By John Eberhard

An identity capture device is a feature on a website that gets people to give you their contact information. Every website needs identity capture devices. It’s how you use a website to generate new leads and identities to market to. You are trying to either generate leads that you can sell to, or names and contact info of people who you can market to and potentially sell to later on down the line.

Here are some examples of the types of identity capture devices you can put on a website.

  1. More info forms: This is the most basic type of identity capture device, where you offer for someone to fill out a form for more information on a product or service. You want to have a form like this on your contact page, but you also want to have one on every single product or service detail page. When someone is looking at one of these product or service pages, you don’t want to make him look for a way to respond. Minimally you want to ask for their name, phone and email.
    What to do with this type of reach: Hand them over to your sales rep and get them contacted right away. And add them to your sales database.
  2. Newsletter subscription: If your company sends out an email newsletter (and you should) put forms on the website for people to subscribe to the newsletter. Typically in this case you just ask for their name and email.In this day and age, higher percentages of people open and respond to an “in-house list” like this. And your newsletter should go to people who subscribed, to all clients, and prospects, i.e. people who inquired about your offerings but did not buy. So if you don’t have a newsletter you should start one.

    What to do with this type of reach: Put them on your newsletter list and send them a regular newsletter.

  3. Free information products: For many businesses (not all) it makes sense to create free information products, such as free ebooks, free reports, white papers, etc. I myself have used this technique to generate literally thousands of responses. You make the topic of the ebook or report something that is directly related to one of your products or services. That way, everyone who requests it will be a potential customer or client. And you always make everyone give you their name and contact information in order to get the free item.And by the way, a free ebook or report should be anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 words, and I usually design it to look nice and convert it into a PDF that can be emailed to people or downloaded.

    What to do with this type of reach: Create an autoresponder series, which is a series of emails that starts going out to the person when they fill out the form. The first email in the series gives them a link to where they can download the free ebook or report. Then subsequent emails can tell more about your product or service, give testimonials, and link to videos about your product or service. The first email goes out right away, then you stagger the subsequent emails 3-4 days apart. I have put as many as 15 emails into an autoresponder series.