Lead generation information, tactics, and tips to improve lead gen performance.

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What Is Internet Marketing

Definition of Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is also referred to as online marketing. Internet marketing refers to advertising and marketing efforts as a process of promoting a brand, products or services over the Internet. Internet marketing is very broad in scope referring generally to promotional activities that are done via a digital medium or “online”. Internet marketing strategies are typically used in conjunction with traditional types of advertising such as radio, television, billboards, networking, newspapers and magazines. Internet marketing added complexity in consumer engagement moving away from a linear marketing approach with one-way brand communication to consumers to a newer non-linear marketing strategy referred to as Omni-channel. Omni-channel marketing moves beyond one-to-one information exchange to one-to-many or one-to-community information sharing.

internet marketingAn example of omni-channel internet marketing can be applied to a professional services vertical like legal. Legal consumers often research their legal options online well before contacting a law firm. These legal consumers are increasingly using the Internet to research into laws, legal resources, legal aid, and do-it-yourself options before researching the types of law firms that can help them. Once they understand their need is best served by hiring a law firm, these consumers then look up law firm rating and reviews, seek legal information from their social networks, compare local legal options, and search for law firms near them.

The Different Channels of Internet Marketing

Effective Internet marketing commonly deploys multiple channels to reach the most audience as possible. The objective is to place your brand and value proposition in front of many potential clients in the places where people spend their time online. There are multiple online marketing channels available in the legal space namely;

  • Display Advertising – Online Display Advertisement highlights promotional messages, value propositions, or ideas to the legal consumer on the Internet. Display advertising can be found on a wide range of digital properties like advertising blogs, interstitial ads, legal directories, and ads on the search engines.
  • Email Marketing – While email marketing in comparison to other forms of digital marketing is inexpensive, this channel of communication may be perceived by recipients to be intrusive and irritating especially to new or potential customers. This is an older channel for digital marketing.
  • Search Engine Marketing – also known as “pay-per-click” or PPC. This channel primarily focuses on text ads displayed along side relevant organic content. PPC can also include visual display, click to call, mobile ads, and local ad display within maps. When used in combination with social media and organic optimization, paid search can deliver effective results.
  • Social Media Marketing – social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, etc.) are closed ecosystems, users must proactively join and the information is usually only viewable when users are signed into one of these social networks. Users typically provide the content that makes the channel what it is. One example is Pinterest, which is an image channel known for food and fashion. People “PIN” (add) pictures of their favorite food or recipe and share it with others. The more content a user ads, the more engagement they drive to their page. Facebook and Twitter are prominent in the legal space. The ability to effectively create a user profile for paid promotional targeting is the primary reason social media is valuable.
  • Search Engine Optimization – also known as SEO is a method of optimizing content (text, images, voice) to improve relevance for search engines with the objective of having that content display more frequently and prominently is search engine results pages. Since SEO is process of refinement over time and the results do not require payment to a search engine, search engine optimization is considered free or “organic”. SEO is not free, the best SEO companies and services often bill thousands of dollars per month or more to firms that engage with their services to increase performance. The primary benefit of SEO is that each action (click) is not billable by the search engines, so once a web page is fully optimized, it can drive value for an extended time for no cost.
  • Press Releases – PR, or press release is a content marketing method of communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something considerably newsworthy. A press release is typically written and delivered electronically via email, but can also be done as a video release.
  • Video Advertising – digital video is an increasingly popular medium for online marketing. The format is widely used in social media as well as stand-alone channels like YouTube because video is readily available to be shared by the viewers, adding to the attractiveness of this platform. Video can be a highly engaging format for brands, however the quality of the video and the style of the message are critical for success as this type of advertising is considered disruptive to normal viewership. Video advertising that has entertainment value is more likely to be shared, as pleasure is the strongest motivator to share videos.

The most successful online businesses use as many channels as possible to reach out to potential clients and customers. It is increasingly important that your business reach consumers where they are most often online, and Omni-channel marketing offers this opportunity, as it’s “always on, everywhere”. Businesses that seek this long term communication relationship by using multiple channels and using promotional strategies related to their target consumer as well as word-of mouth marketing are the one that will grow their presence and revenues.

The Digital Ecosystem

Without proactive Internet marketing, a website is not much more than a digital billboard in a desert. In today’s digital ecosystem, a website acts as a conversion platform, a place where you send your audience to view your value proposition and engage with your brand. By itself, a website is nothing more than passive marketing. In legal online marketing, a firm’s website acts as a validation of legal credentials and a list of potential legal services offered with multiple ways to communicate with the firm (via email, phone, chat, and social media). To reach the maximum audience, proactive marketing channels need to be used to drive traffic to the website.


