Convert Site Traffic Into Leads
By step five, you should have already launched your blog, optimized your site for search engines, and started participating and promoting you content via social media. If it‟s been several weeks, by now you should start to see a spike in traffic to your website.
There’s only one problem. All that traffic to your site isn’t leading to any new business! People are visiting your site, but those visits aren’t leading to new customers — or even new sales leads.
So what do you do?
Simple. Focus on conversion. Focus on converting more of your website visitors into sales leads. To do this, decide on a compelling offer for your customers, create a call-to-action to promote your offer, and launch a landing page with a form for visitors to submit their information to obtain the offer. Finally, test, measure, and iterate the whole process.
Here’s a detailed guide to each step in this sales and marketing conversion funnel:
Step 1: Decide on Your Offer
The offer is the most important part of any campaign. It’s the initial attraction that catches the attention of your website visitors and gives them a reason to fill out the form used to collect their information. Your offer should target the type of sales lead you‟re trying to attract. For example, if you’re a golf instructor, you want to create offers that will appeal to golfers trying to improve their game. If you’re a sales process consultant, you’ll want to create offers that appeal to executives trying to improve their sales process.
Typical content offers include research reports, how-to ebooks (like this one!), slide downloads, or archived webinars. Other offers might include a free trial or demo of your product or a personal consultation. Of course, there’s no reason to be constrained by what’s typical. Use anything you think will work for your target customers. (Also keep in mind that the offer form is a conversation starter for the sales team, so it should be designed to start a conversation that will lead to a sale.)
Step 2: Create Calls-to-Action
Once you decide on your offer, create a few compelling CTAs. As we alluded to in Step Three of this ebook, a call-to-action is a button or a link on a website that grabs a user‟s attention and directs that user to a landing page. On the landing page, the user is prompted to complete a form and submit contact information in order to receive what‟s being offered. By submitting that information, the visitor is then converted into a lead with whom your sales team can follow up. Your call-to-action can be text, an image, or html, but it should always include a link to the corresponding landing page. If you have an effective call-to-action, you’ll convert a high percentage of your website visitors into leads.
For additional information about creating calls-to-action that work, check out the following HubSpot blog articles:
Step 3: Create Landing Pages
After you create a call-to-action, you need to set up the landing page that it will link to. The landing page is the page where your website visitors arrive after they click on your call-to-action, and where they will fill out the form to receive your offer.
You‟d be surprised by how many times we‟ve seen calls-to-action that aren‟t links. Whether intentional or a matter of forgetfulness, the lack of a link will make it much harder for visitors to find out how to receive the offer, and they‟ll likely give up. So double, triple, and quadruple check to make sure all of your CTAs link to their corresponding landing pages.
As we said, landing pages house the form where users submit information that allows them to access your offer. The information you collect will also be used by you or your sales team to follow up with them. Once users submit their information on the landing page, they should be redirected to a thank-you page where they can access the offer. (Note that if you’re doing a promotion on a third party site — Google AdWords, for example — a landing page might be the first page on your site where your users arrive.)
Be crystal clear about what the offer is in your CTA. And be specific. If you‟re giving away a free guide, say “Download our FREE guide to X.” If you‟re hosting a free webinar, say “Register for our FREE webinar on X.” X should clearly convey a compelling benefit of receiving the offer. This is much more effective than “Download Now” or “Get a Free Article.” These simply aren‟t specific enough.
For more tips on creating optimized landing pages, check out our free archived webinar, “Optimizing Landing Pages for Lead Generation and Conversion.”
Step 4: Test, Measure & Iterate
Offers, calls-to-action and landing pages are the core elements of the conversion process, but you can’t stop there. If you just have a single conversion pathway, you have very little insight into the process and the way it performs. In order to improve your conversion process, you need to experiment. You need to test different CTAs, you need to test different landing pages, you need to test different offers, and then you need to decide which ones best help you achieve your goals.
After a CTA has been on your homepage for a month, vary the messaging or swap out an entirely new CTA, and after another month, measure which has performed best. If landing page conversions are low, move the form above the fold and measure the results. Don‟t be afraid to test different variations; you can always switch back if the old version worked better. It will be worth it when you‟ve found the best combination that increases your site‟s conversions.
For additional tips on increasing your website‟s conversion rate, check out our free, on-demand webinar, “Always Be Testing: 10 Tips for Increasing Your Lead Conversion Rate.”
Step Six: Nurture Leads With Email Marketing
According to MarketingSherpa, 70% of your leads will end up buying something from you or one of your competitors, but they won‟t do it right away! Companies that build relationships with their leads over time have the greatest success in turning leads into customers by staying top-of-mind until the lead is ready to buy.
Lead nurturing is the process of developing that relationship with your potential customer by sending targeted, relevant, and valuable messages to them in a timely manner. The end goal is to get your leads to “raise their hand” and self-select into further engaging with your business. Forrester Research found that companies that excel at lead nurturing are able to generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost-per-lead.
