In the business of lead generation marketing, business professionals are having to get more creative. It’s necessary to go the extra mile to garner the attention of today’s Internet users. Internet engagement has evolved. Business professionals have to evolve with their audience. Gone are the days when you can share quantity over quality to gain rankings and obtain user information. People are more choosy with what they want in their in-box. The goal of your lead generation marketing is to gently lead the viewers into permission marketing. Permission marketing is when viewers willingly sign up for further communication from you. One way to gain permission marketing is in creating marketing efforts that include valuable offers for your viewers.
An offer is included in a blog post or page as a downloadable item. In the offer, you provide additional resources your user will value enough to exchange information with you. Information you might capture in exchange for the downloadable offer is the viewer’s name, email address, phone number, or other data you’d like in your database. Use caution, though. With each piece of information you request, the viewer asks themselves if they really want to share. Only ask for what you need. When you capture a viewer’s information, they become a prospect – and in many cases, a valuable lead.
Trust is something you need to gain with your viewers. Give deep thought to the offers you create, ensuring they are of high value. When a viewer finds an offer to be invaluable or poorly constructed, they learn to disregard or distrust your information. Take the time to make your offers clean, well-designed, and visually as well as mentally stimulating. Value and trust will keep your viewers coming back for more. With this method, you’re creating relationships with your viewers.
Blog Post: What Should I Offer?
The offers you include in your lead generation marketing should be useful information pertaining to the content in your blog posts or pages. Using real estate as an example, if you’re writing a blog post about parks in your area, you may choose to include a list of parks and their locations, but leave out pertinent information such as park features. Then, in a separate document that you’ll create as the offer, you can include that information organized by features. Park features may include play areas, picnic facilities, sports fields, fitness equipment, dog-friendly, rentable spaces, and others. You’ll then create a button that says, “Click Here for a Comprehensive List of Park Features”.
Creating the Offers
Offers for your lead generation marketing can be in the form of a how-to article, checklist, coupon, mailing address change form, or any other item of value related to your content. Be creative and have fun with the task. Using real estate as an example, if you’re writing a blog post about moving to a new city, a mailing address change form would be beneficial. If you’re writing a blog post about how to prepare for your move, your viewer will likely appreciate having a convenient checklist to guide them through the experience. If you’re writing about pizza places in your area, a coupon is a fantastic offer if you can gain joint-marketing propositions with vendors. Using digital marketing as an example, if you’re writing about estimated traffic keywords for SEO in 2016, you may offer a list of “Best Keywords Anywhere.” Review your content and ask yourself what’s missing that your viewer is likely to want. Put yourself in your viewer’s perspective.
When you have the idea for what you want to offer, you can create your PDF design with templates in Apple Pages, Microsoft Word, or any other program with which you feel competent and confident, including PhotoShop. You can design the offer yourself, or delegate the task to your graphic design department, or outsource it as a project for a freelancer. To maintain interest and creativity, try alternating the types of offers you include with your marketing campaigns. When your offer is content-heavy, make sure you organize your text by subject matter, use headings and sub-headings, and include a table of contents when applicable. You may also choose to include links to related articles in your offer to encourage further user engagement with your website. If yours is a checklist or coupon, include a link at the bottom that says, “You May Also Enjoy (related link).
Including Images in Your Offer
Viewers respond to visual “eye-candy” when reading online. Images can set the mood for a piece of content. Images can also break text into more bite-sized pieces. Try to include at least one image for things such as checklists or coupons. For longer, content-heavy pieces, try including images on every other page, or to separate headings or topics. You can obtain images from webistes such as Shutterstock or other resources for legal usage in your documents. Try to select images that match the theme of your document. For example, if you’ve chosen a blue and orange theme for your work, select images that are accented with blue and orange. Color-matching your images to your title and subheadings provides a unified flow throughout your document.
Branding your images is also important. Branding your images not only unifies your post, but also keeps your brand in the viewer’s eye while they’re making use of your offer. You can be creative with the placement of your brand, placing it on objects within the image, such as a coffee cup, laptop cover, the pocket of a shirt, or other fun places. To brand your images, you can use websites like Canva, programs like PhotoShop, or other image editing software. When your offer is complete, export it as a PDF.
Creating a Download Button and Thank You Page
Once your offer is complete and saved as a PDF, the next step is to create the image for the download button to be included in the blog post. You can create a button using Leadpages. You can create a button image in any image-editing software, including Canva or PhotoShop, and you can choose whether you design a small button or a wide banner. To raise the bar and give your image a bit of zest, you can create a gif, an image that moves or switches from one image to another by using a tool like giffy.com. Your button should say, “Click Here for______” with a description of your offer. For example, click here for the checklist, a detailed list of park features, a coupon, etc. You can then use that button to direct viewers to your offer. If you’re using Leadpages, you can use the default button and customize it to your color scheme. Beware, though, that your button may affect page-load speeds on your blog post. A simple link could also direct viewers to download your offer.
You’ll also need to connect that button to a thank you page, informing the viewer that their PDF has been sent to their email, and redirecting them back to your website. Redirecting the user back to your website increases user engagement, building the relationship with the viewer and adding to the authority of your website for search engine results. For example, “Thank You. You will receive your download by email shortly. While you wait, you might also enjoy (links to related articles).
Creating a Form
Next, you’ll need to create a form so that when the user clicks on your “Click Here to Download” offer image, they are redirected to a page where they input their information. One resource you can use for form creation is Leadpages. Some newsletter programs or CRM database programs also offer a form integration function. This is where the user’s information is captured by your systems, and then creates a “download now” feature, or a statement that the offer will be sent to the viewer’s email. Many form generators, such as Leadpages, offer an additional checkbox. Resourceful use of this tool would be to include a checkbox that says, “Check here to receive additional information of value from (your company name). Or, you might include a checkbox that says, “Click here to learn more about real estate in (your area). This checkbox, when checked, converts your prospect to a lead because they’re expressing interest in your service. It’s a good idea to advise viewers to add your company’s email address to their address book so emails from you do not land in their spam or junk folders.
Keep in mind that the goal is not only in capturing leads, but in building relationships with your viewers. You always want to include a call to action that redirects the user back to your website.
Creating a Follow Up Sequence
You’ve written a stellar blog post, created your offer, designed a button and thank you landing page, and implemented your forms. You’re nearly finished! But the most important part of this endeavor is in your timely, pertinent follow up to the prospects and leads you capture. You’ll need to determine how the information is received. Do you get emailed when the form is submitted and have to manually enter that contact into your database? Does your database automatically import new prospects from your form? Know who is receiving the information, and how you’re going to respond.
Don’t let prospects generated through your marketing endeavors get lost in capture or in your database. Have your follow-up systems in place before you publish your offer. Design your email marketing campaign so when the user subscribes to your list, they receive appropriate communications from you to further the relationship. Building relationships is the purpose of creating a successful offer.