Lead capture means gathering potential customers that may be interested in your company's services. It also concerns customer relatioship management that should increase the chances of a potential sale.
Lead capture is all about keeping a balance between quality and quantity. You don't need to gather as many contacts as possible; instead, aim for their quality and concentrate on those leads who can eventually become your clients.
How You Should Prepare for Lead Capture
There are several things you need to work on before you start capturing leads and getting your first sales.
1. Optimize Your UTM Parameters
URL tracking is essential for everyone who wants to generate more leads for their business (learn the basics of URL tracking and UTM tags generation from our previous article). You can organize your work with UTM parameters using a table (see our example below).
2. Make Sure You Store the Lead Source
A lead source is a channel where users learn about your business (we'll talk about the channels later in this article). There can be many options: a lead might have taken an offline survey, subscribed via a pop up on the website, filled out the form, etc., and all these options should be stored in your CRM platform.
3. Choose Lead Capture Channels
When you choose lead capture channels for your business, you must take into account as many factors as possible. For example, if we compare web push notifications, email marketing, and text messaging, we must pay special attention to the website traffic and expenses for each channel.
We'll talk about the most popular lead capture forms and channels later in this article.
4. Plan Your Communications & Lead Capture Strategy
When the lead gets into the database, you should initiate the communication as quickly as possible. The more time the lead waits, the lesser the chance of conversion is.
If you don't understand why and how to communicate with leads, it's too early to speak of lead capture strategies. Don't gather leads just for fun: first of all, figure out the purpose of lead capture and only then think about the strategy and touchpoints.
5. Figure Out What Lead Capture Integrations You Need
Lead capture usually employs several platforms and different kinds of software. That's why integrations are essential for practically any lead capture strategy.
Here's a classic lead capture campaign we create for our clients:
- we create a pop up that helps gather the leads' personal data on the website;
- we set the analytics system to track user behavior on the website;
- we set up the CRM software to store the leads' data making it possible to analyze them.
If one doesn't integrate the lead capture page, the analytics platform, and the CRM software, one can lose a huge amount of data. Also, always check lead capture forms at the very beginning of the lead capture campaign: how they work, what they show after the lead fills them out, and whether the data gets into the CRM platform.
Free Lead Capture Strategies
As you see, lead capture is a complex project that often requires professional care. The good news is that sometimes you can capture leads for free!
Get New Leads From Your Old Database
For example, you've got a base of contacts but haven't worked with them in any way. There's a good chance of turning these contacts into prospects. Yes, probably, some of the contacts don't exist anymore and another part has lost its interest in your products or services. Still, you can work with the remaining part and start a reactivation campaign (for example, resubscribe them via email).
You can also suggest subscribing to your updates via another channel, for example, in a messenger.
Launch a Referral Program
It's as simple as that: ask the active people in your database to tell their friends about the product in exchange for some bonuses or discounts. Sometimes bonuses mean expenses, so you should properly calculate the terms of the referral program to make it bring more profit.
Find Prospects in Social Media Communities
You should always keep in mind that a subscriber on your social media is not a lead yet. Some of them see your updates, but most of them probably don't. Perhaps, some people even don't remember that they subscribed to your page, and some accounts might be inactive for a long time.
But if you get your subscribers to agree to receive personal messages from you, that'll be another case. Such personal communications will be more effective, and you'll also be able to segment the leads (manually, with the help of CRM software, or using a chatbot).
Exchange Leads With Partners
Email collaborations help companies exchange their databases. Your partner and you can come up with a mutual promotion and send announcements to both databases.
For instance, Capcom, the owners and developers of Resident Evil, has collaborated with another videogame Dead by Daylight. In the email campaign below, Capcom promotes the partners' game and the content they've created together.
Lead Capture Forms and Pages: a Practical Guide
If you have a website for your business, it should have at least one lead capture page where you'll promote your product or services and gather leads' data. A lead capture page is a place where you usually find a lead capture form. Let's talk about the most popular ones.
1. Inline Lead Capture Forms
Inline lead capture forms are integrated into the content of the lead capture page. The forms may be static or dynamic, hide or appear depeding on your needs. Unlike pop-up ads, an inline form does not overlap the content of the lead capture page.
2. Lead Capture Pop-ups
Nobody likes pop-ups, and yet they are effective. Don't worry: you won't lose your subscribers' loyalty if you set your pop-ups correctly and make them valuable for website visitors.
