All businesses depend on attracting new customers and retaining old ones.
Before ending up buying a product or a service, a customer goes through a series of touchpoints with the business, from the moment they become aware of their need/problem, until the buying decision.
These touchpoints can be mapped across the customer’s journey (often called marketing funnel).
These maps may differ from B2B to B2C, and from company to company, and the length of their sales cycle may differ as well. But, at the end of the day, they have the same core.
The most simple customer journey looks like this:
Lead generation is a strategy under the consideration stage. At this stage, the potential customers are already engaging with your brand via multiple channels: website, social media, events, etc.
Ok, so what’s a lead, anyway?
A lead is an individual or organization that’s no longer anonymous. It has an interest in what you are selling and has shared contact information with you, such as: email, phone number, or even social media profile.
In this article I’m going to talk about how to gain leads from your WordPress website. In the end, most of your marketing efforts (paid ads, SEO optimized blog articles, social media, etc.) will drive website visitors. Some of these visitors ideally will be converted into leads, and then customers.
Let’s dig in.
B2B versus B2C lead generation
Appealing to modern consumer is getting more and more difficult. Competition has become fierce, the consumers are more educated than ever, and their expectations have increased due to an increase in the quality of services and products out there. This puts a lot of pressure on marketers and salespeople who need to personalize every touchpoint with their potential customers and convince them that what their company sells is what they need.
In B2C, the decision making can be done on the spot (except for high-value products: cars, houses…) and this means emotions come in. In B2B, sales are less emotional. This is why messaging differs, but, in terms of strategies, they share most of them.
I outlined four great strategies to kickstart your B2C or B2B lead generation strategy below.
So follow me to find out:
- how to use forms to acquire leads
- how to build lead magnets and landing pages that convert
- do’s and don’ts for pop-ups
- how to leverage chatbots on your site
- what WordPress plugins to use for lead generation
How to use forms to acquire leads
When can you use forms? Let’s check the most popular use cases out there:
- When you want to acquire newsletter subscribers
- Or when you have gated content: case studies, ebooks, reports
- When you register people for an event: webinar, online summit, etc.
- On your “Contact us” page
- Inside pop-ups that promote your newsletter subscription or latest ebook
- When you want to schedule visitors to a product demo
Which are the main elements of a form? The form fields and a call to action (CTA). The form will need to push the collected data in a CRM or your own database.
Now, let’s look at this form:
There are plenty of form fields, the question is, do you need this many?
Well, if you’re in B2C, selling clothing for example, you might need only the gender and email so that you can send out your newsletter for women.
In B2B, there’s another story. You must qualify your contacts before going into some other marketing and sales actions. Now, if your buyer persona is a Head of Growth or VP of Marketing, and the form above is filled in by a marketing specialist, is there a difference?
Yes there is. The marketing specialist might be the end-user of your product, but he’s not making the buying decision, he might influence it, though.
This means, the email sequences that will follow this submission should be personalized according to the person that fills it in.
Let’s look at an example from Keap:
They want to schedule visitors to a product demo. And what do you think will be on the mind of their site visitors? Saving time and doubling revenue, right? Of course!
The approach here is going straight for scheduling the demo, no fields whatsoever. But, they are also offering an incentive: a free ebook copy. And the face on the left, makes the experience a bit more humane.
Now, data has proven that the conversion rate for forms decreases as the number of form fields increase. So, you should A/B test it and find out what works for you. In the end it’s a business choice – do you want to select your prospects, and qualify them from the start, or do you qualify later on?
In non-COVID times you could also use data enrichment tools like Clearbit, or Albacross to get more data from a person based on some reverse IP engineering techniques. This means that you can eliminate form fields such as country, company, and even job title.
Ok, enough with the forms fields.
Going back to the first form above (which I found inside a pop-up), on the left you have some social proof: stats and logos (nice touch). The purpose of the form was to acquire contacts for demo requests. This means you can show this to people who have proven some buying intent, and who need some convincing that you’re worthwhile. Social proof is something that helps bring trust and knowledge to the equation.
This is a best practice for CTAs as well. Place some testimonials, case studies, or logos, before your CTA. It will grow your chances for a click, or form submission.
And this leads us to our next pit stop: lead magnets and their landing pages.
How to build Lead Generation magnets and landing pages that convert
A lead magnet is an incentive that marketers offer to their website visitors or prospects in exchange for their email address (usually). Lead magnets can be also called gated content. They come in different shapes: free PDF checklist, free PowerPoint templates, reports, eBooks, case studies, etc.
Usually, you need a landing page to promote your lead magnet.
Now, before creating such a lead magnet, you need to really know your buyer persona, and his/her pains. Your lead magnet should come with the solution for such a pain, and should be convincing enough so that they will exchange contact information for your lead magnet. This means that quality and usefulness should be your focus.
Example of a landing page
Now, let’s analyze such an example from the landing page masters themselves: Unbounce. They are promoting their lookbook for e-commerce: “What’s a Great Ecomm Landing Page Look Like? You’re About to Find Out”.
First, your header should be explanatory. Here is a guideline for writing powerful headers.
Next, the form is above the fold, next to a compelling image.
The copy on the left hand side is addressing a pain point: sales conversion, and providing a solution: high converting landing page examples.
If the visitor isn’t yet convinced, there’s more below:
- Brands mentioned in the lookbook
- Short summary of the lead magnet
- Convincing data
These are the most important sections of a high converting landing page. I’ve seen this model replicated all over the place.
