May 1, 2014
By Ryan Malone
Leads are the lifeblood of every marketing program. According to a survey conducted by MarketingSherpa, 75-80% of marketers consider “getting more leads” to be their biggest concern. Second on the list? “Generating a high volume of leads.”
So if you're watching your analytics and sales funnel and see your total number of leads decreasing, that's a serious matter. But, before you panic or throw in the towel, here are six metrics you'll want to pay special attention to in an effort to turn that trend around:
Visitor to Lead Conversion Rate
This seems elementary, but it's an important metric if you're going to identify the root cause of your drop in leads. Of the total number of visitors to your site, what percentage are converting to leads you can then follow up on later? A successful conversion rate varies depending on a number of factors, but the key question to answer here is how does your current visitor to lead conversion rate differ from previously? Answering this question will help you determine if your conversion funnel needs tweaking, or if you simply need to boost the number of visitors coming to your site. Those are, of course, very different processes.
If your number of visitors has dropped but the conversion rate has remained roughly the same, you're going to want to look into PPC, awareness campaigns, social media outreach, general purpose content, and other methods of increasing your visitor numbers.
If the conversion rate has dropped, here are some more specific metrics to consider:
Landing Page Conversion Rates
The quantity and quality of your landing pages will have a huge impact on the number of leads you bring in. Studies have shown that companies with over 30 landing pages bring in 7 times as many leads as companies with ten or less.
So how are your landing pages converting? Are they generating the level of traffic they should, based on solid SEO efforts? Are visitors able to quickly identify and respond to the call to action? Are the pages focused enough to eliminate unnecessary confusion? Are they short enough to get their message across in the 8-10 seconds your visitors offer?
Getting even more granular...
Call to Action Conversion Rates
Are the calls to action on your landing pages carrying their fair share of the weight?
An effective call to action is:
Something as relatively small as the size or color of the button the visitor needs to click can have a dramatic impact on your call to action conversion rates, so these all-important items need to be tested and improved constantly.
How Relevant Are Your Offers?
Whether you're looking at specific landing pages or calls to action, or reviewing the full scope of your lead generation strategy, the relevance of your offer(s) is a key point to consider.
When developing an offer, you need to start with the buyer persona(s) you are targeting and ask yourself what that individual wants and needs from you. The content you subsequently develop, the look and feel of the message, and the wording of the call to action all need to spring from that individual and what will appeal most effectively to them.
If your leads have dropped recently, is there something in the overall offer that no longer resonates with your target audience? Has the target audience changed in some fundamental way that you can identify and adapt to? Has the industry or a specific competitor pivoted in such a way that your offer is no longer as relevant as it was?
Again, study, adapt, and test to make your offers as powerful and productive as possible.
If you see your leads dropping, what are the first things you look at? Let us know by tweeting us at @smartbugmedia.
About the author
Ryan Malone is the founder and Chairman of the Board of SmartBug Media and is a veteran of Deloitte & Touche, Seagate and several venture-backed technology companies. When he's not leading SmartBug and helping clients build high-octane marketing organizations, he's loving his wife and daughters and unsuccessfully learning the guitar. Go Terps! Read more articles by Ryan Malone.