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How to Generate Leads like these 75 Marketing Wizards

Welcome to the ultimate, complete, comprehensive, frankly quite ridiculous resource – How to Generate Leads like 75 Marketing Wizards.

This article breaks down the lead generation strategies from 75 of the top marketing brands and thought-leaders out there. We’re talking about 328 lead generation examples, encompassing AdEspresso to Wordstream and everything in between.

To navigate, use the Table of Contents below

How to Generate Leads Like OkDork

Noah Kagan is CEO of AppSumo. He was #72,364 at Intel (probably), #30 at Facebook, #4 at Mint, and is first in the heart of many growth hackers and marketers for his insight into entrepreneurship, growing an email list, and everything related to growing your business as he has.

Here’s how OkDork generates leads:

Homepage Overlay

Content Upgrade/Click Popup:

Sidebar Scroll Popup on Blog Directory:

Click Popup on Blog Directory:

The Top Lead generation strategy from OKDork:

I love that Noah’s primary offer (on the homepage overlay) is 85% of his best business hacks. From this, a visitor infers that, to get the other 15% (subjectively that’s the stuff you really want), you’d have to hire him.

He also uses the “Learn how I” value proposition in his lead gen forms. This case-study style communicates the idea that Noah is all about proven results. This ain’t theoretical.

How to Generate Leads Like Social Triggers

SocialTriggers, founded by entrepreneur Derek Halpern, offers Derek’s unique angle on building and marketing businesses. Derek has built and sold several successful websites in various niches (entertainment, fashion, etc.).

Here’s how SocialTriggers generates leads:

Homepage Overlay

Sidebar Form Offering an Entrepreneur Assessment

“Assessment Complete” Email Gate

Content Upgrade Click Popup

30% Scroll Popup

Sidebar Form Click Popup

Optimized Thank You Page

The Top Lead generation strategy from SocialTriggers:

I really Derek’s “entrepreneur assessment,” a 5-page, multiple choice questionnaire which both segments his prospective leads and makes them feel like part of an exclusive group. I got “Jack-of-all-Trades” entrepreneur, which he then defined by giving me an example of another successful “Jack-of-all-Trades” he’s worked with.

He also created an actionable ebook for each of the five types of entrepreneurs, in which he delivers legitimate “grow your business” advice and pitches his training series.

How to Generate Leads Like Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the mad scientist of digital marketing. He’s the king of “invest and test,” often dropping five-figure budgets and making four-figure profit. When it comes to lead generation, Neil’s done it all and is usually the first guy to do the next thing.

He’s also the CEO and founder of Kissmetrics, Quicksprout, CrazyEgg and HelloBar as well as a consistent member of “Top 10-most Influential Digital Marketers” lists.

Here’s how Neil Patel generates leads:

Homepage Overlay for Webinar

Blog Overlay for Newsletter Subscription

Inline Image CTA for Webinar

Sidebar Form for Newsletter Subscription

Content Upgrade

Content Upgrade Click Popup

The Top Lead generation strategy from Neil Patel:

What I like most about Neil Patel’s lead gen strategy is that (apart from his content upgrades and a straightforward newsletter subscription prompt), his blog CTAs, forms and overlays are based around his webinar. He’s measured the ROI of ebooks, extravagant, email-gated campaigns and his subscriber list and determined that webinars yield the best ROI. And he’s doubled down on that winning strategy.

How to Generate Leads Like CrazyEgg

CrazyEgg offers a click, heat and scroll-mapping tool designed to show your business what visitors are doing on your website.

The CrazyEgg blog is devoted to website conversion and offers a lot of expert-level content, giving already successful conversion rate optimization experts even more food for thought.

Here’s how CrazyEgg generates leads:

Homepage Overlay for Site Analysis

Sidebar Form on the Blog Directory

Top-of-Page Form on Each Article

The Top Lead generation strategy from CrazyEgg:

CrazyEgg’s focus is that “Show me my Heatmap” CTA at the top. Sure, they have a blog subscription, but many of the CTAs on their site drive traffic back to their homepage. Leads who are interested in heat-mapping (and know what it is) are far more valuable to CrazyEgg than leads only interested in site optimization in general. They’re farther down the sales funnel and are more qualified.

