Lead Generation 101
Every marketing strategy begins with web traffic. You have to start by channelling visitors to your website before you think of anything else.
Traffic is great. It’s a good feeling to log into your Google Analytics account and be welcomed by a huge traffic spike. It’s a fantastic feeling that we all look up to at the start of our online marketing campaign.
But unless you’re a 16-year old, attention-craving YouTuber with a popularity complex, your ultimate goal isn’t to get as many eyeballs as you possibly can to your site. You want to see your bank account swell.
But first, you want to see the bulk of your site visitors convert. The traffic your site attracts must reflect on your income report, not just in your analytic report. But wait! Doesn’t more traffic translate to more conversions? In a way, yes. With all the other factors held constant, more traffic will always translate to more conversions. This only works if you have a solid conversion channel.
Here’s the thing: when people land on your site, they’re nothing more than visitors. The moment they express interest in your products or services, they graduate to leads. Once a lead engages with you, they become prospects; and if they decide to go through with a purchase, they’re promoted to customers. Here’s the sequential flow of the whole conversion process:
A visitor (hasn’t expressed interest) ~> lead (has expressed interest) ~> customer (has acted on their interest)
What’s a Lead?
When a site visitor expresses interest in your product or services, they become a lead. A lead can, therefore, be defined as a person who’s expressed interest in your products or services, however mildly it is.
The first step the site’s visitors take to express their interest is by opening the lines of communication with a company. In most cases, they do this by submitting their personal information or subscribing to a company’s newsletter.
Leads are part of the conversion lifecycle that a site’s visitor goes through before they become customers. Not all leads are considered equal. Nor are they qualified the same. There are four different categories of leads, depending on how they were qualified.
The Four Different Types of Leads
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
Marketing qualified leads refer to the contacts that have engaged with your marketing effort in one form or another. They’ve opened the line of communication, thus giving you the green light to contact them.
An example of a Marketing Qualified Lead is a contact who filled out a form on your landing page to receive an offer from you.
Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
SQLs refer to the contacts that have taken actions that indicate they’re actually interested in making a purchase. An example of an SQL is a customer or lead that contacts you to inquire about your products or services.
Product Qualified Leads (PQLs)
PQLs refer to contacts that have interacted with your product before and have taken actions that indicate their willingness to become paying customers. PQLs are a product of companies that offer a free trial on their products. Examples include Netflix.
After the 30-day free subscription, the lead is allowed to either renew the subscription plan or cancel it. But the fact that they saw it fit to try out the product, that qualified them as PQLs.
Service Qualified Leads
SQLs refer to the contacts that have communicated to you or taken action that shows they’re interested in becoming paying customers. A customer that reaches out to you or your service representative for inquiries about how to upgrade their subscription qualifies as an SQL.
Lead generation refers to the process of attracting visitors or prospects to your site and converting them into people that are interested in your products and services. Anything that attracts visitors to your website and gets them interested in your offering passes as a lead generator. Examples include blog posts, job applications, live events, coupons, and online content.
Lead generation strategies stretch far and wide, with leading generators only forming a few of its examples.
Lead generation can also be defined as the process of warming up your site’s visitors or prospect and setting them up on a path that can eventually make them take action or purchase your products and services.
The Importance of Lead Generation in Hong Kong
Before your site’s visitors are converted to leads, they’re nothing more than strangers to you. In a few cases, these strangers get to learn about your business and express organic interest in your products and services. That way, they’ll be a naturally transitioning from strangers to actual customers.
In an inbound marketing methodology, lead generation comes in the second stage. It’s after you’ve attracted visitors to your website that you can begin working on how to build their interest and get them to consider going through with a purchase.
This makes lead generation a vital step in the lifecycle of converting a visitor into a delighted customer of your products and services.
Inbound Marketing Methodology
Leading Generation Process
After reading about lead generation and understanding its role in inbound marketing, we can now focus on the steps involved in any lead generation process.
Step 1: At the beginning of every marketing journey, you’ll be dealing with total strangers. These strangers will then discover your website or business either through your blog, social media page, or search engines. When they visit your site, they become visitors.
Step 2: They will be directed to your site where they’ll be served with a Call to Action, which is nothing more than a button or an image with a catchy message encouraging them to take action.
Step 3: After clicking through the CTA, they’ll be directed to a landing page (a page that’s been specifically designed to capture contact information from a lead in exchange for a freebie or any other offer.
An offer can be anything, as long as it’s of value to a potential customer. You can offer them an eBook, template, video, or course. The point is to make the offer valuable enough that a visitor would have no second thoughts submitting their personal information to access it.
