Most businesses want sales, revenue, and profits. That’s exactly what a business should aim for. Without focus on lead generation, however, you won’t make it.

Just not so soon. Just not the way you seem to think that because it’s the “online medium”, things are supposed to be easier.

You can’t expect to start a blog and see your revenue pouring in. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t see your first dollar in a day either.

Back-breaking efforts are needed just to give a commendable presence for your business.

  • You’d have to make sure you started off your web presence with a website that’s set up for lead generation.
  • You don’t want to deal with any hiccups while your website is up, and for that reason, you’d want to ensure that you are hosting on the right platforms.
  • Make sure that your website hosting is fast enough (Hint: use Kinsta, WPEngine, Or Flywheel. If you are really low on budget, try decent shared hosting, if you must.
  • Blog regularly, on schedule. Not convinced? See these 11 bloggers can shame any small business as far as blogging is concerned.
  • Maintain your presence on social media. Use social media the right way (No, it’s not just there so you can peddle your wares shamelessly).
  • Be sure to focus on building your email list. Without a good, responsive list of subscribers, you stand no chance of making money online.
  • Every link from within your blog or on social media should link to dedicated landing pages. You can build landing pages easily with Leadpages or Unbounce.

While we didn’t even discuss paid marketing yet, just doing all of the above is a full-time job.

If you put all your hopes on one channel (like SEO) or thought you knew what’s best for your business, I won’t blame you.

Scores of small businesses, bloggers, and everyone else who tries to make the Internet work for their respective businesses have been misled.

Plus, digital marketing itself lends itself to multiple opinions — everyone seems to think they “know” what’s involved.

The reality? You underestimate the work involved. You don’t get it.

Regardless of what you think works for your business or not, lead generation should be your primary goal — it’s not branding, sales, revenue, and profits.

Why you ask?

Online Medium Doesn’t Circumnavigate commerce

Traditionally, sellers make human contact with potential buyers. Talks are exchanged, ideas are traded, problems are laid out, and solutions are presented.

Only after enough convincing (assuming the circumstances are right for buyers) would normally move the needle towards a transaction.

That’s how commerce happens. Just because you now have an online presence or that you setup an ecommerce shop would not change the underlying dynamics of commerce itself.

With lead generation, your focus is to get potential visitors through the door into your email marketing list. Then, you nurture your email subscribers with more exclusive, helpful, and relevant information. Finally, you’ll make the sale.

Don’t look for shortcuts. You’ll be sorry you did.

Lead Generation + Email Marketing = Predictable results

Whip up an ecommerce store, send some traffic, and will sales happen?

Maybe. Maybe not.

If I were you, I wouldn’t just set up an ecommerce store on Shopify and wait for my store visitors to turn magically into customers.

You wouldn’t also just send traffic to your regular small business website and expect magic to happen.

That’s not how it happens (see above).

First, you’d need to generate leads by making an offer (give away something valuable).

You’ll need to nurture these leads with email marketing.

The Value of Email Subscriber

Every subscriber you get on to your list actually has an average dollar value assigned to that lead — that’s just how predictable email marketing is.

Pam Neely has a handy email subscriber value calculator for you to use. If you can’t seem to get away from social media Vs Email debate, here’s some help from Converkit so you can see just how valuable email marketing is.

Kevin Kononenko of Databox helpfully points out examples of companies that boast of an amazing ROI from email marketing. Like how HomeAdvisor boosted their email-driven revenue by 114% or how Drift uses behavior-targeting to make emails contribute around 66% of their revenue.

By just shifting to newsletters alone, The New York Times increased their paid subscribers by 14%. Clymb increased revenue from their email marketing by using personalization.

If you assume that every promotional email you send converts at 10% off of your total subscribers at any given time, what’s the value of each of your subscribers? What’s the total number of sales you can expect, and what’s the profit from each transaction?

Don’t focus on sales just yet. Focus on lead generation and then put in the work required to convert those leads into sales.

Try anything else and you’ll crash and burn.