Friday, April 10, 2009

The Challenges of Internet Leads

One of the easiest types of leads that you can get is the Internet lead. You can just create a mailing list, and all those who signed up can be your potential customers. You can also create a PPC campaign, and a number of those who clicked on your ads can be your prospects. 

However, with Internet leads, come a number of challenges that you need to get past on. When you know what to do with them, you can expect getting the right kinds of leads for your business. You can then boost your profits and return for your investments. 

1. Traffic does not mean leads. It is a common misconception among online marketers that traffic means leads. So if you have 100,000 people clicking on your webpage, you assume that you also have the same number of people as your prospects. 

It is not always the case. After all, there are a lot of reasons why Internet users will click on your website. It could be that they accidentally clicked on your ad while surfing the Internet. It could also be that they got interested on the freebie, not on the products and services that you are offering. These types of people may not be the ones that you are looking for. Their level of interest is something you cannot bank on. 

Is then to separate the leads from the mere traffic. That is where lead analytics come in. There are already several programs that can help you out with that one. What they normally do is they feed you information that can help you determine user behavior. If they have been clicking on your Product page, for example, then it could mean that the Internet users are interested with what you are offering. If they have been coming back several times on the same page or even clicking on your Contact Us page, they may want to make a purchase or inquire more about the product. 

2. Buying Internet leads does not give you quality leads. There are two ways on how you can obtain Internet leads. You can get them on your own, through free and paid marketing services, or buy them from lead-generating companies. The latter provides you the convenience of using the leads right away. You also feel secured, knowing that they have been properly selected by the firm. 

Nevertheless, you must not feel too dependent on them. A lot of these bought leads may not really be good for your business for a lot of reasons. First, they may not be the prospects that you are looking for. You may end up having a very small percentage of qualified leads out of them. This means that you are not really getting the best return out of your investment. Second, you may end up having recycled leads. They may have been offered to other companies—worse, to your competitors—and got rejected. 

3. You still need to track them. One of the hardest things you have to do with Internet leads is tracking. Just imagine how many e-mail accounts an Internet user can make in an hour. There is a huge chance that the e-mail address that he or she has given you may not be the e-mail address he or she is primarily using. 

This is then where lead nurturing can be very helpful. When you know how to nurture your leads, it will be easier for them to stick around with you. They would inform you should they change their active e-mail accounts.

Get over the challenges of Internet leads, and you can make the most out of them later on. 

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Friday, March 13, 2009

How to Generate Online Leads in Less Than a Month

Generating online leads is not as easy as you thought. After all, traffic doesn’t necessarily mean leads at all. Out of the hundreds or even the thousands, depending on how popular your website is or how great the need is, you have to pick out those with very high interest level. Around 20 to 30 percent of them would actually pass as your suited prospects. 

Moreover, the challenge doesn’t end there. You have to make sure that you can increase or bank on their interest for them to bite to your offers. That’s why you have to come up with various online lead marketing campaigns—and there are a lot. 

When you want to take a shortcut, such as generate a good number of leads after a month, take note of these following tips:

1. Create a usable, shareable content. If you have been spending time in the Internet, you definitely know the saying, “Content is king.” However, when it comes to marketing, it’s never sufficient that you have a well-written, zero-grammar-error content. It must be very useful, which means that your target customers will find great information out of it. These data can be helpful in their daily lives as well as in their decision to avail of your offer. Second, it must be easily shared. The information must be useful not only to one person or group but to as many as possible.

For example, if you’re selling supplements for lowering cholesterol, you may talk about the importance of keeping yourself fit and healthy. The content can then be shared to those who are interested to know about various exercises that can definitely burn off calories. 

You may also want to add social bookmarking buttons into your content. You have Reddit, Yahoo, StumbleUpon,, and a lot more. By simply clicking on either or even all of them, your content is added into their own pages, ready to be viewed by their own subscribers. 

2. Create a video. Do you know how many people are watching YouTube videos these days? There are millions. If you can just come up with a very compelling, unique, and informative video, there’s a huge chance that you will be getting hundreds or thousands of hits every day. You can also be among those with high rankings, and you will be clicked more often then. Simply put, videos are a very innovative way of promoting your business since it combines audio and visual elements. 

3. Go for pay per click. I think I already told you about this, but then this one still deserves a space on our list simply because it’s a very good traffic converter. You can set up your ads to appear for at least a month in Google or even Yahoo. Make sure that your ads are well-written and have been optimized using the targeted keywords. Every time someone uses your chosen keywords in the search box, your ads will appear together with the results. The nice thing about them is that almost all the traffic that come there are possible leads. They already have illustrated a higher level of interest for your products and services. 

