How to run a successful lead generation campaign!

In this post, we take the example of a campaign we have been running for a client for the past several months, our experiments and our learnings from it, which have helped us deliver high quality inquiries on a consistent basis.
Objective: Lead Generation from a specific target segment – for example, Small Business Owners

Consider the 4 dimensions in Digital Marketing, which are important in deciding the success or failure of a campaign
1.Audience – Consider the data quality and the targeting capabilities that will help you go after the audience you desire. In our example, Small and Medium Enterprise Owners (SMEs) are a tough segment to target. Fortunately, we have over 350,000 SME subscribers in our email newsletter audience, so that’s a great starting point. Understand your target segment and look for specific publications that may have your desired target segment.
2.Channel – The second factor to consider is the channel or medium where you will target your audience. This works in conjunction with 1. above. You could consider 1. and 2. together if it makes things easier. While email works great, there’s only so many emails you can send to an audience in a given span of time. Now, the SME audience is also available on Facebook (most people use Facebook), but the targeting capabilities of Facebook are not very well equipped to target SMEs. However, Facebook allows you to upload a custom email list and target them. We can now target TradeBriefs SME subscribers on Facebook as well. Some of them engage better on Facebook than on Email, giving us more leads.
Update – Linkedin now allows custom audiences, which may work better than FB for B2B Lead Generation
TB , FB, Linkedin
Also, we have phone number data on many of our subscribers – SMS is a channel that can be used to target these SMEs. All SMEs have phones, and SMSs (text messages) still command good engagement and cost of delivery is low.
TB, FB, Linkedin, SMS
Targeting our audience on multiple channels gives us additional reach. By using features like FB lookalike audience, we can multiply the reach by more than 2000%.
3.Messaging/Creative – Once you have identified your audience and the appropriate channels, think of the messaging and creative. In the physical world, it all starts with the creative, but in digital, because each channel engages with customers in unique and different ways, it makes sense to think channel and audience first. Your FB creative and approach may not make sense on Linkedin and vice versa.
Direct Messaging
There are multiple creative approaches that can be used for digital campaigns. One can use Direct Messaging, where the product benefit is directly highlighted and a lead form is used to capture customer interest.
Case Studies
Case studies are useful for more complex business products where the business benefit is highlighted through a client success story or a case study (thought leadership). Some of the best leads will come in using this approach, but they may be early in the customer journey, so they will need to be nurtured (regular emails highlighting thought leadership, education through webinars, etc). At some point these leads become sales ready.
The broad formats of creatives are text (use this for email subject lines, LinkedIn text ads, FB bylines, SMS messages), image (use this within newsletters, on FB, Linkedin Newsfeed, etc). Each channel also has its unique format specifications in terms of size, what kind of images are recommended, etc.
In our example, we came up with 140 character text ads which are used in SMS, ‘Image + text’ ads which are used in Facebook and HTML creatives which are used for emailers. Different emailers and FB creatives were created with Direct Messaging and Case Study approaches in mind.
4.Flow/Lead Capture Mechanism – A lead form is a standard acceptable way to capture leads. However, in some cases it pays to be flexible and creative. For example, in ‘business letter format’ emailers, it makes sense to encourage recipients to actually reply to emails. Some of the highest quality inquiries come in through email replies or through the phone, rather than through form-fills. For SMS campaigns, missed call responses or callbacks can also be tested out.

Use the framework above to help you structure your experiments better. Then learn as you go and double down on the “Audience-Channel-Messaging-Flow” combinations that work best for your campaign requirements.