How to Pick a New Lead Generation Channel

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To make sure everyone is on the same page, here’s what we define a marketing channel as: A marketing channel is a way of speaking to your customers. It is a communication method you use to interact with someone in order to encourage them to make a purchase or remain a customer.

Some examples of marketing channels are:

  • SEO
  • Google AdWords
  • Facebook
  • TV and Magazine Advertising
  • Trade Shows
  • Social Media
  • Face-to-face business development
  • Cold calling

All of these are ways you can start a conversation with your customers and ways you can help them down the buyer’s journey towards a purchase or renewal. If you want to find more customers than you have already, maybe it’s time to try a new lead generation channel.

But I get all my customers through word of mouth…

Many successful companies have been built on one marketing channel. For a lot of startups, that first initial channel is referrals and word of mouth. They focus on maximising that channel and grow from it fairly steadily for a period of time, but all channels have a limit and will eventually fall prey to the law of diminishing returns. Also, sometimes speed of growth is important and a company has a successful channel that doesn’t bring revenue into the company fast enough (for example, advertising in a quarterly magazine).

Look at referrals, which is often a company’s best channel early on. Things spread virally when your product is good. People talk and word gets around that you’ve built something useful. But often these early stage referrals come in slowly with no real flow. Some weeks you get 2, some you get 10, and we don’t see companies controlling this or really finding a way to monitor and improve upon it. Because when you’re growing your business through the goodwill of friends or early stage customers, you don’t want to be trying to optimize them. They’re usually people you actually know rather than prospects on a list.

So, if you’re looking for more customers or to get some customers more quickly, then you’re probably interested in testing out a new channel on top of that. But before we get there, how many channels can you actually handle?

How many channels is too many channels?

The old story goes that you need to put yourself in front of a customer seven times before they’ll make a purchase. In today’s world you can spread yourself so thinly that you can have your product in front of millions of people in very little time, but it’s important to concentrate your marketing around a certain number of channels so you can get in front of the same person more than once.

It’s a juggling act. You can’t rely on only one channel to sell your product because you don’t know when it will stop working and you don’t want to stretch yourself too thinly with too many channels by not giving enough attention to them.

How many channels you can handle depends on two simple things:

  1. How fast you need to grow
  2. How many people you have on your team

If you need to grow quickly and have a large team, then try as many as you can. If you have a small team and can afford to grow more slowly, then take your time to really focus on one channel before moving on to the next one.

In general we would recommend that one person does not focus on more than three channels. This seems to be the optimum number. Enough to create a balanced marketing output and ‘hedge your bets’ while not being so many that you lose focus and can’t capitalise. Look at your marketers and try and match channels to their skills or interests, then set them loose.

How long should I test a channel?

Now that you’ve got an idea of your capacity and the number of channels you’re going to look at, you’re ready to work out which channels you’ll want to use.

First ask yourself a few simple questions:

  1. Are my customers on this channel? (Do your customers go there/ use it? Do they attend that event? Are they active on Facebook? etc)
  2. Do they want to hear from me on that channel? (Is it natural for you to speak to them there or are you trying to sell Hello Kitty Underwear on LinkedIn?)
  3. Do they spend money on that channel? (Is this somewhere they could purchase your product?).

Once you’ve answered these questions you can pick your channels and start the testing process. Some channels need less time to test than others. For example, you can quickly run tests through AdWords and shorten the feedback cycle, but doing the same in print advertising would take a lot more time.

Screen Shot 2015-07-31 at 2.50.46 PMSteven Moody a HubSpot qualified Inbound marketer, with a passion for trying to keep things as simple and effective as possible. Starting his career in B2B sales, then moving into marketing, he’s worked all stages of the funnel. He enjoys writing and helping clients solve problems. He works for, a performance-based marketing agency helping B2B SaaS startups grow faster.  One of its top channels is lead nurturing, and you can sign up for Steven’s free 7-day course on lead nurturing here.

4 “MUST DOs” to Drastically Improve Your Website’s On-Page Optimization

SEOThe first thing that most people do when they have a question nowadays is to “Google” it. In fact, that is the way many people research the product or service that they are buying.

