No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts
Lead generation should be a part of every marketer’s content strategy. As marketers, we spend a lot of time creating content—from conceptualizing, researching and writing to publishing and distributing. Now, how do you take that content you’ve worked so hard to create to capture readers and turn them into leads?
We asked marketing experts from Campaign Monitor, Twilio Sendgrid, Email Monks, eFocus Marketing & Zettasphere to share tactics to help you capture more leads with your content.
Here’s what they had to say…
Get Specific With Your Sends By Using Automation & Personalization
To email marketers, high traffic to your blog can mean quick and easy list building—but only if you’re optimizing your site for conversions. The most challenging part of the entire process is probably getting viewers to your blog in the first place. But once they have arrived, your content must give them exactly what they came for—which, oftentimes, is to solve a pain point or learn a new skill.
This is where strategically-placed signup forms can become the next best thing to happen to your list. When you offer up the information that readers are searching for, they’re more likely to subscribe to additional materials—and placing signup forms on high-performing posts will make the final step that much easier.
For the super high-quality content that blog viewers are lining up to read, you can try a gated-content approach, where readers are asked to provide their email address and other basic information in exchange for your content. But make it a must-have, or your viewer will bounce at the sight of a form.
Remember: You Are NOT Your Audience
We all agree that content is king! Good content can make the difference between a click and someone surfing to your competitor’s site. However, it isn’t as easy as you might think to create good content that drives users back to your site, educating them and with any luck convincing them to share your content.
The first thing to remember is that you are not your audience. Let me repeat that: you are not your intended reader. You are jaded, biased, perhaps an army of one, overworked, or maybe a fan-boy or fan-girl of your company’s products.
Whatever the case you are not the people you’re trying to engage. Do the research to understand and create personas, no differently than you would for product research, on who your readers are, the kinds of information they’re looking for and the formats they’re most likely to want or need it to take.
Once you know who those personas are, write your content. Once you’ve written it, shop it internally and get as much feedback as you can—not only are you not your reader, you’re also not an editor even if you’re meticulous.
A second set of eyes, if not third and fourth, never hurts! Once that’s done talk to someone that understands SEO and can help you imbue your work with as many keywords as possible.
Link to as many relevant sites as you can and make sure your images are optimized with good ALT tags in addition to good meta descriptions for search engines and crawlers. Use keywords in your URL slugs and in your title to ensure your content has the best chance of being found by the search engines.
Before you hit publish do your homework otherwise the craftiest wordsmithing will simply live a life of obscurity.
Turn Your Content Into an Opt-in Machine
- Add an opt-in to your content page
When someone has started reading a piece of your content, you have their attention and are already giving them something of value; so they are more likely to want more of the same. Offering a next step email opt-in, is a great way to facilitate this.
This could be done with time or scroll delayed pop up…
You can read more about creating engaging pop-ups here.
A sticky CTA to the side of the post that reveals a form once clicked…
Or a pod partway through or at the end of the post, to lead to sign up or download another piece of complimentary content…
But don’t forget, make sure your opt-in relates to what they’ve just read to make it relevant!
- Put your content behind an opt-in
If you’re going above and beyond a standard blog post to create a whitepaper, guide, piece of research or video series, for example, you may want to consider using this as your opt-in incentive (a bonus for signing up to receive your emails).
Having an incentive to back up the opt-in links into the psychological element of reciprocity; the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit.
There are two ways to do this for GDPR compliance:
- The email opt-in is the primary action and the content is a bonus for completing the action (the subscriber can, of course, unsubscribe straight away if they wish and they wouldn’t subsequently lose access to the content).
- Allow people to download the content and gain a positive, non-checked opt-in as part of the same form, but as a separate action.
(image: Litmus blog)
Pique The Prospect’s Interest While Being Relevant
Boring sales pitches can get pretty annoying for the customers. Instead, marketers must focus on creating awareness and addressing the challenges of the prospects with insightful content and well-designed landing pages.
Take a look at the example below:
(It is a bit long to read but totally nails the lead generation best practices.)
The aim should be to build credibility and confidence in the minds of the website visitors, rather than selling. Doing so will make them look forward to learning more about you.
It is important to capture quality leads who are keener to purchase from you. Therefore, you should set the right expectations from the visitor regarding what they will get from you. Besides content, you should also focus on the right CTA to garner leads. If it does not hurt your profit margins, you can even consider incentivizing the visitors like GoToMeeting does.
Here’s another example to inspire the retail store owners out there.
Ask Several Times in Different Ways
So you’ve published great content, built your domain search reputation and seeing strong organic search traffic. How well are you capturing your reader’s email address? Relying on that subscribe form way down at the bottom of the website? Nobody goes there. It’s a tumbleweed.
You’ve already got targeted popups? Great, but you’re probably not including signup call to action within your articles. It makes perfect sense. When someone has just spent time reading your content, reading to the end, valuing the information, then the time is right. Right to ask for their email address with a cheeky ask “Get more content to your inbox”.
Copyblogger goes further, they put email capture in the middle on their articles. This example is a promotion for their paid-for offerings. Teasing with a scarcity sell.
The best way to capture more subscribers is to ask several times in several different ways. In the content, at the end, on the side bar and using an intelligent popup.
More No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts Coming Soon
Stay tuned, we’ll be posting more No Bullshit Advice soon. Read our last installment, Holiday Email Marketing, Are You Ready? or catch up on the entire series here: No Bullsh*t Advice From Email Experts.
And as always, feel free to share your thoughts with us on Twitter.
Keep your list healthy and boost campaign performance by regularly cleaning your email list. We’ll let you know which email addresses are good, bad and risky, before you hit send.
Your first 100 verifications are on us. Verify for Free