In B2B, you can have more types of lead magnets, that can be addressed to more buyer personas, and personalized based on the customer journey.
You can have webinars on generic topics, for brand awareness, or case studies for those prospects with high intent.
Based on the location of the visitor on your website, you can place smart CTAs to drive them to specific landing pages.
- They are browsing blog articles related to fintech, why not place a CTA with your latest banking report?
- They are reading an article on UX design, why not guide them with a contextual CTA to your latest case study on how you did UX design for “X”?
Personalization is key, especially in B2B, where traffic can be scarce, and you can’t afford to lose sight of your website visitor. This leads us to our next subject.
Do’s and don’ts for pop-ups
No, pop-ups aren’t dead. Yeah, I know most designers hate them, but they can be valuable when used wisely. Personalization and timing are again the key.
Remember the Unbounce example from above? They have created a pop-up for that in the shape of a top info bar guiding people to the landing page.
Nice and clean copy, good CTA. The only problem: they place it on the landing page as well. I would have excluded the URL. It was redundant.
Let’s check another one:
In this case, Keap is promoting an offer, and they are using a counter to induce FOMO (fear of missing out). The copy is quite convincing: “Your chance for great savings”.
Ok, so which are the good practices concerning pop-ups?
- Make sure to use timing, show them when someone scrolls long enough, or stay more than “X” seconds on a page. You wouldn’t want to ruin the user experience.
- Adjust the pop-up for desktop and mobile.
- Personalize: don’t show a pop-up for your latest ebook on AI development, when they’re browsing for React development info.
- Personalize based on geos, returning vs new visitors, if they’ve seen your product pages or not, etc.
- Don’t forget to give visitors a way to opt out.
- A/B test! Are 15 seconds enough or you should go for exit intent pop-ups (these are my personal favorites)? Should you go for a full screen pop-up (I noticed Neil Patel was a fan)?
How to leverage chatbots on your site for Lead Generation
There’s an eternal dispuse out there: forms versus bots. There’s no clear winner yet. But definitely you should give it a try, and see if this works for you.
According to Drift, before you define your chatbot strategy, you must understand:
- Who you are talking to? Is it a returning visitor from Canada?
- Where are they located on your website? Are they checking the product pricing?
- Why should you engage with the visitor? Is it to lead them to one of your sales reps or to provide them with some knowledge?
Yep, all the roads lead to…personalization.
What can you do inside a chatbot?
- Offer an incentive in order to get their email address (lead generation)
- Find out what the visitor is looking for (prepare dropdown with options)
- Guide them to resources (blog, landing pages)
- Get feedback
- Send the visitor over to a human for real interaction (support, sales reps)
- Offer a discount
- Offer a lead magnet
- Find out more about the visitor with the purpose of lead scoring (ask questions such as: company size, job title…)
Drift has even made a survey and found out what people use a chatbot for.
Chatbots are becoming more popular across B2Bs with the purpose of accelerating deal cycles.
When creating your lead generation chatbot, keep the following in mind:
- Use a language that matches your buyer persona (don’t be too informal if that’s not needed)
- Have a fallback if the person wants to talk to a real human instantly
- Let users know that they are interacting with a bot
- Have a different approach for new and returning visitors. Returning visitors know you better than the new ones, you can behave more familiarly.
- Ask qualifying questions if your bot is placed on high intent pages (careful though, things can get tricky on these pages, and you need to balance a bit things, you wouldn’t want to ruin the experience, and lose them).
- You can use a bot as a second net option on a landing page that also has a form
- Personalize (use the person’s name, or the company name)
If you need inspiration in making the copy for your chatbots, here’s a great collection of bots.
Wow, we’ve gone a long way, haven’t we?
Time to talk about some tools that can let you achieve some of the above.
What WordPress plugins to use for lead generation
We’ve almost reached the end of our journey. This chapter won’t take long. I’m going to present to you my favorite 3 plugins that can help you with: forms and pop-up creation, and chatbot implementation.
If you don’t know how to add a WordPress plugin, here’s how:
Let’s hit it!
WordPress forms plugin – Forminator PRO
I love it because it has:
- Pre-designed templates
- Tons of third party integrations, so you can connect it to your favorite CRM or email tool
- Conditional logic, dynamic pre-filling, and multi-step options
- You can create polls & quizzes
- You can configure email routing and conditional emails
WordPress pop-up plugin – Convert PRO
I love it because:
- It has pre-designed templates
- I can create mobile friendly pop-ups
- There are type of pop-ups available, from sliders, info bar to light-boxes
- There are lots of triggers to choose from
- You can use your own code
- It has tons of third party integrations, so you can connect it to your favorite CRM or email tool
- You can do A/B tests
WordPress chatbot plugin – Drift for WordPress
Before installing this plugin, you will need to set up a Drift account. The installation steps are here.
I love Drift because:
- There are a lot of targeting options
- It has if-then branches
- I can build bots by dragging and dropping specific sections
- It has great reporting
- I can identify buyers using Use Drift Intel (it provides data enrichment info)
No matter the strategy you want to use, or the tools you employ, transparency and building trust are a must.
In B2B, where the sales cycles are long, content is still king. People are still sharing their contact details if you are willing to provide them with real value and solutions to their pains.
Figuring out how to generate leads takes time and A/B tests (if you have enough traffic). Don’t trust those saying that forms or pop-ups are dead. They can work if used wisely. The performance varies from niche to niche.
Having that in mind, happy lead generation, folks!