Hello, my lead. Yes, you! You’ve demonstrated an interest in my content, so you qualify.
Any person that shows interest in a product or service is considered to be a lead.
The narrower definition of a lead is any contact information that a user submits on their own, such as an email address.
But interest always comes first.
Changing perspective from actively trying to get users by various means, like paid advertising or straight up buying leads, to attracting users organically can open a sea of possibilities.
Well, this article will tell you exactly that. No matter if you are new to this type of marketing or run leadgen offers and want to know some tips to elevate your efforts to the next level, we talk about everything leadgen here.
Outbound & inbound marketing
Outbound marketing is what we, marketers, have associated with ‘marketing’ most often. So, this encompasses all efforts to put our message ‘out there’, in the form of posts, banners, sponsored content and this kind of stuff.
People are annoyed by that.
(And apologies for any pop-up banners that may show up if you try to switch tabs).
I’m not going to tell you that this approach doesn’t work.
Hence this banner.
But it has its limits, problems, and should be used in conjunction with inbound marketing.
Inbound marketing is all about being found by users rather than forcing your message upon them. Such users that stumble upon your content become valuable leads.
Wait – there is an option where you don’t have to pay for each user view and users simply come to you gladly on their own?
Welcome to the fabulous world of lead generation (or leadgen) marketing!
Questions on lead generation
Below you can find popular questions about various aspects of lead generation.
So, what is leadgen?
Leadgen can refer to the whole strategy of attracting leads, or to the types of ads that are designed strictly to attract leads (contact information), or to the type of offers that an affiliate marketer can run.
All these various aspects revolve around the same central idea. An affiliate marketer or an in-house marketing team may use leadgen ads to attract people; leadgen offers usually have some perks like ebooks or product samples to convince people to submit their contact details and so on.
How does leadgen work?
Leadgen campaigns use gated content to attract prospective customers. Gated content means that a user is required to submit certain information about themselves.
Here’s an example:
We are the people behind Voluum, the best performance tracking tool on the market. As any other product, it requires advertising.
We could only run paid ads to promote it and rely on word-to-mouth advertising.
But many people don’t know what trackers are and why they may need one. Other people know about trackers but are afraid of them because they think that setting them up is hard.
Both groups of people will not respond very well to the traditional-style “Get Voluum” banner.
But if we could show people how to use Voluum and what it brings to the table, and at the same time, teach them about the intricacies of affiliate marketing, it could be a win-win.
This is exactly what we did in the form of Affiliate Academy.
Customers get great learning content for free. They only need to provide their email address. We get educated leads that are one step further on the marketing conversion funnel. Plus, we have a way of getting more people into affiliate marketing.
Such enticing content is often referred to as a ‘lead magnet’.
If we decided to promote Affiliate Academy using paid advertising, that would be a leadgen campaign.
If we decided to reward users that make other people sign up to the Academy, this would be a leadgen offer.
What are leadgen offers?
Since gathering leads is the goal of many product owners, there are many offers that reward marketers for just that. If you run third-party offers, leadgen is one of the most popular categories.
Leadgen offers incorporate all the techniques described below. They are the essence of affiliate marketing. Let the popularity of these offers be the testimony of how desired leads are.
What verticals work best with leadgen campaigns?
Leadgen ads work great for offers that are not bought on impulse but rather after careful consideration.
Think about life insurance. This is something that people buy only after reading some content or after a persuading call from an advisor. To get such a call, an insurance company needs contact details.
Leads, in other words.
Verticals for leadgen campaigns:
- Finance, insurance, Forex
Tailoring a good finance offer, such as an investment opportunity or savings account, specifically for a given customer, requires either some fancy formulas or a talk with a financial advisor.
Especially nowadays, when the finance market is getting increasingly complex with newer instruments coming in almost daily, such as crypto or NFT.
Finance covers a lot of niches, from personal insurance, women in transition, senior living, loans for students or veterans to forex trading, NFT marketplaces and so on.
