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Running Amazon Deals And Discounts: A Complete Guide

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Running Amazon Deals And Discounts: A Complete Guide

Amazon offers several different types of deals and discounts.

Utilizing these deals and discounts can impact your click-through rate, conversion, and even the overall success of your product launch.

In this article, we will outline the types of deals and discounts Amazon makes available to sellers and how you can utilize them to help drive awareness and sales for your products.

Lighting Deals

Screenshot from Amazon, September 2022
Running Amazon Deals And Discounts: A Complete GuideScreenshot from Amazon, September 2022
Lighting Deals and 7-Day Deals show on the Today’s deal page. Lighting Deals also show the percentage of items claimed.

Lightning Deals are probably the most well-known deal on Amazon.

When you run a Lighting Deal, it runs for a specific time set, and you commit to a specific number of units.

These deals are highlighted on the Today’s Deals page with the Limited Time Deal badge and the discount percentage.

Outside of the Today’s Deals page, the badge and discount percentage also show in the search results.

lightning deal Amazon exampleScreenshot from Amazon, September 2022

With Lightning Deals, you select a specific number of units to be included in the deal, and a countdown of the percentage of discounted units displays on the product detail page.

The actual product detail page shows a countdown of the total number of units still available as part of the deal in the area next to the product’s Buy Box.

Together, the badge, percentage off, and the claimed percentage can increase impulse purchases by increasing a sense of scarcity for this deal.

With Lightning Deals, one thing to remember is that you have little to no control over when your deal will run.

While you can select a deal window where you know your deal will run, you cannot select the exact date and time.

If you select a deal during an event like Prime Day, the deal will run only during the event, but you will not be able to select the day or time.

For non-events, there will typically be a list of weeks for you to choose from for a deal fee. For non-peak shopping days, this fee is usually $150. The fee for Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday can be significantly more.

Enligt Amazon:

“A Lightning Deal is a time-bound, promotional offer where an item is featured for a limited number of hours, usually 4 to 12 hours (as determined by Amazon), on the Amazon Deals page.”

So your deal may run on a Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. PST, or your deal could run from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. PST on a Sunday.

While, of course, the time the deal runs can impact the effectiveness of your lighting deal, the type of product you are offering can also significantly impact the number of customers interested in your deal.

In our experience, items a customer might have been looking for an excuse to buy do the best for Lighting deals.

Maybe they have been eyeing that Roomba, LEGO Set, or luxury home product, but have been watching for a discount that would justify splurging on the item.

These items do the best with Lightning deals. The short duration of these deals provides the scarcity needed to compel purchases.

Commodities and items like groceries tend to underperform in Lightning Deals compared to the results of the products that are more coveted, as mentioned above.

7-Day Deals

If you are looking for a little bit more control on when your promotion will be run, you might want to look at 7-Day Deals. As the name suggests, these deals run for a full seven days.

While you will not get the countdown on the number of units offered, your deal will be featured on the Today’s Deal Page and show the discounted amount in search.

7 Day deals do not require you to select a specific number of units to commit to. They also provide enough time to amplify your deal via social media and your email list if you desire. These deals have a fee that starts at $300.

We recommend that you test both Lighting Deals and 7-Day Deals to determine their effectiveness for your product mix.

Event Deals

Deadlines for event deals can vary by account. For deals like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Prime day, you need to check your Deals Dashboard in Seller Central. You will see that in the dashboard if you are eligible to submit a deal.

The deal fee for 7-Day Deals and Lighting Deals for events is more expensive than for non-event dates. That’s because Amazon anticipates significantly more potential traffic to your deal during these times.

Remember, even if you are too late to secure a deal for Black Friday, you can often still submit a deal for the period between Cyber Monday and Christmas, for instance – as well as run Prime Exclusive Discounts and Coupons.

Eligibility

Amazon outlines in detail what is required for a deal to be eligible for a 7-Day Deal or Lighting deal in its support documents.

To be eligible for deals, you must be a professional seller with an overall rating of at least 3.5-stars. Additionally, products must meet these criteria:

Not every product is eligible to run deals. You cannot submit a deal if your product does not appear eligible in the Deals Dashboard in Seller Central.

