8 Lead Conversion Strategies for Inbound Marketers
May 7, 2015
By Carly Ries
One of the most important factors to inbound marketing success is converting visitors into leads (also known as contacts). Once you have the leads you can start moving them through the sales pipeline getting them closer to the sale itself. So what can you do to help increase your odds of conversion? Below are 8 lead conversion strategies to get you on the right track.
1. Define Your Buyer Personas
Before you can even begin working on a conversion path and offers, it is essential that you define your buyer personas. This will give you a deep understanding of the type of people you will be marketing to. By doing your research, you'll be able to understand the pain points your persona(s) has which will allow you to identify how you can solve them. The more you understand who your persona(s) are, the more you'll be able to tailor your inbound marketing efforts to fit their needs. If your audience feels like you understand them when they visit your site, they'll be more likely to convert.
2. Understand How Conversion Paths Work
To increase your odds of conversion, you need to ensure you have all of the necessary components in the conversion path which includes:
- CTAs: Place bold buttons or banners across your website that promote your offer.
- Landing Pages: This is where the visitor lands once they click on the CTA. The landing page should include a brief summary of the offer and a form where a person can fill out the information you desire in exchange for the offer.
- Thank You Pages: The thank you page thanks the visitor for downloading the offer and instructs the visitor on how to receive the offer ("Click Here to Download," "The Offer Has Been Sent to Your Email" and so on), and typically completes the conversion path. It's best practice to send a follow up email as well with a thank you message and the offer itself.
3. Follow Landing Page Best Practices
Inbound 101: Optimize your landing pages. After years of trial and error, inbound marketers have found the perfect recipe to increase the odds of somebody converting once they get to a landing page. If you are unfamiliar with these best practices, check out The Ultimate Landing Page Checklist which will point you in the right direction.
4. Create Valuable Content
The only way people are going to convert on an offer is if the offer is enticing and valuable to them. The more you can beef up the content and convey the value for your audience the more likely they'll be to convert. To develop this content, think of your buyer persona's pain points and develop an offer that will help solve one of them. This ties back to why it's so important to understand your audience. If you don't know what will help them, you can't create the content they need.
5. Utilize A Clear CTA Strategy
As mentioned earlier, it is imperative that you include CTAs across your site to give your visitors opportunites to convert, but don't just place CTAs anywhere, be thoughtful about it. People are most likely to convert if the CTA is near content that resonates with the copy on the CTA. If you're writing a blog post about apples, and your CTA is about oranges, people will be less likely to convert than if the CTA was about apples. A/B test CTAs (sizes, designs, copy) and continue with the CTA that performs the best.
6. Keep Things Simple for Your Visitors
Make sure you don't send your audience on a wild goose chase looking for your offers. Once they get to the site, develop a clear path for them. Additionally, the copy on the CTA should convey exactly what they're going to get by clicking on the CTA as well as how to access the offer ("Click to Download"). They shouldn't have to guess about anything when looking for the information they desire. The easier it is to find your offer, the faster they'll convert.
7. Drive Traffic To Your Website
The fact of the matter is, nobody is going to convert on your offers if they've never see them. Promoting your content is crucial to increasing your lead conversion rates. Some of the best ways to promote your content is through social media and email marketing. For social, be sure to target groups where your buyer persona is "hanging out". Don't just post to Facebook because that's what you think you're supposed to do. If you're marketing to a bunch of executives, chances are they'll be on LinkedIn instead. Do your research.
To get the most out of emails, be sure to scrub your email list and ensure all emails are current. People change email addressees, leave companies, and so on. Keep your list updated. This will keep your list targeted and will make it easier to convert.
8. Showcase Satisfied Customer Testimonials
The more somebody trusts you, the more likely they will be to convert into leads. These days, people are always looking for Google reviews, Yelp reviews, and so on to ensure that the product or service they're purchaing is valuable and worth their time and money. By providing customer testimonials for your visitors, they'll be able to recognize you as a credible source and will feel more confident in moving forward with you.
There are many other strategies in addition to those listed above, but begin with these eight and they'll be sure to help you increase your conversion. What other strategies have you used in the past? What have you found works the best for you?
About the author
Carly Ries was formerly a Senior Inbound Marketing Consultant for SmartBug Media. With over 7 years of marketing and account management experience, Carly helps clients develop and implement inbound marketing strategies to grow leads, conversion, and revenue. Read more articles by Carly Ries.