The best lead-generation tactics for your B2B business

Jan 18, 2021 | Email Marketing, Online Marketing

"Generating high quality leads is crucial for any business. Without leads, there are no new clients. B2B lead-generation is tough, and the truth is that there’s no silver bullet. Experimenting, measuring and refining your approach is key to figuring out what works best for your audience, and your business. Here are some tactics that are helping many B2B organisations attract the right leads. ..."

Social lead-generation campaigns

You can build your list of leads by running lead-generation ad campaigns on Facebook and LinkedIn. This involves offering something valuable to a select audience, who must complete a form to opt in.

LinkedIn is an incredible tool for B2B lead-generation. It offers powerful business-focused segmentation options, and its users are professionals who tend to keep their information (such as job title and employer) up to date. Facebook is often thought of as a B2C platform, but it’s also a useful platform for B2B marketing. Not to mention it has 2.7 billion active users.

Both Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to run PPC advertising campaigns. Each platform has its pros and cons, so deciding which one is right for you (if you don’t have the budget to leverage both) will depend on your audience, your goals, and the segmentation options you need in order to reach potential customers. To create an ideal audience, you can choose from demographic, geographic, interest-based and other targeting options. You can also upload your current customer list to Facebook or LinkedIn to create a lookalike audience – a new audience of people who are likely to be interested in your product or service because they’re very similar to your existing customer base.

A high-quality offer is the cornerstone of an effective Facebook or LinkedIn lead-generation campaign. The offer could be a voucher of some sort, but it’s often a unique piece of content that your audience won’t be able to resist – an ebook, a free report, a webinar, or even a template. The more compelling your lead magnet is, the better your conversion rate will be.

As well as LinkedIn ad campaigns, LinkedIn offers Sales Navigator – a paid tool for identifying prospects and starting one-on-one conversations. Sales Navigator has advanced filters and allows you to save users to organised lists. Find out more about using Sales Navigator for lead generation here.

Once you’ve started to build your own list using Facebook and LinkedIn lead-generation campaigns, it’s important to follow-up on the initial interest with an email nurture sequence. This is an automated sequence of emails that’s sent to leads (who’ve opted in) and is designed to build on the relationship.

What about buying a list?

Could you buy a list of contact details for marketing purposes? The answer is yes and no. With GDPR, CCPA, and POPIA – along with data protection laws from countries around the world – coming into effect, there are damaging consequences if you don’t comply. Fines can be hefty, and the reputational damage if you abuse it isn’t worth it.

We’d like to give more clarity on the options marketers have when considering buying a list. None of the advice in this article is intended to be legal advice. Depending on your industry and country, you should run your plans by your compliance officer or your legal representative before going ahead.

Here are the aspects that lean to the “no” side of the argument for purchasing a list:

  • Quality of contact information – how accurate is the information on the list? At least 20% of the data will be outdated. So, email address verification should be done to clean this list before using the data.
  • We’ve seen average open rate of around 10% and the click through rate 1%. So, it could work out to be pretty expensive for the return that you get.

Purchasing lists under certain conditions

You can still buy leads, but certain rules are attached to it. You can buy these leads if there’s a clause within the company (who you’re buying the list from)’s terms and conditions stating that they have obtained permission from prospects/customers to on-sell their information, but they must actually have the customer’s permission! Without this permission, you cannot buy the leads (because the prospects aren’t aware of the fact that their information is being used). See https://emailmovers.com/data-compliance-marketing-transparency

When a purchased list could work

What you could try with a purchased list is to import into the audiences of your social media campaigns. This is most effective on LinkedIn where B2B lists have a good match rate (we’ve seen 40%) of the email address on the list matching with an actual person on LinkedIn.

It’s important to follow-up on the initial interest with an email nurture sequence. This is an automated sequence of emails that’s sent to leads (who’ve opted in) and is designed to build on the relationship. [Click To Tweet This]

 Cold email outreach (like cold calling, but with email)

You could do a cold email outreach campaign. This is different to sending bulk email in that a different system to an email sending platform (ESP) is used. This type of outreach uses email lead generation software. An example of this is MailShake; read about how to do cold email campaigns that are GDPR compliant here: https://mailshake.com/blog/gdpr-compliant-cold-email/

Our friends over at SiteCare run a premium cold email outreach programme. It is worthwhile chatting with Jason to see if this is a good fit for you.

How to choose?

You could use all the options we’ve outlined (budget allowing) or try them out one at a time. For events, we’ve run multiple lead-gen campaigns simultaneously.

Either way, always keep in mind that you need to be tracking and measuring the results carefully in order to know which approach is most effective for you.

Further reading:

Great advice about legitimate business interest when it comes to using purchased lists for B2B email marketing: https://woodpecker.co/blog/gdpr-faq/

Good summary of POPIA and implications for direct marketing: https://themediaonline.co.za/2020/09/what-does-popia-really-mean-for-sas-direct-marketers/

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