Mobile First & Other Insights From an Awesome Lead Gen Campaign
Back in the summer of 2017, I had the privilege and pleasure to collaborate with a leading marketing agency in Seattle, on a data-fueled, content-driven, funnel rocking lead gen campaign for a strategic client, based here in Israel.
The team in Seattle was super professional, insightful, and creative, as was my client contact. Indeed, it was a great personal and professional experience.
At its conclusion, the campaign generated high quality leads representing an increase of 18% in the number of leads in the database.
This was a great achievement for the campaign and the team, and I’d like to review again the strategy and results with you.
Step 1: Mark Your Targets
The first step, of course, was to define our objective, which was lead generation (vs. awareness). This was the first time this department was doing proactive lead gen like this – so we didn’t necessarily have a specific number in mind. Had we – then, of course, we’d have worked backwards, i.e. - # of SQLs --> conversion rate --> # of MQLs/MAQLs --> marketing mix.
But, although we didn’t have a particular goal in mind – we did know that what we were interested in was leads. So, a highly converting killer asset was critical for the campaign. We’ll get to that in a minute.
Once we defined our main goal, we then honed-in on our target audience and industries, then, the tactics that we believed would maximize lead gen. Namely:
Campaign Strategy Overview
Target Audience: we targeted the main buyer personas that usually have interest and can secure budget for the client’s solution – i.e. at the Director and CXO level.
Target Industries: since we also wanted to expand beyond the client’s typical single vertical focus, we added relevant, adjacent verticals – which was breaking new ground for the client.
Target Geography: Even though the client’s customers are dispersed globally, we focused only on the US, due to language limitations with the follow-up teams who were going to call leads for further qualification.
Campaign Duration: 5 weeks.
Demand Generation Tactic #1 – Content Syndication: namely, we promoted content/assets on partner websites, whose visitors have a profile that aligns with our pre-defined target audience and industries. In addition, we promoted the assets via outbound to a database of pre-qualified B2B contacts, provided by one of the agency’s marketing campaign partners.
Demand Generation Tactic #2 – Facebook Advertising: we wanted to leverage a complementary channel to drive traffic to the main asset’s landing page, with A/B testing to see which of two text- and call-to-action options were more effective for conversions.
In addition, we sent out email invitations to the webinar to the client’s existing database of customers and prospects.
Step 2: Choose Your Assets
As for our über-asset – we had separately planned a high-value webinar with an external industry domain expert and thought leader. It was clear to me that this was our killer asset – so I asked the team to frame the nurture stream with webinar as the main conversion piece.
The webinar, though, was not the only marketing asset we promoted. As part of marketing automation enabled nurture campaign – to deepen lead engagement – we sent out weekly emails with different assets to all leads who opted in, i.e. those who clicked on the ads (whether on Facebook or partner websites).
Additional Supporting Assets
An infographic – with thought leading insights and stats, which I concepted and whose production I initiated and managed to support this campaign;
A short video clip introducing the client’s solution;
A short video clip about a specific (but wide reaching) use case for the solution;
And, at the end, the webinar recording.
Since all the leads were at the ‘top of the funnel’ – i.e. at the awareness vs. the more advanced consideration phase, we focused on creating and providing marketing assets that aimed at customer engagement at a higher level.
The Lead Journey
Once a prospect clicked on an ad (whether via Facebook or content syndication), they would reach a landing page. They were then logged in to the marketing automation system as an MQL (marketing qualified lead).
Only once they engaged with an email (i.e. opened and clicked) would they then become an MAQL (i.e. the more advanced - marketing automation qualified leads), which means that they are now ready to be handed over to sales.
Step 3: Tally Results & Learn from the Numbers
Of the ~560 emails that were sent out, over 100 were opened, ~35 were clicked on – amounting to an 18% open rate and a 35% email click rate – both of which are very strong.
This is reflective of the solid teamwork that was done to (a) accurately define our target persona, (b) refine through several iterations the kind of copy that would most resonate with our target audience in talking to their needs.
Facebook A/B Testing
As we all know, modern marketing is all about data, testing, and optimizing. And, this campaign was no exception. For example, we tested different ad headlines on Facebook. One had a clear call to action with the word ‘register,’ and another with a benefits oriented headline, but no concrete call to action.
Needless to say, the ‘register’ headline performed better with a 0.52% click through rate (CTR) compared to a 0.37% CTR for the alternative.
The Facebook ads did not perform as well as content syndication, coming in with a 0.39% click-through-rate (CTR), which is slightly below industry average at 0.78%.
Content syndication was the more successful tactic for this particular campaign, securing the interest of dozens of prospects who registered for the webinar. Even though not all attended, nevertheless these are individuals who are new to the database, and who are now being qualified for sales-readiness.
Why was Facebook less successful? Perhaps this was due to a segmentation that was less refined. We are still investigating.
In terms of touchpoint, mobile ads performed better than desktop ads, driving the majority of clicks to the webinar registration page.
This is also interesting. While we know that our world is mobile – one might think that professional content would mostly be consumed during work hours, which are generally spent in front of the PC vs. the mobile phone.
Regardless, we can see in these results a strong affirmation that ‘mobile first’ should be considered for campaign strategy, planning, timing, design, and content.
Among the insights we gathered from the campaign are:
Subject Lines: long email subject lines will get cut off especially on mobile devices. And, with ~50% of all emails being opened on mobile, it is best to keep subject lines short. The going recommendation is to have a subject line at 50 characters or less.
CTAs: that begin with action verbs tend to be a lot more effective at motivating people to click.
Asking Compelling Questions: when you ask a question, people are naturally wired to want to answer, or find out the answer. The click through rates will be higher. And, they’ll be even higher if they’re related to the asset and include facts, figures, or numbers.
Converting Landing Pages
In addition, a couple of insights regarding landing pages:
CTA Placement: the CTA should always be placed above the fold so that it’s clear to visitors upon arrival what is the action they need to take.
Using Videos: on landing pages has been shown to increase conversion rates by up to 80%!
Working on this campaign with the agency and my awesome client contact – who was always enthusiastic, inspired, and inspiring – was indeed a very rewarding experience. And, I look forward to hearing about the great deals that will be closed as a result.
Want to build an engaging, converting, kick-butt lead gen campaign? Get in touch and let’s do great marketing together >>marketing together >>
This post as been updated since its original publication in 2017 .