You’ve completed steps one and two of setting up a successful online business, you’ve built a memorable and engaging website and have managed to drive traffic to it, whether it was through SEO, SEM and PPC, Email Marketing, Facebook or local business listings like Yelp or Google Places. Congratulations!
Next you need to gather information about your visitors so you can follow up with them to qualify them and turn them into a customer. This process is known as “converting your leads.”
It’s often the case that many website owners spend most of their attention on getting traffic to their website but not enough time trying to convert the visitors once they are there. Here are a few tips that you can use to convert more leads, so that ultimately you generate more sales online.
1. Website form
The best way of capturing a lead from your website is to have a form on your homepage or landing page. Your webform should be simple and quick for a user to fill out. You should only ask for the information you really need to know at that time, for example:
- Email address
- Company (this can be optional)
- Phone number (this can be optional)
- Password (if needed)
If an existing lead is returning to your website, for example, as a result of a marketing campaign they have shown interest in, make sure you pre-populate the form fields with the information you already know about them. This will make the signup process less painful for your visitor and increase the likelihood of it being completed.
2. Email sign up
If, for example you are an e-commerce website or have an online store, you could ask prospective customers to give you their email address, that way you know they are interested in your products but they’re just not ready to buy.
When asking a prospect for their email address, remember to tell them what they will get in return, for example:
- Alerts about exclusive offers and promotions
- Announcements about new product launches
- Whether they will get something free (e.g. a free catalog)
Also tell prospects how often you’re likely to email them (e.g. Up to two emails a month). An email address can be very valuable to your company, however a user may be reluctant to give it to you if they think they will be bombarded with marketing emails.
As with the website form, keep the email sign up process simple and quick to complete. You can always send a “Thank you for signing up to our mailing list” email afterwards and ask them further information about what they are interested in then.
3. Give away content
A great way to generate leads is to give away something away for free. For example, if you are a consultant you could offer a free consultation, this way you can build a rapport with your potential customer and get to demonstrate your knowledge to them.
Other forms of content you could give away for free are:
Ideally it is good to give away items that are relevant to your business or industry, with a high perceived value to the lead but that won’t cost that much to you.
4. Create landing pages
A landing page is a web page dedicated to a specific product or on a specific action you want a customer to take. Creating landing pages are a great way to optimize your website for capturing leads.
The aim of a landing page is to provide your prospect with more indepth information the product/service they have expressed an interest by cutting out distractions such as navigation links to other content on your website.
For more information on how to create a successful landing page, check out our blog post: What is a landing page and why does it matter.
5. Establish trust
Trust is an integral part of converting a customer, a customer must believe what you say and what you say you can do in order to become your customer. Here are a few ways you can optimize your website to make it more credible:
- Having an aesthetically pleasing, well designed site
- Including contact information on your website
- Adding About Us section on your website
- Third party endorsements
For other ideas of ways to increase customer trust, check out our post: Do visitors see your website as credible – 5 questions to ask yourself.
6. Use a strong Call-to-Action
Improving the “call-to-action” (CTA) buttons on your website and landing pages can help you to capture more leads. These are a few points to consider when evaluating your current CTAs to decide whether they can be improved upon:
- The placement of the CTA on your webpage – Is it immediately obvious to a visitor when they land on the web page?
- The color and contrast of the CTA – Does it stand out to your visitor?
- The copy of the CTA – Does the copy encourage a user to take action?
Optimizing the CTAs on your website will encourage users to take the action you desire of them.
It is also worth considering updating the copy on the CTA or the landing to create a sense of urgency. Copy such as “Download now” is likely to perform better and have a higher conversion rate than copy such as “Download” or “Submit.” However, it does depend on your visitors and audience. Remember to always look back at your conversion data a few weeks after optimization to see if which change was most effective.
If you have a limit to your offer, for example you’re giving away a free consultation for the first 50 sign ups or there’s a time deadline (i.e. ‘2 days only’), make sure to highlight this in the copy near to the CTA to optimize the number of leads signing up.
It may be worth updating the landing page with how many free consultation spots are left, or have a countdown until the end of the offer. These tactics should improve the number of leads you capture.