In online or inbound marketing much of lead generation strategy has to do with establishing a quid pro quo – this for that. We offer useful information about a product or service in exchange for a prospect’s contact information.
When a website visitor types their name and email address into a form in order to download a whitepaper or sign up for a webinar, they go from being an anonymous prospect to being a known lead who has opted onto our marketing list. This is known as conversion.
Now, not every visitor is at the same stage of the purchase process, which can be visualized as a funnel. Someone who is just starting to gather information about an item or service they’re thinking about maybe buying will want information, but be unwilling to give up much information in return.
These visitors are considered to be at the top of the sales funnel – or ToFu. Our job is to engage them appropriately at this early point in their exploration and then build a relationship that pulls them through the bottom of the funnel to a purchase.
The focus of this post is the top of the funnel and ToFu content offers. If we fail to match the TOFU content offer with what we’re asking for in return, we lose opportunities to convert visitors to leads. Here’s an example of what can happen.
Recently, we worked with a client to develop a webinar and a related email campaign to introduce their service to a hard-to-reach audience. It was clearly a ToFu content offer. We created the webinar content and the email announcing it, which was sent to a qualified list. The client’s in-house marketing team created the registration landing page.
The client was delighted that 25 participants signed up for the webinar. However, when we got the final statistics from the webinar service provider, we learned that more than 100 recipients of the email had clicked through to the registration landing page but failed to sign up.
Obviously the webinar offer was compelling and reached the right people. So why did we lose more than 75% of their potential attendees?
I asked two questions:
- Did the registration landing page re-state the offer?
- Did the contact form require more than the name and email address?
The answer to the first question was, “No.” Only the day, date and time, and the name of the webinar were re-stated; but not the key agenda and take-away points or information about the presenter and his qualifications.
The answer to the second question was, “Yes.” The registration form also required a phone number.
Unfortunately, the wrong answers.
When someone clicks to get a piece of content or register for a webinar, it’s important that the landing page re-state the offer to reinforce the action we want them to take. And more important, it’s critical that the required fields in the contact form are appropriate to the level of the offer.
In this case – a ToFu offer -- potential participants would probably not be ready to part with a phone number. They wouldn’t want to receive a follow up call. However, they would be okay with getting additional information via email, which calls for less commitment. The required phone number field - along with a lack of information on the landing page -- likely caused 75 potential leads to leave without registering.
So, as this example clearly illustrates, matching quid to pro quo is the path to more productive online lead generation.
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The image is from Jon Gosier's Flickr photostream under Creative Commons license.