In the digital ecosystem audience acquisition can come from paid and organic channels in content marketing, premium publishers, social media, and traditional marketing. Content marketing examples include articles, press releases, or blogs posts. Premium publishers in the legal space include directories like FindLaw, Super Lawyers, AVVO, and state bar associations. Local includes chamber of commerce, better business bureau, local city and county bar associations. Social includes posts in Facebook, Tweets in Twitter, and paid social advertising. Paid includes PPC text and display ads, and inclusion in content networks. Traditional includes networking events, speaking engagements, radio, T.V., magazines and newspapers. Technical includes SEO, code platforms, https, semantic markup, and conversion rate optimization and page speed enhancements. The acquisition channels may vary, but the impact is measurable with website analytics.

While there are many ways to increase traffic to your website, the two principal ways to acquire and drive potential consumers to the website is with paid promotions or organic marketing. Both of these channels require investment of time, effort, and money, however organic traffic is more commonly viewed as a source for long term sustainable growth. In business verticals that are highly transactional in nature, paid search marketing is one of the best ways to ramp up business success online.

Benefits Of A Unique Value Proposition

Finding a Unique Value Proposition For Your Business

In most free markets competing businesses are always looking for an edge. If you’re not watching your competition then you consider the need to become aware of what the competitors are doing. But even with the stress and worry of competition in your line of work, there are positive sides to having so-called business rivals such as learning from them and surpassing them. Separate yourself from the ordinary with a unique value proposition (UVP) that resonates with your target audience. A compelling brand message will insure your message is heard.

In most specific markets you will find the business that failed and from which you can learn what not to do, and businesses that are stagnating from which you can also learn what not to do or what you can improve and offer to your target customers in order to not slag behind within the mediocre crowd. This is where, when and how you will find a unique value proposition for your business and overtake your competition. While the competition is left in the dust, unaware of what even happened, you will be miles ahead of them already and working on that head start to move on further and further to the satisfaction of your target customers.

content marketingHow To Craft A Unique Value Proposition

Unique value propositions are sometimes difficult to come up with but they are always there as long as you pay attention to the throbbing beat of demand, desire, needs and wants of your target customers. Which variable of a product, service is most valuable to them in a specific scenario? Which priorities does your specific narrow targeted customer have at present or the near future? You want to put yourself in their shoes and think like they think so that this mindset and will power to work together with your customers sets you apart from the rest of the businesses that are competing with yours out there.

Make sure that your newly discovered unique value proposition sets you aside from your competition so that your targeted customers notice you and the benefit your business offers them and their needs. Be sure to make your unique selling proposition is easily understood; with a unique angle to it that delivers the promise of a solution to a need, desire, problem, want, ache of your customer.

What Is Your UVP?

Can you think of anything you can offer right now to your customer that your competition is not? Can you think of a benefit you can create in the near future that is valuable to your end customer? Can you find knowledgeable experts that can help you with creating a solution, a product? Can you look outside the average boxes of stalled business minds? Are you running your business for yourself or your end customers? The core, heart and soul of any business are your customer and their satisfaction. An unsatisfied customer will fire your entire business in less than a minute so set aside any ego trips and realize that businesses are a two-way street always and without the customers and their needs, wants, desires there is no great business out there.

If you’re offering the same thing exactly the same way as everyone else then somebody is completely unnecessary in the market and will struggle long term consequences of being stuck in the average pool. You are not average, and there is no need to be under the false illusion of safe business when you can strive and achieve so much more in tune with your target customers.

It’s not about if you will find a unique value proposition, it’s about when will you decide that you want to find it and develop it. Keep in mind at all times that even failure on your path to overcoming your competition is a success in disguise and a test to see of what you are made. The leaders in the marketplace constantly refine assess the competitiveness of their unique value proposition, validating that it remains meaningful with potential buyers or clients. Is it time to take a closer look at your offer?

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Why Response Time Matters For Intake

What is “Response Time”?

How quickly you respond to a customer inquiry to an intake form or request for information is commonly referred to as “response time” and has widely been acknowledged as a key contributor to a successful online sales or professional services intake process. The best intake support and CRM systems provide response time as a key performance indicator as part of a comprehensive management report. The response time KPI helps to identify both response times on individual inbound requests as well as response time averages for individual personnel or intake teams.

lead nurtureWhy Is Response Time Such A Critical Success Factor?

In traditional selling or networking a commonly held perception is that, “you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression”. This sentiment holds true with an online inquiries as well. Speed plays an even more important role in the digital world, because the ease of submitting forms often means that an individual can submit multiple requests before they may even receive an initial response. With this knowledge, your intake or response strategy should be designed to develop and implement a process that makes your brand stand out as a clearly better and unique place to do business. When and how well you respond to the customer’s initial request for information is always the first and most important step in a successful online intake process.