4. Offer something for free. There’s no Internet user who doesn’t like anything that is given for free. So it’s definitely a great come-on for your business. You can offer it through your ads or sales copies. You can also send these to your prospects’ e-mails. There are a lot of things that you can give away for free, such as reports, e-books, mini-courses, articles, or newsletters. 

Stick with these, and it’s a guarantee that you can boost your leads in a month’s time. 

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Proven Tips in Generating Leads Online

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Generating leads online is a long process and quite tricky but is quite effective. Using the Internet, you have the potential of harvesting a lot of prospective clients simply because a lot of people use the Internet for anything they need to do. There could be a decent-sized market for your niche in the Internet. Out of billions of people in the world, it is very possible that a million or a hundred million of them are interested in what you sell.

There are two considerations about using the Internet as an advertising medium. One is getting people to notice your offers and, second, making the right offer at the right time so that you can close sales. Lead generation falls under the second consideration.

Everyone knows about the process of search engine optimization and marketing your website so your leads will notice your offers, so this article will not rehash a discussion about that. Instead, the article will attempt to focus on how you can harness the traffic that has been brought to your website and generate qualified leads from the visitor base you have built up.

Everyone Is Just Looking for Information

We all know that the Internet was first made as a large storage medium for information that people can access whenever they need to. That’s where most marketers make mistakes in their campaigns. They don’t understand that Internet users are there to look for information. They are there for research, and most of the times, these users are not interested in shopping for offers. Other marketers kill their marketing campaigns by making a pitch right there and then, discouraging visitors from their website.

Instead, you can focus on giving general information to your leads. At the end of each article, you should offer a free periodic newsletter just in case they want to find more information on their subject of interest. This is one good way to trap qualified leads. With this newsletter offer, you can assign the appropriate credit score as per their interest in your product. Of course, you are promoting free information as of now, but if their level of interest is higher than the norm, then they will click on that offer. This will be useful in lead nurturing later on.

Give Your Customers a Choice

Another mistake that most marketers commit when advertising is that they do not give their customers a choice. People don’t like that; we all hate being helpless and out of choices. If you do that, then you risk losing potential clients or customers simply because you could not offer anything else.

Offering varied choices has several advantages to anyone’s marketing campaign. These advantages include the following:

1. It allows you to properly categorize your leads. It is a fact that each lead is interested in your niche market, but which sub-niches will they be interested in? Instead of wasting time offering a specific product within your niche and finding out they’re interested in another related product; why not offer more than one product?

2. You can use that segmented information to find out if they would be interested in future products. That is why you should include teasers of upcoming products--this works well with paid whitepapers--as well as information on how they might be able to avail of the old and out-of-stock products.

Offer Previews of Your Products

Another way of catching the curiosity of your customers is to use previews or sneak peeks of the product. This is banking on the person’s desire to find out if his money is worth spending and thus would want a preview. For example, if you are running a website selling sheet music, then your customers would want to look at a free electronic copy (stamped with a watermark, of course) to see if they are looking at the right arrangement.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Top 3 Tips in Creating Targeted Internet Leads

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Usually, when we speak of Internet leads, search engine optimization will not be far behind. This is a process where you will optimize your web pages so they will be easier to find in search engines like Google and Yahoo. There are also a lot of great techniques that you can follow, and some of them are very easy that you don’t really need to hire an SEO specialist.

One of the main reasons why you perform SEO is to drive traffic into your website. After all, that’s how you can get prospects for your business, right? Well, this is not completely true. Not all of the hundreds or thousands of prospects will be really interested in buying products from you. It could be that they really don’t have enough funds to afford what you’re offering. It could also be that they have accidentally clicked on your ads or website. Who knows, a few of them are actually your competitors. They are sizing up your business and looking for weaknesses that can be their strengths.

What you should be after then is targeted traffic. Only a small portion can be called as such, but then, you have a higher chance that they are going to buy products from you and even become long-term customers. This blog post therefore will focus on different ways on how you can get targeted traffic.

