3 Reasons Your Lead-Gen Campaign Is Struggling

When your lead-generation campaign underperforms or doesn’t scale well, it’s easy to blame your assets. Your ad used the wrong button text or button color. Or your image should’ve had people in it (or not had people in it). Or the copy was unclear.

Those could all certainly be factors. But it’s also possible that you’re running into problems on a higher level. When you know you have the right audience, there are three strategic issues that could be impacting the success of your lead-gen campaigns.

Here’s what might be going wrong.

1. Your offer is too niche

If your offer is only designed to appeal to a small percentage of the audience you’re advertising to, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when your ads have low clickthrough rates.

Suppose you sell church presentation software, and you’re advertising to an audience of church leaders. This could include pastors, worship directors, elders, deacons, ministry directors, and even volunteers.

Any of these roles could have a say in their church’s purchasing decisions—or at the very least, connections to the people who do. If you want to reach as many of them as possible, you should entice them with an offer that will appeal to these specific roles—such as an ebook with tips for improving their congregation’s worship experience, or their own.

If you offer something that only appeals to a technical director (such as a guide to the best sound boards for small churches), you should expect your click-through rate to go down. A pastor, elder, or ministry director is probably only going to click that ad to pass it along to someone else (and that’s not very likely to happen).

Similarly, while targeting tools are helpful, if you refine your audience too much, you’re going to have a hard time scaling your campaign. When you rule out everyone except senior pastors and require them to be from churches that have 200+ members, your maximum potential reach is going to be a fraction of a site’s total audience—even if their audience is predominantly pastors.

There is a tradeoff though. A broader audience and a more broadly appealing offer means more leads, but it can also mean that a smaller percentage of those leads turn into sales. A niche offer means your ads won’t perform as well, but the leads you do get may be more likely to lead to sales.

Ultimately though, you want to reach as many people as possible who could play a role in the purchase, because that has the potential for the greatest number of sales. So if your lead generation campaign is struggling, consider whether your offer is the right fit for your audience, and whether your target audience is too narrow.

2. Your landing page has too many fields

If your conversion rate is low, it could mean that there’s a problem with your landing page—especially if your clickthrough rate is fine. While there may be issues with copy or design, one of the biggest culprits could be the sign-up form itself.

The moment people arrive on your landing page, they’re doing a cost-benefit analysis of your offer. They’re weighing their time and the commitment against what they’ll get in return. People generally expect to give away their email in exchange for a resource. And that exchange makes sense, because downloadable resources are often delivered via email.

But if you ask for their mailing address, phone number, church name, job title, denomination, and hours of availability for a phone call, all of a sudden the commitment outweighs the offer.

That might all be useful information for you to have, but asking for it upfront is almost guaranteed to reduce your conversion rate. Remember, if you get them on your email list, you can always find more natural ways to get that information with your nurture campaign.

Be sure your lead capture forms focus on getting you the right information, instead of trying to collect as much information as possible.

3. Your offer isn’t valuable enough

People aren’t going to click your ad or give you their email if your lead magnet looks like something they could find on Google. You need to offer them something that looks valuable—valuable enough to exchange their information for.

There are lots of ways to make sure your lead magnet is valuable. Sometimes it’s simply who made it, either because they’re well-known or they have lots of experience. You could interview an established thought leader in your space, or get them to write an ebook for you. Or you could ask your in-house experts to draw from their years of experience and give away their best insights.

Unique data can make your lead magnet more valuable, too. If you’ve collected information through surveys, your software, or other means, you can package it into an infographic or ebook. The key is to find relevant data sets people can learn something valuable from.

Is it time to re-evaluate your lead-gen campaigns?

You can endlessly A/B test your copy and creatives. But sometimes there are other obstacles preventing your ad campaign from reaching its full potential. If your clickthrough rates or conversion rates are low, or your campaign is struggling to scale, it could be a sign that you’re experiencing one of these issues.

So step back and ask yourself: are we making the right offer for this audience? Are we asking for too much information up front? Is our offer valuable?

If the answer to any of those is no and you’re not satisfied with your results, the assets probably aren’t the problem. It’s time to rethink your strategy.