The best strategy for turning website visitors into leads depends on the business and product. I know, I know, you’re extremely grateful that I just provided you with what sounds like a typical marketer answer but let me explain my thinking and a high-level strategic recommendation that will provide you with success.Know your customers problem and tell them how you’ll fix it with the right product-story mix. From there provide easy access to a value proposition. On websites, you can either offer a user access to your product as value or offer them value through or information requests. Recognize the type of information products that your audience wants the most and then offer it to them and offer it to them often.To optimize the process here is how you can make a seamless transition from website visitor to website lead. Take a look at how Unbounce does it:
Wants + Needs = Product Story Fit
A potential customers wants and needs are the first thing you need to think about. The second thing you need to think about is how you can drive them to your website where you can begin pushing them further down the purchasing funnel. When a potential customer finds your website they will typically find it by searching for their wants and needs or their actual problem. When they land on a search results page they will typically look for the headline that expresses the most feasible solution to their problem. Make sure that the message you offer them in the search results is compelling and worth clicking.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there are a variety of competitors providing content about Landing Pages through paid search but unbounce has achieved the number one spot on Google through content marketing. When someone searches for “Landing Page Optimization tools” this post rises to the top with a photo of Oli Gardner and drives the users directly to a post filled with tips on landing pages. This content is relevant to their target audience and is valuable as it provides a solution to their specific wants & needs.
Once a user clicks on the link, the content they find tells them a story. Not only does it tell the user 101 Landing Page Optimizatin Tips; it tells them about the unbounce brand and provides the customer with the immediate belief that these guys know what they’re talking about. This story is crucial when generating leads and you have to get it right.
Buffer recently went through a period of identifying their product-story fit and found it recently. From January 2011 – October 2011, their focus for the story being told on their blog was simple: How to do well on Twitter. In November 2011 they realized that solely focused on Twitter was a very niche market and the evolved to telling a story around Social Media tips. Today however, they’ve identified their story as being centred around Lifehacks, writing, customer happiness and business. This ultimately provides them with an angle to tell the story of how buffer as a product is a way to be more productive with a simple yet useful lifehack.
Convert, Convert, Convert!
Once a user has bought into your product-story fit and believes it matches their wants + needs; you need to convert. But there are two types of potential web conversions that you can make online. You can convert a website user to a customer or a website user to a lead. In this question, you’re looking for how to turn a web customer into a lead so let’s go down that path.
When driving someone from Website User to a Lead the value proposition is most powerful when it’s related to an exchange of information. The user provides you with their email and you provide them with an ongoing newsletter or the user provides you with their phone number and you provide them with a White Paper; it’s as simple as that. The key however, is to optimize your site for generating these potential leads as much as possible. As you can see in the screenshot of this Landing Page Optimization company; they’ve included 7 clear call to actions driving potential leads.
To further increase the chance of driving these users down the funnel you should consider your colour palette. As simple as it sounds, a red button on “Buy now” could tell a user something different than an orange button that reads the exact same thing. If you’re a believer in the relationship between colours in psychology; it’s important to note that orange is known as an aggressive colour and is encouraged to be used for call to actions such as subscribe, buy and in this case “Sign up”, “Start your Free 30-Day Trial” and “See what’s new”.
For more details on that: How do colors affect purchases?
Provide VALUE in exchange
Marketers and business owners must realize that generating leads is about more than simply asking a lead for their contact info. If you want to optimize your chances for actually generating a hot-lead; you need to provide value in exchange for their information. Whether that’s through a white paper, a webinar or even an information session on your product. You have to embrace the idea of providing value to your customers with the intent of converting them once they trust your brand and believe in the product/service you’re offering.
Now remember, early on I mentioned the words “it depends.” Well, this is that time where what you offer in terms of value does in fact depend. It depends on whether or not you’re a B2B business, it depends on whether or not you’re a Brick and Mortar business and it depends on whether or not you’re already an expert in a specific field. To accomplish this step, you need to have laser focus on the customers problem and provide highly valuable content while being able to tell a rich story that demonstrates leadership and expertise.
Another example from Unbounce is the following landing page:
As you can see, they’re not only identifying exactly why a user should want this book but they’re also clearly stating what options you have to receive it. This is a great example of a valuable information exchange. A user is asked to provide their email in exchange for an eBook that would be highly relevant to them if they happened to search “A/B Testing Guide” and found this landing page. It’s an easy win for Unbounce and they also offer the user a chance to get it for a tweet that would read: “I just downloaded The Ultimate Guide to A/B Testing #abtesting” A quick Twitter search for the hashtag “#abtesting” gives them a chance to find this (see Georg):
And then follow up with a tweet to make him go from simply being a lead to being a full on customer.
Note: More orange buttons in the A/B Testing page.
At the end of the day, value is king. If you can ensure that the wants and needs of your visitors are aligned with your product & story; you have passed step one. This is the most crucial part of the equation and is followed up with your ability to communicate a value proposition in the form of an information exchange. Identify what type of content your visitors are actually interested in and what they’re willing to give up to get it.
What other tactics have you seen used for converting leads? Any other tips and tricks?
This answer was originally posted on Quora