Get more prospects or leads

There are three steps to digital marketing; drive qualified traffic, generate leads and then convert those leads to customers. Find out more about step two; generating leads from the traffic coming into your digital channels.


After step one, driving traffic to your website, you should have increased the number of prospective customers coming to your website. Now it's time to turn them into a lead. It's important to acknowledge early that all leads won't be equal. The best lead is a prospect that becomes a customer fast, buys a high-margin product or service, pays immediately and recommends your business to others. Perfect right? Then the worst lead, who either wastes your time by wanting information and then buys off a competitor, or does purchase, ending up as high maintenance.

If you can, set up lead triggers.

Develop your own triggers

A lead trigger is the buying signal that someone is ready to be a customer. In a supermarket it's easy, it's when they are at the check-out with their wallet open. However, it's not as simple for most businesses, especially if prospects are online and it's harder to engage (or look at them in the eye).

There are some things you can do to focus on those prospects that are most likely to buy, from setting up online triggers. For example, when a person:

  • Signs up for your newsletter or replies to an email.
  • Accepts your invite to connect inside a social media platform (like LinkedIn).
  • Has downloaded your e-book or white paper.
  • Responds to a salesperson making contact.
  • Leaves an abandoned shopping cart. 
  • Registers for an event, webinar, to receive more information.
  • Asks questions in a chatbot.
  • Repeatedly clicks on pricing, product information and delivery pages of your website.
  • Responds to an online advert.

There will be other ways you'll know a prospect is a lead based on the behaviour of your customers. Note them down and then set up a system so those people bubble up to the surface for your attention. 

All of these tactics are part of your online sales funnel (moving prospects from awareness to purchase), designed to get people from wherever they first heard of you, onto your website for you to continue the conversation.

Understand the buyer process

Most businesses' conversion funnels look different, as the amount of information required depends on what's being sold. For example, going online to buy groceries at Countdown will require minimum research. You know what you want, the brands, and trust the delivery system. If you're buying running shoes you may search online and read a few articles about the best shoes, and compare prices from different suppliers.  But if your home needs a new air conditioning system, you'd probably spends weeks researching, read online reviews, contact suppliers for quotes, and want to see the product in action (maybe in a show home). 

Each of these examples has increasing touchpoints that you need to be aware of and fulfil online.

Create lead magnets

A lead magnet is a way to get someone to give you their contact details so you can follow up and prioritise them above others. This usually entails offering something that your prospects would be interested in, for example, free downloads, trials, samples, quotes, demo videos, webinars, e-books, invites to closed communities, and exclusive research or insights.

Next time you visit a website, if you see an offer to get something for free in exchange for your email, it will be a lead magnet.

Automate lead magnets

Of course, keeping track of everyone in your sales funnel might be impossible if there are hundreds or thousands of leads every day. Even if you have the best staff, it's extremely inefficient to manage a sales funnel manually. 

Once leads are in your sales funnel, automate contact so you nurture them along the way to purchase. This could be sending a series of emails at reasonable, pre-set intervals with more information, case studies, testimonials and a call to action to buy.

Other automation includes:

  • Using email automation, tracking, forecasting and analytical systems. For example, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, helps target potential customers who have LinkedIn profiles, by tracking key leads. You can search for people in similar roles or industries that match your target and message them directly with credits.
  • HubSpot among others, offers a range of software for marketing, sales, and customer service, with a completely free CRM at its core. There are a range of similar software products, but the basic premise of each is you can see when people visit your website and rank them based on their activity, automatically contact the lead and then track and maintain the lead in the CRM system.

Next steps

  • Spend time identifying the triggers that encouraged existing customers to contact you, and then set about recreating these more often inside your website. Part of this is understanding the buyer process and giving prospects enough information and evidence that you're the business to choose over another.
  • Create several lead magnets and test their performance. One month try magnet A, then the next, magnet B. Continue with whichever performed best.
  • Automate your lead magnets by adopting the right automation software. Get advice from your industry association of other small business owners to see which software would be the most suitable. Don't be afraid to pay for advice and help to set up.
  • Set up triggers for important actions, such as shopping cart abandonment or idleness.
  • Enable your sales teams to take advantage of your lead generation with training so they can close the deal.

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