Lead generation is a crucial marketing task for any business. In fact, 85% of marketers say that lead generation is their most important goal. Furthermore, 68% of professionals say increasing their lead quality is their top priority, followed by 55% who say it’s increasing their lead volume.
Two of the most widely used lead generation tactics are: 1) lead generation through SEO and 2) lead generation through email. These are both effective yet distinct strategies.
So how does SEO lead generation differ from email lead generation?
SEO lead generation
SEO lead generation means capturing the information of prospective customers through search engine optimization. However, the process requires more than just focusing on the technical aspects of SEO, such as keyword research and website optimization.
In order to maximize results from lead generation through SEO, you need to design a holistic system that integrates your SEO with your other digital efforts, specifically content marketing.
First, think of several specific topics that you want to create content for. Publishing a couple of blogs on one topic isn’t enough to attract visitors who will turn into leads.
When you’ve thought of the topics, the next step is to do research. Analyze the first page of results for each of these topics so you can figure out which keywords you need to prioritize in order to compete and rank for your chosen topics.
After you’ve accomplished these tasks, you can build a system that combines SEO and content marketing. You can write SEO-friendly content that ranks well and helps you generate valuable leads.
That being said, plenty of other marketers today only focus their SEO on one stage of the funnel. Don’t make the same mistake. It’s important that you consider each stage and create content for all stages of your customer’s journey.
Attract visitors by creating content on a generic subject matter. Once you have the attention of your audience, nurture them with relevant content that addresses these pain points. This brings us to the next point.
In order to generate a significant number of high-quality leads, create content with the intention of solving your audience’s problems. Provide them with insight and helpful information in the form of blog posts, ebooks, whitepapers, and even video.
Your audience will be more inclined to give you their information if they see that you are genuinely trying to help them and are not simply out to make a sale.
So, you’ve created the right content, nurtured your audience, and addressed their pain points. What’s next?
Well, the next—and final—step in the process is capturing the information of your visitors. An ideal way to do this is by adding calls to action (CTAs) on your blog posts. It’s much easier to convert visitors into leads if you attract and nurture them with the right content.
Email lead generation
Email marketing is one of the most effective channels for lead generation that is available to brands. This is because email is the most commonly used online communication medium in the world today.
As of 2018, there are approximately 3.8 billion email users across the globe. To compare, there are only around 2.3 billion social media users worldwide.
Furthermore, a majority of these users prefer to use email when communicating with brands. This makes email marketing a natural fit for the lead generation strategy of any brand.
In email marketing, leads come in the form of subscribers, or people who sign up to be a part of your email list. In order to generate as many of these leads as possible, you have to make it easy for them to sign up.
This is why the email lead generation doesn’t start with your emails like its name suggests. It actually starts with your sign up forms and how well you’ve optimized them.
Simplify your subscription process by designing your sign up forms to capture the right information. Don’t ask for too much information but don’t ask for too little, either. You have to find the right balance for your brand.
Provide your visitors with chances to subscribe at every turn. Examples of sign up forms you can leverage for your website to generate leads include:
- Signup CTA buttons that can be placed on specific blog posts or your main blog page
- Landing pages that can be placed throughout your website
- Social media links that lead back to your sign up forms
- Embedded forms that can be placed on pages like your home page and your about us page.
Once you have an ample number of leads (new subscribers), send them a personalized welcome email. Use the welcome email as an opportunity to inform leads about what they can expect when they receive your emails. Are you going to send them newsletters? Or product offers?
It’s also important to let your leads know the schedule of your email sends, whether it’s weekly or monthly. Stick to the same schedule throughout. This keeps them engaged and nurtures them for the next stage in their journey.
Automate your welcome emails for best results. Setup your welcome emails to send within the first 24 hours of a visitor signing up to your list. This ensures they don’t forget about your brand.
Another way you can generate leads through email is by combining your email marketing strategy with social media. It requires minimal effort but yields maximum results.
All you have to do is include social media sharing buttons on your emails. This encourages your subscribers to share your email content to their friends and followers on social media, thereby generating more potential leads for your brand.
When it comes to lead generation, it’s not a question of whether SEO is better than email marketing or vice versa. There is no clear and definite “winner” here, and both channels are effective in their own right.
It’s not about choosing to focus on your SEO or your email marketing only. The key to reaping all of the benefits of your lead generation efforts is formulating a strategy that integrates SEO and email marketing with one another and allows both methods to work in harmony.