According to HubSpot’s latest State of Marketing Report, the top priority for marketers in 2020 is generating leads. The same report says 64% of marketers have an increased budget to achieve their targets this year but a similar majority (60%) also said customer acquisition costs have increased over the past three years.
So how can B2B businesses increase leads fast and drive down CPAs?
In this article, we’ve got 10 B2B lead generation strategies that’ll increase leads fast without hiking up your marketing spend. You don’t need to bring in more traffic from paid advertising or invest in a bigger sales team for these to work. Each of these strategies will generate more leads from your existing traffic numbers and the tools used will mean your current sales team will be able to handle the influx of leads.
What kind of strategies are we looking at in this article?
The strategies we’re looking at in this article are all low-investment techniques that yield high results. You don’t need to invest thousands into any of these strategies. All you need is the right tools, the right content and a bit of time to implement these strategies.
Here’s a quick preview of the strategies we’ll be looking at.
- Multi-step forms: High-converting forms that can increase conversions by up to 700+%.
- Form optimisation: In-depth form analytics and optimisation that maximising leads form all of your forms.
- Build a free tool: Capture leads by adding a free tool for visitors to use on your website.
- Landing page personalization: A simple strategy for making your landing page content more relevant and compelling.
- Re-engagement emails: Heat up cold leads and bring them back on board with this automated email strategy.
- Content CTAs: Convert leads from your blog posts and videos with these CTA techniques.
- Advanced remarketing: Bring organic and paid traffic back to your website with these advanced remarketing techniques.
- Referral campaigns: Turn existing customers into new leads with this automated email strategy.
- Content updates: Revamp your old content and capture new leads from existing resources.
In this article, we’ll explain how you can implement each of these strategies and the best tools for each job. The key is to improve your existing tactics and optimise the elements that genuinely influence conversions and achieve your marketing plan’s objectives.
#1: Maximise conversions by using multi-step forms
The first strategy for maximising conversions is to implement multi-step forms on our website. In our tests, multi-step designs have increased conversions by as much as 743% by creating a more immersive experience and solving the most common UX issues of filling out forms.
The key principle of these forms is that you’re only showing one question or field at a time, which form length is no longer an issue. Long forms psychologically put users off by telling them they’re going to have to work hard for this conversion but this doesn’t apply with multi-step designs.
You can also use this format to save more troublesome fields for the final stage, such as the phone number request in the final stage of the form above – the only one that requires users to type anything at all. By the time users have made it this far, their resistance to doing that extra bit of work is minimal, especially when you use a progress bar to show them they’re one step away from completing the action they started.
Leadformly’s multi-step forms significantly reduce typing by using image buttons that users can click on desktop and tap on mobile devices. This is especially beneficial for mobile sessions where typing can be a real headache. Meanwhile, the conversational format of these forms allows you to keep users engaged with a more personal experience and guide them to the finish line.
This tactic isn’t only good for increasing leads, either; it can help you do special things with the leads you generate. You can create multiple choice questions to segment leads while users fill out your forms and export this data to your CRM to automatically place users on the relevant email marketing list – no manual work required from your sales team.
We’ve implemented a technology called conditional logic into Leadformly that allows you to show/hide questions to users based on the information they’ve already provided. Which means users only see questions that are relevant to them and you can use this opportunity to get additional data and segment your leads with greater accuracy.
#2: Optimise your forms with analytics
The average form conversion rate is just 2.35% but top brands achieve much higher benchmarks of 11+%. This is the kind of form conversion rate you should be aiming for and possibly even higher, depending on which industry you’re in.
The secret to achieving above-average conversion rates and maximising leads is to optimise your forms with advanced analytics.
Our multi-step forms are pre-optimised for conversions but Leadformly comes with specialist analytics features that help you pinpoint any issues getting in the way of conversions. Unlike many optimisation tools, which simply show you how many people successfully complete your forms, Leadformly tells you how long it takes users to complete individual fields so you can see where they’re running into problems.
You can also see which field users interact with last before quitting the form to address which elements need testing. And, with Leadformly’s built-in A/B testing features, you can create variations and set up tests without needing any additional software.