Email Marketing Best Practices:
Create opt-in opportunities. Make sure your lead forms allow your website visitors to enter their email address and opt-in to receive your messages.
Give people a reason to opt-in. Whether it‟s a landing page for an ebook or an email newsletter subscription form, make sure you give people a compelling reason to opt-in. What‟s so valuable about your ebook? What interesting and unique information will they receive in your email newsletter? Be explicit and phrase the benefit(s) in terms of your recipient.
Would I be upset if I didn‟t receive your message? Only send messages to people who have explicitly opted in. You can follow the extreme principle of Seth Godin‟s Permission Marketing: Would your recipient be upset if they didn‟t receive your message? If yes, you should go ahead and send your email.
Stay relevant. What was your lead interested in? Did they download your “5 Tips for Using QuickBooks to Manage Your Business” ebook? Or did they read your blog article on “How to Get Your Business Listed in Google Places”? Send them an email with more resources targeted to their interests.
Get personal. Use a name and email address in the “from” line of your email that your recipients will recognize. Personalize the message so the recipient remembers how and why they came to your website. For example, start with “You recently checked out our ebook…” or “Thanks for subscribing to our blog!”
WIIFM? At the end of the day, make sure that your message adds value. Get into the mind of your recipient and ask, “What‟s In It For Me?” (WIIFM) Are you emailing them just to tell them how great your product is? Or are you offering to help solve a problem they‟re facing? Make the value clear in both the email body and the subject line.
Don‟t rely on images. Many email clients don‟t load images automatically, so if your email is one large image, your recipient won‟t have any idea what it‟s about! Use images as supplementary (clickable) content in your email, and make sure you have enough text to communicate value.
Be consistent. You want your recipients to expect and look forward to your messages. Whether you send your messages daily, weekly, or monthly, pick a schedule and stick to it.
Don‟t let the law get you down. Brush up on CAN-SPAM regulations to make sure your email practices comply.
What do I do here? When someone opens your email, make it clear what they‟re supposed to do. Is it to click to read a blog article? Download a new, free ebook? Include a call-to-action that links to a landing page where the recipient can convert again and self-select to further engage with you.
The landing page is part of your email campaign. Email marketing doesn‟t
stop with a click. Your landing page is an extension of your email, and it is where your conversion takes place. Make sure your email offer and landing page flow, and review Step Five of this ebook for tips on conversion opportunities and landing page best practices.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) measures response. Of the people you emailed, how many of them clicked through to your landing page? The CTR can give you a sense of how compelling your offer and email messages are. Experiment with different subject lines, calls-to-action, and timing to improve the CTR of your emails.
What about open rate? Open rate is an increasingly unreliable metric, as more email clients do not load the images necessary for tracking who opened an email. Focus instead on how many clicks your email received.
Unsubscribe rate measures annoyance and spam. There will always be some people who do not want to receive your emails anymore, but you want to make sure your unsubscribe rate does not exceed 5%. If your unsubscribe rate gets this high, check on your opt-in policies and procedures to make sure you‟re only emailing subscribers who want to receive your messages.
Conversion rate measures actions. The final step is conversion, so measure how many of those clicks turned into reconversions on your landing page. Test different landing pages to improve the conversion on your website.
Lead nurturing is all about developing relationships with your leads, so keep in mind that this does not have to be limited to email communication. Think about how you can communicate with your leads via social media or another platform they use.
For additional information about implementing successful email marketing and lead nurturing campaigns, download HubSpot‟s free ebook, “7 Steps to Jump-Start Your Email Marketing Strategy.”
Step Seven: Be Mobile-Friendly
It‟s obvious that mobile platforms are becoming more and more of a consideration when it comes to internet marketing. The growth of the iPhone is going to continue, with reports showing that Verizon may sell as many as 13 million iPhones in 2011. If you are trying to market on the mobile web, you need to consider the importance of creating entertaining and quality content that can be easily consumed on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablet computers.
Optimize for Mobile
Mobile marketing is being tossed around frequently in marketing circles, often with many different intended meanings. While mobile marketing can mean many things, there is one primary message being conveyed for marketers looking to take advantage of mobile: optimize for mobile devices.
While developing a mobile application relative to your business is another option, most businesses are still just ramping up their internet marketing efforts and do not have enough content to support a mobile application. Additionally, many marketers would be better off optimizing their SEO, email, lead nurturing, and social media campaigns for maximum lead generation before taking on yet another major project such as a mobile application.
For those internet marketers just getting started with mobile, the important thing to focus on is making sure your website is easy to view and navigate when accessed on mobile devices.
What should you worry about when optimizing for mobile?
It is important that you optimize your website and emails to be viewed correctly on mobile devices, such as the iPhone and Android-powered devices. Additionally, it will be important to think about how your calls-to-action and offers work on mobile devices.
