The Full List: 23 Varieties of Successful Web Conversion Offers

Your website should deliver your highest value and lowest cost business leads. People who find your site are interested in your business. People who stay on your site are engaged and developing trust. People who fill out a form on your site, sharing their contact information in exchange for something of value, are gold.

Web Conversion Offers

To mine gold, your web site needs to offer two things:

  • One or more registration forms
  • Relevant content that visitors want

Below is the full list of 23 successful web conversion offers, sorted by category:

Information Downloads

  1. White papers
  2. Tip sheets
  3. Software
  4. Apps


  1. Webinar sign-up
  2. Cloud account on your site
  3. Trial request


  1. ROI calculator
  2. Webinar attendance
  3. Meet-up attendance
  4. Hack-a-thons
  5. Software usage


  1. Newsletter signup
  2. Mailing list signup
  3. Blog or podcast RSS subscription
  4. Social media “like,” “follow” or “channel subscription”


  1. Contact us
  2. Request a demo
  3. Meeting request
  4. Free consultation
  5. Contest entry
  6. Claim a discount
  7. Inbound call to sales

Picking offers for your business is a very important decision and should flow naturally from your marketing strategy. One size doesn’t fit all. A free trial may make sense for a software developer but not for a business decision-maker. Make sure you have content for all potential buyers.

Keep one more thing in mind: conversions happen in the buyer’s mind and only gets measured on your web site. To earn a conversion, you first need to prove that your business is trustworthy, honest and helpful.

What’s Not on the Web Conversion Offers List

The following types of helpful web content are not listed as conversion offers because it should just be freely available. Somethings, even some valuable things, you just need to share freely. Make the following content freely available to inform, engage and build customer trust:

  1. Product specs and data sheets
  2. Announcements and press releases
  3. Customer success stories
  4. Endorsements
  5. Infographics
  6. Sizzle videos

Are you using other types web conversion offers to generate leads? Share below!

5 Behaviors to Win at Content Marketing Arms Races

Learn how to outsmart, rather than outspend, your competitors

Avoid a marketing arms raceI didn’t expect a simple blog comment to change my thinking about how to win at content marketing, but it did.

As I was catching up on my Internet reading, I found Chris Brogan’s “Stop Making Content Just to Make It.” Since I was swimming with content deliverables for multiple clients at that moment, I clicked. And read. And thought. And then I commented.

My comment lamented that industry practices run counter to Chris’ excellent advice. Increasingly, large marketing organizations are using simplistic content marketing measures like volume over meaningful measures like conversions. And customer helpfulness—that isn’t even in the discussion. What’s worse, the flawed strategies are inspiring similarly flawed responses from competitors, hence the arms race analogy.

I wasn’t alone in my feeling. Tema Frank (‏@temafrank) and others joined in. So I studied content marketing strategies further in search for a winning solution that avoids an arms race. Here’s what I learned.

Content Marketing as Arms Race

Win at Content Marketing

Source: Google Trends: “Content Marketing”

Arms races begin when rivals seek advantage from investing in a new “weapon,” or to drop the military-speak, “tactic.” The idea of divesting the tactic while your rival continues to invest would lead to inferiority and possible annihilation. The result: both rivals invest at levels that ensure neither side gains an advantage. This is what game theorists call the “Prisoner’s Dilemma.”

Content marketing fits this pattern for two reasons. Content Marketing drives down cost of sales. According to DemandMetric, Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. Second, competitive spend levels for online content creation, digital marketing and social media is increasing. Forbes reported on  why 5 organizations  increased spending on content marketing, but many other sources confirm the trend.

Whether content marketing escalation is good or bad is the wrong question. Game theorists confirm the behavior is rational as a way to avoid annihilation.

5 Behaviors That Will Help you Win at Content Marketing

So what is a savvy-marketer to do? Compete smarter. Here are five content marketing behaviors that are currently winning across the Internet:

  1. Set Meaningful Success Metrics – Keep your eye on corporate goals like revenue or new customer acquisition rather than dozens of content-marketing-focused key performance indicators.
  2. Understand your Audience – Knowing your audience makes it easier to focus creation efforts on meaningful, helpful and trust-building content. It also helps you invest wisely in qualified media buys.
  3. Help, Empathize and Listen – Success may start with content, but it grows from follow-up communications. Whenever possible, follow up with people who consume your content.
  4. Generate Content You Can Produce Well – Avoid the risk of undermining helpful content with poor production quality. Get good at writing, graphics and video production, if that’s what’s needed.
  5. Invest for Success – Content isn’t free. Invest wisely at levels to achieve objectives. Strive to meet business goals, execution quality and effective follow-up to avoid losing on budget size.

