Six Ways to Make Your Website Produce More Leads
The fact is, as a manufacturing company, most of your future clients already use the Internet for research and purchasing. Knowing how to effectively communicate with them online could be the key to boosting your business. With that in mind, here’s a look at the powerful impact leads have on your sales numbers, as well as six ways to increase the number of new leads you bring in.
Why Leads Matter
Whether you’re new to running a website or an experienced professional, it’s still easy to get so caught up with the numbers of your fans or followers that you forget the real purpose of your website: generating leads to convert into clients. Here’s why leads are so crucial.
• Leads are future clients. Leads are prospects, and finding prospects is one of the most important components of any good marketing campaign. Your website is the perfect source for finding potential clients, as any visitor coming to your site likely will already have some level of interest in what you offer.
• Closing sales takes time. Gathering leads provides a way to nurture relationships with prospects until they’re ready to purchase. In most cases, a website visitor won’t be ready to make a buying decision immediately; that’s why you need to engage him until the point of sale.
• Conversion rates matter. By tracking leads and learning how and when they become buyers or subscribers, you can determine your conversion rate. This proves valuable because it illustrates how well your website is working. Among the key questions you should seek answers to: How often do visitors subscribe to your e-newsletter after clicking around your website, and how many visitors wind up buying from you? Armed with this information, it’s easier to know how much you should invest in increasing conversions. Would a qualified visitor conversion be worth $20, $40? It also will give you an idea of how many conversions you can expect within a certain marketing budget.
• Nurturing leads means more sales. Build relationships with your leads and they will become much more likely to convert to customers. A study from Forrester Research shows that companies that excel at lead nurturing enjoy a 50-percent gain in sales, while reducing costs by 33 percent. That’s a stat to motivate. Here’s what the researchers say: “Today’s empowered technology buyers are two-thirds of the way through their buying process before they engage with tech vendors’ sales teams. Forrester believes that a robust lead-nurturing program gives tech companies the opportunity to engage with buyers in the early, formative stages of their buying cycles to develop a personal relationship that will shape the buying process and affect sales outcomes.”
• Not nurturing leads means lost sales. Conversely, taking a hands-off approach to lead nurturing and deciding not to work with potential clients can significantly harm your business. The fact is, 79 percent of marketing leads don’t immediately convert into sales. Why? Primarily due to a lack of lead nurturing. Knowing this, why wouldn’t you work to nurture leads?
Make Your Website a Lead-Generating Machine
Once you understand the value in generating leads, the task turns to bringing in more leads and developing them into customers. Here are six guidelines we follow at National Metal Fabricators that should work for your website as well.
2) Tell them what to do. Never assume website visitors will know what to do when they visit your website; you have to tell them. Do you want them to fill out contact info in a form? Should they subscribe to your e-newsletter? You may want to set up capture forms in more than one location on your website, such as at the “Contact Us” page or at the “Subscribe to Our Newsletter” button.
3) Design landing pages—parts of your website specifically designed to prompt readers toward a specific action when they’ve landed on your website from another site. Keep these pages simple, featuring strong content that prompts a reader to take action. You might design specific landing pages for your Twitter account or your LinkedIn page.
4) Show what’s in it for them. This is Marketing 101: If you want your visitors to take action, give them a reason to do so. Offer a free service or a big discount for subscribing to your e-newsletter, or provide a 20-percent discount on an initial purchase. Whatever the case, make the benefit compelling so that your website visitors will be more likely to share their information with you.
5) Simplify the process. No one likes CAPTCHA codes. While the codes do fight off spam, they also often discourage visitors from connecting. That’s why you want to remove all excess steps and make it as easy as possible for visitors to respond.6) Track everything. Effective tracking is an important part of any good lead-generation campaign, because it gives you the knowledge needed to make decisions, monitor progress and know when/what to adjust. Establish quality metrics that will provide a clear picture of what’s happening on your website, and be prepared to make changes as needed. MF
Great overview. I would add one point; the most effective site is capable of closing the sale in real time. Increasingly it is the quality of the online experience that defines and determines the need for nurturing. This is not to say building personal relationships is not important, but technology now allows the "lead" to direct both the process and timing of conversion. The customer is in control.