With the power of the Internet so readily available to every small business owner, it never ceases to amaze me how many companies insist upon using offline lead generation methods.
They hand out fliers instead of sending out emails.
They knock on doors instead of “knocking” on social media feeds.
They write articles in local magazines instead of creating awesome blog posts.
They basically do everything the slow way, hindering their own growth and guaranteeing that their competition will have the upper hand.
Maybe you are a small, local business owner reading this and you think that online lead generation methods are only for the big businesses. In reality, online lead generation is just as important (if not more so) for local businesses as it is for multimillion dollar conglomerates. And today, I am going to show you why.
1. Online lead generation is less expensive.
While this might be hard for some of you to believe, online lead generation is far more affordable than offline lead generation.
Just think about it for a moment.
There are dozens of inexpensive or free lead generation methods available to any online marketer. From blogging to social media to YouTube videos, if you are creative enough, you can easily double the exposure of your brand without spending a single cent.
Compare that to offline methods that nearly all require some sort of investment and you will quickly see how online lead generation is the more affordable option.
Whether you are posting signs, hiring an in-house salesman to do cold calls, or even traveling around the country to speak at events, you have to pay the piper one way or another. Even using paid online methods, the cost of entry is significantly lower. And if you don’t believe me, just look at the data.
According to customerthink.com, the average cost per contact with offline lead generation methods is between $300 and $500 dollars.
The average cost per contact with online lead generation methods, however, is only $25 to $30. That’s it. If you run a small business switching this could save you thousands of dollars and generate more leads in the long run.
Online lead generation: 1
Offline lead generation: 0
2. Online lead generation is more targeted.
Most offline lead generation methods take a spray and pray approach to targeting leads.
If you are making cold calls, handing out fliers or knocking on doors, you have absolutely no idea who you are targeting.
For example, if you run a local law firm and start passing out fliers in your area, who knows how many of those fliers will go immediately into the trash bin?
The recipient might already have a lawyer, have no need for legal services, or simply not have the budget to afford your services.
With online lead generation, this problem is significantly diminished.
By using methods like Facebook ads, blogging or email marketing, you have a much easier way to filter out unqualified leads.
If you are using Facebook ads correctly, only people who have expressed interest in legal services will be exposed to your ads.
If you have a blog, people who aren’t interested in legal services will not be reading your blog or signing up for your lead magnet. It’s as simple as that.
Online lead generation filters out the majority of the unqualified leads that you would be generating with offline methods. It is not guaranteed that all of your leads will be qualified once you start using online methods. Many of them won’t. But, the percentage of qualified leads generated from online methods vastly outnumbers the percentage generated offline.
3. Online lead generation is more time efficient.
Let me ask you a question. Let’s say that you are a dentist opening up a new location for your practice tomorrow. You have decided to run a promotion offering a free teeth cleaning for everyone who shows up to the opening party. If you were to use traditional marketing methods like mailbox fliers and knocking on doors, would you be able to contact 1,000 potential leads with your offer in the next 24 hours?
Unless you are Superman, I am assuming the answer is a resounding “No.” However, let me ask you another question.
If you had already put in the effort into building an email list and social media following could you reach the same 1,000 leads with your offer? You bet. In fact, doing so would probably take you all of 10 minutes. Think about that.
If you are leveraging the power of the internet to hunt down and contact leads, you can achieve better results than traditional marketing methods in about one percent of the time.
If you own a locally owned business, I hope that you are starting to see the value of online lead generation.While offline methods might still work, they are slowly becoming a thing of the past.
Nowadays, using offline lead generation in lieu of online is like driving to work in a horse and buggy instead of a new BMW. So leave the past behind and get ready to take your lead generation to the next level. What has held you back from using online lead generation methods for your local business?