- Solar or wind power
Renewables are another strong contender for leadgen campaigns. Similarly to the finance vertical, most customers need a chat with an expert that can tell them about the benefits of installing solar panels on the roof, insulating your house, wind turbines, subsidies, and so on.
- Real estate or house flipping
House-related decisions are one of the hardest and most important financial decisions anyone can make. No matter if we talk about mortgages, home improvements, house flipping, you need to warm up or educate your prospect first.
Business to business lead generation is a short term that describes an ocean of various opportunities. This vertical contains all situations where one business sells products or services directly to other businesses.
Because of the various situations and cases that this vertical encompasses, a quick call or a smart email campaign (or a business leaflet in PDF?) will help get only genuinely interested leads.
- Legal advice
Everyone at some point in their life needs to contact a lawyer. This may be because of personal problems such as divorce or death in a family, or business reasons.
This is a complex and sensitive matter that requires expertise and a delicate touch. In other words: human contact from an expert.
All people should educate themselves throughout their whole life and increase their competencies – but only a few people really know that.
The majority have to be educated to get education first; they need to be warmed up and familiarized with the notion of business or personal development.
Where to look for leads?
The beauty of the concept is that, in many cases, you don’t have to look for leads. They find you while they are looking for answers to burning questions and find your ebook, for example.
This is where good SEO practices come into play. Discoverability is the result of good content and clever use of keywords.
But there’s nothing wrong in mixing up various approaches a little bit. Many platforms (ad networks, social media platforms) allow you to run paid leadgen ads. Facebook would be the most notable example.
Facebook and other platforms allow you to run both third-party leadgen offers and your own leadgen campaigns.
Why not just buy leads?
It is possible – however, they won’t be true ‘leads’ in the sense that they didn’t show any interest in what you have to offer. They have simply signed up at one point to a subscriber list on an unrelated occasion; therefore, they have no connection with you, your brand or product.
Purchased leads, although easy to run on the surface, are cold traffic in reality. You lose all the benefits of leadgen marketing:
- More personal connection
- Higher chances for subsequent sales and longer LTV
- Being an advocate of your company
Getting leads is not easy. It requires putting in some serious work in recognizing hurdles that your prospective customers may go through and preparing high-quality content that addresses it.
Ok, so how to make my leadgen campaigns successful?
Leadgen works using the same principles as other campaigns… Except it doesn’t.
While most campaigns focus on one marketing channel only (paid, organic, social), leadgen campaigns utilize multiple channels to a similar degree.
This poses a serious challenge since rudimentary tracking solutions can’t collect all the dots.
And you need a tracker.
Operating solely on a gut feeling, or, at best (or worst), an Excel spreadsheet updated daily, is an inefficient hurdle.
What you need to run a leadgen campaign like a pro is:
- A way to quickly determine the profitability of each channel with an option of going into details
- Checking various indicators, such as CTR, conversion rate for each channel
- Setting up alerts and complex rules that will put your campaigns on autopilot
Read further to learn how to set up your tracker in a way that will put you ahead of other marketers!
Leadgen marketing is here to boost your marketing into 2022
If you want users to find you on their own and become interested in what you have to offer, you need to provide them with something that will attract them.
Like a magnet.
You need to make sure that this is not just any piece of your typical marketing content, but something that provides valuable information and solves real problems.
This is how you can make people come to you.
Go through the list of the content types below to find the one that matches your case.
Ebooks that provide all (or most) information on a given topic are a great way to get your visitors interested in you.
The bonus is that these users will already be educated, which may reduce the need for your onboarding specialists or customer success team later on.
Ebooks usually come in the form of PDF’s, less often in the EPUB format. This provides you the opportunity to put hyperlinks in the text and include colorful images and diagrams.
Preparing ebooks is easy. There are dedicated services for that, such as Canva, or others.
You can market your ebook as such, or as a guide or something else. Many companies prepare industry reports, or whitepapers that serve as leadgen methods.
