Nowadays, your website is the central hub for all your online marketing activities. Whether your business is driven by referrals, word-of-mouth, direct sales or online marketing, almost everyone will visit your company website before making an important buying decision.
And if you think about it, your company website could be the best source of potential clients that you aren’t using to it’s fullest potential.
Why? Well because even though you may not get a lot of online traffic, people who are coming to your website are more likely to be seriously interested in buying your products or services. In other words, people visiting your home page are most likely highly qualified.
Although that’s good news, you may have a costly problem and not know it.
Here’s what happens. Despite their high level of interest, if you don’t proactively engage visitors within the first few seconds they arrive at your website, it’s very likely they’ll leave and never return. Yes, you could lose them forever.
Company websites are often the most underutilized source of online leads for small businesses. This is because unlike landing pages, most home pages are not designed to engage, and capture potential leads while they’re searching for more information about your company, products and services.
If you run a service-based business, and you’re not capturing new leads while engaging existing leads on your website, it’s very possible you’re sitting on a valuable, yet underutilized asset that’s ripe for lead generation.
It’s very possible that a few extra qualified leads each month could significantly boost your sales and profits.
At Webpresario, a digital marketing agency I co-founded, very often all we needed to hit our monthly goals was one extra client. Like most small businesses, we didn’t have a lot of online traffic, so we developed innovative ways to engage, and ideally talk to almost every lead coming to our website.
What we discovered was that many thousands of dollars a month in potential revenue was going down the drain because we lacked the following 3 things:
- Effective lead capture devices
- Insights on which leads were taking meaningful actions
- Quick follow-up with leads who had recently engaged with our site
In this post I’m going to show you a 4-step process we developed. It has not only worked well for us, but it is now helping many of our clients make the most of their existing traffic to get more engagement, while generating more leads and paying customers.
Step 1. Turn your entire company website into a lead generation system
You may be thinking… aren’t landing pages the place for lead generation?
Well, yes they can be great, but if you have a small business, chances are most of your website traffic doesn’t get funneled to a landing page.
Visitors are coming to your website from a variety of sources. Some examples are: offline marketing, referrals, email marketing, search engines, social media, podcasts, advertising, etc.
People are landing all over your site. On your homepage, services page, about us/me page and blog posts.
The important question is…
Are you proactively converting inbound traffic into leads?
And are you proactively pushing these leads to take the next step?
The key word here is “proactively”. Most businesses are “reactively” waiting around hoping that their visitors will calmly read their website, click around, eventually find the “Contact us” form, then submit it without a persuasive reason or incentive to take immediate action.
By giving people on your website a little extra nudge to help capture their email, to schedule a call, to view a certain page, etc. you can start to identify more leads, initiate more conversations, and ultimately close more sales — without having to increase traffic.
One the most effective ways to do this is by using onsite lead generation widgets to present a compelling offer with a call-to-action to your visitor at the right place and time.
The lead generation widget that’s currently working great is the “overlay”…
Chances are good, you’ve seen a lead capture overlay being used. They’re literally “popping up” on sites everywhere. They’re being used on the websites of Fortune 500 companies, as well as Silicon Valley startups.
Want to know why? Well, because they work. And they work overwhelmingly well.
“A site with an overlay garners up to 400% more email opt-ins than a site that relies on an in-line form will”
– Justin Rondeau, Econsultancy
You’ve probably noticed that on some of the websites you’ve visited, you’ve been engaged by some sort of pop up device.
Sometimes this can be a little annoying, especially if it’s being abused, or if it’s completely out of context.
On the other hand, if these devices are well-timed, and offer something of value to you, then chances are, you will take action. Especially if you see the offer as being helpful.
Overlays can be triggered a number of seconds after a visitor lands on a page, after scrolling to certain percentage of the page, when a clicking a certain button/link, and when exiting a web page.
Presenting a relevant, useful offer to people as they’re exiting your site can be a huge source of leads that you’re not currently tapping into.
In the past couple of years, we’ve found overlays work so well that we make sure that every almost website we build, every landing page we promote and every blog post we publish has some sort of overlay designed to capture and engage visitors at the right time, with the right offer.
Another onsite lead generation widget is the corner scroll box, which we call a “Leadhook”.
(As seen on g4mg.com)
These too should be displayed at the right time with the proper context.
Step 2. Promote an offer that is genuinely attractive to your potential clients
A lot of businesses on the web have a plain, boring-looking form with a subscribe button on their site. Or they have some weak, insipid text saying “join my newsletter”. In other words, they don’t have a valuable offer, a deliverable, or a clear call-to-action.
There’s no incentive for the visitor to give his or her valuable contact information. All it creates is the thought of more emails piling up in their inbox.
Some businesses expect people will love their site so much, that they’ll subscribe or take the action they want them, even without offering a clear incentive or benefit for the visitor to take action. Then they wonder why their list never grows, and their email marketing efforts simply “don’t work”.
Create a targeted lead magnet
By having a targeted lead magnet, with a value proposition and visual representation that’s appealing to potential clients, you can clearly communicate that there is an immediate benefit for them to gain by entering their contact info.
Here are two examples of targeted lead magnets:
Just to clarify. We’re not about turning unqualified website visitors into email subscribers. Everyone wants to see big numbers and grow a huge email list. But as you probably know, getting more leads doesn’t necessarily lead to more sales.
