With the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, some businesses are being hit harder than others when it comes to lead generation. These companies are being forced to pivot their offers to bring in new leads and still sell their services as customers are holding on more tightly to their money in an uncertain market.
The economic impact of COVID-19 has hit each industry differently based on their target audience. Here are some experiences businesses in different industries have shared with us, followed by some advice on how to handle lead generation during the pandemic.
Being in the marketing industry, we have seen a drop of almost 75% in leads over the last month. Because of this, we have made a couple changes. We removed all pricing from the website. While we were very competitive, I am much more willing to negotiate pricing with businesses because I understand the concerns all companies are going through.
I started a global branding and marketing firm 19 years ago. We have had a few delayed projects but no client has been lost yet but projects have slowed, everyone is still on board knock wood. The biggest change for me, my team and my clients from the virus so far is the shutdown of all networking events, travel and conferences.
We run a remote job board, hiring and recruiting. The number of new jobs coming in decreased by 50% but the number of candidates coming increased by 50%. For candidates, we’ve added new services to help them including resume services as well as sharing more job search resources to help them during this difficult time. For companies, we’re looking for more positions to post, so we are offering for new clients their for first job listing for free.
We’re a direct response advertising agency. And we’ve seen our leads increase by around 20-30% since the US lockdown. With many essential and nonessential businesses racing to set up an online store, business has been booming.
We are in the SaaS industry and we create software for companies that need a reliable business phone system. We have had about a 20% decrease in the total number of leads since the pandemic started. I think the number would have been higher but we do a lot of work for eCommerce companies and they have a need for apps like ours to keep them running in times of increased demand.
I’m getting a lot of negative blowback from consumers because my Facebook ads target seniors in order to sell burial insurance plans. Even though these ads have been running for more than a year, people think it’s opportunistic and I’ve received many negative comments.
Our leads have decreased by about 50% since the lockdown, even with the same spend, which we didn’t expect since we’re in the eCommerce space. Our prediction is that this is due to our products being priced at the higher end of the market.
As you can see, the pandemic is influencing every industry, but the effect varies.
Here’s how businesses are dealing with these effects.
Don’t Stop Marketing
What I’ve personally seen in my business as a copywriter and Pinterest strategist was an immediate drop of leads at the beginning of COVID-19. I had several clients “pause” services until the market goes back to “normal.”
After that, I started ramping up my marketing, which I primarily do on Pinterest and in Facebook groups, and since then I’ve seen a steady increase in lead volume.
I’ve signed 5 new clients since the beginning of April, making up for the clients I lost at the beginning of the month.
Daria at RingBlaze said they are also continuing their marketing efforts. RingBlaze is relying on “heavy marketing on our most popular channels (email and PPC) and trying to retain the customers that want to leave us by offering them a free month of subscriptions,” she said. “There are two fronts: acquiring new customers and stopping the bleeding by retaining existing paying customers.”
Pivot to a Different Market
Another trend that should be noted is that a lot of business owners are still hiring who have been established as online businesses who work with other online businesses.
There are still dozens of posts each day with business owners looking to hire. I have also noticed a substantial amount of increased interest in hiring a virtual assistant (VA) for business owners.
Be Open to Negotiation
Similar to what Jeff mentioned in the quote above, I have also noticed an increase in companies being more flexible on pricing.
I’ve knocked a few hundred dollars off my copywriting day rates and Pinterest setup services to accommodate other people’s budgets while keeping money flowing into my bank account, even if not at the exact rate the service should be.
I’ve had similar experiences with other companies who are offering their services at a lower rate to keep new clients coming in the door.
Shift Your Marketing Dollars
If digital advertising isn’t paying off, consider focusing on other channels until things return to normal. Calloway said that Illuminate Labs is “cut [their] paid ad spend and re-focus on content marketing. Our goal is to drive organic traffic to maintain revenue as opposed to PPC.”