Leads are the lifeblood of any organization. If you still have a website without an intentional lead generation strategy you are falling behind your competitors at a rapid pace.
Let’s start with the basics. A lead is a person who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form. Inbound leads are usually preferred over having to generate leads via outbound sales tactics. When your potential customer contacts you vs. you contacting them, you are immediately at an advantage.
Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into leads.
How can I be intentional about lead generation on my website or various social media channels? One of the most effective strategies is to create “offers”. An offer is an enticing incentive for a prospective customer to leave you with their contact information. A good offer attracts not just anyone in your market, but your ideal customer. It does this by addressing a specific problem that your ideal customer has.
You will need to offer something in exchange for your web visitors contact information. Various industries will offer digital information, downloads, physical products or samples. A few examples of what organizations may offer:
- Premium Content
- Top 10 Lists
- Free Samples
- Free Books or DVDs
- White Papers
- Site Audits
Why Include an Offer on Your Website?
Whether we’re making a small decision, like choosing a spot for happy hour or making a major purchase like buying a car, we all do a hefty amount of research online before we’re ready to make a purchase.
The same is true of your audience. A person that is a great fit for your product or servicemay visit your website to do preliminary research. But they may not be ready to buy. Offering up a resource they can use now, without making a commitment to buy, is a great way to capture their contact info.
For example, Less Accounting is accounting software for business owners. One of their “offers” is to encourage people to sign up to receive a weekly article about becoming a less stressed business owner.
So, while Less Accounting’s ideal customer – a business owner – may not be interested in buying accounting software right now, they can always use tips on reducing the stress that comes with running a business. With this offer, Less Accounting can capture potential prospect information and stay in touch with them until they’re ready to take a closer look at accounting software.
Hooking a new prospect early in the buying journey gives you advantages like:
- Follow-up Opportunity. An offer allows you to capture the name and email address of the contact, so you can send a follow-up email and stay top-of-mind until they’re ready to buy.
- Trust. If you can deliver value early in the sales process, you’ve indicated that you’ll be just as helpful after the sale.
- Prospect’s Interest. The type of resource your prospect downloads indicates their area of interest and helps you send more targeted messages to them in the future. So, if you’re an insurance agent and a prospect downloads a guide on choosing the right auto coverage, you know to follow up with more information on auto insurance – not homeowners or life insurance.
6 Offers to Try
Ready to create an offer for your site to start hooking more great prospects? Try one of these:
- Email Opt-In: Entice visitors to your website to subscribe to your email list. Offer an example of your latest email newsletter so that subscribers know what they’re signing up for.
- Checklist: Help your ideal buyer stay organized and tackle a problem with a useful checklist. This can work well at all points along the funnel conversion process.
- Whitepaper: A white paper explores a major pain-point for your ideal customer. A good white paper should explain the challenge and provide a solution.
- Guide: A guide is a step-by-step, in-depth how-to for your ideal buyer. A good guide should give actionable steps that your ideal customer can complete to reach a specific goal.
- Video: It always makes a greater impact to show rather than tell. Do a video series of thought leaders in your industry, a video how-to course, a video testimonial from one of your best customers, or an animated “explainer” video of your product or service.
- Podcast: Not everyone is interested in reading a lengthy white paper or guide. Interview a thought leader in your industry for a podcast your audience can download or subscribe to and listen to on the go.
There are a lot of distractions online, and just because the perfect prospects hit your website now doesn’t mean that they’ll be back when they’re ready to buy. Don’t let potential customers hit your website just to bounce. Even just one great resource on your website can help you attract and hook new leads, helping your list to grow.