Marketing is one of the most innovative industries around.  We are constantly researching and testing the best methods available to help our clients grow.  But when it comes right down to it, there’s one success metric that all of our efforts center around: lead generation.

We’ve already looked into the precursors to lead generation: a user-friendly website design and a focused approach to your advertising efforts. But all of this prep work is useless if the only thing you’ve managed to accomplish is attract a large number of visitors to your site.  The real goal is one step further: lead generation/conversion.

The Conversion Process

Through a series of opportunities, you can build a seamless sales process into your website itself. This both engages your audience and enables you to track the success of your efforts.

Begin With the Right Focus

Although your accountant may not agree with you, your sales efforts cannot be focused on the sale or the future sale.  Your goal should be focused on providing a valuable service. Something that the user could not access without engaging in your conversion method.

Businesses that grow organically and experience ongoing success have embraced this mentality.  No one wants to feel “used” – especially not a potential client.  Your products must align with a common denominator that you share with your clients.

Example: Roofing contractors share a valuable connection with their clients: the desire to protect and preserve a valuable investment. This can be fueled by a desire for self-preservation, personal success, and/or a desire to protect one’s family and loved ones.

Set Up a Path to Success

After we have refocused our attention on the value of our offer, we can begin to set up a path that leads to success and lead conversion.

Step 1: Create the “next logical step” with a CTA

Have you ever read through to the end of an inspirational article and then wondered “now what?

Each time an online visitor reads through a landing page on your website, they ask themselves that same question.  The natural impulse is  to click on something – anything!  Without a directed pathway, the most natural action of a user is to follow a link or another page via the menu.

Adding a CTA (short for “call to action”) is designed to capture the user’s attention in that now what? moment. The CTA can take the form of a form, button, large text, social media icon, or image – anything that stands out vibrantly and aesthetically from the rest of the page.

The title content of the CTA must logically follow from the previous content. For some online marketing pieces you may want to ask for a phone conversion (“give us a call”); for others you may wish  to direct the user to additional information that holds a form within it (“fill out this form for a no-obligation, free estimate”).

Step 2: Spruce Up Those Landing Pages

What is a landing page?  It is any website page that addresses a specific topic.  Within each landing page you may be targeting a specific persona or group of personas within a single geographic location.

Without a solid landing page, lead conversion is next to impossible.  A lack of quality content and images translates quickly into a lack of credibility.

Many CTAs depend on a landing page to bring the user up to speed and prep them for a decision-making process.

Step 3: Create a Form

The CTA leads to a landing page which contains: The Form.

Creating a form that invites the user to actually fill it out is an art.  All too many times, a business owner is tempted to ask for too much information.

Ask yourself this question:

What information do I have to gather through the form to create an engagement?

When you get back to the basics, you may only need 3 fields of information. People who are just exploring your services are not likely to fill out multiple fields but may be tempted to complete a simple Name/Email Address form.  On the other hand, if it is a more involved Free Estimate form, you may wish to pull a little more info to help weed out those who are “just curious.”

Step 4: Nurture Your Leads!

Through A/B testing and consistent analysis, you can create a lead conversion path that suits your personas (refresher: a persona is your “ideal, successful, or dream client”).

But – a form is only a form until your staff nurtures the lead and closes the sale. The contacts that you have created through the CTA/landing page/form path are all opportunities to nurture. Follow up with the contacts quickly.

Ideally, each lead you receive should be contacted within a few hours.

If they aren’t ready to close the deal don’t set them aside.  Lead nurturing has many phases. Create a funnel for the “maybes” to feed them further information opportunities. Many forms are submitted by those who are just beginning to search for the information they need to make a decision.

As the information supplier, you have a critical role to play by not allowing the leads to grow cold. Continue to nurture the contacts with valuable information to provide them with a strong, positive impression of your company’s brand and the quality of resources you provide.

In time, these users will look to you as the expert of choice – and recommend your services to others.

Stay Positive & Work Towards Lead Closure

Inbound marketing requires that you, as the business owner, keep a positive outlook on life.  By providing your online visitors with a great experience you are culturing a cycle of organic growth that will continue to pay off.

Each step you take to impress your leads and online visitors will take you closer to the golden opportunity of lead closure – and a sale.

Originally published: Oct 10, 2013
Information updated: August 11, 2015

To learn more about the ins and outs of inbound marketing, contact the Art Unlimited team.


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