This article will share six easy ways to turn lurkers into leads.
A little background starts by evaluating your current lead generation process and whether it's helping or hurting your efforts.
It's important to understand the relationship among your lead generation strategies, your social media channels, your blog and your landing pages. Many times when we think of generating leads in social media, we look at the content we're posting and neglect to look at the surrounding elements that also touch the user.
Every status update about a new blog post has three steps to drive lead generation: the status update, the blog post and the landing page. Each one of these has a different role in the process and offers a unique opportunity to optimize lead conversion. A typical lead conversion process in social media looks like the image below.
You'll notice there's a critical component in the middle—the blog post. We spend a lot of time creating relevant content for our readers and promoting it through our social media channels. But many times, we forget to look around the content of the post to see if there is an EASY way for our visitors to become leads.
#1: Offer an email blog subscription
RSS has become one of the most popular ways to allow readers to subscribe to your blog. However, it has significant limitations for lead generation. There's no way to message an RSS subscriber directly because you don't actually have any contact information. Your only point of contact with an RSS subscriber is when you post a new blog article.
Offering an email subscription as your primary blog subscription vehicle allows you to keep your subscribers up to date on the latest content while also sending emails that facilitate your lead generation process. Once the user has opted-in to receive updates from your company, you have the ability to continue to market to them and nurture them throughout the buying process.
#2: Add a Welcome pop-up for new visitors to drive email subscribers
I know many of us probably cringe at the idea of having a pop-up when someone comes to our site; however, this has been shown to tremendously increase the number of subscribers to your blog.
Chris Penn from WhatCounts tested this methodology and was able to increase his blog subscribers by 733% in only two months! If you implement this well and establish rules for when the pop-up will show, it can greatly increase your email list.
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#3: Include RELEVANT calls to action on your blog posts
Every blog post should include a call to action that is relevant to what the post is about. Karen pointed out that “The key is that your call to action be relevant. On the HubSpot blog, if we have a blog post about social media and marketing, we don't include a call to action to our landing page optimization webinar. We include one to a social media–based webinar.”
#4: Keep it light and easy
Most of the calls to action we see on websites are all about buying a product or requesting to speak to a sales rep.
Karen describes this as a process of building trust, “just like you don't ask a girl to your place to spend the night on a first date, you also don't ask a visitor from social media to sign up for a demo with a sales rep. Someone who has read 140 characters about a blog post on Twitter and clicked through to see what the article was about likely doesn't know enough about your company to want to dive in head-first and sign up for a trial or a demo.”
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Many times our blog has first-time and repeat visitors; therefore, include calls to action that make it super-easy to buy if they're at that point, but also include the “softer” call to action for those on a first date with your site. You definitely don't want to force someone to search for how to get more information about your products or turn off a first-time visitor with a sales offer. Balance is the key.
#5: Be your own advertiser
Traditional content creators' goals are to bring in visitors and then sell ad space to make money. As the world of marketing has changed, marketers are creating content and using social media to drive visitors.
Why not also use your ad space to promote your own offers? Modify traditional banner ad locations into new calls to action for your offers and drive more of your visitors to landing pages where they have the opportunity to convert into leads.
#6: Optimize your offers with landing pages
Once someone has clicked on one of your calls to action, make sure your landing page is optimized to convert the visitor into a lead. HubSpot recommends you follow the 7 steps outlined here to start converting more leads! For example:
- Keep it simple: keep everything about this page simple, including the number and nature of the questions you ask.
- Keep it short: seeing a massive list of 15-20 questions will make your prospect think hard about the value of his or her time.
At every stage in this process there will be people who fall off and don't convert. You can maximize your efforts and minimize fall-off by optimizing each step in the process to drive efficient throughput.
Ultimately, the lead conversion process on your blog is just as important as the actual blog post itself. The goal is to create an efficient lead generation process between your social media channels, your status updates, your blog and your landing pages. Don't let your social media strategies fall flat because you haven't created an efficient way for them to become a lead.
What do you think? What has worked for driving leads on your blog? Do you have an example of a great blog that is set up to convert leads? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts or questions.
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