Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers Blog

    How a Lead is Generated with Inbound Marketing

    8 minute read

    When most manufacturers think of lead generation through their website, they think of RFQs, Contact Us, etc... It's not always clear to them at first, how a lead is generated with Inbound Marketing

    The following video walks step by step through how an engineer visits a website and becomes a lead, without requesting a quote, or asking to speak with a salesperson.

    Would you rather read? Here's the video transcript:

    Hey sales and marketing professionals! I'm Donny with protocol 80. 

    One of the most common questions we get asked is, "How exactly does a lead get generated with inbound marketing?". Well, in this video i'm gonna walk you through that step by step.

    So, in this example let's pretend that we've got an engineer that's been tasked with designing a new product for their company. They're gonna go through their typical buying process... probably starting with a bunch of research and hopefully ending up buying from our example company.

    So, if you put yourself in their shoes as an engineer they probably have some questions they need to answer early on. They're not ready to pick up the phone and call a vendor and make a buying decision right away and they're not interested in talking about purchasing something. They're just researching. Much like you do when you buy a car. You hop online you do some research ahead of time. You don't show up on the car lot with a hundred questions, all relying on the salesperson to answer.

    So, I'm the engineer and I need to find some resources around the materials that I need to use in this new product that's going to be used outside. So like anyone doing research these days, I'm
    gonna hop on Google and do a quick search for the best metals for exterior.

    I see that Google search results appear to have plenty of stuff for me to read and as a typical searcher I'm gonna go ahead and click on this very first result here.

    So at this point with the inbound marketing methodology, we have taken step one and we've been pulled in or attracted to this company's website, Dahlstrom Roll Form because they have some content that ranks when I am searching for questions around the best metals for exterior applications. So, hopefully this is great content that's going to help me determine if I need galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, or stainless steel.

    It's really important to note that at this stage we've really made no connection to the fact that this is a vendor, Dahlstrom Roll Form. We didn't land here and immediately click on the RFQ option or contact us or start looking at their services. I'm still researching. I'm not even thinking about buying at this point. I'm simply trying to solve the problem. What metal should I use?

    So, once we've been attracted to the website and we read the content and we think it's helpful. As we reach the bottom of this blog post, we're presented with a graphic called a CTA, or call to action.  We're being guided to take the next step in the inbound marketing methodology which would be to convert into a lead.

    I'm gonna go ahead and read this CTA which says, "Pocket Guide to Architectural Metals and Finishes - Which metal is right for you?"  Well, I was just reading about different types of metals for exterior use, and this seems like it would be a valuable resource to me as an engineer, so I'm going to go ahead and click on 'Download'.

    At this point the call to action has delivered me to a landing page. The landing page has two purposes. First, it's here to sell you on the content  in the guide.  It's telling me why this is going to be valuable to me as an engineer. Second,  it's asking for contact information in exchange for this guide, to generate a lead.

    The form is asking for and requiring first name, last name, an email address and optionally, my company name.

    Something important to note on this landing page is that it doesn't have navigation. You'll notice there's no other navigation bar at the top. The only ways out of this page are to hit your back button, click on the logo to go to the home page, or submit the form,

    This is because once the website visitor gets this far down the inbound marketing process, we want them to convert into a lead.

    At this point, by clicking the button, my contact information enters their database and I become a lead for them.

    So, sticking with our example of the engineer that's doing research, I'm going to go ahead and click on the 'Get Your Pocket Guide' button. Now I have converted into a lead for Dahlstrom Roll Form. I provided my contact information, it entered their database and now they're delivering me the pocket guide.

    Now, I'm on a Thank You page where  I can access my guide. By clicking this link it's gonna open a PDF in a new window. It's the guide that I requested and it's got genuine educational information in here. Not a sales pitch, but genuine educational content.

    If we take a look back at this Thank You page, you see that it also sets the visitor up for their next steps. They're calling out what's next here. You can determine the best ways to use you chosen metal and in this case. Take a look at some of the other offerings that they have. A lot of landing pages will maybe promote a content offer that will help you decide between, maybe in this case aluminum versus stainless steel. So just kind of narrowing down your options into what we would consider the consideration stage of the buyers journey.

    So, the thank-you page is all about delivering the offer that the visitor requested. At the same time they again, have my contact information. I've just become a lead for them.

    This page will also trigger a thank you email that is being sent and so if I click on the thank-you email in my inbox, you'll see that I've got a nice note from the president of Dahlstrom Roll Form, saying "Hey thanks for downloading our pocket guide. Here's a link in case you ever lose it you can always come back to this and download your guide. Also, here's some further educational content.". 

    At this point, this email is starting the lead nurturing process.  It's delivering the offer again and also continuing to try and add value through education. This is so you're not on their competitors website learning about the best metals for exterior applications or steel windows that'll make you rethink your next design, or whatever the offers happen to be.

    They're trying to maintain a connection with you to build rapport. It might not be until this point of 
    the process, of the inbound marketing methodology, especially in the early stage as a buyer, that you even recognize that you're working with a brand.

    You know the Dahlstrom Roll Form name is going to start to ring a bell with you, right? They were building rapport, they're providing sincere, genuine education, they're not picking up the phone cold calling you. They're helping you with your problem, which is a huge shift from traditional marketing and sales, but it is obviously today's buyers' much preferred way of doing things.

    Dahlstrom Roll Form really thought about their buyer and how they go through their research process. They were there when the engineer was searching for the best metals that they could use for exterior use.

    Now, did this engineer pick up the phone and buy a part from Dahlstrom or have them do some roll forming for them? No, absolutely not! They're still in the early stage of their buying process and they probably have 10 or 11 other question they still need to answer. They'll hit Google and they'll do some more searches and if Dahlstrom is doing their marketing job right, they're creating content that answers the rest of those questions.

    So, you can see the inbound marketing marketing methodology from attracting them, converting them into leads, through nurturing them along through additional follow-up emails, maybe three, five, and/or seven days later after getting this initial email and just staying in front of them, they're able to build rapport create a connection, and ultimately closing them into sail into a sale.

    Hopefully this example helped you to understand what happens in the inbound marketing methodology and how we take just a normal online researcher and turn them into a lead that your sales folks need to follow up with or you nurture along until they're at a point where it makes sense to reach out to them from a sales standpoint.

    So, keep checking back. We'll have more videos every week. 

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    Topics: Inbound Marketing

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