When we talk about capturing leads online, we’re referring to lures and lead magazines. It could be a free report. It could be a cheat sheet. It could be some sort of checklist, something that they request, they download. It would be offered on your website. And ideally, you would have some sort of sequential autoresponder connected to the back end. So that the minute they enter their information, it’s processed by the system, and the thing they requested is sent out to the email address they provided.

David: Hi, and welcome to the podcast. In today’s episode, cohost Jay McFarland, and I will be discussing the idea of capturing leads online. Welcome back, Jay.

Jay: Thank you so much, David. It’s great to be here. And I think this is such an important topic especially when people just have a website that just talks about what their services are, but it’s not designed to capture any information. And I think that’s a huge, missed opportunity.

David: I think so, too. And there are so many businesses who know they need to have a website and they generally do have websites. Very often they’re brochure sites where it’ll just have some information about the company. In some cases, they’ll have catalog sites. If they have actual images of products that people can look at. Sometimes they’ll have a full e-commerce site where people can actually buy products online.

So lots of those types of things are generally thought of as being what’s required in a website. But one of the things that seems to be missing from a lot of small business websites, is just some sort of engaging lead capture system. So that’s really what I thought would be worthwhile discussing today.

Capturing Leads Online Starts with a Goal

Jay: Yeah, absolutely. I think that each website should have a goal, at least if you’re selling online, and that is to get them through the funnel, into a purchase. Or to get them to sign up and give you their email. Because an email list today is one of the most powerful tools that you have to market your products.

David: Yeah, it definitely is. And I think a lot of times, business people and salespeople can forget that in typical sales scenarios, you have to meet someone before you can sell to them. So the idea of having your website set up in a way where you can actually attract and get people to provide their information so that they will eventually interact with you is really key to that process.

I think a lot of people still approach their website as something that when they’re talking to someone, they can say, “oh, visit my website.” Or they can put it at the bottom of their email signature and maybe people will go there. But the truth of the matter is that if a website is not set up properly, then people are going to bounce off it the way that a bug bounces off a windshield.

You’ll never even know who was there. And that’s why I think this idea is so important. If you look at the fact that there are going to be people hitting your site. Now, that’s not always the case.

Sometimes people have websites, and nobody knows about them. Nobody’s hitting the site. However, if you’ve been in business for any length of time, if you’ve been promoting your web address, then people are going to go there.

And if they don’t have something to do that will allow themselves to be made known to you like to say, “I’m here. This is who I am,” then you’re just never going to know about that business.

Jay: Yeah, exactly. and I think that how you harvest that email is also very important. I get frustrated sometimes with this process. Because somebody will say “get a free estimate, instant estimate” and I’ll go, “okay!”

And I’ll enter some information and then they’re like, “give us your email and we’ll send you the estimate.” And I’m like, “I don’t want to sign up for your email list.” And so I know a lot of people that will use a separate email, you know, for those types of things. So they’re not spammed like crazy.

I think there is a danger of upsetting your potential clients. If you do this wrong.

There are Right and Wrong Ways of Capturing Leads Online

David: I agree. And you don’t want it to come across as any sort of bait and switch. Because if you do that, yeah, your credibility is totally shot. I do think that the way that I’ve seen a lot of people approach this, in terms of “lead generation,” I’ll put that in air quotes. Is that what they’ll do is put some sort of contact form on their website and it’ll say, enter your first name, your last name, your email, address, your phone number.

What is it you want to talk about? Your next of kin? Your social security number? I’m exaggerating, but they put a lot of information on there and somebody gets to a page like that and they think “I don’t want to do all this.” You know, I’d really rather not do all of this. And so, there’s a balance. Because the more information you ask for, the less likely people are going to be to provide it. The less information you ask for, the less information you have to work with.

So it’s really a matter of finding that balance. And also being able to offer something to someone that they actually want. You mentioned getting a quote, that type of thing. Well, if you’re providing a quote, ideally as the person who’s selling it, you would like to know who it is that you’re providing a quote to.

