Top Five Lead Capture Tools & How They Work

Top Five Lead Capture Tools & How They Work
Copyright © Titus Hoskins

Capturing leads is perhaps one of the most vital elements of your web site. Done properly it can increase sales, boost traffic and transform any site (including yours) into one of those fantastic Internet success stories we all read about. Yet, many webmasters are unaware or ignore these crucial lead capture elements when designing their web sites.

'Lead capture' simply means capturing or obtaining the contact information (name and e-mail) of your site's visitors. You obtain permission to contact these subscribers at a later date to inform them about your site's updates, special events, or any other promotional material dealing with your site. Many marketers refer to this as building your 'opt-in list', visitors opt-in or give you permission to contact them.

Any webmaster can build a loyal list of contacts, customers, or interested parties that will return again and again to your web site. So here are Five Lead Capture Tools along with a detailed explanation on how each one works:

1. Opt-in List - Perhaps, the most important lead capture tool that you can have on your site. It's simply an e-mail form that will capture the name and e-mail of your visitors. Most savvy marketers and webmasters put an e-mail capture form on each page of their site because visitors to your site don't always enter through the front door i.e. your home page.

Offer some great incentive, a free ebook or resource to entice visitors to 'opt-in' to your contact list. A pop-up with a list of free gifts works well, so does offering a sample of your ezine or newsletter.

Most web hosts will supply you with the code for these e-mail capture forms - just place this code on all your pages. Some webmasters use a more informal 'guest book' method but it's basically the same thing, you capture e-mails and get permission to inform people of special events/updates relating to your site or product. See example of an e-mail capture page with pop-up here:

2. Landing Pages. This tool is very similar to the technique described above, and is mainly used in affiliate marketing. Basically, a landing page is just that, a potential customer/visitor first lands on your landing page and is then directed to the affiliate page or product you're promoting.

Why do this?

To capture your visitor's contact information for further follow-up. It is commonly known that it takes up to six or seven e-mails before a potential customer buys a certain product. By using a landing page, you build a contact list for people interested in your product or promotion. You now have a targeted list of interested leads to promote your products to.

These landing pages can be very simple, a few sentences and an e-mail capture form. Some marketers make these landing pages more elaborate - offering special bonuses and offers if the potential buyer buys your featured product. See an example of this here:

3. Articles - Recently, there have been an explosion of article writing on the web. One of the reasons, besides bringing in targeted traffic to your site, articles are great lead capture tools. People read your article, and they become more interested in your site or product. They are more willing to give you their contact information - especially if you have written a well informed helpful article.

Simply adding your site's url or your subscribe e-mail address in the author's resource box at the end of your article will help you capture leads. (See below for example) Then place these articles in online article directories like or - other webmasters will pick up your articles and place them in their ezine and on their sites. One of the most effective and underrated lead capture tools you can use. Just try it!

4. Desktop Software - This is a software product that sits directly on the desktop of computer users. It can put you in direct contact with potential customers or interested parties. Many of these products are given away free to your site's visitors who download your product and install it on their desktop calendars, wallpapers, personal planners, etc.

How does it capture leads?

These products usually have LIVE links to your web site, company product and your contact e-mail information. Interested customers will click thru to your sites or contact you directly about your product or company. The best of these desktop programs are very viral, friends and colleagues will pass them around - resulting in more lead captures for your business or web site.

5. RSS - Perhaps the least understood and the hardest to understand lead capture tool. RSS stands for 'Really Simple Syndication' and was first popularized by blogs because blogs use XML and RSS feeds to syndicate their content. Don't come to us, we will deliver. People can view a site's contents through RSS readers or an RSS equipped browser without actually going to that site!

How does it capture leads?

Many ways! Perhaps, the most simple, webmasters place an orange RSS icon on their web pages - anyone visiting can add this RSS feed to their RSS readers or aggregators. Then whenever this site is updated, the contents is syndicated or sent to those who have subscribed to the feeds. Another popular way, webmasters place 'add to myYahoo' or 'add to MyMSN' buttons on their sites and visitors can subscribe to these RSS feeds. This method of subscribing is also known as 'Live Bookmarks'.

Popular RSS site feeds are picked up by other webmasters and placed on their sites. Spreading these popular feeds all over the Internet, and drawing back interested visitors who are looking for more information. In essence, capturing leads for your site.

With Microsoft announcing the next version of Windows will have RSS, be prepared for a big explosion in RSS list building techniques. Under the 'Creative Commons License', there is even greater potential for lead capture programs and methods. Just make sure your site, already has a blog and RSS feed(s) - you can put up a simple blog and RSS feed within minutes for free with which is owned by Google. If you need help just try this simple guide:

Hope you were paying attention as you read this article on 'lead capture tools' and noticed how the author has placed 'five examples' in this article. These are actually lead capture tools the author (that would be me!) is using to build his contact list. Not to mention, this article in itself is a great 'lead capture tool' - it works for me and it can work for you too. Just place it on your site along with your e-mail capture form.

And watch those leads come in.

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Titus Hoskins My name is and I am an artist, writer and webmaster. I am also a former art teacher who has been a full-time Online Professional Marketer for the last 10 years. is my main website, but I have many more. You can follow me on Twitter, Linkedin and Google+.


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