In this article i’m going to share with you all the basics about what is lead generation and how you can setup your first campaign.
What is a lead
Let’s start with the basics, so what is a “lead”?
A lead is a person or prospect who is interested in your offer or company in any way, shape or form. In other words, it’s someone who is generally interested in what you have to offer whether that’s a product, software or service. The beauty of a lead is it’s someone who’s coming to you inbound as opposed to you contacting someone out of the blue, outbound.
To give you an example, if I were to set up a page on my blog offering consultancy services for growing large Facebook pages, and someone happened to read my How to Grow [Large] Facebook Pages post and got in touch through my consultancy page, that would be classed as a lead.
It’s basically a potential prospect for whatever you’re offering.
What is lead generation
Lead generation is the process of attracting those prospects we’ve just talked about above and converting them into a solid lead.
This is normally done online by collecting the prospect’s data, which can range from just a name and email to full background checks and addresses depending on the offer or promotion.
Lead generation is extremely successful and popular amongst online businesses because they can quite simply pay per lead, meaning they only pay out when a prospect has submitted information and therefore is a lead for them to follow up with.
Let me give you an example…
Let’s say I own a solar panel company who gets paid each time I place solar panels on someone’s house. An amazing way I can generate potential clients is through lead generation online.
I could approach an affiliate or lead generation network and ask them to generate me potential leads based on a certain criteria. For example, I may only work in California and my target audience may be between 20-40. I would tell the network that I will pay $20 for every lead they send me that’s based in California, aged between 20-40, and is interested in saving money by installing solar panels.
If I can close 1 in 100 of these leads coming inbound, I’d have made my money back and more. Let’s not forget I’m NOT paying for clicks; I’m simply paying for qualified leads that are already interested in my service…..are you getting the picture a little more now?
This form of marketing is also very attractive to affiliates for many reasons, but here are a few:
- Higher payouts than normal offers
- White hat, so clean for Facebook and Google traffic
- Easy to target on platforms like Facebook
- Control over creatives and landing pages
The last point is something I’ll touch on below but is a real advantage of lead generation campaigns. Because the network or lead buyer only has a specific data set they want you to generate as leads, they tend to allow you to “host and post”. This basically means they will allow you to create or have full control over your landing page. You just need to make sure you embed their form OR send them the leads.
Let’s take a look at how you can easily get started in lead generation…..
How to set up your own lead generation offer
It’s relatively simple to get started in lead gen. The hardest components are finding the best lead buyers and making your campaigns profitable.
As always let’s start at the beginning…
There’s no point getting a lead gen offer or page setup if you haven’t got anyone to buy the leads, so where do you find lead buyers?
There’s no one place to find buyers but here are a few places to start:
Not all affiliate networks will have lead gen offers, but when contacting your affiliate manager, you want to make sure you ask for offers that you can host and post. The good thing is there are specific networks that actually cater JUST to lead generation campaigns that will allow you to host your own pages. I’ll list a few now, but do your research as there are plenty more out there:
You can view a full list of affiliate networks by clicking here.
There are many social media pages and groups for buying and selling leads online. My good friend Tim Burd has set up a great page on Facebook. You can also find lots of groups on Linkedin and other social networks. You just need to do a bit of searching, but here are a few to get you started:
We created the Business Centre on AffiliateFix for this exact reason. Every day you’ll see networks, affiliates and lead buyers come and trade services and advertise in the marketplace. There are a few other affiliate forums that are worth exploring also, but STM and AffiliateFix are the best two in my opinion.
Another great method of finding buyers for your leads is going direct to the lead buyer yourself. Often, affiliates will reverse engineer this step by setting up a lead gen offer first and collecting the leads to make sure it converts and then going out and contacting potential buyers in the market. For example, if I were generating solar leads every day, I could ring the top 10 solar panel fitters on Google and ask to speak with their business developer or in-house lead buyer. Often, you will get a far bigger payout going direct than if you were to go to a network.
Another option is to keep the leads or generate them for yourself. Again, if I own or work for a solar company, there’s nothing stopping me from following these steps and generating leads for my own company. Alternatively, I know friends who have set up lead generation offers internally for companies for six-figure sums of money. If you or your company have the right infrastructure, i.e. call centres, customer support, etc., then it’s a no-brainer.
Domain and hosting
Secondly, you’ll need to set yourself up a domain and hosting package. You’ll want to pick a domain that caters to your offer. For example, if I were generating solar leads, I’d want a domain like solarpanelsforyou.com.
I’m not going to go into how to set up domain and hosting as there are plenty of guides out there, but I’d recommend using our special discounted package that’s designed for affiliates over at NameHero.
Just make sure whatever package you go for has the ability to scale as your campaign does for volume and be sure it has cpanel and FTP so you can upload your landing pages and integrate the backends.
