from.

Always remember that Twitter and Facebook are first and foremost social platforms. If all you do there is try to sell your product or service, you’re probably going to fall flat on your face. Instead, try and engage with your audience; ask questions and respond to comments.

Here are some other great tips on how to get more business sales leads from social media.

5. Avoid the same old networking tactics

The problem with networking events is that they generally take up a lot of time, with often limited results. Well, that is, if you’re going there solely to get promising new business sales leads.

I find the problem lies within looking at networking in a very old-fashioned way. After all, we now sell online, so why should networking be limited to a conference centre or auditorium?

Instead, you should be seeing *everything* as a networking opportunity – from carefully building your contact list and interacting on LinkedIn, to hosting your own physical get-togethers or webinars, and reaching out to old contacts you just haven’t heard from in a while!

Don’t forget to put effort into your networking; take the time to read someone’s blog post, look at their bio, or bring up a shared memory from last time you spoke. Be as personal as possible, otherwise you’re just another face in the crowd.

It’s also important to think about the value you can offer someone, and do what you do for a higher purpose – not just to benefit your career. Networking with a passion can really make a difference to how others see you.

6. Save time on poor quality leads

Finally, in order to obtain better quality leads that are ready to buy, to have to really know your buyer personas. Your website should be built to talk about THEM – not just about your company, products or services.

A customer-centric website will not only help you increase leads and sales, it’ll also keep customers coming back for repeat business.

So, how do you develop your buyer personas with razor-sharp precision? Well, if you’re an established business, start with your best customers. Ask them what attracted them to your company. What did they like, and what put them off?

If you don’t have any customers yet (or if you want even more valuable feedback), take a look at online reviews relating to your products and services. What are people happy about? And more importantly, what are they complaining about the most? That will tell you what to avoid.

You can even use some of these gems (including language) on your landing pages for maximum impact! That way, the people you really want to get through to will feel as if you already know them.

Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading, and remember, it’s so important to put quality before quantity when acquiring new business sales leads for your company.

It’s definitely worth the time to ensure you’re getting plenty of genuine, quality leads that will actually convert into sales, so your business can grow. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your time.

If you have any questions about how to get more business sales leads, feel free to leave a comment below. I’m always happy to help!

7 Effective Steps To Help You Generate Leads Online for Free

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way you could generate leads online for free, without having to pay for tools to help you do it?

Well, it might not be as impossible as you think.

Of course, I’m not saying there’s a silver bullet than can generate you quick and easy leads overnight. However…

What if I told you that by utilising some of the best free online marketing tools out there, you could soon have a system up and running that would help get more leads coming in to grow your business? It’s all about attracting the right people to your website, and findings ways of turning them into leads that you can then convert into sales.

In this blog post, I’m going to use my 20+ years’ experience as an marketer to show you ways of doing this that won’t cost you ANY money at all.

The only real cost?

Your time – and don’t get me wrong, it WILL require a lot of effort and hard work.

DISCLAIMER: Before we get started, there is one caveat to this. By only using free tools, you’ll be limited as to the results you can achieve, as many good things that come for free also have paid versions that are even better. However, doing it this way WILL get leads trickling in, so you can eventually start investing in upgrades that will do the job even better.

So, are you ready to learn how to generate leads online for free? Let’s get this thing started.

1. Attract plenty of traffic to your website with a blog

If you want to generate leads, you have to start at the beginning; by attracting plenty of traffic to your website. One of the best free ways to do this is by creating helpful content that matches what your ideal customers are typing into Google search. And where’s the best place to share this content? Your blog.

A blog is a dedicated space for posting the best content that your customers will find helpful or interesting – and they should ideally be able to find it when they visit your website. Don’t have a blog yet? It’s fairly simple to get one.

One of the best free blog tools available is Wordpress – which currently powers 26% of the web. Your hosting site may even have a setting that allows you to add it to your website with one click. It’s also very easy to install!

2. Guide them into taking the next logical step

Once your blog is up and displaying lots of fresh content, you want your readers to keep interacting with your site – otherwise they’ll just click away and go elsewhere, without converting into leads. You can help guide your visitors into becoming leads with call-to-actions (or CTAs).

These are clickable buttons ideally placed at the bottom of your blog. They could say something like ‘subscribe to the blog’ or ‘download our free ebook’.

You can do this by using Inbound Now’s free CTA tool. Or, if you want to be a bit more creative with your own custom CTAs, you could also try Canva.  I use the latter all the time, as you can put together professional-looking images with hardly any effort!

3. Convert them into leads with persuasive landing pages

Once your visitors click on your CTAs, they’ll be taken to what’s known as landing pages. These pages tell them more about why they would want to take the action described in the CTA. For example, if it’s to sign up to your blog or newsletter, tell them the benefits they’d gain.

