Financially Responsible Marketing

6 steps to an online lead generation campaign

Posted by on Aug 19, 2015

A steady stream of leads is essential to maintaining business health and feeding growth.  Coming up with a successful lead generation campaign is far easier said than done.  There are so many ways to design a campaign that it is easy to feel overwhelmed before you even begin. Use these six steps to break up the task and keep you on track.


Step 1: Decide on your strategy

Decide on your strategy is another way of saying “What exactly are we trying to achieve in this campaign?” Let’s say you’ve planned to expand to a new market or vertical, what are your business goals for this new segment? How do you plan to service them?


Next, consider how you are marketing to achieve your goal.  Are you considering increasing your online presence? You might decide to write a series of blogs and a white paper to establish yourself as a thought leader, and/or use pay-per-click to build traffic to your website.


Last but far from least, who exactly are you targeting? Studies repeatedly show that a focused approach (e.g. our target customer is a small to mid-size resources firm with more than one area of activity) is essential to success.


Step 2: Target target target!

Now, research your target customer. If you’re a B2B firm, what might be the job title of the person you want to reach? What size of company? In what industry? If you’re B2C, what type of person uses your product or service? What gender, age, income? Do they have children? Their own home?


Try to build a buyer persona of your target buyer, one that you can imagine yourself speaking to. This will make your eventual message more honed and more interesting. If you can’t picture your buyer, or can’t imagine a conversation, it’s hard to build and send a successful message.


Step 3: Plan your approach

Now you want to think about where your target customer spends their digital time. Facebook? LinkedIn? Online trade magazines? Online search? Use the answers to these questions to guide your choices of communications channels within your budget.


Step 4: Build your assets

For any given channel, you’ll need specific assets, e.g. email list, set of social media contacts, online event, email copy, landing page. As you build these assets, you need to think of your value proposition, your call to action, and what you are offering to sweeten the deal. As an example, if the asset is a landing page, and your business does infrastructure projects, the value proposition could focus on your track record of success in executing telecommunications infrastructure on-budget. Your call to action could be to sign up for a newsletter, and your offer to sweeten the deal could be a whitepaper on why infrastructure projects often go over-budget.


Step 5: Execute your campaign

Start with a small test run, just big enough to give you enough feedback to see if your approach will earn you interest and generate leads. Test two or three times, making adjustments each time from what you learn. Then hit the go button!


Step 6: Measure your results

 Measure everything you can and be prepared to fail. Win or lose, the learning will help you improve this campaign and all following ones. Plus it will help you with budgeting for future campaigns. What paid off? What didn’t? Which approach works best for your business?


Bonus Step 7: Follow up on those leads!

One of the most common weaknesses of a lead generation campaign is the failure to follow up on the generated leads. Often, you and/or your sales team think that the leads don’t look exciting enough, or ready enough, or aren’t from the perfect target customers you envisioned. Ban those thoughts!


Establish a system for your team that involves keeping in touch with each lead and initiating a personal (phone) conversation at the right time. Why?