Do you measure your lead sources?
Want to know which of your lead sources you should be measuring?
In this blog post, you’ll learn the benefits of measuring your lead sources. I’ll also be sharing with you 15 of the essential lead sources you need to track, regardless of your business or industry.
What is a lead source?
A lead source is a channel that brought a lead to your website for the very first time and entered your marketing funnel.
In other words, this is “ground zero” of your relationship with this potential customer.
Why should you measure your lead sources?
1. Identify your top-performing marketing channels.
On average, a business uses eight different channels to connect, engage, and convert with leads.
And while all marketing channels can generate leads, their effectiveness to bring in the right kind of leads to your business much depends on your business type (B2B or B2C), your product, and your buyer persona.
By measuring your lead sources, you can find those delivering qualified leads that your sales team can quickly close and capitalize on them.
2. Shorten your sales cycle.
Did you know that it takes approximately 102 days for a sales rep to complete a sales cycle?
Again, depending on your type of business, product, and buyer persona, it could take your sales team longer or shorter to close a qualified lead.
Here’s the thing: Speed is the name of the game when it comes to closing a sale.
Your leads are talking with you and your competitors at the same time. The longer it takes for your sales team to close the sale, the more likely you can lose this to one of your competitors.
Not only that. Having a long sales cycle also means that your sales team now has to work harder to close the deal and make up for time lost on useless leads.
According to HubSpot, half of your leads will end up not being a good fit for your product.
By determining which lead sources are bringing in qualified leads, you can include this in your CRM’s lead scoring.
Now, your sales team can quickly find those leads that are hot and ready to buy. This, in turn, helps shorten your sales cycle and increase your sales reps’ closing rate.
3. Prove your marketing ROI.
39% of marketers point to this as their biggest problem.
By measuring and managing your lead sources, your marketing team can now connect the dots on how these channels contribute to your business’ bottom line.
Now that you understand why it’s crucial to track and measure your lead sources, let’s take a look at which lead sources you should be measuring.
1. Blog posts
Yes, videos have been increasing in popularity these past few years. But that doesn’t mean that you should do away with writing and publishing blog posts on your website.
On the contrary, blog posts–particularly long-form blog posts–still remains as one of the top lead sources to your website.
Just take a look at these stats:
- 77% of people using the Internet consume blog posts.
- 60% of consumers buy a product after reading a blog post about it.
- People in the US spend 3x more time reading blog posts than email.
More importantly, your blog posts serve as one of the top types of content shared on social media.
2. Landing pages
When it comes to measuring your lead sources, landing pages don’t only mean those web pages you use to help you build your email list.
In this case, a landing page refers to the very first page your visitors arrive the moment they check out your website.
That could be your homepage, a blog post, or your product features page.
One way you can track and measure this particular lead source is by using Databox’s Google Landing Page and Lead Tracking dashboard.
This is a free template that lets you track not just your site traffic, but also the web pages your leads first visit on your site.
3. Organic search traffic
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, organic search traffic is one of the key performance indicators (KPIs) marketers, like you, closely monitor when generating leads.
Measuring organic search traffic as a lead source is very similar to tracking and monitoring it whenever you launch a marketing campaign.
That’s because, in both cases, you review how each of your targeted keywords are performing. You even check the same area in your Google Analytics dashboard to collect the data.
The difference between the two lies in how you interpret the data you’ve collected.
The higher the instance your content appears for a targeted keyword is, the more viable this keyword phrase is as a lead source.
4. Guest posts
Publishing guest posts to high authority sites within your industry isn’t just an effective way to widen your reach to your target market. It also gives you the chance to establish yourself as an authority in your niche.
More importantly, guest posting is an excellent way to earn quality backlinks to your site.
This is crucial because Google considers how many quality backlinks your site has as one of its ranking factors.
But just like writing quality content to publish on your blog, writing a guest post requires a great deal of time and effort.
So, you’d want to devote your time submitting guest posts to sites that deliver quality leads to your site.
That’s why if you’re using guest posting as a way to promote awareness about your brand, this is one lead source you should be tracking.
You can find this by checking the Sources/Medium in your Google Analytics page and searching for the domain name of the site you’ve contributed to.
5. Direct traffic
In contrast, direct traffic is one traffic source that marketers don’t pay much attention to each time they launch a marketing campaign.
However, when it comes to lead sources, it’s one of those you should be monitoring.
Google Analytics and other analytics platforms classify those that directly typed in the name of your website as direct traffic.
This is also where Google and other analytics platforms categorize other traffic sources that don’t fit in their preset categories.
