by Owen Williams
Lead generation and data capture are key ingredients to a successful business and companies are constantly striving to drive more enquiries online.
We are all aware of the virtues of paid search and content marketing, which can bring value when done correctly, but what else can you do to engage your audience and generate solid interest in your products and services?
Creating tools and integrating them with your website can add an extra dimension to the user experience and dramatically increase engagement levels. And as we know, an engaged user is far more likely to buy from you. It may sound like a big undertaking but I’m not saying that you need to develop a piece of complex, industry-leading piece of software. A tool can be anything that adds a bit of value to your target audience.
Why should I develop tools for my website?
- They engage the audience and get them active on your site.
- It is a subtle way of getting users to enter the sales process and your marketing funnels.
- You can use the tool criteria to qualify your leads.
- Results can be gated to encourage data capture.
- You build rapport with your audience by offering genuine value and insight.
There are some fantastic examples of web based tools being used to generate leads. Hubspot’s website evaluation tool grades your website and offers recommendations on how to improve it, in exchange for an email address. As a user you don’t necessarily mind giving these details as you are gaining insight and useful information in return. This is an incredibly slick way of capturing data and pulling you in to their sales funnel. It also projects a sense of authority and builds trust.
At 6rs we have been producing a lot of tools for brands in the property space. Making Moves are a London-based commercial property agent that commissioned us to create a tool that enables users to calculate what size office they need, based on their number of staff and other criteria. This gives the user genuinely useful information and generates a warm lead for the business. Another example is a tool that calculates the number of distractions in your workplace and measures how much impact this has on the efficiency of your office. Developed for an office design and fit-out firm, this again gives the user credible insight and positions the company as a source of authority and expertise. The user is already engaged with the brand and represents a qualified prospect for the sales team.
Thinking about developing a tool? Here are a few tips.
- Build your tool around a genuine need. A tool that gives your audience something that they want will be far more effective.
- Start small and develop. There is no need to create a hugely comprehensive tool straight away. Better to gauge response and make tweaks as you collect data.
- Actively seek feedback. Being responsive to feedback reflects well on your business and gets dialogue going between you and your audience.
- Monitor it. Install Analytics on it and see how people are using it.
- Promote it. Invest time and effort in to publicising your tool and driving traffic to it. For example, use it in conjunction with an Adwords campaign to boost conversions. If people don’t know about it then they won’t use it!
- Think about what you’re willing to offer for free. You may develop a multi-step tool that provides the user with some free information but then requires some details from them to access the next step. This objective is to cultivate business after all.
- Think about scalability. If the response is really good then people may be willing to upgrade to a paid version.
A good tool will encourage action by the user but also offer some instant value. If you take the time to set up your tool properly then it can become a focal point of your online marketing and lead generation strategy. A lead that comes through a tool will be a lot warmer and is far more likely to convert.
Got an idea for a tool? We would love to have a chat with you about it. Or perhaps you need help in identifying how a tool could fit in to your business? Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org