May 16, 2017 | By: Sandra Bledsoe

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The Inbound Marketing Methodology Series: No. 2 – Convert

Developing and running a successful inbound marketing campaign entails much more than attracting visitors to your site – you also need to turn those leads into customers and clients. In other words, “convert” them.

Developing a marketing strategy designed to convert leads, along with having the right content on your site, is key to turning those leads into customers and achieving an optimal ROI.

In the first post in our inbound marketing series, we addressed the three core tools used in the all-important “Attract” strategy of inbound marketing and how you can implement them to increase the traffic to your website.

In this post, we will cover the “Convert” strategy and the most effective ways that you can convert visitors on your website into leads.

What Is Inbound Marketing?

The term “inbound marketing” was coined by HubSpot CEO, Brian Halligan.  It refers to the idea that you are marketing in a way in which you are bringing customers to you versus pushing your product or services out to them.

It’s is built on the premise that you create something of value for potential customers, build a relationship with them, and use permission marketing techniques to convert them into paying customers.

The inbound methodology promotes a 5-stage life cycle in which strangers convert into, not only customers but your brand promoters over time.

inbound methodology

There are four levels of strategy in the methodology – Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.  Each deal specifically with moving an individual from one lifecycle stage to the next.

Using Persuasive Content to Convert Visitors into Leads

First and foremost, you must present website visitors with quality content that offers visitors the information they seek. Relevant content that not only serves an informational purpose but also explains how visitors might benefit from purchasing your products or utilizing your services piques consumer interest.

It can be hard to find the right balance between educating readers and selling your products, but once you do, you’ll likely find your conversion rate increasing.  Always remember to omit meaningless marketing words and focus on the content mantra “clear, not clever.”

Use Calls-To-Action to Trade Value for Info

An important aspect of the inbound marketing methodology is the use of targeted and specific calls-to-action.  A call-to-action targets the very moment when many visitors will decide whether to become a lead or not.

Always offer something of value with your calls-to-action.  The user needs to feel that they are getting something in return for giving you their coveted contact information.  Be specific about it.

While a call-to-action can come in many forms, there are generally four parts to an effective call-to-action.

  • A visual element – This makes the call-to-action stand apart from other content and draw a user into it.
  • An initial value proposition, offer, or headline – This makes clear the focus of the call-to-action. For example, “Building a Better ”
  • An offer description – This elaborates on the initial heading. For example, “Download our four-step process for building brands that ”
  • An action button/link – This is the actionable item and should reinforce the offer one last time. For example, “Download our free ebook.”

You can see the bottom of this post for an example of one of our calls-to-action working hard to convert visitors into leads.

Send Calls-To-Action to Specific Landing Pages

Once a visitor clicks on a call to action, they should be taken to a specially designed landing page.  While it may seem counter-intuitive, these landing pages should contain no top-level navigation menu.  All efforts are geared at focusing the visitor on completing your form and becoming a lead.

Your landing pages should contain enough interesting and informative content to peak a consumers’ interest. Using a balance of text, bullets, images, and even videos will serve to increase consumer retention and promote brand awareness.

Alongside the content should be a prominent conversion form.  Conversion forms provide visitors with an instructional cue to provide you with contact information, make a purchase, or otherwise convert.

Once an initial conversion has taken place, the pump is primed for further conversions.  Don’t be afraid to place another, more in-depth, conversion opportunity directly on the page a visitor hits when they initially convert.  These secondary conversion opportunities can often see even higher conversion rates.

Use Optimized Conversion Forms

One of the most important factors in converting your website visitors into leads are your conversion forms.

There are three elements to an effective form:

  • The form title – This should reinforce the call-to-action that brought the user to the form. For example, “Download your free ”
  • The form fields – These are the fields, both required and not required, that make up the bulk and complexity of the form
  • The submit button – The button that completes that conversion process

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that any of these three elements are trivial and ineffectual.  The conversion rate for a well-designed form will be drastically better than a form that made without consideration to detail.

First and foremost, make the form title enticing.  Except for the contact page on your website, avoid titles like “Send us a message” or “Email [Company Name].”  These are not engaging form titles.  Instead, opt for action-oriented form titles.  If there is not a specific offer use more generic action-oriented titles like “Get started today” or “Schedule your consultation today.”

Form fields should always be equitable to what you are offering and where in the sales cycle the visitor is.  For a free give away, like an ebook, don’t ask for the moon, you won’t get the moon, and all you will end up with is a high abandon rate for your landing page.

The rule of thumb with form fields is, ask for the least amount of information that you can to move them into the next stage of the sales process.

Finally, don’t use “submit” for your form’s action button.  Be specific.  For example, “download our ebook” or even simply “get started.”  This small change can have big impacts on your conversion rate.

The Take-Away

Converting visitors into leads is not always any easy task.  It takes time, patience, and a lot of trial and error to hone in on the factors that will improve your conversion rate.

If you take the time and put in the effort to write informative yet persuasive content, create enticing calls-to-action, and use effective landing pages with optimized conversion forms, you will see your website turn into a lead generation machine.

Many of people that we work with understand that these are areas that they need to focus on, but simply don’t know where or how to begin.  If you are unsure where to begin, contact us, and we can work with you to put an effective inbound strategy in place.

26 Lead Generation Tips

About Sandra Bledsoe

Sandra is a Content Developer and Internet Marketing Manager for Marion Integrated Marketing in Houston. When she’s not working, Sandra is a nerd who’s a fangirl of the requisite nerdy television shows (especially Star Trek and Firefly). She also enjoys watching classic movies, reading sci-fi and fantasy novels, and writing fan fiction.