I know what you’re thinking. You built a website and expected leads to flow like water. Maybe your analytics show a stream of visitors, but does your site direct the flow to where you want visitors to go, obstruct the flow, or leak like a sieve?
If you’re spending money on an advertising campaign that drives traffic to your website and you haven’t taken a hard look at the customer's experience, you may be better off lighting the money on fire to watch the pretty flame. Okay, so burning your cash might be a little extreme. But we want to make sure every dollar you invest gives you a nice return on your investment.
Lead generation is a deceptively simple yet complex task that needs attention in order to convert visitors into customers.
Here is an example of the steps in lead generation. For this example, let’s pretend you have a checklist of the “Five Most Important Items to Bring on Vacation.”
Jerry is planning a trip and wants to be prepared. He does a search and finds your website.
- He clicks on a call-to-action (CTA) button on one of your site pages or blog posts. An obvious CTA is “Learn More.”
- That click brings Jerry to your landing page. The landing page must fulfill the promise of the CTA. Make sure it goes to the page with the Five Things content and not your home page. Nothing annoys Jerry more than having to search for what caught his attention in the first place.
- The landing page includes a form to collect Jerry’s name, email address, and maybe a question about where or when he plans to go on vacation. You need to collect basic information so you can send Jerry your checklist. And also to remarket to him about all your other travel-related information.
- Jerry happily submits his information and is led to a thank-you page. This page is also an opportunity to lead Jerry to your additional content of the “Top 10 Tips for International Travel” because Jerry said he is planning to visit Spain.
Now you know a few things about Jerry. He’s researching travel tips, and he’s planning international travel. He is a warm lead. You could sit back and wait to see what he does next, or you could encourage Jerry to come back to your site and do a little business with you.
The Follow-Up Email
Once Jerry converted into a lead, he gave you his information and the opportunity to send him a follow-up email, i.e., a "thank-you" email. The engagement rates of thank-you emails versus non-thank-you emails are double that of standard marketing emails. Why? Because Jerry already likes you! He downloaded content and is interested in your services.
You can invite Jerry to "Subscribe to Updates" or “Read our Travel Blog.” No lead, not even Jerry, is going to magically turn into a customer. He needs encouragement and a steady stream of valuable content that matches his interest. Learn as much as you can about Jerry, then tailor what you send to him. For instance, he didn’t open the email about where to get the best meal in Tokyo, but he read two emails about riding horses in Scotland. Send him info about Europe and not Japan. Eventually, with the right nurturing, Jerry will buy your travel services.
You depend on leads to grow your business. So be sure you take advantage of every opportunity without letting unsatisfied website visitors get washed down the drain. If you’re not sure how well you’re doing with lead generation, here is a downloadable self-test to rate your strategy. (See what I did there!)