It’s the dream of many small businesses to appear on the 1st page of a competitive search term or “keyword” ahead of their competitors. So pay attention to know how to optimize your website for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to find your business.

Generally speaking there is off-page and on-page optimization. Off-page optimization essentially relates to having more back-links to your website. On-page optimization refers to what you can do on your own website.

Here are 4 things you must do to improve your On-Page Optimization:

1. Have different landing pages for keyword themes

If you have keyword themes for your online search strategy, create landing pages such as: one for the main theme (keyword), one for competitor terms, one for each pain point you are trying to solve, etc. By breaking them up into different pages, you not only keep the page uncluttered, concise and easy-to-read, but also potentially be able to rank well on each of those terms.

Having more optimized pages, also means that more of your pages could end up on 1st page. One of my SEO expert partners dominated the first page of search results with high-quality pages containing the main keyword term as well as the other keyword themes, effectively “blocking” out their competition.

Remember to use hyperlinks to link pages within your website (internal links) with relevant terms to improve search results as well. Google robots will navigate from one page to the other and index your pages, checking the quality of content. This will boost the quality of your central pages (mostly the main navigation bar items: Home, Contact Us, About, Services, etc). The choice of anchor texts (what text is seen by the viewer as they click on the hyperlink) can also give you an additional boost.

2. Improve the performance & experience of your website

Google has listed performance and experience as one of the factors in your page ranking. Your website will be heavily disadvantaged if it is not responsive to different devices and screen sizes. You will also be penalized for poor loading speeds and poor site navigation (leads to high bounce rates too).

So add to your to-do-list to make your site mobile-friendly, check your hosting for speed and get a WebMaster account on Google and Bing, to submit your sitemap.

Try these Free Tools: Page Speed Testing, Mobile-Friendliness.

In fact, the performance and experience of your website also controls the quality score when you are doing paid advertisements, so it is worthwhile to invest into improving the performance and experience of your site. <Read about: What is Google Quality Score? What is Bing Ads Quality Score?>

Good Work3. Use WordPress SEO Yoast for page and post optimization

If you like most small businesses use WordPress as your CMS, a very useful plugin is SEO Yoast, which helps you to optimize pages and posts. It gives you a “green” light if your post or page is optimized.


There are a few factors:

  1. Starting with the URL Permalink: the keyword should ideally be part of the URL.
  2. Put the keyword in the Title of the page if it appears should be natural and not forced.
  3. The use of <h1>, <h2> …  sub-header tags is a minor advantage, and should be used logically. The keyword should not appear unnaturally in all sub-headers.
  4. While the Keywords should appear in the article, there is no fixed rule for how many times it should appear a.k.a. “Keyword Density.” In fact over-using the keyword may lead to penalties. According to an expert I consulted, Google may also compare it with “similar” businesses to check for a usual ratio of keywords.
  5. Lastly, while the meta Description does not affect ranking, it does affect conversion (meaning higher chance someone would click your search result than others). For example, we recently discovered that our welcome gate which gives away an ebook became our default website description. This would not help in converting someone searching for “Infusionsoft Singapore” our targeted keyword.

Search 1

Instead we resubmitted the sitemap, and now it is:

Search 2

which gives a clearer call to action: our telephone number and the relevant information, the prospect may be searching for.

4. Focus on good quality content not quantity

Google is moving towards quality content instead of quantity when determining page ranking. Spending more time to write good quality stuff that your potential customers want to know about, reduces the bounce rate (increasing experience), increases retention, as well as attracts more people to SHARE your articles.

Since you invested so much into content, you should then create different versions of it: podcasts, videos, transcriptions, infographics, PDFs, slides etc, and then post it on SlideShare, Scribd, Podcasting sites, Video-sharing sites, Infographics Directories (10 places to submit your infographics) and social sites (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram etc). Remember to point it back to your site (backlinks).

Other good (off-page) strategies to distribute your content are guest blogging (like this one), forums that are relevant (example: commenting in personal style magazines forums for hair-care professionals), and selected article directories.

Brendan YongBrendan Yong is a Duct Tape Marketing Consultant specialized in marketing automation based in Singapore. His company Empathi Solutions helps Asia-based clients build Marketing Systems to Grow Predictable Revenue using Infusionsoft CRM as the primary marketing automation tool.


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