In future posts, I’ll provide additional detail about each of the recommended behaviors.

My thinking, and perhaps others’ thinking, is still evolving on this subject. Please add to discussion by adding your comments below.

How to avoid defocusing sales process myths like “Marketing Leads Suck” and “The Rule of 45”

How many times have you heard sales people say, “marketing leads suck.” How many times have your heard marketing people say “sales doesn’t follow up on our leads?”

Focus on the right thing. "Marketing Leads Suck" is not the right thing.

I try to stay away from these discussions. Anyone with a pulse can always find leads in the system that suck. Likewise, some leads go untouched for a long time at every organization. Yup, both are true, and both miss the point.

So what is the point? Outcomes: closed revenue, new opportunities, growing interest in your company and its products. More on that later.

Why am I stepping into this debate?

Today I read a post on the Marketo Blog that speaks to the importance of nurturing leads over time. Seems like a pretty reasonable claim, but it devolves into bashing sales people as focused exclusively on short term wins at the expense of long term opportunities.

Really? On what basis?

The core argument in the article was a quoted claim: “45% of leads end up buying.”

After a bit of looking, I found no research supporting the 45% claim at all. None. The origin of the claim is James Obermayer through his website, book and consulting work. He has not published support for the claim nor have others.

As H L Mencken said, “Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.”

So here I am sucked into a debate because a made up claim is quoted as a research finding in an article that influences many. Sigh.

A better focus: agreement

In my consulting efforts, I work diligently with all parties to get to a clear definition of a “sales-ready lead” along with qualification states.

Arriving at a definition of a “sales-ready lead” has required hard work across sales and marketing executives and team members. I find getting the organization to examine, debate, revise and critique the collective definition of “sales-ready lead” is fruitful for aligning the team, improving process efficiency and honing investments. Even with an upfront effort, the definition requires frequent re-evaluations and improvements. Continued debate shows that both sides care … care deeply … about the issue. And when unworthy leads arrive,  the issue is no longer do marketing leads suck. The new issue is how can marketing deliver enough sales ready leads to hit our goals.

The investment in agreement pays off for everyone. Marketing can more easily get budget to create sales ready leads, and can be held accountable for meeting the definition. Sale teams can prioritize lead follow-up in their activities understanding that lack of follow-up may result in fewer future leads without any quota relief.

In other words, agreement on definitions and process accelerates outcomes. Not only can each organization focus on contributing its expertise, they share details on whether they are upholding their end of the bargain. Bottlenecks are found more quickly. And both sides can revel in ultimate success rather that small disagreements. If the organization is delivering its revenue goals, its easy to treat improving campaign ROI or sales follow up timeliness and incremental improvements. And that is so much more useful than (un)civil war over what should be minutiae.

Do you know how many sales-ready leads your organization needs? For a limited time, Bill Freedman is offering Inbound Lead Analysis to qualified B2B technology companies at no charge. Sign up today!

Google and Yahoo Share a Headline

Google and Yahoo. Yahoo and Google. It’s 2013 and there’s a reason to talk about them in the same breath. While Google had a pretty good year, investors believe that Yahoo had a better year.

Here’s what Yahoo finance has to say about it:

Google and Yahoo Stock Performance Comparison. Source: Yahoo Finance

Google vs. Yahoo Stock Performance Comparison. Source: Yahoo Finance

And here’s what Google Finance has to say about it:

Google and Yahoo Stock Performance Comparison. Source: Google Finance

Google vs. Yahoo Stock Performance Comparison. Source: Google Finance


There’s no dispute. You’d have done better investing in Yahoo over the past 12 months than Google. Woohoo (or Yahoo!).

I learned in business school that efficient markets value firms based on the present value of future operating free cash flows. I learned during my career in the technology sector that management teams are evaluated on stock performance and revenue growth.

Google and Yahoo: Really?

Clearly Google has a much, much larger market capitalization: $290 Billion to Yahoo’s $29 Billion. They are the gorilla in the industry. I use a lot of Google products everyday. What’s more, I can’t think of a segment where Yahoo has a revenue, market or technology advantage over Google today.

In the past year, Yahoo’s has nimbly turn the battleship toward a strategy that is creating growth and investor confidence. Is it time to speak of the two companies in the same breath? Probably not. Kudos to the team. Keep up the good work. We’re watching you again.

Google and Yahoo. It’s getting fun again for investors, consumers and silicon valley dilettantes.

