How to Generate Leads like these 75 Marketing Wizards Part 4

How to Generate Leads Like Dan Martell

Dan Martell is an exciting guy. He’s been mentor at 500 Startups and an investor in more than 30, including Udemy, Intercom and Unbounce. He’s helped to found and raise capital for the startups Clarity and Flowtown, and is now a world-renowned business consultant (and, who are we kidding, an impressive adrenaline junky on top of it).

Here’s how Dan Martell generates leads:

Gated Content Exit Popup

Bottom-of-About Me Subscription Form

Inline Content Upgrade CTA

Gated Content Image CTA

Content Upgrade Click Popup

The top lead generation strategy from Dan Martell

Dan’s exit popup is done really well. The value proposition, of “Real World Advice that Will Grow your Business” is awesome. Plus the three video stills and the two simple bullet point list items detailing exactly what you’ll receive, plus the negative CTA which makes you feel like an idiot to select? If you’re going to add an exit popup to your blog (which you should) this is a great one to be inspired by.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

Focus on adding more value than anyone else in the world and you will build an incredible active and engage list. Make it about “converting more optins” and you’ll loose before getting started. Create value first.

Dan Martell

How to Generate Leads Like Positionly

Positionly is a software company from Warsaw which is quickly making a name for itself in the inbound marketing space. Their software provides your business with an in-the-moment dashboard of your search rankings, keywords and traffic. They give you advice about how you can rank better and attract more traffic to your site.

Here’s how Positionly generates leads:

Bottom-of-Blog Subscription Form

Sidebar Subscription Form

Timed Subscription Popup on Blog Directory

The top lead generation strategy from Positionly

I actually like the confidence of Positionly’s subscription popup. I like “The Best SEO Tips” and I like the CTA “Subscribe Now!” – so long as they’re both tested. Readers like confidence. They like knowing that whatever they’re in for is done by professionals who know their stuff.

A lead generation best practice is actually to push that confidence. Rather than “Some good SEO tips,” test “The Best.” Rather than “Subscribe,” test “Subscribe Now!”

Advice from the Marketing Wizards

Based on my experience as a content marketer, I focus my efforts on creating high quality, educational content that is well-optimized for SEO, specifically, strategically chosen keywords. This way, articles perform well in search results and drive a decent amount of organic traffic to our website.
One lead generation method that I usually rely on is sneaking a few offers into well placed locations in a blog post. I place links to landing pages and calls-to-action within the copy of the posts, usually in the navigation or sidebar. The calls-to-action are both in visual and textual formats. It’s necessary to make them stand out and continually test their outcomes in order to discover the perfect location for them to be placed in.
These offers are downloadable e-books that are sent to the prospect’s inboxes once they subscribe to our mailing list. In my writing, I also try to gently refer to the product and add a subtle incentive to sign up for a free 14-day trial to let people test out our application.
Frequently, we also initiate cross-promotions. They include guest post and newsletter exchanges.

Kasia Perzyńska, Content Marketing Manager

Quora is a Q&A platform where anyone can post a question and get answers from experts in the community. From Ashton Kutcher to President Barack Obama, many have taken their turn in writing answers. After speaking with people from some of the top SaaS companies, I learned that in Poland, Quora is an excellent source for long term traffic. No matter how old the post on Quora is, you can get traffic from it. If you’re good at what you do, Quora lets you establish yourself as the authority on those subject matters. Last but not least, always make sure to create a traffic-optimized profile in order to get people to visit your website, blog, etc.

Syed Asad, The Head of Sales

How to Generate Leads Like Veravo

Veravo was started by James Reynolds in 2010. An online marketing agency with over 100 clients under management, James and the Veravo blog focus on driving traffic.

Website Analysis CTA

Website Analysis Form

The top lead generation strategy from Veravo

The website analysis is likely done manually by James or an assistant, which is an excellent way to learn more about your leads before reaching out to them. It’s a very straightforward lead generation process and makes a lot of sense for agencies and consultants.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

Without any doubt, the most effective way I’ve grown my list is through post specific opt-in bribes AKA Content Upgrades – these are bonus content pieces readers can subscribe to in order to gain additional value from the public content on your blog. For example, you write a blog post “30 List Building Ideas To Improve Your Lead Generation” your content upgrade might be:

  • A list building cheat sheet.
  • A list building resource guide.
  • A video explaining showing how you’ve used the top list building strategies.

