Do you want to generate leads and increase sales from your website? Lead generation should be a top priority for all businesses because at the end of the day, you want to convert your website visitors into subscribers and customers. In this article, we will show you how to do lead generation in WordPress like a pro.
Since this is a lengthy article we decided to add a table of contents for easy navigation.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a method to generate consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business.
Studies prove that more than 75% of users visiting your website from search engines will never see it again.
Lead generation allows you to capture those users by opening a communication channel between your site and the user.
This communication channel could be asking them to like your page on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or join your email list.
Email is the most commonly captured lead. Simply because it is undeniably the most cost effective and efficient marketing tool at your disposal.
See our article on why building your email list is so important today.
Once you get a user to perform an action that opens a communication channel, you can send them special offers, updates, or even freebies to bring them back.
Who Should Start Generating Leads?
Whether you are a blogger, small or large business, or a hobbyist, you need to do lead generation. Basically if you care about growing your audience base, then you should start generating leads.
Many successful online marketers and bloggers will tell you that the biggest mistake they made was not starting an email list to capture leads earlier.
When Should I start Lead Generation?
Lead generation takes time and every moment you are not doing it you are losing potential customers.
You should start your lead generation efforts right away. Even if you are just starting out and not even open for business yet.
Having said that, let’s take a look at how to get started with lead generation in WordPress.
Getting Started with Lead Generation in WordPress
First, you will need a self-hosted WordPress.org website. If you don’t already have a WordPress site, then take a look at our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog.
After that you need to sign up with an email marketing service provider. These companies specialize in sending mass emails with an easy to use interface. We recommend using Constant Contact or AWeber.
You will also need OptinMonster, the best lead generation software available in the market. This is the lead generation plugin that we use here on WPBeginner.
Aside from that, we will be covering several other WordPress lead generation plugins along the way to help you convert website visitors into customers.
Lead Generation in WordPress Using Comments
Comments are the easiest way to build user engagement. However, default WordPress comment system is not very efficient in bringing back the users who leave comments.
Let’s take a look at how you can capture leads from comment forms on your WordPress site.
Capture Leads by Adding Comment Redirect
By default, when a user submits comment on your website they get to see the same page again. There is nothing new on that page except for the preview of their own comment.
You can convert these visitors into subscribers by redirecting them to a different page on your WordPress site after they submit a comment. This could be a thank you page, special offer page, etc.
Here is how to redirect users after comment submission in WordPress.
First, you need to install and activate the Yoast Comment Hacks plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Comment Hacks page and click on ‘Comment Redirect’ tab.
Select the page where you want to send first time commenters and then click on the save changes button.
Now all first time commenters on your WordPress site will be redirected to your selected page. You can optimize this page by adding an email signup form, offer a special discount, or anything else you want.
Add Comment Subscription Option in WordPress
As we mentioned earlier, WordPress does not send any notifications to users after they leave a comment. The user will have to manually come back to your site to see if someone replied to their comment.
Adding comment subscription option will allow users to get notified about new comments. It will also increase your pageviews, return visitors, and brand recognition. Most importantly, this will give you more opportunities to convert those visitors into subscribers.
Here is how you can easily add comment subscription option to your WordPress site.
First, you need to install and activate the Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.
Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Subscribe to Comments to configure the plugin settings.
The default settings should work for most websites. However, you can review the options and make changes if necessary.
Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings. For more detailed instructions see our guide on how to allow users to subscribe to comments in WordPress.
Lead Generation Using Contact Form in WordPress
Contact forms are the most common way to generate leads in WordPress. However, most contact form plugins for WordPress are either too difficult to use or do not integrate with your email service provider.
This is where WPForms comes in. It is the most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. You can easily create beautiful contact forms and seamlessly integrates with email service providers like MailChimp, Aweber, Campaign Monitor, and GetResponse.
Create Lead Generation Forms in WordPress
WPForms Lite is a free WordPress contact form plugin that you can use to create any type of lead generation form in WordPress.
Whether you want a simple contact form, request a quote form, or another inquiry form, you can easily create it with the drag & drop form builder.
For more details, follow our step by step guide on how to create a contact form in WordPress.
Redirect Users After Form Submission
Another technique that you can use to boost sales is adding a redirect page upon a successful form submission.
WPForms allows you to easily redirect users to any page after they have submitted a form using the smart form confirmation feature.
Once you have created your form with the drag & drop form builder, click on the settings tab and then click on confirmation.
WPForms allows you to choose three type of confirmations. You can simply show a message, redirect users to a WordPress page, or to any other URL.
You can create a separate page on your WordPress site with special offers, optin form, or show them any content that will help you convert the visitor into a customer.
After you’re done with the settings, make sure to save and exit the form builder.
Add Newsletter Signup Option to Your Forms
While contact forms are great for collecting inbound leads, you can also use it to build your email newsletter.
Since the user is already entering their email address in the form, you can automatically sign them up for your newsletter with their consent.
WPForms Pro plugin comes with marketing integrations that allows you to connect your lead generation forms with all popular email marketing services.
For the sake of this article, we will be using the MailChimp integration to automatically add users to our MailChimp email list once they submit a contact form.
Once you have installed WPForms Pro, you need to visit WPForms » Addons page. Here you will find addons for different email service providers.
Go ahead and click on the Install Addon button next to MailChimp Addon.
WPForms will install the MailChimp Addon. You will need to click on the Activate button to start using the addon.
The next step is to connect WPForms to your MailChimp account. Visit WPForms » Settings page and then click on ‘Integrations’ tab.
