Our Thinking

Anatomy of the Lead Capture Process

How much traffic does your website gets every month? Let’s pick an easy number- say 1,000. And let’s say 65% of the visitors are unique (new visitors). So you have 650 visitors to your website every month. Some of these may be coming through organic search, others through advertisements on Google and Social Media and a very few may be directly typing in your website’s URL. Irrespective of the source, how can you know who these visitors are and how can you engage them?  To start answering these questions you first need to place a lead capture form on your website (a form that visitors fill in with their personal information and send you).  You cannot rely on every single visitor to pick up the phone and contact you.

For those who already have a lead capture form on their websites and are looking to improve their lead capture rate, here are a few choice tips to improve the process. For those that do not have a lead capture form on their website yet, read through to the end and I am sure you will pick up a few ideas that can make a significant difference to your lead capture process.

  1. An informative whitepaper: A whitepaper is very effective especially if you are in a knowledge-based industry. They can be in the form of a PDF document or can be hosted on your website, but either way they can be behind a lead capture form. It is a great way to provide educational content, case studies or stories around your area of expertise, and offers a take-away for any interested visitor.  Some important things to consider when writing: make it interesting and get it professionally designed. Whitepapers generally provide solutions to a problem so make sure you know your stuff. For ideas on white papers, think like your prospect and write down what kind of questions, challenges, and issues they may have in their business. Click here to check out some of 108 ideaspace’s white papers.
  2. Downloadable kit: People want to consume content in multiple ways. You can include different resources in a downloadable kit using diverse channels e.g. videos, mp3, articles, etc. You can also multiply the value of the content by including worksheets. Creating a downloadable kit around an area of interest not only builds trust in your expertise, but also creates additional value for the readers.  Unlike whitepapers, you can host the kit on your website and make it accessible via a membership site i.e. require creation of a username/password as part of the lead capture.
  3. Educational Email Series: This is one of the best methods as it sets up the stage for repeat visits to your website (anything that increases exposure to your website/organization is a good thing). You can offer the visitors a 3, 4,  or five-part email series digging into a topic of interest e.g. check out 108 ideaspace’s email series on 5 Quick Reads: An Executive Social Media Briefing. You can also include a soft call to action in a few of your emails e.g. click here to download our white paper. If executed with a sophisticated CRM (e.g. Infusionsoft, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, etc), you can even track and create actions when the visitors click on any links within these emails. This can be used as an alert to involve your sales team or it can act as an indicator of interest so you can provide the prospect information on the other subjects of interest.
  4. Free samples/coupons: This one is always a hit as everyone likes free stuff, but to avoid attracting disinterested leads, offer items unique to your business or organization. This is a high value giveaway, so remember you can ask for more information in your lead capture form e.g. physical address, preferences, or even phone number. The follow-up steps are also easy to identify e.g. an email to encourage the usage of your product, ask for feedback, etc. This is also a great way to build customer loyalty.
  5. Free trial: Just like a free sample or a coupon, this is a very high value giveaway. Free trials are most effective for visitors who are already hooked up to your content or website i.e. repeat visitors. Also, if visitors take you up on a free trial, it is a display of very high commitment before the final purchase. So, this is your BEST chance to give them a taste of what you have to offer, so remember to put your best foot forward.

There are many more levers you can use to capture leads. Also important is the timing and when to use which lever. Sometimes it helps to use a mix of ideas and A/B-test the scenarios. Some sophisticated CRMs can automate the whole experience from capturing the leads, delivering the value and following up with these prospects.  If your CRM doesn’t provide all of this out-of-the-box, you can likely use a plugin/app to get this feature. If you are still using a mailing list software like Constant Contact or MailChimp, you may have a tough time automating some of this, but it is still worth giving it a shot.