7 Reasons Calculators Are Your Next B2B Lead Capture Tool
September 2, 2015 | Elizabeth Wellington
Marketing teams face a perpetual challenge: create content that captures new leads within a manageable budget. As new content forms emerge, it’s easier than ever to meet this challenge with a bit of creativity.
Interactive content is game changer. Calculators, in particular, break the mold — they give potential clients tangible figures they’re looking for in an interactive, engaging form.
What works better than real numbers? Nothing. Here’s why:
1. Short and Sweet Content Hits the Mark
Calculators get down to the nitty gritty, offering easy, tangible solutions to questions that plague your audience. The interactive structure offers a palatable experience for leads, without requiring that they wade through long-form copy.
In fact, 95% of B2B buyers prefer shorter content forms. And they’re better for you too — calculators are “evergreen” and never go out of style. They also can yield higher levels of personal and social shares, as they offer such great value to your audience and their peers.
2. Calculators Limit Risk
According to the Seth Godin, risk aversion is the biggest deterrent in B2B sales. Individuals checking out new possibilities would rather stick with the status quo than rock the boat. If a deal goes sour, or proves to yield low ROI for a company, the employee’s standing or security could be in danger.
Calculators limit risk by offering tangible facts that ground the conversation and assure leads that they are on the right track. They also make it easier for an individual to present a new product or service to the decision maker. The calculator is a visual element that does the job for them. Instead of needing to completely flesh out the pros and cons, a simple email forward with the results can tip the scales at the end of a buyer’s journey.
3. Transparency Builds Trust
Calculators offer a transparency that builds trust, not only in B2B but in B2C marketing, too. DocBraces, an Orthodontics practice located in New Brunswick, Canada boosted their landing page conversions to 45% by implementing a calculator that helps families to discern the expected costs of orthodontics.
This kind of openness brings awareness to costs and allows families to prepare ahead of time — building a sense of trust between the consumer and the company. It also increases productivity, saving employees in the office from needing to have as many preliminary conversations leading up to a financial commitment.
4. Personalization is Key
With personalization as an emerging trend in the marketing world, it’s more important than ever to talk to the individual. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for clients. The research supports this trend — an Infosys survey found that 78% of customers are more likely to develop a longer term relationship with a retailer if they receive personalized offers. Calculators allow you to personalize to the specific needs of clients before a sales conversation even begins, putting you in the best position to speak to their needs
B2B consumers expect one-to-one relationships, too, rather than blanket content. Calculators are a great place to start the personalization journey because they give customers the exact answer they need based on a long list of factors. What could be better than that?
5. Interactivity Offers a Clear Service
Calculators offer an upfront and complimentary service — just as those amazing food samples reel you in at Trader Joe’s, calculators reel people into your website. Chances are they’ll stay longer, too.
Calculators are becoming increasingly popular as a service to audiences in multiple sectors. The New York Times, for example, created a student loan calculator that spoke to their young professional and student readers. The NYT was not selling a service related to the topic but offering a free product with the intention of deepening their relationship to their audience.
BeeWits, a project management solution, did the same thing, targeting their audience with a calculator that discerned their ideal hourly and year-long rate. Their calculator’s unsurpassed ability to target incomes boosted SEO, and caught the attention of publications who shared it with enthusiasm.
Calculators not only do the math on purchases, they offer a simple service to your audience. As content marketing experts know, offering quality (and complimentary) services is one of the best ways to capture leads.
6. Clear ROI Shows the Benefits
When SilkRoad wanted to help potential customers understand the advantages of their cloud-based HR system, they turned to an interactive calculator to lead the way. Not only did their calculator jumpstart a positive dialogue with clients, it resulted in a 46% lead submission rate.
Why? Because ROI calculators not only decrease risk, they offer a clear indication of the benefits. Calculators are the perfect last step in the buyer’s journey, giving consumers the confidence to follow through with their sales team.
Not only do calculators help convert online leads, they also empower salespeople during conversations at large scale events. Instead of relying solely on the abilities of your team, you complement them with interactive content that works.
Blackbaud did exactly that with a simple time-savings calculator they created: rather than pulling up stats or slides, the sales team could bring up the calculator during a sales call and have a straightforward conversation about value with their prospect. Thanks to that value-add, the sales team brought in an additional $600k in new revenue during that quarter.
7. Awesome Feedback Loops Mean Continual Improvement
When you offer a calculator to your audience, you not only supply leads with an immediate service and personalized attention, you capture a set of specific information about their current circumstances. Calculators, unlike a survey about a company’s financial well being, are not intrusive but give you detailed snapshots of your leads.
Securing this kind of data can revolutionize your marketing plan. With information about the people on your website and their specific circumstances, you can finetune strategy rather than working by trial and error. Similarly, data allows you to segment clients and informs your sales team — as the buyer’s journey continues, you are in the driver’s seat.
Are you interested in utilizing ROI calculators to capture leads? Find out how much it could mean for your results with this SnapApp: