It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
Someone finds your website, reads your content, signs up to your email list and then buys from you.
And all of this stuff takes place in the background while you run your business.
You don’t speak to said-person until they send you an email saying, ‘I LOVE YOU! TAKE MY MONEY!’
Sounds too good to be true, right?
This couldn’t possibly happen in real life!
Believe it or not, this is exactly how it’s supposed to happen.
Your website should really do all this hard work for you. It should act as your best salesperson, delivering you search rankings, traffic, leads and sales.
So how do we get our websites to work hard for us? Well, in this post, I’m going to tell you exactly that.
What does a lead-generating website actually mean?
A lead-generating website takes a website visitor and transforms them into a ‘lead’.
This ‘lead’ can come from someone inputting their email address in exchange for a free giveaway. It could be someone booking a call with you. It could be someone filling in your contact form.
Essentially, a lead generating website captures details from your website visitors. You then use said-details to build a relationship with your lead, and eventually get them to buy. A lot (if not all) of this process can be completed automatically.
Pretty good, eh?
What is the difference between a brochure website and a lead-generating website?
It baffles us that a brochure website is still a ‘thing’. A brochure website is essentially an online billboard. It sits there looking pretty and not really doing much. It’s job is to give your visitor the information they need, and then…well that’s it.
A lead generating website actively works to deliver you leads i.e. the details of your potential customer.
One is passive. The other is active.
Why do you even need leads?
Why can’t we just get people on our website and then whenever they’re ready to buy they can come back and buy from us? Duh.
Here’s a fancy graph type thing of ten of our clients from 2019. 70% came from our email list. 30% did not.
Can you guess which ones were ready to buy straight away (with hardly any information needed from us)?
Can you guess which ones were more excited to buy from us?
Which ones knew everything about us and how we worked?
Which ones were ready to pay right away?
Which ones, overall, were better-fit clients?
Yep, the ones on our email list. All of them had been on our email list for 6 months+, some of them years. And in that time they’d read a lot of our content (because we’d continuously bring them back to our content through our emails).
Creating a lead-generating website and building an email list is not just about delivering you more leads and sales. If you do it right, it will deliver you leads from better-fit and even higher-paying clients.
What’s the Process of Gaining Leads Through Your Website?
Here are the three simple steps to getting more leads from your website.
Step One: Entice Your Reader With a Free Giveaway on Your Website
The reader clicks on the ‘call to action’ for your highly-attracive free giveaway.
Step Two: Creating Landing Pages that Convert
They get to a landing page that gives them more details about the free giveaway and asks for their details (e.g. email address and name)
Step Three: Creating Thank You Pages That Convert and Get Your Reader to Take Action
They go to a thank you page and THEY’RE ON YOUR EMAIL LIST – WOOOP. AND, this is a unique opportunity for you to sell too.
What you want to do is optimise this entire process so you get maximum leads and sales. If you get every stage right, your email list will sky-rocket!
The question is, how do you do that?
Well, you’re in for a real treat my friend. Because in this blog post, I’m going to tell you how to optimise each stage, so you can gain maximum results.
Now, this blog post is pretty epic (if I do say so myself), so grab yourself a tea or coffee and have a good read.
Step One: How to entice your user with a free giveaway on your website
There are usually three ways to entice people to sign up to your email list from your website:
- a newsletter
- lead magnets
- content upgrades
You may not have any of these right now (and that’s okay!) You might have a couple of lead magnets. You may have a newsletter, a few lead magnets and content upgrades!
Whatever stage you’re at, I’m going to go through what each of these things are and how to best to position them on your website, so you get maximum clicks!
1. Newsletters: How to Increase Sign Ups from your website
An email newsletter is a type of email that gives the reader an ‘update’ on certain information – from industry news to exclusive content, stories and opinion pieces.
Where should you display your newsletter on your website?
If you offer a newsletter, you’ll probably want to encourage people to sign up via your homepage, contact page, about page, start here page (if you have one) and your blog sidebar. Essentially, you need to make sure it’s prominent across your website.
How to create compelling copy that promotes your newsletter
First off, don’t use the word newsletter.