#3: Build a free tool
One of the most effective B2B lead generation strategies is to build a free tool that’s useful to your target audience and place it on your website. You’ll see this strategy used by a number of top software brands, including Unbounce, which captures leads with its Landing Page Analyzer, and HubSpot, which does the same thing with its Website Grader.
These tools provide potential customers with valuable information that can be used to improve their business and data that highlights the importance of the brand’s product or services, such as a landing page builder or marketing software.
This strategy taps into an interest that your target prospects will share and pulls leads in with a free offer that promises genuine value. The tool itself increases incentive to buy into your product or service and the signup process captures the email address you need to nurture these leads.
Marketing Automation Insider uses a similar strategy to generate leads with a multi-step form designed using Leadformly. Once again, this strategy can be entirely automated using a CRM platform like ActiveCampaign that offers a powerful combination of email and marketing automation features.
#4: Personalise your landing pages
Landing pages are where the majority of your leads should be coming from and invest a lot of time and money into bringing traffic to these pages. Relevance is crucial for maximising conversions and this is especially important when you’re paying good money for PPC traffic.
The thing is, visitors can type a wide range of queries into search engines that might be relevant to your offer. However, the message you want to deliver can vary and matching the intent of individual queries is key to generating leads.
Unbounce has a great feature for automatically personalising your landing pages with messages to match the terms users type into search engines. This feature is called Dynamic Text Replacement and it works perfectly with Google Ads search campaigns to ensure your landing pages deliver the right message to every lead.
#5: Automate your re-engagement email campaigns
Leads can turn cold in as little as 24 hours and it hurts when prospects you’ve worked so hard to capture become unresponsive. This is where email automation is so important, allowing you to send out follow-up emails to keep leads engaged. Even your best customers can grow distant over time and it’s important to reach out with messages that bring a little spark back to the relationship.
These are called re-engagement campaigns and, like most of the strategies we’re looking at today, you can automate these so your software takes care of all of the hard work for you.
ActiveCampaign even has a guide on how you can create a sequence of re-engagement emails that warm up cold leads across key stages of the customer journey.
Lead generation is only the first stage of success and you need to make sure as many of these prospects as possible turn into paying customers. Likewise, you want existing customers to continue doing business with your brand and automated re-engagement campaigns keep everything moving in the right direction.
#6: Add CTAs to videos and blog posts
Earlier, we referenced a study that said 91% of B2B professionals prefer webinars as their favourite type of content to learn from. The same study revealed that video content, in general, is heavily favoured by key business decision makers although industry articles (60%), whitepapers (48%) and blog posts (42%) are also popular types of content.
So how many of these videos and blog posts are you turning into genuine lead magnets and how well are you promoting those industry articles and whitepapers?
Every visitor who engages with your video content and blog posts is a potential lead that you need to capitalise on and here are two techniques that turn casual readers/viewers into solid leads.
Add CTAs to your video content
First, you want to turn video views into leads so that people don’t simply leave after they’re done with your footage. Turnstile is a product developed by video hosting provider Wistia that allows you to add CTAs to your videos and ask users to sign up for access to your footage or provide a next step for them to complete.
For example, you could create short, snappy videos designed to bring in traffic and views from social media and add signup forms to the player on your website, asking users to sign up for more detailed material – perhaps longer videos, your webinar or even text content like those whitepapers and educational blog posts B2B minds enjoy so much.
Marketing software provider Zaius does something very similar with its Marketing Unboxed video series, which provides educational material for business owners as a lead generation strategy using Turnstile to add signup forms to its embedded footage.
Add dynamic CTAs to your blog posts
Blog posts are the bread and butter of B2B marketing strategies but few businesses maximise their lead generation potential. Sure, you might be building a wider audience on social media, building your brand and bringing traffic to your site but what are users doing when they’ve finished reading your content?
What they should be doing is converting into leads of some kind.
To make this happen, you’re going to add CTAs to your blog posts in a similar way to the video strategy above. First, you’ll want to identify which content topics are most valuable to your target audiences and draw up a list of categories, for example: lead generation, email marketing, social media, etc.
