Monday, May 21, 2012

Effective Lead Generation

 If you're like a lot of other B2B marketing people, lead generation remains a top objective.  Everybody wants their web site to keep their sales funnel full of engaged prospects. 

But what about the best offer strategies to garner the attention of prospective customers and entice them to inquire?  What will make them raise their hand and open the door for future communication and personal follow-up?  Here are a few lead generation offers that are effective:

Webcasts continue to be one of the best lead generation offers in the arsenal.  Whether developed internally or with 3rd party organization, a well-produced webcast is a great way to engage customers and begin an active dialogue with them -- generating strong lead response while positioning your company as a thought leader.

White papers are one of the top lead generators being used today. The key to a successful white paper is making the material editorial in nature rather than promotional.  Create a piece that resonates with your target audience and people will come and get it.

Everyone loves case studies.  Prospective customers like them because they provide a sense of security that the product they are buying will actually work in their application.  If customers like them, your salespeople will love them too.  An finally, editors love to use them as contributed stories for their publications and web sites.

Product samples aren't an option for everybody, but where economically and logistically feasible, product samples are one of the best lead generation offers available.  What better way for a customer to evaluate your product than with an actual sample?

If a physical sample isn't available, a video demonstration may be the next best option to show your product in action. Exhibiting at a trade show?  Live reports from the show floor are interesting and integrate nicely into your social media efforts.

Interactive calculators and online tools are another good way to demonstrate and differentiate your product from the competition.  

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To share common sense lessons learned with 40-plus years experience in marketing, sales and as a B2B publisher.