When you are building a business online, you need sales leads if you are ever going to make sales, and sales leads are what you are trying to generate if you are marketing on the internet. Every business web site needs a steady flow of qualified leads.
Your lead generation campaign is to build your mailing list. Internet marketers often say “the money is in the list”, which is totally true. A list of responsive buying customers that trust you is worth its weight in gold!
Today, spam filtering has lessened the impact of email marketing, so its still a viable means to getting your sales messages out there. In theory, email is marketing is virtually free, although it still costs you in terms of your time.
The theory behind email marketing is that by using a “hook” such as a free product or some other incentive, you can “funnel” interested parties onto specific products and services.
If you are thinking of generating leads via an email campaign there are basically three avenues you can explore: email signatures, joint ventures and safe lists. One word of warning though, avoid spam at all cost, one spam complaint can seriously damage your online business.
You should familiarize yourself with the laws concerning spam, and at the very least ensure you include an un-subscribe link in ALL your marketing emails. Due to spam, it is advisable that you avoid buying leads, no matter how reputable the company, buying leads can easily lead to a spam complaint, you have been warned!
E-mail marketing is really just putting a signature in all your emails that contains a link to your main product site.
When you are looking to vastly increase your list quickly then a joint venture (JV) may well be the key you need. In a JV, you supply the product and a fellow marketer supplies the leads and you share the profits. Hopefully, you will then get the email addresses of your fellow marketer’s customers, so you can then mail them with further offers.
In considering a joint venture, there are many areas you have to think about, but the main one, before you consider contacting anyone about mailing to their list, is “what’s in it for THEM”, not “what’s in it for me”. NEVER write to a fellow marketer unless you can offer them something of value in return for their help, and that is not necessarily just a share of the profits, be inventive!
You also have what is known as safe lists. A safe list is a list of people that have agreed to receive marketing emails in return for being able to send their own marketing email. The value of this form of marketing has never been that good. After all you are trying to sell to people who are only interested in selling to you!
Pay per click advertising such as Overture or Goggle adwords to advertise your site and draw in interested leads can also be utilized.
One highly effective way to generate interested leads is posting in forums that are related to your area of business. Include a link to your site in your signature and people interested in your business niche will often click it if your forum post was interesting.
Other popular leads generating techniques are submitting articles to online publishers and article directories, press releases and testimonials for products in your target market.
Whatever lead generation technique you subscribe to, you will need a way to capture the leads email addresses when they arrive at your site.
The old traditional way was to use a pop up or pop under which contains some incentive to get someone to sign up. With the invention of pop up stoppers their effectiveness has dwindled and therefore unstoppable pop ups (also know as hover ads or slide in ads) have evolved.
This new generation of pop ups are built into your webpage and as such cannot be stopped. Simply do a search on Goggle for “unstoppable pop up” and you are sure to find a software solution to produce these types of pop ups for you.
Another alternative is to use what is called a “Squeeze page”.
A squeeze page is a web page whose sole purpose is to capture an email address.
This page normally contains small amounts of information about the product or service you are offering as “Bait” for the reader and will contain a sign up form, with a message like “to find out more simply fill in the form to be immediately directed to further details on this amazing product”.
A squeeze page not only helps build your list, this information can also be used with certain software to help personalize your site for your visitor, a technique that has been shown to increase sales. Again, simply do a search for squeeze page generators.
Regardless of how you generate sales leads there is one thing you must always bear in mind, and that is, to be effective your leads must be in your targeted market. If, for example, you are selling internet marketing products, then it’s no use advertising on a site that is all about Rock climbing!
For your online business to succeed, ensure that you include a well thought out sales lead generation strategy included in your business plan. Do not make it an after-thought.
Writer, Entrepreneur and Internet Marketer.
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