Web site not bringing in any leads? Might be time to step up to some new ways to take advantage of your Internet presence and turn it into a genuine lead source. Smart companies are using the Web to track ads, reach out to their community, and target new prospects.

Advertising Tie-In Take, for instance, The Window Replacement Company in Winchester, Va. Owner Patrick Lanaghan says Web sites now generate about half of his company's leads and sales. However, Lanaghan notes, “it doesn't work if you're not advertising elsewhere.” In addition to his company site and various contractor referral sites, The Window Replacement Company uses multiple Web sites to track results from each of its advertising efforts —TV, radio, and The Yellow Pages — and Lanaghan attributes leads from these sites to the print or broadcast ad that generated the hit. “I'm driving them to a 32-page color brochure and a way to contact me,” he says.

Community Out Reach Taylor Construction in the Atlanta area uses the Web to launch special programs, such as “School Promise” and “Partners in Faith.” The company programs offer homeowners the opportunity to deduct 5% off their home improvement purchase and donate that amount to the school or church of their choice. “They can even designate what department of the school they want it to go to, like arts or athletics,” explains Don Hudspeth, company marketing director. Hudspeth says the two programs have not thus far produced as effectively as he'd hoped, but Taylor Construction is beginning to approach area schools and churches to partner with them in getting the word out to parents and parishioners. “It's going to be a win-win for us and for them, so they're getting excited about it.”

Webcast Tie-In Taylor Construction also uses a local radio station's online Webcast to reach ideal prospects. The company's ads are featured both as banner ads and as online audio during the nationally syndicated Neal Boortz talk show.

“My target is the office worker sitting at his desk listening to Neal Boortz on his computer,” Hudspeth says. “He hears a commercial that Neal's doing, and he sees a link to Taylor on the WSB Web site he's listening from. Every time that ad runs, my inbox lights up with e-mails — it's very effective for us.”