When people visit your website, they should do more than just browse a page or two and move along to another site. You should give them the opportunity to become a customer or a fan.
That first glimpse of your website is just the beginning of your relationship with a site visitor. The goal is to encourage them to keep coming back, buy your products, or use your services while becoming an advocate for your brand.
With a new year mere hours away, let’s focus on how to generate leads — potential future customers — by allowing visitors to subscribe to your mailing list and website, and share tips for incentivizing them to do so in 2019 and beyond.
Generate leads to build a loyal fanbase
It’s tempting to assume that your website will become a selling powerhouse all on its own — that if you run an eCommerce store, people will browse through your products and services and make purchases right away.
Things don’t always work that way. People are unlikely to make a purchase the very first time they come into contact with an online business. According to Pew Research Center, 86% of American shoppers believe that it’s important to be able to compare prices from different sellers before making a purchase. Therefore, depending on the nature and price of your product or service, it could take a number of interactions before a shopper is convinced to buy something from your site.
To maintain a relationship with a potential customer after they navigate away from your site, you’ll want to request their contact details so that you can follow up and address any concerns or questions they might have. Alternatively, you might want to tell them about other products or services they might not have seen the first time they’d visited your site.
If you gather leads and use them effectively, you can gradually develop relationships with prospective customers. In turn, these relationships can lead to sales. You can also nurture these relationships over time, encouraging shoppers to return to your site for repeat visits while recommending your products and services to their friends.
Using forms to gather leads
One of the most effective ways to gather leads from your website is by using a contact form. Contact forms let you collect site visitor information (like email addresses), so that you can contact prospective customers to answer any questions or let them know about your services. With the new Form block — available to anyone with the latest version of Jetpack — creating a contact form on any post or page has never been easier. You can customize it to your needs, and even include a checkbox so visitors can confirm that they agree to receive emails from your business. Once they’ve opted in, send emails about your offerings, specials, or promotions.
Curious to see how a form might look on your site? Here’s how you will see it in the WordPress Editor:
Once you publish a page or post containing the Form block above, this is what visitors will see on your site:
Adding a form to a widget
You don’t need to limit your contact forms to posts and pages. To add your form to a widget (so that you can display it in your footer, sidebar, or any other widget area in your theme), follow the instructions on creating a simple Contact Form Shortcode and enter the resulting code into a Text Widget.
Gathering leads through subscriptions
Another popular method for gathering leads is encouraging visitors to subscribe to your site. This way, they’ll receive notifications whenever you post new content. Users can subscribe through the Subscriptions Widget.
This ensures that your site visitors won’t miss your latest posts. When they receive notifications that you’ve published new content, they’ll be more likely to keep you top-of-mind when they’re ready to make purchases.
Incentivize your leads to become customers
Some lead forms are more effective than others. How do you encourage as many people as possible to complete yours? Here are some tips:
- Offer leads something in return for filling out a form or subscribing to your site. This might take the form of a discount, a free download, or exclusive content. Whatever you choose, follow up and deliver it immediately.
- Keep the number of form fields to a minimum. People may scoff at a form that takes a long time to complete. If all you really need is an email address and a checkbox, include only these items.
- Ensure that your form is mobile-friendly. Your theme is most likely responsive, but it never hurts to check how your form appears on a mobile device.
- Play by the rules. When someone submits a form, they will either be redirected to a custom page within your site, or will receive a confirmation message (depending on which option you choose). On your site page or within the message, tell subscribers what they’ll be receiving, how often you’ll be contacting them, and remind them that they can unsubscribe at any time.
Communicating with new leads
After you secure new leads, don’t forget to follow up with them. The moments following a signup or subscription are among those when your new leads are most receptive to hearing from you.
Linking Jetpack to an automated email service like Mailchimp will position you to send subscribers friendly emails right away, including information about your products and details around the freebie or discount code that you initially offered as an incentive.
If a user subscribed to your site content, make sure you’re publishing regularly so they don’t forget about you.
Gather leads to boost sales
Website lead generation enables you to build a loyal following of customers and fans. Gathering leads and effectively following up on them will help you win over more customers in, increase repeat site visits, and acquire a loyal fanbase. If you follow the tips above, 2019 can be the year your website can become the powerful selling tool that it’s always had the potential to be.