But I think a lot of it is semantics. It’s the way that they approach it. They make it seem like it’s going to be one thing. And it’s actually another. If they can make the process a little more transparent, to say, “okay, you can get this quote in three steps.” And if I were going to do that, I would probably start with at least first name and email address, so you capture that upfront.

And then if they get stuck somewhere through the process, at least you can reach out to them and say, “Hey, it looks like you didn’t get to complete this process.”

Whereas when you do it the other way and you get them to enter all this stuff and then they get to that last one, they’re like, “ah, you got me.” That’s just annoying.

Jay: Yeah, I totally agree with you. And I think the other thing you’re talking about is having analytics set up on your website because you want to know if they started that process and then they hit that point, and you have a bunch of potential customers who aren’t completing that lead generation aspect. Then you know, that you need to change things up.

David: Exactly, because most people don’t know. They don’t know how many people hit the site. They don’t know how many people were exposed to the message. How many of them actually went through with it? And how many of them didn’t? Or if they do have a lead capture device that works, they might know how many actually went through that, but they might not know how many they missed out on.

And that’s where there’s really a lot of opportunity for gathering more leads from exactly the same people who are going to be there anyway. Exactly the same website that’s going to be there anyway. And by making some, in some cases, subtle tweaks, you can increase the percentage of people who will look at it and sign up versus the ones who look at it and say, “no, this isn’t for me.”

Jay: Yeah, absolutely. And also the ability to know where those hits came from. Was it from your email marketing? Was it from Google ads? Was it organic?

David: Yeah.

Jay: You can start to understand, you know, when I get leads from this particular source or hits from this particular source, my conversion rate is much higher.

And so I’m going to focus more on that. That’s information you have to have. If you’re going to use your website to generate leads.

David: Yeah. And I think if you’re not already doing something like that, and you hear something like “that’s information, you have to have,” you’re like, “I have no idea how to do that.” And I wish there were a really simple solution.

I wish you could say, “oh, just do this.” You pointed out that if they’re using something like Google Analytics, that should at least give them some information in terms of the number of people who are coming and what they’re doing when they’re on the site. Are they going from this page to this page, to this page?

Are they going to one page and then just going away forever? How many people are coming back? If they’ve been there once before and they’ve come back, how much of your traffic is bounce-back and how much of it is first-time traffic?

All those things will allow you to make much better decisions in terms of what needs to be on that site in order to get people interested enough to want to interact with you.

And I think we sometimes forget that’s the goal.

The goal is to create an environment on your website, where people are interested enough and engaged enough to want to interact with someone else on the other end. That’s, what’s going to get them to provide their information.

Jay: Yeah, I totally agree with you. Such an important topic. Any other thoughts on harvesting leads online?

David: Well, I think for people who haven’t done it, the first step is recognizing that this is a thing, and it’s probably something you should do. There are commonly known terms in the internet marketing community, things like squeeze pages.

A squeeze page is basically a web page that someone will go to. And it’s a yes or no kind of thing. If you want more information here, enter your name and email address. And they can either do that or they can go away.

Some people are afraid to do that. They’re scared to do that, because they say, “well, what if I just drive people away before they even know what I’m all about?”

And that’s where, whatever it is that you’re offering on that squeeze page has to be pretty compelling.

In our Total Market Domination course. I work with our clients on that. We refer to various types of lures and lead magnets. What’s the lure? What’s the thing you’re going to use to entice them to request information and make themselves known?

And when you’ve got a decent lure, you can get a good response. You can have people who will interact with you and they’ll request it. And then that’s the opening of a dialogue. The advantage of something like this as well is that it can be a very short form. It can literally be first name and email address.

Some people just capture email address. They don’t even have the first name. But they’ve got a way to communicate with that person. When you’re in a situation where you’re capturing that information. That’s the beginning of a dialogue. And if you don’t recognize that that’s one of the goals, then you’re not even going to think to do it.