Content upgrades are effective because they are hyper-relevant. What’s more, they needn’t be difficult to produce. In our example post; “30 List Building Ideas To Improve Your Lead Generation” you might just save your best 2 strategies and use them as your content upgrade. Alternatively, you could just provide a PDF version of your post as I did here. This particular content upgrade is very simple, but as you can see from the stats below, it converts very well indeed:

James Reynolds, Veravo and SEOSherpa

How to Generate Leads Like Shopify

Shopify is the number one ecommerce site platform. It gives you control over the look and feel of your online store by providing hundreds of themes. Their dashboard allows you to add new sales cahnnels, manage products and inventory, fulfill orders and track sales, all from one place.

Their blog and resources are built around getting the most out of your online store. In the past, I’ve been particularly impressed with their step-by-step, actionable walkthroughs for getting set up.

Here’s how Shopify generates leads:

Bottom-of-Blog Subscription Form

Sidebar Subscription Form

Inline Content Upgrade CTA

Content Upgrade Click Popup

Free Resources CTA

Free Resources Form

The top lead generation strategy from Shopify

Shopify’s “free resources” is a pretty vague value proposition, but it works really well with their pitch “Not ready to start selling?” The visitor infers, “that’s okay. Shopify is here for you even if you’re not using us. We’ll help you get off the ground with these free resources and then, when you are ready…”

Like Jeff Bullas’ lead generation strategy as well, this works because Shopify’s content already has a high subjective value simply because it’s Shopify’s.

How to Generate Leads Like Growth Hacker.TV

Growth Hacker TV, hosted by Bronson Taylor, is a video resource for “founders and entrepreneurs that are trying to grow a startup.” Bronson describes it better than I ever could… “There are very few people in the world that really understand how startups grow. Have you grown a product to millions of users? Yeah, me neither. Luckily, the people that come on Growth Hacker TV have. We have guests from the largest names in the business (Facebook, DropBox, Hulu, LinkedIn, Expedia…well, you get the picture), and we get them to expose the truth about growth.”

Here’s how Growth Hacker TV generates leads:

Unlock Video Popup at 1 minute mark

The top lead generation strategy from GrowthHacker TV

There’s only one, but it’s so kickass that it’s worth including in this list. GrowthHacker TV email-gates every video, but only if you try to skip. And as soon as you provide your email address, it gives you access to the rest of the video you’re watching as well as three other of the most recent videos.

It’s like the most effective scroll or timed popup out there – only appearing once you’ve already received value from the content.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

Leads are not what matters – quality leads are what matters. To quote Glengarry Glen Ross (a classic movie about sales), ‘I want leads that don’t come right out of a phone book. Give me a lead hotter than that, I’ll go in and close it. Give me a chance. That’s all I want. I’m going to get up on that f*cking board and all I want is a chance. It’s a streak and I’m going to turn it around.’

How to Generate leads like AuthorityHacker

Started by Gael Breton​ & Mark Webster in 2014, Authority Hacker was created to give practical advice to entrepreneurs about building their site to where it’s seen “as an authority [you can rely on] to generate income.”Gael and Mark (and their blogger Perrin) are all experienced digital marketers who have helped to build or advise many authority-based companies.

Here’s how AuthorityHacker generates leads:

Bottom-of-Blog Content Upgrade CTA

Content Upgrade Click Popup

Content Upgrade Timed Overlay

Content Upgrade Timed Overlay 2

The top lead generation strategy from AuthorityHacker

The content upgrade overlays you see above are pretty aggressive, until you consider that they’re (while not being quite article-specific) still very relevant to the article’s they’re embedded on. BuzzBlogger (and Wishpond) does something similar by only showing gated content popups on articles specifically relevant to the subject matter. By using a timed or scroll overlay, AuthorityHacker can guarantee that their most-interested readers see their relevant gated content.

How to Generate Leads Like Conversion Sciences

Conversion Sciences is a marketing consultancy founded by conversion rate optimization thought-leader Brian Massey and video and SEO expert Joel Harvey. In their own words, it’s “the consultancy we both wished we could have found and worked with back in the days when we were the client working on maximizing our conversion rates.”

Here’s how Conversion Sciences generates leads:

Bottom-of-Blog Gated Content CTA

Gated Content Landing Page

Sidebar Gated Content CTA

Sidebar Subscription Form

The top lead generation strategy from Conversion Sciences

The coolest part about Conversion Science‘s subscription pitch is that they don’t mention articles. Instead, they mention a bunch of stuff you’re not seeing on the blog. This subtly communicates the idea that subscription gives you way more value than reading the blog does.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

I’d recommend this: Change the call to action on your mobile (smartphone) site. Your desktop site may offer forms to fill out, a way to purchase, or even interactive tools. We don’t use mobile devices the same way.

Here are some ideas:

1. Use “screenhoppers” to get visitors to come back to your desktop site when they are at their computer. Collect an email on mobile and send a reminder.

