7 Common Lead Generation Mistakes -- and What You Need to Do Differently
Rob Turner

Lead generation is essential for effective customer acquisition, and it’s often the best way to land your first sale. Demand generation, a tactic that comes before lead generation, grabs the attention of your website or social media profile visitors, which you can then nurture into leads.

Businesses often spend thousands, even millions, on lead generation campaigns and products, like online surveys and ebooks, only to lose them once they nab their contact information.

While a lack of a decent digital marketing budget can hold teams back, the problem is usually caused by spending in the wrong places. This is especially true if you’re getting leads, but you’re unable to convert them, or you’re attracting traffic but can’t lead them down the pipeline.

But if you’re experiencing lead generation issues, you aren’t alone. 61% of marketers consider traffic and lead generation their biggest challenge. If you want to make lead generation less of a pain, it’s time to look inward, as your tactics may be preventing customers from opting in.

7 Common Lead Generation Mistakes Affecting Your Business

Lead generation is tough, but you can make it harder on yourself if you’re using the wrong tactics.

Here are 7 common lead generation mistakes that could be affecting your business.

Mistake #1: No Clear Way of Qualifying Leads

When a lead is “qualified,” it means the lead has been evaluated by the team (or software) and fits the profile of an ideal customer who’s likely to buy. While this process is vital to increase ROI, it’s often skipped. Instead, a wide net is cast with the hopes of attracting the most leads.

This tactic seems smart because you’re selling to as many people as possible, making it more likely a lot of people will purchase your product or service. However, what often happens is you miss your ideal customers and spend too much time qualifying people who aren’t interested.

Solution: Businesses need a clear process for qualifying leads, and this starts before a person ever interacts with your website or content Before creating an opt-in (i.e., printable, ebook, or landing page), ask yourself if said opt-in has anything to do with you or your business.

If the answer is no, then it’s time to go back to the drawing board. Remember that qualifying a lead makes it easier to attract the right people, but it won’t ensure a follow-up. Having consistent metrics is very important when qualifying leads, as it aligns marketing teams to a single goal.

Mistake #2: Not Diversifying Your Lead Sources

A common piece of lead generation advice is to “market where your customers like to spend their time,” but some businesses take that too literally. Instead of marketing to multiple channels, they’ll stick to the one that attracts the most leads or use methods that convert more customers.

There’s nothing wrong with using that channel or method, but if you don’t diversify your lead sources, you’ll generate less than you otherwise would have. With that said, if you don’t have a large team, then stick to one resource for now. You don’t want to spread your resources too thin.

Solution: First, don’t confine yourself to one channel. Try websites, 3rd party databases, email, and more. Use quality metrics to see what works, what doesn’t, and how you can improve your traffic sources. It’s recommended to use software when collecting leads from multiple sources.

For example, Lead411 can find leads based on your business needs thanks to its database of over 450M contacts within 20M companies worldwide. Lead411 can also be used to reach out to leads directly through email or SMS, making it an all-in-one lead conversion platform.

Lead411 is also less expensive but just as powerful as its competitors. Based on current ZoomInfo pricing, Lead411 costs $0.60 less per contact (at $0.40) than ZoomInfo (at $1).

Mistake #3: Overwhelming Amount of CTAs

Having a call-to-action (CTA) is a good thing. It tells your followers how to take the next step, which is great for people who’ve never read your content. But even if you have hundreds of blog posts, podcast episodes, or instructional videos, they should all lead to one strategic CTA.

When there are too many options to choose from, you risk overwhelming your audience. Pretty soon, they won’t know where to go or what to do. If they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll move on to another competitor. You never want to make your customers frustrated.

Solution: Reducing the amount of CTAs on your site and social media platforms is a start, but you also need to make an effective CTA. You should have two calls to action on most potential lead sources, one that asks the person to take an action and another to nurture the lead.

However, it’s okay to have several on a landing page, phone call, or chatbot because there’s an expectation of a consistent conversational flow. If you really want to maximize your lead source, make valuable content. Viewers are more likely to convert to buyers if they love what you do.