It's more convenient to set up pop-ups right in your CRM software: you don't need to integrate several systems and can keep all of the data in one place.
3. Multipage or Dynamic Lead Capture Pop-ups
There are pop-ups that perform several functions: for example, you can set up a dynamic pop-up that collects user data and offers a discount or other benefits.
Here's another idea: offer a user to take a survey and send its results to their email. The main thing is that your pop-up brings value to both you and the users.
4. Feedback & Contact Us Forms
In case the users want to ask you a few questions, add a feedback or contact us form to your website page. You don't have to create a whole lead capture page for it: simply add a pop-up or an inline form to some pages you already have on your website.
5. Provide Access to Valuable Content
Another good way to capture more leads is to offer useful content in exchange for their contact data. You can write an appealing call to action, tell about the value of your content, and offer to send it to the user's email.
Famous corporations (such as Litmus, Mailchimp, and others) often use this lead capture method: they create content that may be useful for entrepreneurs and marketers and offer to download it in exchange for a person's email.
6. Web Push Notifications for Lead Capture
Web push notifications are a rather simple way to gather more info about your leads. The easiest strategy is to set up notifications that appear the moment the user visits a lead capture page.
If that option seems too plain to you, try setting up double opt-in web push notifications. At first, a user sees a simple web push that suggests to subscribe to updates.
When the user clicks the button, they'll see a standard browser notification that offers to confirm the subscription.
still useful: you can be sure that the subscribers are your target audience, not just random visitors who accidentally clicked the button.
Things You Need to Know About Web Push Notifications
1. In most cases, push notifications delivery can't be 100% because of the technical features of this channel (sometimes it might come down to 25%).
2. Click rate is usually not very high: it depends on the content of notifications, their purpose and the value they offer to users.
3. Web push notifications can't give much information. A standard web push notification usually consists of a title, description, image, and CTA.
4. Conversion rate is usually lower than in other marketing channels, that's why it is better to use web push notifications as an additional lead capture channel;
5. It's difficult to unsubscribe from the pushes; depends on the user's device and browser;
6. Web push notifications are perfect for initial contacts with your brand, but they won't sell anything.
7. Web Chat Apps and Chatbot Software for Lead Capture
First of all, you can set up a web chat on your lead capture page and offer a user to contact you. You can also suggest users to request an email or callback: this way, you'll get their email addresses or phone numbers.
Another option is to set up automated answers and add your employee to the conversation if necessary.
Remember that you can make such lead capture forms work for your business if you motivate the users to interact with the chat. Motivation depends on what you're selling: for example, you can offer a free consultation, a piece of advice, or answers to the most frequently asked questions.
The most popular issue with web chats is that a user closes the form without even reading the content. That's why we'd recommend that you place your web chat somewhere it won't annoy the user. You can even hide the chat by default and add a special button that would open it.
8. Social Media Groups
Social media can become a part of you lead capture strategy. Think what content you can offer your subscribers and how you can motivate them to convert into loyal customers. Don't forget to offer users some benefit for subscribing to your social media page.
For example, Burger King's group on Facebook has nearly 9 million members. The brand has a great social media strategy: they post fun notes, surveys, and special offers that help them gain more customers.
Lead Capture Mistakes That You Should Know About
The most popular lead capture mistakes happen because of the desire to get more leads. Remember that you need quality, not quantity.
Use the list below to check whether you make these lead capture mistakes. You probably need to rethink your lead capture strategy if you:
- set up standard lead capture forms without considering features of your product or service;
- never change anything to test hypotheses or improve user experience;
- set up too many lead capture forms or create too many lead capture pages;
- provide only one lead capture channel without leaving users a choice;
- don't interact with users after you get their personal data;
- don't test your lead capture pages and forms before launching them;
- don't set analytics and don't see where and how the leads come from.
Lead Capture Strategy: Conclusion
The efficiency of your lead capture strategy depends on many factors: your choice of channels, your expectations, your communication with leads, etc.
It is important to measure the efficiency of lead capture not only by the quantity of the leads but also by their quality: in the long run, it is more important how much money the leads bring. For example, if we take a 5% conversion rate on one lead capture page and a 2% conversion on the other one, this doesn't mean that the first one is more effective. Perhaps, the second page converts leads that bring better deals than the first one.