If you don’t know what a leadbox is, well, you should. Firstly, to preempt any mispronunciation mishaps, we are talking about a box that brings you leads, not a lead (Pb) paperweight. You’ve probably seen them before, if you don’t already know what they are. You know, that box on the corner of the counter at that favorite restaurant of yours that says “Blah blah blah, win something, blah blah blah, enter here!”
‘Wait,’ you’re saying, ‘why would my business use one of those? Aren’t those for gyms and massage parlors?’ Yes. Yes they are. But they can work for any business, when they are executed correctly.
Already got a leadbox? Great! You’ll like this, too. Or you’ll hate it, if yours are the reason for writing this post in the first place.
1. You Don’t Check In on Your Leads Often
A common mistake with leadboxes is forgetting they even exist. Your leads won’t necessarily be pouring in by the hundreds, but how would you know if you aren’t checking them? When you only check them every other month, it’s hard to tell whether or not they are producing leads for you consistently. Sure, there might be ten leads in there, but was that one a week, or did they all show up there the first week after you dropped it off and that was it? I guess we’ll never know.
There’s other benefits to checking your leadbox often, too. If you do it in company uniform, you have an opportunity for exposure to the public. No uniform? Work in the nude? Well, then I can’t help you. But you would also want to know if your leadbox is in good condition, right? Checking it often is the best way to make sure.
How often is often enough? Depends. How fast do you need the leads? How much time do you have to run around picking up leads? It does take time after all. It’s a matter of your expected ROI off of those leads. For one business you might check boxes twice a month. For others you may be checking once a week or more.
2. Who’s the Manager?
The reality of having a leadbox is that it is going to be in someone else’s business (most likely). For that reason, it is a good idea for you to know the managing staff of that business. You don’t have to go out for drinks with them on the weekends or anything, but say ‘hi’ and be friendly. They should have a positive experience with you whenever you show up to check the leadbox.
Why is this important? Your leadbox is going to be sitting there in their business. That right there means they’ve done you a favor. What’s more, that leadbox is going to get more attention if the manager is talking you up, and they’re more likely to do that if they know you personally. Your leadbox will also survive the punishment it’s going to be put through if the manager and staff know you and respect you. What if the manager isn’t very friendly? Well, that’s another problem. Maybe you should try somewhere else, if it’s not worth it to have your leadbox in their business.
Another opportunity arises for cross-promotion and quid pro quo. You can offer the manager something for keeping your leadbox there and in-tact. It’s kind of a business micro-trade. You’re not exchanging thousands of dollars worth of services for materials and inventory, but it’s a trade nonetheless, and it can wind up being a great value for both of you.
3. It Looks the Same as it Did 5 Years Ago
This is pretty simple, but it goes a long way. Your leadbox needs to be in tip top shape. You’ll need to make sure it’s not falling apart, and if it is, you’ll need to replace it. But more than that, you’ll find that after a while your leadbox will seem to become invisible. It will just start to blend into the surroundings and disappear.
So, what to do? Update the design of the leadbox every so often. Even just a change of background color can get more eyeballs on it. You don’t have to completely redesign the whole thing every time you have to do this, and you don’t have to do it more often than once per quarter, but it makes a difference.
4. You Don’t Offer Immediate Options
Some people just don’t want to wait. Leadboxes are great in that they attract the customer with a chance to win something (informative leadboxes never work, by the way). They feel like they’re playing the lottery for free, they just have to wait a little bit and who knows. But some people don’t want to wait. What if they’re really interested in your business? What if they want to buy now?
This is where you should include some additional information. Phone, email, website are standard, but don’t overdo it. Putting a few business cards next to it can accomplish that, too. But if you want to go full ninja on this one, you have some more creative ways for the eager customer to get in touch with you. For example, you can include the option to enter the drawing an additional time by text, or by liking your business on Facebook and posting something on your wall. Get creative. It won’t turn a crappy leadbox into a golden goose, but it will optimize an already well-performing leadbox and give you some immediate and hassle-free leads.
5. Your Offer is Over the Top or Worthless or Both
You can get into real trouble with leadboxes if you offer something that’s out of this world. Don’t offer a free car unless that’s what you do and you know you’ll get enough ROI off of those leads to pay for it. Don’t offer a year at your gym, because you’re going to be breaking a lot of hearts when you call those other leads and only offer them a week. Offer something that’s exciting to your potential customer and worth filling out the lead slip, but not something that you wouldn’t want to (or aren’t planning on) giving away for real.
As the offer becomes more valuable, you’ll get more leads. But the quality of those leads and their chance for conversion will go down, which equals wasted time calling leads for you. Remember, this isn’t like an email mailing list. You’re going to have to do this the old-fashioned way, one call at a time. Now, if your offer is lack-luster, you might get one or two leads, and while they might have more interest than the impulsive person who wants to win something crazy, you need more leads than that for the leadbox to be worth it. So, you have to balance somewhere in the middle.
Final word: If you’re not planning on giving away the prize you’re promising, you are playing with a fire that will burn your reputation to the ground. Keep your word. Don’t offer something you’re not intending to deliver on.
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