Top Five Lead Capture Tools & How They Work

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Author: Titus Hoskins


Top Five Lead Capture Tools & How They Work
by Titus Hoskins © Copyright 2005


Capturing leads is perhaps one of the most vital elements of
your web site. Done properly it can increase sales, boost
traffic and transform any site (including yours) into one of
those fantastic Internet success stories we all read about.
Yet, many webmasters are unaware or ignore these crucial lead
capture elements when designing their web sites.

'Lead capture' simply means capturing or obtaining the contact
information (name and e-mail) of your site's visitors. You
obtain permission to contact these subscribers at a later
date to inform them about your site's updates, special events,
or any other promotional material dealing with your site.
Many marketers refer to this as building your 'opt-in list',
visitors opt-in or give you permission to contact them.

Any webmaster can build a loyal list of contacts, customers,
or interested parties that will return again and again to
your web site. So here are Five Lead Capture Tools along
with a detailed explanation on how each one works:


1. Opt-in List - Perhaps, the most important
lead capture tool that you can have on your site. It's simply
an e-mail form that will capture the name and e-mail of your
visitors. Most savvy marketers and webmasters put an e-mail
capture form on each page of their site because visitors to
your site don't always enter through the front door
i.e. your home page.

Offer some great incentive, a free ebook or resource to
entice visitors to 'opt-in' to your contact list. A pop-up
with a list of free gifts works well, so does offering a
sample of your ezine or newsletter.

Most web hosts will supply you with the code for these
e-mail capture forms - just place this code on all your
pages. Some webmasters use a more informal 'guest book'
method but it's basically the same thing, you capture
e-mails and get permission to inform people of special
events/updates relating to your site or product.
See example of an e-mail capture page with pop-up here:
http://www.bizwaremagic.com/opt-in.htm


2. Landing Pages. This tool is very similar
to the technique described above, and is mainly used in
affiliate marketing. Basically, a landing page is just that,
a potential customer/visitor first lands on your landing
page and is then directed to the affiliate page or product
you're promoting.

Why do this?

To capture your visitor's contact information for further
follow-up. It is commonly known that it takes up to six or
seven e-mails before a potential customer buys a certain
product. By using a landing page, you build a contact list
for people interested in your product or promotion.
You now have a targeted list of interested leads to
promote your products to.

These landing pages can be very simple, a few sentences and
an e-mail capture form. Some marketers make these landing
pages more elaborate - offering special bonuses and offers
if the potential buyer buys your featured product. See an
example of this here:
http://www.bizwaremagic.com/article-announcer.htm


3. Articles - Recently, there have been an
explosion of article writing on the web. One of the reasons,
besides bringing in targeted traffic to your site, articles
are great lead capture tools. People read your article,
and they become more interested in your site or product.
They are more willing to give you their contact information
- especially if you have written a well informed helpful
article.

Simply adding your site's url or your subscribe e-mail address
in the author's resource box at the end of your article will
help you capture leads. (See below for example) Then place
these articles in online article directories like
ezinearticles.com or goarticles.com - other webmasters will
pick up your articles and place them in their ezine and on
their sites. One of the most effective and underrated lead
capture tools you can use. Just try it!


4. Desktop Software - This is a software product
that sits directly on the desktop of computer users. It can
put you in direct contact with potential customers or
interested parties. Many of these products are given away
free to your site's visitors who download your product
and install it on their desktops...free desktop calendars,
wallpapers, personal planners, etc.

How does it capture leads?

These products usually have LIVE links to your web site,
company product and your contact e-mail information. Interested
customers will click thru to your sites or contact you directly
about your product or company. The best of these desktop
programs are very viral, friends and colleagues will pass
them around - resulting in more lead captures for your
business or web site.

Here's a Free Desktop Calendar example:
http://www.bizwaremagic.com/Free_Desktop_Calendar.htm



5. RSS - Perhaps the least understood and
the hardest to understand lead capture tool. RSS stands for
'Really Simple Syndication' and was first popularized by blogs
because blogs use XML and RSS feeds to syndicate their content.
Don't come to us, we will deliver. People can view a site's
contents through RSS readers or an RSS equipped browser
without actually going to that site!

How does it capture leads?

Many ways! Perhaps, the most simple, webmasters place an
orange RSS icon on their web pages - anyone visiting can
add this RSS feed to their RSS readers or aggregators. Then
whenever this site is updated, the contents is syndicated or
sent to those who have subscribed to the feeds. Another
popular way, webmasters place 'add to myYahoo' or 'add to MyMSN'
buttons on their sites and visitors can subscribe to these
RSS feeds. This method of subscribing is also known as
'Live Bookmarks'.

Popular RSS site feeds are picked up by other webmasters
and placed on their sites. Spreading these popular feeds
all over the Internet, and drawing back interested visitors
who are looking for more information. In essence, capturing
leads for your site.

With Microsoft announcing the next version of Windows
will have RSS, be prepared for a big explosion in RSS list
building techniques. Under the 'Creative Commons License',
there is even greater potential for lead capture programs and
methods. Just make sure your site, already has a blog and
RSS feed(s) - you can put up a simple blog and RSS feed
within minutes for free with blogger.com which is owned
by Google. If you need help just try this simple guide:
http://www.bizwaremagic.com/RSS/Lead_Capture_Page.htm



Hope you were paying attention as you read this article on
'lead capture tools' and noticed how the author has placed
'five examples' in this article. These are actually lead capture
tools the author (that would be me!) is using to build his contact
list. Not to mention, this article in itself is a great 'lead
capture tool' - it works for me and it can work for you too.
Just place it on your site along with your e-mail capture form.

And watch those leads come in.



About the author:
To Put RSS On Your Site Within Minutes - Visit This Link:RSS and Blogging Guide
This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.
Get a Free Desktop Calendar & Planner compliments of the Author and DATEwise.



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