It is also important to note that any coupons or discounts run simultaneously will be combined with your deal.

That means the coupon will still be available on top of the discounted price available through your 7-Day Deal or Lighting Deal.

For both deal types, Amazon will provide a minimum discount per unit that would need to be offered for the deal to be eligible.

Discounts

In addition to deals, Amazon also provides two different types of discounts you can run on your Amazon product detail pages.

These are Prime Exclusive Discounts and Coupons. Discounts don’t require the same lead time as deals and have less stringent eligibility and discount requirements.

Let’s go through the details for each type of discount.

Coupons

Coupons are great tools for increasing your conversion rate. These coupons show in search and on the product detail page.

Because these deals show in both ads and search, coupons can also increase your CTR for well-optimized products.

All products are eligible for coupons. With coupons, you are only charged $0.60 when a coupon is redeemed. You will not be charged if a customer clicks a coupon but does not check out.

You can also see how many people clipped your coupons versus redeeming them. This reporting is found in Seller Central under Advertising > Promotions.

Prime Exclusive Deals

Prime Exclusive Deals (PED) are only available to Prime members. If a customer is not a member of Amazon Prime, they will have the option to join Prime.

While there is no charge for these discounts, there are stricter requirements around what products are eligible for Prime Exclusive Deals compared to coupons at the time of this writing. Additionally, customers will not need to clip or redeem this offer; it is available automatically.

When first launched, Prime Exclusive Deals appeared with a badge and discounted amount – in both search results and the product detail page.

In the last week, Prime Exclusive Deals have only shown some products’ Prime Exclusive Deal information on the product detail page.

Amazon provides the requirements for Prime Exclusive Deals within the Prime Exclusive Deal workflow as follows:

  • The item needs to be a nationally Prime shipping eligible product.
  • The Prime Exclusive Discount must meet all regular eligibility criteria.
  • The product must have at least a 3.5-star rating or no rating.
  • The discount must be at least 20% off the non-Prime member’s non-promotional price.
  • The discount must be at most 80% off the non-Prime member’s non-promotional price.
  • The discount must be lower than the reference price (that is, List Price or Was Price). Learn more about Reference Prices and how to show a reference price to your products.
  • The Prime Exclusive Discounted price must be lower than the lowest price for the ASIN in the past 30 days. The lowest price in the last 30 days is the lowest order price for the ASIN in that period, including all deal, promotional, and sale prices across all merchants.
  • You must be a seller with at least 4 Seller Feedback Rating when the seller rating is available. Amazon looks at the last 365-day rating average if there are 10 or more ratings in that period. If there are less than 10 ratings in the last 365 days, Amazon considers the lifetime average rating.

*Note: A different set of criteria is posted in Seller Help documents; however, we find that the items within the workflow are the most accurate.

Testing Your Pricing With Deals

Prime Exclusive Deals and Coupons can be a great way to test a lower price for your items.

If you are concerned that your pricing might deter potential customers, we always recommend that you test a lower price with a discount before lowering your overall price.

Simply lowering the price on your product, instead of testing with a discount, can cause Buy Box suppression if you decide to return to the original higher price.

If Amazon sees your current price on Amazon is higher than the average over the last 30 days, Amazon will often suppress the Buy Box on your items.

A suppressed Buy Box can cause your conversions to decrease significantly.

When the Buy Box for your products is suppressed, customers must click about three extra times to make a purchase. Also, you will be unable to run any ads while your product’s Buy Box is suppressed.

Testing with deals instead of simply lowering your price allows you to have the data you need to make an informed decision about whether or not to lower your price. It also limits any potential long-term negative effects on your product’s listing.

When Not To Use Deals And Discounts On Amazon

Discounts and deals can help you rank your products and increase brand awareness. However, there are times when it could be better not to run deals on Amazon.

Low Inventory

When considering running a deal, you also want to consider your current stock level and lead times. One of the benefits of increasing your sell-through rate is that it will naturally improve your organic ranking.

