Alongside hitting the gym and eating right, making more money is one goal that perennially can be found at the top of New Year’s Resolution lists. For small business owners, one of the keys to building your bottom line is keeping the sales leads flowing in.
Generating sales leads is a job that never ends, but by putting a few crucial components in place, you can build a strategy that keeps the pipeline stocked. Here are four lead generation strategies you should be considering this year.
Email marketing in the form of informative, engaging e-newsletters can be an incredibly effective tool with significant ROI. The key is not to spam your recipients, but rather to value their time and offer content they want while establishing yourself as an expert.
Set a reasonable interval for sending your e-newsletter, and stick to it. Consider including content like tips for reducing energy consumption alongside features on related solutions your company has recently provided.
For subscribers, begin with your own existing lists and encourage potential clients to subscribe through your website and social media engagements. Consider renting one-time-use email lists from reputable list brokers and encourage those recipients to become subscribers as well.
2. Direct Mail
According to the United States Postal Service’s Household Study, 80 percent of surveyed US households said they scanned or read direct mail pieces.
A direct mail campaign can be an effective way to introduce homeowners to the solutions your company provides. In addition to driving direct response from potential clients, direct mail can help lay the foundation of brand recognition and credibility so when clients find you through other avenues, they’re more likely to view you as a trusted resource.
In search of help with your direct mail campaign? CEDIA’s ESC Marketing On-Demand program offers professionally designed brochures, postcards, letters and other print pieces that can be customized to mail to prospects.
3. Deliver Education in Your Local Market
The magic of an opportunity like CEDIA’s Registered Outreach Instructor (ROI) program is it doesn’t feel like sales – because it isn’t. Even so, it has the result of helping active participants secure an average of nearly $100,000 in new project revenue annually according to a recent CEDIA survey.
The ROI program trains CEDIA members to deliver expert-developed home technology courses to architects, builders, interior designers and related professionals in their local markets. The courses are designed to offer attendees a working knowledge of home technology trends and solutions. The benefit for CEDIA members who serve as instructors is the chance to interface with local specifiers and position yourself as an industry expert. Many contacts made through the ROI program result in mutually beneficial partnerships and ultimately profitable new projects.
4. Social Media
When it comes to social media you get what you give and in an era when many of you are wearing multiple hats, time may seem too precious to spend maintaining several online profiles. However, one fact cannot be overlooked: Social media is an inexpensive way to give your brand a presence on platforms that customers are engaging with every day.
By creating profiles for your company on major social networking platforms and posting regularly, you give potential clients an additional avenue for contact. Sharing rich content such as photos and links to your portfolio can build credibility and help potential leads understand the solutions you provide. Plus, social media activity may boost your ranking in search engine results.
And remember, social media is more than Twitter and Facebook. Consider posting YouTube video tours of installations when photos won’t do them justice, and learn where potential clients in your local market spend their online time and get into those conversations.
Looking for more resources to jump-start your lead-generation efforts? Here’s some additional reading:
- Check out Copyblogger’s Email Marketing 101.
- Get Joel Rosenblatt’s insights on e-newsletters.
- Find CEDIA’s Inbound Marketing White Paper in the CEDIA Publications section of the CEDIA Marketplace (free to members).
- Get insights into calculating social media ROI from Social Media Examiner.