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Beacons, Barriers, And Blindspots, Oh My!

When it comes to improving the productivity and performance of a client's lead generation efforts, there are three general areas that I tend to focus on.

I call them the “three Bs” of lead generation. They are:

  1. beacons,
  2. barriers, and
  3. blindspots.

First, this assumes that the marketing and messaging are correct and aligned. It doesn't make sense to drive leads when the market or message is wrong. It's like trying to fix a car when you're still going down the wrong road or towards the wrong destination.

Ensuring that you have the right audience, appeal, offer, etc. is a priority. Offering the right solution to the right market with the right message that's solving the right problem will increase your chances of success before you start.

So if that's good, let's look at the three Bs.

1) Beacons

Beacons attract, guide, and drive people into your funnel. They refer to your content, copy, lead magnet, lead capturing mechanism, social proof, and so on. One of the most effective beacons is the landing page, particularly when it follows the “rule of three ones.”

  1. One message
  2. One market
  3. One outcome

What this means is, your landing page sticks to only one idea. Multiple messages might confuse people. That message should target one market or audience only. If you have multiple audiences, then create a separate lead generation process.

Most importantly, your page should lead to only one outcome. If you give people too many choices, they won't make one. If it's filling out a form, calling a number, downloading a file, or subscribing to a newsletter, focus on one thing.

2) Barriers

Barriers are snags, and it's what I tend to focus on the most when clients hire me to review their funnels. Their lead generation beacons may be on the money, but their results suck because something is creating friction.

Barriers can impede the lead flow, slow it down, create confusion, or add too many hoops to jump through. Hindrances include long, greedy forms, choppy copy, unnecessary steps, intrusive elements, confusing paths, etc.

Here's an example from my own experience to illustrate.

One of my clients was a significantly large enterprise-level firm in the healthcare space. They had just redesigned their website, which was largely dictated by their board of directors, legal team, and other stakeholders.

But after the relaunch, bounce rates were high and conversion rates abysmal. They were losing money hand over fist.

Here was the issue: the client served three distinctly different markets, and they wanted their front page to be a portal where users could select their paths themselves. But this created a bottleneck with massive dropoffs at the top of their funnels.

Users either left, selected the wrong path, or were too confused.

By removing that portal page entirely, then selecting just one market (i.e., focusing on one path and making the entry page the new home page), and offering other paths in sidebars and other strategic locations, the result was a 300% improvement.

By the way, this is another reason why you should never take the client's view of the problem at face value, particularly without a proper diagnosis first.

3) Blindspots

The next step is to work on your blindspots. They're areas in your lead generation process that are hidden, inconspicuous, or overlooked. They might include your “nooks and crannies,” too.

For example, your website likely has many dead-ends. They're thank you pages, 404 error pages, sitemap pages, archive pages, search results pages (particularly when there's “no results found”), etc. Those locations are perfect opportunities to offer your lead magnet.

Speaking of which, lead magnets can be a source of blindspots, too.

Downloadable content, such as documents in PDF (or worse yet, in Microsoft Word) is a missed opportunity. Most people think that offering a PDF makes it portable and easier to pass around. That seems paradoxical to me.

A web page, on the other hand, provides SEO benefits, shareability, and measurability. You can pass around a PDF, but you have to visit a web page. So it's better to drive leads to a page you can track, share, and optimize.

But if not gating your content is a concern, add a password-protected section or offer it as an email course. It can even be the same, freely available content but delivered in pieces over time. The delivery, in this case, is the lead magnet and not the content.

Finally, there are more examples of beacons, barriers, and blindspots than what I offered here. Just remember that you can make your lead generation far more productive if you find, focus on, and fix them. (Yes, I love alliteration.)

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