Pop quiz time. How many leads does your free e-book need to generate before you can consider it a success?
A) At least 100
B) Several hundred
C) None of the above
O.K., so it’s a trick question. The correct answer is “C.” Depending on the value of your leads and how they’re discovering your brand, you might need as few as a dozen or as many as 500 new leads to gain a positive return on investment.
This is an example of how easy it is to make erroneous assumptions in marketing. Sometimes all it takes is one misunderstanding or miscalculation to kill an entire month’s worth of lead generation efforts.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are some easy fixes. You just have to recognize when you’re presuming too much.
What are some of the most common misassumptions in inbound marketing? Let’s take a look.
#1: All Leads Are Equally Valuable
This is simply not true. A few people will fill out your web form because they’re looking to purchase a product or service. Some aren’t ready to buy yet, but may be after a few rounds of targeted emails. Most just want your free download.
If you invest more in marketing than the revenue it generates, you have a problem.
This is why it’s so important to calculate the value of a lead for your business. When you know your average lead is worth $10, for example, you won’t waste money on $11-per-click ads.
#2: Hitting “Publish” Means You’re Done
The best landing pages and forms are the ones that are constantly evolving. A/B testing can reveal weak calls to action, form field bottlenecks and other issues that need to be fixed to optimize for conversions.
#3: More Is Always Better
Wrong again. It’s easy to get caught up in the numbers: likes, shares, clicks, page visits and so on.
But when it comes to leads, more is not always better. Your sales team needs qualified leads—the people who will actually be interested in the products and services you offer. Think of it this way:
Would you rather spend time sifting through 500 junk leads or nurturing five ready-to-buy leads who are steps away from converting?
You’d go for the latter, right? You can do this with personas. Profiling customers makes it easy to build marketing campaigns around their specific needs.
#4: Marketing and Sales Are Two Distinct Departments
Nope. These two teams should always work in close collaboration. When you coordinate on the steps above, marketing can empower sales to close deals faster because they’ll have more qualified leads to focus on.
#5: Referral Sources Tell You Exactly Where to Invest
Consider this common scenario:
A marketer fires up Google Analytics and looks at referral sources. He sees a lot of website traffic coming from LinkedIn and assumes his sponsored ads are bringing in leads.
But he doesn’t really know how much LinkedIn advertising is influencing conversions.
To invest wisely, you need to understand your entire conversion funnel. How many touchpoints does it take for someone to convert? Which social posts or landing pages drive traffic that leads directly to signups and sales? This data will tell you precisely where your best leads are coming from and how many result in actual revenue.
Which of these assumptions sounds familiar? How will you address it? Tell us in the comments!
About the Author
Chris is the vice president of marketing for Formstack. He is passionate about setting the vision for Formstack’s marketing department, as well as discovering new ways to drive web traffic and leads. Follow Chris on Twitter at @chris_c_lucas.