Statistics state that of all the traffic efforts spent on driving visitors to a website, only 2% will actually convert at your website.
So, if you’re driving thousands of visitors on your website, you’re only going to be able to get 2% of them to convert potentially. That is to a landing page or to a website. We’re talking industry average.
Wordstream states that all across industries, it is 2.35% with the top 25% were converting at 5.31% or higher. If you want to be at the top 10%, the conversion rate was at 11.45% or higher.
So, with that in mind, which is it that you would rather spend your money on? Getting tons of visitors to your website or getting the right leads for your business?
Marketing should be all about finding the right customers and becoming more profitable. This is Marketing 101: “Marketing is the process of getting the right goods or services or ideas to the right people at the right place, time and price, using the right promotion techniques and utilizing the appropriate people to provide customer service associated with those goods, services or ideas.”
Way too many small businesses tend to forget this when they spend their marketing budget on Facebook ads, social media campaigns or even traditional marketing efforts in print ads. They wonder why their leads are not converting or they are not generating the type of revenue they anticipated. Then they make statements like Facebook ads are a scam or the ad that they ran with a local magazine once was a waste of money.
How to capture more qualified leads from your website
Let’s begin with getting the right leads to your website. If you are a small business owner or even a solopreneur, this is an exercise that needs to be done before you begin your marketing activities.
The first step is establishing the qualification process. You can draw all kinds of visitors to your website, but you want to move the right ones into your funnel. There needs to be a process for that. Then the next step is defining your right lead or qualified lead.
Establish Qualification Process
To get the right leads, it helps to have a qualification strategy that “sorts” the ready from the not ready into the correct buckets. We need to qualify the leads in stages. For example:
MQL – marketing qualified leads: The prospect has demonstrated some level of interest or engagement that tells marketing that this is a genuine lead.
SAL – sales accepted leads: sales accepts the lead and agrees to take action.
SQL – sales qualified leads: these leads have passed the point of qualification by the development team or sales and are moving into an opportunity stage.
If you are using a CRM (customer relationship management application) – you should be tagging your leads and prospects this way. If you are not using CRM as part of your marketing and sales, you should be now. A CRM will help you improve the quality of your service and the customer interaction to make people what to purchase your products or services.
The key to maintaining a positive reputation among existing and potential customers is to deliver mutually beneficial customer interactions, optimizing your marketing automation and marketing campaigns and creating an efficient sales process. Besides, customer service doesn’t end right after the purchase is made. It is no less important to provide customers with regular notifications about new products or services, special offers and customer support if needed.
This is where CRM comes in play. That is another topic for another day.
Define Your Qualified Lead
The next step is defining your qualified lead. You need to come up with your definition of what makes a qualified lead. If you have a marketing department and sales department, put those two together and have them come up with on what this means. Without a shared definition, you’ve defeated the whole purpose because they will come up with two different definitions.
If it is just you, as a solopreneur, then you need to come up with what makes a qualified lead.
Here’s how you can come up with a definition of what makes a qualified lead:
Use your buyer persona as a starting point. Start with who your target audience is. Need help with creating a buyer persona? Hubspot has a great template and offers some suggestions that include the following: look through your contacts database to uncover trends and they also suggest interviewing customers and prospects over the phone to find out what it is that they like about your products and services.
Determine demographic or Firmographic qualification factors. This means looking at your customer base and looking for certain trends in their demographics as well as “firmographics” – type of companies, industries, size of company, location, buyer’s role – any factor that makes sense for your purposes.
Determine behavioral qualification factors. This is determining the visitors’ level of interest. Through observing buyer’s behavior, you can develop criteria for which actions qualify a lead to speak to sales. For example, that can mean downloading a certain white paper or attending a specific webinar or spending certain amount of time on a pricing page or returning to a specific page several times over a course of a day or two may be displaying sense of urgency.
Forecast if marketing can provide enough qualified leads. If you create qualification parameters that are too narrow, then marketing may not be able to deliver enough to fill the pipeline. This means – of all the marketing activities you invest in to fill your pipeline – and your parameters are too narrow, you’re not going to generate enough leads to convert or to get sales. This is critical. This means you may need a broader MQL or Marketing Qualification Lead definition in order to fill your funnel with enough leads.
Revisit the qualification lead definition. Each quarter, it would not hurt to revisit the MQL definition to determine if it needs to be modified. This is advised especially if you were to launch a new product or service. You might be reaching out to a whole new demographic.
Next Steps to Growth
What’s next is now that you have created a lead qualification process and defined your qualified lead, let’s take another look at your marketing campaigns and your content on your website. Does your marketing campaigns and content appeal to your qualified lead profile? Are you delivering the content at the right time at the right place? For example – when we talk about the buyer’s journey stages
- Awareness (the buyer is aware of pain, a problem)
- Interest (the buyer is interested in finding a solution, looks for trends, products, brands)
- Consideration (the buyer is evaluating specific products, services, willing to engage)
- Purchase (the buyer commits to solution, justifies reasons for purchase)
- Post-purchase (the buyer expects good performance, great customer service)
- Re-purchase (the buyer may be interested in expanding use of goods and services)
For all intents and purposes, we’ll focus on the awareness, interest and consideration since they lead towards purchase.
Back to the original question – does your content and marketing campaigns – deliver the right content at the right time and at the right place?
- Audit your website and marketing campaigns against your buyer user persona.
- Is your website message clear about how you can solve their problem? “Clarity is the new creative,” according to StoryBrand Founder, Donald Miller. He quips – if you confuse, you lose because the confused don’t buy. Your website, he states should be about what you offer and what it has to do with the customer. He offers a free download on the 5 things your website should include.
- Are your campaigns clear too? Even Marie Forleo tweets – “A confused mind always says no” in her 11 reasons why customers aren’t buying on Marie TV. If you are wondering why people are not clicking your buy button, her suggestions give some insights. They all point back to clarity, simplicity and clear call to action.
Are you delivering content at the right time?
Awareness: At this stage your “visitor” or prospective buyer is aware of their problem. Your job is to focus on their problem and their pain points. You should be delivering big picture industry focused content, social media, digital advertising, and PR. (guest blogging/podcast interviews works too.)
Interest: Prospects are now aware of you; they are looking at solutions – they are not only looking at your website but at your competitors as well. At this stage, you should be educating them. Here is where white papers, testimonials, videos, checklists are the appropriate content for this stage.
Consideration: At this stage, they are narrowing it down. You want to show what it is like to work with you. Demos, data sheets, trials, pricing, case studies, references, vendor comparisons, implementation data is what helps the visitor make their decision about you.
Finally, to help them make their purchase decision – validate their decision – make it very easy for them to work with you. Make sure the lead qualification process to the buying process is easy. Make the on-boarding process easy. Suggestions include live training or recorded webinar, make sure they have immediate access to user guides, do a kickoff, – whatever it is that you do for your customers when they buy. This is where customer service is extremely vital.
The last question is where would you expect conversions? It depends on how and when you deliver the appropriate content at the right time. If your website contains the content at the interest stage, you can move them to the consideration stage by tracking their behavior. Let’s say you have a visitor that visited a specific white paper and they downloaded that particular white paper, you can begin an e-mail sequence by providing supplemental data sheet with a free demo, with customer testimonials and reviews, and an offer of a trial for a time period that could potentially lead to a purchase. Where would a salesperson come in? You would have to refer back to your lead qualification process that we began in the beginning of this article.
Now that you have established lead qualification process, identified what makes a qualified lead, and geared your content and activities towards your ideal target market, you should anticipate growth with the right customers for your business.