Is it easy for a prospect to fill out a form on your website from their smartphone? If you are offering a download, will it open on mobile devices?
Byte mobile has found that in 2011, 60 percent of all traffic on mobile web devices will be for video. The study also shows that 10 percent of mobile web users account for 90 percent of mobile web traffic. This staggering statistic means that a relatively small group of mobile internet users are doing the vast majority of mobile bandwidth consumption.
This data highlights some critical elements in the evolution of the mobile web. With indications that mobile bandwidth cost may be on the rise, it is important for marketers to develop lightweight ways to engage mobile users. Don‟t ask a user to stream a 10-minute video. Instead, provide a clean text summary of the video if they are using a cellular data connection. Give them an opportunity to watch the video if they are on a WiFi connection, in an effort to help them conserve mobile bandwidth.
For more tips on mobile marketing, access HubSpot‟s free, archived webinar,
“How Companies Adopt and Measure Mobile Marketing.”
Step Eight: Analyze & Refine Strategies
Now that you have all the right internet marketing strategies in place, it‟s time to make all of them as efficient as they can be. Your main goal in this step is to find the best way to use all the techniques we’ve already discussed to get found online and generate new customers.
5 Steps for Analyzing & Refining Internet Marketing Strategies
1. Implement an Analytics Program
In order to analyze, you need to have an analytics program in place. HubSpot software has a business-oriented system in place for this purpose. Google Analytics is a non-business based but free tool that helps analyze your website traffic.
2. Identify Opportunities
Figure out what you want to improve. Do you want more people coming to your blog? Do you want to convert more visitors on your home page into leads? Get into the mindset of constantly looking for new opportunities.
3. Set a Metric for Success
In almost all cases, your metric should be quantifiable and involve a set time frame. For example: “Increase X website leads over the next X days.”
Analyze how your programs performed and make changes with the aim of achieving your marketing goals by doing less of what doesn‟t work and more of what works (and by modifying what doesn‟t work so that it works better).
Determine if you‟ve met your success metric. If so, stick with your change. See what you could have done differently. Continue to monitor it to make sure the improvement has a long-term effect.
Metrics to Analyze
In order for your refinements to have a big impact, you need to monitor several key factors. Again, you‟ll need analytics software to do this.
Before diving into how to improve them, let‟s first discuss what the relevant metrics are. This is just a minimal list of what you should be monitoring. After getting comfortable with these metrics, take a look at a more comprehensive set of metrics to measure in our Web Analytics Marketing Hub.
How well optimized is your website overall? To find out, continue running your website through Website Grader. You can sign up for monthly updates on your grade via the Website Grader report.
Traffic: Overall, how many people are coming to your website?
Leads: How much of this traffic are you converting into leads (e.g. potential customers)?
Customers: How many sales did you close this month?
Customer Acquisition Cost: How much are you investing to draw in each new customer?
New vs. Repeat Visitors: Of your overall traffic, how many visitors are returning to your site, and how many new people are finding you? Both types of visitors are good. Attracting new visitors means people are finding you through search. Attracting repeat visitors means you’ve given people good reason to come back to your site. The key is finding a balance. Mike Volpe, HubSpot‟s CMO, recommends having around 15% repeat visitors.
Effectiveness by Channel: What promotional channels or referring sources are sending you the most traffic? Focus on long-term results, not short-term traffic spurts that you might get from news coverage or press releases.
Traffic by Keywords: Which keywords are drawing in the most visitors to your site?
Steps for Improvement
While you should try to reach long-term goals, there are some short-term steps you should take to get there. The following are some elements of your website you can refine so you can reach your broader goals:
Keywords: Try new keywords or variations of keywords to see if they help you get found better. Since each page on your site can incorporate different keywords, there are tons of ways to do this.
On-Page SEO: See if changing a simple on-page factor can help boost visits. Examples of on-page factors are page title, meta description, and headings. As a simple test, try changing the page title of one of your web pages to see if you generate more traffic.
Conversions: Try new things with your conversion forms or landing pages. For example, try making the conversion form more prominently located on your web page.
Content Strategy: Determine which content is generating the most traffic. This could be an opportunity to either focus more on that kind of content, or refine your delivery of other content.
Social Media Promotions: Evaluate which social media channels are generating the most site visitors and leads. Again, you can either focus on your successful social media platforms, or try improving your performance in your less successful ones.
Lead Nurturing: Maybe you’re sending emails too frequently — or not frequently enough. Maybe the calls-to-action in your email are not appropriate for your audience. Always keep experimenting and testing.
For more information about how to effectively measure your marketing programs, check out HubSpot‟s on-demand webinar, “The Science of Analytics.”
If you are interested in using Internet marketing to grow your business and generate leads, take advantage of Need More Qualified Leads? Use HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing System. Try our FREE 30-Day Trial!