Lead generation with Sniply

It is common to link to external websites for all sorts of reasons. Perhaps you link to interesting blog posts from your social media posts or your website link to business partners or suppliers you do business with.

While linking to external websites may have many positive effects, it typically means you drive traffic away from your website, hence losing out of the opportunity to convert anonymous website visitors into leads you can store in your email list.

Would you believe me if I tell you that you can harvest leads from the external websites you drive traffic to – say, websites like CNN and BBC, or global corporations like IBM or Apple?

It is totally possible.

Let me explain how.

First, you use a URL link shortener service that converts the long-form URL for the online article on cnn.com, nytimes.com, microsoft.com, etc. into a shorter-form URL.

Say, a URL like www.microsoft.com/office-products/some_article_here is shortened into something like www.snip.ly/x32y (these are just examples and are not actual working URL’s).

It is the shortened URL link you publish in your social media posts and on your website.

Whenever someone clicks on the short-form link you published, the URL shortener service (www.snip.ly in this case) receives the traffic and show the content of the original long-form URL.

With most URL-shortener services (Bitly comes to mind here), this is pretty much all the service does. I.e., redirecting short-form urls to their long-form URL equivalent. The main purpose here, of course, is to save space – for example, to fit long links into Twitter’s 140 character Tweet limit.

However, using a clever trick, a URL-shortener service (www.snip.ly in this case) perform this service with a twist.

Instead of redirecting the visitor to the original long-form article, it sends the traffic to another web page it controls. This web page includes (“wraps around”) the original long-form article, such that the visitor thinks he or she really did arrive at the CNN, NY Times or Microsoft websites.

What is the point with all this?

Because the visitor now thinks he or she is reading an article on the CNN, NY Times or Microsoft websites, but in reality, isn’t, the actual web page being viewed is under our control can add additional content to the page that CNN, NY Times or Microsoft are completely unaware of.

What can we do with our newly-gained control of the content of other companies’ websites?

Add a banner ad or registration form on top of it!

With the Snip.ly URL link shortener service, you can superimpose a small “slide-out” window that contains text or graphic messages, call-to-action buttons, and even registration forms.

For an example, the bottom left of the screenshot below show a blue slide-out window on top of an external website.

Add your own CTA to external websites you link to

Add your own CTA to external websites you link to

If you link to an article on the CNN website from a Tweet, Facebook post or your website, viewers who click the link will get to read the CNN article you link to, but your banner-ad or registration form appears to be floating over the CNN article they read.

Snip.ly currently supports several types of slide-out windows that can be superimposed over the websites you link to:

  • Registration forms enabling visitors to sign-up to your mailing list right on the external website
  • Call-to-action buttons that drive traffic to your website or landing page
  • Hyper-linked text that drives traffic to your website or landing page
  • Graphical banner ads driving traffic to your website or landing page

In addition to being a great way of harvesting leads from the external websites you link to, you get the social proof of appearing as an “ad” on their highly reputed website.

If you often link to many external websites, you may want to consider using this technique to harvest leads and traffic from the external websites you link to.

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