We spend a lot of time speaking with customers about ways they can use Beacon to grow their business. Usually this takes the form of “this is what worked for us, I think it will work for you too“.
So instead of having these conversations on a one-to-one basis I thought it would be useful to talk about these things in a webinar.
Topics covered in the webinar include:
I’m going to be talking a lot about lead nurturing today but I want to begin by covering the basics about conversion rates.
Does everyone know what their conversion rates are?
Does everyone know how to calculate their conversion rate?
It’s really simple. It’s basically the number of leads that your website generates divided by the number of visitors to your website.
So if you got 20 leads from your website last month from 100 visitors your conversion rate would be 20%
It’s important to be aware of your conversion rate because it’s really rare that someone will land on your website and immediately become a paying customer.
In fact it can take up to 8 ‘touches’ with a potential customer to turn them into an actual customer.
So in reality the process isn’t really this simple.
Instead it will look more like this. So when we talk about conversion rates we’re talking about this step here between visitor and lead.
If you can get someone’s email address when they first visit your website then you can stay in touch with them, build a relationship and stay top of mind when they are ready to make a purchase decision. Then they will become a customer.
What do you think the average conversion rate for a web page is? Have a guess and let me know in the comments box on the right hand side.
What do you think? 10%? 20%?
It’s actually 2% which I think is a really low number.
Let’s take a look at how that number might affect your business.
So If you attract 100 people to your website and have a conversion rate of 2% you’ll get 2 leads. Tiny.
Now you obviously want to generate more leads than that so most people’s instinct is to increase the traffic to their site. They might pay for some adwords, invest in some SEO or step up their social media game. So let’s say you do all that and over the course of a few months you double the number of visitors to your website. At a 2% conversion rate you’ll wind up with 4 leads. Big deal.
4 leads is still rubbish! Especially if you think about how much time and money it took to double your traffic! 4 leads is really not a good return on your investment.
But what if we take a different approach? What if we focus on the conversion rate instead? What if we could increase the conversion rate of your key web pages to 20%?
It might sound like a big jump but believe me - it’s a lot easier than 10xing the traffic to your site.
So until your conversion rate is into double figures, there’s no point in worrying about more traffic because the truth is that your site isn’t ready for more traffic!
If you optimise for traffic before optimising your conversion rate then you’re basically pouring water into a leaky bucket. All the money you spend on advertising and marketing will be a waste.
So with that in mind, how can we increase conversion rates so we can turn more visitors into leads?
One solution would be to make the opt-in forms more obvious. So when people come to your site you could just hit them with a full screen popup like this.
I would guess that most people who see this popup just close it without thinking twice.
And they close this popup because there is no incentive for them to share their email address. Why would they? What’s in it for them? There’s no obvious benefit to joining this mailing list.
So how do we give people an incentive? How do we offer them something of value in exchange for their email address?
Lead magnets work under the basic premise that to get something you have to give something.
Let’s see an example. This screenshot is from an e-commerce website and they’re offering people a £10 discount in exchange for their email address.
You see this tactic lots on e-commerce sites. Here’s another example from made.com
This discount is the lead magnet - it’s a reward that you offer people for sharing their email address.
Once you have the email address this anonymous website visitor becomes a lead and you can nurture them via email.
But it doesn’t have to be money! I know most of you probably don’t run e-commerce stores so let’s take a look at another example.
This is an example of a Beacon customer. That’s Josip in the green at the bottom.
He runs a blog that helps people moving to Dublin to find their feet.
So it’s pretty niche, he doesn’t have a big marketing budget, he isn’t internet famous. He’s just a regular guy with a blog.
You’ll notice that in the bottom corner there’s a link to this city guide that Josip has prepared.
The title is in Croatian but you get the idea! This is his lead magnet.
When someone clicks on that image, this popup will appear with more info about the city guide.
Basically it’s everything you need to know about surviving in Ireland. It’s filled with practical information about everything from visas to recruitment, accommodation and transport. It’s about 50 pages long and the amount of genuinely useful info in this guide is staggering.
And when the reader enters their email address they get sent a copy of this beautifully designed PDF.
So this is Josip’s lead magnet - a city guide.
Now I know what you’re thinking - I can practically hear you shouting at the computer screen across the internet.
A city guide? That’s not as good as money!
But wait’ll you hear this. In just 14 days Josip generated 712 leads at a conversion rate of 25%
That means that every 4th person that visited his website joined his email list.
Let’s break Josip’s strategy down so you can replicate this success for your own website.
If the definition of a lead magnet is to give something of value in exchange for an email address then Josip delivered 100%
In my opinion, the best way to give people something of value (without spending money) is to help them with a problem that they are currently experiencing.
If someone is having difficulty with something and all they have to do is hand over their email address to get a solution to that problem, most people will do that without thinking twice.
Imagine some of the visitors to Josip’s website are tech workers.
Dublin has a booming tech scene and there’s a lot of jobs going but if you hadn’t been to Dublin before you wouldn’t know what to expect.
