Every business is engaged in selling something, whether a product, service, information, or something else. And sales usually begin with sales leads. As an offline example, new insurance and car salespeople are frequently asked to compile lists of their friends, families, acquaintances, and so on. This list is used then as a lead builder — something to get the ball rolling towards that first big sale. The online world is no different. Every for-profit web site needs a steady flow of internet marketing leads. A big part of any online marketer’s job is to generate the leads that will ultimately be responsible for another sale. In particular, in the highly competitive online marketing arena, someone selling products and services to other marketers will need a steady flow of fresh internet marketing leads to fuel their sales.
Selling to internet marketers is a tough market segment to compete in. New products and services are released at an amazing rate. These new products and services are sometimes driven by new technology, other times by changes in market conditions or search engines, and still, others are variations of existing products. Some of these products are designed to help capture internet marketing leads!
There are several basic ways to capture new leads online. The most commonly recommended method is to build an email list. There’s an old direct marketing axiom “The money is in the list”, and this has held true on the internet as well. Email marketing may not work as well as it used to, due to spam filtering, but that’s not to say it’s not effective. After all, other than your time, it’s free to send, and response rates for email that does reach the intended recipients have remained steady. The theory of this type of internet marketing leads generation is that an email list works as the first part of a funnel system, whereby subscribers get some incentive to sign up for the list. It may be a free product, program, or report, or some other incentive t will then “funnel” responsive customers to your main products and services.
Other common lead generation techniques include using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, adding information about a site, product, or service to an email signature file, and posting and answering questions on marketing related forums. Just think, for someone selling to other marketers, what better freeway is there to generate internet marketing leads than posting in forums where other marketers “hang out”?
Whatever the lead generation techniques a marketer uses, the most important thing to remember about finding internet marketing leads is this: to be effective, they must be targeted. This means that the leads you generate must be generally interested in the product or service you offer. For an extreme example, it probably wouldn’t make sense to try to generate leads for a knitting product on a site that is football-related. The target audience of a football site isn’t generally going to be interested in knitting products.
As you begin to build your marketing-related web business, be sure to plan a good internet marketing leadership strategy from the outset. It shouldn’t be an afterthought that you’ll take care of someday — Give it a lot of consideration early on.