“It’s like getting free money!”
How many times have you seen some version of that claim in an advertisement?
I tend to tune those kinds of messages out myself. But recently I’ve been thinking about marketing tactics that really do come close to giving you free money as a business owner—you just need to take the time to implement them.
The truth is, any business with an online presence has ways to increase their leads and revenue that they haven’t even discovered yet. I think of this as hidden revenue—like change buried in the cushions of your sofa, or the check that’s been forgotten in a pile of mail for months.
These aren’t bread-and-butter sources of revenue, but adding a few of them into your ongoing marketing campaigns can make the difference between meeting and missing your goals in a slow month. In this post, I’ll be covering 14 of these little marketing hacks.
I think we’ve used every one of these at some point on the marketing team at Leadpages, so it’s a fair bet they have the potential to work for you, too. For more inspiration in this vein, I’d also recommend you download a free copy of our e-book, 42 Lead Generation Ideas That Actually Work. You’ll find takes on some of the ideas below and much, much more.
Now, get out your metal detectors and divining rods and prepare to discover more revenue all around you, from the top to the bottom of your website and beyond.
1. Add an Opt-in Point to Your Navigation Bar
What’s the first thing someone sees when they land on your homepage?
If you have a standard website, it’s your navigation bar. While totally new visitors may spend more time taking in your main homepage content, people who have been there at least once before are likely to assess your menu first to jump straight to the information they need to complete their picture of your business.
And if those people aren’t already leads, they absolutely should be. That’s where your navigation bar has room to route them in the right direction, with a link to one of your most universally appealing lead magnets.
There are variations on this theme that can also work well. If your navigation-bar offer requires a little more context to be compelling, go ahead and send people to a brief landing page instead of a Leadbox. Or, if you’re running a great promotion, you may want to swap in a link to your promo page.
2. Inspire Action with Every Single Blog Post (Even the Old Ones)
If your business has maintained a blog for more than a year, you probably don’t quite remember every post you’ve ever published. And chances are, you do a lot of things differently now than you did when you first started publishing.
Such as adding a content upgrade (or another kind of call to action) to every blog post. At Leadpages, we were among the first to popularize this tactic—but even we weren’t 100% consistent about adding content upgrades to every post when we first started out.
That’s where this tactic comes in. To help your old content keep producing new leads for you, first you’ll want to identify your highest-traffic posts. Log into your Google Analytics account, filter by blog content if needed, and see which older posts are getting the most pageviews. (If you’ve never done this before, you might find some surprises here.)
You might know offhand which of those posts have a good content upgrade and which don’t, but if you’re not sure, make a list of, say, your top 10 most-visited posts that are more than a year old. Then, go through each one to see whether there’s an appropriate content upgrade, lead magnet, or call to action you could add.
The great thing about this strategy is that you don’t necessarily have to create something totally new to use as a lead magnet. If you’re regularly writing blog posts, it’s very likely that you’ve written something else on the topic in the intervening months. Can you turn that post into a bonus PDF, checklist, or some other kind of resource to use as a lead magnet on your old high-traffic post?
While you’re at it, go ahead and check links and see whether there are any opportunities to update old statistics, include updated information on your products or company, or add new and relevant material. It might even be worth bumping the refreshed post to the top of your blog’s front page and resharing it with your audience, many of whom probably didn’t see it the first time around.
Time-sensitive content like the post below especially benefits from this approach:
Applying this strategy at Leadpages has resulted in hundreds of new leads we never would’ve gotten if we’d left posts like these alone. As a bonus, if you do have the opportunity to add new data, you may see a boost in the page’s search ranking since Google prioritizes fresh, up-to-date content.
In fact, refreshing the above post on landing page trends boosted its Google ranking enough that (at the time of writing) it’s the top result for “landing page trends.”
3. Make a Last-Chance Lead Grab with Exit Popups
What’s the one thing that could keep a random, anonymous site visitor from leaving your site (and staying random and anonymous forever)?
Think about it, then offer it to them on a popup, such as an exit Leadbox, that’s triggered when they move their cursor to close the window or leave the page.
To avoid annoying current subscribers, customers, and frequent visitors, you can adjust the popup frequency so that it doesn’t display every single time. But since it only appears when people are leaving, it’s not likely to be a major annoyance anyway. And it could even alert people to high-quality content or offers that they haven’t happened across before.