But actually, the word newsletter sounds incredibly boring. And if you simply put the words ‘sign up to my newsletter’ then you’re not going to have much take up. It sounds like I’m going to receive updates about your new office plant or all the awards you’ve won. Yawn.
To promote your newsletter, try to incorporate the following elements.
- Provide social proof – such as ‘join thousands of small business owners’, which builds trust with your readers
- Tell the web visitor who it’s for — such as ‘entrepreneurs and small business owners’, which makes it feel exclusive
- State how it works – such as ‘our free weekly email’, which gives the reader an understanding of exactly what to expect
- Sell the benefits – such as ‘help you get more sales’, so the reader can see why it will benefit them
- Use your ‘power words’ – words like ‘free’ ‘instant’ ‘direct’ etc grab people’s attention. These are called power words and can be used to promote your newsletter.
This is a great example from Andrew and Pete who do this perfectly across their website.
Branded Newsletters and Why You Need One
A branded newsletter is quite simply a newsletter that reflects your brand. It has a name, uses your tone of voice, colours, imagery and fonts.
During a presentation about lead magnets, Kenda Macdonald of Automation Ninjas, likened a newsletter to an event– making it something for your subscribers to get excited about. I loved this analogy.
A newsletter should be something people look forward to. It’s more than ‘just another email’ So give it a name, brand it up and make sure you shout about it.
Should You Send a Newsletter Sign Up to a Landing Page?
A landing page is simply a web page that collects your visitors’ details. It typically doesn’t have a menu and its primary focus is to get the reader to fill in your form.
Sometimes, you’ll see websites direct you to a ‘landing page’. Other times, you can fill in the form right on the page you’re on and submit your details.
So which option is best?
It’s a good idea to have both an option for people to sign up straight away (without leaving the current page they are on) and a specific landing page dedicated to your newsletter.
The reason it’s good to have a specific landing page is that it makes your newsletter share-worthy on social media. You can’t say ‘Sign up to my newsletter! And oh, it’s halfway down my homepage,’ because that sounds a bit silly. It’s better to send people directly to a page.
Also, some people may not trust you enough to fill in a form right away. They may need a little gentle coaxing, which is why a landing page that builds trust and authority is sometimes needed.
I love what You Are the Media do, where they give you the option to fill in their form right away (and you should, by the way, it’s a fantastic newsletter!) but they also have a ‘find out more’ link which takes you to a specific landing page.
2. Lead Magnets: How to Increase Sign-Ups From Your Website
What is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is usually something you give-away for free in exchange for your web visitors’ contact details. For example, this handy little checklist below 😉 (see what I did there)
What Types of Lead Magnet Are There?
Typically, you’ll find that lead magnets are often helpful and ‘how-to’ – i.e. they show you how to do something. These can be handy checklists/blueprints/mini guides etc. Our homepage blueprint is an example of a helpful lead magnet.
These can be used in any industry. If you’re an accountant, you may give away a checklist on how to prepare your accounts for submission. If you’re a wedding photographer you may have a guide to different wedding venues in your area.
The most common (and effective) lead magnet is helpful, easy to consume, and tackles one specific subject.
But, there’s also another type of lead magnet. An often overlooked one in the lead magnet world! And that is, the sales-focused lead magnet.
What is a Sales-Focused Lead Magnet?
Sales focused lead-magnets are aimed at your web visitors when they’re in a position to buy.
You may have heard of something called the buyer’s journey. Traditionally, the buyer’s journey consists of three key steps – here is a very brief overview.
Awareness – the buyer realises they have a problem and starts researching
Consideration – the buyer has a name for their problem and researches ways of solving it
Decision – the buyer decides on a solution strategy
Business owners tend to focus on the ‘awareness stage’ of the buyer’s journey, which is why you see a lot of ‘how-to’ content and helpful lead magnets. Now this isn’t a bad thing. This kind of content can get more traffic to your website and grow your email list.
The problem is, there’s usually very little content and lead magnets aimed at the later stage of the buyer’s journey – the decision stage. But if you aim to get the contact details of those in the ‘decision’ stage of the buying process, then you can communicate with prospects who are ready to invest. Yes, you’ll get less of them, but they’ll be primed to buy from you!
