So, you've tried pay-per-click (PPC) search, co-registration and banner ads. You even tried sweepstakes offers. But you want to deploy a new, proven and creative lead generation tactic.
Have you thought about online polls or surveys?
This is a great way to build your list and qualify potential prospects for cross-sell or upsell opportunities (either immediately after taking the poll or later on). Your poll could be used on your own website, as well as on external websites or blogs.
First, it's important to pick a question or topic that is timely, something that is in current events and that most Americans would be interested in ... perhaps even slightly controversial. Now, develop your question. The question should provoke thought and prompt response. This will be the headline on your creative (whether it's a banner or text ad).
Second, think of your answer choices. You can certainly do a simple yes/no question, but I'd recommend a variety of answer options that makes the prospect think and involves them in the question. It's also helpful to include an "other comments" box. You'll be surprised at how many people want to give you their two cents—this element really makes the poll participatory.
Third, make sure you let prospects know that you will not sell or rent their e-mail names. People hate spam, and you want to clarify that their e-mail addresses will not be compromised. You should also advise prospects that, by taking the poll, they will be opted in to your free newsletter (if you have one), which they can opt out of at any time, and that they will be notified via e-mail of the poll results. Also, offer them a free whitepaper, bonus report or article—with relevant subject matter related to the poll—as a token of appreciation for taking the poll. Follow up with a "welcome message" and introductory e-mail series to start the bonding efforts immediately.
Often referred to as the "marketing maven" by industry peers, Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, media, and publishing with expertise in multichannel, direct response, and Web marketing. Wendy has generated more than $150 million in total revenues for Fortune 500 companies, top publishers, consulting clients, and her own firm, Precision Marketing and Media, LLC. She is the creator of the groundbreaking SONAR Content Distribution Model and author of the best-selling book Content Is Cash: Leveraging Great Content and the Web for Increased Traffic, Sales, Leads and Buzz [Que Publishing, Paperback].