4. Save the Day with Your 404 Page
When someone reaches a 404 page on your site it might be your fault, it might be the visitor’s fault, or it might be the fault of their cat who walked across the keyboard as they were typing in a URL. In any event, you want your 404 page to help get them back to the right place.
So at minimum, your 404 page should have links to your most important pages. That’ll help orient the folks who know exactly what they’re looking for.
But what about the ones who aren’t so sure—who followed a bad link or an expired offer? They might just leave your site … unless you give them a reason not to.
Yep—this is another excellent place to promote your best lead magnet or best high-value, low-commitment offer. (Check out Leadpages’ standard template library to find pages designed especially for this purpose, or build your own.)
5. Leave Something Great to Find in Your Footer
Earlier I mentioned the potential of adding an opt-in point to your site’s navigation bar—people looking closely at it are likely in the early stages of familiarity with your business, which puts them in a sweet spot for joining your email list. While it’s less prominent, your site footer can make another excellent place to find highly engaged traffic.
Why? Consider that someone looking at your footer has scrolled all the way through your page without finding a single thing they wanted to click on. It’s like they’re begging you to give them something else to do, and to reward their attention with something worthwhile.
So give them something. In the example below, a photography site drops a beautiful Leadbox trigger image smack dab in the middle of the footer to promote a starter kit for new subscribers.
It’s a lovely little easter egg that’ll bring value to visitors and generate more leads and revenue for the site.
6. Use Your Logout Screen to Open a New Door
Do you have a membership site, an app, or an online community that requires a login? Look up traffic numbers for your login and logout pages sometime—while you might not think of them as a marketing asset, they might be among the highest-traffic pages you own.
But if they’re like most login/logout screens, they probably don’t have a lot going on. For visitors logging in, that makes sense: they came there for one reason.
But the people logging out—where do they go next? Your logout page is the perfect place to make a suggestion. Cross-sells, upsells, special events—you can promote anything here that makes sense for your existing users. If you use this tactic, set a calendar reminder to revisit this page on a regular basis to make sure it’s always showing the best, most current offer.
7. Give More Than Thanks on Your Confirmation Pages
Like logout pages, confirmation pages tend to be empty fields with almost unlimited potential. In fact, they’re even better because you know exactly what someone who arrives on them has just done (assuming you make custom thank you pages for your offers).
There are dozens of things you can do with thank you pages. If it’s time to overhaul yours, start by thinking: what do I want this visitor to do next? If they’re excited about my business, what will they want to do next?
Then, identify or create an ideal next step and allow visitors to take it.
8. Grab Latecomers on “Offer Ended” Pages
What happens when your special event or limited-time promotion ends? For too many businesses, the answer is … nothing. That promotion page hangs out online for eternity, and it’s a dead end for anyone who reaches it.
But is anyone really going to find those pages? In my experience behind the scenes of major promotions, absolutely. Think about …
- People who saw your social media posts late (due to algorithm quirks or deep scrolling through your feed)
- Email subscribers who were on vacation when you emailed out the link (and are now returning to clean up their inbox)
- Hesitaters who bookmarked your promo page to make a decision later
- People who come across your page in organic search results
The common thread? These are all people who, relative to the general population, are really interested in buying something from you.
Leadpages just released a feature that lets you automatically redirect landing pages when your countdown timer runs out, so it’s easier than ever to build in this step before your promo even launches and redirect latecomers to a “consolation prize” offer. But whatever system you use, be sure to make this a deliberate part of your launch process. It’ll help your promotions rack up sales well after the deadline is past.
9. Create a Custom Destination for Social Followers
Is everyone who follows you on social media on your email list? Probably not—but you definitely want them there.
The next time you have half an hour to spare, do an audit of each platform you use and see how easy it is for the average follower or profile visitor to hop onto your email list. There are lots of ways you can send social traffic to your landing pages, but one of the simplest is just to create a dedicated page for each platform that you include in your profile or bio.
Think outside the blue box here, too. Even smaller niche channels like Periscope or Quora can produce more leads and sales for you when you consistently apply this approach.
10. Leave a “Link” in Your Voicemail Message
If you have a business phone, front desk, or sales line that isn’t staffed 24/7, you can help callers get what they need by creating a landing page with a super simple URL and mentioning it on your outgoing voicemail message.
