Lead capture

When we think of advertising and lead generation, we tend to focus on the more glamorous, expensive part of the process — the outbound communication and the creative (ad). What often gets lost is that the way we capture leads can have a very significant impact on our results. Lead capture is the marketing equivalent of a salesperson asking for the order.

On-line lead capture requires that the prospect visit a web page, where the actual lead collection occurs. This can either be a page on your website, or a landing page created for a specific advertising campaign.

When a prospect visits the target page, you have a page view, but not a lead. Leads are typically captured by telephone or via a form or small formlet on the web page. Most of the websites we develop, and virtually all of our landing pages, include a prominent telephone number and a short lead capture formlet.

Capturing leads via web forms

In the early days of the web, it was popular to place long forms on web pages. Today, longer forms are mostly used where they are really needed – when the customer is making a purchase or completing an application form (such as for insurance or banking).

Each additional question on a form reduces your response rate. Most lead collection forms ask for name, phone and e-mail (and company, if you are selling to businesses), and include a larger box where the prospect can add a message.

The information on the form can come to you in two ways:

Leads collected via e-mail

E-mail delivery of leads is simple and inexpensive, and we primarily use it for low volume lead collection. E-mail does not provide guaranteed delivery, and it can easily be lost in the recipient’s inbox.

Leads collected in an on-line database

This is much more secure and reliable, with leads are retained in the system so they are less likely to be lost or ignored. Our preferred tool is SalesProTM, our web based marketing and sales system that retains leads in a marketing database, and provides a rich set of tracking features.

Telephone lead capture and tracking

To many advertisers, telephone leads represent one of the last great voids in marketing accountability. For businesses such local service providers this can be a significant issue, since most leads typically arrive via telephone.

The solution is to include one of our tracking numbers on your lead collection page, rather than your actual telephone number. When someone calls, they will be automatically redirected to your telephone, but the call activity is logged and calls may optionally be recorded.

There are two types of tracking numbers available: static and dynamic. Static numbers are appropriate for lead collection from such sources as your website or print ads, while dynamic number insertion is primarily used for pay-per-click and other on-line marketing campaigns. Dynamic number insertion can capture additional data such as the exact search terms used by the prospect in a Google search that resulted in the call.