Want meatier website leads? First, you gotta try the ToFu. Seriously.

Posted by Alec Biedrzycki

Feb 17, 2013, 2:49 PM

Despite the title, I'm going to start this one off with a fishing analogy (which happen to work particularly well when describing Internet Marketing).

Okay, so imagine your friend just told you that he was at this lake yesterday where he caught fifteen rainbow trout. This was the exact type of fish he was looking to catch too, which is great. You want to catch the same type of fish too, so you ask him where the lake is. He gives you directions and the next day you pack up your equipment (which is quite the endeavor since you need to prepare the rods, your tackle box, need to pack your lunch, etc.) and head out. Your morale is high though, so you overlook the fact that you could only pack peanut butter and jelly for lunch.

On the way to the lake you stop to get bait, because hey, you want to catch some delicious rainbow trout. Unfortunately, the bait shop is being run by the owner's son today, and he has no idea what rainbow trout like to eat. Even worse, neither do you. Because the owner's son seems less interested in helping you and more interested in the cute girl that just walked in, you quickly grab a few different types of bait and head over to the lake. Know how this is going to end? You don't end up catching any trout. Damn. But that's okay, because those trout are still there. We just need to figure out what they like, where they are, and what we're going to do with them once they bite.

So, let's revise our fishing strategy and catch us some trout. Here's the question asked by Rick:

"Lead generation is our biggest marketing challenge. We receive a reasonable amount of organic and have been around since 1994. we have an obvious call to action on every page and the simplest contact form possible."

I feel you, Rick. There's nothing worse than knowing that traffic is poking around your website and not doing much. Especially when you've incorporated Calls to Action and Forms on every page. After a quick glance of your web development website, I've put together some recommendations on how we can start capturing more leads. While some of these steps might take a little work, they're tried and true. Plus, fishing takes patience and perseverance. Once you start incorporating some of this advice, I'm confident that capturing leads will be like shooting fish in a barrel (gotta love these fishing analogies):

Step 1: Discovering What Your Audience Wants

You're probably wondering why I included "ToFu" in the title of this blog post. If not, then please read the title again. In the Inbound Marketing world, we refer to ToFu as "Top of The Funnel." When we refer to Lead Generation on a website, ToFu is the stage of the buying process that is very early on. It's where your website visitors are asking the question "What Do I Need?" In your case, it's probably web development or design. In my experience, this is roughly 75% of the traffic poking around on your site. That's a big chunk. While a conversion from a prospect isn't a full fledged bite, it is a nibble. And a nibble is always a good sign.

So how does this impact you? I've got good news: There's a huge potential for you to capture some of these types of prospects on your website, but we need to have the right bait. You need high-level content that appeals to these prospects based on where they are in the buying process. Here's the quick and dirty on how to take advantage of this:

  1. Understand the main questions your prospects typically ask early on in the buying process (read my previous blog post on persona development and content alignment for some tips)
  2. Create a mini-guide about it (a word document exported as a PDF will do)
  3. Sit back and nod approvingly as your content offer is most likely very awesome

That's the crash course on developing a content offer to capture ToFu leads. So what comes next?

Step 2: Figuring out Where They Are

If you've got a content offer ready to go (based on the above step) it's super important to not just place it anywhere on the site. We want to cast our line where the fish are biting. Here are some steps to ensure that your not left dead in the water (okay, that was the last fishing analogy, I promise):

  1. Take a look at your site analytics (it looks like you have Google Analytics installed, nice!) and see where people are most frequently poking around on the site.
  2. Make some connections on the organic search terms that these people are using to find you and make sure that your content offer is aligned with those.
  3. Begin thinking about how you position the call to action for this offer-- make it enticing to these folks based on the organic search terms they're using to find your site. For example, if it's a "Website Design Starter Guide" that you've put together and people are reaching your site based on the search term "build a new website", consider using messaging like "Looking to build a new website? Download Our Website Design Starter Guide to get started now!"
  4. Link that call to action to a landing page with a form your prospect needs to fill out to download it.

If you've made it this far, you've basically got the right bait and have your equipment ready to go. You may have even gotten a bite (just broke my promise, sorry). But we're not done yet, nope.

Step 3: This Isn't Catch and Release

The most common objection I usually get when I recommend someone put a ToFu offer on their website is "downloading something high level like that doesn't help me close a sale!" Au contraire, my friend. It does help very much--just not instantly. You can't just fish and expect a trout to pop in your hands. You need to get the nibble, the bite, reel it in, catch it, filet it, cook it, and eat it. Or sell it, entirely up to you. But the point is that lead generation is a process. And knowing what to do after you get a bite is just as important as getting one in the first place. So what should the next steps be?

  1. Determine the next step of the sales process. Typically, after someone passes the ToFu stage, it's time to move them to the Middle of the Funnel, or "MoFu." At this point, leads are asking "Why do I need your product or service? What separates you from the competition?" So we want to guide them to something that differentiates you from the competition or proves your worth. How about The Process you outline on your website? Can that be repurposed as a fancy PDF that conveys how awesome you guys are at your job. Or, a case study is always nice to subject them to, because it
  2. Nurture those leads! You'll want to map out a strategy to move the ToFu leads to the MoFu stage. Is it an email? Maybe you give them a call? It's up to you to determine the process for how you follow up. Lead nurturing is super important to keep leads moving through the sales process to become a customer, so invest a good chunk of time into you strategy.
  3. Lastly, you'll want to finish up the process by understanding how you'll close the deal. Just like the process of taking a lead from ToFu to MoFu, you'll also want to figure out how you'll close that customer (i.e. BoFu). This is where you can invite them for a quote or consultation that you have on the website.

Basically, we need for people to understand what they need (ToFu) and why they need it from Nexwebsites (MoFu) before filling out a form for a consultation or quote. So, let's dust off the fishing rods, shop for the right bait and catch us some rainbow trout--er, leads!

Sound good Rick? Hope that helps!