However, if your deal causes you to sell out, you will lose any organic ranking gains from your deal.

When determining if you should run a deal, make sure that even if the deal goes well, you will still have enough units on hand to avoid any stockouts.

Low Profitability

While running deals can help with the successful launch or ranking campaign, it is important to look at overall profitability when considering deals.

A coupon might significantly impact profitability on items with a smaller average order value. This is especially true if you plan on running deals regularly.

Amazon now provides detailed SKU economics, including inbound shipping and your Sponsored Products costs. You can use this to help determine if your product has enough margin to sustain a profitable deal.

Audience Expectations

We have found that non-luxury consumables tend not to perform as well with deals and discounts because the discounts tend not to be large enough to motivate buyers.

Consider if your audience is looking for a deal or if they are coming to your product ready to purchase it regardless of any discounts.

At the end of each deal, review your overall sales and conversion rate to evaluate the impact of your deal or discount. Will Haire, Co-Founder of BellaVix, shared advice:

“During strategic holidays like T5 (BF-CM) or Prime Day, shoppers expect to find deals on Amazon when shopping. We always recommend accepting deals when they become available. You can always cancel them up until the moment they go live.

Coupons are a performance-based promotion, which means you are only charged after the shopper clips and purchases a product.

We recommend trying out the different types of deals, and we find that the Prime exclusive deals tend to be the most successful in terms of sales and worth the upfront investment.

When experimenting with price points, we will leverage deals or coupons to measure any change in sales velocity, indicating if we are priced too high in the market.”

Overall, deals and discounts can help you increase your sales, click-through rate, and organic ranking when used in conjunction with a strong ad strategy.

Understanding the different types of deals and discounts available for your products on Amazon will help you maximize their effectiveness as you head into your busy season or launch new products.

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Featured Image: 1981 Rustic Studio kan/Shutterstock



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Bing Revamps Crawl System To Enhance Efficiency

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Bing Revamps Crawl System To Enhance Efficiency

According to a recent study by Bing, most websites have XML sitemaps, with the “lastmod” tag being the most critical component of these sitemaps.

The “lastmod” tag indicates the last time the webpages linked by the sitemap were modified and is used by search engines to determine how often to crawl a site and which pages to index.

However, the study also revealed that a significant number of “lastmod” values in XML sitemaps were set incorrectly, with the most prevalent issue being identical dates on all sitemaps.

Upon consulting with web admins, Microsoft discovered that the dates were set to the date of sitemap generation rather than content modification.

To address this issue, Bing is revamping its crawl scheduling stack to better utilize the information provided by the “lastmod” tag in sitemaps.

This will improve crawl efficiency by reducing unnecessary crawling of unchanged content and prioritizing recently updated content.

The improvements have already begun on a limited scale and are expected to roll out by June fully.

Additionally, Microsoft has updated sitemap.org for improved clarity by adding the following line:

“Note that the date must be set to the date the linked page was last modified, not when the sitemap is generated.”

How To Use The Lastmod Tag Correctly

To correctly set the “lastmod” tag in a sitemap, you should include it in the <url> tag for each page in the sitemap.

The date should be in W3C Datetime format, with the most commonly used formats being YYYY-MM-DD or YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ssTZD.

The date should reflect the last time the page was modified and should be updated regularly to ensure that search engines understand the relevance and frequency of updates.

Here’s an example code snippet:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>

<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″>

   <url>

      <loc>http://www.example.com/</loc>

      <lastmod>2023-01-23</lastmod>      

   </url>

Google’s Advice: Use Lastmod Tag After Significant Changes Only

Google’s crawlers also utilize the “lastmod” tag, and the suggestions on using it by both major search engines are similar.

Google Search Advocate John Mueller recently discussed the lastmod tag in the January edition of Google’s office-hours Q&A sessions.

It’s worth noting that Google recommends only using the “lastmod” tag for substantial modifications, which was not mentioned in Microsoft’s blog post.

Changing the date in the lastmod tag after minor edits can be viewed as an attempt to manipulate search snippets.

