If you want to maximise how your website can help your business grow and be more profitable, then it’s critically important to capture the email addresses of the people who visit your web site… even if they don’t buy or make an enquiry.
Because once you’ve captured a prospective client’s email address, you can start communicating via email… and email marketing is still one of the most effective online marketing tactics available.
Trust me when I say you’re missing a lot of extra sales and profits if you’re not building a large email list, and regularly sending emails to that list.
The bigger your list of email addresses, and the faster you can grow that list, and the better relationship you have with people on that list, then the sooner you can increase your revenues and use the web to grow your business faster.
I regularly email more than 10,000 of my email subscribers with not only invitations to buy from me, but also with useful, interesting and educational content which helps me build a relationship with the people on my list – and that ultimately results in more sales too.
I use a number of simple email marketing systems (like ConvertKit) that allow me to log in, type out a message and hit Send — and then my one email automatically gets sent to thousands of people, instantly, and I get instant results.
But the secret is in first setting up a system to capture those email addresses.
Here’s how to do it…
How to Build a Big Email List Using Lead Pages
First things first – a lead page is simple a special kind of web page that exists for only one purpose, and one purpose alone… to capture email addresses.
And for the record I’ll quickly say that it does this ethically.
An ethical lead page doesn’t have any hidden program that secretly captures email addresses.
An ethical lead page simply offers something to your web site visitor for free — like a free report, coupon code, or even the chance to win a prize. (Although I very rarely use the latter option, I’ll explain why some other time.)
This free offer is called a ‘lead magnet’, and it needs to be very appealing to your website visitor.
So if for example you are a web designer, your lead page could offer a free report titled “10 Ways to Turn Your Website into a Money-making Machine”.
(Okay that title’s maybe a tad crass… but you get the idea!)
Anyway here are all the steps involved in designing your lead page…
1) Brainstorm a compelling lead magnet.
It should be something you can email them, or maybe something they can use online (like software or access to hidden information) that they gain access to after submitting their email address.
2) Create a simple web page which offers what you brainstormed in step 1.
3) Add a lead capture form to your page.
This is a standard form where the visitor enters their email address (and maybe other details – but see below for how much information to ask for) and then clicks a Submit button.
I use services like ConvertKit which automatically create forms I can embed in my lead pages. It’s dead simple to do when you know how.
4) Finally, test different ways of driving traffic to the lead page.
Traffic is a massive topic, but hopefully your current website is already getting massive amounts of traffic? If not keep your eye on my blog and newsletter – I’ll be sharing a lot of advice on this subject.
As a very quick tip though – add a link to your lead page on your homepage. It should be an ‘advert’ for the free gift you’re offering. This works because your home page will be one of the most visited web pages.
Effective Lead Page Design = Explosive Email List Growth
If the offer is good—or even better, irresistible—and your lead page is well designed then once you start driving traffic to that you’re sure to welcome more new customers and prospects into your business, faster than many think is possible.
What’s even better though is that with email marketing you’re now able to single-click communicate with those prospects at ZERO cost any time you want, and get instant sales.
For many small businesses, simply getting started with email marketing will be a major breakthrough.
But throw in an irresistible offer, a well designed lead page, and some good tested ways of finding prospects and driving them onto that page and BAM… instant business growth.
I’ve had a look at the websites of a lot of people who are subscribed to my own email list, and I know for a fact they’d get more sales and faster business growth if they simply discarded their entire existing website and replaced it with a single lead page!
Of course, it’s best to have both.
My point is simply that you’re better off with a single, well designed lead page, than a huge poorly designed website.
Ideally you want a really well designed web site, and lots of lead pages offering different kinds of lead magnets… but hey, let’s walk before we run! 🙂
Once you add lead pages to your web marketing strategy, your business will generate far more enquiries, and build a list of people you can start building a relationship with… leading to more sales and profits.
One thing – when I talk about lead pages I’m nearly always asked…
“How much information should I ask for on my lead pages?”
This was a question someone posed recently on a popular web marketing formum, and it was quite fascinating to see the crazy answers people submitted!
Most people had an opinion based on their ‘gut feeling’.
Some people opined that lead pages should never ask for more than a first name and email address, while others argued that your lead page must also ask for surnames, company names, telephone numbers and postal addresses too.
The thing is, they were all missing the point.
It’s not how much you ask for — it’s how little you can get away with asking for in order to generate a qualified lead.
For example if your company is shit hot at converting prospects to customers over the phone, then it makes sense you’ll want your lead page to ask for a phone number as well as their name and email address.
If your lead page is offering a physical gift which will be posted to them, then you will of course need to ask for a prospect’s physical mailing address. Makes sense doesn’t it!
