Effective lead generation is one of the cornerstones of a healthy business. It helps you attract interested consumers to your products or services so you can convert them to paying customers.
When a potential customer first encounters your sales funnel, he or she has not yet decided whether or not to buy – or what to buy, even. In fact, an enormous 96% of visitors who come to your site aren’t ready to buy yet, but many of them are willing to provide their contact information.
Once you gather their contact information, this is your opportunity to build trust with your customer. You can do so by educating them about your company, the services or goods that you offer, and ultimately, you can lead the consumer to making a purchase if you’ve nurtured the relationship throughout all phases of your sales funnel.
These potential customers are referred to as leads within the sales and marketing world. Generating leads is no small task. Nearly 80 percent of business owners find their lead generation attempts to be lacking.
Lead generation refers to the practice of attracting consumers to your brand via numerous channels. When looking for leads, it’s best practice to target your niche audience. You want to find an audience who has both the means and the desires to buy whatever you are selling.
Lead generation used to take place via phone, with businesses placing call after call to seek out people who might have use for their product or service. With the invention of the Internet, there are now faster alternatives for lead generation. And the more leads you collect, the more sales you’re likely to make.
Leads that are nurtured make 47 percent greater purchases than consumers who arrive at your site without being involved in a sales funnel. Lead generation and the sales funnel functions that follow are vitally important.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves… How do you generate leads to begin with?
People don’t just click “Sign me up” any time they see a newsletter offered anymore – those tactics don’t work these days when it comes to generating leads.
In order to generate leads, you must accomplish two things:
1) You must offer something that is of value to your industry. This “something” is referred to as a lead magnet.
In marketing, a lead magnet is a free item or service that is given away for the purpose of collecting information. Businesses typically offer lead magnets as an exchange with their consumers. For example, a site might offer someone a free ebook to download if the consumer gives them their email address.
You can think of lead magnets as bait – without an enticing offer on the line, visitors won’t bite. Each community and niche has different preferences, meaning that the best offers for a clothing retailer might not be the lead magnets that convert for a wellness coach. They just wouldn’t catch the eye of their customers or get them excited to engage with their site.
These lead magnet types can be used in various ways. For example, a fitness coach might share an educational lead magnet, like a fitness guide. A blogger might invite their readers to join their blogging community, serving as a community-building lead magnet. There’s a lot of options here – more than 50, actually.
But why exactly do you create a lead magnet? As we mentioned, not all website visitors are ready to buy. Imagine this: you go into a car dealership and the minute you walk in, the sales person starts to sell you all the features of their product.
What would your first reaction be? Run!
Now, imagine if you went to a car dealership and the salesperson asked you if you wanted something to drink when you walked in. They sat down with you and before you even looked at the cars, they asked you about your goals and what you are looking for in a car.
At that point, the salesperson is starting to build trust. When the sale occurs in the end, it will feel natural because the business has built that trust with you and isn’t trying to force you into making a purchase too soon.
The same goes for a lead magnet. Lead magnets allow you to give something of value before you even ask for a commitment in return. Cialdini writes in his Principles of Persuasion that “When we receive we are more likely to return the favor. It makes you extra credible because you are being generous”.
Lead magnets allow you to do just that.
2) You must exhibit that valuable lead magnet with a headline that catches visitors’ eyes and encourages them to convert.
The best converting headlines are unique and customized to your brand and your brand voice. While one headline might generate hundreds of leads for one site, it may spell bad news for another.
Well performing headlines aren’t just unique, but they’re also short. Don’t lead in with something too lengthy. The more time it takes for a visitor to read your headline, the less chance you have of them converting. Keep your headlines short and sweet. You can use your CTA (call to action) button to supplement your headline with more information.
For example, if you were offering a free recipe, you might set your headline as “Want My Secrets For Healthy Meals?”. Then, for your CTA, you might say “Yes, Send Me My Free Recipe!”. This way, you’re making it clear that the recipes are free, without taking up valuable space in your headline.
Writing a killer headline and matching CTA can be tough, especially if marketing isn’t your forte. A good headline is a must, though. You can’t just set up the tools and expect the leads to pour in until you optimize your site content to grab visitors’ attention.
A helpful tool for developing your headline is Sharethrough, which allows you to analyze any headline you wish to use on your site. Once you copy and paste your headline in, the site will rate your proposed headline based on its predicted success and give you instant feedback on how to improve it.
With a valuable lead magnet complete with optimized headline, you can now not just use lead generation tools, but take advantage of their full capabilities and convert visitors into leads… and later, into sources of revenue.
