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How to successfully generate and collect leads online

How to successfully generate and collect leads online

By Victoria Cobbah, Planet 49

As the economy stutters back into the black, businesses are starting to regain a focus on customer acquisition rather than simply on retention. Now is the time for many brands that experienced a period of economic stagnation, or worse, to steal a march on their competitors and drive revenue. But obtaining new business leads in the current economic climate is easier said than done.

Many marketers are, quite rightly, turning to the web to obtain new customers. This is because it is a highly cost effective way to source customers quickly.   However, what is the best way to acquire new customers online?

Incentivise consumers

Competitions with an attractive prize value work very well in securing a good response rate and thus deliver consumer insight. It’s because people are searching more than ever before for freebies due to the slow economic marketplace post-recession. And, being a competition, consumers are incentivised to provide accurate and in-depth information about themselves to ensure the speedy delivery of their potential prize.

Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that a great way to collect in-depth data online is to provide the added incentive of layered special offers. For example, for every set of questions answered online the consumer obtains access to further offers or a new competition. These offers should be varied so have the widest appeal; encouraging the widest number of consumers to take part. By taking this graded approach with offers and competitions brands can build a very insightful database of leads.

 
Creative stand out and timings

Know what creative works best online to attract the attention of consumers. For example, the fonts and colours within the body of the text and subject line that are best at delivering a response. Creative layout is also important - placing hyperlinks and click buttons in the correct places to initiate action by the consumer can make all the difference. Also, knowledge of when consumers are more likely to respond to a campaign is crucial – so even the day of the week and time the email is delivered should be carefully considered. Partnering with an online data collection expert is worth considering to gain an understanding of the creative approach that will yield the best results.

 
Use an online data collection expert

Whether you are a big well known brand or not, by far the best way to collect consumer data online is to partner with a data collection expert. It ideally needs to be a brand that already has a heritage in successfully collecting data online. It needs to be one that is widely recognised and trusted by consumers – so they are happy to interact with them - as well as one that has a proven track record in collecting data for leading brands.

In the global marketplace most brands now operate in it’s also worth considering if they have an international reach and experience in collecting data across international boundaries, as well as understanding of the appropriate privacy laws in each country.

Finally, your data collection partner should have the ability to white label your data collection efforts. This is particularly useful if you are a well known brand – confident that your brand name combined with the competition or offer will be strong enough to engender consumers to respond.

 
Use opt-in only

Only ever contact and engage with those consumers who have opted-into hearing from you when providing their data. Not only is this best practice, but you are going to communicate with more responsive consumers because they have opted-in to hearing from your organisation. By doing this you will build a strong level of trust and loyalty with consumers that will help you drive sales.

 
Keep data clean

It goes without saying that data cleanliness is vital. Providing consumers regularly engage with you when you contact them, and assuming they have opted-in to hear from you, you will keep your data up to date. It’s also worth remembering that it’s the fresh leads that always deliver the best conversion rates.

In summary, brands should always use an experienced online data collection partner when looking to generate leads quickly – particularly for lead generation across international boundaries. However, for those that decide to go it alone, have a strong call to action, deliver creative stand out and ensure regular interaction only with those who have opted-in to being contacted by you.

 

AJR
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