In my last essay, I shared the fact that in content marketing, as many as 90% of those requesting your free content will NOT be prospects for your service or product.
Today I want to show you things you can do on your landing page so you can differentiate between free content moochers and genuine sales leads.
There are 2 basic strategies you can use to determine whether a respondent is simply grabbing your freebie or is a qualified prospect for the product or service you are selling.
The first is to have fields that gather information you can use to qualify the respondent.
For instance, in addition to name and e-mail address, I ask for:
1. Company name: to see whether they work for a real company that is a good fit for my services.
2. Website URL: so I can check them out with a quick click to see what kind of company I am dealing with.
3. Phone number: because I need to talk to the prospect on the phone to fully qualify and then close him.
4. Title: my prospects hold certain job titles, and if the person has a title outside of those (e.g. purchasing agent), he is probably not a good lead.
Yes, the more fields you require the prospect to fill in, the lower your gross conversion rate, but the easier it will be to know whether someone is a real lead or just a lookie-loo.
I don’t care about gross conversion rate. I’m not in business to give away free stuff. My marketing is designed to generate highly qualified leads that turn into customers at a brisk rate.
To balance the desire for high response rate with qualified sales leads, you can have multiple fields, but make some mandatory and others optional.
The second strategy to qualifying visitors on your landing page is to require them to check one or more of 3 options:
[ ] Send me your free special report/white paper/etc.
[ ] Send me a free information kit on your products/services
[ ] Contact me to discuss my needs
If someone checks only the first option and not the second, it’s a strong indicator that they are just freebie seekers.
However, if the information they entered about themselves fits the profile of a good potential client for you, they are still worth a follow-up.
If someone checks both the first and second options, they are more qualified, because they have asked not only for the freebie but have indicated interest in your product or service.
If they check both the first and second options and filled in all fields with information showing them as a good fit for your product or service, they are a highly qualified lead.
If they check the third box, which invites you to contact them—and this rarely happens—they are an even more qualified lead.
On the other hand, if your landing page does not offer these 3 check boxes, and all you get is the user’s name and e-mail address, you don’t know whether they are interested in your services or just the free giveaway only.
To repeat what I said last week: Free content offers work in direct marketing and are in fact one of my go-to campaign strategies.
You just have to be realistic and understand that just because 100 people go to your landing page and download your free whitepaper does not mean you have 100 leads.
You only have 100 inquiries, most of them not qualified. By following the simple techniques in this essay, you improve your chances of qualifying and closing good sales leads.
Bob Bly is the author of “World’s Best Copywriting Secrets” and has written copy for more than 100 companies including IBM, Boardroom, Medical Economics and AT&T. He is the author of more than 75 books and a columnist for Target Marketing, Early To Rise and The Writer. McGraw-Hill calls him “America’s top copywriter”.