In Summary

Microsoft’s recent study and efforts to improve the utilization of the “lastmod” tag in sitemaps will result in more efficient and effective webpage crawling.

Publishers are encouraged to regularly update their sitemaps and lastmod tags to ensure that their pages are correctly indexed and easily accessible by search engines.


Featured Image: mundissima/Shutterstock

Source: Microsoft



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Everything You Need To Know

Now more than ever, marketing and sales leaders are taking a critical look at where to allocate their resources and how to staff their teams.

Attribution modeling is one of the best tools for providing clear guidance on what’s working, and what isn’t.

What Is Marketing Attribution?

Marketing attribution is the approach to understanding how various marketing and sales touchpoints influence the prospects’ move from visitor, to lead, to customer.

By implementing attribution in your organization, you’ll have a better idea of:

  • Which channels are most influential during different phases of the sales cycle.
  • Which content formats are more or less impactful in your marketing or sales enablement efforts.
  • Which campaigns drove the most revenue and return on investment (ROI).
  • The most common sequence of online or offline events that prospects interact with before becoming a customer.

Why Is Attribution Important In Marketing?

Analyzing attribution data provides you with an understanding of which marketing, sales, and customer success efforts are contributing most effectively and efficiently toward revenue generation.

Attribution modeling helps you identify opportunities for growth and improvement, while also informing budget allocation decisions.

With accurate attribution models, marketers are able to make more informed decisions about their campaigns, which has allowed them to increase ROI and reduce wasted budgets on ineffective strategies.

What Are The Challenges Of Marketing Attribution?

Developing a perfect attribution model that guides all of your decisions is a pipedream for most marketers.

Here are five challenges that result in inconclusive data models or total project abandonment:

Cross-Channel Management

This is a common challenge for enterprise marketers who have web assets across multiple websites, channels, and teams.

Without proper analytics tagging and system settings configuration, your web activities may not be tracked accurately as a visitor goes from one campaign micro-site to the main domain.

Or, the prospect may not be tracked as they go from your website to get directions to then go to your physical storefront to transact.

Making Decisions Based On Small Sample Sizes

For smaller trafficked websites, marketers using attribution data may not have statistically significant data sets to draw accurate correlations for future campaigns.

This results in faulty assumptions and the inability to repeat prior success.

Lack Of Tracking Compliance

If your attribution models rely on offline activities, then you may require manual imports of data or proper logging of sales activities.

From my experience in overseeing hundreds of CRM implementations, there is always some level of non-compliance in logging activities (like calls, meetings, or emails). This leads to skewed attribution models.

Mo‘ models, mo’ problems: Each analytics platform has a set of five or more attribution models you can use to optimize your campaigns around.

Without a clear understanding of the pros and cons of each model, the person building the attribution reporting may not be structuring or configuring them to align with your organizational goals.

Data Privacy

Since GDPR, CCPA, and other privacy laws were enacted, analytics data continues to get murkier each year.

For organizations that rely on web visitors to opt-in to tracking, attribution modeling suffers due to the inability to pull in tracking for every touchpoint.

How Do You Measure Marketing Attribution?

Measuring attribution is all about giving credit where it is due. There are dozens of attribution tools out there to assign credit to the digital or offline touchpoint.

Attribution measurement starts with choosing the data model that aligns with your business goals.

Certain attribution models favor interactions earlier on in the customer journey whereas others give the most credit towards interactions closer to a transaction.

Here is a scenario of how to measure marketing attribution in a first-touch attribution model (we’ll get to the different models next):

A prospect comes to the website through a paid search ad and reads the blog.

Two days later, she comes back to the site and views a couple of product pages.

Three days later, she comes back through an organic listing from Google and then converts on the site by signing up for a discount coupon.

With a first-touch attribution model, the paid search ad will get 100% of the credit for that conversion.

As you can see, choosing the “right” model can be a contentious issue, as each model gives a percentage of credit to a specific interaction or placement along the path toward becoming a customer.

If your business relies on paid search, SEO, offline, and other channels, then likely one of the individuals working on one of those channels is going to look like the superhero, whereas the other marketers will look like they aren’t pulling their weight.