What kind of lead magnets can you create for the ‘decision stage’ of the buyer’s journey?
There are so many ways you can get leads at this stage. Things like free demos and trials.
But one of my favourite lead magnets is the buyer’s guide – this is essentially an unbiased guide which helps people find the right product or service for them and the right company to provide said-product/service. You may run through the different options are best for which people, price points, FAQ, mistakes to avoid etc.
Where do you put your buyer’s guide (or other sales-focused lead magnets?)
Add them to a specific service or product page, that way, when your web visitor is learning about that product/service, you can capture their details.
Also, include it on specific pieces of content related to that service.
Finally, if you only offer one key service, you can also include it on your homepage. Janine Coombes’ Buyer’s Guide for marketing coaches is amazing, and she features it right on her homepage.
3. Content Upgrades: How to Increase Sign Ups From Your Website
One of the best ways to get email subscribers is by offering a ‘content upgrade’. This is where you create a specific lead-magnet that is specific to a piece of content. Essentially, it acts as ‘bonus content’.
Do you need a lead magnet for every piece of content?!
I know, I know. It sounds like a lot of work. But the best way to get ROI from your content is by using your content to generate leads. It’s no use creating amazing content, then someone clicking off your website and forgetting who you are.
I’m not saying you have to create War and Peace here. You don’t have to create something brand-spanking-new for your lead magnet. For example, in our service page checklist, I’ve used the information based that was included within the blog post, but I put it into a handy checklist.
Essentially, you don’t have to create something new, just repurpose it into a different format. You can check out our free guide on how to create a lead-generating website as an example…
What are the Benefits of Creating a Content Upgrade?
The benefits of getting someone to download a specific content upgrade is that you have a good idea of what your subscriber wants. For example, when people download the service page checklist, we know that they’re looking for help with writing and designing their service pages.
What to do if you don’t have the time to create a content upgrade.
I get it. We don’t have time. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer a lead magnet in your blog posts.
For example, in this blog post, you’ll have noticed that I’ve shown you our Ultimate Website Checklist that you can download. We already had this (I didn’t create it specifically for this post).
You just have to make sure the lead magnet will be helpful to the audience consuming your content. The Ultimate Website Checklist is likely useful as you’re on a blog post about how to create a lead-generating website.
Whichever option you choose, make sure that your content encourages people to give you their contact details.
If you’re not doing any lead generation through your website, I would start with one of the points above. Either…
- Create a regular newsletter
- Create a sales-focused lead magnet like a buyer’s guide
- Create a lead magnet(s) to capture leads from your content
Okay. So you’ve figured out step one. You know how to entice your website visitors with a fabulous freebie. But…now what?
Do you remember the three-step process?
Step One: Entice Your Reader With a Free Giveaway on Your Website
Step Two: Creating Landing Pages that Convert
Step Three: Creating Thank You Pages That Convert and Get Your Reader to Take Action
Now. We’re going to come onto step two: creating high converting landing pages!
Step Two: How to Create a High Converting Landing Page
Once your lovely reader has spotted your freebie on your website and clicked on it, they should (usually) go to something called a ‘landing page’.
What’s the difference between a web page and a landing page?
First things first, why do we recommend you place your lead magnet on a landing page rather than a web page? What’s the difference?
The main difference between a standard web page and a landing page are the goals of the page. You will want your reader to take one specific action on your landing page. And that’s usually to fill in their contact details.
On a web page, you have lots of links and options. You have the navigation bar at the top. Links throughout the content. A footer with further links to different places. The reader is given more freedom.
A landing page is like a tiny jail for your reader, and the only way out is for them to fill out their contact details – mwahahaha. We joke, obviously. But we do give the reader less option as to where they can go.
The landing page is also specific in the content. You should only talk about one thing. Whereas a web page might cover your services, company details, about you etc. A landing page strips everything back and includes only the relevant information about your lead-magnet.
Essentially, a landing page is designed for conversion. A web page (and website) is designed for exploration, education and also conversion.