1. Begin by defining your target market. Everything will definitely revolve around your desired target audience—keywords, search engine optimization techniques, lead analytics tools, and a lot more. This can also be one of the best ways to reduce unqualified visitors into your website. But how do you exactly determine your target market? For one, you can take a look at the products that you have. What are you currently selling? Who do you think would be interested to get it? Who can afford it? Second, you may want to conduct research first. There are a lot of consumer reports that you can obtain from the Internet, and some of them are free. Others can simply cost a little. You can also create a very short survey or feedback form.

2. Do pay per click. PPC ads are the ones that appear in search engines and their other distribution channels. For example, Google search engine results have them; so does your Gmail account. Though there are already other methods of marketing, this one still remains to be one of the most effective, simply because it gives you targeted traffic. How? You can customize your ads using specific keywords. They will appear only when these keywords are utilized by Internet users. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see them. This method is also ideal as you are actually going to pay for every click that an Internet user does into your ad.

3. Choose your keywords really well. Keywords are the core of search engine optimization and even search engine marketing. These are the terms used by Internet visitors in looking for specific information. You may want your keywords to be traffic specific. For example, if you’re selling smart phones, you may want to utilize keywords like “Nokia smart phones” to drive Internet users who are solely interested in such product to your website.

There are a lot of tools that you can use to generate keywords, and a number of them are free. One of them is Google Adwords keyword suggestion tools. You also have Yahoo Overture and Wordtracker, but the latter is membership based. Thus, to get a comprehensive list of keywords, you need to pay for a small membership fee.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

The Best Traditional Online Methods of Getting Sales Leads

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Online retailing continues to grow despite the economic recession. In fact, a UK survey revealed that online sales increased to more than 30 percent in 2007. This is the fastest growth rate in the span of six years. Also in the same year, Americans spent more than $20 billion on apparel shopping alone. Around the world, there are already thousands of people who would buy online. It doesn’t matter where the products come from, as long as they are according to their specifications and customer service is great. In the future, there will be more. Millions of people will be given an opportunity to use the Internet for their needs.

What do these statistics tell you? If you’re in business, it’s high time that you think about obtaining online sales leads. Besides being economical, they are also a lot easier to monitor. There are already several lead analytics applications that you can use. Most of all, Internet runs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As long as you do your online marketing right, there’s no stopping as to the number of leads you can get.

The Best Methods to Apply

It also helps that there are various online strategies that you can use for your marketing campaigns. Here are some of them:

1. Consumer Ratings and Reviews. Almost 82 percent of Internet holiday shoppers read customer reviews. In fact, 91 percent of the most affluent would always seek out consumer ratings before they decide to buy the most expensive goods. Obtaining customer reviews are easy. You can ask for one from your existing customers, or you can send out samples to some of your prospects.

2. Product Information. Having a website is no longer enough. After all, it’s just a structure. What your prospects may be after is your product information. Based on a study, a business can possibly lose 67 out of 100 prospects because they have failed to update their production information, or they don’t have one. You may also want to improve the interactive elements of your website. This means setting up a blog, message board, or poll. Prospects love it when they are treated like partners to an enterprise.

3. E-mail Marketing. One hundred percent of Internet users maintain at least one e-mail account. Thus, there’s a huge chance that you will find greater success of campaigning through this method than by setting up flash- and static-based banners, which seldom work these days. If you are in doubt of its conversion rate, a company can actually look forward to an increase of as high as 46 percent of their revenue just by conducting e-mail tests. You can further increase that if you include your consumer ratings or testimonials in your e-mails.

4. Mailing Lists. A good partner of e-mail marketing is your mailing list. It’s simply a page where prospects would put in their name and e-mail address if they want more information about your business. Besides the fact that it becomes easier for you to produce a database out of your opt-in list, you can also have a targeted market. Almost 90 percent of the people who will sign up will become your customers.

5. Referrals. Since, technically, word of mouth won’t work in online marketing, you can go for referrals. Usually, what online marketers do is to include a referral page every time they decide to buy a product. They can then send the same sales page to anyone they included in the referral page. On a study done by Retail Advertising and Marketing Association, online customers are compelled to buy electronics and apparel because of recommendations from their friends and family members.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Why a Business May Just Need a Predictive Dialer for Their Internet Leads

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There are a lot of ways on how you can improve the conversion rate of your business. One of the most effective is that you employ the use of technologies. But if you’re a start-up, you certainly cannot spend a huge chunk of your capital to them. You also have to think about your expenses for salaries and marketing. This means that you have to choose your software very carefully. Thus, besides using Internet leads software, you may also want to make use of predictive dialers.

