This is a guest post from Mark Spera at Growth Marketing Pro.
While we used to drop business cards in fishbowls, the internet has ushered in a new era of lead capture.
Email marketing is the gold standard in customer communication in 2020. According to McKinsey, email is 40 times more effective than social media at reaching and engaging consumers. Why? Because most emails are opened, and email is native to our mobile phones.
So, if you want to keep pace with your competitors, you must collect emails and engage your users with tools like Campaign Monitor. Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to collect emails.
1. Capture leads.
If you want more leads, you need to give your customers the chance (or multiple chances) to give you their email address.
To do this, make sure that email capture is early on in your marketing funnel. If you’re asking a customer to download a product, for example, consider collecting their email address early in that flow. Asking them early on like this will mean that you can re-engage with them as you need.
And, before you ask, yes, exit intent pop-ups do still work. For those unfamiliar, an exit intent pop-up is one that populates as your user moves to exit your page. It may sound obvious, but it does really work. In fact, 10 to 15% of your users can be “saved” by using an exit intent pop-up.
SEO is the holy grail of digital marketing because it can mean free traffic forever.
It’s also one of the best ways to capture leads. Companies like Mint collected over 30,000 leads as part of their launch strategy, just by writing great content.
SEO can be boiled down to a few things:
- Keyword research: To do well in SEO, you need to know what users are searching for. Once you understand which keywords people are utilizing, you can begin to create content that’ll answer those queries. Using the right keywords in your answers will tell Google that your content has the right answer for the question, leading it to populate your page on Google. Before you know it, you’ll have clicks coming in for free.
- Great content: You can have all the keyword data in the world, but, without translating that data into great content, you have nothing. Creating content that people want to read is crucial to your SEO success, so make sure you’re constantly analyzing your pages, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, and keeping your content fresh.
- Backlinking: Any good SEO strategy includes backlinking. Backlinking is when you get other websites or pages to link back to your site. It’s a covert way of showing Google that others rely on your page for information, and they should feel comfortable doing the same. Ask other sites in your space to help out or try writing guest posts. You can also put out press releases, add your site to directory sites, and reach out to industry news publications.
- A good SEO tool: Making sure you have an SEO tool like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz or GrowthBar to support your efforts will make life a whole lot easier. It can help you in all of the above tasks to make sure that you have the most successful SEO campaign possible.
Once you have your SEO traffic flowing, you’ll have a regular stream of lead generation. The more traffic you generate, the more leads enter your funnel.
3. Live chat
COVID-19 has only accelerated live chat proliferation. Whereas live chat was once optional, it’s becoming an obligatory part of the customer journey and customer success.
As you can see in the image below, interest in live chat has skyrocketed over the last few months. That’s because these tools are so effective in moving users through a sales funnel.
Live chat is also an incredible way to capture email leads. Tools like LiveChat allow you to capture email leads directly in the live chat widget. It makes your customer’s experience with the site a seamless transition, from browsing to entering an email to chatting.
Webinars are still one of the most engaging ways to connect with users. And, since COVID-19, webinar software has absolutely exploded in popularity.
Therefore, webinars are more effective than ever at harvesting leads for your business. In order to make sure your webinar is a hit, do the following:
- Come up with a topic that’s extremely engaging for your audience. Interview influencers in the space, describe a growth hack that works for your business or will help them optimize theirs, etc. Be specific.
- In the lead up to your webinar, do some things to generate leads for your webinar (also generating leads for your email list):
- Partner with other companies/influencers in your space to advertise your webinar. Two lead funnels are better than one.
- Enable sharing with a referral widget (native in some webinar tools), so that attendees can invite colleagues and friends.You could even consider supporting with retargeting ads on Facebook or Google.
- Record the webinar and turn it into evergreen content, so you can continue capturing leads long after the webinar has happened.
- Use email marketing to engage the audience and make sure they actually show up.
This strategy is a foolproof way to use webinars to build out your lead list.
5. Facebook lead ads
Facebook traffic has (expectedly) increased since COVID-19 hit the world. Unexpectedly, though, is the drop in the price of Facebook ads. According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook ad rates have continued to drop through the pandemic.
But, of course, there’s a catch. Conversion rates on Facebook ads are also seeing a decrease, which means that increasing your ad spend to take advantage of the low CPM might not lead to the high conversion rates you were hoping for. In fact, your conversion rates might not even be enough to make your ad spend worth it.
While this does mean you should be taking care with what you advertise on Facebook, it doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your ads all together. Take this opportunity to switch your ad focus to lead generating Facebook ads. This way, you’ll get the most out of your spend by increasing your lead list.
To implement this change, switch your Facebook promotion category from “Get More Website Visitors” to “Get More Leads.” When you make this change, customers will be prompted to enter their contact info instead of converting on a landing page on your website.
Lead generating ads like this have a much higher conversion rate than ads asking users to buy something. And for good reason. People don’t mind entering their email. They do mind, of course, entering a credit card. It makes sense.
Once you have that long list of leads, you can focus on email marketing to push them over the conversion finish line. And, with low CPMs, now is the time.
Focusing on lead generation, SEO, live chat, webinars, and Facebook ads are all excellent ways to grow your email list and collect new emails this year. These advertising methods have become a natural part of people’s existence on the internet—you’re simply guiding them down the path.
Implementing any or all of these strategies is a surefire way to grow that email list and start capitalizing on email marketing.
Mark Spera is a San Francisco-based marketer and founder of Growth Marketing Pro, a blog he grew to 700,000 visitors a year in just 24 months.