6. PPC ads
You might be wondering: Why should I measure this lead source if I’m doing inbound marketing?
Inbound marketing techniques indeed deliver compounding results over time.
But let’s face it: It takes a while for you to start seeing any results, even if you hustle big time.
The reason? The internet’s bombarded with millions of pieces of content each day.
Here’s a snapshot of just how much content’s been published in the last 60 seconds alone:
- 4,000 blog posts
- 300 hours of YouTube videos
- 38,000 status updates on Facebook
- 473,400 tweets on Twitter
- 69.44 million photos on Instagram
That’s a lot of content you need to contend with!
Add to that the fact that it takes Google approximately 90-180 days to index, rank, and display each content you publish.
With the online marketplace becoming increasingly competitive, your business can’t afford to wait that long to get results.
That’s why many marketers combine PPC ads with their inbound marketing.
When you run a PPC ad, Google pushes your content above your competitors in their search results page (SERP).
This makes your content more visible to your target market.
In effect, PPC ads jumpstart your lead generation and customer acquisition. Your content marketing strategy keeps the momentum going.
However, PPC ads require you to invest money to get this running.
And that’s why this is a crucial lead source to measure.
You’d want to make sure that you’re getting an ROI for each ad you run.
If you want to learn more about how to incorporate PPC ads with your content marketing campaigns, here are a few resources worth checking out:
- How to Create a PPC Campaign
- How to Grow Your Email List in 2020 Using PPC
- 10 Best Practices for Paid Search Conversion Rate Optimization
7. Affiliate marketers
Running an affiliate marketing program can help you get leads and customers more quickly without you having to do all the marketing.
This job is done by bloggers joining your affiliate program as a way to monetize their blogs.
Of course, not all affiliate marketers are created equal. Some do a better job bringing in leads and customers to your site than others.
You’d want to find who these affiliate marketers are so that you can reach out to them and award them with additional perks.
By doing this, you encourage them to work even harder in promoting you to their network. In turn, you get more qualified leads and customers to your website.
At first glance, affiliate marketers and micro-influencers appear to be the same because they get paid for promoting your brand and products.
But that’s where their similarity ends.
That’s because micro-influencers are paid differently. They’re also paid more than affiliate marketers.
More importantly, launching an influencer marketing campaign doesn’t mean that it’ll be a guaranteed success.
Last year alone, we’ve seen several influencer marketing campaigns that flopped big time.
Because of this, you’d want to measure this lead source, so you make sure you’re getting the ROI you’re expecting.
9. Social media channels.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and TikTok aren’t the only social media channels around.
In fact, there are literally hundreds of social media channels where you can connect and engage with your target audience.
What many marketers and small business owners do is to try and be on every single social media platform they can think of.
Sounds good. But in reality, it’s counterproductive.
For starters, each social media channel has its own set of guidelines. You need to know what these guidelines are and stay updated as they change. Which, lately, has been happening a lot.
Second, even if the major players in the social media marketing realm share similar features, the way how users consume your content in these channels differ.
This was what Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner realized in this episode of the Journey.
Identifying which social media channels are bringing you the most leads and what content types resonate with your target audience will help you leverage your social media campaigns.
10. Paid social ads
Sadly, the days of getting organic traffic to your brand’s social media content are now a distant memory.
The algorithm changes made by the top social media channels in recent years caused organic reach to branded content to dwindle into a pitiful rate.
So, if you want to still generate the same number of leads, you have to invest in social media ads.
Although social media ads are cheaper than PPC ads, they’ll still cost you money.
And since each social media channel offers different types of ads, you’ll need to identify which ones drive the most quality traffic to your site.
Here are some resources where you can learn more about the different toes of ads for each of the most widely used social media channel
11. Voice assistants
Voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana have revolutionized the way your leads and customers search for content.
One unique feature these virtual assistants share is that you can instruct them to do various tasks by speaking to them, including—you guessed it—web browsing.
Comscore projected that voice search would account for 50% of the web browsing done in 2020.
Combine that with the fact that more people are now using their smartphones to browse the internet.
Finding which one of these voice assistants are sending you the most leads can guide you on how to optimize your content, making it even easier for them to bring you more leads.
12. Direct marketing
Long before email marketing, brands would physically mail brochures and other marketing materials to people that match their buyer persona. This method is called direct marketing.
Now, if you think that email marketing “killed” direct marketing, think again!
In a recent article published by the Content Marketing Institute, it found that direct marketing still has a place in the age of digital and mobile marketing.
