Best Way to Capture Leads on Your Website

by Tim Francis on January 28, 2013

In most situations, the best opt-in offer is…. for some kind of free information, such as a free report, whitepaper, etc.

But that’s not enough…

You actually want to go one step further… you want an automatic email follow-up sequence too.

Use a program like Aweber or Infusionsoft… these programs allow you to pre-program a sequence of emails that go out over time to the prospect that just opted-in for your free report.

132 Days of Automatic Marketing

For example, a schedule like this:

  • Day 0 (point of opt-in): Email #1 with Free Report
  • Day 1 (next day): Email #2 – big take-away from Free Report
  • Day 3 (two days later): Email #3 – another big take-away from Free Report (and possibly a casual invitation to a sales meeting too)
  • Day 6 (three days later): Email #4 – another big take-away from Free Report
  • Day 11 (five days later): Email #5- another big take-away from Free Report (and possibly a casual invitation to a sales meeting too)
  • Day 19 (eight days later): Email #6 – big success story from someone who implemented the Free Report
  • Day 32 (thirteen days later): Email #7 – some incredible or astonishing insight from the real world, related to the free report’s topic (and possibly a casual invitation to a sales meeting too)
  • Day 53 (twenty-one days later): Email #8… etc.
  • Day 87 (thirty-four days later): Email #9… etc.
  • Day 132 (forty-five days later): Email #10… etc.

Lots more on email marketing in this blog post on email marketing software.

Why You Want To Offer Specifically a Free Report

(or other instant, free offer of info… ebook, tipsheet, whitepaper, etc.)

Sometimes I get asked… should we really offer a free report?  Why not registration for a sales meeting or live presentation?

1. Free Report is a Digestible Commitment

Immediately asking for a bigger commitment – to attend a 20min+ presentation (whether online or in-person), come to a sales meeting, etc… is often too big of a commitment for brand-new prospects.  Because it’s a slightly bigger commitment, it’s best-served for Step 2.

Instead, Get them to make a smaller, digestible commitment *first*… something that takes nearly no time, nearly no effort… which is opting-in for your Free Report.

Then, once you’ve got their contact info, you can invite them to a 20min+ presentation, sales meeting, etc.  That’s your Step 2.

This approach will capture more people into your marketing funnel, and be more inclusive too… some people just aren’t ready yet for a 20 min commitment YET… but *are* ready for the 2-min commitment of a free report.

Then, once they see your good stuff (the report, maybe follow-up emails too)… then they’re ready to give you more time.  That’s when you invite them to the presentation, sales meeting, or other “bigger” commitment.

2. Free Report is “Instant Gratification”

For better or worse, we’re in an instant gratification society.

Don’t fight it…  Embrace it.

If people have to wait a few hours / few days / few weeks before the webinar / live presentation / sales meeting, they may lose interest or pursue a different solution… maybe even your competitor, or an alternative product altogether…. maybe buy an online product that they can try right away instead of waiting for your presentation.

Keep that in mind.

3. Free Report + Email Sequence Takes a LOT of Work Off Your Plate!

I know that I personally get overwhelmed on a regular basis, and wish I could take care of those second-tier priorities…. sadly, manually doing follow-up with prospects can easily fall into that category of “second-tier” priorities… which is insane, seeing as sales drives business!

So the sales work just doesn’t get done :(

And if you’re pushing people to some presentation or meeting where you have to make a personal time investment, spending your own valuable hours doing so, you’re going *backwards* in productivity… you’re DEvolving in your marketing efforts!

If only there were an automated solution…

With opt-in + automated email sequence, once it’s setup you never have to lift a finger… it’s all done for you on auto-pilot.

I’ve had the experience (on many occasions) of people writing me to comment on an email that they received as part of an automated sequence.  When they write me, they may have a simple question about the content of the email, or simply “Thanks for the great marketing insight!

Those are both great emails to receive.

But sometimes their inquiry is: “”Hey, I love what you mentioned… and I’ve been thinking about implementing that kind of thing for a while now… any way you could take us on as clients and we could hire you to do it for us?”

They’re asking for me to quote work.  Bonus!  One day in particular I quoted over 20K of work …and – until they replied – I had no idea they even received an auto-email from me earlier in the day.

Nice!

4. Also Cuts Down on Useless Sales Meetings

An important role of the free report is to start qualifying people.

If “marketing” develops leads, then “sales” sorts through those leads… determining who is a prospect, and who is *not*… then getting the legit prospects to buy, buy, buy.

Often, making sure that we don’t meet with certain people is a key to success… there’s only 24 hours in the day, and you want to spend as few of those as possible on unqualified people!

Winning Solution is Free Report + Automated Follow-up Sequence

An opt-in that not only delivers the free report, but also kicks off 5-1o follow-up emails spread out over time (2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years, whatever you can pump out)….

  • leverages the “multiple exposures” part of marketing
  • keeps you “front of mind” for people
  • allows you to automatically nurture them until they are ready to make a bigger commitment… which might only be hours or days…. but for some people is literally weeks, months, or years.

Should you Ditch Sales Meetings and Live Presentations?

Absolutely Not.

In fact, in some businesses, they’re absolutely crucial!

Keep them… as a Step TWO.  Not step one.

Free report gets people into your database, 24/7, whenever people are ready to learn more.

Then email marketing nurtures them and qualifies them.

Then, through automated email marketing (and/or broadcasts) you offer an in-person sales meeting or live presentation to move the prospect towards a sale.

Those that are ready… will register for the presentation.

Those that aren’t ready yet… will just keep truckin’ on the automated email sequence.

Hope that helps!

Tim :)

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