Small Business Guide to Capturing Leads
One of the most important factors in keeping the flow of revenue consistent in a business is finding, capturing and converting leads. New leads have the potential to turn into new customers which equals new income, improved sleep, keeping your staff employed and maintaining a roof over head.
Getting contact information is one of the first steps in enabling you to present your services or products to each prospect individually, getting a conversation started and enabling you to turn a stranger into a raving fan.
Lead capture is a way of gathering information about individuals who have shown, in some way or other, interest in your services or products, business or organisation. By capturing a lead, you are giving the potential customer an opportunity to share with you some information about themselves, such as their name, email address, phone number, etc..
Some of the ways in which a prospective lead might show interest is by visiting your website, calling your business, attending a trade or exhibition show, sending you a message on social media and more.
Whether you run a B2B or a B2C organisation, capturing new leads is essential to the subsistence and growth of your business.
Whenever ‘leads’ are mentioned in conversations with my clients, they often think of ‘lead generation’ before ‘lead capture’. Often, paid ads and cold calls by salespeople are what come to mind. But what if you could capture prospective leads who are ‘showing up at your doorstep’?
All that time, money and effort invested in web design, SEO, social media content and outreach would be wasted if visitors to those channels were left without a way to get to know you and your business better. What are you doing to capture those leads you worked so hard to attract who are now clicking around on your website?
Capturing lead information from website visitors gives you the potential to turn prospects into clients. It establishes a base which you can nurture over time and eventually turn a potential deal into a sale.
Having a lead capture strategy is essential in ensuring that whichever tool you utilise will work with great effect. We outline four steps for building an effective lead capture strategy.
1. Identify the objective
The first step in strategising is identifying what it is you want to achieve? What is the end goal for capturing leads in a particular instance?
Let’s consider some examples:
- An accommodation provider such as a hotel or motel might want to capture leads to sell a honeymoon package, increase Christmas bookings or increase occupancy during low season.
- A product manufacturer such as of clothing or cosmetics might to capture leads to market a brand new product or to get rid of old stock.
- A medical or healthcare service such as a chiropractors or cosmetic surgeon might want to capture new leads to increase the patient load for a new healthcare provider to the clinic or to market an educational webinar.
When you’ve identified the reason for wanting to capture leads, make it specific and measurable. For example, selling a certain number of products or registering a certain number of webinar attendees within a specific timeframe.
2. Decide on what your offer will be
As the saying goes, nothing in this world is ever free. And that is precisely what your prospective lead will be thinking when you request for their contact information – what will I get for this? What do I get for sharing my details with you?
Your lead capture offer will need to highlight what exactly an individual will receive which will be of benefit to them. This will be the main topic or headline presented to your visitors which will attract the attention of your target audience. The aim of the offer is to get them to interact with your website or other media so as to get them to accept your invitation and leave their details.
Going back to our earlier examples:
- An accommodation provider could send a newsletter with a special package discount.
- A product manufacturer could provide a percentage discount on a lead’s first order.
- A medical or healthcare service could offer an exclusive workbook or educational ebook.
3. Design the lead magnet
A lead magnet is what you will need to present to your prospective leads. Lead magnets come in many forms. One of the most common lead magnets is an ebook or pdf which you can place on a dedicated landing page where the offer made.
Lead magnets can also be placed in an email newsletter, on social media or paid ads. In our next blog article, we share more information on the different types of lead magnets and when best to use each one.
4. Track performance and adjust if necessary
It is especially important to monitor the performance of your lead capture strategy. Doing so will allow you to fine tune your offer, lead magnet and/or its positioning if and when necessary.
Some useful tracking metrics include:
- captured leads to visitor numbers ratio
- visitor demographics
- sources of traffic
- before and after page views
- time on page (engagement time) and
- bounce rate
Lead capture is essential to the growth and sustenance of every business no matter how big or small. One of the most effective lead capture methods is by using a lead magnet designed specifically for a targeted audience. These serve to begin the process of turning a prospective lead into a loyal customer.
In our next article, we talk about the different types of lead magnets and when best to use them.