Again, I’m not going to go into this in great detail as you can check out the 16 Landing Page Tips You MUST Be Using guide that I wrote. However, I will show you our most common template and layout when it comes to lead generation, obviously built by my amazing team at Landing Page Guys:
The main things to keep in mind and to make sure your page adheres to are:
Form above the fold:
Really important on lead gen, the form is the most important thing on the page. Contrast it so it stands out and put it top right on the page.
Clear lead magnet or hook:
Whether it’s a free ebook, quote or promise of a follow-up call, there has to be something the prospect is getting in return for the form submission.
Clear Call to Action:
Make sure you show at least one clear call to action. Direct your prospect to the button or step they need to take to convert into a lead.
If your page loads slow, say goodbye to your lead. Make sure your page is pagespeed optimised. You can check on GTmetrix.
This one’s a no-brainer. Most of your traffic will likely come from mobile devices, so your page MUST be fully responsive on all devices.
This is a huge MUST for lead generation. Often, buyers will request certain fields, so unless your fields are validated, you may not be paid for a lead you convert.
Keep It Simple, Stupid…..
For lead generation especially, keep your pages simple. Don’t forget these prospects are here for a reason. If 100 clicks don’t convert into 100 leads, you need to ask yourself why.
Ok, so you have your buyer ready to pay out for solar leads, you have your hosting setup with NameHero, and you have a stunning landing page built to convert by the Landing Page Guys (in the perfect scenario), now you need to integrate your page.
There are various methods when it comes to integration, and the word you need to keep in mind here is “distribution”.
This basically means how the lead gets distributed to your buyer when your prospect converts on your landing page. This is again where we can help over at Landing Page Guys; however, here are the most common and best practices:
Host and Post:
If you’re working with a network, they will likely provide you with the form code to embed/integrate within your landing page. This is great as it easily sits in the backend of your form and distributes the lead back to the network on submission. Just ask your network for help when integrating your form.
Lead Distribution Software:
If you’re running your own offers or have your own direct buyers, this is the best solution when doing volume. Software obviously comes at a price, but the features you can utilise with software these days are amazing. For example, you can set up multiple buyers for one lead so that if buyer A takes name, email and telephone fields yet buyer B is only bothered about name and email and the lead submits buyer B’s credentials it sends to buyer B and not A. There are lots of great advantages for software; here are the best ones:
Probably the easiest one to set up yet the least professional is for us or your webmaster to set up the form, so that when it submits, it emails you and or the buyer the lead. Here’s an example of the code you’ll need to integrate with your form in order to set this up. As I said, this is great to do when you first start to test an offer, but I wouldn’t scale with it.
What we’ve done for multiple clients is set them up a custom admin panel and database where they can manage their leads. We simply have all qualified leads submit to the admin panel and they have some nice options to forward them or export them in a CSV to send to their buyers. If you don’t want the monthly cost of software, there is a one-time setup charge.
So, by now we have our buyer ready to pay out for solar leads, we have our hosting setup with NameHero, and we have a stunning landing page built to convert by the Landing Page Guys that’s integrated with our lead distribution method (in the perfect scenario), now all we need is some prospects!
Traffic, as I mentioned above, is far easier to come by with lead gen offers because they’re fully legit and white hat unlike some other affiliate offers.
This basically means that most traffic sources will approve your campaigns.
The most popular traffic platform for lead gen is by far Facebook as this allows you to fully target your chosen prospect. Again, if I were promoting solar panels to Californians aged between 20-40, it’s very easy for me to set up my targeting to do so. I would advise using multiple demographics based around solar and similar types of angles.
I’m not going to go into traffic on this post, but if you need any extra tips and advice then I’d strongly suggest you join my mate Tim Burd’s incredible Facebook Ad Buyer Group on Facebook.
If you want a list of traffic sources outside of Facebook and Google, you can view our list of traffic sources on AffiliateFix.
Be sure to explore all traffic types, including:
- Native Ads
A good tip for lead generation traffic is to set up an advertorial or pre-sale blog type landing page prior to your lead gen offer page. Let me know if you’d like to see an example by commenting below.
Also, be sure to build lookalike audiences and retargeting lists.
Test and Scale
Be sure to test all different ad creatives to get your best CTR through to your offer. In order, I would split test:
Once you’ve gotten your ads looking good and cheap enough per click, it’s time to test your landing page. The main thing that will affect your conversions on your lander is your image. I’d advise using VWO in order to easily split test your creatives and on page elements to get the best performing lander.
Keep in mind getting a profitable lead generation campaign is hard, but once you’re profitable, they can be hugely scalable. It’s also great as different offers can usually be cross-promoted or promoted to lookalike audiences.
For example, if I’m interested in solar panels, it usually means I have to own a house or property, so I’d also be interested in insurance, life cover, home cover, auto cover, and so much more.
There’s a little more to it than the above, but it’s very simple and affordable to get your first lead gen offer or campaign setup, and when you’re able to scale, you’ll come back and thank me for this post.
Don’t forget to contact my team at Landing Page Guys if you need any assistance with your landing pages.