Or if you have an ebook or guide (more about that below) for them to download, tell them what they can learn by downloading it in return for filling out a form with their contact details. Landing pages shouldn’t be overly salesy, but they should tell your customers why they’d want to take the action on the page. This is how you get visitors to become leads.

You can create free quality landing pages using ONTRApages.

4. Give them what they want for free with downloadable content

You know how I was just talking about ebooks or guides? This is also known as premium content, and you can offer it for free to download on your website – in return for just a few contact details. This really gives your visitors a reason to become leads, as they’re getting something really useful back in return.

You can put together professional-looking images for your ebook on Canva. As for the writing part, all you need is around 1,000 – 1,500 words that provides more detailed guidance for your customers. If you can match them to your blog content in some way, all the better.

TIP: If you don’t have the time to create ebooks on top of your content, you can collate some of your best blogs on a particular topic and make that into a comprehensive ebook or guide – all it needs is just a little editing!

5. Nurture and engage your leads with email drip campaigns

Now that you have some quality leads, you need to keep them engaged with clever email messages and content. This helps you stay in the forefront of their minds. One of the tools you can achieve this with is MailChimp. It isn’t exactly email automation, but it’s very similar – and free. It essentially allows you to create drip campaigns containing carefully planned content to specific contacts every 3, 5, or 10 days.

Email marketing automation is a little more advanced – for instance, MailChimp has no way of determining when people become customers. You’ll also have to segment your lists manually – which is something I highly recommend you do for maximum effect.

6. Grow a regular audience for your blog with RSS-to-email

Now that you’re publishing regular content, you don’t want people to read one blog and just forget about it. So, how can you get regular visitors to read and engage with your blog? Well, MailChimp, as mentioned above, also have a handy RSS-to-email feature which allow people to easily subscribe.

It’s very simple to use, and all you need to do is publish your content as usual – it will land in your subscribers’ inboxes! You can control how many posts go out, and the frequency, too. You can even combine multiple RSS feeds into just one email newsletter – it’s up to you how you use it.

7. Share your content with the people that need to see it

If you want the right people to see and engage with your posts, you have to share it to the right places. It may only be one piece of the puzzle, but you probably don’t want to be going to all the effort above without including social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc. That way you can start to build a following and connect with more of your ideal customers.

Buffer allows you to schedule, publish and analyse your social media posts all in one place – handy! So, if you want to increase engagement on your posts and see how people are reacting, I highly recommend it. It will also save you some time and even help your blogs get found quicker on Google!

More in-depth but still free…

Below are some other free tools you may find useful, although they might take a bit longer to get the hang of:

  • Google Analytics – Very valuable for understanding your audience, and what they’re doing on your site.
  • HotJar – Let’s you use heat maps, scroll maps, funnel analysis and more.
  • Google Optimise – A bit clunky, but great if you want to try A/B split testing for free.
  • Peek User Testing – This is basically someone filming their first impressions of your site. You can easily get some great insights and ‘a-ha!’ moments.

TIP: If you’re not necessarily only looking for free tools, check out my blog ’15 Must-Have Digital Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business’.

One final thought

Well, that’s the basics to help you start generating those much-needed leads online for free! However, you might be reading this article and thinking there’s one clear disadvantage staring you in the face. If you don’t have the time, or the inclination to learn any of the above tools and systems for yourself, you may have to bite the bullet and pay someone to help you.

There’s also the issue of the above tools being very segmented, which means they won’t really talk to each other very well. This can lead to things getting overly complicated and messy. However, it IS a way to save money, and it IS entirely possible – as long as you’re happy to put in the time and effort.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, or get in touch. I’ll be happy to give you some more free advice that might be able to help.

5 Clever Things All Businesses Must do with Their Email Lists

Does your business have huge email lists just sitting around doing nothing?

Whether you’ve been collecting the email addresses of customers, potential customers, or both, you’ve probably gathered up quite a lot of potentially valuable contacts over the years. But now they’re just stagnating in a list somewhere.

Seems a bit of a waste, doesn’t it? Especially as the average email list degrades by about 22.5% every year – perhaps even more so if you don’t keep the recipients engaged.

But wait a minute… what if I told you that you could actually get something back from that email list – like more sales and engagement?

Now, this is something I get asked about a lot, so listen up.

You should be looking at your email as your most powerful marketing asset; when times are hard, and you’re not getting enough people to your website, this is where you should be turning; to the people who have already expressed their interest.

It doesn’t cost anything to market to your email list, and with the right tools to hold their attention, they’ll stay with you – however, send them rubbish they don’t want to hear, and they’ll unsubscribe faster than you can say ‘You’ve been spammed’.

In this blog post, I’m going to use my experience as a digital marketer give you five easy ways your company can get the most out of your email list.