So if you recognize that this is probably a good thing to do, at least test it out and see, “okay, if I put something up here, will anybody respond?” Right? And if they do, then you’ll find that you’re getting some leads. If they don’t, then you want to look at, okay, well, is anybody coming to the site to begin with?

Because if you’re getting a decent amount of traffic, and you’re not able to get leads from it, it means they don’t really love what they’re seeing. So, a lot of it is just about thinking the way that a potential client is going to think, the way that somebody who is coming to your website is going to think. And then asking yourself, “what can I put on this page that is going to be attractive enough to them that they will make themselves known to me?”

Jay: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it’s probably a subject of a full podcast, but what do you do once you have those leads? Because, you know, if I get abused, because I’m on an email list and they’re hitting me, you know, four times a week and it’s not content that I want, I’m going to be out of there. I’m going to be unsubscribing instantly.

So that’s probably an important other discussion we need to have.

David: It is. But that’s a really great point because those types of situations happen when they’re sort of advertising one thing and delivering something else.

If you are signing up for something. And when we talk about lures and lead magazines, it could be a free report. It could be a cheat sheet, it could be some sort of checklist, something that they request, they download. And the way that you would do it is, it would be offered on your website. And ideally, you would have some sort of sequential autoresponder connected to the back end. So that the minute they enter their information, it’s processed by the system.

And the thing they requested is sent out to the email address they provided. So then that way it’s not like they can just type anything in there. If they actually want the thing, they’re going to have to come up with an email address that they could at least access for the next few minutes. Even if they change it 10 minutes later, right?

They have to give you something valid. That’s going to be valid for at least a little while. And then when that happens, anything that you send after that has to be related to the thing that interested them in the first place. If you just start spamming them with, “oh, and I also do this and I do this and I do that,” and “buy my stuff, buy my stuff, buy my stuff.” Yeah. They’re going to be gone very quickly, and they’re going to be annoyed before they leave and after they leave. And they’re going to tell everybody they know that they should definitely not sign up for this thing.

But when you’re congruent in your messaging, and when you’re actually trying to create value for people… if you offer something that they actually want to see, and then you send messaging, and I don’t recommend necessarily that you’re doing it multiple times a day or even every day.

But if you follow up reasonably to say, can I answer any questions for you? That type of thing, the same way that you would do, if you treat somebody like a person, rather than just a name on an email list. If you approach it like that, you can actually get a lot of traction that way.

Jay: Yeah, I totally agree. So how can people find out more?

David: Well, if you’re already a Top Secrets Inner Circle member, you can log into the website. We can have additional discussion there. If you’d really just like to do this, our Total Market Domination course walks you through a lot of this. In terms of lead generation, capturing leads online. In terms of follow-up. In terms of automation.

I mean, we get into all that sort of thing. If that’s something that’s of interest to you. You can go to TopSecrets.com/call. Schedule a call with our team. We can talk to you about where you are, and what you’re looking to do. If we can help, we’ll let you know that if we can’t help, we’ll let you know that as well.

And otherwise, you can just visit our website TopSecrets.com. We’ve got a number of different things that you can check out. If it’s of interest to you, you can click on things and you can opt-in and get information on the things that we’re talking about there.

But ultimately. I think the main takeaway from today is that if you are generally and genuinely trying to help people — if you’re authentic in your communication, and if you have something that is of value that you can offer them — to be able to do that in exchange for a lead is really not as hard as it probably seems. There is technology involved, obviously, you’re right. That would definitely require additional podcasts. But it can be done affordably and it can be done intelligently so that you can attract people instead of repelling them.

Jay: Yeah. And this is something everybody needs to think a lot about. It’s such an important part of the process. David. It’s great to talk to you about this issue. Thank you so much for your time today.

David: Thank you, Jay.

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