Generating leads for your business is crucial; without new leads your business simply fades away over time. Online one of the main ways in which people try to generate leads is by getting people to sign up for newsletters or blog updates or some kind of free report. You can do all three of those on this website if you wish…!
However, the simple email list is not enough these days. Things have moved on since the first recorded piece of “spam” was sent to 600 unsuspecting individuals in May 1978. Nowadays people only accept marketing emails if they have signed up to them in advance – “opted in”. Indeed, in many countries, including the USA and the EU, it is illegal to email your marketing materials unless you have prior permission from the recipients. People are also wary about signing up to too many things because they have “information overload”.
For the business owner these are real problems. Firstly you need permission to email people – hence the “opt in” boxes for newsletters and the like – but people are also signing up for less because they feel bombarded with too much material.
On top of this, people are shifting from email to social media for many activities, such as recommending web links or providing “word of mouth” for products and services. As a result, the whole world of social media is now a fertile ground for generating business leads.
The complication for most businesses is that some people want your information via email and will sign up to your lists, whereas others now ignore email and spend their time clicking on links in social media. You need to be in several places at the same time if you are to generate the maximum number of leads.
Thanks to the service from Virally, that is now possible. Virally is “social marketing software” and helps you build up leads in a variety of ways.
The core principal of Virally is much the same as old-fashioned opt-in email marketing. But this time the “opt-ins” can be through social media as well as through email subscription.
Here’s how it works. You set up a campaign, for instance offering a free report or ebook for people to download. Then you connect your campaign vie email and social networks. When people land on your “opt-in” page they can either give you their email address or get the download having connected via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
The Virally system provides a clean landing page, as shown in the above screenshot, plus it gives you the option to personalise it and add content using HTML. But the clever bit is behind the scenes.
Each campaign – and you are allowed three on a free account – can show you where your leads are coming from, who clicked on what and who recommended your material. That means you can easily spot “hot” leads from “cold” ones. You can also send out emails using the integrated MailChimp connection, or export your leads into another email marketing service or CRM program.
There are some other “added extras” available, such as a “Coffee Card” which lets you get people to share your web page content in return for a reward – making it a bit of a game. And you can get people to “pay” for your free report by having to Tweet about it first, for instance. Once they have sent the Tweet the download gets unlocked for them. But that way you gain valuable additional publicity.
Virally does have a couple of minor problems, for instance the campaign editing page where you enter all the necessary details has a design clash whereby the data entry boxes have no margin, so the explanatory text runs up against them. Also, for some people the pricing could be an issue. There is a free account, but that is limited to three campaigns and shows you are using the Virally service. If you want to run more than three campaigns without promoting Virally, then pricing begins at $49 a month, with the maximum number of features kicking in at $299 per month. But even though this price is potentially off-putting, the data you get means you can really find out who your hot leads are – which means given that you should significantly enhance your conversion rate. Even at $299 a month the cost of generating new business is then quite reasonable – especially if you compare it with other ways of generating leads. A while ago the Inbound Marketing Company, HubSpot, found that the average cost of generating a business lead is around the $350 mark. That means if Virally produced you just one lead a month you would be saving money compared with traditional methods of getting such leads.
So, even though the costs may inhibit some people, the opportunity you get is excellent. Virally looks like it is an excellent addition to your existing email marketing lead generation system – indeed for many people it could well replace it.
For more information visit Virally at: https://virallyapp.com/
This post has been edited from the original to reflect new pricing introduced by Virally in January 2013. My initial review was critical of pricing.
NOTE: This review is based on my initial findings and a few experiments with the system. I am NOT affiliated to Virally.
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+