Online Lead Generation Done Right: Effective, Scalable, Inexpensive.

2015 is shaping out to be a really good year for small businesses in America. Entrepreneurs are optimistic. Since the competition is tough and every minute counts, I want to focus on how to help you get more business by using established online marketing tools that can help you hit the ground running with your online lead generation.

One of the hardest things for a small business owner is to decide what the goal of the marketing campaign should be. That question right there is a showstopper for most small business owners and since the bottom line is the most important, I’m going to help you setup a system that can be implemented without much technical knowledge, doesn’t take a lot of time. A lead generation platform that is effective, scalable and inexpensive.

The Goal 

The goal is to help you do lead generation. Plain and simple. All you need to do is define what a lead means for you. This could be a monthly subscription to your Yoga Studio, a sale of specialty beauty product or an online booking for travel, etc.  Choose one target that is meaningful to your business and keep moving forward.

The Assumptions

We are assuming that you currently have a domain name that you can manage and that you’d like to drive more of your local customers through your own lead generation channel. We are assuming that you know who your local audience is and that you have a suspicion that you are not taking full advantage of the total addressable market and that you are not using the Internet to its fullest. That is possibly the best situation you can be in because the only way out is up!

The Campaign

Be prepared with a goal that you want to achieve so that you can make the best out of the information here. Also please make sure to have signed up for an account for all the lead generation tools listed below so that your initial campaign goes smoothly. I want to show you how to run campaigns not how to sign up to tools. Also, please spend a some time studying the tools and how they work.

If you are an online marketing agency it would be a good idea to look into volume discounts since you are going to be driving a lot of campaigns through your corporate account. This drives down the cost for you thus increasing your revenue per client. Once you feel comfortable with the set of tools, be prepared to pay between $400-$1,500 a month to have all these services running. Add that to your calculations for cost per acquisition –– Andrew Chen’s blog has a pretty good description on CPA. Check it out.

Considerations

You will be working with many different tools and services. There must be consistency on the branding. This means you need to keep the same typography, colors, messages and logos across the board so the user feels confident through the process. You are probably going to need a designer to build the custom images in your emails and landing pages. This is not required to use the tools below but it makes them look a lot better. Also, you might need some HTML done in the landing pages. Again, HTML knowledge would help but it is not required.

Let’s dive in!

Here’s a list of the tools you need.

Paid Digital Marketing SaaS Tools

Mailchimp

The friendliest, most established e-mail marketing tool I’ve found.

Unbounce

I like unbounce because it allows me to test different features from the color of a button to the whole concept of a landing page. It could even be useful to fully build a small website and be able to test what customers prefer and only hire a whole team of developers and designers once you know exactly what you want from them. Optimizely is an very good option for this as well.

MoonClerk and Stripe

Stripe is at the core of the payment platforms I use to help our clients reach their lead generation goal and convert on the spot. It is dead simple to integrate and portable meaning that you can layer a service on top of it and move services without changing your Stripe account.

PageModo

If your goal are direct sales, your customers are in Social Networks, so you must post interesting material frequently.  Once you have some information to look at, you can start running ads on Facebook and Twitter to test and find the most responsive audiences. If you already have customers, you may have a list of emails. Use this lists not only to run e-mail campaigns, but also to create audiences for Facebook ads. HootSuite is a great option.

Moz

Free Digital Marketing SaaS tools

Google Analytics

There’s an excellent guide at Entrepreneur.com to make use of Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a very useful tool that allows you to track what sources sent visitors to your site and what they did once on it.

Google Webmasters tools

A straightforward guide to setting up Google Webmasters can help you decipher your traffic patterns for free!  All the SEO keyword and the number of clicks you get are in Google Webmasters. Also, the errors that your site might have can be tested with this tool.

How to integrate all these tools?

  1. Set a tangible goal for your campaign (i.e. more monthly subscriptions) –– I am going to use that as an example for this instructions as there are many goals you could set up depending on the business need.
  2. Create a subdomain (i.e. subscriptions.YOURDOMAIN.com)
  3. Point the DNS to unbounce or optimizely (whatever you choose to use) and make sure you do not change anything else. DNS settings manage the channels to your email and website and if those are changed, the website and email can go down.
  4. Create a landing page in unbounce or optimizely (go through the training –– they have videos)
  5. Export your list from other services to MailChimp.
  6. Create an email in Mailchimp with A/B testing
  7. If you want to take payments, create a plan in MoonClerk and embed the landing page you created with unbounce. Make sure your MoonClerk account is connected to Stripe so you can take payments.

Finally, remember The GlenGarry Glenn Ross Speech…

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