Get the Step by Step Lead Gen Formula ICE Vacations Used to Generate 8,433 Travel Leads that Close at 25.35%.

Every new month brings with it a new challenge to meet sales targets. And, sadly many fall short of their sales targets, which lowers profitability and causes lots of stress and disappointment.

The most surprising thing is achieving sales targets doesn’t need to be stressful or a disappointing experience!

Read on to discover a simple formula you can use to extract the Gold  you need from new and current customers to say goodbye to the stress and frustration of meeting your sales targets.

And, what ‘Gold are we talking about? The information your team needs to know about your customers to close a sale: What vacation experiences your customers want now and when they intend to book them.

Last year ICE Vacations Asia-Pacific applied the Golden Leads formula for its Cruise Megastore brand and generated 8433 Leisure Travel Leads that close at 25.35%621% HIGHER than their other lead sources!

In explaining the phenomenal increase in their close rate, ICE Vacations CEO Kevin Sharp says:

“If you know what really interests a person, where they want to go and when they want to go there, then it just naturally helps our close rate go up. It just comes back to a more cost-effective lead.”

Now, without taking anything away from their great closing performance, let’s be honest…

…with Gold like that, your team couldn’t help getting really high close rates too, right?

Here’s the 4-Step “Golden Leads” Process You Can Replicate to Acquire a Flood of Leads that Convert at Higher Rates

 STEP 1 — Developing Your Strategy

The easy part with generating ‘Golden Leads’ is knowing what you want – hot leads who will share the following:

What vacation experience they are considering purchasing now; when they want to go; and how soon they want to book their next vacation.

However, unlike other lead generation activities where you’re usually happy just collecting basic contact details (e.g. during a newsletter sign up), the key to getting ‘Golden Leads‘ that’ll crush your sales targets is gathering the right consumer intelligence. This added knowledge consistently translates into high sales conversion rates.

The best way to go about gathering consumer intelligence data is to invite your past and current customers to enter a contest giveaway or sweepstakes to win a great vacation to a popular holiday destination.

Let’s face it, you already know your customers enjoy taking vacations and will continue to take future vacations, so providing them with a free entry to win a desirable vacation is very likely to be attractive to them, and this is one of the reasons why ICE Vacations was able to attract a large volume of participants.

You also need to think through the process and consider a number of key areas:

  1. Which customers are you going to target? Do you need to segment your customers or engage with all of them?

Here’s a tip – At the end of the day it’s really just a numbers game, so invite them all. You never know when someone’s planning their next dream vacation or weekend                 getaway.

  1. Which Vacation Prize can I give away that has enough perceived value to really get their attention?

Here’s a tip – Regardless of whether you’re segmenting your customers or not, be sure to have a great prize. You don’t have to spend the earth on your prize giveaway, but don’t skimp on it either—make the prize attractive enough to the majority of your audience.

You might even be able to talk one of your suppliers into giving you the prize at no cost!

  1. How long should I run my contest?

Two weeks is the absolute bare minimum, however, the length really depends on the prize giveaway and the size of your customer base.

ICE Vacations usually run their contests for 6 or 12 months, which gives them the                 opportunity to spread their prize costs over longer periods to keep lead costs down and       generate more ‘Golden Leads’.

  1. Which marketing channels or customer touch points will you use to inexpensively drive customers to the contest?

The short answer is to promote your contest in any communication that reaches your existing or potential customers. You’ll see more on this later in Step 3.

  1. How are you going to engage with customers once you know what vacation they want next and when they’ll book that vacation?

I’ve included the contact methods ICE Vacations has been using and have added a few more suggestions in Step 4.

STEP 2 — Design Your Contest Site

A lot of companies use very basic contest landing pages when running contests on their social media pages to capture contact details.

That’s okay if you just want to capture contact details, however to extract the Gold you need to crush sales targets, you need to go just a little further.

And, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on developers or graphic designers to create a terrific contest site that delivers all the elements you need–there are a number of inexpensive platforms you can access to build your contest sites.

