Let’s be real. Building traction online is tough.
There are so many competitors and so much content. Today, you have to earn the attention of your audience; you’re not entitled to it.
That’s why if you want to attract waves of traffic AND convert loads of leads, you’ll need incredible, irresistible lead generation techniques.
This article gathers the best of the best lead generation ideas – all of which you can implement today!
Each of the ideas is something that we’ve personally tried at Online Marketing Gurus and/or implemented for one of our clients.
These are strategies that we strongly recommend testing out.
Before we start:
Define Your Leads
Be clear on what lead generation means for you.
That’s the only way you can measure the success of your lead generation strategy.
For example, a website visitor may become a lead when they:
Complete a signup form to become an email subscriber
Download an eBook
Sign up for a free trial
Once you know what a lead is for your business, you can measure progress and optimise in any way you can.
One way to measure lead generation profitability is to look at the ROI.
If you’re throwing more money at lead generation than you are getting revenue in return, you need to rethink your methods.
Your goal is to generate the maximum amount of leads with the minimum investment.
That’s where these ideas will help.
Let’s dive in.
1. Optimise your CTAs
A call-to-action (CTA) is either text, image or button that links directly to a landing page so people can act on your offer.
The CTA plays a massive part in your lead generation process.
You can get the content right, the landing page right – everything. But if your call to action doesn’t stand out and compel people to click, you’ll lose them at the last hurdle.
The best way to know which CTAs generate the most leads is through A/B testing.
Run some tests to see which colours, words and designs work best on your website.
Even a simple change of colour or tweak to text can create a considerable impact.
Take this example:
Image credit: Convertful
Another important tip is always to limit yourself to one CTA per page.
People are often overwhelmed by too many choices, which leads to “action paralysis” and kills your conversion rates.
Get rid of any unnecessary CTAs and navigation links – anything that might distract people from the offer you really want them to click on. You’re aiming to guide visitors from first touch to final conversion.
Here are two great examples from Spotify and Shopify:
2. Shorten your lead capture forms
You can’t capture leads without forms!
According to HubSpot, 74% of marketers are using web forms for lead generation (who knows what the other 26% are doing!).
Almost 50% of marketers say that web forms are their HIGHEST CONVERTING lead generation tool.
Image credit: HubSpot
So, how do you create a winning web form?
Here’s our secret to success:
Keep it short.
An uber-long form is a sure-fire way to scare away potential leads and make them question, "Is this offer really worth it?"
People often won't fill out a form because it looks too long and time-consuming. Plus, long forms may ask for more information than they’re willing to provide — particularly for their particular stage in the consideration journey.
For example, asking for a phone number is appropriate for free trial and enquiry forms. However, if they’re downloading a content upgrade, then it’s unmerited.
Your leads are exchanging information for the perceived value they’re going to receive. If there’s a misalignment between value received and value given, then your form is unlikely to get cut through.
If your form really needs lots of fields, try to make the form appear shorter. For example, try reducing the space between fields, so the form covers less of the page.
Check out this example by Unbounce:
P.S. Notice how the CTA stands out? Orange is a great colour for CTA buttons!
3. Create useful product videos
Did you know:
Video viewers have 27% higher click-through rates (CTR) and 34% higher web conversion rates, according to Aberdeen Group.
And that's not all.
Using video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80%!
But here’s the problem:
Many businesses and entrepreneurs post videos that don't actually provide any value.
They might be beautiful videos about your brand, or really creative videos giving an insight into your culture.
But if you want to generate leads, the promotional stuff is not going to cut it.
You need to use your videos as a way to help viewers solve real problems.
Make them USEFUL.
This is where the lead generation magic happens.
Take a look at the YouTube sensation Michelle Phan.
Her simple makeup tutorials have attracted a following of millions (she now has her own angel-funded makeup line as a result).
What drove her success?
It’s simple: viewers value actionable insights.
Now it’s your turn.
Dig into your customer support requests, blog comments, and top Google searches. What are people looking for? What problems can you solve for them?
Don’t actively promote your business until the very end of the video.
Just provide actionable, sound advice for your viewers.
For example, Cabot’s Australia knows that most Australians want a beautiful deck but are put off by the process of coating their deck.
So, Cabot’s created a How-To video taking you through the process, step by step, and showing how easy it is:
Now, when viewers come to buy their decking finish, which brand do you think they choose?
That’s right – Cabot’s.
Videos don't need to be massively complicated and expensive productions.
Try video-making tools like Animoto or watch the Wistia’s videos on how to film videos with an iPhone.
4. Create eBooks
Have you heard of the term “lead magnets”?
It’s something you offer to prospects in exchange for them giving you something – usually their name and email address.
eBooks are one of the most powerful lead magnets going – provided they provide real value.
As well as providing useful, in-depth information to prospects, an eBook can also build your authority on a topic and position you as a thought leader (something that Google ranks highly!).
Once created, you can use your eBook all over the web to generate leads. We’re talking email marketing, social media ads, websites, search ads – everywhere.
The best part is that creating an eBook doesn’t need to take weeks of writing and researching from scratch.
One member of your marketing team can create an eBook in just a few hours.
That’s right, hours.
Simply use existing content from your blog.
- Pull a few blog posts that delve into the same topic from different angles.
- Arrange them in a logical order, edit, format and fill in any gaps.