There are plenty of lead generation tools to choose from, as well as plenty of different ways to generate leads. The following 6 tools are our top picks.
1) A great way to capture emails and make sales is to use a landing page to streamline your site visitors’ interaction with your site. LeadPages allows you to create custom pages in a quick and easy process that produces high-converting landing pages.
A landing page is a page on your site that is dedicated to one goal – in the context of lead generation, that goal is to collect an email address in exchange for the lead magnet you are offering.
For example, if your company specialized in dog food, you might write a headline that offers a downloadable guide with a list of what your dog can and cannot eat – A Complete Guide To A Healthy Dog – as a lead magnet. Once the visitor clicks on the CTA that accompanies that headline, he or she would be sent to a page which will request the person’s email address and then allow him or her to download the training guide.
This tactic works – about 70% of people who visit landing pages convertinto actual customers.
Creating landing pages allows you to funnel visitors more easily to exactly what you want them to see. With LeadPages, you can use targeting to place the right product in front of the right people. For example, if you use an ad on Facebook to advertise your product, you can then create a custom landing page for that exact product – that way, when people arrive at your site, they will see the exact product that they were interested in initially.
Landing pages are more specific than a homepage. They remove the extra steps that your visitors must take between the ad and the purchasing page – the less steps for people to trail off at during this crucial time, the better.
While creating custom landing pages for each of your campaigns sounds intimidating, LeadPages makes it easy with ready to use templates.
2) Landing pages aren’t just for inbound visitors that stem from outside of your site. You can also drive visitors to a certain page, even from your own site. Hello Bar allows you to create popups to direct traffic anywhere on your site – you can even skip the landing page and offer the lead magnet right away.
While many people are under the impression that popups are dead, they’re not. They can actually be an extremely useful tool for generating leads on your site. You just have to learn how to use them correctly.
Using Hello Bar site assets isn’t left to users only. Unlike other marketing tools that are designed by software geeks, Hello Bar’s tools are designed by marketers – one of the world’s top 10 marketers and Hello Bar’s co-founder, Neil Patel, even tests the popups on his site.
With Hello Bar, you can create a number of different popup styles with a few different conversion goals. The tool can be used to collect email address, grow your social media following, promote a sale or make an announcement, or simply to direct traffic to a specific page – such as a landing page.
The site allows you to create multiple site assets at once, such as:
We’ve been taking advantage of these timing control features over at Hello Bar with a page takeover upon exit intent. Whenever a visitor goes to leave our site by moving his or her mouse up towards the url box, a window appears prompting them to take action before they leave. This exit intent alone brought in an extra 730 sign ups in the month of June.
Try Hello Bar’s Premium Growth Plan free for 30 days here.
3) While popups work extremely well to capture leads, there are some fun additional tools to consider. LeadQuizzes allows you to create interactive quizzes, which allow your audience to determine the results of their quiz once they submit their email address.
Many people love taking quizzes, which makes LeadQuizzes an extremely helpful tool for collecting leads. The quizzes aren’t just limited to fun and whimsical topics – you can use them to collect feedback on your site or products, and even collect visitors’ information at the same time to improve your site for future visitors.
LeadQuizzes is also a great option for businesses that have not yet determined a lead magnet that works. The opportunity to take a quiz can sometimes be a sufficient magnet to collect an email address, so long as the quiz caters towards the audience’s specific interests.
While quizzes do take longer to fill out than the typical lead collection form, they are a great way to lend more personality to your site, or engage visitors that arrive at your site but just don’t seem to click.
Some sites report a conversion rate of over 50% when using quizzes as a lead magnet. In the world of lead generation, that’s pretty incredible. They also lend you the opportunity to collect more detailed information about your users than most capture forms, as they allow for more steps without overwhelming the consumer.
You can use the results of your LeadQuizzes features to segment the leads that you acquire, meaning that you can deliver them better fitting content that will peak their interest and entice them into making a purchase on your site.
4) If visitors do manage to escape your site without filling out a quiz or biting on the Hello Bar exit intent page takeover before leaving, don’t miss your opportunity to follow up with them later using Aimtell’s web push notifications.
Push notifications are extremely helpful marketing tools because they reach potential customers, even when they’re not on your site. While many people are familiar with push notifications that appear on their phone, there’s actually a desktop version, too – that’s where Aimtell comes in.
Aimtell allows you to send push notifications to visitors to your site after they’ve left. This is another way to dangle lead magnets in front of consumers in order to persuade them to join your email list.
An e-book, for example, makes a great lead magnet. Aimtell will push this recommendation out to your visitors and encourage them to click back to your site or landing page.
