Since the early 1990s and the introduction of the internet into the public domain, the way business is carried out has changed dramatically. Initially, people thought that an online presence was not worth the time and effort compared to a tangible company; how wrong they were. Today, the internet is an immense marketing and sales medium that businesses ignore at their peril. New marketing techniques have had to be developed to organize the mass of information that is available on the internet, and you can have your piece too, if you know how to exploit it.
One marketing technique that has been around since way before the internet was even conceived is lead generation. The idea is simple, acquire the contact details of potential customers, create a database of leads, then contact each one, trying to convert that lead into a sale. What makes this difficult is getting hold of positive leads. The general public is unwilling to give out personal details to companies without adequate persuasion, so businesses have to develop or instigate certain lead generation techniques in order to get information.
Social Media – Social network sites have become so popular over the last ten years that it is difficult to find someone who doesn’t have their details on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. It is not hard for businesses to see where the latest source of positive leads can be generated from, as these sites contain information that businesses previously used to pay millions of dollars for. Successful lead generation using social networking profiles and connections, however, is not an easy task. Businesses cannot just add friends and then attempt conversion. What needs to be done is to create a sense of trust, a connection with the potential leads so that they are willing to divulge information to you, before you attempt a sale.
Landing Pages – Another great lead generation technique is landing pages. A landing page is a web page that is shown when somebody clicks on a banner or search engine result hyperlink. Getting your landing page just right is not easy, there is a technique to gaining leads that doesn’t involve flashing colors and animated backgrounds. It takes a perfect combination of information, praise, questions and (possibly) freebies to persuade people to part with their personal information as, don’t forget, you are asking them to spend time inputting their information into your form.
Mailing Lists – Businesses have used mailing lists in lead generation for decades; though whereas previously these mailing lists had to be purchased from other businesses or compiled themselves; today the information is widely available on the internet. Software is now available that can scan user directories for names and contact details, then download all the information and collate it into a database. That database can then be organized into suitable leads for which to contact.
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