Cross-channel lead generation is a highly effective way to connect to leads at various stages of their journey, across various channels they may be using. Rather than simply using multiple channels to reach leads, cross-channel strategies are all about creating a more seamless experience for customers.
The average person uses multiple channels to find information, learn more about brands, interact, and even purchase. While some may prefer social media, others are more responsive on email or even mobile. Many use more than one for different reasons. Assuming that people all use the same channels, in the same way, is a mistake that can cost you results. To be truly effective, cross-channel lead generation needs to allow leads to be reached wherever they’re at, in a way that makes the nurturing process as smooth and seamless as possible.
Avoid These Cross-Channel Lead Generation Mistakes
In this guide, we take a closer look at some of the multi-channel mistakes that can often crop up when planning cross-channel lead generation strategies. Once you know what not to do, we hope it will be easier to get more from this type of strategy.
Wondering where you might be going wrong? Here are some of the most common (and risky) cross-channel lead generation mistakes to avoid.
1. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach
You may be using many different channels right now. Assuming that they are all separate is the first mistake you may make. Assuming that your customers only choose one channel is the next mistake. Cross-channel campaigns are not made to deliver a single message to every channel.
Think about it this way – if you find a Facebook post from a company offering services that you are seeking, you will probably click through to their website. You might complete a form to get access to some tips that address your primary problems. You get an email giving you these solutions and tips. Then you get a mobile message giving you the exact same message. When you go onto Facebook again, you get a retargeting ad that once again has the same message. How likely are you to reach out to that company after seeing the same message told in the same way across multiple channels? Likewise, your potential leads don’t want to see messages that are not specific or relevant to the channel.
2. Failing to focus on your message
The problem with an overly generic approach that does not factor in the channel you are using or the overall customer journey is that your messaging seldom hits its mark. To nurture leads, messaging needs to be highly focused and personalised to meet the specific needs of your target audience. When you use the same messaging across every channel, you will struggle to connect to your audience. The way that people interact on social media is very different from the way they interact on email. Using our example above, you can see how frustrating it gets when leads see the same message on every channel they visit.
Instead of creating your message and then planning campaigns across your various channels, take a look at your channels and then plan your messages in a way that is relevant and suitable for each channel. For example, you could bring in video for your Facebook campaign or use testimonials for your lead nurturing sequence. Factoring in the core demographics and audience behaviour for each channel will further help you craft the right message for each channel, especially if you have customer personas in place.
3. Over-messaging across channels
The quickest way to lose a lead is to spam them on any channel. Spamming and taking the hard-sell approach across multiple channels will lose them even quicker. Today’s audiences have a low tolerance for spam in any form. You may not see those daily emails as spam but there is a good chance your audience may not see things in the same way. Remember: the average person is flooded with countless emails daily. Many are outright spam. Others are opt-in. More than a few are somewhere in between… messages that leads have opted in for but wish they hadn’t.
If you are sending out too many messages, not just via email, but also via SMS, and also posting constant sponsored Facebook and Google Ads, all with the same message or some variation, you are not going to win leads. If anything, you are going to lose leads. Stay clear of the aggressive selling and instead aim at providing genuine value to leads.
4. Not keeping your audience in mind
This is why it is so important to always keep your audience in mind. If you are focusing purely on the channel and your message without taking your audience into account, you will not get anywhere when your lead generation strategy. Rather than going in blind without looking at the data, make sure that you have a clear understanding of your audience on every channel. If you find that some leads use just one or two channels, make sure that you know how to target them on their chosen channels. If you find that some leads use every channel you are using, know how they use the channels. Are they using social media for general awareness and email for information? Are they using your website for the decision-making process? Which channel will they use when they are ready to convert?
Use reporting dashboards to get a comprehensive, accurate overview of how your potential leads are interacting with your business. Don’t take guesses or make assumptions. Instead, let the data lead the way so that you can create highly personalised, targeted campaigns using your lead personas.
5. Forgetting to have a lead funnel in place
When you are focusing on a single channel such as automated email sequences, your lead funnel is much easier to create and implement. When you are integrating multiple channels, it becomes a little more challenging. With this in mind, you will need to have a solid plan in place for all stages of the funnel, with specific campaigns for each stage. You will need to know how to target leads in the initial awareness stage as well as each stage that comes afterwards. This should be done in a way that leads can continue to be targeted when they move from one channel to the next, without losing momentum.
The biggest problem with not having a broader lead funnel in place across your entire lead generation strategy is that it will be much harder to take leads through each stage if you are instead only using funnels on an individual channel basis. If leads are in the awareness stage on one channel and make use of another channel, it needs to be focused on providing helpful information about your products or service without trying to push leads to the decision stage. Failing to do this can push leads before they are ready, causing them to back-track very quickly.
Improving Your Cross-Channel Lead Generation Strategy
The first step in getting more from your cross-channel efforts is to know what not to do. This will help you avoid the potential pitfalls that may lie ahead and instead plan your lead generation strategy in a way that delivers the best chance of conversion.