3 Step Guide to Online IT Lead Generation for MSPs

MSP lead generation starts with a good marketing strategy. Carolyn from Connect Marketing conducted a survey with small businesses which found a whopping 74% don’t have a marketing plan.

Can you believe that?

That’s extraordinary. So keeping those statistics in mind, I decided to put together a three step guide to kick start your online lead generation.

Now remember, online lead generation is just one part of your overall marketing strategy. But if you’re like me and looking for quick wins, let’s explore this three step guide to boosting your lead generation.

 1. Identify your customers pain points

A successful online lead generation starts with identifying your target markets biggest pain points or headaches. I often love referencing the analogy between vitamins and pain killers.

The basic analogy is that some of us take vitamins but all of us take pain killers. It is much easier to generate new leads if you target customers with solutions that solve a pain as opposed to something that just offers help (like a vitamin).

Here’s a great example:

I’m running an important workshop with a client and I suddenly realize my vitamin B is running low (from too much coffee) and need to run out and grab some vitamin B pills from the local chemist would I really stop my workshop for 20 mins and do that?

Now picture I’m running a workshop and I’ve come down with a chronic migraine. I’m sweltering up and the pain is unbearable and affecting my presentation – this would be a scenario where I could stop the workshop for 20 mins and quickly go grab some headache pills to relieve the pain.

So from an online lead generation perspective, you need to find areas you can offer headache pills and not vitamins – does that make sense?

My challenge for you now is to grab a notepad and write down three big pain points your existing market faces.

To get you started, here’s five I’ve come up that are relevant for most MSPs:

  • Slow response times
  • Lots of recurring problems
  • Performance issues – speed of pc
  • Outgrown their existing IT Provider
  • Spending too much money on IT

2. Make A Check-list

The next step involves putting together a useful and relevant check-list survey aimed at solving the headaches outlined in step one.

This survey can be built using a tool like Wufoo or have your developer build a web form – the goal here is to ask questions relevant to your headaches.

Here are three questions you could pop in the check-list using the above headaches:

  • Does your IT provider take longer than 30 minutes to respond to your support tickets?
  • Are you experiencing a lot of the same recurring problems?
  • Is the speed of your machine affecting your productivity?

Then, pop in a couple of qualification questions like:

  • Are you the business owner?
  • How much revenue do you turnover each year?

Finally, ask for:

  • Name
  • Phone
  • Email address
  • Company name

This way you have their contact information to give to your sales guys and they can follow up on the lead.

Once you have a check-list ready, go embed it on a page of your website.

 3. Set-up advertising campaign

Next, you’ll need to drive some visitors to the page. I’ve had a lot of success with LinkedIn, so I highly recommend using their advertising platform.

Here’s a great how to guide by With Collective on how to create a LinkedIn campaign.

<insert below slideshare>

<iframe src=”http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/13303805?rel=0″ width=”427″ height=”356″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px” allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/DomHind/how-to-create-ad-campaign-in-linkedin” title=”How to create Ad Campaign in LinkedIn” target=”_blank”>How to create Ad Campaign in LinkedIn</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/DomHind” target=”_blank”>Dominique Hind</a></strong> </div>

LinkedIn have a great help section on their advertising platform which offers a checklist of best practices. Their list includes:

  • Create effective ads (with examples)
  • Create multiple ads for each campaign
  • Target the right audience
  • Set an appropriate daily budget
  • Understand how bidding works
  • Improve your performance

Key things that have worked for me:

  • Make sure headline and ad copy in your ads appeal to the headaches
  • Try up to 3 variations of images and 3 variations of copy
  • Bump your cost per click (CPC) bid up 50 cents from the ‘recommended cost’ to ensure you get some good visibility early on
  • Keep your budget around $50/day and keep a close eye on the campaign
  • Direct all traffic to your check-list page on your website
  • Make sure to target your specific market via location targeting, and job title/description targeting

Once a lead fills in the check-list, you’ll receive their contact information. At this stage I recommend you hand the lead over to your sales team. They can get in contact with the lead and provide them with some feedback regarding the check-list they filled in.

From there, you can build rapport with the lead and nurture them into prospects.

That’s it, a simple three step guide to MSP online lead generation. I know there are a lot of tips here which are quite detailed but I hope you can use this advice to kick start your online strategy.


About the Author: Ross Beard is the Marketing Manager at Client Heartbeat. He enjoys educating MSPs on the latest marketing tips, resources and guides through his MSP Business Blog. Get more from Ross on Twitter.