Most businesses have two main goals:
- attracting new customers,
- retaining old customers.
But, before getting to that new customer, there’s a long way ahead. First, you need to get relevant traffic, then convert that traffic into leads or customers. Most of the visitors won’t engage with you or buy from you. That’s a fact. They might end up buying from the competition.
Just take a look at the graph below from WPForms:
Now, what is a lead anyway? Simply put, a lead is a contact that comes in the shape of an email, a social media profile, a phone number. This means that lead generation refers to gathering the primary information of your visitors (online or offline), or ideal customers.
So, in this article, I’m going to talk about ways to gain leads from your WordPress website.
This means that you are already running some traffic acquisition campaigns or investing in content marketing.
Techniques to Generate Leads Using WordPress
In this chapter you’ll learn how to:
- use content marketing for lead generation
- use forms to acquire leads
- build lead magnets and landing pages that convert
- use WordPress pop-ups for lead generation
- leverage chatbots on your WordPress site
Let’s get going.
Create a Compelling Content Marketing Strategy
Content creation is still one of the most influential marketing strategies out there.
Because you can use the power of content to come up with solutions and answers to the problems and questions your targeted audience is facing. Content helps you prove knowledgeable on a topic, and it helps create trust about your brand.
So, which are the main pillars of a compelling content strategy? I’m going to keep this short, so here we go:
- Identifying the right target audience
- Competition analysis
- Doing keyword and topic research in order to identify the content gaps between you and your competition.
- Content creation. Make sure to create a variety of content, both gated and non-gated. From blog articles, ebooks, guides, case studies, webinars, to podcasts and YouTube videos. Gated content means content that gets unlocked by filling up a form.
- Link Building – strive to acquire good quality links to your content. Here’s a guide from Ahrefs to help you with this. At the end of the day, if you want to acquire organic traffic to a blog, you will need both good quality content and links.
Now, the purpose of the blog or your YouTube channel is to acquire the much-needed traffic. But, how do you convert some of that traffic into leads?
Well, you could use:
- Lead magnets,
- Newsletter subscriptions.
Your purpose is to get them closer to your end goal (a purchase, a sign-up, etc.).
Here’s an example. The folks at Creatopy are using banners in their sidebar with a form and call to action button (CTA) trying to make people subscribe to their newsletter.
The folks at Planable are using a plain CTA that promotes their free trial:
When clicking on the call to action button they will end up on a registration page with a form.
They are also using banners inside their case studies, trying to get readers to book a demo with them. Why aren’t they using these banners inside blog posts? Because someone that is reading a case study is “warmer” than someone reading a blog article on a general topic. And when I say “warm” I mean closer to a purchase.
The idea is to understand how to map all of the content across the customer journey, and to use certain strategies to move the user further in the journey.
The customer’s journey describes his/her path to purchase. Usually, buyers go through a whole process until purchasing something. Let me give you an example:
- First, they have a problem (maybe they need to redecorate a bedroom);
- Then they are looking for solutions (they will check Pinterest boards for inspiration and read blogs on interior design, or subscribe to Houzz);
- Next, they decide to buy a product, but they need to do some more research on the brands out there. Let’s say our future buyer is now interested in some yellow paint because it’s a trending color. He starts typing for “yellow paint prices” in the Google search engine. Lots of ads show up from various brands. He then sees several websites and checks for prices and reviews. Then he goes to a Youtube channel and sees how someone is painting with that yellow paint shade you like.
- Our hero finally makes a purchase.
That was a long journey, don’t you think?
Lots of touchpoints involved: from websites and blogs, Pinterest boards, Youtube channels, to various subscriptions and ads…
Each of these channels brought him closer to the purchase, your job is to map these channels and the proper content for it, and cross it with the stage they are in. Here’s an example of the most basic customer journey and how you can map content across it, courtesy of Hubspot:
Now, as mentioned earlier, a good content strategy that is able to convert needs gated content.
When I say gated content I’m including lead magnets, landing pages, and forms. We’re going to provide more details on this in the following chapters,
Create Useful Lead Magnets for Your Audience
The majority of your website visitors do not visit the page a second time. How can you hook them to make them come back for more?
Well, you need to offer them content upgrades in the shape of lead magnets.
A lead magnet can come in different flavors, from ebooks to webinars. The twist is that in order to gain the leads, you will need to ask the visitor to fill in a form. It should be a fair exchange: contact details for valuable info.
After you have your lead, the job ain’t over. You need to nurture that lead with customized email marketing campaigns, in order to increase your chances of converting the lead into a customer.
Now, you must know your audience, in order to develop the right lead magnet. Let’s look at some inspiration.
- Ebooks. The folks at Netguru, a successful software company, are using ebooks to hook chief technical officers and startup founders.
