Generating leads during a recession

Staging and supporting events which attract crowds of prospects has always been one of the best ways for a marketing team to improve their working relationships with Sales and Business Development.

As many of us will know, the first budget to be cut in a recession is generally Marketing...which always seems incredibly short-sighted, given that the only way out of economic woe is to sell more...and the job of Marketing is to facilitate that. Marketing teams are not the “make-it-pretty committee” (a brilliant phrase that one of our roundtable attendees introduced to me).

...So, we have been looking at how a marketing team can successfully prove its value during the downturn.

Below are some of the activities that we have been advising clients to invest in until physical networking events return.

Autocomplete lead generation campaigns in LinkedIn


Why it works so well?

  • Minimal user effort - the prospect doesn’t have to leave LinkedIn or type in a single thing to submit their information as it autocompletes from their LinkedIn account. This matters because any complication or friction at the “checkout” stage has the largest impact on failed conversions outside of the actual content and assets involved.
  • Super-targeted - Allows you to target by job title, location and your audience's engagement with your content (e.g. retargeting).

  • Forecasting - You can run some very generic forecasts on how many leads to expect from a campaign if you select a large enough audience and reasonable budget. These forecasts should be used only as a guide, in order to understand expectations and give you an idea of the potential reach of the ads.


Why you may not be using lead gen forms already?

  • LinkedIn is very expensive compared to other channels.

  • Poor user interface in the ad centre - If you’re used to Google or Facebook, you’ll find LinkedIn very clunky. Once lead forms have been assigned to ads, they can’t ever be edited again, so prepare a logical version system (e.g. v2, v3, v3final, v3finalPLEASE).


What your sales team will love about these leads

  • They can score the lead quality much more easily as they will likely have a verified, reliable job title and company included in the prospect’s information.

  • They will finally have leads that want to speak to them, just like at the events - where prospects may actively approach them for information...


Email drip campaigns

Before you scroll on, we’re not talking about the passive-aggressive ‘Marketing Ninja’ emails who “can understand that you’re busy and that you have clearly missed their last email”. We are seeing email return to form as an effective B2B marketing channel… provided it is used correctly.


Why it works so well?

  • Can be used to build trust in the brand and the company as experts in their field - We advise working on the ratio of one email promoting your products / services to four that are simply offering helpful content.

  • Cost-effective - All marketing is an attempt to put the right message in front of the right person at that exact moment they’re considering whether or not to purchase a service that you can offer. Well written emails that don’t pressure a sale, but remind your warm prospects you’re there, are a fantastic way to keep front of mind...and are a lot cheaper than paid advertising.

  • Great way to breathe new life into good content - A tweet lasts 20 minutes on the internet, and we all know how those social algorithms refuse to show company organic posts. Re-using the content you’ve already written to get more value from your initial investment of time and effort makes sense.


Why you may not be utilising email drip campaigns already?

  • You receive them yourself and you hate them! Creating automated, personalised email workflows is easy to do but difficult to do well. Receiving dozens, done badly, is never going to cut through. However, with the right message to the right person at the right time they stand out and have a definite impact. We know they work as we use them ourselves, with great success.

  • They take too long to set up and can lead to embarrassing mistakes if you don’t double and triple check your process. While this is true, the time you can save long term, coupled with the potential breadth of outreach makes the effort worthwhile.


What your sales team will love about these leads

  • They will ultimately provide warm prospects. It has become more difficult than ever for salespeople to prospect over the last few months. The prospects created via email drip campaigns - those who respond because your message has clearly resonated - will be open to further discussion as they already trust and like the organisation.

  • You’ll have good data from the campaign and be able to give the sales / business development team a lot of background into what information each prospect engaged with the most.



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