Lead generation is a crucial element of any business strategy.
We define lead generation as being a means of enticing prospective customers with an interest in the products and services your company are offering into your sales funnel, with the end goal of them converting and becoming loyal customers.
Starting from mid-December the lead generation rate from B2B and B2C customers drops by up to 95%. If its the case that lead generation takes something of a back-burner role for your business during the festive season, it shouldn't.
Christmas presents the perfect opportunity to get creative with your lead generation strategies, acquiring new leads and nurturing old ones while adopting tactics primed for a time of year when very few people tend to think about work.
In this blog, we examine ten tips for successful lead generation over Christmas.
Our first order of business is to consider something fairly broad, but nonetheless important within your lead generation strategies; outbound marketing.
We refer to outbound marketing as any kind of marketing whereby the business is the one initiating communication.
Outbound marketing revolves around casting your net far and hoping to catch as many leads as possible. Generally speaking, outbound marketing is facilitated by more traditional advertising methods. These can include:
- Trade shows
- TV commercials
- Newspaper ad placements
While many would argue that outbound marketing has become old-hat, just one look at the success of the annual John Lewis Christmas ads is a testament otherwise, with a phenomenal TV reach and online viewership; 2019's #ExcitableEdgar has racked up 8.6 million views on Youtube within 12 days of being released.
Inbound marketing is very much the opposite of outbound marketing whereby prospective customers come to you as and when they need you.
The Christmas holidays can be the perfect time to develop your inbound marketing as you will find that your database has considerably more free time to sit at home browsing the internet than they would do at work.
Inbound marketing is a lot more specific than outbound, focusing on prospective customers specific to your niche with valuable content that doesn't scream sales pitch.
In 2019, inbound marketing tends to take place within the digital sphere with a wide variety of marketing methods available, some of which are listed below:
- Content creation
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Lead generation
- Expert guides
Social media has become a powerful tool for building relationships with people and consequently generating leads. Get into the habit of posting consistently to the platforms where your business has a presence, sharing posts from others as well as your own content.
We find the 70/20/10 rule of social media marketing to be a brilliant guideline to follow. 70% of your posts should provide some form of value to your digital following and help build your brand, 20% should be sharing content from other sources that you follow on your platforms and 10% should be kept by for sharing promotional content regarding your brand and what it can offer.
While sharing content and building your brand is all well and good, you mustn't forget the social element of social media. Social media is a space that thrives on people actually having dialogue; too often businesses blast out an endless stream of promotional content without bearing in mind that the premise of social media is interaction.
If you attract a loyal following and build a relationship with prospective customers on your social media channels, (something that should come naturally during the Christmas period), then leads will naturally follow.
The increase in the cost of advertising during Christmas is as inevitable as death and taxes.
Many businesses, particularly larger ones, will invest huge sums of money to target a single market, making it virtually impossible for smaller brands to compete.
Rather than desperately trying to stay competitive and exponentially increase your acquisition cost, you could perhaps consider reallocating your budget to new channels.
Here's some thoughts on what successful campaigns could look like:
- Buy unique or handcrafted products for a giveaway and create a competition around it
- Use your budget to give your blog a facelift; redesign it, translate your most successful posts into different languages or even repurpose the content into new forms such as infographics
- Send small giveaways or give discounts to new users who sign up during the holiday period
Show your leads some love
Prospects and leads will never be ready to convert into paying customers overnight. Your leads need to have an ongoing relationship that builds trust with your business before they're ready to make the leap and become paying customers.
Even though many people don't tend to think about work over the holiday season, don't abandon the relationships you've been working hard to build over the year.
Website copy and content such as blog posts should continue being geared towards providing content that is valuable to your contacts, making them more inclined to do business with you during the New Year.
Don't let the steady stream of content you've been producing to help nurture your leads run dry over the Christmas period. While no one will be expecting you to keep uploading new content during the final week of the year, ensure that there is an existing supply of valuable content for your prospects to read through as they crash out on the sofa nursing a food baby and debating another helping of Christmas pudding.
Blogging and content creation isn't the only thing you need to bear in mind for nurturing leads this festive season. Ensure that you stay at the forefront of your prospects thoughts via channels such as email, social media, and advertising as well as having a good supply of new content.
E-mail has always been a great channel for lead generation and there are a variety of techniques you can employ during the holiday season to help develop your leads.
Firstly, if you find yourself in a position of having gaps to fill in regards to the information you possess about your email subscribers, the Christmas period can provide you with the perfect opportunity to plug them. If you were to send out an e-mail on Christmas Day, even if it's something minor such as a new blog post, the chances are that you'll receive a host of automatically generated 'out of office' e-mails in reply. Within these automatically generated e-mails, you're likely to find details such as the individuals job title, employer, company address, and possibly even social networking links within their e-mail signature. This information could prove invaluable to your business as you look to learn more about your database and segment them.
Another e-mail marketing strategy you could employ this Christmas would be a 'New Year Resolutions' e-mail. Create a list of resolutions centred around things you think could be done better in the sector your business is operating in and send it out to your database. You should be using this as an opportunity to start a conversation. Do your clients or wider database have a similar list? Ask for comments and feedback on your own. Get inside the brains of your database and understand what they're thinking as you head into the New Year.
If it's not something your business has already tried, consider trialling a referral programme for your clients or customers.
How you approach creating a referral programme very much depends on whether your business is B2B or B2C focussed.
If you're B2B focussed, then who better to spread the word on to new prospects about how great you are then clients who are delighted with all your hard work. The tricky thing about referral programmes for companies who are B2B focused is knowing what incentives you can offer to current clients if their referees convert into valuable leads. This will be very much dependent on what sector your business operates within and what services it provides. For example, here at Adido, we may offer a discount code to one of our amazing Attention! events as an incentive. For other B2B companies, this will be completely different.
If your business is B2C focused, the incentives you offer with your referral programme are most likely going to be centred around providing vouchers or account credit for new referees and the referrer.
Who doesn't like coupons? For businesses, Christmas is quite possibly the best time of year to give out coupons and is a lead generation strategy that can present your business with the perfect opportunity to reconnect with cold leads and turn them into warm ones, who may just love the opportunity to reconnect with your business at a discounted rate.
Providing coupons alongside outbound strategies such as cold calling or purchased database lists can also prove to be extremely effective in reaching out to new prospective customers and channelling them into your sales funnel.
Send a Christmas card
Sending out a Christmas card to your database is a thoughtful, eye-catching lead generation strategy for the Christmas holidays. More so if your business can stretch to sending your database a small gift to accompany their card.
More recently, many businesses have gone down the more environmentally friendly route of sending e-cards to their database via e-mail. If this is the route you think is right for your business then you need to make sure that the end result looks great and that the message is personalised. If you go with a generic "Merry Christmas from our team!" message, your prospects are likely to bin it as it sounds cheap and thoughtless.
Done right, sending out Christmas cards to your database is an endearing lead generation strategy that will keep your business in the thoughts of your prospects as they head into the new year.
Christmas is a time of year for, well, killing time. Whether your leads are on a long car journey, chilling with Grandma, or recovering from a monstrously sized Christmas dinner; giving them something to physically read could prove to be extremely useful.
To facilitate this in a way that is easy to enjoy and consume, it could be that you send out a physical binder featuring valuable content that you've produced over the year.
This could take the form of a collection of your top posts for 2019, guides for certain topics heading into 2020, or even general reading material about your products or services.
Sending physical material could almost be seen as a Christmas gift. It is thoughtful and will keep you in the minds of your leads as they enter the new year and gives them something they can endlessly refer back to.
on the Tenth day of Christmas, adido gave to me...
Ten leads a landing,