With so much emphasis on web design, social media strategy and unique content, it’s easy to lose track of the end goal of your business’ web presence: sales. The traffic streaming to your website isn’t much good unless those visitors purchase your products or services. That’s why most business owners talk about web results in terms of leads rather than visitors. A lead includes contact and other relevant information, the keys your sales staff needs to win new business.
Once you’ve established your brand and presence online, it’s time to hunt for leads. From a simple home page form to a white paper, these strategies can help you gather leads and grow your company.
Image by Scott Maxwell via Flickr
All You Have to Do is Ask
If your web page is SEO-optimized and relevant, chances are most visitors are interested in your products or services. The chance to touch base with a real person may be the push that turns a prospect into a customer. Give visitors that option on your website with a lead form. Ask a visitor for her name, phone number, email address and interest in your products on your homepage. You’ll be surprised by how many visitors would like to know more. If you want to up the ante, provide a promo code or one-on-one demo in exchange for this information. This home page form shouldn’t be the focal point of your home page, but it should be easily visible, and it should only require one click.
Sometimes the search for leads will take you to uncharted territories. Affiliate programs on other websites can deliver quality leads at an inexpensive rate. In this structure, websites collect lead information for you on their websites. Unlike leads collected on your website, you won’t get these affiliate leads for free. That’s why it’s important to track conversion rates from your different affiliates. If one website is delivering leads that convert three times as much as the others, you can shift your budget to the more lucrative partner. Luckily for the business owner looking for new leads, the affiliate market is saturated with websites that can deliver information. Uniqueleads.com is one of many affiliate networks that connect businesses with web property owners.
From Lead to Customer
A lead is more promising than a visitor, but it still doesn’t guarantee tangible business. How you approach these warm contacts can determine whether or not they choose your products or services. A basic sales guideline: Talk about what they need before you talk about what you have. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit. If so, there’s no use wasting their time and your resources trying to persuade them.
A database full of leads can be difficult to manage. If your lead form includes an address line, cut out fake leads with the Experian address standardization software. This program helps prevent duplicate addresses for marketing material and provides a bird’s eye view of your prospects.
Ernesto runs a small Internet marketing business in San Diego and freelances in his spare time.