A Simple Lead Capture System For Small Businesses
It’s no secret.
Lead generation is a top priority for any small B2B business.
It’s how your business attracts and converts anyone interested in your products or services.
The only snag?
First, you need to entice visitors to give you their all-important contact information.
And that’s much easier said than done – if you don’t have simple, clear benefit-oriented messaging.
In this article I’ll show you a simple lead capture system to generate leads for your business.
What’s Lead Capture?
Just a quick definition in case there are any questions. Lead capture is the process of capturing personal information about a potential lead with the intention of converting the person or company into a paying customer.
For example, you may ask visitors for their full name, email address, or phone number. Once you have this data, you can use it to develop a relationship and guide them along the buyer’s journey.
Effective Lead Use > Lead Capture
Almost every discussion about lead capture systems focuses almost entirely on how to get someone to fill out your contact form.
I get it. That’s the whole point of the exercise. And that’s why you’re reading this article.
But in a way, we’re putting the cart before the horse.
By itself a lead has no value. It’s only when we USE the lead that it becomes valuable.
So before you look at how to generate leads, you need to know what TYPE of leads you’ll be creating. And you also need to know HOW your marketing or sales team will be using them.
You can only optimize for lead capture when you know what your team will be doing with the leads.
3 Types Of Leads
We can break leads down into 3 types of leads.
Hard Lead: A hard lead refers to a situation where the lead opts into a conversation. Or wouldn’t be surprised if they received a call. This is common where the lead form requests telephone contact details.
Soft Lead: A soft lead is driven by collateral. For example, ‘download our free ebook.’ These leads are often easier to get than hard leads. But the prospect hasn’t expressed interest in your service. They’ve only demonstrated interest in your collateral, which they may or may not consume.
Hybrid Leads: FInally, hybrid leads combine elements of hard and soft leads. The prospect needs to meet with you, but the focus is on providing helpful information. The most common example of this would be a webinar. The prospect signs up. And during the course of the event you can connect with them personally. And also share how your solution solves their problem in the presentation.
Lead Management Affects Your Lead Capture
So depending on what type of lead you’ve generated, your sales team will need different playbooks to service those leads.
A hard lead should be contacted right away. They’ve already made it clear they’re open to a conversation.
Conversely, someone who downloaded your free ebook isn’t expecting you to call them. These potential customers never agreed to speak with you. They only expressed interest in your free ebook. These leads need to be nurtured until they’re ready to meet.
Here’s the takeaway. The type of lead you aim to capture needs to reflect the resources you have available to follow up with those leads.
If you don’t have content to nurture a lead then there’s NO point offering an ebook. Once they download the ebook they’ll forget all about you. And you don’t have the nurturing infrastructure in place to remind them about your solutions on a regular basis.
If you can’t nurture your leads then by default you need to invite your target audience to a meeting or invite them to a webinar.
Value Underpins Your Lead Capture System
Regardless of your lead capture goal, you need to deliver value to get people to take action.
In the old days marketers would just write, “Join Our Newsletter” and people would sign up. Later websites added social proof like, “10K people love our newsletter – join now.“
These days, your target audience is bombarded with requests for their attention. And their mailboxes are full. The LAST thing they want is yet another newsletter.
To get people to take action, you need to go beyond social proof. You’ve got to share an irresistible lead generation offer and then deliver on your promise. Otherwise your potential customers just won’t take action.
Ultimately, your B2B prospects are looking for a change in their circumstances. And an effective lead capture system both promises and delivers that change.
And this applies to both hard leads and soft leads. No one is going to meet with you unless you clearly communicate how they will be better off if they do.
Here are a few examples:
Outcome-Oriented Meetings: Requests to meet are perceived as an opportunity for your sales team to sell to your prospects. Which creates a lot of resistance to booking a meeting. On the one hand, they know they potentially need your help. On the other hand, they don’t want to get pressured in a sales meeting.
Eliminate meeting resistance by establishing a client-oriented outcome. Offer to teach them something that will change an important area of their business. That way even if you don’t work together they’ll still leave with actionable information they can apply to their business.
This approach is also a fantastic way to qualify your meetings. No one who isn’t qualified will be interested in your hyper-specific call to action.
“Let’s meet up so I can show you 3 ways logistics companies reduce delivery costs without spending a cent.”
Outcome-Oriented Information: Similar to the above, the information you offer needs to solve a small problem your prospect is experiencing. If you help them solve it, they’ll look to you to solve larger problems, too.
“Download our ultimate guide to route optimization”
Free Tools: Another great way to provide transformational value is to offer free tools. A well-known example of this is Ubersuggest. This free tool delivers Neil Patel hundreds of thousands of visitors a month. And 10’s of thousands of backlinks. There’s no doubt it contributes to the millions of visitors he receives every month. Even with a modest budget you can provide tools that are interesting and useful for your prospects.
What Are The Different Types of Lead Capture Forms?
The two main types of lead capture forms are on-page and popup forms.
- On-page forms seamlessly integrate with your website and usually have two fields (e.g., name and email address) with a submit button.
- Popup forms appear in a separate window as you scroll through a website. It usually comes with an enticing message to sign up for a mailing list or a call-to-action to find out more about an offer.
