Online lead generation for many business to business (B2B) companies centres on gaining an email address from someone interested in what you offer, and permission to follow-up subsequently. The more email addresses you can capture and follow-up effectively the better your sales pipeline will be.
The page where email address capture takes place is often referred to a landing page, or a lead capture page. It has a primary objective to capture the email address of people in a specific sub-section of your target audience. A landing page makes a more specific offer than your general ‘Contact us:’ page, in order to persuade the people you’re targeting to enter their email address. It may well be appropriate to develop multiple landing pages for specific audiences, needs, interests and so on, based on your market segmentation.
The online lead generation process
There are four elements that go into a good lead capture process, and these are:
- A compelling ‘offer’ of information that is valuable to your target audience
- The Landing page itself, where you outline and ‘sell’ the offer
- The form where people enter their email address
- The Thank-you page where people can access the ‘offer’.
This is the second article in a series of four about online lead generation. The previous one covered setting up Google Analytics to track your campaign, and subsequent ones will cover email marketing follow-up and finally, promoting the landing page to your target audience.
The Compelling Offer
The objective of the offer is to reward people for giving you their email address. You are not trying to ‘sell’ your company, or your products or services at this stage. You are just trying to do what it takes to get that email address. In business to business markets the ‘offer’ is typically information based, such as a white paper, access to a video or diagnostic tool, or similar.
- Choose a topic appropriate to the stage in the buying cycle that you want to engage with
- Create something about a topic that is relatively timeless to create an ongoing lead capture campaign
- Create something about a topic ‘of the moment’ can create a quick lead injection
The Landing page
The objective of the landing page is to ‘sell’ the information or reward offer in exchange for the email address. It is an opportunity to start to establish your authority and expertise and to demonstrate your willingness to help potential buyers by providing general advice and guidance. It is also an opportunity to start to pre-qualify people, to increase the quality of the resulting registrations.
Landing page design and content can be very varied. However it’s worth considering:
- Page style – keep the design as clean and uncluttered as possible, and remove normal website navigation
- Page length – whether to use short pages or long copy depends on many factors
- Page content – as well as text, consider graphics, video, testimonials, qualification logos and more
Writing sales copy and producing effective landing pages is a skill. A general guideline though is to include four elements:
- Engage with how the person feels now, their issues, pain, challenges etc.
- Portray a rosy picture of the future to engage with their aspirations
- Provide sufficient credibility to convince them to enter their email address
- Provide good reasons ‘why now’ in your ‘Call-to-Action’.
- Gather information about what primary issues people face in your target sub-segment, and the language they use, from your conversations with prospects, from social media networks, from forums and other sources
- Have a look at what your competitors are doing. What are they offering? How do they present their offer?
- Plan the landing page messaging and offer in conjunction with the traffic source/promotion and the email follow-up sequence
- Testing for conversion effectiveness is strongly recommended, but that does depend on having sufficient visitor traffic to make meaningful comparisons
NB. Google Analytics refers to Landing pages as the ones where people first arrive at your website. Consider adding an email capture form and offer to the Top 3 landing pages highlighted in Google Analytics, and monitor results.
Email address capture form
This is the place on your landing page where people enter their email address and click ‘submit’. Email marketing software packages usually include the facility to generate an email capture form and provide the code to insert onto the web page. The email marketing software usually allows the ‘Thank-you’ page URL to be specified, to take the visitor automatically to your Thank-you page.
- Keep the fields you ask for to a minimum – email address, and maybe first and last name only
- Make the Call-to-Action and Submit button text on the form as clear and compelling as possible
- Include reassurance about what will (and won’t) happen with their email address details
The objective of the Thank-you page is to deliver the reward and sell the value of the follow-up emails, to encourage people to open and read them. Make it obvious how the visitor can access their reward, for example by including a button that says ‘Download xxx’ rather than just a plain text link.
It may be relevant and beneficial to add additional links and offers and provide extra value and help for the visitor. For example it may be appropriate to add an incremental offer in addition to the primary information offer. The landing page could including a link to somewhere relevant on your website, and/or an option to email your company as an inquiry, or to add additional information to their registration form (such as company, geographic location, website address etc). All of these are trackable activities which can provide really useful additional information about the strength and interests of the lead.
Adding a call-to-action option to phone your office, so people who are really interested are encouraged to get in touch with you very quickly, can be the ultimate lead generator, and result in really strong inquiries.
- Meet expectations in all areas,and exceed them in some areas
- Include wording about confirming their opt-in on the email they receive (assuming you are using double opt-in) and about adding your email domain to their ‘Safe Senders list to reduce the chance of going into the spam category
- Set up the Thank-you page URL as a Goal in Google Analytics
Exclude the Thank-you page from your Website Search, indexing, navigation and site-map.
This is a very quick overview of the mechanics and tips for a landing page and associated elements that go into an online lead capture campaign.
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If you would like to discuss a lead generation campaign based on the ideas outlined above please contact us via email to firstname.lastname@example.org