If you want to make the most out of the traffic visiting your blog, you will want to consider using a Lead Capture Form to collect prospects and build your list.
The intention of this post is to expand on Step 3 from 7 Steps to Make Money Blogging, which is “Add a Lead Capture Form to Your Blog.”
Just so we get off on the right foot, there is an example of a lead capture form (LCF) on the right sidebar of my blog. You can think of your LCF as sort of a fishing net that you use on your blog to “catch” prospects or potential customers.
Where to make a Lead Capture Form
There are many places online where you can create and host lead capture forms. I am not going to get into this too much today, but I at least want to give you a place where you can get started…
Free LCF Creation
There are 2 places I have found where you can create free forms. First is SendPulse, which is actually a full service email marketing site. Next, and I just found it while writing this article, is HubSpot. They actually have a nice free tool that allows you to create a lead capture form on your website. When visitors fill out the form, HubSpot will send you an email notification with the pertinent information you need to contact your prospect. Of course with the free version of HubSpot, you need to do the rest of the work manually by copying and pasting the information into your email software. I use SendPulse to create and host my forms and to accumulate the leads. Check out the form I made for my blog with SendPulse…
Appearance of your Lead Capture Form
General Appearance and Headlines…
First of all, make sure it is neat and clean. No one wants to fill out a LCF that looks messy, has typos or misspellings, etc. So be very careful to check that stuff out.
Next, add a good, attention grabbing headline. But be very careful to make sure that the headline is relevant to why you are asking visitors to fill out the form. For example my form says “Sign Up to Get the Daily Shortcut For Free.” Well, I will make certain to deliver on that promise if someone fills out my form. Just be up front and honest and do not mislead your audience with false headlines.
For a LCF placed on your blog you will probably want to keep the fields you are requesting to a minimum. For sure, you will need to collect the email address. I also like to ask for at least the first name so I can address my new list member by name when I send emails and offers. For this purpose I also like to include a “comments” field so I have some idea why this person filled out the form when they show up on my list. Beyond those fields, it’s up to you regarding the type of information you want to collect. A word of caution, if you make the form too long or ask for too much information, you will limit the number of responses you get, as many people do not want to fill out a long form unless there is good reason.
I like to include a bit more information on my LCF. It’s a very good idea to put some sort of Privacy Statement on your form. This can either be a link to an actual statement, or some wording such as “We value your privacy and will not use your information for any other purpose than indicated on this form.” This is a way to build trust with your audience and gives them a higher comfort level in completing your LCF. I also like to include a brief statement like the one you see on my example form so that my readers understand that they may get additional information from me over and above my free offer that is included in the headline.
I really had not given much thought to this until I read “The 5 Critical Components of Fantastic Lead Capture Forms.” In that article they actually show results from studies that show using the term “Submit” results in far less form completions than things like “Click Here” or “Go.” So, lesson learned, I will be changing all my buttons after I publish this article.
Using Gifts or Freebies
Many marketers employ the idea of a gift or freebie given in exchange for competing the Lead Capture Form. I tend to think this is a great idea as long as the gift is related to your purpose. For example, one of my gifts is a free eBook about marketing on Twitter. This gift is directly related to my business purpose and actually the entire purpose of my blog. I would not want to give away an eBook on The Best Way to Bake a Cake. It just doesn’t make sense. I make most of my own freebies such as eBooks and PDF Guides. Here is an example of one of my freebies…
Where to place your Lead Capture Form
Most blogs use a “sidebar” as a place to put lead capture forms, announcements, advertisements, etc. Your LCF should be the first thing shown on your sidebar. This way it will be seen by people browsing your blog without having to scroll to make if visible. Depending on the layout and theme of your blog, this may not always show without scrolling, but to put it simply, get it as high up on the page as possible.
What To Do With All These New Leads
So, you have designed the perfect Lead Capture Form and placed it in that perfect spot on your blog. Behold, your visitors fill out the form and you are now adding new potential customers or prospects to your list. What are you going to do now?
Stay tuned for my post next week and we will discuss how to communicate with your new found leads. See Simple Guide for Email Marketing to Your List.
To Your Success,