Marketers: Lead Gen Effectiveness Improves; Email Most Effective

Ascend2-Most-Effective-Difficult-Lead-Gen-Tactics-July2015Lead generation effectiveness is improving for almost three-quarters of marketers and salespeople around the world, according to the latest report [download page] from Ascend2 and its Research Partners, with respondents finding that the most effective lead generation vehicles are also among the easiest to execute.

Continuing a running theme (see here, here and here), email is again highly rated in this survey. Among the Ascend2 respondents – 4 in 5 of whom are B2B-focused – 48% rated email as being an effective tactic, ahead of websites and landing pages (44%) and content marketing (43%). Where email and websites/landing pages separate themselves from content marketing is in their perceived difficulty, though: content is seen by the largest share (43%) of respondents as being difficult to execute, while websites/landing pages (13%) and email (18%) are found difficult by the fewest.

Given the prominence of websites and landing pages as effective lead generation tactics, it’s somewhat surprising to see testing and optimization at the other end of the spectrum, ranked as effective by just 10% of respondents, the fewest of any tactic measured. In a separate recent Ascend2 survey, marketers and salespeople ranked A/B testing the most effective landing page optimization method. It may be that respondents to this latest survey are associating the conversion rate optimization benefits of testing and optimization more with page views and sales than with lead generation (sign-ups, registrations).

Meanwhile, returning to the latest Ascend2 survey, respondents indicated that the most challenging obstacle to lead generation success is the lack of an effective strategy (40%). Inadequate marketing budgets (33%) and limited content creation capabilities (33%) followed, with those content creation issues likely fueling content marketing’s perceived difficulty.

Finally, the most important objectives of an effective lead generation strategy, per the study, are improved lead quality (70%), increased sales revenues (58%) and increased lead volume (54%). Given those results, it’s not too surprising that the most useful metric cited by respondents is sales-qualified leads generated.

About the Data: The Ascend2 data is based on a survey of 300 marketing, sales and business professionals from around the world, 80% of whom are primarily B2B-focused. Some 45% come from companies with at least 50 employees.