Before your current clients were paying customers they were leads. They were people with a need who found your product or service (or you found them) and were convinced that you offered the most cost effective, highest quality, and attractive solution to their specific problem. Whether you found them, or they found you it was a connection made and a sale earned. Good job on that.
But what about all the other leads you didn’t find? Or the ones who found you, but you never knew about because you didn’t have a way to capture their contact info. Having a site that attracts the right visitors and then does nothing to capture them as leads is like showing up to an industry conference without your business cards, not a good idea. If your site is not working hard to capture more leads for you then it’s time for a refresh.
Well again we turn to our old friends at Google Analytics who give you the tools you need to monitor site performance including conversion rates. What’s even better is you can set goals in your analytics account to see if visitors to your site are reaching certain milestones that you understand to be key to conversion. In general you should be converting 1-2% of your leads into paying customers.Looking at that % it’s easy to see why it’s so important to constantly be bringing new leads into your sales pipeline. You want to continually find ways to “widen the funnel” — that’s marketing speak for increasing the number of people you are reaching with your message — and capture more leads.
There are all kinds of creative ways to capture more leads on your website, but in the end it comes down to having the functionality you need built directly into your site so that lead acquisition is a constant and seamless part of the user experience. There are now smart tools that can enable email sign-up, promotional offers, and downloadable content to be offered on a visitors arrival on your site. Ask your visitors a question and see if you can fill a need. As long as you are offering a fair trade for their contact details ie: good content, a free trial of your service, a discount on their purchase, or a complimentary walk-through or consultation you shouldn’t feel bad for asking.
Don’t overlook social media as a way to capture more leads either. The more integrated your social presence is with your website the more opportunities you have for an ongoing conversation with your potential customers. They might not be the keys to their inbox, but it is permission to share more information in the way of status updates, links to content, news, and special promotional offers. What’s more important is if you play your cards right you’ll be driving them back to your website again and again which gives you more of a chance to eventually move them further along in the sales pipeline.
As we’ll talk about soon in our post on SEO and website design, content is a vital part of discoverability online. It’s what attracts visitors to your site and the really good hyper-relevant content is what keeps them coming back for more. You should offer fresh content that gives valuable information, advices, or guidance to your target customers. Be sure you’ve built in good navigation that makes it easy for visitors to browse more of your content effortlessly, the longer they stay on your site the more likely they are to make a key decision.
Finally, don’t be shy about directing your readers back to landing pages that are designed to capture more leads. Offer information and tools custom tailored to their interests (as determined by the content they are reading on your site) and move them forward in the sales cycles or better yet let them make a buying decision right then and there. If you are offering people opportunities to connect to products and services they’ve already expressed an interest in you are helping them, not bothering them.
– Newsletters that are concise and link to more robust online content. *Be sure to segment your email list and customize your messaging and content for different audiences.
– Special deals that give a discount to first time buyers
– Free Trials let your potential customers take your services for a test run before they commit, don’t forget to keep wooing them throughout the trial process so they have the best possible experience.
– Ebooks and Free Guides that share valuable information, resources, and insights
– Sweepstakes and Giveaways that allow leads to enter to win prizes that have value and somehow tie back in to your product or services