- Templates, cheat sheets, calculators. You can offer interactive content that your users might find valuable. For example, the folks at Hubspot are offering blog post templates to their future leads.
- Mini classes or courses. You can use them in order to hook people and try to upsell them paid trainings. In this case, Amy and Jordan are professional photographers that are offering a free online class on photography.
- Other freebies. The folks at LoveCraft are offering free knitting patterns in exchange for a registration.
Also, the folks at Shopify have developed all sorts of free tools that they are using as lead magnets, such as this QR code generator.
Here’s another example from Stitchfix: the opportunity to get advice from a fashion stylist.
- Product demos. If you have a SaaS business, you know that product demos are a must. Some choose to have their demo in plain sight, others choose to get in contact with their potential lead and meet virtually over a product demo call. For example, the folks at Boardable are using the demo as a lead generation tool. They want their website visitors to schedule a call for them, and to leave their email address as well.
Here’s another example from factoHR. They are using social proof near the form, to increase the trust around their brand.
- Webinars are effective learning tools where people can register and interact in real-time with the presenters on a topic they’re interested in. Also, when the webinar ends, you can also make it available on-demand for those that couldn’t attend, just like the folks at MAN Digital do (a marketing agency in Poland).
Now, all of these lead magnets are usually presented on a landing page with a form on it.
Clearly, if you are a WordPress user, you have a clue on how to create WordPress pages. This time you’ll just have to promote an ebook, a webinar, or another free resource.
I’m not going to go into copywriting or design details here, but I’m going to talk about WordPress forms a bit. So, let’s go!
How to Create WordPress Forms that Convert
Creating forms to gather the essential details, such as newsletter opt-ins, is still considered to be one of the most standard ways of generating leads.
Now, below you have a series of best case practices for your WordPress form:
- Data has proven that the conversion rate for forms decreases as the number of form fields increases. 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? What does qualification mean? When you ask questions such as: how big is the company you’re working for, how much budget does your marketing team have, what industry are you in? These questions allow for companies to create specific buckets of contacts, for example marketing specialists in startups in Europe, or WordPress developers in the US;
- When you need to ask more questions, use multi-step forms;
- Enhance your forms with inline validation;
- Use ReCaptcha if you suspect spammy activity;
- Highlight your call to action button. Make sure you have proper contrast and text size. The CTA is an essential element of your form that conveys to your visitors where you want them to click;
- Enhance your form’s quality with relevant groups. This way you can simplify form filling when there are lots of questions involved. For example, in the checkout process when doing online shopping, the groups can be made under different categories such as personal info, payment info, etc. This results in the increasing rate of the completed forms by the visitors.
- Make sure your form is mobile-responsive;
- Acknowledge the form submission and express your gratitude. A small expression of gratitude goes a long way. Therefore, once the form is submitted, acknowledge it and convey your gratitude. It would be even better to include any other relevant info, such as when you’ll contact them again, or you can even include other offers that might interest the visitor. After the user fills in a form (for ebook download, newsletter signup, account registration, purchase checkout flow, etc), it’s recommended you direct the users to a page where you say ‘Thank You” and take the conversation further. Here’s a Thank You page example from us. After our users download our ebook, they get a hurray and a coupon :).
Later on, we’ll talk a bit about the tools that you can use in order to build such forms.
Enable Comments for Your Blog
When your blog gets some relevant traffic, you could allow your readers to comment, but with the condition, they fill in their email address, because we want those leads, don’t we? You can set up comments in WordPress, in the Dashboard, under Settings-> Discussion.
Don’t forget to reply and engage with the readers that are leaving you messages.
Use Pop-ups to Convert Website Visitors into Leads
So, you have a newsletter subscription or you’ve launched a new ebook. Why not promote it inside a pop-up?
A pop-up is a window that appears while browsing a website. You’ve definitely seen them. In the example below, we have an exit-intent pop-up from Hubspot trying to convince their website visitors to subscribe to their newsletter. They are also using social proof to be more convincing: more than 600.000 marketers have already joined.
What do I mean by exit intent? When the user signals he wants to close the page or move away from it.
Marketers around the world have mixed feelings about pop-ups. Some say that they are hurting the user experience. I say that if you use them wisely, without being too intrusive, you have much to gain. This explains why famous marketers, such as Neil Patel, are still using them.
If you don’t agree with me, check this study from Sumo, which says that the right use of pop-ups can indeed result in getting conversion rates above 9%.
But, how does a highly converting pop-up differ from a poorly converting one? Here are some tips:
- Identify and use only those that are relevant to the user and not to you.
- Determine the goals and purpose of using a particular pop-up.
- Implement timed pop-ups for better engagement.
