All businesses want to get leads. It really doesn’t matter how big or small the company is, a lead is a step in the right direction.
But it’s not just about getting a ton of people through your door. Not everyone is going to be a match, and as a business you have to set yourself to earn high quality and qualified leads. The kind that can actually result in a sale.
What if you aren’t getting any leads as it stands, not even low quality ones? Well, this could be a variety of things. You might be difficult to find, or maybe you just have low brand awareness.You may be missing a few key marketing strategies.
Whatever the case is, you’ll have to take a step back and see if you can find where the leads are falling through. This can point you in the right direction of what you need to do to start getting leads.
7 reasons you may be missing out on leads
A lead is simply a person who can be a potential customer. They typically show a little bit of interest in what you are offering by downloading a lead magnet, or visiting your blog. But, if you aren’t using the right tools to attract leads, you might not ever see them.
Attracting a lead is much more than just creating content. So let’s review other reasons why your business may be missing out on leads.
1. You’re not asking for reviews
Yes, you read that correctly. The amount of reviews (along with the rating score) play a significant part in your lead generation.
For example, if someone does a quick Google search on lawn care services, they are likely going to check out the businesses who have good reviews. They will then base who they choose to maintain their lawn on the reviews they have read.
According to an infographic by Invespcro.
- 72% of people say that a positive review helps them trust a local business more.
- 92% of users will use a local business if it has at least a 4-star review.
Many people read a few reviews before they even trust you! So if you are lagging, you could be missing out on potential leads.
So how do you get reviews?
You may be lucky and have a super pleased customer write a review without you having to ask. But, in most cases you’ll want to ask for a review after a positive encounter. Let’s say you had a nice in-app chat with a customer. You may close the conversation, but before you do so you may ask them to rate you. Not everyone will, but some people will do it, and that is a huge benefit to you!
Here are a few ways to ask for a review (it doesn’t have to be awkward or intrusive!)
- Ask via in-app chat. After you finish up a conversation and sort out any issues. If you managed to help a customer out and get them on the right track, they are usually pretty happy.
- Ask in a thank you or post purchase email. A customer may be happy with their new purchase and when you ask for a review of their experience with your brand/product you may be hitting them at the right time. An invoice can work too!
- Use your newsletter. You may have a few newsletter subscribers who are also loyal customers, they may be willing to give you a review if you provide a link to a review site for them.
Note: Use your reviews as a way to move your business forward. A bigger issue is not listening to the feedback in your reviews. You can address issues, solve problems, and create a stronger product.
As you can see, you need to encourage reviews to happen, if you’re not, you’re letting yourself down in more ways than one.
2. You haven’t supercharged your word of mouth channels
It’s all about word of mouth leads. The truth is, you can get these without doing much else in your marketing strategy. People will talk if they had a very good experience with you, or adversely, they will talk if they had a really bad one.
But you can increase the chances of someone talking about you with a few simple additions.
If one of your customers is willing to send you a lead, that’s a huge compliment. In fact, this is why referral marketing is so successful.
The leads being sent your way have a built in level of trust that a lead you would get on your own might not have. A Nielson study revealed that “84% of people trust recommendations from people they know. Making them the most influential form of advertising”.
If you set up a referral marketing program, you can automate asking for referrals at specific touch points in your marketing strategy. This can help you produce a steady stream of potential leads and referrals.
3. You’re not focused enough on customer service
In order for referral marketing to work, you’ll want to make sure your customer service is on point. Your customer service plays a direct impact on the amount and type of word of mouth you’ll receive.
In an American Express survey, researchers found that “Americans tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, versus the 11 people they’ll tell about a good experience.” Which only makes you successful on expanding the group of people who won’t shop from you.
Think of it like this… “Word of mouth is a free form of advertisement or promotion. It’s shared by customers and triggered by an event the customer experiences”. So if you are consistently offering your customers a great all around experience, you may find that some of them actually spread good word about you on their own will, and your lead pool expands organically.
