Future-proof Lead Generation: 5 Ways to Build a Prospect List in the Digital Age

With the unprecedented number of messages competing for people’s attention on the Internet and the growing concerns over online privacy, acquiring a quality list of potential customers has become more difficult — but also more valuable — than ever before.

Luckily, with the new challenges of digital environments also come new opportunities. Tools and techniques such as user experience (UX), nudging, incentives, social media and endorsements can allow forward-looking companies to take their lead generation efforts to the next level.

In this article, we take a look at how a well-executed, integrated strategy can help you not only recruit new prospects but perhaps even turn them into brand advocates in the process.

1. User experience – your first line of defence

Online, attention is one of the hottest commodities. And the best defense against lost interest and lost opportunities is often a good offense: a proactive user-centric approach. Creating an inviting and seamless journey through your website for visitors is critical to retaining their focus and commitment.

For example, with an easy-to-see and simple-to-navigate ‘sign up’ form on your homepage, you are able to carve a direct path for online conversions.

2. Nudging – the power of repeated reminders

You wouldn’t let a customer leave your store without talking to them. So it only makes sense to avoid doing the same thing online too. When someone visits your site, they are in effect expressing interest in your products or services — or at least in your content. So why not ask them if they would like to learn more about it?

Provide an ‘opt in’ form at the end of each of your content elements (e.g. blog posts) or ensure a ‘registration’ message pops up before users exit your site. Sometimes a little nudge is all it takes.

3. Incentives – rewards can make all the difference

If you want members of your target audience to agree to disclose their personal information, it is only fair that they get something in return. Research shows that using incentives to entice people significantly increases the likelihood that they will give you access to their data. And it creates positive buzz for your brand in the process.

Give users a reason to open up by offering them a chance to win contest prizes, free trials or exclusives services — and see the effect it has on your list of prospects.

4. Social media – bridging your follower’s interest gap

With their follower-based model, social media already identify users that have an interest in your business. But now you can turn these followers into potential customers by using some of the new recruitment tools made available by social platforms.

One of these tools, the Twitter Lead Generation Cards, can be added to your tweets to give people an easy, single-click way to sign up to receive your email communications.

5. Customer advocacy ­– simplify sharing and endorsements

The world’s most influential brands inspire their fans to share the content they produce and advocate for their products and services publicly. However, for other organizations, this kind of customer loyalty and advocacy can be a lot harder to come by.

So why not make it as easy as possible for people to show their support, by ensuring all content elements on your online properties come with a ‘share’ button? Or, go a step further and offer a ‘forward to’ option that allows users to sign up a friend that might be interested to your contact list.

Interested in building or bolstering your list of potential customers? Want to make sure you are using all of the latest recruitment methods? Get in touch with us and we can help future-proof your lead generation efforts.

And if you’re emailing Canadians, don’t forget to ensure your opt-in form and emails are CASL compliant.

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