Mistake #4: Focusing on Vanity or the Wrong Metrics

Metrics are a map that gets you to your outcome; it isn’t the end result of a long campaign. They shouldn’t be tracked like web traffic, blog visitors, or impressions, which only offer raw factual data. Instead, metrics should be used to identify changes you need to make to reach a goal.

Another issue businesses run into is using the wrong metrics. If you aren’t aligning your metrics with your goals, then you won’t get the ROI you’re looking for. These are often called vanity metrics because there’s clearly a positive end result, but it doesn’t amount to more sales.

Solution: Keep in mind that your metrics will change depending on your current campaign goal. For example, cost per acquisition (CPA) determines your revenue generation efforts and ROI. You would need to change these numbers based on what you spent or the acquisition amount.

Most importantly, metrics give you a glimpse of the future. If your cost per acquisition is too high, even if you’re making a profit, you need to explore why that is. To get this cost down, you’ll need to experiment with where and how you market. This is easier if you use analytics technology.

Still, that shift could be worth it, so focus on metrics that help you improve your forecasting abilities. With this knowledge, you can target the right customers and increase lead opt-ins.

Mistake #5: Lack of Consistent Targets or Testing

Marketing your products or services to the wrong people is a waste of time, but it’s a mistake businesses make often. Without knowing your buyer’s persona, every lead generation effort you make won’t hold any water, and that’s tragic, considering you’re spending time on campaigns.

But the only way you’d know you aren’t targeting the right people (unless you find out the hard way) is if you regularly test your campaigns. For example, A/B testing is one of the best ways to strengthen your email campaigns, but it may be seen as a waste of time for some marketers.

Solution: Businesses should research their buyer’s persona by looking at their competition and tracking their metrics. Once again, you’ll need to experiment with different marketing tactics to find the one that works for you and your audience, but what results is a personalized message.

Fortunately, brands can test any campaign before launch using A/B tests. These tests show your audience two versions of the same ad with few tweaks between them. For example, a headline or image may change. The one that gets the most clicks should be the final versio

Mistake #6: Not Communicating Value/Pain Points

It’s a common assumption that customers care about your products and services specifically. In reality, they care about the value they bring to their lives. No one cares about how great your business is because it isn’t relevant to your audience, so stop putting your company first.

Another issue is neglecting customer pain points, i.e., why they want to buy your product or service in the first place. Customers want to have their problems solved, and if your business can do that, then you have to make that clear. Otherwise, they won’t see the point of opting in.

Solution: Focus on the benefits of your product or service and what it can do for your buyers before talking about the features. You can do this by figuring out the purpose of what you’re selling. Failing that, market value based on what you do better than your direct competition.

Customer pain points fall into 4 main categories: lack of support, poor productivity, low cash flow, and working with complex processes. Identifying your customer’s pain points is vital for your marketing strategy, as it helps you personalize your pitch and connect with audiences.

In the end, your ad should say that you’re the answer to your customer’s problems. Once you do that, you’re eliminating roadblocks that could be standing between them and your business.

Mistake #7: Not Optimizing for Lead Generation

According to studies, 93% of customers start their buying journey online. That offers a lot of potential for eCommerce websites, but there’s a problem. With so many web pages and social media profiles competing for customer attention, how can you make sure you stand out?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the ticket to organic traffic growth, but building a fully optimized website takes time. In fact, it can take over 6 months to attract worthwhile traffic. Wouldn’t it be better to use traditional paid ads to attract new customers to your website?

Solution: While paid ads can be a great source of traffic when you start, they often become too expensive. SEO continues to work in the background, making it the cheapest (and most effective) way to bring in customers. However, you may need help getting SEO off the ground.

That’s because SEO involves keyword research, content creation, on-page, and off-page SEO, link building, and technical SEO, tactics that require a marketing expert. But once your webpage is optimized for lead generation, you’ll find more success in your marketing efforts.