When we meet with new clients we always ask them about how they want to capture leads through their website and other sources. The most common answer is ‘through the contact form’ or ‘they give us a call’.
But this approach misses something very important:
Many potential customers will only be browsing and thinking about whether to use your services and may be reluctant to give you their contact details immediately in case you harass them about becoming a client (I’m sure you don’t but they might think it anyway).
The good news is that there are ways around this and one of the most effective methods is to give something away in exchange for name and email address etc.
A good example (although we’re a little biased) is the free report on the home page of our website www.buswebs.co.uk. In this we offer some very helpful information that will aid the decision of buying a new website, even if they don’t end up buying from us.
Another example is a new client of ours, Nigel, who is a specialist in helping companies with storage problems. He’s the guy you’d call if you’ve tonnes of files or hundreds of boxes that needed organising. In his case we’re looking to develop a free report called “Top ten tips for more effective storage” (or something along those lines).
This report will be given away in exchange for some contact info and then their email address will be added to a CRM system which will automatically keep in touch with them to see if they need help with any storage problems.
The free report should be covered in your branding and be there to answer questions and allay any fears about you as a service provider.
We’re not asking anyone to become a client, we’re simply offering to give them some free helpful information.
And this approach has a few useful benefits:
- It helps you to gather the details of interested potential customers
- you can use the information given away to position yourself as an helpful expert and this helps to build your credibility
- You can use auto-responders to keep in touch with them by email and help keep you in their mind as they digest the information (for more on this see: http://buswebs.co.uk/2013/01/why-use-crm-in-your-business/)
Now we know that this method won’t work for all businesses. So, even if you don’t use a data capture process on your website, try and think of ways to gather prospect data without scaring the contact away. It could be easier and more profitable than you think.