Garbage Out, Nothing In

The goal is always to make sure you get solid leads from a campaign. If your previous campaigns haven’t been performing up to snuff, the first thing we’re likely to look at is the quality of content you’re offering.

They won’t give you their email to download some generic pdf. Nor to watch a webinar that can be found online with a simple search. Would you? Most people have been trained to expect a barrage of emails from various sources that will interrupt the flow of our workday. So, in order to get people to sign on, the carrot a company dangles has to be special.

Garbage in, garbage out. It’s largely a computing term but the principal stretches well beyond. Apply it to your relationships, your communications within an office hierarchy and, with a little adaptation, your marketing and lead generation efforts. You get what you put into it.

Foundation to building ratio

The scale of our goals can be overwhelming sometimes. It probably should be. Entire websites are built, digital ads and complex waves of emails are designed, coded and triggered to deploy based on target audience actions, stats are studied for the ideal sites to advertise on, potential audiences to target… everything we can do to bring people’s attention to your piece of media (video, infographic, ebook, etc.).

Good leads are hard to come by. As they say, you may need to flip forty-nine cards before you find an ace. It’s a herculean effort to get any sort of results at all most of the time.

So the extent that teams go to in order to get those leads, to entice those names so that your sales people can start making calls, is justified. But what we see as the enticement for people to give up their contact info doesn’t always look like it got the same amount of effort and care. You want to build something big; you need a solid foundation.

The blind date

Don’t let content that is walled off make you feel too secure. The fact that prospects have to surrender their information first doesn’t mean your content doesn’t need to be valuable to them. Some of you are already way ahead of me as to why this mindset causes problems.

Everyone knows that submitting their email, phone number, etc., is going to result in follow up emails at the very least. There’s also a certain amount of natural suspicion that the carrot you’re dangling isn’t necessarily fresh. If they can’t get a sense that this is truly going to be worthwhile for them, either they won’t register or they’ll use a burner email account they never check and a fake phone number. The latter is worse than just ignoring you as it will eat your time and resources. The next likely thing they’ll do is search the title of your media for free to see if they can get it somewhere else. Failing that, there are plenty of ungated blogs, videos and whitepapers out there on similar subjects for them to read.

Think of this first contact as a sort of blind date. If you showed up disheveled, disinterested and a little stinky, you couldn’t expect your date to be smitten with you.

What you’re giving registrants is a taste of things to come with your company. If you burn them on the initial registration, it sets a tone as to what they can expect from you. If you don’t care about the quality of your first impression, they won’t trust you to care about their business. Capitalize on the opportunity to quietly build a positive relationship you don’t even know about yet. It may be a year or two before your reader/viewer needs what you’re offering. Wouldn’t it have been nice to have already established yourself and your brand as a knowledgeable, valuable ally in their business?

Dear {{Whomever}},

There’s a certain fatty canned meat that shall not be named in marketing.

Scourge of the internet.

The dark side of your inbox.

I know, you’re a serious business and you’re never going to exploit your sales leads with THAT kind of email. Still, what if spam isn’t specific to fly-by-night organizations and princes who want to send money to your bank account? What if it’s not the email itself but strictly the reaction you create in a prospect’s mind? If you haven’t given them value for their contact info, you’ve created the same feeling of botheration as spam. If you don’t want to be seen as a duck, don’t waddle and quack.

I can’t say this often enough: Be serious about what you’re offering. Every time you ask for their name, phone and email, you are building a relationship with them. Solid content is not only the right first impression; it’s the only thing that will bring you good leads.

We’re your wingman in marrying solid content to an aggressive lead-gen strategy. Contact us.

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