For instance, ICE Vacations uses Your Lead Engine to create their contest sites to maximize lead flow and reduce costs.

Click here to see the contest site ICE Vacations created with Your Lead Engine to generate  8,433 Leisure Travel Leads that close at 25.35%.

When building your contest site to generate ‘Golden Leads’, here’s the blueprint of elements you want to include:

Entry Form

Contact Details

The only contact details you really need as required fields are your contestant’s first and last name, email address and contact phone numbers (at least cellular/mobile). The important thing to remember is to keep it simple to keep participation rates up.

Survey Questions

Add Survey Questions as required fields to your Entry Form–this is where the ‘Gold’ comes from!

Here are examples of the types of survey questions and answers you want to ask:

  • What vacation experience have you planned for your next vacation?

 □ Ocean Cruise  □ River Cruise □ Resort Stay □ Escorted Tour □ Hotel/Motel

  • Where are you planning to go on your next vacation?

 □ Destination 1 □ Destination 2 □ Destination 3 □ etc.

  • When will you book your next vacation?

□ I’m Ready Now □ Looking for a great deal anytime □ 1 to 3 months  □ 3 to 6 months

□ 6 to 9 months  □ 9 to 12 months □ More than 12 months

Sponsor/Promoter’s name and address

Make sure you include your company’s full name and street address (not PO Box) on the entry form so contestants know who is running the contest.

Privacy Statement

This statement contains the ‘Opt In’ wording your legal team should provide to obtain consent from contest participants to receive promotional offers from you in the future by email, SMS text messaging or telephone, so you’re covered for Anti Spam and Do Not Call legislations.

It’s particularly important to have this statement on your entry form to capture opt ins from new potential customers.

Acknowledgement Statement

The statement sits under the Privacy Statement with a tick box contestants must check to have their entry registered. The statement basically says that they have read and agree to the Contest Rules and Privacy Statement.

Be sure to check with your legal department, but generally speaking, by ticking that box and including your privacy statement on your entry form (many also include their privacy statement in the contest rules) and privacy policy on the contest site, you should have the consent you need to be compliant with Anti Spam and Do Not Call legislations.

Important: Depending on the legal jurisdictions you operate in, you need to be sure that you incorporate all local, state/provincial and federal requirements related to running contests or sweepstakes, as well as, Privacy, Anti Spam and Do Not Call legislations to make sure you’re compliant with all the rules and regulations.

Be sure to have your lawyers provide you with the wording for the Privacy Statement, Acknowledgement Statement and Privacy Policy–remember, they’re the experts!

Other elements you should include in your Contest Site are:

About Us – inform prospects and remind customers  how terrific you are to deal with and the types of products and services you provide.

Contest Rules – be sure to have comprehensive contest rules that include specifics about the prize giveaway, how and when the draw will be conducted, and how the winner will be contacted at the end of the contest.

Privacy Policy – same policy your legal team has provided to you.

Website Terms and Conditions – you probably only need to include these if your contest site is not located on your website–best to check with the legal team.

Thank You Page – this page closes the loop of the contest process and should tell contestants what happens next: how and when the draw will be conducted and how the winner will be notified.

To really extend your reach and generate more leads you should also incorporate:

Refer-a-friend functionality

Extend your reach even further by allowing contestants to invite their family and friends to enter the contest by email or by sharing on social media.

Make it worth their while by giving them an extra entry in the contest for everyone they refer that enters the contest.

Offers Page

Once contestants have referred their family and friends, have an Offers Page appear with “Special Travel Offers” that provide terrific value with a call-to-action to a toll free number or a booking page on your website.

Now that you’ve got their attention, you may as well grab some low hanging fruit, right?

And whenever someone selects one of your offers, have your system send you an ‘offer alert’ with the contestant’s contact details so your team can get onto this HOT lead straight away!

Viral Offers

Regardless of whether they selected one of your offers or not, provide the functionality that allows contestants to send one of your offers to their family and friends by email or social media.

This allows your offers to go viral and drive bookings from people who didn’t enter the contest.