It’s always a good idea to remember that driving the right leads is more important than driving a large number of them.

How to Generate Leads Like QuickSprout

Quicksprout is a software company (one of Neil Patel’s) which is devoted to interpreting your company’s Google Analytics data to determine what content is working best for your business.

The Quicksprout blog is devoted to content marketing best practice and strategies and is well known for its comprehensive, free resources.

Here’s how QuickSprout generates leads:

Homepage Overlay for Site Analysis

In-line Content Upgrade/Click Popup

Inline Site Analysis Form

Blog Sidebar Course Form

The Top Lead generation strategy from QuickSprout:

QuickSprout’s website analysis tool will likely find an issue with any site you plug in (the one I used was just a random domain I own which I haven’t done much with, so would definitely warrant that “Ouch!”), but it is nonetheless an awesome lead generation strategy.

I particularly like that the tool processes your website before you provide any personal information in and then gives you a sneak preview (in my case “Ouch!”) before email-gating the rest of the feedback.

How to Generate Leads Like SumoMe

SumoMe is an extension of AppSumo. it’s a software platform which, through heat mapping, lead generation tools and easy-sharing software, is devoted to increasing website traffic and conversion rates.

The SumoMe blog is also famous for its long-form, super valuable articles based around lead generation, site optimization and email marketing.

Here’s how SumoMe generates leads:

Homepage Overlay to “Try it Now”

Top of Blog Directory to “Try it Now”

Content Upgrade Inline CTA

Content Upgrade Click Popup

The Top Lead generation strategy from SumoMe:

Content Upgrade 30% Scroll Popup

SumoMe’s article-specific content upgrade, which is promoted both with an inline CTA (triggering a click popup) and a 30% scroll popup, is awesome. We at Wishpond have seen article-specific content upgrades convert readers at least 100% better than a subject-specific ebook. Check out “How We Doubled Blog Lead Generation with Click Popups” for more.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

Before you start guest posting or chasing the next big list building strategy, focus on converting more of the your existing traffic. That’s the only list building strategy that can help you gain consistent email subscribers without having to worry about going out and taking action to get every single one.

I recently published an article about this on SumoMe: https://sumome.com/stories/conversion-rate-optimization

Sarah Peterson, Content Marketing at SumoMe

How to Generate Leads Like Wordstream

WordStream is a software platform and agency devoted to managing PPC advertising services. SInce 2007, their blog and long list of free tools have been at the forefront of online marketing thought-leadership.

Here’s how WordStream generates leads:

Homepage Free Report Overlay

Free Report Landing Page #1

Free Report Landing Page #2

Ebook Prompt on Blog

Free Report CTA on Blog Sidebar

The Top Lead generation strategy from WordStream:

WordStream (like CrazyEgg and QuickSprout) puts a lot of stock into their report tool. The process to get access to your website’s report is three-steps, which at once qualifies leads and segments them.

Only someone genuinely interested in learning more about their site’s performance would go through the process, meaning that every lead they get from it is that much more valuable, and can be invested in that much more seriously.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

Use remarketing. People who have recently visited your site are 3 times more likely to re-engage, and 2x more likely to convert to a sale or lead, compared to going after completely new people.

Larry Kim, Founder of Wordstream

How to Generate Leads Like Groove

Groove is helpdesk software, but it’s oh-so-much more than that. Led by Alex Turnbull, the Groove blog has been revolutionizing content marketing since 2013. They’ve lead the transparency movement and, with their “Journey to 100,000 monthly revenue” been guiding startups and entrepreneurs alike with their complete walkthroughs to “How we did “X” or “Why “X” failed and what we did about it.” I’m not ashamed to say they’re also my personal content crush.

Here’s how Groove generates leads:

Homepage Signup CTA

Signup Form

Blog Subscription Overlay

Scrolling Content Upgrade Bar CTA

Blog Subscription Bottom-of-Article CTA

The Top Lead generation strategy from Groove:

Groove’s blog subscription is famously awesome. They publish rarely (about once a week or so), but their content is so valuable to startups and entrepreneurs that their list has grown to more than 100,000 in only a couple years.

Their top lead generation strategy is based around the value of their content. They don’t need flashy CTAs or aggressive exit popups – just consistently awesome content made accessible through CTAs that aren’t hidden.

