In the golden age of outbound marketing, generating leads fell to a sales team armed with little more than cold call lists and some spray-and-pray marketing campaigns. Today, inbound marketing offers a wealth of data-driven opportunities that deliver qualified leads to a sales team long before they ever consider picking up a phone.
Of course, that inbound traffic depends largely on whether your content and offers are compelling enough to drive engagement. So how do you make sure your online offers touch the right nerves with the right audience?
Here are six helpful tips to create offers that generate leads:
1. Test Formats
Always keep in mind that your offer has to be valuable to your audience. In order to know what will be valuable to your potential customers, you have to spend some time getting to know them. What are their problems or goals, and what can you offer to help them solve those problems or reach those goals?
Some “formats” of offers perform better than others at converting leads. For example, what’s more valuable, a whitepaper or an e-Book?
Below are the types of offers, in order of performance, that generate the highest number of leads. (But remember, it’s important to test different format types to find out which your target audiences prefer.)
Types of high value lead-generating offers:
E-Books or Guides
Templates or Presentations
Research & Reports
Kits (multiple offers packaged together)
Sales-Ready Offers: Demo Requests, Contact Sales, RFP, etc.
2. Target Relevant Needs
Today, buyers are more likely to conduct research before contacting you or your sales reps. Every prospect is at a different stage of exploration, with some needing a little more education than others, so it’s important to develop different offers at different buying cycles.
Someone at the top of the buying cycle may be more interested in an informational piece like a guide or e-Book, whereas someone more committed at the bottom of the cycle might be more interested in a free trial or demo. You don’t need to pick and choose; create offers for each phase.
3. Tease Scarcity
When an offer is exclusive, valuable, scarce or in high demand, it becomes more desirable. Whether they are whitepapers, free trials, memberships, sales promotions or downloads, these irresistible elements can overcome a lead’s typical friction, doubt, or concern.
When an offer is limited or scarce, it also evokes a sense of urgency, and people are more likely to respond to the offer. Think about your average car dealership offering “0% only for a limited time!” Offering a deal for a short time or promoting limited quantity is a great way to gain the attention of new prospects, and generate new leads.
4. Promote Your Successes
Another tactic to generate response to your not-so-average offer is to utilize the bandwagon technique. (“Everyone is doing it!”) By highlighting popularity, your product or service’s credibility is better established.
Display your positive testimonials, social sharing rates and download figures to show prospects that others are using the content too. (Just remember to be honest with your figures.)
5. Avoid Jargon and Clichés
Though maintaining professionalism is important, using industry jargon is something that can turn a great offer sour. Since your content is intended for people from different buying stages with different knowledge bases, your content should be clear and easy to read.
Another tip to make your content irresistible is to avoid clichés and over-used meaningless phrases.
Examples of over-used words:
6. Create Compelling Titles
Let’s be honest, people do judge a book by the cover. This means that you need to put effort into creating a title that explains the irresistible offer you are presenting.
Using action words and phrases, and utilizing frequently searched keywords is a great way to be sure your content is hitting the right demographics. Your title is what drives the readers to your content – so make sure your title highlights your offer’s true value to your prospects.
Looking for additional ideas to generate leads? Download our 30 Lead Generation Tips e-book: