So you’re getting traffic to your website or blog – how do you then convert that traffic into leads for your email list? This article looks at both basic and advanced options for maximizing the number of visitors you convert into leads.
Basic Lead Capture
To start collecting leads from your website, a bare minimum strategy involves simply adding an opt-in form to your site.
List services such as Aweber, GetResponse and MailChimp all provide the code you need to do this. Usually it’s a case of selecting your list, creating or choosing a form, and then copying and pasting the code into your website.
Ideally, you would have the form on most pages of your website to increase the chances of your visitors seeing it when they arrive.
However, this isn’t enough by itself to get visitors to fill in their details and click the button to subscribe. You need to make them a suitable offer that encourages them to do so.
At the most basic level, this could be as simple as asking them to join your newsletter for regular updates.
This might get you a few subscribers, but it’s unlikely to maximize the number of visitors you convert into leads.
So what can you do? This is where you need a suitable …
A lead magnet is something you offer to your target market to encourage them to join your list.
The possibilities are endless, but might include:
* An ebook
* A downloadable report
* Access to a gated content area
* A discount code
* Your latest catalog
* A quote
* One or more videos or audio files
* A free consultation
So now, instead of just inviting visitors to join your list for ‘updates’, which might not sound too enticing, you are now offering them something of more immediate value.
Combined with suitable copy and an attention-grabbing image, your conversions are likely to increase.
What about increasing conversions further? Let’s move onto more …
Advanced Lead Capture
To maximize lead conversions, you need something more dynamic to attract visitors’ attention.
This involves opt-in devices such as:
* Popup lightboxes – this is where you get a popup with the subscription form displaying on top of the content on the page
* Smartbars – you’ll see a colored bar at the top or bottom of the screen and an offer to subscribe
* Welcome Mats – on arriving at a website, this takes over the whole screen with an opt-in offer, and you usually have to dismiss or scroll down to view the content
These types of devices can dramatically increase conversions, simply because they are:
* So attention-grabbing
* Usually far more visually appealing than the standard forms offered by list services
But how do you actually add these to your website?
There are various software solutions out there, but there are two main problems I’ve found in using most of them.
Firstly, once you go past anything basic, they can start to slow down your site with lots of code that’s loaded in often unnecessarily.
For example, I found that when using different opt-in devices on different pages, each page would still load in the code needed for all the other opt-in devices, even when it wasn’t needed.
When speed’s so critical for effective conversions, I found this unacceptable.
Secondly, and maybe more importantly, they nearly all effectively limit you to one opt-in device for a particular lead magnet.
I’ll illustrate what I mean. Imagine you had two devices on a particular page offering your lead magnet. Let’s say you had:
* A smartbar at the top of the page
* A lightbox that pops up as the visitor scrolls down the page.
If the visitor subscribes via the smartbar, the lightbox still shows, offering them the same lead magnet again.
This would of course be very annoying to the visitor and give them a poor visitor experience. Again this isn’t acceptable.
The only way around it is to simply have the one opt-in device offering your lead magnet. But this becomes very restrictive and limits the number of leads you can attract.
So what can you do?
One solution that doesn’t have this restriction is called ‘optinopoli’. When using this software, as soon as the visitor subscribes to a particular lead magnet, other opt-in devices offering the same lead magnet no longer show.
In addition, as soon as someone does subscribe, you can then start showing follow-on offers.
To use it, you add a small piece of code to your site. There are not endless embed codes to add, like you get with other solutions. These can get very tricky to keep track of and manage over time, and often mean you need a developer to help.
Instead, with optinopoli, you control all your campaigns directly from their dashboard.
This makes the whole process a lot easier and quicker.
If you want to start growing your email list by converting your website visitors into leads, this article shows you exactly how to approach it.
If it’s all new to you, just start with something basic, such as an opt-in form provided by your list service. This gets you used to the overall process of lead capture.
Then aim to improve what you do over time by perhaps moving to one of the software solutions available, and watch your leads increase.
Steve Shaw is the founder of vWriter.com, helping businesses “Be Everywhere” through the power of content. Grab a free copy of his Content Authority Formula, the proven formula that builds your authority, influence and visibility across the web: vWriter.