Bringing traffic to your web site is just the first step in converting those visitors into buyers. You need to qualify your visitors and get their contact information so that you can follow up with them in the future. This type of lead-building is a major marketing activity offline and online. Online marketers use a “squeeze” page to get qualified leads from their visitors.

Sometimes called a “name squeeze page,” your squeeze page is a single page with teaser copy offering something attractive to visitors, in exchange for their name and email address.

The actual layout and content of squeeze pages varies, but it should always include a headline, enticing copy, an offer, and a subscription form. You may also choose to use bullet points (always a great way to grab attention), testimonials, and audio or video to get your message across.

Your headline must immediately answer the main question in your visitors’ minds. This question is always, “What’s in it for me?” You need to tell them, in as few words as possible, why they should keep reading your page. Your headline should grab your visitors’ attention and convince them that they need to keep reading.

Using a classic headline “formula” almost always works. Some popular formulas include “How to…” “How I…And You Can, Too!” “Seven Ways to…” “Do You Want to…” The one thing all of these headlines have in common is that they promise a benefit to the reader. Your visitors will keep reading to get that benefit.

Make your sales copy short and to the point. An idea squeeze page covers only one or two screens. Your goal is not to sell your product at this time; you’re just qualifying leads. You need to get your message across as quickly and as simply as possible.

To do that, you need a great offer, something your visitors will really want. This can be your ezine, a free ebook, a free consultation, or anything else that will appeal to the people you want as your customers. This last point is important. While almost everyone would like a chance to win a free television, this type of incentive won’t qualify your visitors.

Your free offer should be interesting only to people who really want and need what you have to offer. And to those people, it should be very attractive. You need to offer them something for free that they would willingly pay for if given the option.

Basically, your squeeze page is a sales letter, for a free item, that convinces your visitors to hand over their name and email address in exchange for something they really want.

In addition to your headline, copy, offer and subscription form that adds them to your email list, you should also include a privacy notice. Make it very clear that you will not distribute their private information to anyone, for any reason, at any time. A link to a full-blown privacy notice is an even better idea.

If you offer the right incentive, you can expect up to 50% of your visitors to sign up for your email list. You can then follow up with these qualified leads and convert them into customers.

A great name squeeze page is indispensable in building your list.