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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Capturing Online Leads: Which Strategies Actually Work?

 

While it’s nice to make a quick sale, most people have to be persuaded over time. From a sales and marketing perspective, one of the keys is to capture lead information in order to nudge them through the conversion funnel.

 

The Importance of Capturing Online Leads

 

Why do we spend so much time focusing on capturing leads? This might seem like a basic question, but when you consider how many businesses and marketers don’t invest adequate time and energy into developing solid lead capture processes, it’s clear that many are unaware of just how important it is to engage website visitors (even when they aren’t ready to make a purchase today).

 

Research shows that 80 percent of your website visitors who don’t make an immediate purchase will buy from one of your competitors within the next 12 months. In other words, failing to convert a website visitor doesn’t just result in lost revenue – it could actually feed the competition.

 

Capturing leads is all about setting your business up for success. It requires patience and discipline, but the investment is well worth it.

 

4 Tips to Improve Online Lead Capture

 

Whether you have no online lead capture strategy to speak of, or you feel like you’re in a pretty good spot, there’s always going to be a way to improve. Here are a few tips to get you thinking:

 

1.  Understand the Funnel

In order to develop an effective lead capture strategy, you have to understand what’s happening on the customer side of things. Not all leads are created equal and the more you understand this, the better you can optimize your funnel to meet the needs of individual customers.

 

In broad terms, there are three categories of leads: top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, and bottom of the funnel. People at the top of the funnel are just realizing they have a problem, need, or want. They’re just now starting to look around.

 

People in the middle of the funnel are actively researching products that solve their problem or satisfy their want. They’re searching for solutions, but with a wide net.

 

People at the bottom of the funnel have done enough research to understand the market and are actively looking to make a purchase. At this stage, customers are comparing prices and features and could make a decision at any moment. 

 

2.  Offer an Attractive Lead Magnet

Most people aren’t going to take the time to give you their email address and personal information without getting something in return. This is why marketers typically use some sort of lead magnet to draw people in.

 

Lead magnets will look different for every type of business, but an eBook is one of the more popular and cost-effective methods. You can see an example of how this works in practice by checking out this RevenueXL page.

 

3. Ensure Proper Website Navigation

While some people will end up on one of your website landing pages and immediately opt in, many users will want to first navigate your site and learn more about your products or services before taking action.

 

In order to account for “browsers,” make sure your website is easy to navigate. It used to be considered a best practice to remove any sort of navigation menu from a landing page, but many marketing experts now suggest giving visitors the freedom to move around. However, if you decide to do this, make sure you include lead capture forms on all pages.

 

4. Use Social Proof

It’s one thing for a business to say their product is the best (most reliable, easiest to use, etc.). It’s something else entirely for actual customers and users to make these claims. If you want to enhance your lead capture efforts, make sure you’re incorporating social proof into your landing pages and website content.

 

Adding it All Up

Developing a lead capture strategy isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of work on the front end and there are no guarantees that it’ll pay off down the road. However, if you invest in the right strategy with sound principles, you’ll almost certainly enjoy a strong return on investment in the coming months and years. Stay with it!

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