2. Reduce the fields in mobile forms.

3. Consider social sign-on for mobile visitors.

4. Let them call. Make sure your telephone links are instrumented for one-press calling.

How to Generate Leads Like BloggerJet

BloggerJet was founded by Tim Soulo, the marketer behind TweetDis and Content Upgrades PRO. He’s now the CMO for Ahrefs (which is exploding, by the way).

Here’s how BloggerJet generates leads:

Entry Popup

Inline Content Upgrade CTA

Content Upgrade Click Popup

Nav-Bar Gated Content CTA

Gated Content Landing Page

The top lead generation strategy from BloggerJet

For me it’s all about that nav bar gated content. Anyone visiting BloggerJet will naturally gravitate towards the nav bar, simply to get a bearing of how they get around the website. One of the four tabs is “100K Framework,” which, when clicked upon, opens up the gated content landing page you see above. The nav bar promptly disappears, making this a true landing page which is optimized for conversion rates.

How to Generate Leads Like I Will Teach You to Be Rich

IWillTeachYoutobeRich was founded by Ramit Sethi, a New York Times bestselling author and Stanford graduate in psychology and human behavior. His blog and website revolve around using that psychology and systems to live a “Rich Life,” which could mean “automating your finances, making more money, finding your Dream Job, starting an online business or mastering your inner psychology.”

Here’s how I Will Teach You to be Rich generates leads:

Sidebar Gated Content CTA

Exit Popup

Exit Popup Form

Top-of-Blog Gated Content CTA

The top lead generation strategy from I Will Teach You to be Rich

I love the exit popup headline from I Will Teach You. “Want to Start an Online Business?” It very effectively segments visitors. If they don’t convert, then they definitely don’t want to start an online business. If they do, then you automatically know what kind of lead you’re working with. If the gated content was “100 Variables of an Ideal Customer Profile” you wouldn’t necessarily know at what stage your lead was, and have to find other ways to nurture them towards a paid conversion.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

To keep growing leads consistently, marketers need to stop thinking in campaigns and start thinking in engines. You may have a great campaign that produces a pop of leads and that’s wonderful. But what happens next month? How can you turn that campaign into a repeatable system that brings in X leads every single month? Very few channels and campaigns can be turned into a scalable lead gen engine. It’s not only your job to come up with creative campaigns, you need to find the campaigns that can scale profitably. Most marketers can only think one month at a time, the best [of them] think in years.

Lars Lofgren

How to Generate Leads Like Blogging Wizard

Adam Connell started Blogging Wizard in 2012 and has, from the beginning, emphasized it as a “community of savvy bloggers [with the aim to] share real-world, actionable tactics and strategies that you can put into action right away.” Focused on blogging and content marketing, Adam and Blogging Wizard have grown into an impressive source for growing your business and mastering blogging for business.

Here’s how Blogging Wizard generates leads:

Homepage Subscription CTA

Homepage Subscription Landing Page and Form

Nav Bar Subscription CTA

Subscription CTA

Subscription Click Popup

In-line Blog CTA

The top lead generation strategy from Blogging Wizard

Adam Connell’s website puts subscription front and center. It’s the top CTA of their homepage, sending people down to a benefit list and form. I like the idea of making your homepage into a landing page.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

Lead magnets have been used for a long time. They’re straight forward, but not as effective as they once were.

Content upgrades have the potential for huge conversions, but you have to create something for each post you want to add a content upgrade to. That takes time, and not everyone has the time (or resources), right?!

However, there is a strategy that falls somewhere in the middle:

Category targeted lead magnets

The idea is that you break down the core topics you write about on your website, and create a lead magnet for each one (it’s easier if you keep it to 4 or 5).

You then display targeted opt-in forms for posts within a given category.

Think about it:

If you were reading about social media marketing tools, would you be more likely to subscribe to get a guide on lead nurturing or social media marketing strategies?

Probably the latter.

But, the technical aspect of this is tricky unless you use WordPress. This is because WordPress has categories, and there are plugins like Thrive Leads that allow you to deploy opt-in forms that are category dependent.

So how much more effective is it versus offering a single lead magnet?

This is something you’d need to test, but after testing this strategy on my agencies website (UK Linkology) – we increased our site-wide opt-in rate by over 300%. And that increase has stayed steady – it wasn’t just a flash in the pan.

Sure, content upgrades will typically convert better. But this is a great alternative if you want to save time.

Adam Connell

How to Generate Leads Like Jeff Goins, Writer

Jeff Goins is the author of four books including the national bestseller (and, on a personal note, one of my favorite books of all time) The Art of Work. On his blog, he muses about writing for a living, writing in general, and the pursuit of living a creative life and making a difference (as well as, of course, driving website traffic).

