Lead Generation: 6 Ways You're Doing It Wrong

Aug 22, 2022 | Search Engine Optimization

Lead generation is tough, but it doesn't have to be. Our Digital Marketing experts offer up 6 of the most common lead gen errors they see when evaluating new clients.

Graphic of lead generation activities at a company

"Why aren't we generating more leads?"

It’s a question we hear often from many potential clients, across company size and industry, and it makes sense. Lead generation is unquestionably the driver of every business and organization out there. Cash flow may be king, but without a solid pipeline of leads and potential clients, revenue dries up quickly, putting even more pressure on your business.

Unfortunately, good lead generation is hard to do. Many companies have invested a lot of time and money into their lead gen infrastructure, only to see their conversion rates underperform.

Lead generation is complex, spanning multiple steps and channels; even small tweaks in the process can greatly improve or degrade your overall results. You have to look at the entire process strategically and with your end goals in mind.

Here at Informatics, our experts work with many different clients to improve their sales funnels and nurture high-value leads that actually move the needle—a process we call conversion rate optimization. If you’re wondering how to generate more leads through your digital marketing efforts, here are six great places to start work.

6 Common Issues in Lead Generation

  1. You’re not targeting the right people
  2. You have a hole in your funnel
  3. You’re not automating the follow-up process
  4. You’re not personalizing your content
  5. You’re not A/B testing your content
  6. You’re not including compelling CTAs

1. You’re not targeting the right people

Lead generation only works if you’re targeting the right potential customers, clients or members to enter your sales funnel. If the right people aren’t seeing the efforts at the top of your funnel, such as brand awareness ads and content on your website, you don’t have a chance of pitching your product or solution to them.

Make sure your marketing team:

  • Understands the different audiences that make up your total market and their pain points/motivations
  • Understands the right and wrong ways to reach those audiences online
  • Develops paid and organic content that appeals directly to your audience’s pain points and specific needs

2. You have a hole in your sales funnel

Every stage of your sales funnel depends on the one that came before it to push potential customers to a purchase.

An example of the digital marketing sales funnel

If a person hasn’t had a chance to gain awareness of your brand, they can’t build their interest in it. If you haven’t created that interest in their mind, you won’t be able to earn their research time and consideration.

Many clients who come to us with broken sales funnels really just need to patch up one of these areas. Perhaps they have a really great awareness building operation, with lots of cool content and brand ads, but lack more concrete examples like testimonials and case studies that help close the sale. Perhaps they have strong case studies, but lack SEO-focused content that hooks potential customers earlier in the consideration process.

If you’re not getting the results you want in your lead generation strategy, step back and look holistically at the entire funnel. Do you have ways to drive customers to the next stage? Are they working as intended? If not, how can you fix it?

3. You’re not automating the follow-up process

If your sales team (or person) is responding manually to every lead that comes into your CRM system, odds are your company is missing opportunities.

The best time to nurture a lead is right after they’re reached out or otherwise interacted with you.

If a customer joins your mailing list, talks with your chatbot or clicks a link in your newsletter, don’t leave it to chance that they’ll continue to explore or that your overworked business development manager will follow up in a timely manner.

Major marketing platforms like HubSpot (used here at Informatics) allow us to build personalized, automated drip campaigns that can take the work out of lead nurturing and maintenance.

It takes a little more effort up front to set up the infrastructure and customer lists, but the payoff is well worth it.

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Don’t have time to chart out a full automation strategy? We can help you set up your marketing platforms for maximum effectiveness, or run your drip campaigns all together so you can focus on more pressing matters.

4. You’re Not Personalizing Your Content

Customers have grown to expect personalized communications, offers and service, and your marketing content is no different. More than 90% of consumers say they’re more likely to shop with brands that provide relevant offers and recommendations; 80% are more likely to make a purchase from a brand offering personalized experiences.

Modern brands must make full use of marketing technologies and their own customer data to provide a truly personalized experience, such as "smart CTAs," or buttons that change according to a customer's position in the sales funnel:

An example of customized CTA buttons in hubspot

Other examples of smart personalization in marketing include:

  • Custom web page layouts and features, based on a user’s attributes or history
  • Customized screen popovers, based on a user’s attributes or history
  • E-newsletters and e-blasts tailored to specific customers or segments of your audience
  • Effective website forms that populate your company CRM automatically

Note that deep customization really requires clean, well-structured customer data to make it work seamlessly. If your customer lists aren’t organized, segmented and regularly audited, start there to give your lead generation efforts a fighting chance.

5. You’re Not A/B Testing Your Content

Once you’ve developed content and touchpoints that resonate with some of your audience, keep refining and experimenting to see how you can improve (optimize) those results.

One of the best ways to do this is through regular testing of your content. Build out hypotheses for possible A/B tests and work with your marketing and web development teams to implement them and track the results. Test subject lines, CTA text, placements, keywords—anything that has the potential to boost your lead generation efficiency.

HubSpot allows us to perform extensive A/B testing on websites and e-mails; Google Optimize can also help us test out different page layouts and CTAs, and show the one that resonates with visitors the most.

If you’re not optimizing your lead generation efforts, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers that could have been swayed otherwise.

6. You’re Not Including Compelling CTAs

It’s something we see time and again: A company does a great job attracting and drawing in web users through paid ads, organic social media posts and SEO-focused blog copy, and then—they fall flat. They close out their big sales pitch blog with “give us a call,” with no phone number or link to their contacts, or an unfriendly form with no indication of where their data has gone or what happens next.

They leave the conversion up to the buyer, and few will be motivated enough to keep clicking to make it happen.

Make your call to action clear, specific and actionable—book your appointment now! Schedule that no-pressure demo. Download our insightful whitepaper. For whatever counts as a conversion, this is your chance to make your case.

There are many things you can do to make your CTAs more compelling. A few of the recommendations we frequently make to our clients include:

  • Building dedicated landing pages specifically designed to funnel visitors to a conversion
  • Implementing “smart CTAs” that update based on your visitor’s status or history
  • Incorporate whitepapers, promotional offers or other giveaways that increase the value of a conversion

Lead generation doesn’t have to be an exercise in frustration, but it does take work to optimize your funnel. Don’t let the inertia of acceptable lead gen results keep you from making changes that could ultimately transform your business.

Need help putting all the pieces together? Reach out to the Digital Marketing team here at Informatics. We can help you create a holistic lead generation strategy that does the hard work for you.

Need help tuning up your lead generation?

Our Digital Marketing team can get your sales funnel back on track.

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