The amount of information you ask for is highly dependent on context – which is affected by things like the industry, what your lead magnet is and your target audience’s expectations.
If you want to immediately follow up new prospects with a phone call, as well as a sequence of automated email messages, then you will of course need to request telephone numbers as well as email addresses on your lead pages. (That’s a very powerful strategy for some industries, especially in the legal sector, but I digress.)
Too many times I’ve seen lead pages overloaded with extra questions, and all of a sudden, what should have been quick and easy has turned into a gargantuan form filling exercise for anyone unlucky enough to land on it. Most won’t bother.
No, the only answer to the question of “how much information do you ask for” on your lead pages is this…
Ask for the information you need to take prospects to the next step in your lead nurturing sequence, and nothing more.
If you ask for the prospect’s postal address on a web page that is only offering a free report which will be sent by email, most prospects will refuse to volunteer the unnecessary data and bounce off the lead page without entering any information.
Divide & Conquer: Create Multi-Step Forms
If you must ask for more than just name and email address most email software (like the fab ConvertKit which I mentioned earlier) will allow you to create multi-step forms.
With these, the lead page only appears to ask for a name and email addres.
Then on the page that appears after someone submits their name and email address you have an extended form that asks for more information.
That way you’ll capture the majority of people who the offer is targeted at, without risking the knee-jerk reaction caused by presenting strangers with huge forms that ask for everything in one go.
Then, the people who submit the extra information on that next page are effectively raising their arms, and are indirectly telling you they are the most interested and highly qualified prospects on your list (database).
That technique is how I’ve offered my paperback (i.e. physical) books in the past.
On my lead pages I offer them as a electronic book (e-book) download, in return for my prospect’s first name and email address.
Then on the next page have a long web form offering a free copy of the physical paperback in return for full postal details and telephone number.
And how well does that work for me?
Well, at the risk of sounding like I’m boasting, which I assure you is not intentional (well okay, maybe a bit!) my lead pages which offer e-books about email marketing and website traffic generation get conversion rates as high as 93% conversion rate.
On the second page that appears immediately after prospects enter their name and email address on those pages is usually an offer for the paperback version of the same book for just a small payment to cover the cost of postage and packing (P&P).
And the amazing thing is that even though those pages also ask for credit card details, they still consistently achieves conversion rates in excess of 50%.
Finally, on subsequent pages that appear for everyone who pays the P&P, there are additional buying opportunities, (called ‘1-click upsells’) which offer increasingly more expensive products.
I can get anywhere from 7% to 20% or more on those subsequent pages, depending on the offer and price point, and those additional sales usually pay for the cost of driving traffic to my lead pages. (Which is called a ‘self-liquidating offer’, but more about that some other time.)
Of course, I’m ‘quite’ happy with all of those numbers. The system works for me.
So, in a nutshell, I’ve found that splitting up the forms on your lead pages — and asking for the bare minimum of information to start with — works “rather well” !
You may want to consider doing the same with your forms too.
Now Design Your First Lead Page
Hopefully in this article I’ve managed to convince you that having lead pages is one of the best thing you can have on your website.
They certainly are one of the most highly effective ways of first capturing as many email addresses as possible. And they allow you to start performing email marketing—which I’m quite confident could become your biggest source of sales, revenues and big profit in future.
So it just begs the question – how do you design and launch a lead page?
Chances are you already have the in-house capabilities to design and launch a lead page.
If your website is built on a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress then I can almost guarantee you do have the ability… because most CMSs allow you to create lead pages.
You’re simply adding a new web page to your site but one which does not have your website’s “usual” menu navigation on it.
You also need to ensure your company logo is small and unobtrusive, because your lead magnet—which if you recall is the free gift you’re offering—needs to be ‘the star’ of the page.
You need a headline on the page that says what you’re offering for free – and maybe a few lines of descriptive text to get people excited about getting their hands it ‘within the next few minutes’.
And you need the form where people enter the email address and other details. (But remember to only ask for what’s relevant, as mentioned above.)
And that’s it – you have a lead page.
Yes your leads page can and in many cases should have a lot more on them, including things called ‘Hero Shots’ and ‘Trust Badges’—but for the purpose of today’s article I want to express that even if your lead page only has those three elements above, the simple fact you have a lead page and are email marketing will put you streets ahead of companies that don’t!
Lead Pages are incredibly powerful.
I hope this article has whetted your appetite for more – because it’s one of my favourite topics and I’ll be covering it a lot more in future.
I’ll reveal more about these amazing little web pages shortly including my secret formula to creating lead pages that generate enquiries from 93 out of every 100 visitors to your website.