Step 4: After getting on your landing page, the visitor will be required to fill out an opt-in form to be granted access to your offer. In most cases, these forms will be hosted on your landing page, with an option to embed them anywhere else on your website.
Once a visitor enters their contact information and then proceeds to their email to confirm it, they cease being visitors or potential customer and instead become leads.
The Difference between a Lead and a Prospect
People have a habit of using the two terms interchangeably despite being completely different.
A lead is a person who’s indicated an interest in your products or services. They’ve just entered into your marketing funnel and are in the process of making up their mind and contemplating on whether they should go through with a purchase.
A lead has only expressed interest but has yet to invest in your products and services. Once they invest in it, they become customers.
A lead will open up the line of communication, which gives you the green light to contact them. It’s a one-way communication at this point, but once they decide to engage you, they’re converted from leads to prospects.
Two-Way communication can be interpreted to mean the lead has the potential to make a purchase.
To sum it up: while a lead refers to a potential customer that has expressed interest in your products and services, a prospect refers to a lead that has gone a step further to engage you and make it a two-way communication.
A prospect has more potential to become a lead. All it takes for a lead to become a prospect is a response to an email or a phone call they receive from you.
The process of converting a lead into a prospect is what’s commonly referred to as prospecting in the marketing world. This process entails enticing a lead well enough to respond to a marketing message or email that you directed their way.
Inbound vs. Outbound Lead Generation
The difference between inbound lead generation and outbound lead generation is pretty simple and straightforward. While inbound leads refer to the leads that come to you, outbound leads are the leads that you reach out to, either through social media, cold emails or via a phone call.
Inbound lead generation can, therefore, be defined as the process of creating content or devising a marketing strategy that focuses on driving visitors to your site so you can convert them into leads. It involves making your brand more discoverable on search engines and other channels, as well.
Outbound lead generation refers to the process of sending your marketing message to your target audience instead of letting them find you. You don’t necessarily need your target’s permission to send them these messages. Neither are they required to express interest before you can shoot these messages their way.
In other words, the outbound lead generation is more interruptive and less passive.
Effective Lead Generation Strategies: The 4 L’s
Your business needs better leads to realise its goals.
Lead generation follows a simple premise — your target audience doesn’t want you to buy their attention, they want you to earn it.
The 4 L’s is a strategy you can adopt to achieve this. Much of what lies in the strategy is self-explanatory. Before you even think of anything else, you have to think about capturing crucial information from your leads. The next thing will be for you and your sales team to analyse everything and sort out the information that you have, and that pretty much sums up everything.
After you create your website, it’s pretty reasonable that you’d want to direct a lot of traffic towards it. These people view your site and dig through its content, but there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to see them again.
Lead capturing is what you use to capture their contact information so you can follow them up and build interest.
It’s your only chance to go after your site’s visitors and make them return to your site. However, you do not expect your visitors to submit their emails on every website they land on.
You have to offer them something they can’t resist in exchange for their contact information.
Any incentive that a marketer offers to a potential buyer in exchange for their contact information passes as a lead magnet. It can be anything, but in most cases, lead magnets come as downloadable content such as videos, ebooks, white papers, online courses, tutorials, and so on.
Once you retrieve contact information from your site’s visitor, you’re allowed to go ahead and educate them about your business or products and services as you gradually work on building their interest until you finally get them to consider taking action.
Landing Page Conversion Technique
When a user clicks on your ad or follows a link from your blog or social media page, they’ll be directed to your landing page.
How you create the landing page will determine how your visitor responds to it. You’re advised to create a landing page that accurately represents your product. You also want the landing page to expose the key features of your products and services and some of its selling points.
Here are a few things that you might want to keep in mind while creating a landing page:
- Create a catchy headline and bio. Try to keep the headline short and clear, without beating around the bush or fluffing it up.
- If you can, use an eye-catching picture that goes with your explanation to grab the attention of your visitors.
- Sell the products to your visitors. Find out about its main selling points and lay it out there for your visitors to read and decide. You’re also allowed to compare it with other similar products and state all the reasons you think it’s the best.
A landing page serves two critical roles in this. First is educating your potential customers about your products and second is generating leads from the visitors you direct your way.
Lead scoring is the most important stage of any lead generation strategy. You want to analyse your leads and sort them out based on their level of engagement.
You need an automated lead scoring software for this.
The software will also help you identify the bestselling product or service in your pipeline so you can know where to direct the bulk of your marketing effort.
8 Must-have Lead Generation Tools
You need tools to run an effective lead generation campaign in Hong Kong.
These tools are designed to help you nail every phase of the lead generation process. You have options aplenty when it comes to this. Choose your favourite tools and run with them. But remember, your focus should be on the quality of the leads you generate and not quantity.
