The tenets of B2B direct marketing have not changed much through the years. Success still depends on the list, the offer and the creative…in that order. As lead generation programs spread into diverse media formats/venues, techniques vary…but one thing does not…the importance of ‘the offer’ in getting people to acknowledge interest in your product or service.
In today’s market, prospects value their time, privacy and anonymity (e.g. when browsing your website) above all else, unless they have a burning need to purchase something right away. So, putting out a lead form without offering something of tangible benefit in return is a surefire way to get fewer leads, (and only hot ones!) That means your first question when looking at lead generation should always be “what are we giving people in return for them giving us their most treasured asset…their name.”
In crafting ideas for an offer, here are three tips to keep in mind:
- Information has Value.
Especially in B2B markets and when reaching out to more senior managers/executives, realize that information assets (white papers, research reports, books, etc.) are usually of highest value. If your company is a primary content producer, harnessing those assets is almost always the most inexpensive way of enticing form completion and demonstrating your expertise. If you don’t create assets, what can you link prospects to that relates to your products/services, and could demonstrate value to them?
- What’s In a Community?
Peer recommendations are a powerful influencer in many B2B purchases. Is there a community that you can create, sponsor or promote that will help you gain mindshare with prospects and provide a forum for interaction among peers—all while seeding it with value-add content? Is there a way to encourage your prospect community to interact with you about innovation in your marketplace?
- Nurturing Matters.
Many B2B purchases are planned and happen over an extended sell-cycle. So, having broad contact with the prospects in your market is critical to being ready when they have a purchasing need. Can you offer a service (e.g. web portal access or trends newsletter) that will connect with them over time? Is there a giveaway that is related to your business that you can offer to encourage signups without getting too many poor quality prospects who sign up just for the gift?
The age-old tussle between a manufacturer’s desire to collect prospect names and a propect’s desire to remain anonymous has only gotten more challenging in a world where open information access allows anonymity throughout almost all the purchasing process. More than ever, creating an offer that demonstrates your value and starts a conversation with prospects is essential to powering lead generation in competitive B2B markets.
To brainstorm specific ideas for offer creation in your B2B lead generation programs, call your Cierant Account Manager, or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.