In the current down economy, generating sales leads is the key to business’s survival. Discover how to turn prospective clients into customers and drive a sustainable growth to the business. Are you sure that your business website is working as hard as it can to keep you well armed with the viable new leads? Let’s look at some of the tangible strategies that smart firms are using to generate more leads using their websites:
- Strategy One: Collect usable contact data from people who leave comments on your blog. WQXR, a public radio station in New York, does this on its blog, where visitors must enter their email addresses before their posts are approved and posted. WQXR then emails them invitations to subscribe to the station’s email newsletter, attend special events, become corporate underwriters, and donate to the station.
- Strategy Two: Let visitors sign up for something that is attractive and free. AAA Service, a company that offers electrical, plumbing, and heating services in Arvada, Colo., lets visitors sign up for an informative homeowners’ newsletter that includes coupons. The company’s appealing sign-up page is very well done and well worth looking at. On your site, you could also consider offering whitepapers, coupons, or an invitation to a free webinar.
- Strategy Three: Cultivate the leads you get by moving them through a “sales funnel.” The steps in this process can be to: 1) strengthen your relationship by offering potential customers something valuable and free; 2) test the waters by offering a special offer at the reduced cost or on a trial basis; 3) offer a service free of charge; 4) make a full sales call. Note that each step in this process could be important in cultivating a lasting and profitable relationship.
Make Sure that Images and Copy You Find Online Are Safe to Use
When designing a website or putting up marketing emails, many companies today seem to think it is permissible to use others’ images or text from other websites. The fact is, it’s just not safe to use. According to Digital Renovators, an agency offering local web design in Halifax, here are some common assumptions that could put your company at risk of legal actions:
- “One of my business partners used an image, so I have the right to use it too.” There is no guarantee that your partner went through the proper “due diligence” steps to obtain permission. There is still the chance that the person who took the photograph or created an illustration will contact you to demand a fee for its use.
- “It is safe to use anything the government publishes, without getting permission.” Some companies assume that if they “borrow” an image from a government website, they are safe from copyright violations. That’s not always the case. There is still the chance that the person who took the photograph retains ownership of it.
- “I found this material on a website where it was used without giving credit, so it must be safe to use.” The fact that one website doesn’t display a permissions line below a photo or other material doesn’t mean that you are safe to reproduce it too.
- “As long as I give credit, I can’t get in trouble.” Other people believe that they can use any image or reprint any article, as long as they link back to its original source online, or give credit. This practice has gotten to be common in our Internet age – yet it is always safer to ask permission.
In many cases, companies will give you permission to use their articles, opinions, graphs, or other illustrations if you ask ahead of time. Getting permission doesn’t require a big commitment of time – simply email the owner of the material you want to use in your online advertising or marketing, get a reply, and be sure to keep those emails on file in case of disputes later arise.
Required steps to take before using photos, graphs, or illustrations . . .
- TinEye.com is an online ownership checker for pictures. You either upload the image that you want to check or enter its URL if it appears on a webpage. This checker displays all the other websites where the image has been used.
- PicScout’s Image Exchange is a downloadable application that lets you enter an image or an image URL, and then gives you information on the holder of its copyright, if any.
Required steps to take before using articles or text . . .
- Use Google Search – simply copy the portion of the text you want to use and hit the search button. You’ll see the search results on the web where the exact text has been used.
- Use EduBirdie, an online plagiarism checker. The application was designed to help college professors and students make sure that their assignments have not been copied from other sources.