A landing page is also perfect if you’re sharing your lead magnet on social media. People don’t have to wade through your website to find it.
How to get more conversions through your landing page
Now you understand what a landing page is and how it’s different to your standard web page, let’s talk about how you can get more leads (i.e. contact details) through your landing page.
You may think, well I’m giving something away for free, so of course people give me their details!
Even when you’re offering something for free you still have to sell it.
Because even though it’s free in terms of money, you’re still asking someone to spend their time on it. And if you’re asking someone to spend time with you (even if it’s just ten minutes) then you’re going to have to sell the benefits.
How to create a high converting landing page for your lead magnet…
1. Create a simple snappy headline
You need a short and sweet headline to capture someone’s attention and more importantly, explain exactly what your lead magnet/newsletter is all about.
You don’t want someone to have to work to figure it out. So be specific.
Take this example from Kyle Van Deusan who is a web designer based in Texas. He’s created a free guide called ‘5 Reasons a Slow Website is Costing You Sales and How to Fix It’.
That’s a PERFECT title. It’s specific, straight-forward, and your brain doesn’t have to think too much to understand what it is.
2. Tell them how long it will take
Time is precious, yes? And people want to know how long something is going to take them. If your lead magnet takes only 10 minutes to consume, then use that as a selling point!
We did this with our content marketing planner, and really highlighted that it took under 30 minutes to have an entire year’s worth of content.
3. Sell the benefits of your lead magnet
You will want to really sell the benefits of your lead magnet or newsletter. Highlight exactly what your user will get out of it. Gavin Bell has a great example of this with his free Facebook Advertising Blueprint. He really sells the benefit here – giving you the ‘exact strategy’ he used to generate over $750,000 for a company through Facebook advertising (we’d all want a piece of that, right?).
In his subtitle, he sells it further with the nice use of the phrase ‘Putting Your Local Business Marketing on Autopilot.’ He’s selling the potential monetary benefit and the time it will save (as you don’t have to spend that on marketing).
4. Use your power words & pique interest
Power words like ‘free,’ ‘instant’ and ‘easy’ grab people’s attention (they don’t call them power words for nothing!) It’s good to include these within the copy selling your lead magnet.
Teresa Heath Wareing does a great job of promoting her lead magnet.
Her main headline is: ‘5 easy ways to build your email list that most people miss.’ The phrase ‘that most people miss’ is intriguing, as you know you’re going to get something you probably haven’t come across before. It would definitely get people to take action. She also uses those power words! Like ‘easy’ and ‘free’.
5. Visualise your lead capture
Lead captures aren’t usually a physical thing. Your users’ can’t hold them in their hands. BUT that doesn’t mean you can’t show what your lead capture looks like. If it’s a PDF make it look like a little booklet. If it’s a video, use an image of a laptop with the video on the screen. The brain understands images much quicker than words. So if you visualise your lead magnet, you’ll give your users a quick understanding of what it is.
6. Make your CTAs stand out
You want your Call to Action buttons (the buttons that get people to take action) to stand out on the page. Do not have them blend in looking all pretty. Make them stand out. You don’t want your audience to miss them.
Denise Cowle does a great job with her call to action buttons. Not only do they stand out, but she uses the phrase, ‘send me my guide’ – which is far better than ‘submit’. It acts as a reminder of what you’re getting – a really nice touch.
7. Make it speedy!
Slow-loading pages are a big no-no. If your landing page takes too long to load your user may hit that backspace button. Run your landing page through GT Metrix to check your load speed, and if it’s too slow it will give you recommendations as to what actions you can take. (You may need to send this to your web developer).
8. Make it mobile-friendly
50.88% of internet traffic can be attributed to mobile phone. So if you want to see success from your landing page, you’re going to have to make it mobile-friendly! That means a mobile user can easily use the page (without pinching the sides or getting stuck on a pesky pop-up). If you’re not sure if your page is mobile-friendly you can check here.
9. Include a video
If you can include a video as well as text explaining what your lead-magnet/newsletter is all about then all the better. Some people love video (like Martin) and some people prefer reading (like Lyndsay!) If you can cater to more people’s preferences then your lead magnet will perform better.
