The Internet Service Provider (ISP) is hyper-competitive, with hundreds of companies fighting for the same audience. The competitive nature of the industry demands businesses stand out to attract new customers.
How can your ISP business stand out? You need to generate leads. Effective lead-generation strategies help your internet business reach your target audience and send them into your sales funnel.
While numerous strategies are available, some are better than others. We’ll explore the top 11 – including direct marketing, which offers the highest ROI – that have proven most effective for ISP businesses.
What We’ll Cover:
- Background: What is Lead Generation?
- What Does Lead Generation Mean for Internet Marketers?
- 11 Lead Generation Strategies that Get Customers’ Attention
- Get Your ISP Leads Today!
Background: What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting prospects to your business with the end goal of converting them into a customer. Methods to generate leads for your business include blog posts, direct mails, emails, live events, discounts and deals.
There are three main reasons why you should adopt lead-generation strategies for your business:
- It helps you expand your market and boost revenue.
- You can improve lead quality through targeted strategies.
- It builds visibility and awareness for your business, both of which are important in a competitive industry.
What Does Lead Generation Mean for Internet Marketers?
As an internet service provider, you don’t want subscribers who subscribe to your plans for a month or two and then cancel their subscription. A high churn rate equals a bad business model. You want high-value leads that you can retain for longer.
That’s what makes generating leads for ISPs a little trickier and more challenging. Here are four elements of the lead generation process you need to focus on when building your customer acquisition strategy.
Building a Customer Base
Lead generation is the first step in any customer acquisition strategy. It helps you reach a wider audience and build a solid customer base. For example, when you start creating valuable content for your ISP audience, you start attracting qualified leads.
These people are already searching for a solution in your field, and through your content, you can push them down the sales funnel. You can then complement this by utilizing additional strategies like email marketing and direct marketing to nurture these leads toward conversion.
Which mail do you like to open, one that has put in the effort to appeal to you or the one that looks and reads like generic mail?
According to a survey by McKinsey, companies that get personalization right can generate 40% more revenue.
Your lead generation process must consider this. Instead of sending the same direct mail to all customer segments, you can vary the content and visuals according to different locations, segments, buyer persona or depending on where they are in the sales funnel.
The ISP business doesn’t work on one-time purchases or subscriptions. You need to retain your customers for a long time to get a stable level of growth. The best way to do this is by building relationships.
With lead generation initiatives, you can achieve that. Say you send a newsletter or direct mail to your target audience every month. If it’s valuable and relevant to your audience, they’ll start anticipating your content, and you build trust and credibility.
This helps you turn your prospects/customers into a community of loyal fans.
Whether it’s changes in the market, new government regulations, or an unexpected situation, you may need to scale up or down based on your evolving business needs or goals.
Internet marketers can do this with their lead generation strategies to accommodate growth or changes in the market. For example, you may track your previous campaigns and find where you can put more money or which campaigns you can stop until the situation improves.
Because of the scalable nature of these strategies, many businesses have turned to them for quick action/response when needed.
11 Lead Generation Strategies that Get Customers’ Attention
It goes without saying – you want to implement the best lead-generation strategies for ISP businesses. Well, good news! Here are 11 strategies tried and tested to get you the desired results. Let’s dive in.
1. Direct Mail Marketing
Direct mail has one of the highest ROI of 112% across all mediums, beating SMS (102%), email (93%), and paid search (88%).
It may seem surprising, but it makes sense. Direct mail helps you escape the digital clutter and reach prospects with tangible marketing material.
With platforms like Postalytics, companies have enjoyed success with their direct campaigns. You can customize each direct mail, get access to readymade templates and use features like variable data and variable logic. Tracking your direct campaigns has never been easier with scannable QR codes that you can add to your mailers. All the recipient needs to do is scan the code, and you can bring them to your internet plan page and track their activity.
With all these benefits, creating and sending direct campaigns has become as easy as managing email campaigns.
2. Online Advertising
Online advertising is a useful lead-generation strategy. There are various types of online ads, including search engine ads, social media ads, video ads and website display ads.
One advantage of online advertising is you can scale up or down depending on your business requirements. It also delivers results immediately instead of waiting months or years to see an impact.
Ads allow you to set filters like location and age so you can target the right people. For example, if you want to expand into a different location, you can set that filter on Facebook ads so you get qualified leads.
If you’re starting, target less competitive keywords that have decent search volume so you don’t have to invest heavily upfront.
Here are some best practices you can implement while creating Google ads:
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing is among the most popular lead-generation tactics for attracting and nurturing leads. You can build an email list by encouraging website visitors to subscribe to your newsletter or updates.
Many businesses also offer ebooks and free resources as lead magnets to capture email addresses. Look how HubSpot promotes free resources on relevant articles.
Once you have captured email addresses, segment them into different lists based on their preferences and behaviors so you can personalize messages.
You can create lead-generation campaigns to share promotions, news, and educational content about your ISP services. For example, for those leads who have shown an interest in your services, you can send them email campaigns about why they should choose your brand and further nurture them with a discount coupon.
Look at how Zapier creates urgency with their discount email by adding a “Offer ends tomorrow” line.
You can also complement this with your direct mail campaigns. According to a study, using email and catalog together results in a 49% sales lift and a 125% lift in inquiries.
4. Referral Programs
Who better to talk about your business and bring customers than your loyal fans? People also trust others’ recommendations more.
By creating a structured referral program, you can encourage your existing customers to refer friends and family by offering discounts and rewards for successful referrals.
The various types of referral programs you can implement are:
- Standard reward program: You provide the same incentive for every referral and reward the customer once the referred person subscribes to any plan.
