Converting Traffic Into Sales: Generating Leads

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For reference, I will be using the term “sales funnel” instead of “converting traffic into sales” for simplicity.

To understand how the sales funnel works we look will look at it from a systematic process, starting at where your prospects come from, to how we will pro-actively guide them through the sales process and become a long-term client. Before any of this can happen, we need to look at how to capture these prospects into a database using some creative flair.

Generating Leads From Traffic

Generating Leads is the most challenging, though fun aspect of the sales funnel. It requires constant testing and monitoring using endless proven methods, which are only limited by your resources and imagination. Where we capture all of this information is from the front-end, or the face of your business on the Internet. As soon as a prospect is interested in a product or service you may offer, we want to qualify and encourage them to opt-in on your website. When this occurs, it starts the first step of the sales funnel and begins to transform an everyday web surfer into a lead showing their interest in receiving more information.

There are many ways for a person to opt-in on your website and it’s crucial to have these mechanisms set up to begin generating leads. Here are some examples of how other Internet businesses capture leads:

* Subscribing to a blog via RSS subscription
* Signing up for a Free Report such as my Internet Business Blueprint located in the column on the right
* Registering for a free online service, for example MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, Flickr.
* Ticking a box to receive further information when purchasing an product or service from another site. For example, telephone companies such as Telstra always has a little tick box allowing you to opt-in to receive further marketing material whenever you complete a transaction with them.

When a potential prospect opts-in to your website, then they are agreeing to receive information from you. This is called permission marketing and it was first coined by Seth Godin. If you haven’t read his book Permission Marketing, you can get grab a copy of it on his website or buy it at any book store.

Now I must point out, some Internet marketers have been very successful in selling their products straight off the front-end and have made a lot of money doing so. Though you have to see what type of authority they have in the market and the systems they have in place to do this. I can assure you it has taken them many years and lots of resources to set this up and it’s not an overnight get rich story. Rich Schefren is a classic example of this and has extremely refined front-end and back-end systems that help him continue to generate profits even if his not working. My point here is, not to start selling any products to your new leads but to offer them value through content and building strong rapport with them first. The front-end is a mechanism to generate and qualify leads for your Internet business and is probably the least profitable.

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