You will see MailChimp listed as an integration. Clicking on it will allow you to enter your MailChimp API key and a Nickname for this account.
You can get your API key from your account on MailChimp website.
Click on connect to MailChimp button to continue. WPForms will now connect to your MailChimp account.
You are now ready to add email optin fields to your contact form.
Headover to WPForms » Add New page. This will launch WPForms form builder interface.
First you need to provide a title for your contact form and then select ‘Simple Contact Form’ from the list of available templates.
WPForms will now create a simple contact form for you. You can edit the fields by clicking on them. You can also add new fields by clicking on them in the left column.
Now, you need to click on the ‘Checkboxes’ field to add a newsletter signup checkbox. Clicking on the field will show you its settings.
Your form is almost ready. Now you just need to connect the form fields to your email list.
Click on ‘Marketing’ tab and then click on MailChimp. Create a new connection and provide it a name.
WPForms will now load your MailChimp email list and the form fields you just created. Map the name and email address fields to the appropriate fields in your contact form.
Next, you need to check the box next to ‘Enable conditional logic’ option. This allows you to ONLY add users who opt-in to join your email list. This is very important. While you can easily add all users to your email list, the ones who opt-in are a better quality lead.
Go ahead and select the newsletter optin field you added as checkbox.
Don’t forget to save your form and exit the form builder.
Contact forms are the most common way to boost lead generation in WordPress, but you can take it even further with personalized optin forms.
Lead Generation Using Popups and Dynamic Optin Forms
Adding a plain looking email subscription box to your sidebar is not the only way to capture leads. In most cases, users don’t even notice those forms because they blend in.
This is where OptinMonster comes in. It allows you to create and A/B test high-converting optin forms for your WordPress site without hiring a developer. We use it on WPBeginner and have increased our conversions by over 600%.
OptinMonster allows you personalize your optins based on user behavior, so you can show them the most targeted offer at the best time.
For example, you can show customized optin forms for:
- Different sections, pages, or blog categories
- Based on User’s Physical Location (City or Country)
- Based on User’s Previous Interactions with Your Website
- Based on Where the Visitor is Coming from (Google, Facebook, etc)
- Based on Their Device (Mobile, Tablet, Desktop)
- Based on Their Activity such as time on page, time on site, scroll-depth, mouse movements, etc.
- And more…
Combined with these targeting options, dynamic optin forms are the most powerful tool in any marketer’s toolbox.
Exit-Intent Lightbox Popup for Email Signups
OptinMonster is a pioneer in exit-intent technology. This allows you to detect user’s mouse movement and show them a popup at the precise moment they’re about to leave.
This is particularly helpful in giving users one last chance before they leave your website. It is also less annoying because the popup doesn’t appear until a user decides to leave the page.
Exit Popups are proven to work that’s why all industry leaders are using it.
Social Media Examiner added over 250,000 new email subscribers using exit popups from OptinMonster.
Michael Hyatt doubled his subscription rate with exit popups. Search Engine Journal increased their conversions by 240% (source).
Aside from email signups, you can also use lightbox popups to grow your Facebook page or even increase your Twitter following.
Boost Conversions with Fullscreen Welcome Gates
Fullscreen optins also known as Welcome-Gate or Interstitial popups, allow you to display a fullscreen overlay on your content.
You can combine it with OptinMonster’s exit-intent or content-lock features to make certain pages on your website a lead-magnet.
Fullscreen is one of the most sought after advertising spot because it converts extremely well. That’s why sites like Forbes, Inc and others use it.
Instead of showing other people’s ad, you can use it for lead generation purposes on your website.
Capturing Leads Using Floating Bars
Floating bars are a particularly effective dynamic optin form that works really well. It adds a sticky floating bar at top or bottom of your website.
The bar remains visible as the users scroll down your website. It does not stops users from viewing your content, and users can easily close or hide it.
Slide-in or Scroll Triggered Optins to Grab User Attention
Slide-in or scroll boxes appear on your page when a user scrolls down. The animation grabs user attention and makes the optin more noticeable than a traditional optin.
Below is an example of how iThemes is using it on their website:
Creating and Using Lead Magnets in WordPress
Lead Magnets are special offers used as an incentive for performing an action.
This special offer could be an exclusive download, an ebook, a helpful resource, discount coupon, etc.
Lead magnets work extremely well because they offer users something valuable in return, they are quick and easy, and users don’t have to pay for them.
Need ideas? See this list of 69 highly effective lead magnet ideas to grow your email list
OptinMonster comes with built-in support to easily offer lead magnets and deliver them upon success.
If you are a blogger, then your lead magnet could also be a content upgrade. A content upgrade simply offers users additional useful content as a bonus for performing an action.
See our article on how to add content upgrades in WordPress for detailed instructions and a live example.
Optimizing Your WordPress Lead Generation Campaigns
Lead generation is an on-going effort. You will need to monitor what is working well for your website and how you can improve it.
Here are a few tips that will help you optimize your lead generation efforts.
- Instead of guess work, use A/B testing to improve your optins
- Use multiple optins to maximize your efforts
- Experiment with different colors, images, videos, etc.
- Create and use multiple lead magnets to boost leads
- Do not ruin user experience by annoying users
- Keep looking for new creative ideas to generate more leads
That’s all for now.
We hope this article helped you learn how to do lead generation in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate guide to boost WordPress speed and performance.
Note: OptinMonster is part of the WPBeginner family of premium WordPress plugins. We built it for our own use and publicly launched it in 2013 because of all the user requests. Today, it is the most popular lead generation software in the market.
If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.