More traffic to a website does not always mean more revenue, unless the revenue model is purely based on display advertising. Display advertising model brings the lowest revenue per visitor compared to all the other revenue models and there are some studies that suggest that only 27% of the internet visitors actually end up looking at a display ad.
One of the best ways to monetize internet web traffic is to convert them into leads and then promote a product or service to them via email marketing or a follow up phone call. This is also called Inbound marketing. Outbound marketing or interruption advertising is no longer effective because people are getting better at tuning out of interruption.
The best way to attract traffic to a website is via content marketing. Content marketing is best done through blogging, social media and email marketing. However in this post we will not be covering how to attract traffic but rather we will talk about how to convert those traffic into leads.
All the tips below are based on my personal experience working on blogs which run on the WordPress platform. If your blog or content channel is not based on WordPress, you will still find these tips useful.
1. Landing Pages
Landing pages are one of the most effective ways to convert a visitor into a lead. While the purpose of many content pages on websites is to provide information; landing pages are designed for collecting contact information. Very effective landing pages combined with targeted traffic can give a conversion ratio of as high as 50-60% and in some rare cases even more than that.
Putting up several landing pages inside your blog or main content website increases the chances of more people coming to those landing pages via search engines, referral and direct traffic and hence it increases the chances of lead collection. You can also have different banners in your blog which link to one of your own landing pages. Another effective method of bringing traffic to such landing pages is via YouTube content marketing which will be explained in detail in another article.
Different landing pages are attractive to different people or groups and hence one should never rely on only one landing page. And its often a good idea to send traffic to the landing page via a blog and then measure which landing page performs better. HubSpot.com, a leader in Inbound marketing software and methodology recommends that a business should have as much as 40-50 landing pages with different offers.
You can design a landing page on your own or you can use some plugins and themes that are available in the market which makes the creation of landing pages very easy. Optimize Press is one such WordPress theme which can help you create landing pages easily.
2. Notification Bars
Notification bars are the full wide banners on the top of the websites. Internet users have been “trained” to pay attention to the notification bars because the browsers usually display warning messages like a missing plugin or a blocked popup in the notification bar. Such bars stay on the top of everything and many such bars can be configured to stick to the top even when people scroll down the website. It is a very good attention grabber.
One can put an email form in the notification bar itself or there can be a link to one of the landing pages from the notification bar. The following image from ProBlogger.net shows an email optin form on the notification bar.
HelloBar.com is a good solution for notification bars. They have different plans based on how many clicks you will receive and they also offer split testing options where you can track the performance of different words and call-to-action links. However HelloBar.com is a bit pricey and if you want a free solution you can go for the WordPress plugin called Notification Bar. The options in it are limited and works only for WordPress. If you search around, there are many free and paid alternatives to put up a notification bar in your website.
3. Unblockable Popup Forms
Unblockable popups which you may have seen in many websites and blogs are one of the best ways to convert web traffic into leads. Anywhere around 2% to 10% of your daily blog traffic is likely to convert into leads based on the effectiveness of your offer.
For WordPress, there is a plugin called Popup Domination which can create aesthetically pleasing popup forms on your website. The plugin is a premium plugin and it also offers split testing and tracking options. The above image shows a popup domination form in action.
4. Opt-In Forms in Sidebars and Below Posts
The sidebar of any blog and the area below the posts are great locations for opt-in forms. People pay attention to the sidebars when they are not interested in the content and there is a high chance that they will opt-in for a relevant offer. Also when people finish reading blog posts, they usually don’t know what to do. If you have nothing to capture their attention they will just leave.
The above image shows and example of an opt-in form which can be placed below blog posts. You can create your own opt-in forms or you can use WordPress plugins like OptinSkin where you can create beautiful forms for blog posts and sidebars. Plugins such as OptinSkin also has click tracking and split testing built it so it becomes very easy for you to optimize the opt-in form.
5. Welcome Redirects
It is possible to redirect the first time visitors of your blog to a landing page where they are asked to opt-in in return for something valuable such as a free e-book or a newsletter. Such plugins will only redirect new visitors and returning visitors will only see your home page. The following image shows how Mixergy.com has made use of the welcome redirect to convert first time visitors into leads.
Though this is a very good option for capturing a lot of leads in a short period of time, it is not the most recommended method. It affects the user experience on various levels. Example, a returning visitor may not visit the website from the same device or location and hence he may be treated as a new visitor and redirected to the landing page. Another problem with such plugins is that they do not work when some caching system is turned on. Turning off the caching system will slow down the website load speed and also consume more server resources.
Such welcome redirects can be used for a short period of time to get a boost in leads and then it can be turned off.
6. Opt-in Forms Inside Videos
With the popularity of web videos, a new breed of opt-in forms have become popular with digital marketers. They are opt-in forms inside videos. The following screenshot shows a video with an opt-in form which pops up during the video and lets the internet user continue watching the video after an opt-in. You can also make it mandatory to opt-in by disabling the skip this step option. The form can be configured to appear in the beginning or the end of the video.
A premium WordPress plugin called LeadPlayer is a very effective tool to create opt-in forms inside videos. It has a lot of different options and it works with any YouTube video. You can use an existing YouTube video inside your own website with such customization.
7. Headers Forms
You can place an opt-in box in the header area – the most valuable piece of real estate on any website. Studio Press has a theme called Generate which has a header opt-in form built into it. You can also develop a custom theme if you have the resources and also split test it to improve its conversions. I have looked around and there is no WordPress plugin which can make header opt-in boxes, yet. But may be someone reading this post will get the idea and develop something which will help guys like you and me!
The above image is a screenshot of the Generate WordPress theme.
Though there are different techniques to lead generation, the underlying concept is the same. Attract visitors by providing them valuable content and then get permission to email them in the most effective way. Give people something valuable in the email so that you can build trust and then you can present what you have to sell in a non obtrusive manner.
Do you know any other method of converting traffic into leads? Let me know.