Lead Data Collection Tools
These tools go beyond collecting data. They help you scour the internet and glean for visitor’s details such as their company name and email addresses, among others.
Examples of Data Collection Tools include:
- Lead feeder
- Prospect Io
- Voila Nobert, Hunter
Email Looking Tools
These tools are designed to automate the process of finding your visitors’ emails. They include:
- HubSpot Sales
- Yet Another Mail Merge
Email Address Finders
These tools will help you collect emails on your website. You need these emails to build an email list either for building a larger list that you’ll be using for content promotion or for running a drip campaign that focuses on building customer interest.
Your options of email address finder tools abound:
Email Marketing Tools for Lead Generation
If your sales approach requires you to do a lot of follow-ups on your prospects, then you must add an email marketing software in your work arsenal.
You have a long list of tools to choose from for this, and they include:
- Active Campaign
- Send in Blue
Prospecting and Outreach Tools
You need to figure out how to make your lead engage with you instead of making it appear like it’s one-way communication. When your leads communicate back, that indicates heightened interest.
Luckily for you, there are tools that are specifically designed to help you out with prospecting and outreach, and they include:
- Outreach Plus
- Lead Forensics
There’s no way we’re making a listicle of lead generation tools without adding Customer Relationship Management Tools. You need these tools to connect with your prospects and keep track of their sales journey. Here’s a list of CRM tool we recommend:
- OnePage CRM
Your ultimate goal should be to turn your leads and prospects into customers. Your focus should be on nurturing both your customers and prospects for sales.
Here’s our recommended list of sales tools to try out:
- Hubspot Sales
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Communication plays a crucial role in winning your prospects over customers. You have to come up with a plan on how to stay in constant touch with your customers if you want to see them take action.
The following list of tools were specifically designed to help you out with communication:
Important Lead Generations Tips and the Mistakes to Avoid
Lead Generation Tips
Very few businesses are having a field day with lead generation. As for the rest of the businesses in Hong Kong, their lead generation strategies are fraught with mistakes.
That explains why many of them think they’ve exhausted their list of potential customers.
If you’re among the 90% that think lead generation is no longer useful, you might want to dig through our pointers and make necessary adjustments to your lead generation strategies:
Create Buyer Personas
Your customers are not fashioned from the same fabric. They’re all different, with different personalities, which directly impact how they interact with your marketing campaign.
It, therefore, makes sense that you’d want to understand them before turning to any marketing strategy.
Learn to gather useful insight on your customers and what they might be interested in. Come up with a series of buyer personas that you’ll be revisiting from time to time, and revising them where necessary.
This should help you understand your audience better to keep your content relevant and fresh to your target audience.
Make Good Use of Target Content
Don’t target your audience on a humble. Instead, be very specific with who you’re targeting with every piece of content you come up with.
You can do this by identifying your market and segmenting it. Now tailor your content to target each segment instead of targeting them as a whole.
Quality over Quantity
Forget about populating your website or blog with content and focus on delivering quality.
Here’s the thing: you’re better off with one valuable piece of content than 100 pieces of hastily churned-out garbage. Try to make your content relevant, useful, and engaging, and see what that does to your marketing effort.
Make your content Awesome and Mindboggling
The easiest way to make your audience share your content around is to offer them value. Make your content interesting enough, and they’ll voluntarily offer to share it around.
You have to stand out. Make sure that every single one of the articles that you create has a wow factor that makes it hard for your readers to just sit on it without being nudged hard enough to share it around.
Embrace Multichannel Marketing
Learn to treat your leads differently. Their tastes differ the same way they have different ways of doing things.
While some of your target audience will be big on social media some would prefer that you contact them via email or videos.
That’s to say, your marketing strategy must be spread across a broad range of marketing platforms to extend your reach.
Respond To Emails and Social Media Messages and Comments
Don’t be lazy or allow your ego to stand in the way of running an effective lead generation campaign.
You’re not just making statements and drafting messages. You’re initiating dialogues and conversations. It only makes sense that you’d want to participate.
If a potential customer comments on your post, make a point to respond to them. In so doing, your customer will learn to trust you and be freer to engage you whenever they’re stuck or have an issue with your product or website.
Find Industry Influencers and Engage with them
Identify the influencers in your industries and follow them on the various social media platforms.
You can contact them directly and devise a plan on how to work with them. Come up with ways on how the two of you can create content that your audience will consume and be enticed enough to consider checking you out.
Common Leading Generation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Mistake One: Relying on Only One Lead Generation Tactic
Cold emails are loathed. But that’s not to say that they never work.
Lead generation offers you a chance to take your target audience through necessary steps that will see to it that they’re able to convert naturally.
