Conversion Optimization

2019 Lead Generation Intro Guide

by Sharanya Manola
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Are you new to the world of digital marketing? Do you feel there’s more to learn than you have time for? Intimidated by industry jargon?

Here’s the thing: Instead of chasing after buzzwords, sometimes, it’s best to just get back to basics. And what better topic to start with than lead generation. Alongside what it is and why it’s so important, in this article, we’ll look at some best practices and examples to help you create high-converting lead generation pages. 

Ready? Let’s dive in!

What is Lead Generation? 

Lead generation is the method of capturing a fleeting visitor’s interest, often by playing on their pain points, and convincing them to give you their contact details. 

Typically, to entice visitors, you need an offer or a lead magnet, such as an ebook, guide, infographic, or another downloadable content type that’s hidden behind a sign-up form. But, considering people don’t share their personal data easily, the only way to get them to do so is by demonstrating your expertise on the content’s landing page. Get them excited by shining the spotlight on how they’ll benefit from downloading your content, and don’t fall into the trap of being too self-promotional. Why? The visitor is more interested in solving the problem related to their pain point than hearing a hard sell. 

Long story short, create content that’s educational and informative. There’ll be no stopping you from becoming one of their trusted brands. What’s more, you’ll be able to nurture them more easily and convert them into paying customers sooner than you’d imagined! This is all part of a good inbound lead generation strategy.

Why is (Inbound) Lead Generation Necessary? 

In part, because the buyer’s journey is no longer linear. People prefer to gather as much information from as many resources as they possibly can, before taking the final leap of faith. 

Here are a couple of supporting stats: 

  • A B2B prospect conducts 12 searches before engaging with a particular brand’s site. 
  • 47% of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.
  • 51% of B2B buyers say they rely more on content now to research their buying decisions. 
  • An overwhelming 67% of the buyer’s journey is now completed digitally.

Clearly, you must have a solid inbound lead generation strategy in place, that accommodates this extensive digital research phase. Inbound marketing uses ‘pull tactics’, and helps you get discovered organically. Moreover, the visitor doesn’t feel intruded upon, which is usually the case with outbound marketing, where marketers push brands through people’s phones, inboxes, and literally through their doors!

Outbound marketing vs inbound marketing
Source

In fact, another aspect of inbound lead generation that makes it so successful is that it gives people the opportunity to learn as much as they can and become an expert themselves, before meeting the sales team. 

Anatomy of a High Converting Lead Generation Page

For your lead generation page to convert, you must have all the nuts and bolts in place. Let’s learn what these are. 

Consistent Design

The best landing pages are the ones that have every design element in harmony with each other. Here’s how you can ensure that: 

  • Stick to the standard color scheme. This means leaving no room for visitors to get mixed up or experience cognitive dissonance, especially those who are already familiar with your brand. HubSpot, for example, uses the same color palette and typeface to deliver a consistent user experience: 
  • Create an information hierarchy using header tags. This way visitors can skim through content based on order of importance. The title, for example, will be the most prominent, followed by the sub-heading, and then the rest of the body.
  • Use images that accurately represent your offer. An eye-tracking study discovered that people spend 10% more time looking at visuals than reading the text. Which means, the closer the visual is to your offer, the faster visitors will convert to leads. 

Basecamp uses a wonderful illustration that’s immediately relatable to someone in need of a little order in their life.

 

Use perfect images to make your lead generating offer more compelling

For a longer lead generation page, you can use screenshots for a sneak peek into your content. Here’s how PiktoChart does it:

  • Call-to-action: Make it big enough for visitors to notice it, but not so huge that it sticks out like a sore thumb!

Be careful about its color, too. It should contrast with the background and also sync well with the overall page design. Why? Well, to create the Isolation Effect, which makes the CTA hard to miss. It’s also extremely important to consider elements like background color, surrounding images, and text. 

Excellent Copy

Turns out, a good lead generation page is one that quickly states the obvious: what’s in it for the visitor. Let’s see how you can get to the point. 

  • Headline: Write a straight-forward headline that makes sense with the sub-heading and clearly conveys the offer. To get started, think about your visitor’s goal and turn that into a powerful headline. Take inspiration from this BuzzSumo post, and the example below.
  • Body text: Ideally, list bullet points to make content skimmable, like in the example from the Walkme website below. It makes evaluating the offer easier than if it were presented as a block of text. Another thing worth considering is adding social proof

That said, there’s no harm in writing short, punchy paragraphs. Here’s a fitting example from Econsultancy: 

  • Call-to-action: As a rule of thumb, use imperative verbs that align with your offer to persuade people to click. For example, ‘Get a Free Assessment’, ‘Download the Ebook’, or ‘Start Your Free Trial’. 

Additionally, to add to its appeal and trigger FOMO among users, you can also add an element of urgency.

Use imperative verbs and urgency to make your CTAs more powerful
The CTA color, content and partner logos on the AdEspresso website make for a compelling case. Source

Sign-up Forms 

  • Keep it above the fold: Most lead generation pages follow this trend and it works for them, but you can go against the grain and place your lead capture form below the fold. Just make sure there’s a directional cue, not necessarily arrows and gazes, to lead visitors, lest they feel lost and leave.

HubSpot makes good use of a CTA above the fold to take visitors to the lead form placed right at the bottom of the page.

Use directional cues on a big lead generation landing page

  • Keep it short. Remember: lead generation is the second step in inbound marketing. Which means visitors are still getting to know you. To gain their trust, only ask for the information you need at this point. Any extra field like their home address and personal phone number, and you risk scaring them off!
  • Respect people’s privacy: Data protection is turning out to be a huge concern, so it’s better you reassure the visitor that you’ll neither spam them nor share their details with anyone else. 

Even if you think your visitors don’t go through these disclaimers with a fine-tooth comb, they’re still reassuring to see. Not alluding to data security in any way could discourage visitors from moving further down the funnel.

  • Social sign-up option: Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook’s auto-fill options improve sign-up conversions for the simple reason that the user doesn’t need to manually input any information. One click and they’re done!

Run A/B Tests For Better Conversions

An A/B test involves comparing two versions of a webpage. Version A is the control or the original page and Version B is the modified one. Both pages are shown randomly to users and analysis is done to find out which meets the conversion goal.

Since it’s purely evidence-based, A/B testing is an ideal way to learn how basic design and copy changes can affect a web page’s performance.

On your lead gen landing page, you can test one of any of the elements we discussed above, namely the headline, CTA size, text and color, images, and sign-up forms. You might be surprised by how a tiny tweak, like changing the color of a CTA, can make a huge difference to your conversions. 

Speaking of which, must you test every lead generation page? Well, not if you’re a micro-business, startup or a small to medium-sized business. You might not have a transaction volume high enough to prove a hypothesis true or untrue. Nevertheless, you can still make some changes to keep the conversion needle ticking. 

For the rest of you, answer the following questions:

  • Is the page getting enough traffic? 
  • Do you notice a high bounce or exit rate? 
  • Has the page brought you high-quality leads in the past?
  • Do you have the time to run these tests?

Assuming you’re ready to A/B test, make sure you don’t fall victim to confirmation bias. It’s a classic trap and you’re better off not getting tricked by your brain when writing test hypotheses.

Wrapping Up

While lead generation is all about collecting a maximum number of qualified leads, creating top-quality content that solves their problems is a big step in making this happen. 

Equally important is to gift-wrap your content in a beautifully designed and well-written landing page so that people get excited about taking the next step down the funnel.

Lastly, never stop testing. You’ll learn a good deal along the way and generate better quality leads. 

Over to you. How ready and confident are you to take your first steps?

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