But firstly…

email lists spammy emails

Why buying email lists is a bad idea

Often, companies buy email lists online thinking it’s a good investment, as these leads come pre-packaged with none of the effort. If you’re thinking of buying a list right now: stop.

The reason being, that the contacts you’ll find on paid-for lists likely don’t know who you are, and haven’t opted into receiving emails from you.

Not to mention, the first contact they’ll get from your company will come in the form of a spammy email – sending them something they never asked for in the first place is not the best start for a trusting relationship, is it?

In fact, if you’ve already bought a list, this is probably why your response rate is so low.

So, without further ado, let me give you some tips on building and making the most of your email list, the smart way!

1. Grow your email lists organically for better engagement

So, instead of buying lists, the best way to grow your email list is organically; in other words, collecting the email addresses of people who visit your website, or have somehow expressed an interest in your products or services.

And of course, they should opt-in to receiving updates from you by entering their email address themselves, and preferably ticking the necessary box.

The first thing you need to really think about is what you’re doing with these email addresses when someone contacts you; how are you collecting them, and where are these visitors going?

If you’re only collecting emails from people who are asking for quotes, this may not be the most ideal way to build your email list, as only a small percentage of your visitors will be at that ready-to-buy stage – what happens to the rest?

To be honest, they’re probably having a look around, and then leaving.

Unless you’re able to look at Google Analytics and find out what these other people are doing on your website, they’re just a number to you. So, how do you turn these numbers into real people you can actually engage with?

Well, one of the best ways is by offering premium downloadable content and information they can access for free – all they have to do is fill in their name and email address.

Some examples would be helpful ebooks, such as:

  • The Best Way to Manage Your Online Databases
  • Roof Replacement Dos and Don’ts
  • The Big Helpful Guide to Buying SaaS
  • Conservatories vs Orangeries: What’s the Difference?
  • An App Developer’s Guide to Distribution

The list goes on and on…

2. Segment your lists for improved effectiveness

Now that you’re collecting your email list from various sources, you need a tool to collect and segment your lists for you automatically, so you can effectively communicate with your contacts and send them information they’ll definitely be interested in.

For instance, someone who has already bought a boiler or a conservatory from you probably won’t be interested in an email talking about the same product. Keeping your lists as personalised as possible will allow you to send the right info to the right people – hopefully at the right time!

Of course, you could segment your lists manually, but this is a very time-consuming job, and if you don’t stay on top of it, things can get messy – not ideal if most of your time is spent running a business!

3. Keep them interested with regular emails

Once you’ve got a nice, healthy email list that consists of people who you know actually want to hear from you, the next step is to start sending out emails!

The trick here is to stay at the forefront of their minds, by sending them helpful, engaging emails that they’ll be interested in and want to read – without spamming them with things that make them want to unsubscribe.

One of the best ways to do this is by writing a regular blog, which you can then send out to the right people as you publish, or in a weekly or monthly digest.

Your blog should ideally be updated once or twice a week with quality content that that answers the questions you no doubt hear from your best customers all the time. Without great content like this, you’ll just be doing what you’ve always done – only trying to sell products, and getting limited results.

There are so many other reasons to have a blog – it also means that your website’s traffic will increase with more people being able to find you via Google search!

4. Give them a good incentive to subscribe to your newsletter

If you’re thinking of offering a newsletter – especially if you have a new website – think about why someone would want to sign up. How will they benefit?

I’ve found that usually, no-one will really want to enter their email address into the magic little box if you don’t give them any reason to do so. A little line of text underneath will do so much more – for example, you could have something like:

‘Subscribe to our newsletter to receive special discounts and offers!

You see? Especially if people are considering buying from you, they’ll definitely want to be informed if they can get your products or services for less!

5. Use offline opportunities to keep building your list

Finally, don’t simply think of building your email list as something that stays strictly online. Take a notebook or your tablet with you when you go out to jobs, trade shows and exhibitions, and ask people who show an interest if they’d like to sign up.

You might be surprised how many will say ‘yes’! Especially if you tell them the kind of things you’re offering, such as brochures, ebooks and helpful content that answers that question they’ve just asked. It’s such a simple thing to do, but many companies fail to pro-actively build their lists this way.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading, and I hope I’ve inspired you to do more with your business’s email lists – they’re such a useful marketing asset to have, and I’m truly saddened by how many companies simply neglect theirs, or use them to send out blanket spammy sales messages that appeal to hardly anyone.

If you have any questions about email lists and how to make the most out of yours, feel free to leave a comment below – I promise to reply with something helpful!

7 B2B Marketing Secrets to Turn Your Website into a Sales Machine

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secrets

Like all great structures you need a solid, well thought out foundation to build something remarkable and your website is no different. Did you know inbound websites average conversation rate is double the rate of non-inbound websites? Continue reading