What to Do If Your Inbound Marketing Leads Start to Slide

What to Do If Your Inbound Marketing Leads Start to Slide

By John McTigueApr 16 /2012

You've been working hard to build a nice, sustainable increase in traffic and leads over the past months and years. Now, all of a sudden things are starting to tail off. Why? Shouldn't the momentum you've created be enough to keep itself going? What's the problem, and what can you do about it? First rule - don't panic. Analyze the situation.

What's the Problem?

Before you start calling in the National Guard, let's take a close look at the situation. If you're doing inbound marketing, chances are you are using one of the leading marketing automation packages and have access to a variety of metrics. What caused you to start worrying? Was it a display of comparative metrics, like the HubSpot Dashboard? Here we see a rolling comparison of this month's traffic and leads compared to the average of the last three months.

leads are dropping compared to previous months

So, we're about on track for traffic (the upper chart), but leads are a concern - we're about 60% of where we should be (the lower chart). Now, let's drill down and see what's missing. Why are we tailing off on new leads?

leads are dropping what to do about it

Here's our HubSpot Sources Report, showing the breakdown of leads for the past six months by online source - Organic Search (green), Referrals (yellow), Paid Search (orange), Direct Traffic (purple), Email Marketing (tan) and Social Media (turquoise). We're halfway through the month of April, so our lead totals should be about 50% of what they were in March. Not happening. In fact all of the categories are looking weak compared to the previous three months. Houston, we have a problem.

What to Do About It

Again, don't panic. It's probably not something systemic - just an adjustment needed to rekindle interest and engagement. Here are some suggestions to fan the flames a bit:

  • Take a good look at your blogging output, topics and promotion efforts. Try to focus on more trendy topics and blog at least once, preferably twice a day during the work week. Make sure everyone on the team is actively engaging and sharing the blog posts in social media. Tell them not to all share at once - spread it out over several hours for each post.
  • Make sure every blog post has a clear call to action to a landing page lead conversion opportunity.
  • Revisit your advanced content. Are your downloads and videos getting stale? Have conversion rates started to tail off on them? It's probably time for something new and timely.
  • Optimize your landing pages. Are you doing A/B testing? You should be. You never know what features and factors will drive up conversion rates until you test them.
  • Don't forget about lead nurturing. This is one of your best opportunities to remain connected with your followers and generate new leads from shared content.
  • What did you do in previous months that you're not doing this month? A webinar or special event? A social media campaign? A PPC campaign? Did you have a huge spike because one or more pieces of content went viral? Those could have made a huge difference, but you need to look hard at the data to figure it out.
  • Think outside the box. What haven't you done in a while (or maybe ever)? An email newsletter? A mobile marketing campaign? Try something different this month. Your followers get tired of seeing the same old things every month.

It's Not Too Late

Yes, we're in the middle of the month, but it's not a write-off. We're dealing with temporary adversity (we hope) and learning how to make the proper adjustments. Hopefully next month, we'll be back on track and soaring again. Inbound marketing is not a static strategy. It's not a fire-and-forget approach. You have to be constantly nurturing your content, lead generation approach and the leads themselves to maintain momentum and achieve your goals. Other business priorities may sidetrack you from time to time, but never lose sight of the situation and keep trying new ideas. We're working on that now, and you can expect to see quite a bit of freshness coming very soon.

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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn and Twitter.