- Tiered reward program: You provide different levels of incentives based on the number of referrals a customer shares.
- Multi-step reward program: This rewards customers based on the different steps they accomplish, for example, $10 for scheduling a call, $20 for booking a training session, and $30 for when the person makes the payment.
- Gamified reward program: Mostly used during holiday seasons, this aims to turn your referral program into a fun and competitive event. For example, you can set a high-value reward for the customer who brings the most referrals in a limited time.
Here’s a tiered reward program by AW Broadband.
5. Local Marketing
In the internet business, location plays a key role. After all, not all areas have a high demand for Internet services, and in some locations, the market is already too saturated. In other words, don’t waste your time going after every market.
That’s where local marketing becomes a great lead-gen strategy. It involves promoting your ISP services to specific locations or geographic areas.
Here are some local marketing strategies you can adopt:
- Optimize for local search through Google Business Profile (GBP). This ensures your business appears when someone from the same locality searches for keywords like “internet service providers.”
- Attract local visitors through Google and social media ads.
- Attend local events, fairs, or trade shows to showcase your services and connect with potential customers.
- Participate in online professional groups that are restricted to specific locations.
- Register with important local business directories.
6. Online Reviews
What do you do when you want to subscribe to a service or buy a product? Do you click the “Purchase” button without thought, or do you first look for online reviews?
Unless you have used the product earlier or you don’t need to invest a lot of resources, it’s a certainty you will check out the reviews.
Focusing on this lead-gen strategy is something many internet businesses miss out on.
It starts by encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews on sites and platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
The more positive reviews you have, the easier for prospects to trust your brand and subscribe to your services.
Here’s how you can send an email to your existing customers who have stayed with your brand for a considerable time and encourage them to leave a review:
7. Complementary Business
Many companies have used this strategy to grow their business and reach a wider audience that they would not have been able to target on their own. By partnering with businesses that provide complementary services, you can build a bundle or package that is unique and solves customers’ problems.
ISPs can collaborate with businesses such as real estate agencies, tech companies, or property management companies. For example, you can partner with a real estate agency in a particular location and provide broadband services to customers shifting into a new home.
This way, you can leverage their audience and benefit from this partnership by offering cross-promotions and referrals.
Before proceeding with this strategy, ensure you draw a clear plan to avoid confusion. List out how both parties will be working, the budget and how each party will benefit from this collaboration.
8. Content Marketing
Your website won’t start ranking on its own. You must invest time in creating quality content that makes your website visible and increases your rankings. This will bring forth a lot of leads, even in the long run.
First, start with conducting keyword research. Find the phrases your target audience is searching for. Use tools like Ahrefs to find details like keyword difficulty, search volume, etc.
Once you have narrowed down the list, start with creating BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel) content. This content, like relevant customer stories and comparison articles, converts at a high rate.
You can then start creating MOFU (Middle of the Funnel) and TOFU (Top of the Funnel) content. Ensure you consistently create content so you’re always on the top of the search engine whenever your audience enters a relevant keyword.
Here’s a step-by-step process to create your content marketing strategy.
9. Host a webinar or event
You can get hundreds or thousands of leads for your ISP business by hosting webinars or local events. You can position yourself as an expert in the industry and provide valuable information to potential customers.
Before conducting this event, ensure you’re creating hype by creating targeted landing pages where you can capture your visitor’s email address.
You can then share email reminders to drive a large turnout at your event.
Here are some other best practices you can follow:
- Have an event goal and budget in place to stay on the right track.
- Communicate the value of your event properly. Create a persuasive copy for your landing page that demonstrates the benefits of attending the event/webinar.
- Always include a brief description of the event and the speakers.
- Move slowly through the proceedings. At the same time, don’t lengthen the webinar and make it dull or repetitive.
- Have a quick and efficient registration and check-in process in case of a physical event.
10. Start an ISP forum
Have you ever stayed loyal to a brand because it had a fun and amazing community? Through community building, you can attract and retain customers by creating an ISP forum.
An ISP forum can be a valuable platform for customers to ask questions, share experiences, and seek advice. For example, people can share their experiences with your business or talk about how you can improvise further. Their insight gives a lot of new ideas for your team, and you can capitalize on customer feedback coming your way.
Here’s how you can encourage discussion in your forum:
You’ll also have to participate in and moderate these forums to ensure there’s no wrong activity taking place. Being present can also build trust and authority in your brand. Don’t miss out on capturing lead information whenever forum discussions take place.
11. Social media marketing
Offering great content on your blog won’t cut it anymore. You need to be active on all the platforms your target audience is at, including social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and X.
You can run different social media campaigns like;
- Creating educational/informational carousels on LinkedIn,
- Engaging with your audience by asking questions on X,
- Running targeted ads on Instagram,
- Sharing relevant content on Facebook.
Ensure that you are also engaging with your audience by replying to their comments and running targeted ads.
If you’re short on time or resources, many companies also repurpose their existing content (blogs, videos, or podcasts) for social media. Here are some best practices you can follow.
A great practice is to schedule timely checks to ensure you’re getting a good ROI from your campaigns.
Get Your ISP Leads Today!
Lead generation is a key activity for ISP businesses. When you get more leads coming to your business, you have a better chance of converting more people into paid subscribers for your business. That’s not all. These strategies also help engage existing customers and retain them, lowering the dreaded churn rate and keeping revenues steady.
If you decide on direct marketing, use tools like Postalytics to manage direct mail campaigns from start to finish seamlessly. You can also access many features that will help create these campaigns in no time.