Some traditional lead generation techniques no longer work online. Even time-honored stalwarts can’t be counted on to boost response and secure the lead. Here are 3 techniques that no longer work…

  • The word guarantee
  • The one-line testimonial
  • The discount coupon

The word guarantee

In offline lead generation, the word guarantee carries some weight. In many countries around the world it has a specific legal meaning, and can’t be used lightly. This gives it power.

On the Internet, it’s a different story. It’s simply not worth the effort trying to enforce a ‘guarantee’ when the person behind it could live anywhere in the world. This weakens the term, and it’s overuse has dropped its persuasive power so low it’s no longer worth using.

The one-line testimonial

We’ve all seen them, haven’t we? You turn up to a web page, and find dozens of one-liners like these…

  • The best thing since sliced bread – Y.E. Ahright, Arkansas
  • Cured my lumbago in 3 seconds flat – C. O. Blers, UK
  • My financial problems were solved overnight – U. N. Lyklee

It took me all of 60 seconds to create these testimonials out of thin air. They’re unverifiable, and so worthless. The best way to implement testimonial evidence in support of lead generation is a combination of video and scanned hard copies.

Video works because it’s easy to tell when somebody is faking. If a company has dozens of people on video talking about them in a positive way, each one is progressively more convincing (assuming the people seem genuine). We’re all happy to trust our own instincts in this regard, which is why video works.

Scanned written testimonials also work, because the entire letter can be seen. This includes the company name and contact details. It makes the testimonial verifiable, and that fact alone gives it credibility.

The discount coupon

Online discount coupons work for big brands, such as Amazon and Dell. They’re considerably less effective for unknown brands.

I’m not suggesting they’re completely worthless, but don’t believe they’ll push a buyer over the edge if s/he isn’t already happy to buy from you. My view is, the best online use of discount coupons is offer them to existing customers as a means of enticing them back to your site.

Existing customers already know and trust you, allowing the coupon to work its magic. The key to getting strangers to buy from you isn’t discounts. It’s trust, and that’s where your efforts are best applied.

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