Contact Method

If a contestant selected one of your offers, give them the opportunity to tell you how and when to contact them to discuss your offer.

This is the best type of lead you can get, so be sure that your system sends you this information straight away!

STEP 3 — Drive Traffic to Your Contest Site

Driving customers to your contest site can be done very inexpensively.

Just think about all the marketing channels and customer touch points you use now to drive sales traffic or engage with existing or potential customers, and include a contest invitation in the copy.

A few very inexpensive ways to drive traffic are:

  1. Email invitations to new prospects and both existing and past customers to enter your free contest.

Here’s a tip – You should also have a look at previous prospects in your database that have been designed as ‘not interested’. They may have been ‘not interested’ in buying last time you contacted them, however, many would likely be interested in entering a free contest to win a great holiday.

By answering the survey questions (as we saw in Step 2) many turn themselves into new leads!

  1. Text messages inviting both existing and past customers to enter the contest is a good way to engage if you don’t have email addresses.
  1. Showcasing a Contest on your website.

Generally less than 95% of people visiting websites or landing pages leave their contact details. Consider how much of that traffic you’re missing out on now would be enticed by an attractive contest.

  1. Have a Pop Up with a contest invitation appear on your website or landing pages when visitors are about to leave—you may as well have these assets working harder for you, right?
  1. Promote your contest in your regular Newsletters—engagement rates are typically high!
  1. Promote your contest on your Blog or Social Media profiles to reach your customers and increase the chances of your contest going viral.

Here’s a tip – Many companies are having great success using Facebook Ads to inexpensively drive traffic to their contest posts on their timelines.

STEP 4 — The Sales Process: Following Up with Contestants

Now, the best part!

Based on the answers to the survey questions contestants provided on the entry form, develop contact protocols to ensure optimal messaging and timing to engage with your Golden Leads for the best sales conversion rates.

When thinking through this process, consider:

  1. Calling contestants that selected an offer as soon as possible!
  1. Contacting contestants at the time and date that they asked you to call.
  1. Calling all contestants that indicated that they’d be booking their next vacation within the next 3 months, as soon as possible.

     This is when they’re looking around for the best deal, so get to them before they                  choose someone else!

  1. Setting up an auto email campaign for all other contestants with relevant and timely content about the destinations and vacation experiences they’re interested in.

Here’s a tip –  Don’t try to sell them a vacation with these emails!

You should certainly have a call-to-action that invites them to contact you if they want         additional information about the destination or vacation experience—just remember you are trying to help them at this time, so don’t go in with a hard sell.

Follow up with a call about 6 weeks before the time they indicated they’d be booking             their next vacation. They’ll remember and appreciate your earlier emails and give you         the time you need to sell them.

Crushing Your Sales Targets is Easy When Following the Golden Leads Formula

Like any new lead generation strategy it takes some thinking and a little time to put everything together to generate highly responsive and cost-effective leads.

However, once you have the process set up and refined, you’ll have a machine that will constantly deliver the Golden Leads you need to surpass your current sales targets!

Click on the video below to hear what Ice Vacations CEO Kevin Sharp has to say about their success using Your Lead Engine to generate their Golden Leads.

See the Golden Leads Formula in Action!

Click here to see the actual contest site ICE Vacations created for its Cruise Megastore brand that generated 8,433 Travel Leads that close at 25.35%

…and how easily you can replicate their success and create your own Golden Leads Machine!

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Here’s How To Build Trust Through Engagement

This new online lead generation process involves building trust one step at a time.

Looking for a new lead generation process to boost the growth and profitability of your firm? There is a whole new model that is revolutionizing the way professional services firms find new clients. To understand how it works, check out this latest infographic from our studio.

Trust is still important. But these days it isn’t built on a golf course or through personal referrals.

It’s also being built by engaging potential clients online. Busy executives want answers, and they want them now. They want to be educated on the issues and possible solutions. And they don’t want to waste precious time.

Infographic courtesy of Hinge Marketing.

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Have You Used the Google Analytics Service Provider Report? You Should!

