Generating good quality leads should be a constant endeavour for any B2C company looking to gain new prospects and expand their customer database. In fact, one of the key takeaways of 2013’s Lead Generation Summit held by Marketing Sherpa emphasises on the importance of lead capture quality over quantity, supported by good communication on the landing page.
If your brand is searching for strategies to grow its customer pool, then this article is for you. Read on to learn how to determine and avoid lead generation strategies which are harmful to your business.
Set your criteria
We suggest you start by identifying the criteria for a high quality lead generation process:
- prospects who match your typical customer profile;
- clear information about your brand’s proposal;
- transparency regarding data usage;
- fair collection methods.
A quick look into the options currently available for B2C lead generation techniques might seem to tick these boxes but we recommend caution.
Below is a brief analysis of a few popular lead generation methods that will deliver the required quantity but lack the quality potential.
3rd party websites promoting competitions
These websites, as you might have guessed, collect leads through sweepstakes they run on behalf of various brands. They serve as a channel to gather contact details from people interested in winning the prizes they advertise. A secondary incentivising method is awarding points to their already signed-up members for sharing their information with more brands. The contact details are then provided to the respective companies.
While offering a reward as compensation for sharing personal information is a recognised and recommended practice, doing so on 3rd party competition based websites a) attracts a quality of audience that might not be the best fit for your brand and b) your brand message and incentive could get diluted amongst the several other offers presented to the same audience.
Although they claim to be very popular websites, a closer look at their overall ranking (i.e. on http://www.alexa.com) might indicate a different reality. Even more so, a deeper analysis of their visitor demographics might indicate an acute discrepancy between their visitor profile and your customer persona in terms of important criteria such as gender, location or education just to mention a few. Another way to determine the quality of visitors is by examining which websites they drive their traffic from, low quality or high authority?
Unless your brand is targeting eager prize seekers, it is rather unlikely that these active sweepstakes entrants share many similarities with your typical customers. From lead demographics to purchasing power, there are several red flags you should consider before using this lead generation method.
Co-sponsoring (also known as data sharing) is a lead generation tool bringing together several brands which share the data collection results. Its mechanism will incentivise visitors to a website to leave their details in exchange for an attractive reward. The process eventually results in databases with very large numbers of prospects which are later used by all co-sponsors in their email marketing efforts.
A major drawback of this method is its lack of transparency in explaining how the data is going to be employed and which brands and partners gain access to prospect data.
It’s important to realise that a subscriber might only be interested in receiving emails from a specific brand. If the person is flooded with unnecessary emails from all brands in the sponsorship scheme, this tactic could backfire. Moreover, the email sender score is likely to suffer if your messages are marked as spam, damaging your brand equity along with it.
While this technique can deliver the scale outcome, it fails to return high ROI for another major reason: the financial consequence of poor quality leads. Delivering unrequired email campaigns to large numbers of leads will require large budgets and yield poor results for your conversion rate.
Much like co-sponsoring, co-registration works on a similar model of shared data between several brands in exchange for an incentive. Leads are typically collected on competition-based websites.
Unlike co-sponsoring, this method allows potential subscribers to express their preference related to which brands can have access to their data and permission to contact them. Although it is a more transparent process, co-registration doesn’t give your brand the chance to stand out from the crowd. What is worse, it could even cause negative brand associations with others in the mix.
Leads collected inside banner ads
A seemingly innovative method that allows leads to be captured directly inside the display inventory, be it static, rich-media or video format. The lead capture form is embedded within the banners/videos, creating a one-step collection procedure which eliminates the need for a landing page altogether.
This process opposes the unanimous recommendation to drive traffic to your landing pages to acquire more leads. Statistics from HubSpot indicate that higher numbers of landing pages on your website will result in higher collection rates.
Another downside of this technique is that it leaves very little ‘real estate’ on the banner ad to showcase your main proposition, which is the primary purpose of banner advertising. In the absence of this, it is highly unlikely that your prospects will agree to part with their information just because they are impressed with the technology behind your lead generation form. When was the last time you were super excited to part with your information directly on a banner ad? As with the previously discussed methods, it is advisable to question the quality of a lead willing to give up their details when too little information is provided.
If your business is looking to grow their customer pool, start by collecting high quality leads which you can nurture into becoming your customers. The quality of your leads is decisive for reaching your other marketing objectives, so identify premium solutions to grow your prospect databases.
Keep clear of lead generation techniques which only deliver quantity by using obscure placements, disguised or hidden information and brand mixing.
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