I don’t have to tell you that you should not make your ebook downloadable for everyone but rather just for those that leave their contact information.
Free learning content is a popular way to gather leads. Webinars, as well as ebooks, have the added benefit of educating your audience, which will be useful in the future.
Think about lower numbers of support tickets, higher customer satisfaction and so on.
Creating learning content may be as easy as recording a video of you or someone else from your team explaining the problem. You don’t need fancy graphics if the content is solid.
You can use one of many platforms for creating eLearning courses, such as Thinkific. They allow you to prepare content in the form of videos, written text and quizzes.
People like quick answers tailored to their problem, hence the popularity of various online calculators. They may calculate anything, from a tax return to recommended daily calorie intake.
Providing such a calculator is only a matter of mastering the formula. Then you can tie your offer with the calculator: tax services with the tax return calculator, various nutra offers with calorie calculators.
PowerPoint presentations act in a similar way to webinars.
Presentations can address various topics, from the state of the industry to ‘how to stay healthy’ guides. They provide content in a more condensed and attractive way than ebooks.
Product samples and discounts
‘Freemium’ offerings are great bait at the end of an obvious hook. From simple offers such as “10% off your first order if you sign up for a newsletter” to product trials.
Not only can you show a little bit of your product, you also evoke one of the oldest social principles: reciprocity.
Conferences, product demonstrations and other event types are costly but provide more personal connection to your brand than anything else.
Think according to your scale – you don’t have to organize an international conference for hundreds of attendees. A simple workshop for 20 people may suffice.
In today’s world, online events work as well as live ones. This may lower costs significantly while, at the same time, allowing you to meet your audience in real life.
Set up Voluum for Leadgen campaigns
Getting Voluum to track your leadgen campaigns is the most important step in the great affiliate race. But you must make several others. Read below to make the most out of Voluum.
Set up tracking
Create separate campaigns for paid and organic traffic. Use the direct tracking method to correctly track organic sales.
Read our documentation for the detailed description of setting up tracking for organic campaigns.
If you use one of our API-supported traffic sources for your leadgen campaigns (check the full list here), integrate them to unlock Voluum’s full potential.
Seriously, without integration, you’re missing a lot.
- Cost synchronization.
- Whitelists and blacklists.
And the total ease of use that comes with all these features.
Set up rules
Auto-rules work with integrated traffic sources and operate using the if/then login.
Worry not, we have a rule library that will show you the most popular and useful rules you should set up.
At the very least, set up some alerts for when traffic stops, so you can check what’s going on.
A/B test what works
Lead magnets and their ads have varying effectiveness. Test what works by putting two or more ad variations to the test to determine the winner.
Voluum even has the option for automatic A/B testing in the form of Traffic Distribution AI. This feature automatically selects the best landing page, offers, or path, and directs the most traffic through it.
Set up custom conversions
Not all conversions are alike. Leads demonstrate different levels of interest in your offer and providing contact details to get an ebook does not indicate the same intent as contacting a sales representative via chat.
Set up different conversion types and assign different payouts to them to correctly track actions that may have different values.
Check your traffic for fraud
Bots are out there to get you! Well, maybe not you, just a part of your profit.
Luckily, bots operate in detectable patterns.
Detectable with Voluum’s Anti-Fraud kit.
Check your traffic for suspicious traffic and, yes, set up an auto-rule that warns you when you get a surge in suspicious traffic.
Lead generation is easy with the right tools
There are tools for everything: managing email campaigns, creating ebooks or webinars, for call management and for aggregating the best leadgen offers.
In the middle of this mix lies Voluum, your marketing dashboard and automation engine. While you don’t need most of the tools mentioned above – hell, you can create an ebook in Microsoft Word – Voluum is the one that makes the biggest difference.
Enrich your leadgen campaigns with detailed reporting and real-time event tracking to make the best decisions in the shortest amount of time.