You may not have considered this.
When someone downloads a lead generation report (a whitepaper, ebook or guide) from your site, they are doing a deal with you.
Unless you both keep your side of that unspoken deal, then the whole thing is a complete waste of time.
They want to get hold of the information needed to solve a problem. You want them to buy the solution to the problem that you have for sale.
They are downloading your special report on the understanding that you will offer them enough valuable information to make progress towards a solution. In return they will take your sales pitch into account when they make a buying decision.
That’s the deal.
For that deal to stand a chance of working out, you have to consider three key questions.
What Do You Want Out Of It?
It takes a lot of time and effort to create a great lead generation report. You need to get it right, so it hooks people in, seduces them and delivers them ready to buy.
But it’s amazing how many people dump something into their email sign-up routine without actually considering their objective for doing so, beyond “Getting sign-ups.”
To make it clear, you want:
Unless your business is all about impulse buys, then you will be looking for as many fresh leads as possible. These prospects have shown an initial interest and must now be warmed up to the point where they make a buying decision.
More sales means more turnover, which means more profit (if you’re doing this whole “managing a business” thing right). If you deliver on the deal, you will get more sales.
Closing the gap between leads and sales is the key to a successful business, so not only does your report have to generate leads, but it has to increase your conversion rate.
Existing customers can sometimes be neglected. That is a big strategic mistake which is made in most industries.
Those people can not only become repeat customers, but they may also become your “raving fans”, spreading a positive message about your business.
Every business needs raving fans. They save you time, effort and money by recommending you through multiple communication channels. They are a huge asset to your business.
Without exception, your lead generation strategy needs to continue past point of first sale.
What Do They Want Out Of It?
The person who downloads your lead generation report is on a journey of discovery. They have a problem and are seeking the answer.
When they download your report, they are agreeing to be receptive to your sales pitch in return for some truly useful information. That information has to lead them to a conclusion, or pass them onto the next step they need to consider.
It doesn’t matter what you are selling, the process is the same. You give worthwhile information, they read it and bear you in mind when they make a buying decision.
So when creating a lead generation report, you need to think from the point of view of the person reading it.
- Is the information genuinely valuable and helpful?
- Does it actually answer the key question, or guide them closer to answering it?
- Is their next step made clear and is it logical?
- Do you come across as authoritative, original and trustworthy?
Your lead generation report needs to offer enough to encourage they continue the journey with you, rather than seek it elsewhere.
It’s a bit like a new relationship. If one of you does all the giving and the other all the taking, very quickly the giver is going to wake up to the fact they are being manipulated.
And remember that your prospect is probably being overwhelmed with noise and desperately seeking something solid to rely on. Their B.S. Filters are up, so you will need to become a trusted advisor quickly to keep them with you.
Does The Deal Work For Both Of You?
The deal will work for both of you if the prospect buys from you and is delighted.
To achieve a better chance of closing of the deal, your lead generation report must get the balance right between information supplied and sales pitch.
If the sales pitch is stronger than the information delivered then the prospect will feel you are not offering enough in return for having their attention. This will turn them off and they will walk away.
If you offer great information but mix it with too low a level of sales pitch, then they will feel satisfied. But there is a strong chance of them not linking your solution to the problem, failing to form the problem-solution connection required to make the sale.
Getting the balance right will increase the chance of them feeling they trust you enough to consider your sales pitch further, in return for more information.
Think Beyond The Lead Generation Report
If you achieve the magic balance of delivering high quality information and sales pitch in the initial report, ebook or video, your prospect will be receptive to more of the same.
That is why you need to consider your follow-up email sequence as an integral part of a lead generation report, rather than separately. It’s the next chapter, not something else.
The two must be very strongly linked, with the email sequence building purely on the foundations of the lead generation report.
The same rules apply as before. The same deal exists and the same balance must be struck between information supply and the strength of your sales pitch. Getting the email autoresponder sequence in tune with the lead generation report is vital.
Sell The Sizzle And Some Of The Steak
The trick in all this is to understand the deal that is being made between the marketer and the clued-up, modern consumer.
Just selling the sizzle will send them elsewhere. The internet has transformed in recent years from a place of information scarcity, to one of information abundance. If you don’t give them what they want pretty quickly, then someone else will.
So you need to deliver on the deal, by making it do a little more than just smell wonderful.
You also need to cut off a few small chunks of steak and lay a trail through your lead generation report and through your follow-up email sequence. Give them a proper taste, so they want to stay at the table for the whole meal.
Remember that grazing on appetizers can make people more hungry, not less.