Besides these two options, you can also use sticky bars and lead capture pages to grab the attention of site visitors and grow your lead database.
Tips for Creating a High-Converting Lead Capture Strategy
Use An Exit Popup To Capture Leads On Your Website
Exit popups seem like annoying ads.
…But those are only the bad ones.
When done right, it can help you effectively capture high-quality leads and improve your conversion rates.
What you want is the ability to control when your pop-up appears.
Let’s look at an example.
Neil Patel introduced an exit intent popup to his website, improving his conversions by 17%.
What makes this such an effective lead capture method?
It gives visitors a chance to convert before leaving for the next site. Think of it like your final elevator pitch. It’s a way to sway potential leads who are on the fence and need a tiny push to give you their details.
On this website the popup form accounts for about 60% of our leads. It’s really effective.
All you need is to give people a compelling reason to fill it out.
Be Prepared To Iterate Your Lead Capture
Given the importance of your lead generation, you need to be prepared to iterate on your lead capture process.
For our current popup form I started out using a quantifiable metric. The form said,
“We’ve booked 3,600 sales meetings, I’ll show you how to do it.”
It demonstrated right off the bat that we know how to generate leads for small B2B companies. And it gave readers a reason to take action.
But here’s the thing…
It didn’t convert as well as I had expected.
So I removed the number and added an image instead. The conversion rate on this has been much higher. I guess a picture really is worth 1000 words.
So consistently A/B test ideas so you can convert your traffic as effectively as possible.
How do you add a popup to your site?
I use a free WordPress plugin called Pop-up Builder. It’s free to install, you can customize the look and feel, and it comes with additional features like exit intent and geo-targeting.
Keep Your Lead Capture Forms Short
Resist the urge to bog down your lead capture forms.
You need less information than you think.
Anything besides their name, email address, and phone number can be found on LinkedIn or during your discovery call.
And really think hard about whether you need their phone number. There’s less resistance to booking a calendar time via Zoom than handing out personal contact details.
Shorter lead capture forms = higher conversion rates.
Attention spans are short.
The less effort someone has to put in, the more responses you’ll receive. Make your lead capture process as painless as possible by removing as many friction points as possible.
Try A Lead Generation Chatbot
A lead generation chatbot helps you collect leads on autopilot.
The plugin helps qualify site visitors by engaging in conversations, collecting relevant information, and suggesting products or services.
It’s an effective lead capture strategy because you’re curating a human touch experience.
Visitors no longer have to search through your site trying to find information. Instead, a human can provide meaningful replies. Or you can set it up so an AI chatbot has all the answers without the lead having to look for them.
Some of the benefits of using chatbots for lead capture include the following:
- 24/7 lead capture.
- Lead qualification abilities.
- Improved customer experience.
It’s also a personalized journey that gets results.
Still need some convincing to give chatbots a try?
Well, it’s also cheap and easy to build.
I’ve recently been experimenting with a few different chatbot options for SalesHigher.
Tiledesk is what I currently use for SalesHigher. I found it a bit unintuitive to set up, but once you get the hang of it your options increase significantly.
Right now we just use it as a glorified menu bar that directs visitors to the main actions they can take on the website. For example, if they click the “I want to book a meeting‘ button then they’re taken to my calendar.
Some of the other options I’ve tried out that are worth experimenting with are:
- Tawk.io: It’s 100% free, takes 1 minute to set up and lets you localize messages in 45+ languages.
- Crisp Chat: Unlimited conversations on the free forever plan.
Add Your Calendar To Lead Capture Auto Responder Emails
Do you have a plan for after your lead fills out a form?
Experiment with auto-responder emails.
53% of marketers say email is the most effective channel for early-stage lead generation. It allows you to nurture leads and eventually convert them into paying customers.
…But what is it exactly?
Auto-responder emails are email sequences sent to a specific group of subscribers. You can trigger these emails through an event, like someone filling out a form on your website.
You can use it to:
- Educate your prospects.
- Create a sales funnel.
- Use it as a lead magnet.
For example, you could create an automated email sequence and attach your latest case study to show a lead how you’ve helped past clients achieve similar objectives.
But I use it a little bit differently.
What I’ve found that really works well for Sales Higher is including my calendar in my auto-responder email AND on the auto redirect page. Between the two mediums anyone who wants to book a meeting can do it easily.
Here’s how that looks:
The link redirects lead to my calendar booking page on SalesHigher:
It helps prospects skip a step (waiting for me to reply) and take action immediately (finding time in my calendar for a meeting).
The calendar integration I use for my WordPress site is Tinycal.com, and you can grab it for a lifetime price of $29 or use the free plan.
It comes with:
- A branded booking page
- Multiple booking types
- Custom day availability
- Ability to embed it anywhere on your site
Try it for yourself and see if you notice an uptick in leads.
Wrapping It Up
Creating an effective lead capture strategy is key for any successful small B2B business.
Experiment with exit pop-ups, keep your forms short and to the point, personalize your lead capture campaigns, and add a chatbot to your website.
Measure your results, and use data-driven decision-making to see which strategies help boost engagement and drive higher conversion rates.
What lead capture strategies do you use? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let us know on our contact page.