Tips for transforming website visitors into leads

April 30, 2014

transforming website visitors into leads

There are a number of ways in which you can generate traffic to your website.  Most common is search engine marketing and search engine optimization.  However, the hot tactic now is content or inbound marketing.

Inbound/content marketing is about creating content that draws potential customers to your website. Typically this content includes white papers, blogs, case studies, articles, etc.  Increasingly more companies are adding video to the list of content types and those that are really innovative (like Velaro) are creating what’s known as “decisionaires.”  Decisionaires provide the site visitor with content that is specifically tailored to their individual needs – instantly.  Take a look at one of Velaro’s decisionaires by clicking here.

Companies use inbound marketing, and a variety of other techniques, to drive people to their website.  The thing is, what do you do with someone once they get to your website?  How do you take a site visitor and turn them into a lead?  Well, here are a few ways to do this:

  • “Gate” Your Content – this involves requiring a site visitor to fill out a form in order to access the content that you are promoting.  This is probably the most common approach to converting a site visitor into a lead.  The problem is that some people aren’t willing to provide their contact information in order to access a piece of content.  The result is that many potential clients either abandon the gate form or complete the form with bogus information.
  • Pre-Chat Survey – if you can attract people to your site, then there is a good chance that the site visitor will have some interest in your company, products, or services.  And, if this is the case, the content on your website will most likely not answer every question that the site visitor might have about your company, products, and services.  So, to address those questions that your website can’t answer, you should have a “Chat Now” button strategically placed on your site.  When clicked, the site visitor will be asked to provide their name and email address and their question or concern.  In this case, a site visitor is more likely to complete the form and to provide valid information because providing this information assists the chat agent in answering their questions.  This approach is more likely to render valid site visitor information than the gate form approach mentioned above.
  • Decisionaires – this is something new and we’ve been having some good results with it.  Basically, to get content that is personalized to the individual needs of a site visitor, the site visitor is asked a set of questions via an online assessment.  Upon answering the questions, the site visitor clicks a button and immediately gets an automated, personalized report, white paper, rating, etc.  This approach to converting a site visitor to a lead encourages honest responses to the questions that the decisionaire poses and site visitors are less likely to abandon this – as opposed to a gated form – because they understand that their responses will be used to provide them with personalized content, which they find highly beneficial.

Let me be clear, I’m not suggesting that you only use one of the tips above to convert website visitors to leads.  You should – like Velaro does – use them all.  But you should understand the benefits and downfalls of each and use an appropriate mix to maximize your online lead generation.  Keep in mind that with the first tip – gating your content – the perception of the site visitor is that by providing you with their contact information the only one who benefits from this information is you.  Since they don’t reap any benefit in providing this information to you then they are encouraged to either lie or abandon the form.  With the other 2 tips above, the site visitor directly benefits from answering the question that are presented to them and are therefore more inclined to respond honestly.

Written by Jeff Mason | Jeff Mason is vice president of marketing at Velaro, where he oversees the company's entire marketing function. Previously, he served as vice president of marketing at Social Solutions and co-founded Artifact Software. He was also vice president of corporate communications and marketing at Sequoia Software.