January 6, 2014

How to Convert a Blog Subscriber into a Business Opportunity Lead

5 min read

Written by: Alyssa Rimmer  |  Share:

pickme-pickme1We've been talking a lot about business blogging lately, and we hope you're not getting sick of it. It's because we know the importance that blogging plays in an inbound marketing strategy, and more often than not we see people doing it incorrectly. We know how time consuming blogging can be, so our goal is to help you be better. We want to keep giving you these tips and tricks so that you can hone your own strategy and start to really see the results of your efforts.

When we first start blogging it kind of feels like we're not talking to anyone, right? We're just writing to write and it seems like we're not getting anywhere. But the more time we spend and the more efficient we become, we start seeing little glimpses of traction. 

And it isn't until we see that first lead come off the blog when we know that all this time we've been spending writing is actually paying off. 

But what about all those other people that are reading your blog and not downloading a piece of your content? How can you encourage them to optin to your content without making them fill out one of your lead capture forms? And how can you turn them into a business opportunity lead?

That's where we're going with today's post. We're going to outline just how to do this. To take a blog subscriber and turn them into a lead. So let's get started!

Capture Your Blog Readers

First and foremost, if you're not giving your readers an opportunity to subscribe to your blog, you're seriously missing out. There are two places you can add optin forms to be most effective. One is in your sidebar (preferably your right sidebar), while the other should be at the bottom of every single one of your posts.

Look at our side bar right now, see the CTA that says, "Subscribe to our blog"? All someone has to do is click on that CTA and they'll be taken to a landing page where they can enter their email (only ask for their email or at the very most their first name and email) as well as their subscription preferences.

The same is true for the subscription box at end of our posts, except this is an in-line form where the reader isn't taken to a separate landing page. They just enter their email, choose their subscription preferences and they're signed up.  

Enticing Readers to Subscribe

Sometimes just a subscription form isn't enough, or isn't generating the numbers you're looking for. If you're having trouble capturing subscribers with just the optin forms that we mentioned above, you have a few options:

  1. Review your content.

    Sometimes it's hard to not be biased about our own content, because heck, we're the ones writing it! But if you're subscription rate isn't where you want it to be, just do a quick audit of your posts, even if you think you're producing the highest-quality content imaginable. Ask yourself a few questions: Is your content up to par? Are you spending time on each post? Are you writing posts that align with your readers' interests and solves a pain point? Additionally, take a look at your competitors and industry leaders. Compare your content to the content they're producing - is it better? Worse? Equal? Always strive for better, strive to stand out. You could be losing subscribers by not writing quality content. 
  2. Sweeten the deal. 

    Even when you're producing the best content in the world, there are still going to be people that are resistant to subscribing. But what many people can't resist is, "free". Offer your subscribers an incentive for subscribing to your blog. Whether that's a tip sheet, an e-book, or a whitepaper, readers will feel special since they're getting something exclusive (and for free). And make it unique - an offer that no one can get other than by subscribing. This will make it seem more valuable. And to increase this conversion rate even more, have a small picture of the offer in/around your subscription box - people respond to visuals.

Convert Your Subscribers into Business Opportunity Leads

We see this all the time, and it makes us crazy: people have hundreds of subscribers (or however many) on their blog, but the only thing they use the list for is to send them blog updates and new posts. Don't forget, these subscribers have opted in to receive content from you, so why would you think you can't also send them marketing messages? Thing is, you absolutely can!

But we will warn, don't over do it. Some people really are just interested in reading your blog posts and will get frustrated if they start to get too many marketing emails from you. Choose your emails wisely.

If you use a marketing automation software, like HubSpot, it becomes really easy to segment your lists. By leveraging a software like this, so you can see which of your subscribers are engaging with your marketing messages and which are only reading your posts.

Once you have a list of engaged and interested blog subscribers, it's time to start moving them through the sales funnel and converting them into a business opportunity lead. Here are some ideas:

Marketing Automation

If you've read our post marketing automation, then you already understand that it is a tool to help move leads through your sales funnel without having to do much hands on work. And it results in more customers! Marketing automation enables you to set up a system where you are nurturing your email prospects through each stage of the funnel, helping to increase the quality of your sales-ready leads, so that once they reach your sales team, they'll be more ready/eager to buy.

Email Nurturing

Leveraging things like email workflows and autoresponders, while technically part of many marketing automation platforms, are great tools to use to help you convert those blog subscribers into leads. Email workflows (also referred to as email nurturing programs), are designed to deliver content to your leads on a paced schedule, so that they don't get overwhelmed, but so that you also remain top-of-mind.

The other part of workflows that is extremely valuable is in regards to the sales funnel. As we talked about above, email nurturing programs are meant to help move your prospects (or in this case your blog subscribers) through the sales process, and we do this by using email content that aligns with the different stages of the funnel. For instance, once a lead has downloaded a top-of-funnel offer, you'll follow up with a middle-of-funnel offer a few days later. If they download that, they then get sent a bottom-of-funnel offer at which point they'll be ready to engage with your sales team. And remember, it can all be automated!

In the End, You're Using Inbound Marketing Techniques

Essentially, that's what we've been talking about throughout this entire post. Handling a blog subscriber is truly no different than handling any other lead that has converted on one of your landing pages. It's just that these subscribers often get left behind and forgotten about.

When you have a group of engaged readers, you should treat them all as potential customers. These are people who have opted in to read your content on an ongoing basis. They're not just one-and-dones like some downloads might be. They have truly expressed an interest in what you're producing, so ignoring them is a lost opportunity. 

Even if you choose not to implement any of these strategies, above anything else, use what you have learned about inbound marketing and apply it to this subset of individuals. We can guarantee there is at least one person in there who wants to buy from you.

Happy Converting!

The Ultimate Guide to Inbound Marketing - Free Download

Image source: The Summa

Topics: Demand Generation, Lead Generation

About The Author

Alyssa is a former New Breeder.

Ready to transform your current marketing + sales teams?  Request a free assessment and get started today. Free Consultation