How to Build an Online Lead Capture Machine
You’ve probably heard of generation X, Y, Z or Baby Boomers, but that’s not the type of generation we’re talking about. Although, this comes into play when you’re figuring out the best strategy for your business. For example, the way you should market to Millennials is different from the way you should market to Baby Boomers.
So what is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting people who express an interest in your product or service to turn them into customers. This includes the use of lead generators such as PPC Ads, coupons, and promotional offers, etc.
Lead generation isn’t a new way of bringing in business. But new trends, changing behaviors, and varied interests across generations means you have to make sure your lead generation strategy is on point and continuously productive for your business. Even if you already have a strategy in place, it may not be as effective as it once was. Your lead generation process needs to be regularly reevaluated.
Easier said than done, right?
A recent study was conducted with service-based businesses in order to understand their top challenges regarding lead generation. Of the businesses surveyed, 42% said finding a lead generation strategy that actually works was their top challenge and rated it as extremely or very challenging.
That’s why we’ve decided to share some tactics and best practices for creating a lead generation strategy that will turn your visitors into sales leads. Read on to learn how you can create an online lead capture machine that will make your business thrive.
5 Steps to a Winning Lead Generation Strategy
The most important aspect of your lead generation strategy is determining your target audience. Do you know your ideal customer? The more you know about the customers you hope to attract, the better you’ll be able to understand how and why they buy. This knowledge will enable you to develop a results-driven lead generation strategy using the right content for the right people.
Step 1: Identify your ideal customer
Before you try to flesh out a detailed lead generation strategy, you should first learn about your target audience. You’ll want to take a look at the demographical information of your ideal customer.
Demographics: The common characteristics of your target audience and the factors that motivate them to act. This will include information such as average age, region of residence, annual income, company position, education level, behaviors, pain points, etc.
There are a number of ways you can obtain this information, but we’ll review just a few ideas here:
- Audit your product or service: List all the features your product or service offers. Next to each feature, list each benefit that feature provides to your customers. Also list the type of people each benefit will satisfy. Now you have a demographic type (a list of people who will benefit from your product or service.)
- Survey your customers: You can conduct in-person interviews or quickly set up a survey with online tools like SurveyMonkey. Make sure your customers know you’re conducting these interviews to get a better understanding of their needs. This process reveals valuable information about your typical customer, their behaviors, and their pain points.
- Evaluate the competition: How are they marketing their product or service? How do they represent their brand? How do they talk to their customers online and in other ad platforms? What do their reviews say? Your competition’s marketing techniques may or may not be working, but evaluating their strategy will give you a good idea of what will work for YOUR business. You may even find some pain points expressed by their customers which your business can resolve.
Once you’ve identified your key demographics, you’re ready to move on to the next step of building your lead generation strategy.
Step 2: Irresistible Content
Using a lead magnet with attractive content is one of the best, most cost-effective ways to capture sales leads online. Lead magnets attract visitors to your landing page and give them a reason to fill out webforms with their contact information.
Why should you focus your lead generation efforts on driving traffic to your landing page? Because landing pages are the most effective way to bring in new leads. As you can see in the graph below, business landing pages are responsible for a whopping 64% of successful lead generation efforts!
Here’s an example of how a lead magnet works:
Say you own an online clothing store and your goal is to increase your sales. You can offer a 10% off coupon to prospects toward their first purchase in exchange for subscribing with their email address. This can be presented as a pop-up offer when prospects first visit your site or even advertised through social media and PPC Ads. When clicked, the offer redirects to a landing page where prospects fill out a form with their name and email address and any other information you may want to collect, such as their interests. Wala! You’ve created an effective lead magnet. Now you can email your subscribers about things they’re interested in like the newest arrivals of the season or an upcoming sale and you have a verified base of interested customers who are likely to make a purchase.
Tip: When sending a promotional offer in an email, include a one-time promotional code to make sure the email address is still active and valid. This will also help you better track which offers your customers are responding to the most.
