Are you overwhelmed with all the elaborate moves in the lead generation buyer-seller dance? Don't be – here are the three recurring steps to perform.
The waltz is one of the most beautiful and admired of all ballroom dances. To the neophyte dancer, the waltz, like many dances can seem complicated and difficult to perform.
However, the waltz is essentially three steps. Anyone who has ever tried to waltz should be familiar with the “one, two, three – one, two, three” triple time that forms the basis of the waltz.
Generating leads on your website can seem as mysterious as waltzing. But like the waltz, there are three basic steps that, when executed consistently, can make the lead generation process seem as smooth and effortless as a well-performed waltz.
These recurring three steps of lead generation go hand in hand, with one not being able to work without the other two:
- Call-to-Action (CTA)
- Landing Page
- Thank You Page
This three-step process must occur at every step of your buyer’s journey, from awareness, to consideration to decision.
- The awareness stage is where a buyer is expressing the symptoms of a problem or an opportunity. The problem doesn’t have a name yet and they aren’t sure what their problem is. They probably need more educational research to get their arms around the problem.
- The consideration stage begins Once the buyer has given a name to their problem or opportunity, they then start to consider all the available approaches/methods to solving their problem (or opportunity).
- At the decision stage, the buyer has defined their solution strategy, method, or approach. They are starting to compile a list of available vendors and products within their solution strategy.
For each stage of the buyer’s journey, you’ll want to offer helpful, valuable content that addresses each stage of their process. Doing so helps guide the lead to informed purchase decision.
And for each stage (awareness, consideration, decision) you’ll want to continue the three step lead generation waltz.
A Call to Action (CTA) is a website button, image, text link that encourages a visitor to take an action by typically clicking on the button, visiting a landing page and filling out a form in return for some kind of content. Often, that content is a white paper, eBook, webinar or a newsletter.
Most importantly, however, the CTA should be related to what the visitor has been searching for and reading about on your site. For instance, this post is about lead generation, so the CTA at the bottom is about the same topic for those readers who want to learn more.
Tips for Successful CTAs:
- Be Clear – Not clever. You want to describe exactly what the offer is in as few words as possible.
- Use Action Verbs – With words like “register” or “download” your visitors will understand what they’ll be doing once they get to the landing page.
- Stay Above The Fold – This term is a legacy from the newspaper industry which means the top part of a website before the visitor has to start scrolling down. Testing shows that CTAs placed above the fold perform better than those further down. However, that does not mean CTAs should only be at the top of the page.
- Stand Out – The CTA needs to contrast with your website’s color scheme in order to be seen. This may irritate graphic designers, but if your CTA blends in with the rest of your website, you will get fewer leads.
- Match the CTA with the Landing Page Headline – When a visitor clicks on a CTA and is taken to a landing page with a different headline, a disconnect occurs which lowers the conversion rate. When the CTA and landing page headline match, the visitor knows they are in the right place.
- Have CTAs Mirror The Buying Cycle - Different offers appeal to people who are in different stages of their buying cycle. Informational whitepapers will appeal more to buyers in the early stages of their purchase while they are doing research. Someone closer to making a purchase decision will be more interested in a free trial or consultation. On your home page, include a CTA for all stages of your prospect’s buying cycle.
- Think About Context - Match CTAs with relevant website pages. If a website visitor is reading a blog post or website page about a specific product or service, include CTAs related to what the visitor is learning about on that page.
- TEST! Follow the above steps, but don’t worry about perfection in order to get started. Once you have set up your CTAs test to see what works best with your visitors. Test colors, placement on the page, headlines, etc. Then, do more of what’s working, and less of what’s not working.
Once a visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they'll be taken to a landing page.
2. Landing Pages
A landing page is a website page specifically designed to convert visitors to leads. It collects and processes information on website visitors who identify themselves in return for valuable content.
Here’s how landing pages work: When someone visits your site, goes to a landing page and fills in a form, landing page software automatically adds that information to a leads database.
Based on the landing page and the information provided, that lead is then segmented into a group of similar leads. And with landing page software, you can see which pages the lead visits, what they’re searching for and even how they got to your site in the first place.
The highest performing landing pages...
- Use headlines that are clear, concise and compelling. The visitor needs to instantly understand the value and importance of the offer, and how they will benefit by downloading it.
- Use bullet points – Readers are drawn to bullet points because it makes text more easily digestible.
- Use just enough form fields, and not any more. Consider the value of the offer versus the information that people are willing to provide.
- Clear the decks! Remove all site navigation and links in order to minimize distractions.
- Include a relevant image – The easiest thing to do is to take a shot of the cover of your eBook or whitepaper, or for a webinar, a picture of the presenter.
- Include social media share icons – While this does run the risk of distracting the visitors before capturing their contact information, it can help to share your content offers through the visitor’s social networks.
- Use video – In some instances video can work better than text at explaining a complex issue.
- Use testimonials – If the testimonial is directly related to downloading and benefiting from the content behind the landing page, it can aid in conversion.
- Mention/show industry awards and recognition – This is a form of social proof to convey that the content is valuable and/or the company offering it is credible.
Once the visitor completes a form on a landing page, they’ll automatically be taken to a thank you page.
3. Thank You Pages
A thank you page is where the content introduced by the call-to-action and landing page is finally delivered to the visitor who, after submitting a form, is now a lead.
Thank you pages are often an afterthought. They shouldn’t be. They are an ideal place to help guide the lead further along their buyer journey to offer them additional, helpful information that can get them closer to an informed decision.
Here’s what the best thank you pages do:
- Deliver the offer. Make sure it’s easy to receive the offer you promised. Whether it’s a pre-recorded webinar or a downloadable e-book, make sure it IS ON THE THANK YOU PAGE. You can email the link to the lead, but do not rely on that method to deliver the good. Some email may not get to the lead because of spam filter or because of email deliverability issues.
- Guide them further along the buyer’s journey. Invite leads to the next stage with a new CTA for more information. If they are ready to move toward the consideration phase now and you don’t offer content related to that, you may not have such a good opportunity again.
- Include social networking options and help your content get additional reach. However, make sure the social (and email) sharing icons point to the landing page so that whoever recieves the shared message will need to fill out a form on the landing page.
As you go through what can seem like a complicated lead generation dance of offering the right content at the right time, at each stage of the buyers journey remember to include the three basic steps: 1) CTAs, 2) landing pages and 3) thank you pages.
photo credit: Dinh Huynh via photopin cc | graphics credit: HubSpot