Lead capture or squeeze pages exist for the sole purpose of building a list of potential customers to whom you can market products or services. The squeeze page tries to convince visitors to give you their contact information, typically in exchange for some kind of basic information product. While you can pay someone to develop a lead capture page for you, you can create one for free yourself.
Sign up for an account with a free autoresponder service. These services let you create a series of email messages that the service sends out on a schedule that you choose. Autoresponder services offer form builders as a standard feature. A simple form, and one appropriate for most entry-level lead capturing, asks for a first name and email address. The autoresponder gives you a small piece of HTML code that you copy and paste into the HTML for your website or an HTML box in your content management system. The form then appears on your page. Numerous autoresponder services offer this at no cost, although some free services include advertisement in your emails to offset the service costs. Develop the email content before launching your lead capture page.
Domain and Hosting
If you already own a domain and employ a hosting service, the page itself costs you nothing. If you do not already own a domain or pay for hosting, you can get around paying for both. Numerous hosting services offer free hosting, and many provide a free sub-domain such as websitename.hostingservice.com. Free services tend to offer fewer bells and whistles, but most squeeze pages are so small and simple that it doesn’t affect page performance. Sign up with the hosting service to get the free service and sub-domain.
Few visitors give up their contact information for free. Internet norms dictate that giving up your email address means you get a freebie. The exact nature of the freebie depends, in part, on your business. If you deal primarily in intellectual materials, your business probably lends itself to a short report, white paper or ebook. A podcast offers a good alternative if you prefer talking to writing, and many people prefer listening to reading. If you provide a service, such as online identity protection, you might provide a checklist of simple ways to avoid identity theft without going off the grid.
Once you get the technical elements in place and finish the preliminary content creation, develop the page content. An effective lead capture page starts with a compelling headline that identifies and promises a solution to a problem. An example headline might read, “You Can Be A Better Writer Today!” The headline identifies the problem, subpar writing, and promises a fix. The next step typically creates empathy with a short paragraph describing the individual’s plight and how the company understands it. The benefits of the freebie are described, typically with a bulleted list, and the page ends with a call to action. Calls to action ask the visitor to do something to get help with her problem, usually with a time-related word to create urgency. An example call to action might read, “Sign up now to get our 5 Steps to Better Writing Guide!”