Lead Capture is More of an Art Form Than a Science

Lead Capture is More of an Art Form Than a Science

By John McTigueNov 23 /2009

I'm addressing this post to those of you who think capturing leads from your website is all about tools and analysis. Those are things that help with capturing leads, but they aren't the gatekeepers. Successful lead conversion boils down to strategy, psychology and value.

lead capture is an art form not a scienceI'm assuming you're already done a great job of attracting visitors to your site through content, SEO and socializing, i.e. inbound marketing. Now what?

Think about it from a visitor's point of view.

Why am I here? What has brought me to your website? Was I searching for something, and if so, what? Did I know you already, and I'm here to see what's new? Did I buy something from you before and want more? 

Chances are, I'm a new visitor. Unless you have a well known brand, most of your visitors are going to be newcomers. I probably found you via a search or a blog reference in social media, or maybe a blog comment or other mention on a web site. Now that I'm here, you have 2 seconds to sell me.

Hey, nice website. Very pretty. But, what's in it for me? I'm going to bounce off your home page or blog unless you convince me otherwise, and you'd better do it quickly. Unless I'm just looking up information, you need to offer me something valuable for free, and I'm not prepared to drill down to find it or read some obnoxious landing page. I need to understand what you are giving away at a glance, and I need to know why I should sign up right now. As a consumer, these reactions are built-in to my psyche and they happen instantly.


Your strategy should address my reactions directly. You must:

  1. Figure out what I want.
  2. Give it to me, preferably for free.
  3. Don't make me jump through hoops. If you do, I'm gone.


Now you must bring art to the table. Create a compelling graphic that conveys the value of your offer and makes it imperative that they sign up immediately. Here are some great examples, courtesy of HubSpot.


There is some science to successful lead capture. Statistics and eye-tracking studies tell you what kinds of calls-to-action are popular and where to place them, so be aware of such studies. You also need the software to measure lead conversion, analyze results and follow-up through lead nurturing. You should create multiple offers, calls-to-action and landing pages. Throw them up on the wall and see which ones stick. Fine tune your offers to optimize results.

Bottom line

You can't get to the measurement step unless you nail the lead capture strategy first. You must convince them before you can convert them. Bring the value and make it easy to receive your offers. Simple idea - tough to do really well.

What are your lead capture strategies and how well do they work?


The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn and Twitter.