ctaIn a recent post I asked the question whether or not you should ask for registration before downloading a white paper used in a lead generation campaign.  I recommended not asking for registration and instead focus on offering something of great value others will talk about and closing your lead generation piece with a compelling call to action.

A reader sent an email asking for an example of a closing call to action — here you go:

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Many lead generation documents simply end with a concluding paragraph or two, followed by a company bio on the last page. To me, that’s a wasted opportunity. Assuming you’ve written a compelling and engaging document, you should seize the opportunity of interest the reader likely is experiencing and lead them to the next step of engaging with you and your company.

When I close a white paper, case study, etc. I include a section titled What You Should Do Next. The thought behind this section is the reader has just finished reading the document and may be thinking Now what? If that thought is there, I want to direct the reader to the next action, bringing them closer to me while interest exists.

Typically, I’ll offer three calls to action

1. Ask the reader to forward your document to others they know.

While it’s fresh in your mind, please forward this document to everyone you believe can benefit from even just one idea I’ve shared — coworkers, colleagues, business partners, etc. Sharing this document with others is a great way to pass along ideas and start a conversation that may lead to greater opportunities. When passing this along, here’s the link to send:  http://SomethingSimpleToReadAndCopy.com.

2. Ask the reader to subscribe to something.

Please register for this (newsletter, e-course, etc.).  Briefly explain the benefit of subscribing and provide a unique link.

I like to add a call to action to register for something that continues the discussion. A newsletter or e-course of some type is nice because it leads to a series of future contacts. This is a nurturing tactic to stay in contact with someone who is interested in the topic related to the document, but not yet ready to engage in a direct conversation. I usually don’t ask readers to subscribe to my blog because I want to segment them for targeted messages. This is creating an environment for a sales opportunity. Their request for more information is a qualifying step. Use an autoresponder to deliver sequential messages for things such as an e-course. The unique URL allows you to trace and test response.

3. Ask the reader to contact you for a discussion.

If you’re curious about how the information I’ve shared in this document can benefit you and your business, please contact me to discuss your particular situation and explore opportunities. This is not a sales call, but a sincere conversation to see if there are opportunities for you and your business to gain from the information, tips, and ideas I shared in this paper.

When I’m contacted from this offer, I send the person making the request for a meeting a questionnaire to prepare for our call.  The questionnaire asks basic questions about their business and marketing and sales efforts to date. I tailor the questionnaire to the topic of the lead generation document they’re responding to.  This questionnaire further qualifies them as a prospective customer and gives me the necessary background to jump start our conversation. When making this offer, it’s important to keep your promise of not conducting the meeting like a sales call.  Instead, you should focus the conversation on adding value to the person you’re speaking with. Treat the person like they’re already a customer and let the conversation naturally lead to the opportunity to work together. If nothing comes from the conversation, ask to stay in touch.

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Using the three calls to action above, I’ve extended the reach of my lead generation documents and put in place a system for qualified prospects to engage with me. Simply offering reports, white papers, case studies, etc. and giving them away with these three calls to action have resulted in new customers and significant long term relationships.

What do you think?

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