The Service Provider Report is a small but significant report in Google Analytics. It’s great for finding sales leads and markets to target, troubleshooting and reviewing cross domain requirements; quite a variety of uses!

Google will never give you the IP address of your users; however, they do report on the Internet Service Provider of your website visitors. This is the name of the Internet provider, which won’t always be the large companies used by people at home – many service providers are named with the business or network.

For example, across various accounts I have access to, I’ve seen traffic from AT&T and Sky, but also providers like New York University, Google Inc., and local hotels, solicitors, and councils. Scrolling down this report can be very enlightening!

There are several other uses that give great insight into businesses looking at your site and who loves your resources. More on that can be found here.

Now that you know all about where your traffic is coming from you can start to do more with the valuable data.

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Here’s How To Use Content Marketing For Lead Generation

Content marketing’s star continues to rise in its role as a key tactic for lead generation. B2B businesses need to address the increasing importance of content marketing according to just-released research from well respected MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute.

  • Content marketing usage rates are up from last year.
  • Marketers with a documented content strategy are having the greatest success.
  • For those firms who describe themselves as effective content marketers 86% of them had someone who oversees content marketing strategy.
  • Spending on content marketing averages 30% of the marketing budget.
  • 58% of marketers plan to spend more on content marketing in 2014.
  • 74% of B2B firms use content marketing for lead generation, but the number one goal for content marketing is increasing brand awareness at 82%.
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B2B Lead Generation: What Do Marketers Want?

Most pay-per-lead B2B marketers (51%) say knowing a buyer’s purchasing time horizon is the most important data point they want but often don’t get, according to a recent report by Business.com.

The size of the buyer’s business, as measured by employee base, is the second most valuable additional data point for leads: 31% of marketers say it would be extremely valuable to know.

That’s followed by industry type (29% say it would be extremely valuable) and job title (20%).

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2013/11574/b2b-lead-generation-what-marketers-want#ixzz2etR91g3c

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Here’s How Content Fuels Your Marketing

From SEO to content, it is important to track all of your marketing channels and see which are profitable and which need optimising and the easiest way to do this is by using the marketing funnel. Make sure you are no leaking potential leads by ensuring a lead nurturing programme and use your social media platforms to help your content go viral!

Our thanks to Jonathan Kemp.

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Here’s How To Optimise Your Landing Pages

From our friends at Formstack:

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How Effective Are Your Calls To Action?

There is a great article written by Lance Jones over at copyhackers.com that gives best practices for writing CTAs that will get you convertible leads.

He proposes a radical re-thinking of your CTAs… not just in their placement on the page, but also in how you think about calls to action in general.

Okay, so what exactly is this radical approach? Well, it’s his transformation of “radical” into “RADical” with this bit of tricky business:

R (Require)
A (Acquire)
D (Desire)

There are 3 things that must occur before anyone will click your CTA:

  1. Visitors must have the information they require before clicking your CTA.
  2. Visitors must be able to easily acquire your CTA.
  3. Visitors must desire whatever is on the other side of your CTA.

Get more here: http://copyhackers.com/2012/06/radically-rethink-your-ctas/

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The Role of Color in Marketing

Use the right colors to increase brand recognition and drive purchasing.

It’s more important than ever for brands to project their value. Marketers in general understand the need for consistency in color and design. But it’s also vital to move beyond the standard logo and tagline and take a holistic approach to evoking emotions among potential customers across all of your marketing channels — including social media sites. You can use color to your advantage & this chart illustrates the choices big brands are making:

Read more: http://www.pamorama.net/2013/04/21/the-role-of-color-in-marketing-infographics/#ixzz2etywPybJ

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Where Do Marketers Get Their Leads?

Our friends over at HubSpot recently released their 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report and there was some enlightening data illustrating not just where customers come from but more importantly where the leads that turn them into leads comes from.

Lead Generation & Budget By Mode of Business

 

Lead Generation & Budget By Company Size

 

Lead Generation & Budget By Industry

 

Lead Generation & Budget By Location

 

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