If you've read Part One of this tutorial or already have the foundation in place for a carefully sequenced, multi-touch campaign, you're ready to start capturing leads.

But before those elusive prospects come running to beat down your door, be sure you have a plan in place to accelerate the sales cycle. Here are five ways to optimize the capture, management and conversion of those new leads.

1. Optimize Profile Capture Landing Pages and Score Leads

Imagine driving high numbers of interested prospects to your landing page only to see the majority of them drop off once they see a long form. Careful attention to the design of your landing pages and profile capture forms helps mitigate the drop off of responders that for any number of reasons may choose not to fill out your form. Consider testing a few different forms and offering an extra bonus for filling out the form like additional, relevant information.

There are many design details that will increase your profile capture rate, so work with a vendor that has extensive experience in this area. Just a few best practices in the design of landing pages include:

  • Keep introductory copy as short as possible
  • When appropriate, add the form onto the same page as the landing page.
  • Pre-fill form fields with prospect data that the prospect can update
  • Limit the qualifying attribute fields on initial prospecting forms to encourage form completion—you can always get more information later.
  • Identify mandatory fields and point them out when not filled in by the prospect
  • Score the profile capture attributes that are important to you.

Scoring captured profiles has a number of advantages that enable you to:

  • Prioritize cultivation efforts
  • Measure the effectiveness of marketing campaign components
  • Gain early insight to make quicker adjustments to future marketing campaigns
  • See the quality of leads by sales region

2. Track and Measure Everything

The bottom line is if you're not tracking, you're not learning how to increase the ROI of your next campaign. Unless your direct marketing vendor provides it, setting up tracking and conducting the response analysis for an integrated campaign can take some effort.

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Jeff Kostermans is CEO of LeadGenesys www.leadgenesys.com a B2B direct marketing and lead generation firm. He is author of the Email Marketing Imperatives and can be reached at jeffk@LeadGenesys.com