Bonus points if you add captions to your video too!
10. Include social proof
You might think ‘well, it’s only free, I don’t really have to build that much trust do I?’ But even if you’re only asking for a name and email address, people still want to see that you’re legitimate and not someone who is going to spam them to death. A good way of building trust and credibility is through social proof. You could include logos of the companies/news.
There you have it: A high-converting landing page: DONE!
So, once you’ve created your landing page, that’s it right!? Erm…no. You now need to create your thank you page. I know, I know, there’s a lot to take in here. But I didn’t call it the ‘Ultimate Guide’ for nothing!
Step Three: Creating Your Thank You Page
So, once you’ve enticed your end-user with a fabulous freebie, got them to a landing page and got them to fill out their details…that’s it, right? All is done. You’ve got them on your email list.
There’s one more crucial step in the process that a lot of people forget about: the thank you page.
What is a ‘Thank You’ Page?
When someone signs up to your free download (or even other things like a webinar or booking time in your calendar) it’s a good idea to send that person to a thank you page afterwards. The thank-you page confirms that you have received their request and gives the end-user instructions on what to do next.
Why You Can’t Just Give Someone Your Freebie as Soon As They Sign Up
Now, you might just think to yourself – why don’t I just give the end-user my freebie as soon as they enter their contact details. Easy peasy – just direct them to a link to your freebie.
In theory, this makes sense. But, actually, it’s not the best idea.
The main aim of collecting your user’s email address is so you can email them on a regular basis – providing helpful content, and of course, selling to them.
If you give your freebie out straight away to your end-user (without getting them to open an email to get it) then there’s no reason for them to open any subsequent emails.
If you get your end-user to open your email once, you’re training them to do it again and again in the future.
Plus, if it’s in their spam folder, they’ll go and hunt out your email to get the freebie – which tells their email provider you are a trusted source.
So as nice as it is to provide your user with something straight away, make them do a little work first.
What Should You Include On Your Thank You Page
Your thank you page should get inspire your end-user to take action. They’ve already given you their contact details, which means you’ve built a little bit of trust with them. And a thank you page is the perfect opportunity to build more trust and loyalty…and even sell!
So what should you include on your thank you page?
Give instructions on what to do next
Be a little bossy, it’s okay. Tell your user to check their inbox as their freebie will be on its way. And also tell them to check their spam and mark you as ‘safe’ or a ‘friend.’ Give them an incentive to do this in the email too by reminding them that you’ll send helpful emails full of juicy content so be sure to mark you as safe!
An option to follow you elsewhere
Do you have a Facebook group you’d like to grow? Or maybe focus your energy on LinkedIn? Now is the perfect opportunity to get someone to follow/connect with you elsewhere.
A sales pitch
Yes, you can actually use your thank you page to sell something. Make an offer on one of your products or services – this may be a low-ticket item to get them started with you. But don’t be afraid to sell at this point.
An image or a video of you
This is especially important for those who have signed up to your freebie without yet seeing wh0 you are. This is your opportunity to build a connection with the user. Let them see who you are and your personality.
An Example of a Great Thank You Page
We’re pretty big fans of the Membership Guys. And the way they generate leads through their website and content is AMAZING. They offer a free workshop on whether you should start a membership.
Once signed up, you get to their thank you page, which does a great job of providing the end-user with instructions, giving them another avenue to follow the Membership Guys (through their Facebook group) and selling their Membership Academy.
What Are Your Next Steps?
It can feel like a mountain to climb when you think about all the work that needs to go into collecting leads on your website. BUT, I will say this, do it once and you could generate leads for years and years. Our homepage blueprint does this for us. Yes, it’s a little work up front, but it will pay dividends if you do it right.
And remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you’re not using your website to collect leads, start with one thing first like a lead magnet. Don’t feel the need to try to do EVERYTHING!
And, of course, don’t forget to download the 10-minute lead-gen guide below – as a helpful reminder of all the key points when collecting leads.
Owner at Jammy Digital, Digital Marketing Specialist and Writer of Young-Adult Fiction.