How Predictive Dialers Work

Predictive dialers can be considered a very intelligent device. First, it can estimate when the sales agent will probably finish his call. While he may be wrapping up his talk with his current customer, the predictive dialer will then call up the next caller. If the phone gets picked up, the call will then be passed on to the sales agent for a matter of seconds.

There are three known types of dialers. First you have the hardware-based dialer, which means you need to have the infrastructure for you to run the component smoothly. Most of these dialers have the latest features available, but they can be costly too. You also have the software-based dialers, where everything works through the World Wide Web. Because the structure doesn’t have to be set up by the business, you can actually minimize on your costs through this one.

There are also companies who try to combine the concept of the two dialers. This means that they make use of a cheaper device such as a voice modem but spend more on comprehensive software.

What You Get from Predictive Dialers

There are already several businesses that are shifting to predictive dialers for their telemarketing strategies. This is because it can increase sales profits of businesses to as much as 50 percent more. Here’s why:

When you are going to stick with the conventional methods, there is a lag time of about 30 to 40 seconds before the phone gets answered. There are even times when the phone call is not picked up at all. You may also have to pass through other communication devices like fax machine, mobile phone, or an answering machine. The sales agent spends a lot of time communicating with the prospect without getting any result. Worse, he may have to call back the same number again, which could mean spending another 30 to 40 seconds.

The dialer, however, allows the sales agent to spend more time. For one, he doesn’t have to dial the number himself—the dialer does. There’s also the assurance that there is already a customer on the other line once he gets to pick up the next call.

Predictive dialers can also be very helpful in controlling your leads. Usually, when you’re calling the customers manually or that you have not organized your database carefully, there’s a huge chance that you will be calling the same prospect twice. A dialer, on the other hand, leaves call logs. Every call will have its own information such as the time the call was placed, the person talked to, and the result of the call.

Just in case the prospect doesn’t want to be contacted by the company again, you can actually choose the code that will send the number into the “do not call” list, so the dialer won’t make the mistake of dialing the number again.

A predictive dialer is a very sound investment. Just imagine connecting to your prospect with 80 percent success rate. This means that you have bigger opportunities to enhance your conversion rate.

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Going Back to Basics: How to Start Gaining Internet Leads

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Why are there more people who are using the Internet to generate leads? Well, there are just millions of Internet users from all over the world that visit websites and search engines. Moreover, thousands of them are avid online shoppers, which mean they buy the things they need and even want through the World Wide Web. Simply put, you have a huge market waiting if you just know how you can derive Internet leads.

How to Start

However, there are just some businesses that do not know how. If you are one of them—if you are starting to opening up your business or that you have been in it for so long but getting bad results—then perhaps it is high time that you go back to basics. Here are some of the steps on how you can start achieving Internet leads:

1. Know the reason why you are marketing online. Why do you want to be seen online? Would you like your Internet leads to buy products directly from your website? Or do you want them to get more information about your business but get the products or avail of the services from your main office? The objectives for online marketing will practically determine how your website will look like, the information that you are going to include in it, how you are going to promote it, and a lot more.

2. Set up a website. You can never go full force in your marketing campaign for getting web leads unless you have a website. For starters, you can always settle for free web hosting, where you can have your website hosted without additional costs. Nevertheless, if you like to have more control over your website, especially when it comes to the content that you can add and the features that you can include, then it is definitely advisable to buy your own domain and rent a web host. It will not cost you a lot, and it is going to be a very good investment.

3. Look for a designer who understands SEO. Of course, when you have a website, you need a website designer. Normally, you want to find one that is very creative so that he will be able to bring about the attractiveness of your website. However, it is important that the website designer is able to connect his design with search engine optimization too. After all, form is never enough. Your website should have function. Moreover, some web design habits do not sit well in SEO, which means that it will be very difficult for your targeted customers to find you in the World Wide Web. For instance, Flash may be considered unnecessary since it will only slow down the download time of your pages. What’s more, search engine spiders cannot read images, only texts.

4. Combine both paid and non-paid methods. Online marketing can either be paid or non-paid techniques. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, so to make sure that you can consistently obtain online leads, you better practice both. Paid strategies can include pay per click campaigns, which can cost you something but are highly targeted and thus convert visitors highly. Non-paid, meanwhile, can be submission of press releases to various networks. You get an inbound link for your webpages, which then increase your prominence in the World Wide Web.

It is also important that you can update yourself to different techniques in marketing online, as technology and hence methodologies can change. It is only when you learn to cope with these modifications that you will become more competitive in the market.

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