How to Generate Leads like these 75 Marketing Wizards Part 2

How to Generate Leads Like Vero

Vero is an email marketing platform allowing you to send both triggered and manual email campaigns, segment and filter customers and track everything email-related in one dashboard.

Their blog, led by Jimmy Daly (whose content I love), focuses on email marketing, with an impressive and useful emphasis on case studies.

Here’s how Vero generates leads:

Sidebar Subscriber Form on Blog Directory

Sidebar Scroll Form on Articles

Inline Content Upgrade

Bottom-of-Article Subscriber Form

The Top Lead generation strategy from Vero:

I love that inline content upgrade of zipped email templates and an Evernote link. Every time Vero does this (and they do it often) it makes their content super actionable. It takes away all the hypotheticals and instead says to the reader, “No seriously, these templates work. Provide your email address and you can add them to your email platform right now and start finding success.”

How to Generate Leads Like Nerdfitness.com

Nerdfitness.com is one of the most popular fitness blog ou there (Alexa ranking just over 8,085 – for a fitness blog!). It’s run by self-proclaimed “Fitness nerd” Steve Kamb and is focused on “inspiring the hell out of you to make positive changes and live a better life.” Steve aims to educate readers on how to work out properly, cook a decent meal, and consistently improve your health and well being.

The blog’s niche target market – nerds – gives it a very specific tone and copy style (Steve focuses on “leveling up your life”), which makes it an awesome example for niche businesses looking to generate leads.

Here’s how NerdFitness generates leads:

“Free Tools and Resources” Page

“Create your Character” Gamification

“Create your Character” Form

Sidebar Subscriber Form

Inline Subscriber Form

The Top Lead generation strategy from NerdFitness:

The “Create a Character” gamification is absolutely perfect for this website and its target market. Choosing a “class,” going on quests, levelling up – all through fitness and diet – is both fun and appealing to the “nerd” in everyone.

Although the character-based lead nurturing is, I’m sure, a lot more work than simply sending leads a PDF of recipes and workout routines, I have no doubt that Steve and NerdFitness have been more than paid off for their investment.

How to Generate Leads Like SnackNation:

SnackNation is a leader in healthy office snack delivery with the goal of helping companies “improve company culture, explore new workplace wellness ideas and increase employee engagement.”

Their blog is focused on that goal, delivering engaging content about team-building, party ideas, office breakfast ideas and much more – all about wellness and a healthy, happy work environment.

Here’s how SnackNation generates leads:

Timed Blog Overlay

Inline Content Upgrade CTA with Landing Page

Inline Content Upgrade CTA Image with Click Popup

Quiz Promotion Scroll Bar CTA

Quiz Promotion Sidebar CTA with Email Gated Results

Sidebar Amazon Giftcard CTA with Landing Page

The Top Lead generation strategy from SnackNation

SnackNation uses the whole gamut of possible blog and website CTAs, forms, overlays and scrolling bars to generate leads. I love their drive, and there’s no one element which stands above the rest (though the quiz is pretty cool). Each one is branded, and each uses best practices – from the overlay’s negative CTA “No, I don’t care about wellness” to their landing page design.

How to Generate Leads Like Canva:

Canva has exploded in the past couple years. With the influx of visual content creation, a (largely free) platform which makes it easy to create presentations, social media graphics, infographics and more is a no-brainer.

Canva gives you thousands of free stock photos, add filters, import free icons and shapes and work with hundreds of fonts to quickly and easily create beautiful visual content.

And their blog is devoted to making it easier on users and content creators to design like pros.

Here’s how Canva generates leads:

Top-of-Blog Subscription CTA

Subscription Click Popup

Subscription Scroll Popup

Online Course CTA

“Notify Me” Click Popup for Online Course

The Top Lead generation strategy from Canva

I like the “notify me” aspect of their upcoming gated content. Anybody who’s downloaded one of Canva’s design resources knows how valuable they are, and featuring “what’s coming next” is a great way to get a little bit of hype before the content is even released. It also gives you a segment of leads you know are hyper-interested (interested enough to opt in to receive notifications of future content) – making them more qualified.

How to Generate Leads Like CoSchedule

CoSchedule is a leading marketing organization software company. They’ve created individual “hubs” for your inbound marketing process (from content creation to lead generation and beyond), social media planning and strategy, digital marketing campaigns and everything editorial.

The CoSchedule website is defined by its not email-gating anything. All their resources and content upgrades, for instance, are just free to download. But there are a few things they still use to generate leads…

Here’s how CoSchedule generates leads:

Subscription CTA and Form

Click to Tweet Tool CTA

Click to Tweet Tool Form

The Top Lead generation strategy from CoSchedule

I love that CoSchedule has developed a bunch of tools which are part of their paid service and this one, which is solely created for generating leads. They also offer a few ungated tools (notably their headline analyzer). All of these free tools increase their perceived value as a brand. When you’re asked to provide an email address (after already getting a bunch of value) you’re far more likely to do so. And when you’re asked if you want to start a free trial, the chance you say yes is that much higher as well.

How to Generate Leads Like SnapApp:

SnapApp is a marketing platform which creates tools helping your business create, publish, manage, and measure your content. SnapApp features templates, asset libraries, design tools and global account settings to speed up your ability to create awesome inbound marketing content and campaigns.

Here’s how SnapApp generates leads:

Interactive Content Assessment

Lead Gate for Assessment Results

Ebook CTA

Ebook Landing Page

Gated Content

Gated Webinar Form

The Top Lead generation strategy from SnapApp

SnapApp email-gates almost all of their content, from webinars to white papers, case studies, ebooks and questionnaires. Because of this, I’m sure they’ve measured the return they get from giving away content (like CoSchedule does) vs gating it all, and decided on the strategy which works best for them.

