Collecting leads online
Use your website to gather customer data
Collecting sales leads through your website is a two way process. You need to collect data from potential customers, but you also need to know what to do with it once you have it.
By sending timely and useful e-mailed information to those who input their details on your website, you can build relationships and gather market intelligence. But the first thing to do is to build your online prospect list by capturing your visitors' information. By giving you their data and 'opting-in', your site visitors are giving you permission to send information; keep them updated; announce special offers and so on. To find out how often you should reach your customers, click here.
So to build your online prospect list you need some kind of form on your site that will collect and manage the information for you.
E-commerce retail sites have security issues in collecting sensitive data like credit card and bank account numbers. However, for regular data collection, the form features provided by FrontPage are sufficient and make data and lead collection very simple, without the need for programming knowledge. Note that to store client information, you will need to register with the Data Protection Registrar.
Data is collected in FrontPage through an online form. When the site visitor completes the form and clicks the Submit button, FrontPage collects the data and performs a number of actions with it, including sending you the results. No programming is required.
Using Form Fields
An online form is made up of a number of fields for collecting different types of data. Think of fields as being like each individual line or box on a form or coupon. Form fields can be inserted into any web page using FrontPage. When a form field is first inserted, FrontPage automatically generates a dashed box around the form elements. This dashed box represents the form area- just like the "cut-here" dashes on a coupon. All additional form fields should be inserted within it.
Name each of the fields in your form to make the results of your data collection easier to understand. This way, when you receive the results of your form, the data is easier to sort out.
In Page view, a form is represented by a dotted line. A number of different form field options are available:
One-line text box
Scrolling text box
Radio button (or Option button)
For more information on designing your website, click here. To get down and dirty with coding forms, try this.
Form Field Properties
You can set the properties for each form field. Field properties include the size of the form field in addition to default data (if any) that will be included in the form.
Default data is often used to prompt the user to enter a specific type or format of information. For example, a one-line text box form field looking for an e-mail address might display firstname.lastname@example.org in the text box.
Sending the Results
Once you have collected your data, the next step is to figure out what to do with it. FrontPage offers you a number of choices that include sending the content to a file, an e-mail address, or a database. You can also choose to use your custom scripts to handle the form results.
The Confirmation Page
FrontPage automatically creates a standard confirmation page for form data. You can also create a custom confirmation form.
It is advisable to display a confirmation page once your site visitors have entered all their information. It provides reassurance to the user that their data has been received.
Sending your data to a file, e-mail address, or a database requires a web server with Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions installed. Publishing your content to a specific database requires support for that database on the server side.
It is important to note that the process of collecting data through FrontPage forms has no security inherently built into it. Form data sent by e-mail or stored on your server can easily be "hacked" into during transmission and is not recommended for collecting credit card information or any other type of sensitive information. Click here to find out how to protect your data.
When collecting leads online, please keep in mind the following tips: