MARKETING AND SALES STRATEGIES

New B2B lead generation calculus

Shutterstock_calculus

Business-to-Business marketers fall into two camps

There are the people who believe in email registrations for things like white papers to drive leads. This group believes that with a gate, value comes from capturing an email address of each person downloading the content because they become sales leads. There is very little sharing of content on social media with a gate because people do not want to expose those in their social networks to possible spam.

Then there are those who believe in making content like white papers totally free without registration in order to spread the information as far as possible. For these folks, value comes from many more people being exposed to the content and more spreading the free content via social networks. My research suggests that between 20 times and 50 times more people download free content. But you get zero traditional "leads".

Like religion, nobody is right and neither of these approaches are the best way.

(Except me of course. I believe in free and I'm right. The others are crazy and can't see the truth!)

I had such a religious debate on video with HubSpot Marketing VP Mike Volpe. Check it out here.

Gated content with squeeze page calculus:
(No sharing / every single download is a "lead")
10,000 people initially exposed to the white paper content offer
x 5% register their email address to download the white paper
+ Nobody shares on social networks
RESULT = 500 email adressess captured from people who want to read the white paper. No sharing and no inbound links created.

Totally free content calculus:
(Tons of sharing / zero traditional "leads")
10,000 people initially exposed to the no registration white paper content offer
x 50% download the no registration white paper
+ 10% of those who read it share on social networks
= an additional 5,000 people download the free content
RESULT = 10,000 total people download the white paper. Inbound links created from social networks. Zero email addresses captured so zero traditional "leads"

New lead generation calculus

I wanted to offer an alternative, a new lead generation calculus that takes both religious views into account. It's essentially a hybrid model.

I suggest the first offer be totally free (such as a white paper). Then within the white paper, include a secondary offer that requires registration that you can use to capture leads. A secondary offer might be a Webinar that is related to the content in the white paper and educates people even more on the topic.

Hybrid model with initially free content then a secondary offer:
(Tons of sharing / lots of inbound links / bonus = lots traditional "leads"!)
10,000 people initially exposed to the no registration white paper content offer
x 50% download the no registration white paper
+ 10% of those who read it share on social networks
= an additional 5,000 people download the free content
RESULT #1 = 10,000 total people download the white paper. Inbound links created from social networks.
+ Secondary offer within the white paper offers a registration required Webinar
x 5% of those who download the free white paper register for the webinar
ADDITIONAL RESULT = 500 emails captured from people who to attend the Webinar

All leads are not equal.

An added benefit of this hybrid new lead generation calculus approach is the difference in leads. The Gated content approach simply generates email addresses from people who want a white paper.

The hybrid approach generates email addresses from people who have already read the white paper and now want more information about your company and its products and services and are eager to attend the webinar. With most lead scoring systems, the hybrid model leads are hot and the white paper leads not.

Image: Shutterstock / Tomas Skopal

David Meerman Scott

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