How to Generate Leads Like Copy Hackers

Copy Hackers is a site devoted to everything website copy. Run by the ever-impressive Joanna Wiebe and Lance Jones, Copy Hackers features guidance for freelance writers, content creators and anybody looking to boost website and email conversion rates.

Here’s how Copy Hackers generates leads:

Inline CTA for Email-Gated Content

Scroll Popup for Content Upgrade

Scroll Popup Second Page

Timed Sidebar Popup for Content Upgrade

The Top Lead generation strategy from CopyHackers:

Everything on CopyHackers uses brand colors – that light blue and orangey-red. This kind of consistency helps to build their brand and keeps website visitors comfortable. Even in the follow-up email to confirm your opt-in and download Joanna’s Diva List, they use the same color scheme.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

We’ve found that partnering with content teams at fast-growing bizzes and large organizations is a consistently effective way to get more leads than we could on our own. Those teams need great content, and you need great leads. Win win!
One example of how this worked for us is the landing-page copywriting ebook we wrote with Unbounce, which used the ebook for lead-gen and promoted it heavily; we got 300+ subscribers out of it thanks to mentions of our brand alone. Another example is a 5-day email copywriting course we wrote for HubSpot, where they sent the course, by email, to those that signed up for it; after running the course, they gave us the list of email addresses for those that had taken the course, which gave us 3000+ subscribers. Importantly, we didn’t ask Unbounce for the list of leads they collected – but that was our rookie mistake. By the time we worked with HubSpot, we knew to ask for the emails.
So if you partner with content teams, I’d recommend you agree upfront that you’ll get a copy of the list of leads they collect using your [co-branded] content. Then you simply need to be sure that you welcome and nurture those fresh leads, giving them a clear chance to opt-out and a really great reason to stay in.

Joanna Wiebe

How to Generate Leads Like Backlinko

Backlinko is Brian Dean’s baby – a site devoted to super actionable content designed to help businesses get more traffic, leads and customers through SEO, content promotion and UX.

The Backlinko blog is focused around a few proven and super actionable strategies for content creation, promotion and how your business can better rank online. Brian gives step-by-step, screenshotted walkthroughs for how to accomplish each of his powerful marketing strategies – most famously the Skyscraper Strategy.

Here’s how BackLinko generates leads:

Homepage Overlay for Opt-in

Blog Directory Mid-Page CTA

Inline Click Popup CTA for Content Upgrade

Click Popup for Checklist Content Upgrade

Exit Popup for Gated Content

Sidebar Subscription CTA

Bottom of Homepage Opt-in Form

Top of Article Subscription Prompt

The Top Lead generation strategy from BackLinko:

Brian Dean is the king of insanely-valuable, actionable articles which are almost too large to read in one sitting – and that’s why his content upgrade strategy is so damn successful (he’s actually where we got the idea to do them ourselves).

He uses both inline CTAs and image CTAs to trigger click popups (keeping readers in the same tab = higher conversion rates) and creates a new content upgrade for almost every article he writes.

How to Generate Leads Like Uberflip

Uberflip is a content marketing platform which compiles blog articles, social media engagement, videos, ebooks and etc into one manageable “Hub.” It also allows users to organize and optimize theri content CTAs from one dashboard.

Here’s how Uberflip generates leads:

Email-Gated Content

The Email Gated Content Form:

Then when you click on the “email” field…

An Inline Blog Subscription CTA

The Blog Subscription Landing Page

The Top Lead generation strategy from UberFlip:

Uberflip has doubled down on email-gated ebooks and webinars to generate leads. Their content is built around these “content pillars” which do a lot of their marketing and qualifying for them. Their “ultimate guides” alone have (this is insider information, by the way) gotten more than 50,000 downloads in the past year.

How to Generate Leads Like Sujan Patel

Sujan Patel is the co-founder of Web Profits, a growth marketing agency helping companies leverage the latest and greatest marketing strategy to fuel their businesses. Sujan has over 13 years of internet marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.

Here’s how Sujan Patel generates leads:

Homepage Overlay to Subscribe

Scroll Popup for Email-Gated “Content Marketing Bootcamp”

Inline Ebook Image CTA

Scrolling Gated Content Bottom-Bar

Content Upgrade CTA

The Content Upgrade Landing Page

The Top Lead generation strategy from SujanPatel:

Sujan does it all right. Every one of his lead generation opportunities are professionally-done with branded color schemes and great consistency.

