Optimizing B2B-Demand Generation

  |  March 16, 2007   |  Comments

Fishing for B2B leads with a free download? Here's how to optimize the offer.

Are you a business-to-business (B2B) marketer fishing for leads? Chances are, you bait many of your online hooks with some sort of digital download.

This very page may have a hook with a nice PDF document dangling from it, waiting for some business fish to eyeball the banner, click, fill out the form, and finally hit "download now."

Let's scope some advertisers and see if we can't learn some B2B optimization lessons.

Lead Quality Starts With Quality Personas

Everyone's feeling the pinch of traffic cost inflation. Many marketers are faced with weighty pressures to increase ROI (define) by decreasing cost per lead. Old-school demographic targeting has done some of the legwork, but it will only take you so far.

Demographic data provides a fine starting place. It will tell you where the leads are, but this info can't reveal how and why people buy. Looking for Internet marketers? It makes sense that you'd find them here at ClickZ. This is a first step toward increasing your efficiency in lead generation.

Creating personas of your prospects pours a foundation for maximum optimization. But you'll have to do more than create two-dimensional demographic profiles. Probe deep into your prospects' psychographics and understand their personal and business motivations to more accurately determine their buying processes and to speak to them relevantly throughout the sales process.

Turbo-Charge Driving Points

Now that you know who your prospects are and how and why they buy, you can craft creative that will drive traffic to your offer (driving points). In this case, we're talking banner ads. You may not be able to reach all the personas with one ad; you may need to present different bait for different people. Don't just settle for the one banner ad with the highest CTR (define). The goal is to increase leads and decrease lead cost. It's possible to have a banner ad with a low CTR and a high conversion rate. Speak to all your personas with your banners. Leave no one behind.

If you speak your customer's language, from banner ad to sales call, you'll have a better chance of closing that prospect, lowering the marketing cost per transaction.

It's all about creating and optimizing an entire persuasion scenario.

Product Presentation

Let's talk about those digital morsels you're offering and how you are offering them.

If you're reading this, chances are you're a qualified lead for at least one of these advertisers. Looking at the following document offers, what's your preference?

Bottom line: If you offer a free e-book, whitepaper, case study, or paper book, don't treat it as if it's free. It obviously has value, so present it like you would a product, not a freebie.

A/B test your offer by presenting it in different ways:

  • No cover

  • Title and cover

  • Table of contents

  • Page images


Don't just sit at the shore with a couple hooks in the water, waiting for bites. Weave a net of persuasion scenarios and pull in a boatload of leads.

Share your B2B lead successes or challenges. Let me know what you've tested.

Meet Bryan at Search Engine Strategies April 10-13 at the Hilton New York in New York City.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!


Bryan Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg is coauthor of the Wall Street Journal, Amazon, BusinessWeek, and New York Times bestselling books "Call to Action," "Waiting For Your Cat to Bark?," and "Always Be Testing." Bryan is a professional marketing speaker and has keynoted conferences globally such as SES, Shop.org, Direct Marketing Association, MarketingSherpa, Econsultancy, Webcom, SEM Konferansen Norway, the Canadian Marketing Association, and others. In 2010, Bryan was named a winner of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation's Rising Stars Awards, which recognizes the most talented professionals 40 years of age or younger in the field of direct/interactive marketing. He is also cofounder and chairman emeritus of the Web Analytics Association. Bryan serves as an advisory board member of SES Conference & Expo, the eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit, and several venture capital backed companies. He works with his coauthor and brother Jeffrey Eisenberg. You can find them at BryanEisenberg.com.

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