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Building a predictable lead generation machine is challenging. Once you crack this challenge, though, it’s extremely rewarding as you can scale up faster, and afford to be more selective with who you work with.
When I launched Venture Harbour four years ago, I experimented with everything from creating infographics and sponsoring events, to optimising our lead capture forms to boost our leads. It took about two years of experimentation before we reached a point of having ‘too many’ leads.
Below I’ve shared some of the best tools and tactics I’ve come across for capturing and converting more leads. These are not necessarily silver bullets, however my hope is that regardless of where you are – 10 or 100 leads per month, these tools will get you to the next level.
Your form is what separates your leads from non-leads.
Because of this, small improvements to your lead capture form can have significant impacts on your overall conversion rate and marketing performance. At Venture Harbour, we’ve seen numerous 200%+ increases in leads from form optimisation alone.
Leadformly is a tool built by our team at Venture Harbour that makes it easy to build high-converting lead generation forms.
The problem we found was that the forms provided by our email marketing services and CRMs were very basic and were negatively impacting our conversion rates. We looked into various form builder tools and plugins, but none of them offered a good solution for providing conversion-optimised forms.
So we built our own tool for building them.
Leadformly sweats the little things so that you don’t have to. From displaying optimal progress bar indicators, to using conditional logic to segment your leads, we’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with forms to identify what actually increases form conversions. In addition, Leadformly has built-in analytics and audience insights to help you understand your leads and how your forms are performing.
To learn more about Leadformly, checkout out Leadformly.com
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Intercom is probably the marketing tool that I’m most excited about right now.
Intercom enables you to communicate directly with leads who are visiting your website. You can setup rules to display messages to visitors when certain conditions are met. For example, if a user spends more than 60 seconds on your pricing page and is on their second visit you could display a message like this:
An operator on your team can then speak directly with website visitors, or even jump on video chat directly from the live chat window. The potential for Intercom is incredibly powerful – from gathering product feedback and understanding objections, to collecting leads who are searching around on your website.
It’s difficult to do Intercom justice in words. I’d highly recommend checking them out even if only to understand the potential of what they offer.
There are many potential leads on your website, yet only a handful fill out your enquiry forms.
While you can significantly increase the percentage of visitors filling out your forms using a tool like LeadFormly, there will always be a few leads slipping through the cracks.
LeadForensics solves this by using the visitor’s IP address to tell you which companies are viewing your website (even if they don’t fill out your enquiry form). One of my clients recently installed this and found that many large brands were visiting their contact page but not filling out our form.
Their sales team could then go to LinkedIn, find the marketing director’s name, and call the company asking to speak to this person. As you can imagine, this not only increased the number of targeted leads their business received, but it also had a great conversion rate as the leads were already familiar with the business.
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Your ability to capture and convert leads is largely dependent on your email marketing and CRM solution. After all, if you can’t properly segment and use rule-based follow-up with leads, you’ll have a harder job qualifying and converting those leads.
As you can see, ActiveCampaign allows you track every interaction a lead has with your website – and then use these as triggers for your email marketing campaigns.
This means you can notify your sales team as soon as a lead visits a certain page on your website. You could also automatically follow up with cold leads every few months, or build email campaigns to nurture them back into warm leads.
If you’re in B2B sales, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is a great tool for capturing leads. Alongside receiving lead recommendations and seeing who’s viewed your profile, the Sales Navigator enables you to save leads into your CRM directly from LinkedIn.
Datanyze is an outbound sales tool designed to help software and tech companies save time prospecting. The main benefit of Datanyze is that it shows you the technology used by your prospects – and even helps you find new prospects based on what technology they use.
About a week ago I received one of the best cold emails I’ve seen in a long time.
This email, I believe, was 100% automated and sent using Growbots. Growbots dubs itself as an ‘AI for sales’ and uses clever rules and a huge database of contacts to do clever outbound lead generation. While I haven’t personally used their service, I’ve heard great things about Growbots from numerous friends in the SaaS community.
Quora has become a de-facto destination for asking and answering questions online. If you search on Quora for topics relating to your business you’ll likely find tens or hundreds of people asking questions that you could provide well-informed answers to.
These answers can subtly convey your company’s expertise, which may drive potential leads to contact you.
Hoovers pride themselves on being the ‘largest single source of business information’ anywhere. This means that if it is personalised leads that you require for your business, then Hoovers is a great place to look.
PadiAct allows you to tailor which website visitors are asked for their email address. This means that when they do sign up they are more likely to go onto make a purchase. You can then follow how well your email subscription list is growing with the easy to understand tracker charts provided by PadiAct.
Turnstile is a simple feature offered by Wistia, who are considered to be one of the most respected video hosting companies.
Turnstile’s main goal is to collect the names and email addresses of potential customers for you and your business after someone has finished watching a video. By offering an email collector at the beginning, middle or end of your video you can turn this engaged visitors into valuable leads.
Qualaroo is often thought of as a customer research tool. If you’re unfamiliar with their product, they provide unobtrusive mini customer surveys that enable you to communicate with visitors on your website.
One underused tactic is to use Qualaroo for lead generation. In short, you can ask your visitors a series of questions such as ‘What can we do for you today?’ and by step 2/3 of the survey it may make sense to arrange a call or ask for an email.
Since joining forces with LinkedIn in 2012, Slideshare has become one of the most effective lead generation tools for reaching a B2B audience. From my experience, the key with Slideshare is to ensure that your slides are well-designed and make sense without any explanation.
When you get these two areas right, there’s a high likelihood that Slideshare will feature your presentation on their homepage for a day or two, driving thousands of views. Following this, your slides should rank well when people search for the topic of your presentation on the platform – putting you in front of targeted leads.
Whichever marketing tool you decide will suit you and your business best, I hope this extensive list is useful – and if you’re aware of any other good lead generation tools that I’ve missed, feel free to share them in the comments below.