Search_CoverIf you’ve got a great website in place with plenty of fresh, relevant content and a decent inbound marketing plan, you’re bound to be drawing in leads, which should be organized into various categories. Heck, even businesses which don’t have a robust strategy for bringing in customers still have leads coming in.

Managing those leads, figuring out where to place attention and effort is important for all businesses ranging from B2B services to B2C eCommerce and everything in between. Not all leads are equal, so start developing your sales response process by dividing leads into four distinct buckets: Just Browsing, Interested, On the Fence and Hook Line and Sinker. For each bucket, there are different action items you can use to move leads through to a sale.

We’ll talk about the different buckets individually over the next few weeks so you can build your sales plans one step at a time. For today, let’s look at how to get folks from the “Just Browsing” group to give you their contact information so you can move them into your sales funnel:

Just Browsing – The Top of the Funnel

The top of the lead funnel consists primarily of casual visitors who arrive at your website through a variety of channels. These nameless and faceless leads show up in your analytics data as coming from these sources:

  • Organic search
  • Paid advertising
  • Social media
  • Referral traffic from review sites

These leads are considered the least qualified of your potential customers because you have to wait for them to take the next step before you can respond. Even though they are not actionable, you should still monitor the volume of leads you gather each month.

Having a grasp on this number gives you feedback on the effectiveness of your traffic building activities, such as social sharing, paid advertising and even public relations. If not enough leads are coming in the top of the funnel, it is easy to predict you won’t have enough qualified prospects filtering into the next steps of your sales funnel.

If your lead volume is low, spend your time on lead generating activity. Once this number starts to rise, you are ready to move on to the next part of the funnel.

Action Items

So what can you do to move the traffic coming to your website through to the next level of your sales process? At this phase, you will need to rely on your website homepage and landing pages to do the majority of the heavy lifting. Without a well-planned web strategy, you’ll never convert your leads to prospects.

Homepage Conversion

Your homepage has one job, and one job only: Getting visitors to click through your website. This means offering them something interesting and meaningful right from the get-go, usually in the form of a big, bold button at the top of the page. Be careful not to add too many different options for your incoming visitors or you’ll overwhelm them.

Developing a homepage with just the right balance of intriguing reasons to click and learn more about your business is tricky. I’ve written about conversion rate optimization before, and I highly recommend putting some of those lessons to use when building a new homepage to convert your high-level leads.

Sharing Landing Pages on Social Media

Landing pages are another great way to move anonymous leads deeper into your sales funnel. In fact, a decent landing page with relevant offers like downloadable product guides or descriptions of your services are one of the best ways to gather contact information from these leads.

Once you’ve developed a page with a lead capture form (I highly recommend using the templates at for this), it’s time to share to your social communities. By offering ways for your social media communities to connect with your your business, you’re opening up the opportunity to convert them into paying customers. They benefit from the useful information you’re sharing, and you  gather their contact information to follow up with additional offers and marketing information.

Comparing total traffic to the percentage of visitors that move into the next bucket gives you an indication of the effectiveness of your conversion strategy. The higher the percentage, the better your digital marketing strategy is working. Now you are ready to start planning to talk with your interested prospects.

Interested in jump-starting your marketing strategy today? Download our inbound marketing budget and strategy guide: