It’s no doubt lead generation is one of the most challenging tasks. If you don’t generate leads, there will be no new customers, and your startup won’t survive!
This article will discuss five effective lead generation strategies. It will help you design a full-proof lead generation campaign for your startup and start generating more qualified prospects, and optimize conversions.
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Before jumping straight into lead generation techniques for startups, let's understand the stages of lead generation for a startup and why it's so daunting!
A lead is someone interested in purchasing your product/service and lead generation for a startup in the process of introducing your business to the target audience and converting them into leads or customers.
For identifying and generating qualified leads, a startup has to create a list of organizations or people who might be interested in their software. The list of potential customers might be in the form of a telephone list of:
The list might contain some prospects who aren't ready to buy a solution right away, but they might be looking for a similar resolution shortly. You can nurture such prospects and until they decide to buy your course.
Lead generation has three crucial stages. Let’s look at these stages in brief:
Source: Klood Digital
You need to attract visitors to your website because if they don't know that your business exists, it wouldn't be possible for them to discover your website ever. You must design a seamless website and match the search needs and specific requirements of your target audience.
Identify potential prospects looking for a solution like yours and provide them with a form to capture their details. It's the awareness stage of your lead generation funnel, where you have identified the prospects having pain points that your course can solve.
At this stage, prospects are doing educational research and giving a name to their problem. It's an excellent time to attract such visitors to your website!
After you have identified the target audience for your startup’s website, the next step is to engage them with quality content and provide a compelling call-to-action (CTA) button so the prospects can turn into customers.
With the help of a lead magnet or CTA, you drive visitors to the landing page of your website, where you can capture their contact details.
Once you have gathered the contact details, you have successfully converted a visitor into a qualified lead. Now, you need to nurture such leads and turn them into paying customers. The lead generation stages for a startup might look extremely simple, but in reality, it’s not. Let’s get some insights into why lead generation is complex!
One of the crucial reasons why generating high-quality leads is difficult for startups is that the way customers indulge in business with a Startup is different from how they do it with any other company.
You don't deal with selling any physical product, and your target audience has ample time to compare your offerings with your competitors' products online. The target audience of your startup won't do a Google search for a service randomly and pick one from the millions of search results.
If a potential customer is doing an online search, he/she needs to be directed to discover your business. Because of these reasons, businesses have a hard time carving out the plan for customer acquisition even before they have established their startup and sought funding for the same.
You can design a winning lead generation strategy by meeting your potential buyers where they are and demonstrating how your software can solve their pain points and satisfy their specific requirements.
For grabbing qualified leads for your startup, it's necessary to attract many people to your website, capture their details and nurture them so that they can turn into paying customers.
Considering the complex sales cycle designing a full-proof lead generation campaign for your startup is quite daunting but not impossible. So, let’s explore five lead generation techniques tailored to suit a startup:
“When you combine the Buyer Profile with Buying Insights, you will have clear guidance for the decisions you need to make to win their business.”
● Adele Revella (Keynote Speaker, Author, & CEO of Buyer Persona Institute)
If you want to generate qualified leads for your startup, it’s critical to have in-depth insights into your target customers’
Having a comprehensive understanding of your target audience will let you reach the best-fit leads and persuade them. Hence, they start taking an interest in providing their contact details to you and discovering your products/services.
To understand your target audience and their preferences or pain points, you must develop a clear buyer persona for your startup, which is a representation of your ideal customers and highlights their:
Here’s an example of what a buyer persona looks like:
Source: Kevin Payne
There are various techniques for creating buyer personas:
A. Conducting online surveys.
B. Discuss with your sales and customer support teams to get insight into your ideal customers.
C. Niche-specific communities or forums on social media platforms to identify and connect with ideal buyers.
D. Leverage LinkedIn Sales Navigator or Quora to discover target prospects, identify their problems, and develop relationships.
E. Use lead generation tools or Google Analytics to have more insights into your target audience.
You don’t need to create only one buyer persona for your startup, but you can have multiple buyer personas depending on the specific products you offer. Ensure that they all have a common trait to ensure they are the best fit for your business.
“Finding your perfect market fit is vital. Lately, we faced a situation that let us evaluate our business position and work on expanding the business. In order to understand our target audience, we decided to hold a massive task: Do outreach to find our market fit.
● Kateryna Myroniuk (SaaS Marketing Expert)
When you search for leads, it’s crucial to concentrate on grabbing quality leads to nurture the best-fit leads. Retaining such leads who will stay loyal to your business, in the long run, is more important than the number of leads you generate.
Your ideal customers are those who are intensely looking for courses online even before they get in touch with you.
So, it would help if you focused on grabbing the attention of such leads by:
While identifying qualified leads for your startup, you will come across many low-quality prospects but chasing them will be a sheer waste of time, resources, and money.
The real challenge is how to identify qualified leads for your startup? Different startups might have different criteria for determining lead quality. However, the closer your prospect is to your buyer persona, the higher their quality as leads!
Bringing your sales and marketing teams in alignment is critical for determining the best-fit leads. Because both teams usually have different definitions of quality leads, marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads are different.
Encourage your marketing and sales teams to work in harmony and discuss their definitions of a qualified lead precisely by considering prospects’ interests and fit. Chasing qualified leads will save a lot of your resources and time.
Plus, you will have an opportunity to turn more prospects into paying customers.
Once you have identified your best-fit leads, it’s time to set SMART goals for your lead generation program that will allow you to track the success of your efforts.
Goal setting can increase your chance of success in any strategy. Without measurable goals, it would be daunting for you to determine the performance of your lead generation efforts. While establishing goals for your lead generation strategy, remember the most popular SMART goal-setting framework:
After identifying your lead generation objectives, make sure to revisit them regularly to verify whether you are on the right track or not. In case of gaps, you can tailor your strategy easily and move ahead in the right direction.
Once you have identified your targeted leads and established clear goals for your lead generation strategy, make sure to define your KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are the metrics that help you check the performance of your lead generation efforts and determine whether the targets that you have set are getting achieved or not!
Which KPIs to focus on depends on the goals of your lead generation strategy, but a few crucial KIPs that every startup should track are as follows:
I. Organic Traffic - Traffic coming from organic search to your website is best for lead generations. The higher the organic traffic, the higher the chance of your lead generation techniques getting successful.
II. Website Conversions - If you generate fewer conversions, you must analyze what’s wrong with your lead generation strategy. Conversions are a crucial metric to track the progress of your startup
III. Conversion Rate - It’s the % of website visitors who turn into prospects. You can measure it for the whole website or individual pages, such as the landing page conversion rate. If your conversion rate is too low, it means you aren’t providing the visitors with what they are looking for.
IV. Average Session Duration - It’s the average time a visitor spends on your website as a whole or a particular page. If the average session duration is low, there’s something wrong with your website.
V. Bounce Rate - Number of people who visit a particular page of your website but leave without visiting other pages. The lower your bounce rate, the better it is for lead generation.
VI. Exit Rate - It’s crucial to determine the most popular and the worst performing pages of your website.
VII. Cost Per Lead - Helps determine how much you invest to grab one lead and include costs of the human resource, technology, advertising, etc. Along with tracking the performance, measuring these lead generation, KPIs help meet the specific goals of your lead generation strategy.
“Traditional marketing talks at people. Content marketing talks with them.”
- Doug Kessler (Creative Director & Co-founder At Velocity Partners)
Effective content marketing and SEO are two of the best ways to attract strangers to your landing page. Most importantly, both of these techniques are free and give lucrative returns in the long term.
Source: Referral Lock
Let’s explore some of the best content strategies and how you can blend them with SEO for better results:
A. Create content that resonates with your target audiences’ needs and use relevant keywords for ranking higher in search engine results.
B. Blogging for educating the prospects and pushing them down through the sales funnel for converting into paying customers.
C. Incorporate relevant CTAs (call-to-action) buttons in your content and encourage the visitors to click on that by offering them valuable content.
D. Write content that's informational and not 'salesy' because creating and sharing only promotional content can bring you on the radar of search engines.
E. Create content to cater to the prospects on each stage of the buyer's journey to persuade them to move down in your sales funnel and convert into paying customers.
F. Incorporate high-quality visuals such as screenshots, callouts, imagery, etc., in your content to make it even more enjoyable.
G. Create gated content such as ebooks and white papers to grab the contact details of potential leads.
H. Invest in doing webinars, podcasts, writing guest posts for relevant websites, videos marketing, etc.
I. Optimize your landing page design and make your lead capture form hassle-free for the visitors.
Make sure to produce valuable content to grab the attention of potential leads if you want to keep the sales pipeline of your startup packed with paying customers!
a. Offer free samples of your course to allow maximum visitors to register for your free resources. You can nurture these prospects with additional content and persuade them to convert into customers.
b. Leverage email marketing to send tailored emails and build a long-lasting relationship with your subscribers.
c. Concentrate on word of mouth and referrals because people trust and listen to their peers.
d. Be active on social media platforms because you can reach a lot of your potential customers and develop two-way communication channels with them.
e. Collaborate with relevant influencers with an extensive network on Instagram or LinkedIn so that you can promote your business within their networks.
When it comes to grabbing and converting leads for your startup, focus on qualified leads who are the most likely to become your paying customers and stay loyal to your business.
Lead generation is all about conveying your brand's value to your target audience and convincing them to provide their contact information by understanding their specific requirements.
Make sure to speak your customers' language and provide something that offers immediate value to them with the help of positive and significant content about your services.
Leveraging those mentioned above five lead generation techniques, startups can make their products stand out in front of the target audience, capture the best leads, and nurture them to convert into regular customers!