Ideally, when you are choosing an attribution tool, you’ll be able to build reports that allow you to compare various attribution models, so you have a better understanding of which channels and interactions are most influential during certain time periods leading up to conversion or purchase.

What Are Different Marketing Attribution Models?

Marketers can use various marketing attribution models to examine the effectiveness of their campaigns.

Each attribution tool has will have a handful of models you can optimize campaigns and build reports around. Here is a description of each model:

First-Click Attribution

This model gives credit to the first channel that the customer interacted with.

This model is popular to use when optimizing for brand awareness and top-of-funnel conversions/engagement.

Last-Click Attribution

This model gives all of the credit to the last channel that the customer interacts with.

This model is useful when looking to understand which channels/interactions were most influential immediately before converting/purchasing.

Last-click attribution is the default attribution model for Google Analytics.

Multi-Touch/Channel Attribution

This model gives credit to all of the channels or touchpoints that the customer interacted with throughout their journey.

This model is used when you are looking to give weight evenly or to specific interactions.

There are variations of the multi-touch model including time-decay, linear, U-shaped, W-shaped, and J-shaped.

Customized

This model allows you to manually set the weight for individual channels or placements within the customer journey.

This model is best for organizations that have experience in using attribution modeling, and have clear goals for what touchpoints are most impactful in the buyers’ journey.

Marketing Attribution Tools

There are several different tools available to help marketers measure and analyze marketing attribution. Some attribution tools are features within marketing automation platforms or CRM systems like Active Campaign or HubSpot.

Others are stand-alone attribution tools that rely on API or integrations to pull in and analyze data, like Triple Whale eller Dreamdata.

As you are evaluating tools, consider how much offline or sales data needs to be included within your attribution models.

For systems like HubSpot, you can include sales activities (like phone calls and 1:1 sales emails) and offline list import data (from tradeshows).

Other tools, like Google Analytics, are not natively built to pull in that kind of data and would require advanced development work to include these activities as part of your model.

(Full disclosure: I work with HubSpot’s highest-rated partner agency, SmartBug Media.)

Additionally, if you need to be able to see the very specific touchpoints (like a specific email sent or an ad clicked), then you need a full-funnel attribution system that shows this level of granularity.

Attribution modeling is a powerful tool that marketers can use to measure the success of their campaigns, optimize online/offline channels, and improve customer interactions.

It is important, though, to understand attribution’s limitations, the pros and cons of each model, and the challenges with extracting conclusive data before investing large budgets towards attribution technology.

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Featured Image: Yuriy K/Shutterstock



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Lead Generation: How To Get Started

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Lead Generation: How To Get Started

Today’s consumers have an almost limitless amount of information at their fingertips. Podcasts, videos, blog posts, and social media – are just a few of the sources that can drive them toward one brand over another.

If it’s your job to attract these potential customers, you know the struggles of generating high-quality leads.

In this piece, we’ll take a closer look at lead generation, discussing the different types of leads you could attract and providing some strategies and examples for lead gen that you can put to use right away.

What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is a marketing process of capturing potential consumers who show interest in your product or service.

The goal is to connect with people early in the buying process, earn their trust and build a relationship so that, when they’re ready to make a purchase, they buy from you.

But lead generation also serves secondary objectives, including building brand awareness, collecting customer data, and fostering brand loyalty.

With this in mind, it’s important to remember that not everyone who visits your store or website is a lead.

That’s why successful lead gen goes after specific targets, using a variety of platforms and strategies including:

  • Landing pages – Using a tracking pixel, landing pages collect information about visitors you can later use to target them for sales.
  • Email – Email is a great lead generation tool because the recipients will have opted in, which means they’re already familiar with your brand.
  • Social media – With unmatched opportunities for engagement, your social media accounts are a great way to encourage your targets to take action.
  • Blogs – A great way to establish authority and provide value, blogs are also a great place to promote specific offers.
  • Live events – When it comes to qualifying leads, live events are a great way to meet your target audience and quickly identify the ones more likely to make a purchase.
  • Coupons and other promotions – Offering a discount or free item is a great way to encourage targets to provide their contact information.