Plenty of businesses direct people to their homepage via voicemail, but a little creative thinking might reveal an even better option. Who calls you most frequently after hours? If there are a lot of prospective customers in that group, consider building a special landing page where they can download a great lead magnet and join your list in addition to finding additional information.
Then, leave a message along these lines:
“Thanks for calling Our Business. Our office is currently closed, but feel free to leave a message and we’ll return your call shortly. If you’re interested in setting up a consultation, please visit ourbusiness.com/consult to sign up and get a special bonus offer. We look forward to working with you!”
11. Put Upsells & Cross-sells on Autopilot
There are (at least) two ways to handle upsells. The first way is to interrupt would-be customers on their way to checkout with extra offers and add-ons.
Didn’t you really mean to buy this more expensive thing? Wouldn’t you like to buy six instead of one? How about these three accessories? How about a 100-year warranty?
If that works for your business, great. But if you’re just starting to think about how to generate more revenue through upsells, I’d take the other approach first, lest you end up spiking your cart abandonment rates.
That other approach: present upsell offers after you’ve closed the initial sale.
You could do this by sending broadcast emails to batches of new customers you export from your ecommerce platform every so often, but there are at least two more efficient methods you should consider (so that you automatically set up potential extra revenue with each new sale, without even thinking about it).
First, you can introduce your upsell or cross-sell offer(s) into your new-customer email autoresponder sequence. With an email automation tool like Drip, you can get really sophisticated here and do things like having your ecommerce platform tag contacts with the product they’ve bought so they get customized upsell recommendations. But at the very least, you need an email platform (or another automation tool like Center that integrates with your email platform) that allows you to automatically separate your new customers from your leads and route them into a different sequence.
Second, you can use retargeting ads to show these offers to new customers, if you’re worried about overwhelming them with email right away. Center’s Facebook Custom Audiences integration lets you automatically send new customers into a custom audience for your Facebook retargeting ads. (And since these people have just bought from you, they’ll be especially likely to notice your ads.)
12. Use an Actionable Email Signoff
How many 1:1 emails do you and your team send every day to people outside your company? If it’s a significant number, consider turning your company email signature into a call to action.
Most businesses link to their homepage here, but if there’s something special you’re promoting, you can use this free space to catch attention from unexpected sources (think customers looking for support, joint-venture partners, even vendors who may know people who’d be very interested in what you’re offering).
For instance, right now at Leadpages, we’re using this space to showcase our upcoming conference, Converted 2016:
How to pull this off if you have a lot of staff? The easiest way is to use a signature-management tool like Signature Satori for Gmail—you make changes centrally, and then all you have to do is remind the team to refresh their browser windows.
13. Give Eager Leads an Email Shortcut
If you’ve thought carefully about your email marketing, you probably have finely tuned nurture-email sequences designed for everyone who opts into your list, so you can slowly lead them closer to the end goal of becoming a (regular, loyal) customer.
But not everyone needs to be slowly led. Some of your new leads might be ready to buy tomorrow, and you want to make it easy for them without hard-selling people who are still in learning mode.
One way to do that: look for places to create a “shortcut” in your nurture sequence. In fact, many of the emails Leadpages sends out contain a shortcut from a piece of blog content to a webinar—a somewhat higher-commitment form of interaction:
This isn’t the main call to action, but every time it’s included, a small percentage of recipients take advantage of this button. They’re ready.
14. Give Unresponsive Email Subscribers Another Nudge
Whenever someone doesn’t open your marketing email, you have to wonder: was it that they just weren’t interested in the subject matter? Or could the subject line itself have turned them away?
There’s one neat way to tell that’s especially easy in Drip (one-click easy, actually). But you can do this manually in other email platforms, too. Simply identify the people who didn’t open your email, change the subject line, and send it to them again.
You automatically expand the reach of any important marketing email, and learn a little about the kinds of subject lines that work for your audience to boot. It’s almost too simple—but add up half a dozen of these too-simple little marketing hacks, and you’re likely to see a real bump in your revenue for as long as you keep using them.
Still hungry for hidden revenue—or just want to stockpile ideas for the next time you need to boost your numbers? Download our free ebook, 42 Lead Generation Ideas That Actually Work:
Have you ever uncovered an unexpected new source of leads or revenue in your business? Tell us about it in the comments.