So Josip offers them a really simple solution to their problem. Here’s a handy download that will literally save you hours of research and worry. All I ask in return is your email address. It’s a no-brainer!
So for you, you need to be clear about who your customers are, what problems they are experiencing and how you can help them with those problems.
Ok, so the question I always get around this time is “how many lead magnets am I going to need?”
And the answer is pretty simple. The more lead magnets you create, the more leads you’ll generate.
It’s not really a case of having one lead magnet and stopping there.
In fact, HubSpot did some research and they found that the number of leads generated increased by 450% when websites increased the number of opt-in forms from 1 to 40.
It’s pretty staggering but it makes sense.
So yes, increasing your conversion rates will get you more leads but so will increasing the number of opt-in opportunities. If you can do both then you’ll be laughing.
It sounds like I just dumped a load of extra work on your lap, right? You’re probably thinking, “how many lead magnets am I going to have to make?!”
Don’t worry there is a trick to it and I’m going to show you that now.
The easiest way to increase the number of lead magnets on your site is to use the content upgrade strategy.
Content upgrades are basically lead magnets on steroids. Let me show you how they work-
This is a screenshot from our blog. It’s a post about how to create customer personas.
And you’ll notice that right after the introduction there is this yellow box. The text in this box reads “Download your free customer persona template here.”
The template is our lead magnet and it was made specifically to accompany this individual blog post.
So if you take this lead magnet and put in on our homepage it won’t really make sense. But when it’s placed within this blog post, they go hand in hand.
So the post is all about customer personas and it’s largely theoretical, it explains what a persona is and the benefits of using personas.
The lead magnet that we offer with this article helps people to implement the theory for their own business. And that’s why it’s so effective - when people read the blog they’re primed to take action. The lead magnet is sitting right there so there’s an even greater chance that people will download it. That’s why you’ll see higher conversion rates for content upgrades than other opt-in forms like landing pages.
So when someone clicks that yellow box they get this popup.
And when they enter their email address they get sent a copy of this beautifully designed PDF.
So we try to tick all of the boxes - a useful lead magnet that solves an immediate problem, something that’s well designed and builds our authority.
BUT the most important thing about this lead magnet? It works!
This particular blog post had a conversion rate of 22% - that’s more than 10x the average conversion rate of a website.
And that’s not particularly unusual - a 20% conversion rate is pretty standard for a content upgrade.
This is a tactic that we’ve been using on our blog for a while and you can see how high the conversion rates are here.
There’s a few turkeys in there like 3% but it’s still above average and having this information means that you can see what works and what doesn’t and then make adjustments based on that.
Does everyone know how to do this within Beacon? Have you all had a chance to set up a content upgrade yet? It’s a new feature so let me give you a whistle stop tour of how that works.
The other thing I want to talk about is generating leads directly from social media.
If you’re not blogging very much then content upgrades aren’t going to be much help for you.
If that’s the case then I want to show you a technique for generating leads directly from social media.
This is our Twitter profile and you can see that our Pinned tweet here is a link to a beginners guide to content marketing.
That’s a resource that we’ve put together to help explain the basics of content marketing.
We know that our potential customers are all practicing some form of content marketing so we want to help them get better at that.
So when someone clicks the link they’ll be brought straight to the guide but they won’t be able to read it until they enter their contact information.
As soon as they do enter their info the guide will be unlocked and they can read it straight away.
So the idea is that since there is less steps for the user to go through in order to get the lead magnet then conversion rates will be higher.
Again, this is really easy to set up in Beacon so let me show you how to do that.
So I’ve shown you the content upgrade technique that we use to get consistently high conversion rates. And I’ve shown you the link lock technique for generating leads directly from social.
Most people think that once they have a person’s email address that the battle is won. But really it’s just the beginning.
Now that you have their email address you have the opportunity to nurture them towards becoming a customer.
This takes time and a little bit of finesse. Let’s take a look at the wrong way to do this first…
Most people send them the link to the lead magnet and that’s it. They potential customer won’t hear from the company until they’re trying to sell them something. And I’m sure you can imagine that’s the absolute wrong way to do things.
A more natural, human approach would be to keep in regular contact with the lead without being pushy.
After you send someone the lead magnet follow up the next day with a brief note explaining who you are and what you do. Remember that many people who opt-in for your lead magnets may have found you via a search engine and doesn’t really know anything about you.
After that you might want to recommend some more content that they might like. You should know what to recommend them because you know what lead magnet they opted-in for.
So you’re gradually building a relationship and a level of trust with the prospective customer.
I like to keep our emails conversational in tone and for that reason we get a lot of people replying directly to the emails with follow up questions. Two-way dialogue is absolute gold dust in any form of marketing so grab that opportunity if it comes your way.
And of course you can gradually drop in mentions of your paid products and services. Once you’ve built a relationship this won’t appear to be too salesy but instead a natural progression of the conversation.
Let me show you what that looks like for us.
Beacon is completely free to use, just create an account and you'll be making lead magnets in minutes.