What will ultimately work best for you will depend on your niche and your audience.

As you experiment with different lead generation strategies, you may find one more successful than the others. This means you should probably make that channel your priority, whereas others may not be of any use at all.

But we’ll get to all that later.

First, let’s talk about leads.

The Different Types Of Leads

Sales is the engine that drives any business. Without sales, there’s no revenue. Without revenue, there’s no business. So, it’s kind of important.

But it’s a massive field. The approach a medical monitoring sensor salesperson takes is going to be very different from a used car salesman.

But both of them – and every other sales professional for that matter – have one thing in common: they need to spend most of their time pursuing the people who are most likely to buy.

In general, leads fall into seven categories:

  • Hot Leads – These leads are ready to convert. They are qualified and interested in your offering, and are the most likely to convert to a sale. For example, this might be the purchasing director who has had several conversations with you and received a product demo. They have purchasing authority and a timeline.
  • Cold Leads – These are potential customers who may be unfamiliar with your brand or offering. As of yet, they have shown no interest in what you’re selling. Generally speaking, these are the hardest leads to convert to sales.
  • Warm Leads – A middle ground between the two previous types of leads, these are people who are familiar with who you are and what you offer. They’re the type who watch your videos or read your blogs, but haven’t contacted you directly. Your goal is to warm them up into hot leads.
  • Information Qualified Leads (IQLs) – This is the kind of lead who has already shown some interest in your company and has followed a call to action. Maybe they signed up for your email newsletter or filled out a lead generation form. They are often looking for more information and will react positively to a nurturing campaign.
  • Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) – MQLs are one step further down the pipeline from IQLs. They are actively searching for a solution that fits their needs, and are trying to discover if yours is the right fit. These are the types of leads who will download your whitepapers, watch your videos, and attend your corporate seminars.
  • Sales Ready Leads (SRLs) – Sometimes called “accepted leads,” these are the bottom-of-the-funnel leads who are almost ready to pull the trigger on a purchase. It’s important to understand their budgets, purchasing authority, needs, and timeframe.
  • Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) – These leads are ready to buy and should be in communication with your sales team. They are considered very hot, however, you should be aware that they are likely still considering some of your competitors.

The Lead Generation Process

As you have probably gathered by this point, lead generation is a multiple-step process.

Yours will vary, depending on whether you’re focusing on inbound or outbound generation – but both should follow a similar pathway.

Step 1: Do Your Research

Before you start trying to collect leads, you need to gather as much information as possible about your target audience. You want to know not just who they are, but where they live, what’s important to them, and most importantly, what their pain points are, particularly those that are the most pressing.

It’s often a good idea to create customer personas, in which you define the demographics, budget, and needs of typical customers. You may want to consider social habits, professional experience, and even psychological traits.

Once you know who you’re going after, it’s time to identify where they are. Are they active on Facebook, or more likely to respond to an email? Again, this will vary depending on your specific circumstances.

This is also the stage where you should check out the competition. What are they doing? What differentiates your offering from theirs? And most importantly, why is it better?

Step 2: Create Great Content

By now, you should know what needs your offering fills for your potential customers. Use this information to create content that solves it.

Your choice of medium will affect your content format. For example, videos work great on social media, but you can’t embed them in an email.

Likewise, if you’re going after your target audience on Twitter, your lengthy blogs are going to need to be linked to, or at the very least truncated.

Never forget your focus is on adding value. Each piece of content you create should serve a specific purpose, whether that’s educating your audience about your offering, building brand awareness or promoting a sale.

Step 3: Develop A Lead Generation Database

You can have the hottest leads on the planet, but they won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t handle them the right way.

You should create and use a lead database where you can record, study, filter, and segment your potential customers.

Ideally, you’ll want to get an automated CRM system to dramatically reduce the labor involved with this.

Most of these will allow you to tag leads based on the type and how hot they are. This allows your sales team to work through their lists in a more efficient manner, dedicating the most attention to those with the biggest chance of converting.