If you are providing good customer service, and see people positively mentioning your brand, it’s a pretty good indicator that you’re doing this right. You can even create a referral program to help supercharge the momentum.
Bottom line: Offer great customer service. People will pay extra or travel a little further if it means they will receive better customer service. According to Gartner, “When it comes to making a purchase, 64% of people find customer experience more important than price.”
4. You’re not using email marketing effectively
Think about all the emails sent around the world daily. In your inbox alone you probably see at least 10-50 new emails a day. So you can believe that email marketing probably plays a great role in lead generation.
If you aren’t using email to correspond with potential customers, you may be missing out on the opportunity to convert.
Coschedule sends informative newsletters – and draw people in by using value driven subject lines.
You don’t have to go too crazy with email notifications and customers won’t want you too. If you want to generate leads with email marketing, you’ll have to consider a few things.
- Always ask permission – You don’t want to be subscribed to a random email list, and neither does anyone else. Make sure you have permission before emailing anyone.
- Offer something of value – People who aren’t even you customers will join your newsletters if you are offering something of value. So plan out what content you share, and make it worth their while. You may find that this can prime subscribers to turn into paying customers further down the line.
- Use triggered emails – Perhaps someone visited your site, they browsed around and left. If you happen to have asked or caught their email, you may be able to retarget them and get them to come back. Emails like drip campaigns can be great for this. Try offering them a deal to come back.
- Gated content – Let’s say you’ve got someone to share their email. That’s great, but now they are expecting content. Gated content can help you take leads to the next level. Those who go through the process of filling out additional forms are becoming warmer and warmer leads.
5. Your business is hard to find
This one cannot be stressed enough. We’ve learned about tricks so far to get leads excited to check you out. But, what if they can’t find you to begin with? There are real benefits to doing SEO and setting yourself up to be seen.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make any noise? Just because you can’t hear it, doesn’t mean there isn’t any sound. The same goes for your business online. If a customer is doing a quick search for the service you provide, but your business doesn’t show up, they won’t see you (even though you very much exist).
So how do you make sure you are being seen? Work on your SEO and make sure your website is optimized (as it also affects your position!).
SEO isn’t being used
Good SEO is something that you do that is sort of hidden in plain sight. You have to work your keywords in a way that makes sense and provides value to readers, without being too over the top. A lot can go into this.
- Pick your keywords wisely – You need to have focus keywords spread throughout your site. You’ll want your homepage, blog content, meta description, and other pages to have this keyword centrally featured, including close variants. Just remember, the more commonly a term is searched, the more competitive it will be. It’s always a balancing act!
- Try long tail keywords – This is where you will earn the majority of your targeted leads. Adding your location, or additional specifying words to your target search phrases will lower your competition, and make sure you focus your efforts on getting in front of the most qualified leads.
- Be mobile-responsive – This can mean a few things, but in the world of SEO you’ll want a website that works properly on a variety of devices. Many customers may find you while browsing the web on their phone during their work break. But if your site isn’t mobile friendly they may move onto one of your competitors. It’s also a ranking factor in Google’s algorithm.
SEO ensures your visibility, so you’ll want to make sure you are using it. Great SEO can also push you to be one of the first businesses in a search result, and let’s face it 1st page results are where you want to be. People typically make their decisions before exploring pages 2 and on.
To go along with that, you’ll want to make sure your local SEO is on point. This is particularly important for businesses who have a brick and mortar shop and need people to actually come in to visit them.
Photo source rawpixel.com
So to add to your keywords you may throw in the city or state you are located in. To go on with the spa example. You may want to use keywords that include your location. This works really well in meta-description and puts you directly in front of leads.
So if you’re a day spa in Dallas, Texas you may want to include that as a keyword too. That way locals can find you much easier as you’ll pop up above any other salons who aren’t adding locations to their keywords.
- Claim all listings – you may find your business is listed on a few different listing sites. Be sure to claim these pages and update the information. Correct information allows leads to find you and communicate with you easily.
