Need leads? Don’t send ‘em to your website

You’ve spent a good deal of time, if you’re a DIY-er, or beaucoup money on that website. It’s beautiful, responsive.

When you announced it to your list — and friends and family — everyone said, “Wow, it’s really great!” Your lead magnet is above the fold, the call to action is compelling.

You’ve SEO-d yourself into a lather and people are finding you through search engines. Some are even opting in. Happy dance. If you’ve got a strong nurture sequence in place, that lead will likely turn into a customer down the road.

So why would I say, “Don’t send ‘em to your website?”

Two reasons:

  1. Your lead magnet may not be compelling, it could be in the wrong place, you may not have one. (Other than the form with 2 fields that reads, “Sign up for my newsletter.” That’s so 2000.)
  2. When you want leads, and especially if you are going to use paid traffic, sending them to a website and asking them to sign up for your thing is a random act of marketing.

Let’s say you need a new bathroom rug. You head out for Home Goods or Bed, Bath & Beyond, maybe Target. Along the way to the bathroom goods aisle you encounter bed linens. “Oooooh, these flannels are on sale, maybe I need them.” You dither with the decision then vote no on the sheets. Refocused, you head off to find the bath mats.

Another chance encounter but this time it’s greeting cards, and you LOVE reading cards, buying cards, because you always need cards, right? You spend more time than you planned reading, thinking of who this one might be perfect for. Suddenly you realize you have no time to get to bathmats because you have to go pick up the dog from day care before they close. You don’t even buy the cards; you’ve run out of time.

See where this is leading? Your well-designed website — especially one with blog posts on the home page or lots of “learn more” links — is like a store full of distracting goodies to your potential lead.

When someone lands on your page because of a search and your freebie speaks about their pain or problem in a way that they see it could help them, there’s a chance they’ll hand over their information.

When you hand out a business card or invite people to “Check out my website” at a networking event — even if you say “I’ve got a dynamite white paper on how to buy bathmats” to a crowd of shopping addicts — once they get there they may forget all about the white paper because they spied a blog post on comforters or thread counts. Once they enter the rabbit hole, well, you know how that goes.

What to do instead?

Send them to a landing page. Why? A landing page has only one ask, one call to action. There isn’t much to read except the pitch for the thing you are using to get leads. It could be the same freebie as you have on your home page — though I wouldn’t suggest that — but it’s a stand-alone offer with no distractions. That makes it more likely to get you those leads.

Why not have your home page freebie on a separate landing page as well?

Somewhere in your free thing you’ll have branding and contact info — one of those will be your website url. If someone clicks on that, arrives on your home page, and the only option to learn more about is the content they just read or video they watched, you miss another opportunity to engage with them.

Landing pages don’t have to be long form, expensive or hard to put together. These days many of the most commonly used CRMs include page builders. Next week I’ll have a landing page primer and checklist for you so that when you build a landing page to get leads, it has all the elements it needs to do the job.

By the way, if Bed, Bath & Beyond was a landing page, I’d never give them my contact information. Their floor-to-ceiling style product display — not to mention the front of the store smelly candles section — is not the kind of setting I do my best shopping in. Just like your home page and landing pages, you have to know whom you are marketing to and the experience they prefer.

Look for the elements of a converting landing page next week.

Write a comment