Digital lead generation refers to capturing prospective sales enquiries directly as a result of your digital market presence. This includes capturing a name and email address from your website, receiving an inbound telephone call where the number was picked up from your website, or any other digital channel such as display advertising, email marketing etc…
Very often, digital lead generation is the primary purpose of a website. In particular, where the average potential transaction value from a sales lead is high, leveraging your website as a consistent source of digital leads is an obvious thing to do. The good news is that there are lots of scientific results available which suggest how best to convert an anonymous visitor to your website into an identified sales enquiry that can be directly followed-up. The specific science that you apply will be substantially determined by the nature of your business and then adapted to the specific nuances of your unique business and business model.
The process of digital lead generation is called conversion optimisation. It deals with the act of engaging a website visitor and presenting them with a value proposition that is so strong, they are compelled to identify themselves or to make direct contact with you.
Amidst the many intricacies of setting up your website as a lead generator, there are five fundamental considerations which you should think about.
- Compelling Value Proposition
Your goal is to exchange something that is of significant value, ideally something that is digital in nature – such as a pdf formatted document (such that you can automate the lead capture process), for the contact details of the sales prospect. The headline must, in the simplest terms, clearly articulate a powerful value proposition that directly targets the immediate needs of your website’s visitor.
Note that your visitor may be at any stage of a possibly complex sales process and that their information needs may vary according to the stage they are at. You can address this changing need both in your follow-up sales process and in various other landing pages which you may use to target prospective leads at different stages of their purchase process.
- Location and Presentation
It is well known that you have less than eight seconds to grab the attention of visitors to any website page. According to MarketingSherpa, you will lose up to 50% of your visitor traffic within these first few seconds. During this time, a visitor will scan the page for (a) professional presentation (an early impression of your company), and (b) relevance to their intent; e.g. search intent. If your headline is short, easy-to-read and compelling, it will be picked up during this scan and can be a significant contributor to maximising your visitor retention – or conversely, destroying your bounce rate!
It follows therefore that, where you have gone to the trouble of preparing such a lead capture proposition, that you should position it where it is highly visible on the page and of sufficient size and prominence that it stands out. Top left (underneath a logo for example), is considered the most viewed location on a web page, thereafter moving from left to right in an “F” shape on the page.
- Minimalist Initial Data Capture
The temptation is often to capture as much information as possible from a sales lead for a number of reasons; sales team assignment, direct face-to-face follow-up etc… However, this is not the best thing to do. Prospective leads are more likely to “opt-in” when the process is simple, fast and non-intimidating. So asking just for a name and email address is more likely to generate leads than including fields for address, telephone number and any other information you might like to have. Indeed it has been shown that even asking for a telephone number in addition to name and email address, can very significantly reduce the number of leads generated – up to 70% in many cases.
Even though your normal sales process may require a telephone number for sales follow-up, you might consider capturing this information later in the process – i.e. capture name and email address first and once you have them, provide an additional incentive during a later step in your email follow-up sequence to exchange their telephone number.
The converse of this is that you should never attempt to capture only an email address. A significant advantage which email offers over any other digital channel, is its ability for you to engage the contact on a personalised one-to-one basis. That means every email should start with a personalised greeting (Hi John, Hi Mary) and not a generic one!
- Very High Quality Deliverable
Your exchanged opt-in deliverable must not be a sales pitch! It should be a document that delivers real and obvious value to the prospective sales lead. Even its presentation will reflect substantially on your brand. So get it right both content-wise and in its presentation. That means (a) Clearly valuable content, (b) Spaced out so that is it easy to read, (c) Make significant use of images, graphics and diagrams to make it more engaging, and (b) Have a logical follow-up so that the prospect is clear on what to do next – and give them another compelling reason to move to the next step!
- Automated Follow-up Process
The channel you will use for automated follow-up is email. A value-driven online sales process is required and mapping out this process is a high value activity for you.
This has been a brief overview of the process of digital lead generation. To get it right means lining up a few ducks in a row including your exchange value proposition (per target segment), landing pages on your website, your headline and presentation, the opt-in deliverable and your follow-up sales process.
PraxisNow offers a service to help you set up you lead capture proposition and your follow-up online sales process. Please contact us on 01-2360076 if you would like to further discuss it.