The key to making lead capture on your website work very well is to promote an offer that is has a high perceived value to the right people. That is, the ones who turn into paying clients.
You want more leads that are more likely to buy your service. This way you can give maximum attention to them, rather than giving minimal attention to a large number of unqualified contacts who will never buy what you’re offering.
You want your lead magnet to “filter out” the visitors who ultimately wouldn’t be interested in your service, and to grab the attention of the most qualified prospects.
To create a targeted lead magnet, you need to be clear about who your best clients are, what their problems are, and how you can help them solve these problems. Focus on creating a deliverable with relevant content that genuinely helps potential clients understand how to solve their problem, while subtly promoting your services.
Step 3. Show the right calls-to-action to the right people
Experienced marketers know that not all website visitors are the same. Some are qualified, some are not.
And the leads coming to your website are not all the same either. Some are early-stage leads, some are mid-stage leads, and some are late-stage leads.
Proactively promote a compelling lead magnet on your website to capture early-stage leads
Early-stage leads are just discovering your brand. Maybe they were referred by a colleague, or came to specific page because of your rankings on Google. These are the leads you want to proactively offer a compelling lead magnet. This way, you can capture their contact info, follow-up and educate them with the goal of cultivating a mutually-beneficial ongoing relationship.
Proactively push mid-stage leads to take the next step
Mid-stage leads have already engaged with your brand. For example, they’ve already visited certain pages that qualify their level of interest, or perhaps they’ve already opted-in to receive your lead magnet.
In many cases, you’ll want to move these leads towards taking the next important step, such as requesting a consultation, or scheduling a live call.
Late-stage leads are ready to purchase. They’ve already qualified themselves by taking important actions. For example: They have already received a one-on-one consultation. Because of this, you could start promoting a direct call-to-action nudging them to buy.
This method of syncing your website with your customer’s lifecycle is what is called “onsite marketing automation”.
Step 4. Follow-up with leads based who they are, and the actions they’re taking on your website
With intelligent lead generation widgets deployed across your website making
strategic offers to the right people, at the right time, you’ll create multiple opportunities to follow-up with each individual lead based on the stage he or she is in your lifecycle marketing campaign.
Following up with leads with the right message, at the right time, is the key to getting them to convert sooner, rather than later. The result. You proactively create conditions that can compress or “speed up” the sales cycle.
We’ve found that the best ways to make your follow-up more-effective are:
- Knowing who your leads are, and what actions they’re taking on your site
- Follow up with new, highly-engaged leads as quickly as possible
- Make multiple follow-up touches strategically moving leads toward the next step
Research leads so you know who they are and if they’re qualified
It’s hard to know if the person behind an anonymous email address is a qualified lead that you, or your sales team would want to reach out to. And if this person is qualified, how would you know without knowing who he or she is?
By having your leads automatically researched by a system like ConvertFlow, you’ll quickly know if online leads are qualified by seeing who they are, where they are, what they do, who they work for and what actions they’ve taken on your website.
Newly researched leads also get sent to your inbox immediately after they take an action on your site. We call this a “lead alert”, and it makes it possible for you to follow up with a new prospects within minutes. Doing this while they are engaged with your site, can boost your sales conversions dramatically.
Follow up with your leads as fast as possible
“71% of Internet leads are lost because companies don’t respond fast enough.”
– Dr. James Oldroyd at the Kellogg School of Management
Did you know that you’re one hundred times less likely to make contact with a potential client if the first follow-up is made 30 minutes after he or she submits an online form?
In other words, the chances of getting in touch with someone rapidly decrease the longer you wait. And not by a little, the chances decrease exponentially.
Check this out. You’re 300x less likely to make contact if the first touch is made 5 hours after a lead submits the form. Ouch! It hurts me just to think about all the sales that small business owners may be losing because they don’t follow up fast enough.
The longer you wait, the harder it is to get in touch with people. That’s why if you want to have the best chances of converting your new leads into customers, respond to them as soon as possible. Ideally, you can put a system in place that automatically sends triggered emails based on where a lead is in the lifecycle.
It’s a proven fact that leads are most active during, and immediately after they’ve first interacted with your company website. That’s the absolute best time to engage them. Want to boost conversion and make more sales? Reach out to leads and initiate a conversation with them as quickly as possible.
Make multiple follow-up touches
When you combine a lead generation solution like ConvertFlow with lifecycle marketing software like Infusionsoft, you can start to leverage marketing automation features that trigger email follow-up sequences when a lead takes a specific action on your website.
Studies show that on average it takes as many as 6-7 touches before a potential customer takes a significant step towards making a purchase.
Multiple touches are often necessary because a relationship needs to be developed. Another possibility is that the lead is not yet 100% ready to make a buying decision due to budgeting or other factors.
By combining ongoing follow-up with relevant content, you can maintain “top-of-the-mind awareness” with your leads. And when the time is right for them to purchase your product or services, they’ll know exactly who to give their business to. You!
In conclusion, by leveraging proactive lead generation widgets, onsite marketing automation and effective follow-up, you can increase engagement with potential clients while they’re on your website, and potentially speed up the time needed to convert them from leads into buyers.
Want us to show you how to convert more website visitors into potential clients?
Let’s talk! Click below and select a time for a 20-minute “Connect Call”, and let us show how to start generating more leads from your website, and convert them into paying clients.
Co-Founder of ConvertFlow, the smarter lead generation solution.