I once discovered a small boutique on vacation because there was a dress in the window that I really wanted. I browsed the clothes inside but I had no occasion for the dress so I put it out of my mind and went about my afternoon… but not before leaving my email in the guestbook.
After flying home, I had all but forgotten about the dress until I opened my email. There was the dress again… featured in a “new arrivals” email that had gone out that morning. Since the dress had gone to the effort of following me home, I figured I needed to buy it, and have made other purchases via that darn “new arrivals” email since then.
As evidenced by my experience and millions of others who have ever subscribed to an email list, the power of email marketing is incredible. But… none of it works if you don’t have a customer list. There are many effective list-building strategies, but today I am going to tell you about an overlooked website strategy by many industries.
The lead magnet
An email address is a point of value. To receive value from someone, value is expected in return. When I was actually inside the brick-and-mortar boutique I mentioned above, I saw styles that really appealed to me, which was enough value for me to give them my email address. It gets trickier online. Sure an email address is required for an actual online purchase, what about all the people who visit your website and don’t purchase? Those are warm leads that you don’t want to lose! Enter the lead magnet…
A lead magnet is valuable information that potential customers receive in exchange for their email addresses. In the case of the boutique above, if I had been browsing on their website instead of inside their actual store, maybe they would have offered me a “2019 summer fashion guide” at the time in exchange for my email address.
If you’re a restaurant, maybe you offer your customers a recipe for one of your popular menu items. If you’re a consultant, maybe you offer a four-step framework for whatever it is you do (i.e. Four Steps to Simpler Tax Filing or Four Steps to Land Your Dream Job) or access to a knowledge-based newsletter.
While you are creating this lead magnet, don’t forget to add your expertise. Once you’ve completed your lead magnet, it’s time to place it on your website.
A great place to put a lead magnet opt-in form is on the upper right section of your website. An email marketing program combined with landing page software like LeadPages are the key ingredients for making this all work from a technology standpoint. In addition to an opt-in box, I also recommend a pop-up box on pages with your most popular content and a timed box for users who have been on your website for more than 30 seconds. I do not recommend a pop-up box that immediately activates on your homepage because that is seen as a disruption to most people. After 30 seconds, however, research shows the opposite. Most landing page software programs have the capability for timed pop-up boxes.
If you’re looking for a real-world example of how this is done, look no further than your favorite blogger. They are usually masters at this strategy. What leaves me scratching my head is why it stops there. I can’t think of a single industry that wouldn’t benefit from a “stickier” website lead generation system… and the most common thing most business websites lack is collecting the leads who don’t purchase but really, really want to.