These push notifications allow you to acquire new subscribers and collect their information. You can then segment your website visitors to stay on top of targeting your audience. Like all good marketing tools, Aimtell includes A/B testing capabilities so you can improve your click through and conversion rates.
There are many benefits of adding a web push strategy to your lead generation efforts. Web push notifications use a quick opt-in process for subscribers, compared to email’s longer opt-in process.
Push notifications are no minor lead generation tool – Rhone Apparel drove $93,000 in sales using web push notifications. Looking to replicate this success with your own brand? Try Aimtell’s 14-day free trial to get started.
5) Covering multiple platforms is the best approach for lead generation, as you want to catch visitors in all steps of their customer journey. An important platform is social media. ManyChat lets you create a Facebook Messenger bot, which you can use to generate leads from Facebook directly.
While designing lead generation forms on your site is the first step towards building an expansive email list, it’s important to have all bases covered. ManyChat lets you generate leads from Facebook, harnessing your brand’s social media community to fill any holes in your sales funnel.
Using ManyChat, you can chat live with your visitors or add in canned responses so that your company offers support around the clock, without employing an entire fleet of support team members. With such easy access to your company, potential customers have their questions answered as they arise – the less waiting that’s involved, the more likely a visitor is to make an impulse buy.
ManyChat also places you into people’s Facebook inbox directly, meaning that their interactions with you occur right beside their interactions with friends and family. Since these interactions take place in an organic setting, many potential customers have their guards down.
They aren’t expecting a sales pitch, but a conversation, making it easy for you to slip a lead magnet in front of them, such as a discount code that can be used on your site. Ultimately, you’ll want to drive traffic towards your site – ManyChat helps generate leads to do just that.
6) Lead generation tools are incredible for collecting email addresses. However, you need to know how best to implement them. Crazy Egg allows you to see how your visitors are interacting with your site so you can place lead generators right where your visitors click most.
Crazy Egg provides heat mapping software that shows exactly how your users are encountering your site. Tracking your site visitors’ experiences on your site isn’t just cool because it lets you see how your users are experiencing your site, it’s also incredibly important. By looking at the interactions consumers have with your various web pages, you can see where there are holes in your sales funnel.
When you find these holes, you can easily remedy them using any of the lead generation tools above. The analytics produced by Crazy Egg can help determine which feature might be best to include on certain pages.
Crazy Egg also offers insights into where your visitors are coming from, giving you valuable intel on your leads before you’ve captured them. Using Crazy Egg, you can see where your visitors are located, which sites are directing them your way, and learn more about the process that leads up to them finding you.
This information is condensed into easy to read reports, which state all of the data that’s been gathered in easy to digest formats each week. It’s easy to see your results as you use Crazy Egg, which means that you can focus on the tangible outcomes of the changes you make on your site and continue to seek improvement.
The information that Crazy Egg provides can be used to better craft your follow up to your leads’ exact needs and interests, and to fine tune your targeting efforts on tools like Hello Bar and Aimtell. The more you know about your audience, the better the lead magnets you can provide – and the better the leads you can reel in.
These lead generation tools work – and will work extremely well, so long as you keep optimization in mind.
While these six tools can massively overhaul your lead generation process, keep in mind that you can’t just install them and walk away. The marketers with the highest conversion rates are those that tweak their site assets constantly, making use of all the data they can get.
A/B testing is an important method for collecting data and finding out what actually works – Hello Bar and Aimtell let you do just that. Using these features in conjunction with Crazy Egg’s heat mapping analytics, you can find clever ways to optimize your use of lead generation tools.
The best leads and highest conversion rates will come from using all six tools together and placing as many opportunities as possible for you to collect your visitors information along their journey to and through your site.
For example, Hello Bar and Aimtell are similar tools but are different enough that they can be used together successfully – both encounter a different step of the customer journey. Hello Bar can target visitors as they seek to exit, and Aimtell can catch them and reel them back in once they’ve exited your site.
There are multiple ways to combine these powerful tools, but ultimately, to find the best results, keep testing, testing, and more testing. Try different tools on different pages, A/B test your setup within each tool, and keep referencing Crazy Egg to see how your visitors are interacting with these tools. While setting these tools up is the first step, lead generation ultimately comes down to trial and error – and, with enough practice, success.
As a special thank you to the Aimtell community, we’d like to extend a free 30 day trial of Hello Bar’s premium features. Click HERE to boost your conversions and generate leads starting now.
Mike Kamo is the CEO and co-founder, alongside Neil Patel, of Hello Bar. He is a renowned digital marketing and conversion optimization expert.