This is just one example of an effective lead magnet. Here’s a list of ideas you can use to attract visitors to your landing page:
- Free samples
- Educational email series
- Free consultation
- Downloadable worksheets, checklists, and planners
- Free trials
Choose the type of lead magnet that’s most enticing to your target audience. Something that will help them solve a problem or gain a quick win is a good way to determine what works best for your business.
A few things to keep in mind:
- Avoid lead captures which don’t offer a lot of value. For example, the traditional “subscribe to something” pop-up doesn’t provide enough interest to website visitors. Your offer needs to be targeted so visitors know exactly what they’re getting. Offer coupons, special access, or preferred privileges if they subscribe. You have to ensure your content includes a compelling offer that will make your visitors WANT to give you their contact information.
- Your landing page is likely your first impression, so you’ll want to keep your messaging relevant to your audience and include the SEO keywords they’re searching for. Google’s free keyword tool, Wordstream, is excellent for searching top keywords for your industry and location.
- Always double-check your contact information is correct and easy to find.
- Make sure images and links are in line with your overall message and keywords, as well as working correctly.
- See if the opt-in form on your landing page is in a prominent location. We recommend placing it near the top of the computer or mobile screen so visitors can easily see it.
- If your landing page is due for an update or you don’t have one yet, you can use an easy builder like Infusionsoft’s landing page builder. You can also hire a professional agency if you want better quality and a more polished look. Inline Marketing has the ability to quickly design and develop best-in-class landing pages, and they can help you with managing your Infusionsoft accounts too.
Once you’ve determined your offer, built your landing page, and decided what type of lead magnet(s) you want to create, it’s time to get creative and produce content that converts visitors into sales leads.
Step 3: Content and your ROI
Creating lead magnets will take some time, but if writing or graphic design isn’t your forte, you don’t have time, or you just can’t figure out where to start you can hire an affordable copywriter and graphic designer.
In the long run, the time and money you put into creating irresistible lead magnets for your content marketing strategy will pay off and play a significant role in the success of your lead generation. In fact, compared to outbound marketing (traditional, paid advertising) inbound marketing (content marketing) costs 62% less and generates 3x as many leads!
Additionally, the more you invest in content marketing the more you’ll boost your search rankings online. Key statistics from a 2017 Consumer Review Survey by BrightLocal shows 97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day!
Step 4: Web Presence is Key
Once your lead magnet is complete, it’s time to share it with your target audience. But before you publish your content, you’ll want to have a powerful web presence.
Your web presence includes:
- Your Website (including the landing page you’ll connect to your content)
- Social media profiles (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)
- Business directory listings
Start with the lead magnet webform you’ll be using to collect visitor information. This should represent a simplified version of your landing page. You should embed your webform into your website’s homepage in an easy-to-discover location. The top of the page is best. Place the form somewhere above the fold so the visitor can see it without having to scroll down, and make sure it’s colored brightly so it stands out.
Next, you should have a blog. Write a post about a topic that’s related to your lead magnet. For example, if your lead magnet is an eBook, you can write a post that gives the reader a sample of the content and ask for their email address in exchange for a full download. You can also guest post on another blog and link back to your lead magnet. Guest posting is a good way to increase website traffic and earn backlinks.
Finally, you need to have a social media presence. In a Consumer Purchase Preference Survey conducted by MarketingSherpa, 95% of online adults aged 18-34 indicated they are most likely to follow a brand via social networking. This statistic represents a huge potential for lead generation that you don’t want to miss out on!
Check out these ideas:
Link your lead magnet to your Twitter bio. Use it to show your followers how your product or service can provide them with that solution they’ve been looking for all along.
Write an attention-grabbing tweet which highlights your lead magnet’s benefits, then pin it to your profile. You can keep your tweet shorter with tools like Bitly, which converts long webpage links into simplified, trackable links perfect for sharing on short Twitter posts and other social media.
Another place to promote your lead magnet is in your Twitter Header. You’ll have to keep your design simple because space is tight here, but it’s great for grabbing people’s attention.
Put your Facebook banner to work with a simple design promoting your lead magnets.
Post on Facebook about your lead magnet, and link to your landing page. Encourage your Facebook friends and followers to like and share the content. In this way, you’re creating ambassadors for your brand!
