It’s easy to find ways to generate sales leads from your website – just Google the subject and dozens of ideas will turn up. But it’s important to keep in mind not all techniques are alike; some will lead to more leads than others. To help you focus your efforts where they’re likely to produce the best results, here’s a list of five ways to generate leads that have been singled out by various sources as particularly effective.
Publish an online newsletter
Not just any newsletter, but a newsletter that’s filled with interesting, compelling content that visitors will look forward to reading. If you have the marketing dollars, hire a good content developer to write it and a designer to create a template for it. If your budget doesn’t permit, of course, you can do it yourself – and here are some good tips to help with that. Then attract subscribers by putting a sample article on your website along with a prominent sign-up form. Once you’ve gotten someone to subscribe, be sure you’re doing everything possible to keep them interested and engaged and away from the “unsubscribe” button. And be sure every issue of your newsletter includes a strong call to action, because that’s what’s going to generate quality leads from people who want to know more about what you have to offer them.
Give away a high-value information asset
We’ve all been to websites that offer an information asset in exchange for the visitor’s contact information. But how many times have you left without signing up? If the asset doesn’t sound particularly valuable, or if the form to fill out looks long and complicated, that may be all it takes to drive a potential lead away. The key is to offer something of sufficient value to make the visitor feel that it’s worth parting with one’s contact information. A nicely designed, informative ebook on a topic that displays your expertise, a market report co-authored with an analyst in your field, a white paper by an expert – these are all tantalizing offerings. See Item 4 in this list of lead generation techniques for more valuable information.
Prompt visitors to ask questions
Businesses that offer services as well as (or instead of) products may particularly benefit from demonstrating how knowledgeable or expert they are in their industry. One way to do this is to invite website visitors to ask questions about the content you post online. Providing helpful information through a Q&A program is a great way to instill a level of trust that can turn visitors into good leads for the services you provide. Your answers will form the foundation for a knowledge base of valuable content that shows your expertise and understanding of many different aspects of your industry. Many companies offer Q&A software that can be deployed on your website (full disclosure: including our company, Answerbase). Here’s a recent Quora discussion that includes recommendations from others who’ve taken this step.
Host a webinar and promote it online
Another way to demonstrate your expertise to potential customers is to hold a free webinar on a topic that’s relevant to your business. You’ll be able to provide attendees with useful information, follow up with them afterward to stay top of mind and begin to establish a rapport with them that could lead to them becoming customers. Holding a webinar requires good planning and attention to a variety of details; follow this good, thorough list of things you’ll need to do to ensure a successful webinar. Then post an invitation on your website, make it easy for people to register there, and collect contact information and opt-in permission from registrants so you can stay in touch with them.
Use social media to drive potential leads to your website
A Facebook page or Twitter presence that’s filled with quality content can pique interest in what you do and lead people to your website, where you can then apply all the techniques described above to turn them into active leads and ultimately customers. LinkedIn is also a good choice, specifically for publishing business articles that establish you as an expert in your field. You can use your website to promote your social media presence by asking people to “like” you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter. And you can also do the opposite, using social media to promote website content and activities, by inviting people to subscribe to your newsletter, request an information asset, engage in Q&A on your website or sign up for your webinar. But remember – once you’re on social media, it’s important to be active. Having no Facebook page or Twitter presence at all can be a liability, but having one that hasn’t been updated with fresh content in months is arguably even worse.
Your website can be one of the most powerful lead generation tools available to your business. Take advantage of all the opportunities described here to engage website visitors and get them more interested in your business, and you may be surprised to see just how quickly your list of leads grows.