- Create an irresistible intro and a conclusion with a CTA that drives readers straight to your products or services.
- Add a landing page and web form.
And voila – watch the leads roll in!
Once you have a few different lead generation resources – eBooks, checklists, infographics and templates – start grouping them together into a complete pack.
HubSpot is brilliant at doing this. For example, this A/B Testing Kit comes with a guide, template and calculator. Everything you need to get started:
5. Use gated content
Got your videos and eBooks lined up?
Now, add an opt-in form.
This is what’s known as “gated content” – in other words, any type of content that your website visitors can access ONLY after they’ve provided their valuable contact information.
Think of the form as the “gate” that guards the content; the visitor’s contact information is the key that unlocks it.
It’s estimated that as much as 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated.
Here’s one by Buffer for a Social Marketing Ebook:
And check out this one by Optimizely which focused on B2B readers – that’s why they are asking for your work email.
6. Optimise your About Us page
Is there a call to action on your About Us page?
How about keywords?
Information about your team, to build trust?
You might not think your About Us page is a lead generation tool, but it is.
Not only is it where people begin to understand your brand, and what it stands for, you can show people how you solve problems and add value to their lives.
Here’s how to optimise your About Us page:
Include a solid value proposition in the headline
Break up copy into digestible chunks
Make sure it’s clear where visitors should go next
Add a powerful CTA
In particular, we recommend showcasing your team as much as possible. Seeing the real faces behind your company builds trust and familiarity.
It starts with testimonials, which are brilliant trust signals – 93% of people claim that online reviews influence their purchasing decision.
Next, it dives into how the company adds value to clients — told through the story of how we began.
Scroll down a bit more, and you can check out partnerships or enquire.
The last piece of the puzzle? We set up an Exit-Intent Pop up. This means, when someone is about to exit the page, we offer them one quick and valuable takeaway: a free eBook.
This helps us generate 100s more leads, while also nurturing potential customers.
And that, my friends, is what we call lead generation on an About Us page.
A. Use safe language
People are increasingly wary of sharing their personal information on the internet.
Your task is to fight these objections from the get-go.
One way to do this is using safe language – in other words, language that reassures customers that their information is 100% secure and will never be shared.
Why is this an important lead generation idea?
Because if someone is not willing to take that very first step to give you their email address and become a lead, they’ll never type a credit card number into your checkout page.
HubSpot is a great example of a company using safe language to put its audience at ease.
On long lead capture forms:
On short web forms:
7. Use actionable language
Let’s talk a little more about language.
Actionable and definitive language is the best way to get people to do what you want.
What do we mean by “actionable and definitive”?
In short, there should be no guesswork involved. People should understand exactly what they need to do next.
Here are some examples.
Talking in the first person is also very persuasive, as Hello Fresh demonstrates:
8. Use website popups
Love them or hate them, it doesn’t matter – because popups work.
Done correctly, popups have been proven to increase email subscribers by 1,000% over a month.
Just imagine what that could do for your lead generation!
There are lots of different types of popups you can use – this article by SEMrush provides a brilliant introduction.
Whichever type you choose, there are some easy do’s and don’ts to follow:
DO make your popup look attractive
DO make it easy to exit if the visitor isn’t interested
DON’T activate popups on every page
DON’T make popups impossible to exit on mobile screens
DO test your popups to see which pages and designs perform best
In other words, don’t irritate people with your popup!
Here are a couple of examples that get popups right:
Both popup examples above tick all the right boxes.
They provide an irresistible offer while making it easy to exit if you're not interested.
You can even take it further by including a countdown clock, showing how long left for unlocking an exclusive offer.
This adds a sense of urgency, as you don’t want to miss out on the incredible discount.
Exit intent popups are another brilliant way to capture leads at the last moment.
An exit intent popup is a lightbox that pops up when someone starts to leave your site. This last-ditch effort can actually increase your conversions by 316%!
Here's how we use exit-intent popups:
There are heaps of tools out to help you create popups, like OptinMonster or Convert Plug.
Both make it easy to build beautiful popups and opt-in forms that will propel your lead generation.
Give them a go!
10. Host a giveaway
Giveaways are one of the most successful lead gen methods. However, if not done correctly, a giveaway can also lead to a bunch of junk leads and waste your time.
Make sure you're giving away something people actually want.
For example, activewear brand 2XU was giving away the chance to win apparel worth $2000.
The giveaway generated leads via email subscriptions and social media engagement.
This is the critical part.
It’s one thing to collect heaps of emails during your giveaway.
But for your giveaway to be worthwhile, you need to put all the data you collect to work.
In other words, it’s how you sell to your subscribers after your giveaway is over that matters most.
2XU did exactly that.
After the competition, they continued to reach out to subscribers with targeted content about its activewear.
Over to you
As marketers, the pressure is always on to deliver a stream of valuable, qualified leads through the sales funnel.
You already understand the importance of lead generation – the hard part is coming up with ideas that work.
Whether you use all of the ideas above, or just a handful, you’ll be raking qualified leads in no time!
It’s a lot to take in, so you may need a little help. That’s where Online Marketing Gurus can make things easy.
Claim your free digital audit (usually valued at $2,000) with our experts today. We’ll take a good, hard look at your website and tell you what’s working and what’s not.
The best part is, we’ll outline the opportunities to bring in even more leads, both in the short-term and the long-term. All this for FREE!