Key insights to enhance lead generation — an afternoon at All Leads 2023

Last week, client relations manager Kat Plant, and account manager Bethany Lunt, made their way to The Everyman Cinema in Leeds for an afternoon of tips, talks, and expert insight into all things lead generation from a variety of speakers — courtesy of marketing automation specialists, Force 24. Here’s how the duo got on…

Hosted in the effortlessly cool, relaxed and amiable atmosphere of The Everyman cinema in Leeds, the digital marketing conference is just one of many events hosted by the email automation firm  this year. Starting off strong with a pizza and drinks reception at lunchtime, Force 24’s CEO, Adam Oldfield, kickstarted the first of the afternoon’s talks with a focus on email deliverability and the importance of hyper-personalised, cross channel marketing experiences. 

Here are some of the key insights from each of the insightful talks…

Why email deliverability is the new SEO

Did you know that the average inbox receives around 120 emails per day? In the first of six sessions at All Leads 2023, Force24’s Adam Oldfield —CEO of the fastest growing platform in the UK — uncovered his top tips for how to successfully get into your target audiences’ inboxes:

  • The hardware. While this is something we all think only a techy could solve, understanding how to properly configure your email server and authentication protocols helps to prove to email service providers (ESPs) that your emails are coming from a legit source.

  • Data quality. Rather than wondering if you’ve enough contacts in your company’s email database, as marketers we should be thinking about how much do I know about the audience behind the contact information. 

  • Engagement. If your emails are being opened and clicked, then this credibility will boost your profile. However, it’s important to remember that the design of your emails should be optimised in order to keep your engagement rates high.

  • Aggressively qualify out. If you think you’re having deliverability issues, it may be worth setting any contact that hasn’t engaged with your email content for 30 days or more as unengaged. That way your engagement rates will increase, boosting credibility.

  • Plan your subject lines! Often a drastically underestimated component of email marketing, yet one that is likely to drive most engagement is what you’re saying before your email has even been opened. 

  • Segmentation. Segmenting your audience by the types of the content that you know they will resonate with can be an extremely powerful tool. Generic messages often lead to higher unsubscribe rates and low engagement, leading to lower credibility over time.

  • Increase your cadence. A regular sending pattern through your ESP means that you can give ISPs the ability to predict when you’re likely to be distributing emails.

And it’s not just email that we should be considering either. Your audience’s lifestyle can also affect engagement, not everyone has the time to read through every piece of content they receive. It’s important to remember to engage with your target contacts in a way that resonates. The use of alternative channels such as direct mail or SMS could be a better way of engaging your audience. 

Why you’re not ranking #1 on Google

Next up was Manpreet Singh from Bobble Digital discussing all things SEO and the latest Google trends. With Google now holding a 92% share of the search engine market, it’s important that brands are aware of how to grow on the platform. Delving deeper into the three pillars of success for SEO, Manpreet gave an insightful overview into the technical element of SEO as well as the need for keywords and site links.

  • Technical. From overall page loading time, to a websites indexibility and crawlability, the end goal is to meet the needs of users and search engines. The need for a website to be mobile-friendly is also essential, given that Google has now shifted to mobile-first indexing and ranking. 

  • Content. It’s important to remember that websites don’t rank for keywords but rather their web pages. SEO-friendly content will help to increase rankings and boost organic traffic to your site. However, said content needs to be high-quality, informative, and relevant to your target audience. Google prefers long-form content too, so a focus on readability is key for long-term SEO success.

  • Link building. Backlinks from other reputable websites can be a great way to improve your off-page SEO. While there are varying types of backlinks, it’s essential to remember that quality over quantity is of the utmost importance here.

Last but not least, Google’s ongoing updates can also impact your site ranking, SERPS, and clicks more than you might think. If you see a dip in your organic traffic, it could be worth considering any of the search engines updates.

Why brands need a personality

Moving onto creative, Eleanor Pick from Creative Race uncovered why a brand’s look isn't enough, and the need for personality. Of course, purpose is important — some may say the purpose of a brand should come before anything else — but without a personality, your brand will fail to resonate with its target audience. According to Havas’ ‘Meaningful Brands’ 2021 report, 75% of brands could disappear and no one would mind. So, what can brands do to truly resonate with people?

According to Eleanor, brands first need to consider their foundations. What are your intentions as a company? What do you hope to achieve? What problem are you looking to solve? Moving onto the next stage of the process is when a brand can dig deeper into who they are and what their personality really looks like. Here are Eleanor’s four top tips for brands when it comes to uncovering personality:

  • Think about your brand like a person. Give them a boost with meaningful words.

  • Don’t be afraid to make changes. Context is key and consumers are fickle.

  • Don’t have a split personality. If what you already have works, then cultivate it.

  • Purpose without personality is pointless. Connection is key.

Putting creativity before SEO

Here at Scriba, we’re champions of good quality, well written content being the foundation of whatever type of content marketing a brand is carrying out. Hannah Salt, senior content consultant and editor at SALT Agency discussed the importance of why content is king for any brand. 

From what makes content shareable, to how a good piece of content can influence an online transaction, Hannah uncovered the variety of ways in which a brand can talk to— and inspire — its target market in the current climate. In a nutshell, here are Hannah’s top tips to curating an engaging piece of content, and we couldn’t agree more!

  • Copy should be well-written and error free.

  • Whatever the type of content, it should provide a unique perspective.

  • Is trustworthy and adds value.

  • Should be authoritative and informative. 

Why focusing on direct response can kill your brand

Long term brand building. What is it? Why do we do it? Why is it important? Moving into the afternoon, Andrew Mirzai, a senior digital strategist from Connective3 delved deeper into the importance of long term advertising and the effect it can have on brands. 

In short, by building a strategy that focuses on long term brand building, businesses are able to influence future sales, emotionally prime and create mental brand equity amongst its target audience. As prices continue to increase and brand pools continue to get smaller, Andrew explained how to measure the long term, now and its influence on future  sales growth. Here are the top three brand equity qualities to consider:

  • Be meaningful.

  • Be memorable.

  • Be different.

Mastering the art of paid content co-creation

And last but not least, William Brittain from Journey Further uncovered the alchemy of paid media content planning and why brands should consider tapping into the creator economy. Creator content is crucial for paid performance, 79% of people are tired of seeing perfect, polished images online and creator content can be repurposed across email, OOH, paid ads and much more, so what can brands do to ensure they’re tapping into the creator economy for the right piece of content? Here are the top things to consider:

  • If an influencer’s costs aren’t within budget, looks to your customers for user generated content (UGC) or your internal teams instead, 

  • Make it easy for customers to share content with a hashtag.

  • Utilise free tools like TikTok creator marketplace.

  • Use paid tools to vet creators and for always-on content sourcing.

  • Test varying copy and CTAs to understand what resonates with your audience.

Now while the above can be a great way to increase lead-gen, it can't be executed without a creative brief. Going back to basics, William touched upon the need for why a well crafted is the key to a well crafted creative. Now this goes for briefing external creators and influencers right through to your internal teams too. A clear and concise brief clearly communicates the vision and requirements of the campaign, when done properly, it will save time and budget in the long run. 

Where to next?!

Nothing quite beats being able to have  face-to-face conversations with other wordsmiths and marketers about the things that we’re truly passionate about in order to achieve results for our clients. A huge thank you to Force24 for hosting yet another fantastic event, as well as Bobble Digital, Creative Race, Connective3 and Salt Agency for their expert opinions on all things, SEO, brand, and lead generation. 

Bethany Lunt, account manager

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Written by Bethany Lunt