There is only one REAL rule of online lead generation (whether from your website or from outside sources) - add value to customers. That’s all. Are we done here? Well - not so fast! The first question that I would want to ask after hearing such statement is WHY? Why adding value to customers should be the only rule of an online lead generation? The second question is just as crucial: HOW to generate leads by adding value to the customers?
First things first - why adding value is the only rule for online sales lead generation? I believe that the answer to this question lies in the nature of ‘lead generation’. What is it?
Lead generation is a process in which you gain contact with a potential customer.
Now - there are at least two ways you can get that information. You can buy them from the third party or you can get it directly from the potential customer. What is the difference? The Permission.
If you buy your contact from the third party you never directly got permission to contact from a customer (yes, I know he probably agreed that his number might be sold when he provided the number, but still he never directly agreed to have contact with you). If you contact someone without his permission you are not going to find success. You’re just not. Statistics are merciless in this matter.
Direct permission changes everything as your potential customer leaves you information voluntarily, which means, that at least he expects some interaction with you. In most cases that’s as good as it can get.
But now another question arises. How this fact proves, that adding value to the customer is the only rule of effective an online lead generation? Well - why would anyone give you that information? Would you give your personal info without a reason? And the reason here is pretty simple - potential customer leaves his personal info, because he believes, that doing so benefits him. He believes, that what you deliver to him exceeds the risks arising from giving away personal info. Simply said - the value has been added.
In each and every one of your interactions with potential customers, you’ve got to focus entirely on adding value for them. They should benefit from the sole fact, that they visited your website. Ok, I guess at this point we agree on the one rule of lead generation - now let’s consider how you can add value to the visitor?
So - you want to generate more leads from your website, right? It’s an absolute no-brainer then, that you should master your landing page. It is probably the only place in the entire internet, that is completely under your control. You decide its content, design and site architecture. You should use it to create value both for your visitor and for yourself.
When a visitor enters your site you’ve got a great opportunity. You can show him your idea, tell him your story and present yourself from the best possible side. This introduction, if done properly, is the beginning of your relationship with a visitor. Remember - RELATIONSHIPS ARE ALWAYS ADDING VALUE (that is why social selling is the future of sales).
Your landing page should ignite the mind of your visitor. Present him something extraordinary or something ordinary in an extraordinary way. Differentiate yourself from the rest. Make a great first impression. Make visitor remember your name. Show your visitor why you are doing what you are doing. And tell him a story! Stories are probably the single best way to communicate!
You should do all these things at the very TOP of your landing page. As they are extremely important you should cut out all the possible distractions. Especially the navigation. It is the single easiest way to lose control over interaction with your visitor. In most cases, a visitor will simply jump through sections of your website without any order. He will consume information about you without any context. Ask yourself: what relationship would you create this way? Does it look like you want it to?
Having above in mind - use control over your page and guide every visitor through an exact path that you want them to make. But remember - don’t make the path too long, as you risk boring your visitor! Find the shortest possible path to present the essence of your value proposition! Only then present the visitor with navigation.
Right - so you’ve got a visitor on your site. He saw your landing page, he is interested in what you have to say. How do you use it? I believe you have to understand one thing: he came here either because he wants to make some action, or because he was just curious. I can’t see any other reason.
In both ways, in order to generate lead out of visitor, you should give your best possible service. Understand the path of your visitor, and what he is trying to achieve. Why did he visit your website?
After each and every sub-page of your website create an easy to access “Call to Action” that will answer visitor’s need. For example - if you write an article on types of formal shirts - end it with “Call to Action” button like this: “Find your style that leads to your online shop”. Why? Most probably your visitor after watching your content on formal shirts would like to know how could he buy such a shirt. Your role is to present him with the simplest solution possible. In this matter, the “added value” would be simplicity and clarity.
At this point, you fairly interested your visitor with your message on the landing page, and you activated him with your “Call to Action”. Now you are ready to generate the lead! How do you do it? You collect his contact info.
The first thing that you have to establish is what information would be the most valuable for you? Is it phone number? E-mail address? Social media connection?
Define your business goals and general sales strategy. What are the characteristics of your product? How does it work? How easy it is to learn to use it? To interact with it?
Those are all important questions! Why? Well - on the first sight it might look, that the way you contact your lead is not important. Eventually, either way you connect with them by e-mail or phone. But you have to understand their differences! Phone calls are typically more time-consuming and less convenient, as both parties have to find time for a call. E-mails are rather straightforward and easy to write. Moreover - you will not be dependent on finding a proper time, as an e-mail can be read anytime.
However - e-mails got its limitations! First of all - it is much harder to establish personal tone through e-mail. Secondly - when you anticipate a lot of questions from your lead, or when you will have to explain something complicated it is much easier to do so through a phone call. In many cases, however, the most important factor would be the fact, that every day we are flooded with e-mails, so our e-mail could be easily lost in this stream of messages.
That is why it is so important to establish all the facts and features about your product/service. The more complicated they are, the more desirable it is to collect phone numbers.
Once you decide which info you want to collect you have to ask yourself how will you collect this data. The most obvious answer is to use forms for visitors. At this point I see two possibilities: one - embed form onto your site, so that it is always accessible for your visitors; and two - use pop-ups.
I know what you are thinking - Pop-ups? Are you out of your mind? All they do is annoy people, and that is obviously the last thing you want to achieve. But I am deadly serious here. Hear me out! The properly used pop-up can boost your results in gaining contacts by 1375%. It is a huge difference.
Now - you probably think: “Ok, it’s interesting, but how could pop-up add value to the visitor?”. This is a really good question, and at the same time, one that is extremely hard to answer. An excellent study in this matter is provided in this SUMO article.
Long story short - personalize your pop-ups and use damn-good “Calls to Action” within them. Make them appear only if a visitor came from a certain page - not every time on every page. Show your thought pop-up when your visitor is spending a certain time on your page, or put specified objects in the cart. Use geography as a determinant for a pop-up to appear. The sky is the limit here!
Understand the path your visitor is going through, and anticipate his needs. If you will understand it correctly, then you will be able to personalize the time pop-up appears. You will serve your visitor with the easiest way to achieve a goal that he is already pursuing - and this is adding value at its finest!
Summing up - to generate leads online you have to add value to your visitors. Every single time. You have to think through your landing page and balance its value communication with the needs of a visitor. You have to lead your visitors to places that they expect to be taken. Finally, you want to activate your visitor at the moment he wants to be activated. This is all adding value to your visitor and thus increasing chances that he will voluntarily provide you with his personal info.
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