- Try to segment the pop-ups for the new visitors and repeated visitors.
Enhance Your Website With Robust Chatbots
Now, for those of you that do not like forms, and think they’re a thing for the past (I know that there’s a debate going on on the topic), a chatbot can work.
Basically, a chatbot is a computer program that simulates and processes human conversation. You are probably recognizing this:
You can use chatbots to replace forms on your landing page or to try and get people to schedule a meeting with you on your website.
If you lack inspiration for using chatbots, here are some awesome chatbot scenarios, courtesy of Drift.
Like in the case of pop-ups, you can personalize them based on previous user engagement with your website. You can have different messages for returning users, previous customers, users browsing the blog that come from Australia, etc. The possibility to customize your engagement with visitors makes bots such a powerful tool.
Ok, We Have the Leads. What Now?
What do you do with the data you collected?
Well, as I mentioned before, you need to nurture those leads, meaning that you need to develop targeted email marketing campaigns with the purpose of converting them into customers.
You can also use those contacts to design paid campaigns across various platforms, such as Google, Facebook, etc.
You can also do LinkedIn outreach.
Just don’t let them hang there. You’ve worked too hard to acquire them.
And take a look at that, I have just found the perfect lead magnet on the topic for you, from Marketo: “The Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing”.
These guys really want to segment their leads. Are you noticing the form here?
Is there something else that you are noticing?
Consent, folks! Always include this in your forms.
So, we’ve just put to practice some of the lessons today!
WordPress Tools for Lead Generation
We’ve come to our last chapter!
As promised, we’re going to talk about WordPress lead generation tools!
As mentioned earlier, in order to create landing pages, WordPress is your guy. You can do this with any WordPress theme. Forms, pop-ups, and chatbots are not built-in WordPress features, this is why we need plugins to create them.
Here’s a tutorial on how to install any WordPress plugin, in case you’re not familiar with the process.
If you want to design ebooks, cheatsheets, or other freebies, you’ll need to use tools outside the WordPress ecosystem. I have created my first ebook using Google Slides. My next one was done using Adobe inDesign. The idea is that you should always be on the lookout for tools that are easy to use, so that you won’t need to involve many resources (money and people) in your work.
Now, here are the plugins that we recommend for WordPress lead generation.
Forminator – WordPress Form Plugin
Forminator is a WordPress plugin that is used by more than 100.000 websites. It allows you to create responsive forms by drag and drop. It integrates with the most popular email marketing services out there.
We have a whole article on WordPress forms with a demo included here.
LiveChat – WordPress chatbot plugin
LiveChat is one of the biggest brands in the chat software market, serving companies like MacDonald’s, Mercedes Benz, Unilever, Adobe, or PayPal. They have also built a WordPress plugin in order to satisfy WordPress users as well.
And because we’re huge fans of LiveChat, we’re proud to say that we interviewed their brand ambassador, Marcos Bravo, here.
Convert Pro – WordPress pop-up plugin
We are using Convert Pro inside Colibri when we want to design pop-ups. It works by drag and drop. You can make adjustments to pop-ups to make them responsive. But what makes Convert Pro powerful is the targeting options: based on time on page, referral, exit intent, user inactivity, geos, etc.
Now, a pop-up can’t generate leads by itself, you will need to integrate a form in it. In the end, all roads will lead to forms :).
In conclusion, when you want to generate leads for your WordPress site you can use:
- A landing page designed with your desired theme;
- A WordPress form plugin to capture leads;
- A WordPress pop-up plugin that integrates with your form provider;
- A WordPress chatbot plugin if you want to engage live with your website visitors and make them your leads;
After gathering your leads, you need to engage with them. You will be in need of an email marketing tool.
Sendinblue – WordPress email marketing plugin
We rely heavily on Sendinblue here in Colibri. They are offering a powerful email marketing suite that allows us to do lead nurturing and to connect with our customers. They have email templates, but you can also add your own custom-made HTML designs. What makes Sendinblue powerful is the automation and segmentation. They’re a goldmine for a marketer. And beware, we also tested its most famous competitor, Mailchimp.
This was a long one, but full of insights, I’d love to assume 🙂
Let’s see what we’ve learned today:
- How to design a content marketing strategy that can turn website visitors into leads;
- Which are the most popular lead magnets out there (inspiration included);
- How to design WordPress forms that convert;
- How to create WordPress pop-ups wisely;
- How to use chatbots for lead generation;
- Which are some of the best tools out there for WordPress lead generation.
That’s all folks!
Now you have the know-how and the tools to acquire do WordPress lead generation.
Happy lead generation!
Alina is a digital marketer with a passion for web design. When she's not strategizing she's doing photography, listening to podcasts on history and psychology, and playing with her 2 dogs and cat.