Are you doing digital advertising today to generate leads for your business, but still need more leads”?
There are two main ways to accomplish this:
1. Spend More
2. Convert More
This blog is about how to get more leads without spending more on advertising, so I’ll leave the discussion on how to effectively spend more for another day.
It’s not quite as simple as doubling your ad spend and getting twice as many sales leads. Would be nice, but scaling campaigns is an art. Not simple.
If we are going to keep ad spending flat, the other way to get more leads is to convert more. To do that we have to focus on two primary variables:
I’ve written the T.O.N.S marketing system to show service-based companies the four steps required to generate tons of leads every month. The first two are Traffic and Offer. The last two are Nurture and Systems. You need all four. But, if we are going to convert more traffic to leads, let’s focus on the first two areas.
How do you get better digital advertising traffic? That’s the easy part (relatively speaking). I’ll talk about Facebook as an example, but these concepts apply for all digital marketing channels. Including Instagram, YouTube, Google, Bing, TickTok, and more.
In many ways Facebook is the best way to quickly improve the quality of your traffic. Here’s why:
They have the data. Even with the limitations imposed by Apple and IOS14, Facebook has 100 billion daily users, and they use that data to learn what engages for each user. My blog on artificial intelligence goes into more detail on the subject.
What the data allows them to do is to understand the observable behaviors that led up to a conversion and then find other users who exhibit the same behaviors. By showing ads to that group of engaged users, we can increase conversions by at least 20%.
Many ad buyers focus on building audiences based on targeting metrics they can control. For example, income levels, age, sex, or other demographic data. We like to let the A.I. algorithms do their best. Their best is much better than our best.
Look a like groups are an integral part of this process. Once you get conversions, creating look a like groups helps Facebook to target customers more likely to take the action we want them to take. Recently, Facebook has been trying to make advertisers do this by encouraging “audience expansion” That’s just their way of saying “hey we know our audiences much better than you do, so give us permission to target the people we think are best for you”.
The key to using any of these A.I. driven targeting algorithms is you must have offers that convert and be able to pass all that conversion data back to Facebook. They will push your ads to audiences who will convert. You just must have offers that convert or they get confused and you start wasting ad spending fast!
What are you offering a website or landing page visitor? This is the first sale you must make. You are asking them to take an action. What do they get in return?
Let’s cover the three components to an offer that converts:
1. What’s the value exchange?
2. Where are you meeting the prospect in the buyer’s journey?
3. Why should they “buy” from you and not your competitor?
What's your value exchange?
Every digital advertising conversion comes at a price. Not just the price of the ad that got the prospect to click. But the price you are asking the prospect to pay.
Is there a price to pay to acquire an email address? Yes!
Is there a price to pay to get a prospect to call? Yes!
Is there a price to pay to get a prospect to read your marketing brochure, webpage, lead magnet? Yes!
Not surprisingly, the value you offer MUST always be greater than the price you charge. That’s just as true for the plumber going to fix a toilet as it is for a builder renovating a kitchen. As it is for a marketing firm (just saying).
Your marketing must provide more value than the price you ask your prospect to pay.
An offer of “call me” is a big ask and therefore the value of that call must be appropriate. The value of an email and name is a lot lower. But it’s not zero. You can’t just drive people to a webpage that has generic content about your company and ask the user to give you an email and name. They won’t do it. Why should they? What are you offering them?
Generally, all traffic should go to a landing page of some sort. The landing page must match the intent of the traffic.
An ad for a leaking sink should go to a landing page that addresses what to do when you sink is leaking. Here the “call me” is appropriate.
An ad for bathroom remodeling should go to a landing page that addresses bathroom remodeling and probably has a lower cost ask. Something relevant to a prospect who is looking for a firm to help with a re-modeling project. Like a guide in exchange for email and name.
The more you ask of your visitors, the higher the conversion friction. More friction equals less leads. Making sure the friction is appropriate to the value offered is key to getting more high-quality leads.
Where are you meeting the prospect in the buyer's journey?
The buyer’s Journey is the mental or physical process one follows to buy from you. The bigger the sale, the more complex the project, the longer the buyer’s journey.
Someone with a leaking sink is looking for the leak to stop now. The project is relatively simple, and speed is important. We’d say they are at the bottom of the buyer’s Journey. They know they have a problem. It’s a big problem. It must be fixed immediately.
Here an offer of “call me” or “schedule an appointment” will work.
Here a Google PPC advertisement that targets the keywords: Emergency plumber, plumber near me, how to fix a leaking sink, etc. will be worth the relative high cost. The prospect has high intent and if you can get them to see your info, they will probably buy from you.
But what about the couple who has decided it’s time to remodel their kitchen. After 20 years they are tired of the old kitchen and their youngest child is going to be a senior in college next year so they feel they will have the free cash flow to undertake the project. What’s the right offer for them?
When you step up the buyer’s journey (or back depending on your perspective), the offer needs to be a lower risk offer. “Call me” is just not the right offer here because they are in the information gathering phase of the project. The project might be a $50,000+ project and your prospect has options. Why should they buy from you? Your offer needs to recognize these realities and meet the prospect where they are.
Offers that work for prospects in the information gathering phase:
• Kitchen remodeling guide
• How to build a sunroom that you’ll love for 20+ years
• Permitting requirements for home remodeling projects
• Cost estimators, etc.
This offer is designed to get the prospect to raise their hand and tell you they are interested. The cost is low, exchanging an email address and/or phone number for something they value more. The guide you have published.
All businesses sell to prospects in all phases of the buyer’s journey. Most start with the most pressing, bleeding wound products, like the leaking sink. To add more leads, offer more conversion options by moving back up the buyer’s journey and providing options that meet your prospects where they are.
The options here are practically unlimited. Once you are generating leads for kitchen remodeling, add in a funnel for bathroom remodeling, then a funnel for hardwood flooring, then carpeting options. You get the idea. Your ad targets a specific issue, and your offer matches that issue with educational based marketing content.
Why should they buy from you?
From your advertisement to your landing page to your website. All you marketing must answer the question, why should I buy from you (and not your competition)? Your marketing is asking for a sale as we discussed above. That sale might be a phone call or an opt-in. But we are asking the prospect to do something for us, to take the action we want them to. So why should they?
The value exchange is one obvious way. Offer lots more value than the price you charge.
The other is to articulate your individual value proposition. Why should they buy from you? What makes you different? How can you help them specifically?
Here copyrighting is important. Be specific and avoid jargon.
Jargon is the kiss of death for any sales copy. It means you are just like your competition. And, when you are just like your competition you must compete on price to differentiate yourself. We all know competing on price is a loser’s game. A race to the bottom.
How do you test for Jargon?
I use one primary test for jargon. It’s the substitution test.
If you take the marketing copy in question and change your company name to the name of your competitor, and the copy still makes sense, then you are using jargon. You are not communicating why they should buy from you and not your competition.
To get more leads without spending more on advertising, the primary focus should be on creating more and better offers. Offers that are problem specific and that move up the buyer’s journey to capture leads who are in the information gathering phase.
In the T.O.N.S. Marketing System, we refer to this as stocking the pond. We don’t want to fish exclusively in the ocean. We want to stock our pond with prospects who we know are interested. Feed (nurture) them with education. And fish there. Where the fish are plentiful, and the work is easy.