His top lead generation strategy though, is the content upgrade within his massive (and beautiful) guide to Customer Delight. It’s so big, and so valuable, that most readers will want to download it to keep it around. Coupled with the optimized landing page, it’s a winning lead generation strategy.

How to Generate Leads Like Smartblogger

Smartblogger is the brainchild of well-known copywriter Jon Morrow. Jon and his team have developed Smartblogger as a leading resource for becoming a better blogger through developing your writing skills, driving better (and more) traffic and editing your blog and content to be unforgettable and drive sales.

Here’s how Smartblogger generates leads:

Top of Homepage for Gated Content

Timed/Scroll Popup on Blog Article

Timed/Scroll Popup on Blog Directory

Inline Click Popup CTA within “About” Page

Click Popup for Gated Content

The Top Lead generation strategy from SmartBlogger:

I like the email-gated content pitch right at the top of the blog directory and homepage. When you have a niche target audience and niche readership, the creation of a broadly-appealing ebook (like “How to write blog posts that go viral”) and placement of it at the top of your directory is a good call.

It probably wouldn’t do as well if it were to be embedded as an image CTA (or inline) in a more specific article about copyediting.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

Here at Smart Blogger, leads mean email addresses. We employ many of the usual tactics to convert blog visitors to subscribers, including: displaying a prominent opt-in feature box offering a “bribe” in return for an email address and creating custom “content upgrades” for our most popular posts. However, one tactic we’ve recently tried with great results was to ask a simple yes/no question before presenting any kind of opt-in form, which produced a 67% uplift in our opt-ins. We used Thrive Leads to implement this feature.

Glen Long

How to Generate Leads Like Growth Everywhere

Growth Everywhere is a blog on business and personal growth founded by SingleGrain CEO and hugely successful consultant Eric Siu (formerly of Treehouse). Chock full of podcasts with successful entrepreneurs and short-form ideas from Eric, GrowthEverwhere is a great place to find some of the most insightful ideas about growing a business.

Here’s how Growth Everywhere generates leads:

Homepage Overlay

Top of Homepage Gated Content CTA

Gated Content CTA at Bottom of Article

Sidebar Gated Content CTA

The Click Popup

The Top Lead generation strategy from Growth Everywhere:

Growth Everywhere promotes the same piece of gated content with all these lead generation tools. And what I like about this is that several times Eric uses “start here” in his pitch. As someone who actually has “started there” with Eric’s gated content, I know that he delivers relevant, lead-nurturing content beyond that ebook. This simplifies his life as, rather than having to adapt a lead nurturing campaign to a dozen or so pieces of gated content, he just has to do it once. This, likely, allows him to personalize that lead nurturing campaign a bit more effectively.

How to Generate Leads Like SixteenVentures

SixteenVentures is the website for marketing guru and influencer Lincoln Murphy. It revolves around his thoughts and growth strategies for SaaS marketing. Since 2006, Lincoln has helped more than 400 SaaS companies drive growth through his patented (not actually) “Customer Lifecycle” which considers customer acquisition to retention, account expansion and advocacy.

Here’s how SixteenVentures Generates Leads:

Sidebar Subscriber Form

Content Upgrade CTA

Content Upgrade Click Popup

The Top Lead generation strategy from Sixteen Ventures:

Interestingly, I think Lincoln Murphy’s best lead gen strategy has got to be his blog subscription sidebar – and that’s a rare thing for me to say.

Normally a sidebar subscriber form is the after-thought which doesn’t get you much but is there because there’s some whitespace and “why not?”

In Lincoln’s own words, “If we’re honest, email lead capture is pretty much why we have a website. I mean, aside from making a sale the first time someone hits our site, the main goal of everything we do – especially content marketing – is to capture leads (or emails we assume are or will become qualified leads).”

And yet he doesn’t have any large website overlays, scroll or timed popups, large inline CTA images or, really, anything except the occasional gated content upgrade. And this is a seriously successful digital marketer. The only conclusion I can make, therefore, is that this guy’s sidebar subscription CTA is killing it.

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