Step 4: Qualify And Score Leads

Not all leads are going to be in the same place in the sales funnel. Some will be ready to buy today, while others may just be getting an idea of what’s out there.

You need to adjust your approach based on this.

Most companies use a lead scoring system of 1-100, which indicates approximately where the lead is in the customer journey. They are assigned points based on their actions, with more serious actions resulting in more points.

For example, following your Facebook page could be worth 10 points, filling out a “Request a demo” form might be worth 20, and opening and reading an email could be 5. If a lead does all three of these, their lead score would be 35.

These numbers will give you a general idea of where they are from the following stages:

  • New leads, who have just made initial contact.
  • Working leads, with whom you have had contact and initiated a conversation.
  • Nurturing leads, who are not interested in buying right now, but might in the future.
  • Unqualified leads, who are not interested in your offering. These are sometimes called “dead leads.”
  • Qualified leads, or those who want to do business with you.

Obviously, you should focus more time and energy on the leads that have a higher probability of converting.

Lead Generation Strategies And Examples

The ways you can generate leads are practically endless, but in this section, we’ll discuss some of the more common strategies you can employ, plus give you examples of them at work.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is the practice of creating engaging and informative content that provides value for leads and customers, thereby generating interest in a business.

This can span both traditional and digital marketing, and is an important part of any successful marketing strategy. It can include things like newsletters, podcasts, videos, and social media.

You can use content marketing for any stage of the sales funnel, from growing brand awareness with timely blogs, creating demand or demonstrating thought leadership with white papers, driving organic traffic via SEO, building trust, and earning customer loyalty.

To make the most of yours, offer many opt-in opportunities and make them more enticing by adding discounts, guides, or something of value in exchange.

Email Marketing

Email remains a popular choice for lead generation for a good reason: it works.

A study by Mailchimp found 22.71% of marketing emails were opened, with some industries seeing even higher rates.

Whether you’re sending out a monthly newsletter or a cold outreach email to a potential prospect, email remains one of your best bets for generating new leads.

One of the more cost-effective means of generating leads, email marketing also allows you to segment your targets with customized content that promotes maximum engagement.

Another reason email marketing is a favorite for so many organizations is that it provides incredible opportunities for tracking. A quality CRM will give you a lot of useful data, including open rate, engagement time, and subscriber retention, allowing you to fine-tune your campaigns.

Social Media Marketing

Almost everyone is on social media these days, which makes it the ideal place to hunt down leads.

Social media platforms not only allow you to directly interact with your followers, but they also let you create advertising targeted at highly specific audiences.

Interaction is simplified thanks to multiple user-friendly CTAs like Instagram Stories’ skip option and truncated URLs on Twitter.

Screenshot from Facebook, January 2023

Social media is also a great place to run contests or share gated content.

You can use paid ads like the one above to target new leads,  share content that will generate them organically, or ideally, a mix of both.

Coupons, Discounts, And Free Trials

If you’re like many people, you may be reluctant to provide your email address to businesses in case they start spamming your inbox.

As a business, however, this can be a problem.

The way to overcome this trepidation is to offer people something of value in return for their contact information.

A risk-free trial or discount code is a powerful tool for overcoming sales barriers. And once a target has tried your offering, you can retarget them with additional offers to encourage a sale.

Give them a free gift, offer a coupon, or allow them to take your product for a test drive, and you’ll find many more people willing to give you their info.

Free pizza couponScreenshot from author, January 2023

Online Ads

Display advertisements are videos and images that pop up as you’re browsing websites, apps, and social media.

They, along with paid search and PPC, are a great way to reach your intended customers where they are.

Display ads are particularly useful for targeting leads across the buyers’ journey, as well as promoting awareness and sales, promotions, or new products.

google search ads result for chairsScreenshot from Google, January 2023

Remarketing ads are a great way to reengage leads who have stopped short of a purchase, while non-intrusive native ads are perfect for extending your content marketing efforts.

Referral Marketing

A great way to find new leads is to let your existing customers find them for you. Encourage them to write reviews or recommend friends in return for a discount or something else of value.

