If you run a business of your own, then you will know the importance of capturing leads. These days, ‘leads’ are mostly captured in the form of email addresses. Although some companies do still take phone numbers and make follow-up calls with their potential customers.
You can capture leads however you wish with a simple online form, and there are some really user-friendly options available. But how do you persuade people to part with their valuable information?
We all know that people browsing online do not simply handover their details. Whatever type of business you operate, there are different incentives that work well. And of course, there are budget-friendly tools to suit your needs.
Here are some handy lead capture tools, and incentive suggestions to use with them, grouped by business type.
Lead capture tools for ecommerce
No matter where your ecommerce website is hosted, there are a range of plugins or extras to help you run your business. Lead capture tools that plug right into your website of choice are plentiful, and not something you will have to go hunting for.
Set up a lead capture plugin, making sure it is GDPR compliant, and you are ready to collect email addresses. Check out Market Inspector’s helpful infographic for guidance on the GDPR rules.
Alternatively, or additionally if you like, you can set up a lead capture form to share on your social media posts. A way to do this for free is to create a Mailchimp opt in page, then share it regularly on social media.
When building your own page, remember the importance of brand identity. So that your customers feel safe giving you their information via this opt in page, it must have the same branding as your website and social media accounts.
Try a free tool like LogoCreator to create your logo. Then upload your new logo to your Mailchimp account to use on your opt-in page. It makes sense to have your logo as your social media profile pictures too.
Another way to capture leads on Facebook, if you have some budget to invest, is to run a lead generation ad campaign. You can set ads to target your customer base, or even to show people a special birthday offer during their birthday week.
Of course, your ecommerce store should also have the ability to show a ‘join mailing list’ tick box at the checkout. So you can capture a few leads this way too. You can also include an invitation to sign up with the URL of your Mailchimp landing page, printed and included in the packaging when you ship your items.
Now let’s talk incentive
In order to persuade more people to hand over their email address so that you can market to them in the future, you need to offer something of value. Most commonly used in the ecommerce world, because it is so effective, is the discount code.
If your ecommerce business is a subscription model, then you might also consider offering a ‘refer a friend’ money back offer to people who join your email list.
You can set up your free Mailchimp account to send an automatic email when people subscribe. That email could include a simple discount code, or it could be a refer a friend code. Either way, the automatic nature of the email means that your customers get instant gratification for signing up to your emails.
Lead capture tools for service-based businesses
In terms of tools, Mailchimp works well again here. And there are many other budget-friendly email software providers out there, if you would prefer to try something else. What’s good about services like Mailchimp is that the opt in page templates are easily customisable. Then the email address they capture goes straight into your account where you can proceed to send email marketing.
There are other options out there that focus more on the lead capture page, such as Leadpages. Their opt in page templates are fancier and have more options, like the ability to take payments. But tools like Leadpages are costlier, and don’t have the build in email capacity of Mailchimp.
Facebook lead capture ads can work well with service-based business too. The ‘birthday offer’ targeting that Facebook offers is often used by hair salons and day spas to encourage people with upcoming birthdays to treat themselves.
In terms of incentives, discounts in exchange for registering your email address are popular here too. A reduced first booking, or a free upgrade on a basic service can be a good reason for people to hand over their information.
Lead capture tools for coaches, speakers and ecourse creators
Many coaches and consultants offer a free 15 – 30 minute consultation before taking paid bookings to work with them. A great tool for managing these free bookings is Calendly.
Calendly allows people to choose their own appointment time from your availability. They input their details to confirm the booking, and then you speak at the agreed time. People who sign up for free consultations tend to be quite serious about working with you, so they are typically quite warm leads that you collect.
When it comes to online courses, if you are already spending money on hosting your ecourse with a service like Teachable or Thinkific, then that same software can host your free sample course and sign up page too. So while the ecourse software is likely not the lowest cost you have, you shouldn’t need to spend anything more here.
The people that sign up for your free ecourse will need to input their information via the sign up page. Include a GDPR tick box so that you can email them in the future to let them know about your paid ecourses.
If you are a speaker, then you might want to keep things simpler and offer your ebook using the Mailchimp automated email mentioned earlier. You can upload your ebook as a file attachment to that automated email, or just include a Google Drive link in the body of the text.
You could also upgrade your Mailchimp account from free to a low cost paid version. The upgrade allows you to send sequences of emails. This is what many Entrepreneurs use to send ecourse material via email.
Using just one of these methods should give you a boost in leads. Once you have a tool set up to capture email addresses, and an incentive for people to sign up, then you are well on your way.
What you will need to remember is to keep working on this. Keep sharing the lead capture URL on your social media pages, and remind people what they will get if they sign up.
Capturing leads is essential to the growth of your business, especially now that the world has shifted to be more online than ever before. Stay ahead of the competition by making capturing leads a priority in your business.