Who could say no to more leads? I bet your business couldn’t! Inbound marketing is focused on reeling people in with amazing content. There’s also a business objective behind it, which is usually to sign up more customers.
A lead is essentially a person who has shown an interest in your business’s products or services – either through contacting you directly or filling out a form with their email address.
Just because somebody handed you their email via a form, doesn’t instantly make them a lead where you can hard sell. When they first sign up, they’re just contacts that have given you permission to email them. But now have the chance to convert them into qualified leads through email marketing.
If you’re looking to generate more leads for your business with inbound marketing, check out these tools that are ideal for attracting and capturing email subscriptions.
6 Essential Lead Generation Tools
It goes without saying that your website needs a blog delivering valuable content to attract inbound leads. Publishing regularly on your blog will attract more visitors from search engines and social media. Another thing to bear in mind is that a blog post will probably be the first page people stumble upon.
Here’s a short list of ideas to get you started:
- Interview an industry thought leader
- Blog about a happy customer
- Share productivity tips
- Analysing industry news
- Report on an event
- Review a product
- Curate content
For more information check out: What To Publish When You’re Short On Ideas?
Offer Downloadable Content
Who doesn’t like free stuff? Content like whitepapers, webinars, podcasts and ebooks can all be used to attract more inbound leads.
With ebooks and webinars, the idea is to deliver so much value; people won’t have a problem giving away their email address.
Downloadable content also helps position yourself as a trustworthy expert on the topic. You did in fact write the “book” on it after all!
Make it easy for visitors to contact you and sign up for a freebie. People view websites in different ways, some might ignore the header and focus 100% on the content. This is when you need to include multiple opt-in form throughout your website.
Make sure to include forms at least in the sidebar and footer. You can also put forms inside the body of your content and as a notification bar at the top of your website.
Email marketing provider AWeber offers a variety of opt-in forms to embed on to your website. Mailchimp‘s offering is more limited, but with a little coding you’ll be able to design your own custom opt-in form.
Here’s a useful step-by-step guide for creating your own Mailchimp form: Designing a Cool Mailchimp Signup Widget
Experiment with a Popup
I’m not a big fan of popups, I usually look for the close button before reading the content. But then again, I’m probably not your target audience.
It appears a lot of major blogs such as Social Media Examiner, FreelanceFolder and Content Marketing Institute are using popups . The aim of the popup is that all the attention is focused on it since everything else becomes blurred out.
Dan Zarrella conducted an experiment to see the effects popups had on his email subscriptions. Below you’ll find a table of his data, which shows a dramatic decrease with no popup.
Remember that every website is different and the best way to find out works is to test it out and eliminate any assumptions.
Use Hello Bar
Hello Bar is an elegant notification bar that’s placed at the top of your website. It lets you create a call-to-action and link to a landing, which can stay on top as visitors scroll down.
It’s a neat way of grabbing people’s attention without being obtrusive. Hello Bar offers a free plan of up to 25 clicks per month. Its pro plan starts at $4.95/month for 100 clicks and also offers additional features such as RSS and Twitter feeds, SSL support and unbranded bars.
Install Welcome Gate
EDIT: Welcome Gate has been shut down.
In an episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, DJ Waldow – co-author of The Rebels Guide to Email Marketing – said half of his email list comes from a plugin called Welcome Gate.
If you’re not a fan of popups, you might want to look into it. It’s basically a combination of a popup and a squeeze page, but considered less aggressive.
The way it works is when someone visits your home page (and only the homepage), they’re redirected to your Welcome Gate. Visitors will see it only once, unless they use a different browser or clear their cookies.
It’s always wise to sit down and review how effective your inbound marketing is. If you’re not drawing in the leads you want, you need to look into other alternatives. But some of these tools are sure to give you a boost in lead generation.
What about you? What tools have been working for you? Let us know in the comments below!
Image by mikequozl