It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the seemingly endless stream of new channels for B2B lead generation. But leveraging the well-established and tested methods you’re already using can be just as important as incorporating new channels into your marketing mix. Here’s how to get even more leads from the channels you’re probably already using.
1) Work Your Website
You’re probably familiar with the basic ways to use a company website for inbound lead generation; you can offer a free white paper or other download in exchange for contact information, and you can even use IP address identification software to discover which company a visitor is from.
This is all good information to have in your CRM system. But progressive profiling can take you several steps further. By tracking the specific activities of visitors to your site, you can gain insights about the interests of each person. This detailed knowledge can be used to make your telemarketing and email nurturing campaigns much more effective.
2) Crank Up the Referral Volume
Asking for a referral from your satisfied customers is a good habit to get into. But if think you can eschew advertising and solely rely on referrals, then you might as well retire.
Social proof is very important to B2B buyers. So encourage your current clients to not only give you referrals, but also like your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn. Your clients might even be willing to provide you with positive feedback that you can place on your website.
3) Synchronize Your SEO and Content
Content marketing continues to be a high priority for B2B marketers because it provides an effective way to educate potential buyers about why their business needs your product or service. Buyers review an average of nine pieces of content during the research process, so content marketing has earned its place in B2B marketing budgets.
Search engine marketing, of course, is another staple of online marketing. By having SEO experts work closely with your content marketing teams, you can get even more mileage from your content. This way, you’ll ensure maximum exposure for all of those incisive white papers, videos and infographics your team has worked so hard to create. Thought leadership is in the bag.
4) Boost Telemarketing with Email
Next up are three traditional marketing methods that have proven their value despite the online marketing revolution: telemarketing, direct mail and trade shows. Telemarketing garners the highest response rates of the three, although telemarketing campaigns do cost more to implement than direct mail.
A study by B2B Marketing revealed that a majority of businesses continue to experience positive results from telemarketing; 75% of companies surveyed use telemarketing to acquire new customers, and more than 50% had increased their use of telemarketing over the previous year.
Telemarketing allows you to educate prospects and engage with them on a more personal level. To boost your results from telemarketing, try interspersing emails into your campaigns.
Email marketing is without a doubt one of the best ways for B2B companies to acquire new leads. A recent study by BtoB Magazine found that 80% of the companies surveyed plan to increase their online marketing budget and of those, 68.6% intend to invest more in their email campaigns.
The mean unique open rate for U.S. email marketers last year was 20.2% and the median rate 17.1%, according to Silverpop’s 2014 Email Marketing Metrics Benchmark Study. This number covered results from a wide range of email marketers and included those who apply minimal effort to their campaigns along with best-in-class marketers who employ current best practices and perform continual testing. The latter make up the the top quartile, which achieved a median open rate of 38.5%.
5) Outsource Your Email Marketing
Email marketing has a 4,300% ROI according to the DMA, making it one of the top channels for lead generation, especially when used as part of an integrated marketing platform that incorporates telemarketing, content marketing, social media and pay-for-performance syndication.
To produce high quality leads, email marketing must be well planned and executed, with proper attention given to segmenting and targeting your audience. To optimize the results of your campaigns, you must determine your most crucial and actionable key performance indicators and test the results of each campaign accordingly.
Many companies report that the most challenging aspect of successful email marketing lies in finding employees with the expertise to properly develop and implement an email strategy. A recent survey by InsideUp found that for 70% of B2B companies, lack of expertise within their firm and difficulty finding qualified people to do the work were the biggest obstacles to successful online marketing.
In-house email marketing can drain your budget and resources and make your marketing department more dependent on IT. It also requires a substantial investment in customized software and server technology. Finding a quality email marketing company to take care of your needs can save your company considerable expense, not only in regard to hiring an in-house staff, but also in terms of email server processing power and internal bandwidth.
You will have the advantage of the email provider’s expertise in all aspects of email marketing, such as list management, customized content, deliverability, testing and tracking, and regulatory compliance.
6) Pay for Performance
Digital marketing experts have turned the process of generating quality, real-time warm leads into a veritable science. By diverting a portion of your online marketing budget toward purchasing leads that have been verified and scored using a detailed scoring process, you gain immediate access to prospects who are actively seeking your services—at a fraction of what it would cost to pull leads of similar quality from your own email marketing campaigns.
Be diligent about purchasing quality leads. The axiom “You get what you pay for” certainly applies here. That is the advantage of a pay-for-performance model; your results are easily quantified and you can plan your marketing budget by them.
Integration is Indispensable
Segmented and expected to deliver results on their own, none of these methods would draw the powerful response that can be had when two, three or all of these channels are integrated and used in a complementary fashion. All of the aforementioned channels can and should be integrated to boost engagement and achieve an even more impressive ROI.