A Guide to Generating More Leads with Incentives

It was meant to be so easy, huh?

You heard about the importance of building an email list. How it helps build an audience. Nurture leads. And develop relationships with them too.

And they said it’s so simple. Just put up a form on a site and watch signups rolling in.

Yeah, right…

It’s just that a month later you still haven’t had even a single subscriber.

You see, lead generation isn’t that simple. For one, most visitors need an incentive that will compel them to sign up.

In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to use incentives to generate more leads.

But first…

Why Incentives?

The easiest way to define an incentive is as something that motivates a person to take action. Study after study has proven that we respond predictably to positive or negative incentives.

But why do incentives work? It’s quite simple – they make taking the decision to perform a certain action easier.

When it comes to online marketing, an incentive is typically some attractive element like a bonus, offer or promise designed to stimulate a desired action.

And it works.

Marketing Week, for instance, reports that 40% of web visitors are willing to sign up to a mailing list in return for something of value.

But what incentives should you offer?

Typically, incentives (otherwise known as lead magnets) can come in a variety of forms, including:

eBooks

I know what you’re thinking – who has time to write an eBook?! But your blog is bursting full of articles that can be combined and repurposed into an attractive eBook.

Checklists

A checklist is a brilliant opportunity to turn your content into actionable advice. Combine a how-to article with between 5 and 10 steps for putting your suggestions into practice.

Content Upgrades

A content upgrade is one of the quickest incentives to create since they should enhance a piece of content that already exists. So if you have a blog post that you had to edit down because it was too long then offer the full, unabridged version at the end of the article. Your readers will already be primed for this type of content so they are more likely to opt-in to read more detail.  Some marketers have been able to increase opt-in rates by 785% with a simple content upgrade.

Email courses

Most marketers underestimate the amount of knowledge that they have amassed over their careers. Email courses are a great way to showcase your knowledge about your industry to people who be new to your space. Because a course occurs over a longer period of time you don’t have to write all your content at the start – just plan the general topic and write as you go.

Why do these work?

The examples listed above could all be considered educational incentives. They generally work because:

  1. They offer knowledge the person lacks.
  2. Promise to solve a particular problem.
  3. Are easy to consume almost right away, providing an instant gratification after signing up.

How should you present these incentives?

Once you’ve selected the type of incentive that suits your content best, it’s time to serve it to visitors and convert at least some of them into subscribers.

To successfully generate leads with incentives you’d need a data capture form to get a visitor’s contact details. There’s a number of ways you can do this, including:

Displaying a static ad in the sidebar

This is the most common way to offer an incentive and because of this, many people have become blind to this method.

 

IncentiveUsing a scrolling ad

The problem with a static ad is that once the reader scrolls down the page, it disappears from their sight. To overcome it, you could use a scrolling ad, one that moves as readers goes deeper into the content.

Incentive

Display a HelloBar

HelloBar allows you to place a colored bar across the top of the browser’s window to communicate whatever incentive you offer.

Incentive

Using a Pop-Up

This is another highly common method. Use a pop-up that will display after a visitor has spent a certain amount of time on a page or performed a specific action.

Incentive

Banner Under the Post

Finally, many sites also display banners under the post – this is the perfect position for a content upgrade. Some of these include signup form right away, others link to the landing page.

Incentive

Conclusion

If you offer your readers something of value before asking for anything in return you’ll be doing more than a good deed – you’ll watch your opt-in rates rise and your lead generation accelerate.

What sort of incentives have you had the best results with? Tell us in the comments so we can add them to our list.

 

kev-profile_300x300

Kevin McGrath is a co-founder at Beacon, an online tool that helps small business owners to quickly create content incentives like eBooks, checklists and upgrades without hiring a designer. When not working, you’ll find Kevin either playing or watching football.

What Makes a Good Marketing Strategy?

Let’s begin with an answer to the question “What is marketing strategy?’. This popular expression tends to be mistaken with promotion or advertising strategy. Marketing strategy shows how you’re going to use your 4 Ps – product, promotion, price and place, to improve your business results. Your marketing strategy should answer these 4 questions: what you are going to sell, how you are going to price it, where potential customers will be able to find your products and how you are going to promote it. On the top of that, it should contain goals you want to achieve so that you’re able to see how effective your strategy is.

So how to build a good marketing strategy? I’ll walk you through all 4 elements of marketing mix, show you best practices and give a few tips. Following these guidelines will help you create a strong and effective marketing strategy with little effort.

4 Ps

1. Product

The first step is to define your product (or services). What do you sell? If you’ve been around for some time, look at the structure of your revenue. What do people buy the most frequently? Pareto rule probably works well and 20% of products secure 80% of revenue. Identifying them will help you promote them better.

Also, you can consider adding new products. Doing it blindly can be dangerous, this is why you can ask your visitors or customer what they would like you to offer.

Tip: take a look at this case study to learn how RaveNectar used surveys to find out what visitors want him to sell.

2. Price

Now you know what you’re selling. How to set prices to maximize your profit? Some would say ‘Rise prices – you will grow your margins!’, some would say ‘Cut prices – you will attract more customers!’. I won’t tell you which solution is the best for you. What you should do to find it out is to test. You can raise or cut prices of some products by a few percent and observe what happens.

It’s more difficult when you’re about to start a new business – you don’t have data to compare. What you can do is to analyze pricing strategies of your competitors and conduct a small market research.

Tip: if you want to know more about setting prices, take a look at this guide based on experience with pricing experiments. 

3. Place

How are you going to reach buyers? It’s a tough question even for brick and mortar stores – there are hundreds of ways you can arrange products on shelves, you can even consider going online. You can also sell your products in your own store or offer it to resellers. There are many options you to consider.

If you already sell products in your online store, you can consider selling products on platforms like eBay or Amazon to reach even more customers.

4.Promotion

Products rarely sell themselves and promotion is a key to a successful business. You can offer great products for low prices in a fantastic store but you will quickly go broke if you have 0 customers. This can be the most complicated issue due to a number of possible options. You can advertise your business on social media, run AdWords or display campaigns, try marketing or content marketing, retargeting and a number of other online marketing techniques. On the top of that, there are all the techniques of offline and local marketing you can consider.

Tip: you can look for inspiration here

To make your marketing strategy strong, you should focus on all points because only then they will fulfill each other. Example: cutting prices won’t bring satisfying results if you don’t promote discounts. On the other hand, raising prices won’t help neither if you don’t upgrade your store or a website to make it look more high-end or offer additional services.

Don’t forget about setting goals

Before you implement your marketing strategy, think about metrics you will use to track progress. It can be profit, revenue, a number of sold items or any other metric that will clearly show your progress. The next step is to prepare a detailed action plan. What and when are you going to do and what are the expected results? To make planning easier, you can use a technique of setting SMART goals. It means they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bounding. More on this topic and a free template

After implementing your marketing strategy, keep track of your progress. Did you want to double your revenue in 12 months but after 6 months there’s only 10% increase? Then you should go back to sketching board. Check which actions brought expected results and which didn’t work. Then think why it happened and how you can improve your performance. Implementing results of such analysis can lead you to significant gains and thus make goals more likely to be achieved.

 

Lucjan Kierczak headshot 150x150Lucjan Kierczak is an inbound marketer at Survicate– an app that makes collecting feedback from customers easy and quick. Collected answers will show you what your visitors expect from you, what problems they face or what’s preventing them from buying. You can find Lucjan on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Is Remarketing the New Free?

Let’s face it, we’ve become increasingly numb to the lead capture bait for email address exchange. In fact, I think it’s become so bad that while people still sign up for the free thing, they often don’t even bother to…

Read More