Your audience will be a little sceptical when you contact them out of the blue with an offer of something that they have never heard before. You can’t blame them for not trusting you when they barely know you.
The Solution: Learn to embrace different tactics. When one fails, try another instead of giving up along the way.
Lead generation is a multi-step process that gradually reels in a potential customer until they’re able to make up their mind and take action. It’s planned, consistent, and has the right mix of offers that makes it hard for your target to resist.
Mistake Two: Ignoring Old Leads
One common mistake that companies make all the time is to forget about old leads. They run an effective lead generation campaign, get their leads to take action — and after the sales process, rinse everything and repeat.
Simply because someone bought your products or services that doesn’t mean that they’re completely done with you.
They might need to order a second item from you, and if that’s not the case, they may refer someone else or even come out as your biggest promoters.
The Solution: Always make an effort to follow up on old leads. Try to come up with a long-term lead nurturing strategy that focuses on growing the interest of old leads and customers.
Mistake Three: Buying Lists from Untrusted Sources
Generating a new list is not as easy as some people love to assume. It’s easy to cave in to the temptation of buying the list instead.
Buying the list is not a solution, especially if it’s coming from an unqualified source. There’s the issue of small conversion rate and high unsubscribe rate that you may be forced to contend with.
The Solution: Lead generation is not easy. Nothing you do comes with a guarantee. So set your expectations right and adjust your strategies where necessary, and most importantly, learn to be patient as you wait for your effort to pay off.
And instead of purchasing a list, consider outsourcing the service to a more experienced firm such as MediaOne to save yourself from unnecessary heartache.
Top Lead Generation Agencies in Hong Kong
Here’s a list of top lead generation agencies in Hong Kong. If you feel like outsourcing the service to an agency with experience and a track record to match, we’d suggest that you begin by checking out the following agencies:
As one of the leading providers of digital marketing services in Asia, MediaOne Marketing has a proven track record that speaks for itself. With over 10 years of experience in the digital marketing sector, MediaOne offers its clients holistic and results-driven digital marketing solutions to boost their online presence. Along with lead generation services, MediaOne also offers a whole host of services such as search engine optimisation, social media marketing, content marketing, PPC advertising and so on.
SalesRoad offers you an opportunity to outsource lead generation, telesales, and appointment settings to them.
Before jumping on your project, the company will first take their time to evaluate your sales process, customers, and products to come up with a customized solution that focuses on delivering a consistent stream of high-quality leads.
Webimax is a full-service digital marketing firm that offers lead generation, web design, online reputation, PPC, and so on. The company specifically targets online companies and offers to work with them in helping them dominate their market.
The company has a 95% retention rate, which says quite a lot about the quality of their services.
Callbox is a trusted US-based lead generation company with offices all over the world. The company has worked with some of the biggest companies in the world, and that’s what makes them a force to reckon with in these quarters.
They have one of the largest proprietary databases that touch on many parts of the world, including Hong Kong. It’s also among the few companies that have adopted an algorithmic lead nurturing approach that focuses on connecting with prospects on a more personal level.
Another international lead generation firm with an office in Hong Kong. Cience goes on record as one of the most sought after lead generation companies, and that’s because it offers lead generation services that are specifically tailored to match your business needs.
The company tries to combine human intelligence, creativity, and technology to research, nurture, and connect with prospects on a level that they can best understand and be motivated enough to take action.
EBQuickstart operates as an extension to your sales team. Their plan is not to take over the entire process but to offer a helping hand and the much-needed expertise that comes with the guarantee of moving things forward.
The company promises to help you combine customer data, set appointments, offer necessary marketing extension, educate customers about your products and services, offer your sales teams all the support they need, and so on.
Lead Generation Pricing in Hong Kong
The cost of outsourcing lead generation services to an agency varies depending on a list of factors. Among them is the agency you choose.
But in most cases, the price tends to range from HKD2000 to HKD20,000 per month. For appointment billing, you can expect to be charged between HKD50 and HKD400 per appointment.
Each of these two options comes with its share of pros and cons. You’re, however, advised to look into per-month billing because it allows you to come up with a budget and come up with a fixed amount for the task. It also offers more value, with its only limitation being that it lacks the flexibility of the per appointment billing.
Achieve Lead Generation in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is an ever-evolving business hub with unlimited opportunities, so don’t waste any time in starting on your lead generation journey to turn your potential customers into invested clients!
At MediaOne we offer a comprehensive suite of lead generations and digital marketing solutions in Hong Kong. We develop personalised marketing strategies to help your company succeed in this competitive market. So contact MediaOne to begin strategizing a custom marketing plan for your business today!