Digital lead generation overview
Digital lead generation or online lead generation is the process of collecting prospects online, reaching out to them and trying to make them interested in what you have to offer. The whole task will be done online.
There are two main stages, the first one is to find the right prospects and the second stage is contacting them using one or a combination of outreach methods such as emails, calls, or targeting ads.
There are several ways to perform the 1st task effectively such as using a reliable lead database, digital marketing software or a data scraper. We’ll talk about this more in detail later in this article.
Digital lead generation vs traditional lead generation
Traditional lead gen refers to the process of finding potential clients (or leads) by interacting with prospects in person.
Traditional lead generation’s most popular strategy is holding an offline event where prospects will be invited to join the show and approached by salespersons so that they can be converted into leads or clients.
Traditional lead gen is still in use by businesses across the world today, however, it’s losing its popularity.
Nowadays, people spend most of their time online, therefore, it’s a must for businesses to seriously consider going digital for growth.
However, a lot of businesses still struggle to start doing digital marketing in general and digital lead gen specifically.
Digital lead generation advantages
Someone may say, we make enough profit based on traditional marketing, so we don’t need to transition to digital.
It’s great to hear a business is satisfied with its offline marketing alone, which is rare today. However, you should be seriously worried about the longevity of your business because more and more of your clients are going online.
Do not be complacent since you can lose your existing clients to the hands of your competitors anytime. If you haven’t thought about it, at least, you should want to grow your client database a lot bigger by starting to do digital lead gen and online marketing.
There are some major benefits of doing digital lead gen you should know about:
- It’s much cheaper to generate leads digitally
- You don’t need to manage many employees in your team as you do with offline marketing
- You can reach out to a lot more prospects and generate many more leads.
- Everything online can be tracked precisely such as your client journey, activities, etc.
- Automation and machine learning are making digital lead gen more effective and reducing manual work significantly
Digital lead generation strategies
As mentioned earlier, digital lead gen comprises two main parts that are prospect generation and outreach.
1. Prospect generation
Prospect generation can be done by the following methods:
- Use a combination of digital marketing tools – This one takes time and effort to learn about 3 or 4 different online tools and use them together to generate prospects. It’s affordable, however, you won’t have much control over what data you’re going to collect.
- Use a data scraper – Using a data scraper will give you total control over which types of data you can collect from web pages. A data scraper is basically software that will harvest data from web pages on the Internet. The major drawback of it is the cost to build a functioning scraper. It can be very expensive depending on who you’re hiring and how often you adjust the software
- Use a reliable lead database – Using a reliable lead database is the cheapest way to generate excellent prospects fast.
- Collect prospects manually – This is collecting prospects one by one manually, it’s 100% manual work that will not cost you a penny, but you will need to spend a lot of time on collecting prospects to make your prospect list big enough for outreach.
Every method has its own pros and cons, however, using a good lead database is the least risky way to generate prospects.
To choose a good lead database, you will need to seriously consider the following points, otherwise, there’s a big chance that your business will lose money to many bad data providers out there.
- Ask if the database offers free trials
- No credit card is required for the free trials is the safest path for you
- Do they have good support? This means when you get stuck figuring out how the database works, there will be quick responses and guidance for you.
- Do they have refund policies?
- Do they have generous discounts for first-time clients?
At Limeleads, a leading lead database, we offer all the above-mentioned and many more. We make sure to provide expert advice and guidance for you to squeeze out every juice of your lead gen investment and effort.
We also provide a $79 detailed cold email course with expert interviews and worksheets free of charge.
Simply complete your few-click signup process here and get your free trials with us. Our support is available any day of the week to help you start on the right path!
Outreach is simply contacting your prospects using different strategies. The outreach stage will decide how many leads you can generate and what your prospects’ perceptions of your business are like.
The main purpose of this stage is to generate as many leads as possible while leaving a good image of your business in the mind of those that didn’t convert.
The followings are the outreach methods that you can use to contact your prospects.
Cold emailing is the process of sending emails to your prospects. This process refers to sending a lot of emails at a specific time to maximize performance.
Cold emailing is the most popular way for outreach and it can be automated with the help of email marketing tools like Mailshake.
Cold emailing has many advantages over other outreach methods. It’s affordable and easy to manage, and it can also reach a lot of prospects fast.
To run cold emailing campaigns smoothly, there are several main points that you must pay close attention to:
- Start slowly. If you’ve just started your cold emailing campaigns, you should start sending a small number of emails per day. It’s optimal not sending more than 50 emails per day in your first couple of months.
- Warm up your sending email address. Use your sending email address to sign up for several popular newsletters on the Internet, create social media accounts, upload videos on Youtube, and interact with the videos. You should also send emails to your friends and colleagues and have them reply to your emails so that you can get a 100% reply rate.
- Set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for your email address to optimize it for deliverability.
- Personalize your emails. Personalized emails will have a much better chance of being opened and replied to. Email marketing software nowadays will allow you to set this up once and for all, therefore, you don’t have to personalize emails one by one.
- Follow-up emails. Take the time to create good follow-up emails even if you haven’t had any replies to your first emails. However, be cautious of the number of sent emails and the frequency that you’re sending them out. Otherwise, it will annoy and upset your prospects.
Cold calling is the process of contacting your prospects using phone calls and turning them into leads or clients.
Cold calling has been around for a very long time already. It’s not as popular as it used to be, however, many businesses still rely on it to generate leads and sales.
There are some main pros and cons of cold calling that you should know about:
- It’s easier to build relationships with prospects and leads.
- It can have a high conversion rate.
- It’s relatively easy to start
- Cold calling can easily annoy people.
- It can be expensive and hard to manage when running on a large scale.
- It’s limited to a small number of prospects you can reach per day.
- It’s hard to generate and keep track of the performance stats to optimize for better results.
Targeting ads refer to running ads to target a very specific group of prospects.
Businesses can import a list of prospects’ email addresses and direct the ad platforms to show ads to these people only.
The ads will then get in front of them when they’re surfing the Internet many times to entice them to take action.
Targeting ads can reach prospects fast and boast a high conversion rate, however, the cost to run ads isn’t cheap, in fact, in some niches, it can be very expensive.
Whether targeting ads will work for your business or not, you will need to try to figure that out. Thanks to machine learning, ads are becoming increasingly more effective, and with automation, it means much less manual work for you.
Using social media can help you reach out to your prospects effectively.
A reliable lead database like Limeleads will also give you prospects’ social media profiles so that you can reach out to them on social media.
This strategy is mostly manual work, it takes time to reach out to your prospects and build relationships with them. This outreach method is most effective for businesses that sell high-value products or services.
There are a few tips to start this strategy right:
- Take time to build good relationships with your prospects. Do not rush into selling in your first conversation with them.
- Take time to interact with your prospects’ posts to break the ice.
- Make your profile look professional by adding as much info as possible.
- The better your relationships with your prospects are, the better the chance you can sell your products or services to them.
Digital lead generation is vital for any business. The success of digital lead gen means the success of a business.
Digital lead gen competition is very fierce among competitors, therefore, it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance to generate good results.
This article listed out the best strategies for prospect generation and outreach to help you start your digital lead gen journey right.
The strategies above will not fit all types of businesses, however, they are proven to be effective and already in use by countless businesses around the world.
If you’re a beginner in lead gen, we recommend starting slowly to minimize your risk of losing money. If you need expert advice for your lead gen journey, feel free to contact Limeleads at [email protected] or via our live chat support. We wish you all the best!