In today’s global economy, getting more online leads is not only good business sense, it is absolutely critical for long-term success. With 78% of the United States population online, there are over 90 million people who turn to the internet on a daily basis for information, entertainment, and solutions to their problems. If you provide any of these things (not to mention consumer products), getting more online leads must be part of your plan. By following the simple process I’ve outlined below, you can set up a powerful online leads funnel for your business.
Attract More Online Leads
The first step to getting more online leads is to attract more interested prospects in the first place, in the form of traffic to your website. If you Google website traffic, you will find 714 million results, which proves there is no shortage of ways to attract online leads. From directory posting, to social media, to press releases, to pay-per-click or traditional advertising, the list of tactics is extensive. The challenge lies in choosing the top 1-3 most cost-effective ways for your business and focusing all of your efforts there. As tactics “sink” or “swim”, you can add new ones. But make sure to only focus on a maximum of 3 at a time. Ideally, just start with 1 at a time, perfect it, and move on to the next.
My favorite tactic for generating leads online is through Article Posting. This is an oldie but a goodie because it is still a top way to generate traffic to your website. The concept is similar to the off-line version of “getting published”, but much faster and wide-reaching. Basically, you write an article about a topic of interest to your target audience and publish that article to a bunch of online article directory sites. People (your online leads) find these articles when they search on that topic. Each article you post has an Author Box at the end that links back to your website, preferably with a free call to action. In Article Posting, the article doesn’t have to be long. Generally, 300-500 words is perfect for most sites. And you’d be surprised how easy it is to write 300 words. In fact, as I look down at my word counter, I see that at this point, I am at 379 words in this post. See? Piece of cake!
Capture More Online Leads
Once you get more online leads to do what you want, that is to visit to your website, what happens next? This is unfortunately where most websites drop the ball. But, with a good lead-capture plan, your website won’t fall into this category.
Lead-capture is just, what is a sound like. It means filtering through as much of your website traffic into actual leads as possible. The simplest way to do this is with an opt-in form. You’ve likely seen and used many opt-in forms online so you probably know what I am talking about here. The concept is to offer a valuable free bonus in exchange for someone’s name and email address. The way this works best for everyone is if that bonus item is something very appealing to your target audience. For example, a chiropractor could offer a free e-report on home exercises for lower back pain. These reports will most appeal to people suffering with low back pain, which is who the chiropractor is trying to attract! There are no rules about what to offer for free and it will vary from business to business, but you want to offer something of value to your prospect to earn their trust and to make sure you are attracting prospects that need and want your services.
Keep More Online Leads
Your valuable e-report and lead-capture system are doing their job and your email list is growing by leaps and bounds.
Just as important as capturing the online leads is a step called nurturing, where you strive to turn those leads into raving fan customers by providing tons of value and instilling massive confidence. How do you do this? The simplest way is by setting up a basic automated follow-up system, often referred to as an auto responder. An auto responder is a series of scheduled prospect touch points. Very often an auto responder is simply a series of emails sent out at various times providing additional information and follow up support to the prospect. Once you set up your auto responder, it runs automatically as scheduled to provide short and long-term prospect follow up. Whenever a new person joins your list, they start at the top of your auto responder and work through the nurture steps you’ve set up. The customer receives a lot of relevant information and ongoing support and you are nurturing new leads effortlessly – even in your sleep!
Last Word in Online Leads
Implementing this simple online leads system to your website can be done in a day and will instantly increase your marketing efforts ten-fold. To do this, you will need to register for an email program that lets you gather leads, build a segmented list, and send emails. On my websites, I use Infusion soft, which is an extremely robust marketing software package. If you want to be serious about creating and implementing marketing automation systems on your website, I highly recommend this software. It contains everything you need to create and manage a profitable business from the ground up and works for online and brick-and-mortar businesses alike. For most, it easily pays for itself several times over each month. However, it is a lot of functionality and not every website calls for this. For a simple, user-friendly lead-capture software, check out Aweber. For a highly affordable price, you can set up a simple lead-capture campaign for your website in an afternoon. Aweber even offers a free test-drive so you can check it out risk-free!