How to Turn Web Traffic Into Actionable Leads

What percentage of your web traffic gave you their contact information last month?  If you’re a typical small business with a sales process (not ecommerce), your traffic-to-lead conversion percentage is very small.  You can dramatically increase that conversion rate by offering something in return for web visitors’ contact information.

Small Business Web Lead

Give a little – get a lot.  In today’s world of spam email and unwanted phone calls, people are generally a little reluctant to fill out generic “contact us” forms.  However, if you offer visitors something of genuine value, they are far more willing to leave an email address or phone number and allow your business to contact them.  By simply offering something that your web visitors want behind an info gathering form, you can convert an anonymous visitor into an actionable lead.  The visitor gets an item of value and your business gets the ability to follow up with a phone call or email.

What should you offer?  Anything that your target customer will find valuable is a perfect offer.  Offers can be anything from whitepapers to webinars to free trials.  It’s important to make the offer attractive to the specific type of person you’re trying to convert.  If your target customers are marketing professionals, then offering a white paper that outlines the “10 Financial Terms that Every Business Owner Should Know” will be off target.  Overly general offers will have the potential to garner the greatest number of leads, but the lowest amount of “lead intelligence”.  Offers with very specific content will generate fewer leads, but you may be able to sell to those leads more effectively if you know exactly what they’re looking for.

How much information should I ask for?  Many small businesses who ask for contact information lose leads by asking for too much information.  The greater the number of fields you require in your lead capture form, the greater the number of people who will abandon it.  Don’t ask for things you don’t need.  For example, asking for the number of people in someone’s company is completely unnecessary when that information can usually be easily ascertained from LinkedIn.  Only ask for the information you absolutely need to maximize your chances of closing the customer.

The first step of web marketing for small businesses is to generate web traffic.  The second step is to convert that traffic into leads you can act on.  An early part of any web marketing strategy should involve some form of lead capture from an offer.  Without a real offer, many visitors that could have been sold through a sales process will be lost forever.  Using targeted offers, capture the opportunities you are creating by asking for the minimum amount of information your business needs to close the deal.

Image Credit: drtchock

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