- Use local terms in keywords – Adding your location, street, city, or other local identifier is key if you want to be easily found.
Google Maps optimization
For local business, having an optimized Google My Business listing is critical.
This is a listing you want to make sure hosts your correct information. As most likely it will be what is shown during a quick search.
Google doesn’t know what is right or wrong, so you have to make sure you tell it what is correct. The better or more accurate your information is, the more likely you are to show up in the Google Map Pack (the three lucky businesses who get featured at the top of the search results page).
This can mean spending time shuffling through pages of information and figuring out what keywords to use as well as how to use them without looking spammy. A local citations or SEO tool can help do this for you, and may be worth investing in since it can help you increase the amount of leads coming in.
6. You aren’t using social media to its full potential
People aren’t responding to cold-calling anymore. People want to come to you on their own accord. Therefore it’s essential that you give them the channels to do so (along with the path to take them there).
Social media can act as a secondary home for your business. Let’s say you’re a SaaS business, you may want to share a variety of topics and opinions on the subject of your business, but your brand’s website isn’t really the place for that. You can turn to social media to help you dive into these other topics.
By sharing on social media, you can pique interest as well as share valuable content. Best of all, your customers along with leads are already there. And on top of that, you don’t have to start the conversation first. You may be able to “tweet me, friend me, and make me buy”. You literally have a platform that can lead you to those who are looking for your solution, answer their questions, form a relationship, and get them to buy.
So how can you use social media to help you produce leads?
- Share gated content – Yes, we have mentioned this before. But,you may be able to share your high-value content with others and get their information too.
- Try our social ads – Though people aren’t looking to traditional ads much, they do see social media ads. You can try to promote some of your content so that you can reach new audiences. The thing with these types of ads is that they are typically low commitment and relatively cheap.
- Use gamification – Contests, surveys, and polls are fun, and depending on what you’re offering you may also win yourself a loyal customer. You can give a luxury gift away or you can keep it ‘local’ and give a lucky winner a month of your services for free.
- Try a live video – People love behind the scenes shots. If you can make it work, go for it. It’s also a great opportunity to answer some common questions people have before they buy.
- Work on your online reputation – between responding to questions, and sharing content. You can use social media as a way to build your online reputation. Facebook reviews are becoming quite popular, and your response time (and helpfulness/wittyness/etc.) can play a role in your overall online reputation management strategy.
Source: Purple Mattress does a great job at responding to social media inquires (for both happy and upset customers to resolve issues and keep their customer relationships strong.
7.The product or service you offer isn’t cutting it
You’ve done all the work and still find yourself scrambling to get some leads. Maybe it’s time to look at your product. Are you still solving people’s problems? Are your competitors surpassing you in what they offer?
Yes, it is important to stick to your own. But, you have to also listen to what your customers want. Even better if you can provide them with what they want and need before they realize they want it.
Make sure you are listening to feedback, and constantly working on making your product better. That doesn’t necessarily mean expanding what you offer, but simply updating your current product to be new and improved every now and then. You have to stay relevant, because once you’re not, leads won’t look to you as a solution.
How to make sure you’re cutting it.
- Make sure your product meets expected standards – It’s true that if you offer a lesser product than a competitor, but better customer service you can win over customers. But, there are boundaries to that. If your product is so far off from what is at least the bare minimum of what is expected you’ll lose leads.
The bottom line goes like this: have a strategy in place for your marketing efforts.
If you aren’t following a documented and/or measurable process, you may find that you’re just treading water and not getting anywhere.
Getting leads doesn’t have to be a pipe dream, but you do have to put in a little work to get the results you want. Don’t be afraid to have a strategy, one that is measurable so that you can alter things along the way if you see need to.
Guest Author Bio:
Megan Mosley is a marketing specialist at Referral Rock, who makes referral marketing software. When Megan isn’t writing, you’d be able to find her at her favorite coffee shop or exploring nearby trails.