Smart people are getting a bit too smart for landing pages.
For many of us, smart people are also our best potential leads. So, for the people who matter most — we’re seeing rapidly diminishing returns from traditional online lead generation gates.
In my 21 years of online lead generation experience, I’ve seen a lot of trends and phases come and go. Many of those ended up being superficial and/or cyclical. This one seems to have much more staying power.
The top-three reasons I see for lower online lead generation quality look something like this:
- The bar is higher.
- Trust has been eroded.
- Alternatives are everywhere.
The Bar is Higher
In years past, expectations were lower. Mobile apps hadn’t yet spoiled us with utility, power and usability. Form-focused landing pages were expected, normal and tolerated. Now you need to wow me to woo me — and if you won’t or can’t, someone else will.
Trust Has Been Eroded
The last few years have featured a rush to produce more of everything. More content. More white papers. More infographics. More webinars. More. More. More. What was lost in all that was quality. Where you may have gotten the benefit of the doubt that your gated white paper was worth registering for, you are now met with skepticism and cynicism. The perception of an equal value exchange no longer equates in blind gates.
Alternatives are Everywhere
With the supply of content essentially outstripping demand, scarcity is no longer a value proposition. Just about everyone offers an email marketing benchmarks white paper. Alternatives are everywhere, little is differentiated and your white paper is not different enough that it matters.
These reasons impact more experienced, discerning, smarter and savvy people first. Characteristics that, in many cases, correlate to quality prospects.
The highest quality people are the least tolerant of old-school tactics. And as time marches forward, this trend will only intensify. A higher and higher proportion of the population will become further and further removed from feeling that blind gates are worth it. Form-focused landing pages will continue to convert fewer and fewer quality leads.
The answer to all this doom & gloom isn’t to stop. It’s to start.
The good news is that those top-three doom & gloom reasons can be reversed. But it does take some out of the box thinking to get there.
- Reverse your thinking to serving them.
- Give it away.
- Become extraordinary.
Blind gates are simple. The user gives before he gets anything in return. Marketers get before they give. It’s time to flip that on its ear and conceive lead generation campaigns in reverse. Marketers need to give before they get. Users need to get before they give. In the end, the value exchange has to be (at least) equal. Wow and woo them.
Give It Away
There’s only one way to earn back eroded trust — prove it. Show how good, valuable and useful your content (and brand) is before you ask for anything in return. Let them have the ebook. Let them use an assessment. Give them the infographic. Then, after they know you’re on the level — ask for something in return.
Guess what — doing what your competitor does is not a strategy that attracts quality leads. If your buyer closes his eyes, thinks about your white paper, but doesn’t know whose it was, there’s a problem. Worse yet, if your buyer can’t even remember your white paper, there’s a problem. Content can stand out as useful, memorable and valuable.
Interactive content marketing is all of these things.
It delivers value before it asks for anything. It’s visually, usefully and valuably differentiated. And it generates quality leads like no blind gate you’ve ever seen. ion runs 15-40% conversion rates on ungated interactive content assets that upsell using discretionary touchpoints. The best leads love this stuff and so do we.