In order to build a robust database of leads for you or your sales team that you can reach out to at any time, you need to get people to sign up for something on your website -- an ebook, a whitepaper, a webinar, a newsletter, a blog subscription, etc. But there are certain mistakes you might be making that are keeping people from signing up.
Here are the biggest mistakes I've seen people make on their websites that are hindering their lead gen progress:
1) You didn't put your great offer behind a form.
Have you ever poured your heart and soul into creating several ebooks or whitepapers, uploaded them to your website, and linked to all the PDFs from a single "Resources" page?
Don't pretend to look all innocent.
Don't worry -- if this sounds familiar, you're not alone. When many marketers first begin their inbound marketing journeys, they're told to create remarkable content ... but not what to DO with that content. So after you create your fabulous content, the next logical thing to do is to publish this content to your website.
But once people download and enjoy your content, how will you follow up with them? How will you know how many people downloaded your content? How will you make sure they know what to do next on your site?
You can't do any of those things if you just give your content away willy nilly. If you've been doing inbound marketing for a while and have tons of leads, you can strategically give away form-free content at specific points in the buyer's journey. But in most cases, you should make website visitors fill out a form on a landing page to get your awesome content. That way, you can follow up with them, know how many new leads you've acquired, and will be able to show them the next step to take via a confirmation page.
2) You didn't make your landing pages ... interesting.
You might think the ebook you slaved over for a month is a brilliant masterpiece with secrets that will revolutionize how your prospects think of your industry. And hey, maybe it is. But if your landing page isn't interesting, your website visitors won't care to fill out your form and bask in its brilliance.
The worst landing pages are those with no images, dense paragraphs of text, and long forms. Think of how busy you are day-to-day. Do you have time to read tons of text and carefully weigh the pros and cons of filling out a long form in order to get ... wait, what's the offer again?
You don't have time. Your prospects don't have time.
Make your copy punchy and short. Add an enticing image of your offer. Keep your form as short as possible.
3) It's not obvious what the offer is on your landing page.
There are certain elements of a landing page that should SCREAM what the offer is:
- The headline
- The image of the offer
- The call-to-action text above the form
Go to one of your landing pages in a new tab right now and check out these three elements. If any of them do not indicate what the offer actually is, or if any of these are missing, you have work to do.
4) Your form is too long.
If your form is too long, you'll dissuade people from taking the time to fill it out, even if they genuinely wanted to get whatever you're offering. Time is valuable, and people are inherently lazy when it comes to completing long forms. If you are offering something for people who currently know nothing about your business, perhaps First Name, Last Name, and Email Address are enough.
On the other hand, you might have a good reason to include many form fields. You might get so many leads that you need extra fields to:
- Qualify leads. The answers in each field might help you determine lead quality, and which you should reach out to.
- Assign leads to reps. The organization of your sales team might depend on some of the criteria as determined by answers in your form fields, such as location or company size.
Obviously, this is a good problem to have, but until you do get a high volume of leads, keep your forms short and let lead nurturing email campaigns do the lead qualifying for you.
5) Your form is broken.
Always test your form after you create your landing page. Always. So many times, I've come across landing pages that didn't properly redirect to a confirmation page after clicking "Submit." This also means that my contact information probably didn't make it to their lead database.
6) You left "submit" as the submit button text.
All text on your landing page is an opportunity to convince your visitors that they should fill out the form and get whatever it is you're offering. Leaving "submit" as the submit button text on your form is a missed opportunity. You should customize this copy based on whatever the offer is.
Here are some examples:
- Download this ebook
- Sign me up for a demo
- Show me this presentation
- Claim your coupon
- Save your seat
Those are all much more enticing calls-to-action than "submit."
7) You forgot to add CTAs to your website.
Your landing page may look fabulous, but it won't matter if your website visitors can't even find it! Here are some places you should include call-to-actions (CTAs) leading to your landing pages:
- Your homepage
- Your blog's sidebar
- The bottom of each blog post (possibly as a slide-in CTA)
- Each of your product/service description pages
- Your about us page
- Your pricing page
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