Direct marketing gives your customers a warm feeling of nostalgia. At the same time, it does a much better job when it comes to personalization and making your customers feel special.
Think about it: when was the last time you got a handwritten note that looks like this:
This photo is a note that’s sent by the online dog food store, Chewy, along with their customer’s orders.
By including this note, Chewy’s not only able to increase their existing customer’s loyalty but also serve as an effective lead source.
The current customer can easily show this to friends and relatives who are also dog owners. They, in turn, can either scan the QR code included on the card, search for the brand’s website, or enter the site.
And they all learned about this brand through this simple handwritten card.
The catch? It can be costly and time-consuming for you to do, especially if you’re running your business on your own.
Measuring this lead source allows you to see if it’ll be worth all the effort.
13. Traditional marketing channels
A common misconception many marketers have is that traditional marketing channels like TV and radio are no longer viable lead sources.
According to a study published by Nielsen, 88% of US adults still watch TV, while 92% of them listen to the radio each week.
What these numbers show is that traditional media can still be excellent lead sources for your business.
One reason is familiarity.
Traditional media have been around longer than their digital counterparts. Since people are trust what’s familiar, they’re more inclined to take action.
Another reason why traditional media still works today is the fact that not everyone’s hooked on the internet.
Shocking, but true.
A recent study published by Pew Research shows that 10% of people in the US don’t use the internet.
And they’re not alone.
The Internet World Stats reports that the average global penetration rate is only 58.7%.
That means if you’re only using online channels as lead sources for your business, you’re not reaching these potential customers.
The downside of using traditional media as a lead source is the cost.
Without a doubt, these channels are among the most expensive options you can use for lead generation and customer acquisition.
The cost per impressions for airing an ad on the radio, for example, averages about $10.
Planning to air a 30-second ad on TV? That’s going to cost you about $342,000!
So if you’re combining ads on traditional media with your content marketing strategy, you’ve got to be diligent in measuring this lead source to see if the revenue you’re generating is covering all these hefty expenses.
Participating in tradeshows and expos is another excellent way of getting the word out about your business, especially if you’re starting with your B2B business.
Not only do you get the chance to meet potential clients and connect with them face-to-face, but it also shortens your sales cycle since you can already do a demo right then and there.
And it’s not just critical decision-makers of your target client companies that attend tradeshows and expos.
Many angel investors and representatives of venture capital (VC) firms frequent trade shows to scout up-and-coming businesses that they can invest in.
So you’re not only generating leads but also giving yourself the chance to get funding to scale your business.
However, participating in tradeshows and expos would also mean that members of your team have to be physically present to man your booth all the time. In some cases, you may even have to join your team members.
That means having to say “no” to other potential leads who may request a live product demonstration.
Which is why you have to measure this lead source accurately. You need to make sure that the number of the leads you generate before, during, and immediately after the event would supersede the cancellations you’ve made to your online leads.
On any given day, about 2.4 billion brand-related conversations are happening online and offline.
As a business owner, you’d want your brand and products to be among those being talked about, especially on topics about product recommendations.
That’s because people are 4x more likely going to purchase a product recommended to them by someone they know.
It gets even better.
According to the Wharton School of Business, customers that buy products based on a referral are up to 24% more loyal to that brand than non-referrals.
That means that they’ll not only make repeat purchases but also are willing to buy more each time that they come back.
And while happy customers would gladly recommend your product to others for free, offering them incentives by setting up a referral program.
For that, you’ll first need to measure how much of your new customers learned about you through referrals.
You can ask this in your purchase form:
Or you can email them a feedback form that you can create using SurveyMonkey or Google Forms.
Identifying which lead sources to measure can improve your lead generation efforts.
The different lead sources listed in this blog post are the most common ways how your target audience first learns about your business and products.
And while all of these can deliver qualified leads to your website, they also all require time, effort, and money to do their job. The more lead sources you tap, the thinner your bottom line becomes.
Measuring your lead sources will help you identify which channels you and your team should concentrate on using when launching your lead generation campaigns.
Not only can you now launch your campaigns more quickly, but you also get better conversion rates while reducing your marketing budget.
When measuring your lead sources, the key is to keep things simple.
Remember, when you measure your lead sources, you’re measuring the overall effectiveness of a specific marketing channel. So, keep the names of these lead sources very basic and general.
This will make it easy not just for your teams, but also for your analytics platforms, to gather the data you’ll need to decide on which lead sources to focus on, and which ones to shelf.
Are there any lead sources you’re measuring that aren’t listed here? If so, I’d love to learn what these lead sources are and why you measure them.