- Tool 1: The Growth Hacker Mindset
- Tool 2: Lead Generation Skillsets
- Tool 3: Lead Generation Platforms
Growing and scaling a company is an overwhelming task, especially regarding lead generation. We put together a list of essential tools, each tapping into key strategies and tactics, to help business owners and marketing departments build a valuable data-based lead-gen program from scratch within a mid-size company. Let’s begin by defining lead generation and how it helps your business.
|Lead-gen = The initiation, acquisition, and retention of consumer|
the interest in the products and services your company offers.
Lead generation tactics have evolved over the years. In the past, it commonly involved such scenarios as setting up a display in a store, all the while hoping that targeted consumers would hand you a completed form. The process has become more automated today, as qualified leads from target audiences are often garnered online.
Lead Generation 101: Tools for Growing a Business
Why is Lead Generation important?
Lead-gen brings benefits to both the buyer and the seller. From a buyer perspective, they can put their need out there to find the best deal, requesting information from multiple businesses that offer the product or service of interest. And from a seller’s perspective, they’re given a chance to pitch their product or service to a potential buyer who is knowingly interested.
Since the potential buyer is already pre-qualified or interested in the product or service, lead-gen conversion rates are often much higher than other types of contact. Further, there is quite a bit of customization that can be applied to lead generation logic, such as identifying specific geographical areas to target, setting different pricing for different target audience groups, setting the number of leads you’d like to receive each month, etc. So, not only are you getting more qualified leads in your product or service, but you’re able to customize the information shared with each lead.
Several tools assist in growing your lead generation customer base.
Tool 1: The Growth Hacker Mindset
The first intangible asset for lead generation is the growth-hacker mindset. As affirmed by sources such as Inc.com, QuickSprout, and GrowthHack, it is crucial to reorient your mindset into a perspective flexible to opportunities with the goal of growth in mind. Although some tactics and techniques are common in lead generation, it’s important to remember that resources will always have a limit. The tools you own are only as strong as the person able to effectively maximize their use. So, on that note, what is growth hacking?
Simply put, the growth-hacker mindset is a flexible perspective that allows for growth in any given scenario.
Rather than viewing the programmer, the salesperson, and a creative resource as three separate roles, growth hacking uproots traditional marketing by blending all three positions into a hybrid role.
The responsibilities under this role range from quantitative analytics to qualitative research. Effective and goal-oriented planning focuses on maintaining both short and long-term goals –– in some cases, the most direct path to growth may mean taking a step back and slowing down.
Tool 2: Lead Generation Skillsets
Referenced above is how the tools you own are only as strong as the person using them. To that point, here are the top 3 tangible skills that are key to lead generation and growth hacking:
- Data Analytics: This skill set enables you to measure the performance and growth of a company and track said measurements against pre-identified goals. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are key in defining what success and progression look like. With the various virtual resources that tie into growth, we suggest reading Marketing 360″s article on selecting KPIs via the S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) logic.
- User Experience and Consumer Behavior: Lead generation is the aftermath of understanding how consumers make decisions, allowing variables such as pricing and design to convert interest into direct sales. Thus, knowledge and measurement of user experience (UX), commonly the quality of site interactions, plays a crucial role in business decisions. For further details, this Forbes article on improving the user experience is a great read that details the significant return on investment for this knowledge and skill set.
- Budgeting and Finance: As confirmed by a renowned hacker, Andrew Chen, at a certain point, growth will begin to incur costs. Be prepared to pay between $400-$1,500 a month to keep services running as smoothly as possible. Remember that calculating cost-per-acquisition for startups involves effort and time spent. If you are an online marketing agency, a volume discount is a solution to drive costs down as you continue to manage campaigns.
Tool 3: Lead Generation Platforms
Now that you know about growth hacking, you can set up a scalable and inexpensive lead-generation platform that can be implemented without much time or technical knowledge. To help accelerate your startup, we have compiled the following resources indispensable for any first-time startup founder.
Free Lead Generation Platforms
|Google Analytics||Data Analytics||Google Analytics provides comprehensive, free training to provide the user with extensive knowledge of mobile inclusion, data collection, and customization of platforms. Training is time-consuming, and testing is capped at seven weeks. If one does not score over 80% on their first attempt, they must wait around two months before re-attempting certification.|
|Google Webmasters Tools||Data Analytics||Google Webmasters Tools assists webmasters in evaluating their site’s search result performance. This tool also allows users to eliminate spam/bugs that may have otherwise slipped unnoticed.|
|CSS Peeper||User Experience||This resource helps inspect styles and designs in a quick, user-friendly way, supporting multiple browsers. However, CSS has a different syntax than HTML and is less user-friendly, which presents a learning curve.|
|Hemingway App||User Experience||An automatic tool that improves the readability of content by providing editing suggestions as well as inspecting spelling and grammar, the Hemingway app makes content more concise.|
|Budget Simple||Budget and Finance||Budget Simple is a financial management tool that shows users opportunities for saving/earning money.|
Paid Lead Generation Platforms
|Mailchimp||Free: (2000 subs, 12,000 emails per month)$20/month: (1500 subscribers, unlimited emails)$25/month: (2000 subscribers, unlimited emails)$30/month: (2500 subscribers, unlimited emails)$35/month: (2600 subscribers, unlimited emails)||Data Analytics||Mailchimp is an extremely efficient way of assisting users with email campaign generation and marketing automation. However, Mailchimp has a limited spam override and also tends to bury data, making it difficult to change metrics and settings that have already been established.|
|PageModo||Basic: ($6.25/month, $75 annually)Pro: ($13.25/month, $159 annually)Agency: ($33.25/month, $300 annually)||Data Analytics||PageModo provides customized social media for your company, ranging from Facebook tabs to cover photos. PageModo only integrates with Facebook so that other social media channels would be incompatible.|
|Hootsuite||Starting at $499/month||Data Analytics||HootSuite is an all-encompassing Social Media Account management platform that includes analytics and auto-scheduling. However, Hootsuite also charges an additional cost for training and integration with certain applications.|
|User Experience and Consumer Behavior||Unbounce provides design templates for websites and landing pages. Unfortunately, Unbounce does not provide code or content for the design.|
|Optimizely||Standard, Professional, and Premium TiersContact for prices||User Experience and Consumer Behavior||Optimizely is a landing page and web design creation platform that provides services in optimization and A/B Testing. However, Optimizely also does not include the design code and content.|
|Stripe||$0.8% capped at $5 for ACH Direct Debit$0.8% capped at $5 for Bitcoin||Budget and Finance||Stripe is an online credit card processor that offers Cloud Accounting Software Availability. Although Stripe requires programming knowledge, this can be overcome when paired with MoonClerk.|
|MoonClerk||$15-$110/month based on the volume of payments processed||Budget and Finance||MoonClerk is a third-party platform to help users with Stripe and offers receipt customization and SSL encryption. Since it is built on Stripe’s API, it also requires a Stripe purchase.|