AAA insurance referral adImage from AAA Insurance, January 2023

This is an excellent way to fill your funnel of leads – and make more sales. Referrals and online reviews give you an authenticity and trust level that no in-house marketing campaign can ever duplicate.

Did you know that when shopping online, more than 99.9% of people read reviews? Or that 94% of consumers acknowledged positive reviews made them more likely to support a business? And that’s not even including the power of personal recommendations from friends and family.

Referral marketing is a great tool for lead generation because it presents your brand in a positive light to more people.

Best Practices For Lead Generation

To ensure you’re getting the most out of your lead generation efforts, keep these tips in mind:

Use Your Data

You likely have a lot of information about leads and the types of strategies that work for them already at your fingertips.

Gather yours by looking at previous pieces that have worked well, whether it’s blogs that get a lot of reads, emails that have a high open-rate, or display ads that bring in a lot of traffic.

Look for general themes or things you did differently on high-performers. This will give you insight into the kind of things that resonate with your audience.

Be Consistent With Messaging

Make sure it’s very obvious to any web visitor or email recipient what action they should take next. Offer them a reason to click your links and keep your messaging clear and consistent.

You should maintain the same tone of voice across channels as you move prospects through the sales funnel. Remember, you’re not just interested in capturing data – you’re trying to create a customer.

A/B Testing

Every marketer knows the importance of testing different versions of collateral. This is because, no matter how well something is performing, it could always do better.

You should experiment with different headlines, images, body copy, etc.

Just remember to only test one aspect at once, lest you miss which change made a difference.

And again, don’t forget the opt-ins.

Use The Power Of CRM Technology

To ensure your sales and marketing teams are operating as efficiently as possible, but a lead generation platform to work for you.

The right tool can help you gather information about your targets, monitor their behavior on your website and identify what’s driving them to you.

Armed with this data, you can then optimize your pages and campaigns to better target your audience.

Create Enticing Offers At Every Stage

People at different stages of the purchasing journey want different things.

Someone who is just curious about seeing what’s out there isn’t likely to respond to a free demo offer, but someone who is further along the funnel might.

Make sure you’re offering something for every buying stage and that you have clear CTAs throughout your materials.

Integrate Social Media

Social media is the ideal platform for initiating conversations and interactions with leads at all stages.

While many marketers typically think of it as primarily for top-of-funnel targeting, by strategically using proven offers and other things of value, you can also go after those leads who are closer to making a purchase.

Clean Up Your Landing Pages

Users want information presented to them in a clean, easy-to-understand manner. No one is trying to read “War and Peace” to find a new vending machine supplier.

Put your important information at the top, and make it clear where visitors can input their information to contact you or get content.

Use Your Partners

Co-marketing is a great way to generate new leads because it allows you to piggyback on the efforts of partner companies.

Create mutually beneficial offers and you’ll spend the word about your brand to a larger audience, which will attract new leads.

Bring Your Sales Team In

Marketers prime the pump, but sales drives the action. Make sure to loop your sales team into the lead generation process early and often.

They will likely have personal insight into what works best to move targets along the purchasing path.

This will also ensure you remain on the same page as far as what terms mean.

Remarket, Remarket, Remarket

Almost no one makes a purchase on first contact, particularly in B2B sales. That makes remarketing an important arrow for your quiver.

It helps turn bouncers into leads and abandoners into customers – and it amplifies all your other marketing activities.

Make Lead Generation A Priority

No one ever said it was easy to find, score, and qualify leads, but it’s an important part of ensuring the growth and financial health of your business.

Nurturing customers and potential customers is hard work. But without it, you’ll struggle to make new sales.

This piece only covered lead generation from a high level, but hopefully, it has equipped you with some strategies you can employ to attract new leads and nurture existing ones.

If you only take a single thing away from this make it this: Put most of your efforts into higher-quality leads, because they’re the ones who are most likely to make a purchase.

And remember – lead generation is an ongoing process. You’re not going to see results overnight, but if you put in the work, you’ll start to generate the results you want.

Happy hunting.

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Featured Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock



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