How important are an analysis of more than 300,000 validated sales leads generated from our agency and client internet marketing campaigns.
First-visit sales leads, it turns out, represent 84 percent of total leads generated.
Here are three of the most important points to cover: calls to action, contact forms, and phone numbers.
1. Calls to action
You will obtain more conversions if you give visitors a
Not good enough! Those calls to action are generic and provide no value, and as a result, they provide lackluster results.
If a call to action promises something of value in exchange for submitting a form or placing a phone call, you make it easy for customers to say yes. Offering a discount, free service contract, time-sensitive rewards, and the like make visitors sit up and pay attention.
And speaking of attention, how and where calls to action are placed on the web page make a big difference. Design and content variables such as the imagery, font and button message, as well as the offer itself, should be tested relentlessly to continuously improve conversions.
2. Contact forms
Contact forms generally fail because they are either too complicated or too simple. Of the two errors, complicated is worse—most visitors, especially new visitors, are put off by forms with a lot of required fields and/or fields they are not sure how to fill in. But forms that are too simple—for instance, having only an email address field and a message box—require the visitor to do a lot of thinking to figure out what to say and how to say it.
A rock-solid contact form asks for a small amount of information and provides cues (such as drop-down menus) to guide the visitor in making an efficient and accurate inquiry.
If you are hungry to capture a lot of information on the contact form for future marketing efforts, keep three things in mind:
- If you never get the lead in the first place, you have nobody to market to
- The bigger and better your offer, the more willing visitors will be to give up personal information
- Always include a privacy message to allay fears that personal information will be sold or given to third parties
3. Phone numbers
Phone leads are often the best leads, so any lead generation website worth its salt displays the phone number prominently and consistently in the header of every web page. For mobile viewing, a click-to-call phone icon is ideal; the bigger and bolder, the better.
In addition, invest in a toll-free phone number (easy is everything in capturing first-visit leads), and be sure your website has the ability to track phone leads back to their marketing source. Phone tracking requires special setup beyond what Google Analytics can provide, but without it you will never really know how well your marketing campaigns are working.
For more insight on the data in our study and other recommendations for powering up CRO on your website, see this slide presentation, 10 Ways to Make Your Lead Generation Website Convert on the First Visit.
Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency that provides SEO and PPC services. His articles on sales and marketing have been featured on leading business websites including Forbes and Entrepreneur.