Bottom-of-Blog Gated Content CTA

Gated Content Click Popup

Gated Content Exit Overlay

Subscription Sidebar Scroll Popup

The top lead generation strategy from Jeff Goins, Writer

There’s nothing fancy about Jeff’s lead generation strategy. He’s an understated guy. What I like, therefore, is the way his offers are so tailored to his visitor. He doesn’t go overboard with “Learn how I made a million dollars this month” but rather “Get everything I did to grow my blog from 0 to 100,000 readers in only 18 months.” It’s very action-based and very tuned into what people are there to learn.

How to Generate Leads Like Simply Measured

Simply Measured is a social media analytics platform which offers marketers insight from a dozen social media networks.

Email-Gated Resources

Sidebar Subscription Form

Bottom-of-Blog Gated Content CTA

Ebook Landing Page

The top lead generation strategy from Simply Measured

The gated resources provided by Simply Measured are really high quality, and very easy to find on their site. The creation of gated content can be a time-consuming process (though it’s easier if you follow my “Ebook Design Kit for Marketers Who Can’t Design for Sh*t“), but it’s also one of those strategies which, once completed, just sits there generating leads. Add some in-line CTAs to your high-traffic articles and from time to time you A/B test a new landing page design, but ultimately, gated content is just a reliable earner.

How to Generate Leads Like UserOnboard

UserOnboard is the brainchild of UX designer and onboarding expert Samuel Hulick. He’s the author of The Elements of User Onboarding. His blog offers his famous “onboarding teardowns” of real-world onboarding examples, and is a go-to place for UX experts and noobies alike to learn how best to turn traffic into conversions or leads into loyal customers through site design.

Here’s how UserOnboard generates leads:

Sidebar Gated Content Form

Bottom-of-Page Subscription Form

Subscription Form

Subscription Prompt Post Teardown

The top lead generation strategy from UserOnboard

I’m a big fan of both Samuel’s gated book intro (get the first 10 pages if you provide your email address), but if I had to choose I’d go with this post-teardown subscription prompt.

His teardowns come in slidedecks, so you’re making progress through each and getting serious value the entire time (the one I checked out had an awesome point about never putting your gamification progress at 0% so that people can hit the ground running). Subscribing to receive more of the value you’ve gotten doesn’t just seem like a good idea; because it’s on the last slide, it seems like the logical next step as well.

Almost like this guy knows how to onboard site visitors…

How to Generate Leads Like SocialMouths

SocialMouths is the site of Francisco Rosales, built as his “vehicle to deliver free advice on what takes to be successful online. […]Mostly talk about blogging, social media, web traffic, content marketing, conversion and email marketing.”

Here’s how SocialMouths generates leads:

Bottom-of-Blog Gated Content Form

Gated Course Exit Popup

Sidebar Gated Content Form

Sidebar Training CTA

Training Notification Form

The top lead generation strategy from SocialMouths

I like the “get notified when this course opens” lead generation strategy. Closing training implies that this stuff isn’t recorded beforehand (a common strategy for marketing training programs) – which increases subjective value. SocialMouths also knows that anyone who does ask to be notified when registration opens is a very qualified lead, and can segment and nurture them accordingly.

How to Generate Leads Like Petovera

Petovera was founded by Matt Ackerson. A marketing consultancy, Petovera has been featured in Forbes, Mashable, VentureBeat, Inc and more. The blog focuses primarily on sales funnel optimization.

Here’s how Petovera generates leads:

Inline Content Upgrade CTA

Gated Content Exit Popup

Sidebar Chat CTA

Gated Content Landing Page

The top lead generation strategy from Petovera

Petovera actually features a lead generation strategy I haven’t seen before – the “gated content prompt through a chat box.” It’s a timed chat popup, which actually supersedes their standard “Do you have any questions?” automated chat. Though its effectiveness is ruined slightly by the “Matt was last active 15 hours ago,” it’s still a very cool way to put content in front of visitors.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

People are becoming more comfortable buying services online. There’s one problem though: no one cares about your free consultation. Only a trickle of prospects do, at best. The mental switching effort required to commit to a call at a later date, with someone who you think will probably try to sell you, and it’s going to time out of your day… Forget about it.
This is why free consultation conversion rates are so low. The solution? Offer a free 10-20 minute video demo of your service and require just an email, or an email and a first name, to access it. According to one recent case study on Crazy Egg’s blog, this increased lead conversions for a car service business by nearly nine-fold. We’ve also done this for our business, Petovera, and have seen very positive results as well.

Matt Ackerson, CEO of Petovera


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