As you can imagine. I get to do a lot of website critiques one way or the other and I am always surprised at one consistent factor – the vast majority of people make it extraordinarily difficult for potential customers to contact them.
I don’t mean by a phone number or email address and a contacts page – they are pretty much always there. What I’m talking about is being engaging and giving people specific opportunities to express interest in key subjects and ask for more information. It’s what we call a ‘lead magnet’.
The problem with relying on the ‘contact us’ approach is that a) it’s passive and b) it pretty much presupposes people are ready to buy. It’s like walking into a shop and being asked “can I help you?” – the vast majority of us say “no thanks, just looking“, purely because we don’t want to be hassled by a sales person.
Over the years we have been ‘taught’ (mostly by bad sales people) that showing too much interest means we will be ‘sold to’ and it makes us disinclined to ask for help until we are already reaching for our wallets.
So, what’s a ‘lead magnet’?
What I mean by a lead magnet is something makes a specific and powerful proposition that I am drawn to and will help me solve one of my key issues. .
• Yes, I’d like your book on X
• Yes, let me see the training video about Y
• Yes, please tell me when our next course dates are
It isn’t open ended – I say I want it, you send it – so it feels much less likely that I am going to find myself in an uncomfortable sales conversation that I don’t want to have.
Getting it right
If you create the right magnets, they will draw and engage the right people.
• Be really clear who it is aimed at
• Be clear which of their BIG questions it is answering – if you aren’t clear, they won’t get it!
• Give it an engaging and ‘can’t be missed’ kind of a title; 7 secrets, hot tips, strategies, essential steps and so on
• Use multi-media options; video, book, podcast – mix it up to attract different types of learners
For example, I’m a marketing consultant and people tend to arrive on my website interested in marketing. Amongst other things, visitors to the website are offered a free book called ‘Who cares? The five BIG questions you need to ask before writing your best ever marketing plan’.
So, if someone requests and downloads this book, what do I know about them?
Well, for a start, I now know their name and email address! This automatically puts me in a massively stronger position than simply hoping they’ll remember me and come back and visit one day soon when they are ready to buy. Plus I know they are properly interested in marketing – or they wouldn’t have downloaded my book. This makes my follow up conversations much more free-flowing and, by tracking what else they become engaged with over time, I can start to understand them even more and send them much more targeted information.
Multiple points of contact
No website is ever complete and, like everyone’s, mine is still a work in progress. My goal is to have at least six points of contact where people can engage with me – via lead magnets – in a non-threatening way. They get great advice. I get to build my list and maintain my connection with them until they are ready to buy. It’s a no-brainer.
So, in answer to the single most asked question on this subject … do they work? Yes. Absolutely. Definitely. Get the right magnet for the right audience – and you’ll never look back.