Promote your lead magnet in a Facebook Live video and give them a tidbit of valuable information so they’ll want to click on the link in your post and get the rest of what you have to offer in exchange for their email address.
There are several ways you can utilize various social media platforms to promote your lead magnet and create lead generation. Do research into your target audience to learn which social media platforms they prefer. That’s where you’ll want to focus your social media presence.
Step 5: Always Follow-Up!
Once a visitor gives you their email address and permission to send them an email, it’s time for follow-up. The key is to respond quickly so the visitor knows you care. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to turn a newly converted prospect into a sales lead after all the hard work you’ve done to get them there.
As a small business owner, you’re probably so busy just with the day-to-day operations of your company. It can be easy to let your online marketing fall behind and you may struggle to keep up with new sales leads. Especially if you’re getting a huge response! However, technology has come a long way to make life easier—from smartphones and online payments to self-driving automobiles. So why not make your life easier by taking advantage of automated follow-up technology to help you convert quality leads into customers?
Business management solutions like Infusionsoft provide end-to-end automation to streamline workflows, including lead management and personalized email follow-up. But learning to utilize automation tools can be a daunting task initially too and can take time to implement for your business. That’s where Inline Marketing comes in. As a certified Infusionsoft partner, we have the expertise to quickly build and implement all the automation processes you may need to follow up with and segment your leads. All you have left to do is make the sale!
Lead Generation Mistakes to Avoid
After all the time and effort that goes into generating leads, the last thing you want to do is make a mistake that could ruin your chances of turning a visitor into a lead. Avoid these common lead generation blunders:
Being boring: Remember everything we said about creating irresistible content? The last thing you want is to bore your visitors with undesirable content. That’s why researching your key demographics is so important. Your offers need to entice potential customers and address their interests and pain points so they keep coming back for more.
Asking for too much: The more webform fields you ask potential subscribers to fill out, the less response you’ll get. Just like you, people are busy and they value their privacy. With the continuing increase in digital consumerism comes an increase in spam and security issues, so strict privacy and data security rules apply. The bottom line is, people are becoming less comfortable with sharing their information. While they may want your content if you ask for too much information, visitors are likely to back out.
Hiding your webform: If a visitor has to click a link or search to see your web form, the likelihood that they’ll fill it out is reduced by up to 40%. Make sure your webform appears at the top of the screen (above the fold) so visitors don’t have to scroll to find it and fill it out.
Sending emails without permission: Leaving the opt-in statement or checkbox off your webform can create a lot of problems for you. First of all, you’re not getting the visitor’s permission to send them a follow-up email after they’ve given you their address. Perhaps you didn’t realize it, but by law providing an email address does not automatically mean you have permission to email that address. If you send marketing emails without permission, you will most likely be reported as a spammer. Worse, recipients you haven’t obtained permission from may file a complaint against you and this could lead to your domain being blacklisted. That will completely derail your online marketing efforts! It’s just not worth it to leave this off of your webform.
Lead Generation Overwhelm
For a small business owner, taking all these steps to ensure a successful online presence and lead generation strategy can seem overwhelming. Especially when you consider all the other processes and work you have to complete just to keep your business operating. Some businesses manage this overwhelm by hiring a marketing team to handle the load. But this option isn’t always feasible for a small business, nor is it the most cost-effective solution.
Tools like Infusionsoft will help you to manage your follow-up process with automation and segmentation of your leads and save you valuable time. But then you’re still left with the initial set up as well as building a website, building your blog, building your landing pages, creating content, embedding your webforms into various digital media, managing your social profiles and messaging… the list goes on.
Inline Complete Marketing is a marketing and sales acceleration agency and an Infusionsoft Certified Partner. Not only can we set up your Infusionsoft account, manage your automated campaigns, segment your leads, and help you keep a clean email list – we can design and develop your website, create all of your landing pages and lead magnets, manage your blog and newsletters, provide materials for your social media posts, manage your SEO, and so much more. Furthermore, we can do all of this at an affordable price with an expert team and provide significant savings in both time and money for your business.
Check us out at www.inlinemarketing.io or give us a call (402) 810-6971 if you’re curious to learn more about how we can streamline your lead generation process.