In this post, I’m going to walk you through automating your lead generation. More specifically, the process of getting people to put their name on your email list. This post will explain WHAT we’re going to do, and the next post will teach you HOW to do it.
Imagine leads coming to your business while you’re busy with your current clients. While you’re sleeping. While you’re playing with your kids at the park. While you’re having lunch, catching up with a friend.
What would that mean for your business?
This process is key for those of you who suffer from the feast or famine cycle of running your business. Either you’re busy doing client work and neglecting prospecting for new jobs, or you’re scrambling to find your next project and no work is getting done. (Which means no money is coming in!)
Setting up a system to collect email addresses from people who visit your website is the first step toward generating leads while you do other things.
Benefits of Lead Generation Automation
Leads Coming in While You Sleep
Like I was saying above, the biggest benefit to an automated lead generation system is that it frees up your time and schedule.
As a business-owning mom, you have too many tasks pulling at you all at once. Automation can help your business do multiple tasks all at once. While you have to spend the time to set up your system, once it’s running, you can let it run while you work on higher-level tasks or work with clients.
Move Cold Leads to Warm Leads Quickly
Here’s a surprising benefit of automation, though it may seem impersonal at first. Cold leads who are visiting your site for the first time probably don’t want to be bombarded with a pop-up chat box that allows you to pester them in real time. They want to learn more and research and figure out if you might be helpful to them.
Automating the process of collecting leads makes sure that visitors have plenty of opportunities to raise their hands and say, “Yes, I’m interested!” Your system can be available at all hours, every day. And if you set up your system to be clear and helpful, it will build trust between that visitor and your business, creating warm leads from those visitors.
Insights into Your Audience
These days, technology can help you group your leads as they sign up for your email list, based on how and where they sign up. You can actually put tags on each lead record in your email marketing platform.
Here’s an example of how that could be helpful.
Let’s pretend you sell a line of cosmetics. And you’ve written two recent blog post articles, one on skin care and one on lip gloss. Then imagine you offer an email list sign-up form on each post.
When a visitor fills out the form on the skin care post, you can make an educated guess that they find skin care interesting. And, if a visitor fills out the form on the lip gloss post, you can be pretty sure that visitor is into lip gloss.
Most email marketing platforms will not only store the information your visitor enters, but can be set up to add a tag to the information indicating which form the visitor used to sign up.
Do you see how this is pretty genius?
You can make offers to those warm leads now, and know in advance which kinds of offers might be most appealing to which people.
Quick Easy Ways to Test Offers
The challenge is that you may not know what would tempt your audience. You will need to test offers. If you’re not getting sign-ups, it doesn’t mean that you have a bad lead magnet product or that your entire business won’t work. You have to keep testing offers until you find what appeals to your visitors.
You can have many automated offers at once on your site, or you can rotate them. The idea is to see which ones tempt the people who visit your website. You can change these small automated offers out quickly. This helps you see which subjects and what approaches interest your visitors before you put out a bigger, more involved offer.
But first, before you do anything else, you have to have a strategy
Before you jump into automating, you need to put together a strategy. I’ve written a post on strategy here: Lead Generation Strategy for Business-Owning Moms
Basic Lead Generation Automation Overview
Start out with the basics.
You will be offering a tiny product, a lead magnet, for the price of an email address.
Let’s make that as simple as possible. I’m not going to dive into lead magnet creation in this article, but you can read about that here. For this example, we’re going to declare the lead magnet to be a PDF that is stored on a Google Drive.
You will be creating three web pages and sending out at least 2 emails.
Landing Page/Page Section
This is the page or section of a page that has your offer and an opt-in form. Consider this as a sales page for your lead magnet. The copy on this page should present your offer and the benefits of this offer to the visitor.
The form on this page is the checkout. You must collect a way to contact this person at a later time, and I highly recommend that you collect email addresses. They’re the most flexible and the most reliable. You can also collect additional information, such as a name.
Thank You Page
When a visitor takes an action on your website, it’s important to let them know what’s happening. Did their form get submitted? Will they get anything in their email inbox? Is that the last step? How do the get the lead magnet they just “bought” with their email address?
Most form software provides a success message that you can customize for just this purpose. But I find that instead of just a message, a thank you/success page works better. The only time I use the success message is when I really don’t want the visitor to end up on another page.
So, once a visitor fills out the form, direct them to a thank you page. On this page, let them know that you did get their information, and how they will get their lead magnet (via email in our case). You can then include a “Next Steps” section on this page, to direct the visitor. Some good examples are: Follow me on social media (with links), an invitation to a Facebook Group, links to relevant blog articles, or for the more advanced, a product for sale.
You have the option to go ahead and give a link to the lead magnet here on this page, but I don’t think that’s the best way to deliver.
I recommend that you send an email immediately with information on how the visitor can get the lead magnet they just signed up to get. You could include a link within the email, or direct the visitor to a special download page.
This is a short & sweet email that’s friendly, but to the point. It’s only function is to clearly deliver the lead magnet. Any more here can confuse visitors.
Not only does this make sure that only people who give out real email addresses get your lead magnet, but it gets people in the habit of opening your emails. This is good because you do want them to open your future emails. Plus, a high open rate on this email is a signal to mail servers that email from your address is wanted, and not spam.
It may seem unnecessary, but a delivery page can be another great way to engage with your now warm leads. Include a button that links to the PDF Google doc on this page, and make it bold and obvious.
Then, include a next step for your lead. You could have a training video on using the lead magnet, sell a product, direct them to more relevant content.
Welcome & Nurture Emails
After your delivery email goes out, automate a series of emails designed to nurture your new warm leads. The first to go out should be a welcome email to remind them of who you are, and what to expect going forward.
Beyond your welcome email, line up emails to keep contact with your lead. The nature of these emails will depend on your strategy. Giving value in each email is always a good idea, because you do want to reward your leads for opening your emails. Just like offers though, test out your emails and your subject lines to find out what your leads are looking for.
In my next post, I’ll detail a lot of the HOW to do this.
Once you have this basic lead generation automation in place, you can add on many pieces, depending on your business.
My favorite add-on is automating the sale of a small product that is tremendously helpful to your new lead. You can check out the full details of what my teams can build for you here.
You're a business-owning mom, so you use this guide to prioritize your tasks in 2 minutes, and have 41 minutes left to knock out a task.