Professional Services Succeed With A Focus On Response Times

Your intake process is simply an online version of a “meet and greet”, something sales professionals and networkers have been taught for many years. In the physical world, you know instantly what a professional greeting should look and feel like. Any great management leader would shudder and cringe if one of his or her people were to greet a walk-in visitor with nothing more than a “Can I help you?” Professional sales development training frequently recommends that we want to welcome the walk-in client as we would a valued guest. In the legal world, these clients are frequently filled with apprehension and anxiety, not knowing what to expect or what outcomes they may face. It becomes significantly more important to put them at ease by introducing ourselves, exchanging names, and starting to build some rapport. Not surprisingly, we need to do exactly the same thing with the online client! While our communication methods are going to be different, our objectives are essentially still the same. Developing a rock solid intake process with a focus on response times will only benefit your business and make you stand out among the competition.

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Critical Success Factors For Online Lead Intake

The individuals that interact with online clients via lead intake at professional service companies need to understand how these online opportunities might differ from traditional walk-ins or phone calls.  Before the advancement of the Internet as a common consumer tool for research and communication, there were only two principle ways in which a prospective client would make contact with your business:  walk-in traffic  (face to face) or incoming telephone calls (phone to phone).  Now business professionals must also be proficient in digital communications including email (keyboard to keyboard) and social (keyboard to community).

Today’s Internet represents a powerful unique way for clients to both investigate options and perform research before making a critical final engagement decision.  The marketing strategy, the communication platforms, and the vital skills and abilities required to satisfy and inform these clients are uniquely different from the traditional traffic channels.

What Are The Critical Success Factors For Internet Lead Intake?

The responsibilities and skill set required for successfully processing, intaking and closing an online engagement opportunity requires specialized training, abilities and mindset because and online lead generation IS a different process. Let’s look at some of the differences from traditional traffic compared to modern traffic channels.

The following chart compares the differences in focus in building customer value between the traditional intake and online intake:

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  • Focus is on identifying client needs, selecting the right service or product, making a value / benefit presentation, gaining a closing commitment, negotiation and closing on the product or service
  • Face to face
  • You control the flow of information
  • You control the pace of the process – who does what when
  • Buying commitment required in exchange for pricing disclosure
  • Emphasis on building value in service or product
  • The opportunity is NOW: Go for close
  • One and done, get ready for the next opportunity

[fusion_content_box title=”New School” backgroundcolor=”” icon=”fa-check-circle” icon_circle_size=”none” icon_align=”left” iconcolor=”#359B24″ circlecolor=”#F1F1F1″ circlebordercolor=”#359B24″ iconflip=”” iconrotate=”” iconspin=”no” image=”” image_width=”35″ image_height=”35″ link=”” linktarget=”_self” linktext=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″]

  • Focus is on confirming the client needs, engaging the client / customer in an exchange of information, validating the value / benefit that your service or product offers, and closing on an in person appointment
  • Keyboard to Keyboard
  • Customer controls the flow of information
  • Customer controls the pace of the process – who does what when
  • Up-front pricing disclosed to build customer trust
  • Emphasis on building value in the business relationship
  • The opportunity is indefinite: Go for an appointment
  • Success requires tracking and follow-up


What Does A Successful Lead Intake Process Look Like?

The most effective managers of Internet leads will need to have core competencies in three important areas:
1. Technology:

  • Must be comfortable with information technology, it changes rapidly.
  • Embrace multiple communication platforms. Be fluent with how your leads want to communicate with your business.
  • Capable of learning and utilizing lead management applications.

2. Online Lead Process Management:

  • Can organize multiple engagement activities at once to accomplish business objectives.
  • Understands how to arrange information and files in a useful manner utilizing technology.
  • Knows what steps in the process to measure and how to measure it.
  • Good at figuring out priorities in getting things done.
  • Does not get overwhelmed by multiple engagement and administrative tasks.
  • Breaks down engagement activities into the process steps.
  • Focuses on outcomes that drive success.

3. Online Engagement Skills:

  • Assumes client / customer has previously completed some research online.
  • Has excellent communication skills that engages the client / customer, validates customer research, builds trust and secures in person appointments.
  • Is able to write a digital communication that is clear, concise and gets a message across that provides value to the client / customer.  Understands basic digital protocol for email, social media, and other digital platforms as it pertains to your business.
  • Patient working within each client’s / customer’s information agenda while maintaining a focused results oriented engagement plan.
  • Understands the business’ services or products and can easily answer basic related questions in a way that projects professionalism and increases client trust and confidence levels.
  • Drives engagement forward to the desired business objectives: set an appointment.

The digital environment is extremely dynamic and the business engagement process does vary from traditional brick and mortar client acquisition methods. Success is measured differently, because the business objectives align closely to the client objectives with a focus on outcomes; in most cases setting an appointment becomes the priority rather than closing a client.