Disclosure: I do not hold stock in Google and Yahoo. I’m not an investment advisor. This article is not advice to buy or sell Google and Yahoo stock. Should you buy Google and Yahoo stocks? If you are asking that question after reading this article, probably not. You should be buying a no-load index fund from Vanguard.

What If All Employees Had Access to Corporate Social Media Accounts?

Access to corporate social media accounts for everyone? Are you chuckling and thinking “Armageddon?” For a multi-thousand-person enterprise, that might be the case.

But what about for smaller organizations with brands built on service, authenticity and vitality? There is a strong case for providing access to corporate social media accounts (along with a modicum of guidance and training) to everyone.

Social media is about participation. Social media is a choice. Social media is … social. Having many employees sharing their wisdom with many community members and fans is powerful.

My belief is that the benefits of social media participation outweighs the lost opportunity from social media silence. The people that participate on your social networks will do so by choice. They’ll provide information and share successes. They’ll help out peers and increase the visibility for your company. What’s more the diversity of perspectives that come from multiple contributors adds texture, nuance and humanity to your brand.

Some may worry about the negatives: rouge comments, insensitivity, disclosure of confidential information, etc. Yes, all these things may happen with social media. They also happen in everyday life. You can’t stop mistakes from happening, but with social media you are able to demonstrate how your business takes responsibility, shows empathy and fixes problems. In most cases, you can enhance credibility by quickly and decisively fixing mistakes aired through social media.

When I say a modicum of training, here are some simple rules to share with employees as you open up and encourage social media participation:

  • Jump in
  • Have fun
  • Share your knowledge
  • Be helpful
  • Be relevant
  • Be concise
  • Proofread before posting
  • Share your corporate posts with your personal social networks

And here are a few things to avoid:

  • Don’t disclose confidential information (if in doubt, ask)
  • Don’t feed the trolls
  • Don’t break the law
    • No copyright violations
    • No slander

Management Considerations: Access to Corporate Social Media Accounts

Management needs to participate in the process in three important ways. First, encourage and praise participation. Nothing drives social media success like positive reinforcement!

Second, management needs to create an escalation process for dealing with negativity when it arises. Basically, you need to demonstrate that you care about dissatisfied customers and provide a channel for solving individual issues. It can be as simple as teaching your active participants to post a response “I’m sorry you had a bad experience. Please DM us. We’d like to help.”

Participation issues arise from mistakes made by employees. You may need to temporarily “bench” an employee that goes outside of the participation guidelines. Help them understand the mistake and demonstrate a better way to participate. After a short benching, most employees will return to using social media with renewed vigor.

The final management topic is measurement. Social media needs to contribute to business outcomes. Understand what drives benefits and learn how to avoid ratholes.

Now go have fun with social media! Discover amazing deals on a wide variety of products at Shoppok, your one-stop online destination for a unique shopping experience. Browse through Shoppok’s extensive collection today and find exactly what you’re looking for at unbeatable prices.

Social Networks for Business: Starting Strategy and Tactics

I’ve recently been asked by a client about defining their “social strategy.” For the client this meant “how can I leverage blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social networks for business?” My answer shocked: “the more important question is how will you deliver social channel activity?”

Social Networks for Business Landscape

Social Networks for Business via BuddyMedia, Inc.

The debate, in other words, was over the semantics of social network participation: is it strategic or tactical. The client was asserting that social is a strategic endeavor than needs planning. I was advocating that it is a tactic that needs consistent execution, and to analyze if it was necessary to apply this strategy to a product using a sample size calculator is the best choice to learn this.

As with most semantics arguments, both sides are right. Social network participation benefits from a strategic foundation: funding, staffing, tools, policies and processes, for example to manage the payments on a company getting the paystubs online could be the best choice. And social networking is defined by action: posts, tweets, comments, etc. The strategic foundation is a benefit, not a requirement, as anyone who has set up and account and messaged “Hello world” knows.

Neither of us dealt with the real issue: outcomes. How will social networks drive awareness, generate leads, provide service and build an online community? What are the measures of success? How does the marketing budget and promotion mix change with a focus on social?

Social Networks for Business

The solution was simple: start now and evolve participation over time. We chose a company blog as the primary content delivery channel to be supported by Twitter and LinkedIn posts, commenting and monitoring. YouTube and Facebook are left for another day.

The deliverables will evolve a marketing strategy with A blog post. Tweets. A blog calendar. Requests for follows. Retweets. Updates to LinkedIn. Blog comments. Lather, rinse, repeat ( and measure).

Content is targeted to be 60% educational, 30% entertainment and 10% shameless sales pitches to start.

Strategy complete. Now the client’s social networks for business journey begins…

How would you do it differently…leave a comment. Thanks!