As a recruiting or staffing agency, you will have plenty of website visitors (potential new clients) that take a look at 2-3 of your pages and then vanish never to come back again. How can we make these people take action and sign up for your newsletter, a download or simply get in touch?

I recently had a chat with Tim Paige, Conversion Educator and podcaster extraordinaire at LeadPages to find out.

You can listen to the audio podcast on iTunes & Soundcloud (above) or keep reading for an abridged transcript of our conversation. Questions by me, answers by Tim. A longer version of this post is available at Link Humans.

How do you get visitors to sign up on your site?

The first thing would be to always keep your audience interest in mind. We have this tendency as business owners and as entrepreneurs, I think a lot of the times we’re A-type personalities. Not all of us, but a lot of us are. We tend to inadvertently focus on ourselves. When we talk about our businesses whether it’s on a landing page or our website or whatever, we talk about our business. That’s not really the best way to go. When you’re speaking to an audience, you want to be focusing on them, not you. If I go to a website, me as a consumer, I’m not particularly interested in that website or that business; I’m interested in what that’s going to provide for me. Even if it’s on a subconscious level, I’m still trying to figure out what I can get out of that or how that provides some kind of value in my life. We as entrepreneurs, and business owners, and marketers, if we’re constantly focusing on ourselves, then we never really answer the question of what’s in it for me, which is what every visit to your website or patron to your business that that’s exactly what they want to know, “What’s in it for me?” The first step is to make sure that all of your messaging, all of your targeting, everything that you’re doing is focused on the customer.

The second step is to start asking them for their email address. The simplest way to go about this and this is the way that you see a lot of entry level marketers do is they will put just a simple opt-in form on the website that maybe they got from AWeber, or MailChimp, or something like that, and it’ll say “subscribe for e-mail updates.” I would say given the choice between that and not asking for an email address, that’s a better way to go. But here again is a problem is that if we’re just telling people, “Hey, enter your email address to subscribe for updates,” we’re not providing real value there. Remember it’s still focused on you as a business, not them as a customer. So saying “subscribe for updates,” that just means they’re going to get updates about your business and most people really aren’t interested in updates about your business.

Instead the way to really start building an email list is to start offering people something in exchange for their email address. Think of it as a kind of transaction. The same way as you would sell them your product or sell them your service, they would give you money and you would give them the product or service. The email address is to you, the entrepreneur, it is just like money. Having that email address is now an opportunity to market to them in a way that they have asked you to do so. You need to exchange them something for that money or currency that they are offering you. We call that a lead magnet. Some people call it an opt-in bribe or a freebie or whatever, but we call it a lead magnet. It’s something that you offer in exchange for somebody giving you their email address. There are lots of options for lead magnets.

A simple one that we’ve found that converts really, really well is what we call a resource guide. That is just a list of tools or resources that can help your target customer accomplish something whether it’s some products that can help them overcome their pain, whether it’s five outfits that they can wear to look great at their next party, or whether it’s some websites to help them get more business, or whatever it is. It’s a simple list of tools or resources. We recommend it be a one-page PDF list of tools or resources. What you do is you put some copy related to that on a landing page.

What are the best tools for gathering sign-ups?

It’s really hard because we have so many integration partners at LeadPages that we just love. I do think it is a largely personal thing. I’ll give an example and this is in no way saying that these are the best tools or aren’t the best tools, but I’ll give a great example. At LeadPages, we use Infusionsoft. Part of the reason is because it offers a ridiculous amount of flexibility. With over 150,000 people on our mailing list and with very tech savvy folks on our team that focus entirely on that, it makes sense to do that.

There are great tools like ActiveCampaign. It’s kind on the level of Infusionsoft in some ways. Some people love it. Some people love MailChimp and hate AWeber. There a lot of different options out there in terms of email service providers and I recommend you try a few and see what works best for you. In terms of landing page creation, webinar registration, sales pages, that kind of stuff, LeadPages hands-down we’re the leader in the space. We have over 30,000 paying customers. We have literally tens of thousands of split tests happening across our platform at all times. Over 6 million pages have been created on out platform. LeadPages is the way to go in terms of landing pages creation and sales pages and the conversion tools on your website.

If you wanted to split test other elements outside of LeadPages… By the way, split test means you’re sending traffic to two different versions of a page and seeing what converts best. If you wanted to do something like that, then you can use a tool like Visual Website Optimizer or Optimizely. This might sound funny, but I’m going to say if somebody were to be trying to get into this and start building their list for the first time, the two tools that you would need if you’re just starting are either AWeber or MailChimp, something in that line, and LeadPages. That’s a great way to start. And as your knowledge grows, as your ability to create conversions grows, as your copyrighting ability grows, as your sales ability grow, you can then move on to more sophisticated tools if you find that you need them.

Many businesses don’t need a high level of sophistication. A simple email service provider and a landing page creator, those two things are plenty. From there if you find that you need some automation, for example if you want to start doing webinars on a high level, you can use something like GoToWebinar. I think a lot of people get caught up in the details and think they need all these different tools when at the end of the day, simple things are really all you need.

What brands can we learn from?

There are lots of great companies that are doing this well. In the enterprise space, there are companies like Shopify, Ontraport, Buffer are doing this really well. Greenpeace, Mac Rumors, they’re doing this really, really well. There are also lots of brand marketers. For example, Amy Porterfield is absolutely crushing it, James Schramko from SuperFast Business is another great example, Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, John Lee Dumas from EntrepreneurOnFire, all doing a great job of growing their email list, growing their brands and doing things the right way.

Learn more from Tim at LeadPages Webinar and follow him on Twitter @TimthePaige. Image credit: Shutterstock.

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About Jörgen Sundberg

Founder of Undercover Recruiter & CEO at Link Humans, a social and digital marketing agency.

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