Then, you’re going to plan out a series of blog posts for each of these categories to bring traffic to your site. Before you publish these, though, you’ll want to create in-depth guides, whitepapers, studies or even video content covering each of these topic categories in greater detail – content that really offers more value and will encourage visitors to sign up.
With your in-depth lead magnet content ready, you can start publishing your blog posts for each category and here’s the trick. You’re going to place CTAs throughout each blog post calling on readers to access your best content on the same topic they’ve clicked through to read about. Instead of reading a relatively brief blog post, they can sign up for a much stronger resource filled with valuable information and insights.
Best of all, you can automate this strategy so that the relevant CTA automatically appears on every blog post, depending on the category you define upon publishing. So that your articles on email marketing automatically show CTAs for your in-depth email marketing report – and so on.
#7: Generate and nurture more PPC leads with advanced remarketing
Paid advertising is the fastest way to target high-intent traffic with a strong purchase intent but the average conversion rate from paid traffic is still lower than 4%. The fact is people really buy from a brand the first they’ve only just discovered and it takes time to build a viable relationship, which is precisely why lead generation is so important.
Remarketing is another important strategy, for the same reason. It allows you to keep reaching out to visitors after they’ve left your site and this is critical for traffic that didn’t buy into one of your lead generation strategies.
A lot of businesses focus on using remarketing for product sales but you can also use it to bring prospects back to your site for the purposes of getting them on your email lists, even if they’re not ready to buy yet.
You can use remarketing to generate leads at every stage of the buying process with the following steps:
- Create remarketing lists for every stage of your sales funnel.
- Use Event Measurement in Google Analytics to track on-site actions – eg: button clicks.
- Define action-based rules to automatically add users to relevant lists, based on their actions – eg: first-time visitors vs repeat visitors.
- Assign user actions to their position along your sales funnel.
- Create lead generation content that meets the needs of prospects at each stage of the sale funnel.
With this setup, visitors will automatically be assigned to remarketing lists based on the actions they take on your website, such as page visits and button clicks. By assigning these actions to different positions along the sales funnel, you can now target these users with remarketing campaigns promoting lead generation content that addresses their needs, as they change throughout the buying process.
As soon as a user completes an action that suggests their position/needs have changed, they’re automatically assigned to the next remarketing list and targeted with the next campaign.
#8: Automate referral campaigns
Earlier, we looked at automating re-engagement campaigns to keep leads warm and now we’ve got a similar strategy that will turn your existing customer base into new, high-value leads.
Referral campaigns reward your customers when they recommend your business to someone else who then buys into your product or service. Everybody wins. But you can make this strategy even more profitable by automating the entire referral process so that your sales team doesn’t even need to get involved.
ActiveCampaign actually has a specific workflow that you can download to automate referral campaigns or use as a guide for building your own in its drag-and-drop builder.
#9: Update your old content
We’ve mentioned content a lot in this article and it’s easy to talk about webinars, videos and blog posts like they’re easy to make out of thin air. In reality, it takes a lot of time, effort and money to create quality content that’s going to generate leads and the shelf-life of most content is much shorter than we’d like.
Industry’s change, stats go out of date and search algorithms simply prefer newer, relevant content to the old stuff.
As Yoast explains, in this article:
“Cleaning up old content should be part of your content maintenance routine. If you don’t go through your old posts regularly, you’re bound to run into issues sooner or later. You might show incorrect information to visitors or hurt your own rankings by having too many pages about the same topic, increasing chances of keyword cannibalization, which is a lot of work to fix later on. Therefore, go through your old posts, and decide what to do: update, merge or delete.”
To maximise your content ROI, it’s important that you go back and update your old content to keep everything fresh – otherwise, the effectiveness of your lead generation strategies will decline as your content ages.
How many of these strategies are you using?
All of the lead generation strategies we’ve looked at in this article are low-investment techniques that yield big results. There’s a heavy emphasis on automation in these strategies, which reduces the workload on your marketing and sales team, allowing you to handle a higher volume of leads without investing in bigger sales teams and expensive software.
As long as you’ve got qualified traffic coming in, these strategies will help you turn more of your existing visitors and customers into new leads. These are scalable tactics that won’t add a great deal to your marketing spend but capitalise on the interactions that influence buying decisions most.