The single most important part of your total small business web marketing plan is Lead Generation. Your ultimate goal, of course, is to make the sale. But you need effective and systematic lead generation to make marketing possible. If you know how to nurture leads and close sales but you never master lead generation, all of your efforts will be in vain. In this post, you'll learn how to improve your overall Lead Generation process so you can convert more visitors into sales and quickly separate the bad from the good leads.
NOTE: This is part of a five-part blog series, which explores the 5 key components of building a powerful small business website marketing plan that works! If you enjoy this post, please be sure to read the other posts in this complete series:
What Is Lead Generation?
Simply put, lead generation is what you do to get a certain percentage of your target customer population to raise their hands and identify themselves as interested in what you have to offer. Lead Generation has been around much longer than the Internet, but the web has proven itself a very effective medium for generating leads efficiently.
As I mentioned in the first post in this series, the most important job of your website is to generate leads for you and your business. That really is your primary objective in your web marketing efforts, and it's the primary focus of our discussions in this web marketing plan series.
It helps to visualize your sales funnel with leads going into the top of your funnel at the very top. The marketing sequences and steps you put prospects through should result in profitable sales at the bottom of your funnel. Obviously, the sales and marketing funnel itself deserves lots of attention, care, and development. But without lead generation pumping new contacts into the top of your funnel, it matters little what you do with your leads anyhow.
Why You Need A Lead Magnet
My tried-and-true strategy for generating more leads on a website is the good ol' fashion Lead Magnet. Pretty much every small business website needs a Lead Magnet if you hope to convert your prospects into leads at high conversion rate.
Here's the deal -- there's really nothing magical about creating a Lead Magnet. You simply need to take the time to put together something special that you could easily charge your prospects to get. The classic Lead Magnet is an ebook or some other free downloadable. You want to play upon the most common issues, questions, problems, concerns, etc that your prospects tend to have. You also want to hit your prospects "right between the eyes" with something that gets their attention and is strongly connected to what you ultimately sell.
It gets harder and harder with each passing day to get your website visitors to hand over their email address and other contact details. The better your Lead Magnet, the less friction you'll have between your visitors opting in or not opting in.
How To Convert More Visitors Into Leads
Once you get a Lead Magnet in place, it's time to start testing and testing and then testing some more.
Remember: version one is way better than version none. So don't sit around fretting about creating the perfect Lead Magnet right off the bat. Just get something up there for the world to see, start from the ground floor, and work your way up.
Test different titles, test different colors, test different presentations. Test everything, and track it too. You basically want to know what percentage of your web traffic you converted this month vs. last month and this year vs. last year and so on.
What To Do With Your Leads (Hint: Multi Step Forms Work!)
Another important consideration is how you'll actually setup your lead process forms. I recommend a multi-step lead form sequence. Start with the most basic information you can get -- first name and email address is good enough. You can work with that.
Then, you want to redirect your opt-ins to a second landing page where you get additional details from them. You might want to offer something free in the mail in exchange for their address. This is a good idea if you're eager to market to them OFFLINE as well as online. Or you might want them to answer a few quick questions to help you funnel them into the right segment of your list.
Don't make the mistake of just offering ONE and only one opt-in step. Take advantage of this marketing moment and seize the day!
What questions do YOU have about building a powerful small business website marketing plan AND lead generation? Please leave your comment below.