Lots of people talk about how to use social media and other inbound marketing tactics to increase the number of leads your brand generates. Let’s table that discussion just for a moment and examine a piece of your lead generation machine that is far closer to the conversion – your website. Your website is your customers’ portal into your brand, and no amount of Facebook posting, Tweeting, and blogging will matter unless the pages of your site compel visitors to sign up and become new leads.
Below, we explore several crucial strategies necessary to improve your call to action and get new leads flowing into your sales funnel.
Improve Your Call To Action
Think about all the websites you visit in a day. How many of them actually gave you a compelling reason to fill out their lead form? This offer is called a “call to action,” and its strength and evocativeness is without question the biggest determinant in whether visitors become new leads or move on to the next website.
The reason for this becomes clear when you put yourself in the shoes of your site visitors. These are mostly people who are arriving at your page for the first time, unsure of exactly how you can help them. No one ever woke up seeking to become your newest lead. What they actually set out to do that day was find someone who could help them solve their biggest vexing problem, alleviate life pressures, or assist in an important buying decision.
Your biggest hurdle is to convince these surfers that your brand will service them better than any other, and to communicate that through your call to action. Below, we will discuss some powerful offers you can make to strengthen this proposition and ultimately generate more leads.
Make Sure Your Call To Action Is Visible On All Pages
You can never predict the exact moment when a visitor is going to be hooked by your website’s language, and you certainly dont want to make them search for the way to join your list. Unfortunately, many website designers place the lead capture form somewhere very specific on the website that makes sense in theory (ie – “most people will probably sign up after reading my blog, so let’s have the lead form live there!”), but costs the brand potential leads in practice when first-time visitors cannot figure out how to join the community.
A better strategy is to make sure that the lead capture form lives in the exact same place on every single page regardless of where you are on the website. This could be thought of as a widget that sits in the top right sidebar of the website and follows the user from page to page. Alternatively, this could be a banner that is displayed in the top header of the site.
However it is done, the goal is to make sure your visitors are never left wondering where they go to sign up. Webmasters often have unrealistic ideas of how easy their websites are to use. To test the placement of your call to action, get a handful of people who have never been to your website before and ask them to sit down at a computer in front of you and sign up. If it takes them more than 15 seconds to locate your form, it should be placed in a better location.
Dispense With Your Audience’s Fears
Most website surfers have the very realistic fear that any website they sign up for is going to spam their inbox with useless content. Worse yet, some websites go so far as to sell the e-mail addresses the collect off to other spam marketers, creating a terrible experience for the user.
Even if this is not the case, it is often difficult to unsubscribe to mailing lists you become a part of. Not every email contains an unsubscribe button, or they make you fill out surveys, log in, and jump through hoops to discourage you from opting out.
To assuage these fears, consider offering a guaranteed no spam promise under your lead capture form. Often times, a sentence as simple as “I will never spam you, and I offer a one-button unsubscribe option in ever email” is enough to show your visitors that you respect their privacy and value their attention.
Give Away Free Premium Content
Don’t just promise your website visitors that your brand is the very best around; prove it to them, and capture their lead information in the process! One of the most compelling calls to action you can make is to offer free premium content that the prospect must register to receive. Often, this is a detailed PDF document, PowerPoint presentation, or e-book covering an advanced area of knowledge you would typically charge a fee for.
Keep in mind that premium content does not need to be a written document. You can also offer trial memberships, limited access to web applications, or even a full-fledged online course with written and video material to teach a particular concept.
Some marketers find that it is effective to express the typical value of the free content to encourage more user sign-ups. Letting your audience know that the ebook they will receive for free usually costs $150.00 on your site creates an enticing curiosity in readers who need to know what hidden knowledge the materials contain.
Offer A Free Analysis
This tactic doesn’t work for all markets, but if your brand thrives on analysis, improvement, and reporting, consider offering a free basic review in exchange for a sign up. Internet marketing kingpin HubSpot does an excellent job at this with their Site Grader tool. Simply enter your URL and e-mail address and their online tool will provide a free SEO and social media overview of your website. Upon seeing the depth and clarity of the report, you’re glad you gave HubSpot your email address because they’ve hooked you on their service!
Create A Video Presentation
In today’s networked world, customers are used to being dealt with by automated systems and machines. They rarely ever get to see the face of the company, or experience a brand’s unique personality. One of the best ways to build trust and encourage similar-minded people to opt into your lead form is a quick video that expresses that personality.
These videos can be from the CEO, a team of employees, or an outside creative agency depicting your office or service. They can also be used to evoke any emotion relevant to your image and the expectations of your audience. For example, you can use humor much more effectively than in type, or you might show just how seriously your executives handle their business. In either case, the personal touch a video can add to a call to action is profound.