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To recap a successful lead generation intake process, it is critically important to review and know these key concepts:

  • The engagement strategy, the communication tools, and the skill and ability required to successfully handle inbound leads are uniquely different from the traditional role for walk-in traffic.
  • The most prosperous people in these lead intake positions understand the responsibilities and skill sets required for successfully processing and engaging the online opportunity and recognize that it requires specialized training to maintain a competitive edge.
  • Everyone interacting with an online lead makes a unique contribution to the clients’ experience and perception of the brand value.
  • The online lead intake process has a distinctly different focus than a traditional engagement process in building customer value and provides validation to the customers’ decision.
  • The lead intake team that handles online queries will need to have competencies in three important areas; technology, online lead process management, and online engagement skills.


How Much Does Your Free Organic Traffic Cost?

The Real Value Of Free Organic Traffic

Any business that depends upon free organic traffic for customers or clients must recognize the value of their organic traffic. That means the vast majority of business owners that either do organic optimization in-house or employ a vendor or agency to optimize their organic presence, know that your FREE TRAFFIC IS NOT FREE.  Treat your organic traffic with the same level of intensity that you use for your paid traffic, because organic traffic has value too!

Why Organic Traffic Is Not Free

What is your time worth? If your time is valued at $50, $75, or $250 an hour, can it be better spent doing something other than optimizing your web site? Average business person spends 8 to10 hours a month on their web marketing meeting, writing, tweaking, reviewing their internet strategies.  At $100 an hour, that’s $800 to $1000 of time invested to drive “free” traffic.  When you review your return on investment to find that your $1000 of time investment delivered client sign ups of $10,000 then you enjoyed a 10 to 1 ROI, which is great if that was your target. But if you signed up only $2,000 of new clients and the 2 to 1 ROI is not enough to keep the lights on, then maybe it’s time to rethink how your handle your free organic traffic.

Free Stuff Is Easily Discarded
Many studies have shown that perceived value of items correlates directly to how that item is treated.  The difference between your evaluation of the benefits and costs of the item when compared with other costs and benefits becomes the perceived value. If you are given a “free” roller ball pen, you may use it every single day, but if you lose it, no big deal right? Now you are given a free Acme roller ball pen that you use every single day. If you lose this pen, will you feel the same as losing the plastic pen? Not so much. Even when both are free, the perceived value to you differs.  Knowing the value of your organic visitors by source is a metric most successful online businesses monitor frequently.

How To Calculate The Basic Value per Visitor

The simplest way to calculate the value per visitor is to start with your desired outcome, in most cases profit.  Then all you do is divide the total online profit by the total number of your visitors.

Simple Example:

Profit / Visitors = Visitor Value
An e-commerce retail website
$150/1,000 = $0.15 per visitor value

Professional Services Example:
A personal injury law firm with a 2% closing rate on auto accident cases.

$150,000 / 1,000 = $150 per visitor value

In the professional services example when you assign the visitor value to the 200 “free” contacts (form submissions and emails), that value of those contacts is actually not zero but $30,000. Will you handle your $30,000 of opportunity differently than you would handle free? Of course you will. So stop burning up contacts or leads, build a process to handle your valuable free organic traffic opportunities!

When you use visitor value data to make smart informed business decisions, then assigning the right focus to these business opportunities is the correct course of action. With a renewed focus on the value you are receiving, defining a processes to maximize your conversion of these opportunities, your business will flourish.

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How To Get A Fast Start In Lead Generation

Fast Track Your Lead Generation

Want to increase your bottom line with lead generation but don’t know where to start? Lead gen fundamentals are often nothing more than a simple math problem; thoughtful tracking of the numbers yields results when done correctly. As only one part of your overall digital strategy, lead gen can be a welcome boost to profitability, just don’t lose sight of the rest of your business. Take a step by step approach to the part of your marketing by starting with a clear definition of your customers or clients. Develop this user persona as a first step.

Step #1. What do your potential customers want?

Remember that zero potential customers wakes up in the morning and screams loudly, “Please market to me today!” No client thinks of themselves as a “lead” for your organization. The key is to understand these individuals and discover what they truly want or need. Start out by answering questions that drive them to seek solutions, questions like:

  • What are their pain points that keeps them awake at night?
  • What do they want to avoid so bad that they are willing to pay others to do?
  • What are the goals or objectives that they want to achieve?
  • What problem are they trying to solve?
  • How are they trying to change their current situation?
  • Where do they go to seek help or solutions?
  • What is there sense of urgency to resolve a problem or change their life?
  • How soon do they need to act?

Fortunately there are many different avenues to go to uncover this information. Effectively monitoring social media, client interviews, discussions with customer facing groups, posts from industry thought leaders, surveys, white papers,  are just a few of the ways to learn and better understand  what your potential customers want. The success or failure of your lead generation efforts hinges right here at the start by answering the question – what do my clients and customers want?