Your website is a very powerful tool in your marketing toolbox. It is completely customizable, flexible and is the base for all of your marketing efforts in the modern world. Without it, you would be missing out on the countless people that search for your industry and product online.
But even with a powerful website and a content marketing strategy, most websites don’t instinctively collect leads on their own. You could have all of the website visits in the world, but unless you have an opportunity to nurture those leads and convert sales, those metrics are just hollow numbers that may not affect your bottom line.
The most useful websites to small business owners actively collect leads for the owners to convert. They have mechanisms in place that get their visitors to volunteer their information. With that, you have a lead that is not only well informed about your brand and product, but has also expressed interest in learning more.
Preparing the site
Before you can actively seek your visitors’ information, you must first have the infrastructure to collect that information. There are numerous tools that allow for lead capture on most websites. You can have a subscription plugin, something like WPSubscribers. This tool allows you to put a widget in the sidebar, header or footer that allows your customers to submit their information (you’ll see something similar on the right of this post.)You may have seen several sites with popups (you may have even encountered ours on this site.) These can be created by tools like Smart PopUp or PopUpAlly..
Of course, most of these tools can be integrated with the email service you already use. If you aren’t using email services like to reach out and collect email lists, you really should, but that’s a topic for another day.
So how do you get them to submit their information? Well, as usual, it all begins with content.
Give them value
An email address is valuable these days. So many people look to keep their inbox as free as possible. It means something to most people to hand it over. That is why you must be willing to give them some value in return.
Be prepared to create something special in return for their email addresses. Most businesses create weekly newsletters to send to their customers. Here at Duct Tape Marketing, we offer our “Best Stories on the Web Weekly,” a collection of some of the best small business marketing tips and stories on the web. It just takes a bit of time to curate and load into an email blast, and you’ve got a valuable piece of content for your audience.
Another strategy is to offer an eBook or White Paper in exchange for the information. You’ve heard of companies that use this strategy. In my hometown, there’s a local lawn service company that offers a “Guide to choosing the right lawn service” for free. The white paper offers very valuable information without selling, all while providing their salespeople the information they need to follow up and complete the sale.
You can even collect your content in themed eBooks and get more mileage out of the great content you’ve created in the past. These are very similar to white papers, just a bit longer.
Your website is powerful, but you can lose business if you can’t use it to gather leads and close sales. Unlock all of its power by turning your website into a lead generation machine.
Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC