Organisations we work with often have the same complaint, the performances of third party leads are declining and budgets are challenging. So they ask the question, how can I generate ‘free’ leads?
Like anything, there’s no such thing as a ‘free’ lead. But, with testing, optimisation, and dedication, you can generate quality in-house leads that will convert to regular givers via the Google Grant. (Not yet using the Google Grant? – Find out more about it here).
Here’s five top tips to generate leads via the Google Grant;
1) Quality Traffic and Understanding Search Intent
First things first, make sure you are generating quality traffic via the Google Grant.
Review the search query report to determine which search phrases and overarching topics are driving impressions and click throughs. This will help to identify opportunities to develop ads into lead generators.
Don’t just look at the keywords that you have in your account, look at the ACTUAL search queries your supporters are using to find you. For example, the keyword “cancer” if set to broad match might be attracting searches for “skin cancer help”, “donate to cancer charity”, “types of cancer” and so on… It’s only by understanding what people are actually searching for that you get begin to unpack the intent and understand the real opportunities.
2) Magnetise Your Visitors
Once you have the attention of your target audience and you’ve won a click through to your webpage, the next step is to encourage that person to provide you their contact details.
People don’t like to give something for nothing, so a value exchange, often referred to as a ‘lead magnet’, is a brilliant way to encourage someone to provide you their details. The definition of a ‘lead magnet’ is ‘an irresistible bribe that encourages somebody to part with their personal contact details in exchange for the information’.
It’s vital that you are transparent in how you collect people’s data, if you intend to follow-up with a phone call (which you absolutely should do for best results) then make sure you tell people to expect a call before they complete the form, for example, “We’ll call you to tell you more about work helping young people with cancer and how you might be able to help”. This way expectations are set from the start and the phone call is transformed from an intrusion into a welcome, warm conversation.
3) Don’t Re-Invent The Wheel – Work With What You’ve Got
The exciting thing about online marketing is that you can make changes and edits quickly and use data insights to help you optimise a campaign.
Don’t spend ages developing materials to download if you don’t yet know it’s even of interest to your target audience. Instead, look at what hard copy information packs you have that can be developed into downloadable PDFs as a starting point, if you haven’t already got printed info packs then think about the content that’s already on your website and how it could be repackaged into an appealing downloadable PDF.
Remember the best ‘lead magnets’ are short and sweet. Nobody reads the 10-page download but most people will at least scan a 1-2 page check sheet. You want your audience to engage with the content they download – this way they’re more likely to remember you when you follow up with a phone call.
4) Test Like a Mad Scientist
Testing will help maximise results. We recommend testing the ad copy, the landing page and the lead magnet. But, don’t make the mistake of trying to test everything at once.
Make sure your testing is measurable by running staged A/B tests.
5) The Follow Up
The time between a lead being generated and the follow-up phone call is usually directly correlated to the response rate you’ll get.
Once you’ve generated your leads, you need to place them into calling as quickly as possible.
You’re not going to generate huge volumes of leads overnight, so speak to your telemarketing agency about adding your in-house leads into calling alongside third-party leads as an initial starting point.
To generate leads that you can’t call is simply a waste unless you have a really amazing email follow-up sequent. Just remember that by using email alone you’re unlikely to achieve the same response rates if you supplement it with telemarketing (50% would be an amazing open rate for an email campaign, whereas 60% contact rate for warm in-house leads via telemarketing is quite normal).
Remember, lead generation is a really important way of building relationships with your potential supporters, so even if they don’t convert to financial supporters as soon as you call them, make sure you nurture the relationship through email follow-up and SMS.
For more advice on digital fundraising check out this page.