In our previous blog posts, we took a closer look at the first stage of the inbound marketing methodology; the ‘Attract’ segment. In those blogs, we highlighted the initial steps of turning strangers to your website into regular, engaging visitors. We’re now going to move on to the next segment, which is known as ‘Convert’.
As the name suggests, the ‘Convert’ part of the journey looks at converting those visitors that we’ve worked so hard to attract, into leads. We’re now starting to look toward engaging with them on a more personal level. We’ll start this part of the journey by inviting them to share their contact information with us. This will eventually help us better understand what they want, and there are a number of ways we can do this. In this particular blog, we’re going to be looking at the use of forms.
Forms have become synonymous with websites ever since the internet was adopted by the mass market. To some degree, they play a part in almost all websites we visit. Whether you’re signing up for a newsletter, downloading a document, buying a product, registering for an account or commenting on a blog post you’ve enjoyed, there will be a form to complete.
Because we are all so familiar with forms in all their…well…forms, they offer a instant connection that people are already comfortable with. This awareness allows us to add them to our landing page, or website, without too much in the way of instructions on how they work. That said, that doesn’t mean you should include too many fields that need to be completed, just enough to get them interested. A good form, at least in this context, is simple to look at and quick to fill in, and don’t forget to make the ‘Submit’ button easy to see and ensure it’s fully functional.
To be able to collect the information you need in the first instance, your form shouldn’t inundate the user with a multitude of fields or be overly-complicated. That could put off potential customers more than encourage them. Remember, you’re only interested in their basic contact information at this stage. You‘re going to develop the relationship you have with them over the coming days and weeks, so you don’t need everything from them all at once. So, what do you need?
It’s certainly a good idea to get their forename and surname at the very least. This information may sound obvious, but it’s important because it may not be easy to deduce from just their email address. It’s also good to know the name they prefer when you eventually do contact them. Obviously we’re going to need a way to do that, so we’re going to need their all-important email address.
However, this is inbound marketing. We’re not expecting people to just give up their email address for no reason. As we said, you’ve worked hard to attract people to your site through giving them great content, so we don’t want to destroy the trust and goodwill you’ve built up by harvesting their personal information with no regard for the relationship you’re trying to curate. This is going to be a mutually beneficial exercise so, in return for their email address, you need to offer them ‘something’ useful in return. That ‘something’ could be a white paper, an ebook or a tip sheet, in fact anything that could be useful to your defined marketing persona. Your form should make this very clear.
Ultimately, what you offer is up to you. Those examples are a great place to start, but remember what we’re trying to achieve here. We want to encourage the process to get them from being a mere visitor to quantifiable lead. If we can do this in a way that helps both parties, through a simple form, then that’s a great place to start from.
If you’d like to know more about this step, or inbound marketing as a whole, then the team at Whitehat are here to help you. Contact our helpful, knowledge team and we’ll get you on your own journey in no time at all.
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