As business owners and marketers, we’re all trying to capture more leads.
But it’s not always just about quantity. We also want to capture quality leads that allow us to improve conversion rates and drive sales.
If you fall into the latter category, then you need a strategy for collecting leads at the right place and the right time.
The Need for Better Lead Capturing
How much emphasis do you place on capturing emails? Think about this for a few seconds and be honest. Do you think about collecting emails on a daily basis, or is it something that only comes up once or twice a quarter? If you fall into the second category, then something needs to change…and fast.
According to successful entrepreneur and author Michael Hyatt, who has built a multi-million dollar business on the strength of his email list, list building is a critically important component of scaling a healthy business.
Hyatt says it’s more important than the number of unique visitors a website gets, the number of fans a business has on social media networks, and the number of comments a blog post receives.
“The truth is, these are just vanity metrics,” Hyatt boldly proclaims. “If you aren’t converting these people into email subscribers, then you can’t monetize your platform. And if you aren’t monetizing your platform, you can’t build a sustainable business. Worse, you can’t serve your audience in even deeper, more powerful ways.”
The potential of your business lies in the size and quality of your email list. If you have the addresses of thousands of engaged users, then you won’t have any trouble monetizing your efforts in the future. If you only have a few hundred users, then you probably aren’t going anywhere fast.
4 Tips for Capturing Better Leads
The issue most entrepreneurs and businesses have isn’t not collecting emails. Instead, the problem is they aren’t building their lists in enough places. One simple opt-in box on your company website isn’t going to do much. You need to approach this task from every angle.
Let’s start with your website, since this is the first place businesses typically try to encourage email sign ups. The key to collecting emails on your website, and the homepage in particular, is to do so without disturbing your visitors.
As soon as you disturb a user’s onsite experience, you’ve lost them. Not only are they less likely to give you their information, but they’re simultaneously more likely to leave the site. Here are some things to think about:
- Leverage exit-intent technology. What if you could tell when people were about to leave your website and then present them with a simple pop-up that asks them to provide you with their email address in return for a special offer? Well, you can. Thanks to new technologies, it’s now possible to automatically trigger pop-ups and gather sign-ups from people who were about to leave.
- Use a sticky bar. The issue with putting conversion forms on your website is that they don’t get a lot of visibility. Users are always scrolling, clicking, and moving around. One solution is to install a sticky bar that stays at the top of the screen and scrolls with the user. This increases visibility and encourages sign-ups.
- Offer a content upgrade. People like having access to bonus information and additional resources. Use this to your advantage by offering content upgrades. Backlinko, a leader in SEO and website traffic, was able to increase conversion rates by 785 percent by presenting an upgrade offer to readers on their website. RJO Futures, a leader in investment resources, utilizes a similar strategy by offering educational guides in exchange for emails. This works in just about any industry.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to capture more onsite leads without disturbing the overall user experience. Make sure you’re maximizing the full potential of your website.
2. Landing Pages
If you’ve used landing pages in the past but haven’t been able to extract much value from them, chances are, you aren’t designing these pages with conversions in mind. Here’s a simple five-step plan for creating landing pages that convert:
- Present an appealing offer that attracts visitors.
- Design the website so that it’s aesthetically pleasing and functional.
- Include elements of social proof to increase trust with visitors.
- Use high quality images and persuasive copy to keep visitors engaged.
- Make the subscription form simple (three fields or less) and visible.
Now, just creating a well-optimized landing page isn’t going to do you much good. You’ll also need to drive traffic to these landing pages. Additionally, make sure you spend time studying best practices for traffic acquisition.
3. Social Media
You need to actively seek out email leads on social media. This is the missing ingredient many businesses can’t seem to locate. The reason social media is so valuable is that you don’t have to get users to click a link or head to another website. You can automatically place your offer in front of the hundreds or thousands of followers you have.
So, what’s the best way to collect email addresses on social media? Well, one of the preferred methods is running a contest. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any of the other popular platforms, contests work well. Simply ask for email addresses and give users an entry into a giveaway. Then, once you have all of the addresses, pick one and award them the prize.
4. Networking Events
It doesn’t all happen online. While you’ll collect the large majority of your leads online, don’t underestimate the value of face-to-face contact at networking events.
“When doing any kind of live speaking engagement, your primary goal (besides putting on a great presentation!) is to capture the contact information for as many people as you can in the room,” says marketing strategist Laura Lee Sparks.
Aside from collecting business cards and asking people if it’s okay for you to add them to your list, try doing raffles and giveaways. You can also offer bonus educational materials in return for an email. Or, perhaps offer a free 10-minute consultation in exchange for the email.
Every event is different and it’ll take some time to understand what works. Try different things and see what works for you. The last thing you want is to come away from one of these events empty-handed.
Make Lead Capture a Priority
Capturing leads takes lots of strategic planning and a considerable amount of ongoing effort. It’s not something that can be developed in a few hours, implemented, and then ignored. In order to capture more quality leads, you need to spend time creating a sound strategy that works on multiple fronts.
From your website and social profiles to industry conferences and events, lead capture needs to be a priority. Try out new techniques, keep using the ones that work, and don’t be shy about building your list.
As Hyatt says, “I have literally built a multi-million dollar business on the strength of my email list. Ninety percent of my income comes from it.” What are you waiting for?