I like their commitment to an informed strategy. It defines inbound marketing as what it really is – a strategy which must be researched and measured and then committed to.

If I had to choose a top lead generation strategy, their questionnaire and the gated results is a winning one.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

Lead generation for most marketers has become stagnant. We know what “works” for us, and stick to the status quo. But to level up their lead generation, marketers needs to think outside the box and develop experiences that will resonate with their audience. If we think in terms of “downloads” instead of new business, we won’t move the needle. So how do you create an experience?
Start by humanizing your message and delivering it in various ways to connect with more people. Interactive content is a great way to diversify your content and convey your message in an interesting way that resonates. Get started by trying a survey or assessment using the content from a white paper. By creating consumable content that’s fun, you’ll create more opportunities to capture leads and start the kinds of conversations that lead to new business. Go beyond downloads!

Vanessa Porter, Director of Marketing

How to Generate Leads Like Amy Porterfield

Amy is a social media strategist and leading industry influencer. She worked with Tony Robbins for years before breaking out on her own. Today she helps entrepreneurs (primarily through her impressive webinars) get the most out of social media and increase their online marketing success.

Here’s how Amy Porterfield generates leads:

Top of Blog Webinar CTA

Webinar Landing Page

Webinar Landing Page Click Popup

Resources and Courses

Course Landing Page

The top lead generation strategy from Amy Porterfield

Amy Porterfield is the queen of social media webinars. She’s been optimizing her webinar strategy for years and she’s got it down pat.

I’m not going to say whether or not Amy’s webinars are pre-recorded and pushed out once a week, because that would be telling. Either way they’re super valuable and super popular. She co-hosts and solo-hosts and covers everything social media-related.

How to Generate Leads Like Grow and Convert

Grow and Convert is a blog and consulting business founded by Devesh Khanal and Benji Hyam. Benji, formerly of ThinkApps, Everwise and Vistage (all San Francisco startups) runs the content strategy and promotion side and Devesh the list building, conversion optimization and analytics side.

Their articles are long-form and extremely valuable, and their an excellent example of a highly content-centric business.

Here’s how Grow and Convert generates leads:

Inline Content Upgrade CTA

Content Upgrade Click Popup

Subscription Blog Overlay

Training Waitlist

Training Waitlist Click Popup

The top lead generation strategy from Grow and Convert

Like Canva’s “notify us when a resource is published” list, Grow and Convert uses a “waitlist” to generate leads. This gives them a segment of leads who are super interested in their business, and will likely respond well to any new article, gated content, or consulting possibility.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

The biggest problem that I see is that most companies start testing lead gen channels without fully understanding their customer. Then when they’re not getting the results they’re looking for, they think the channel doesn’t work. This causes people to stop testing channels that could still be fruitful for the organization. It’s typically the approach to the channel that doesn’t work, not the channel itself.
In order to do lead gen effectively, companies should run through user research with their customers and prospects to understand the pains and challenges they have, who their users are (psychographics and demographics in-depth), where they hang out online, etc. Then based on the findings determine the proper messaging to attract their customers, the right channels to approach and the proper targeting. If it doesn’t work the first time, get feedback, tweak the messaging or audience slightly and test again. Don’t give up on a channel after one test.

Benji Hyam, Founder

How to Generate Leads Like Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is a data analysis and customer intelligence software company. Their platform gives users insight into how they can optimize their conversion and acquisition funnels, understand and increase retention, as well as better match with customer behavior to drive company growth.

The Kissmetrics blog is a hotbed for excellent guest contributors as well as their in-house content creators. It focuses on conversion optimization, analytics and email marketing (pretty much everything their target market might be interested in).

Here’s how Kissmetrics generates leads:

Bottom-of-Article Gated Content CTA

Email Gated Content and Resources

Email Gated Content Landing Page

Sidebar Scrolling Subscription Form

VIP Demo Landing Page

The top lead generation strategy from Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics has an excellent gated content landing page template and they use it for everything from their VIP demo to their ebooks and webinars. They ask for a lot of lead info which isn’t against best practice, so long as their offer is worth the “ask.” It’s branded, optimized and, if they test it they implement the winning variation across the board. That, my friends, is definitely best practice.

How to Generate Leads Like Smart Passive Income

SmartPassiveIncome is the brainchild of Pat Flynn. It’s built around his (quite substantial) empire teaching entrepreneurs how to generate passive income – income generated while you sleep.

His main lessons for this revolve around creating an internet presence and content which “takes advantage of systems of automation that allow transactions, cash flow, and growth to happen without requiring a real-time presence.”

Here’s how Smart Passive Income generates leads:

“Business Breakthrough” Subscription CTA

“Business Breakthrough” Subscription Click Popup

Bottom-of-Blog Subscription CTA

Bottom-of-Blog Subscription Click Popup

The top lead generation strategy from SmartPassiveIncome

If you think of Pat’s “1-Day Business Breakthrough” sessions as a final, paid conversion (he has others, but just go with it) then the “business breakthrough” subscription is an awesome way for him to get people in a nurturing funnel. He gives some of the session podcasts away for free, delivers a couple videos right off the bat and then, slowly but surely, shows you how valuable his complete session (only $197) are. It’s the definition of segmented lead generation followed by lead nurturing to a sale.

How to Generate Leads Like Brent Jones Online

Brent Jones is a freelance digital marketer, content creator and expert on how to make money online. His blog is dedicated to “everyone out there ready to ditch their 9-to-5 job to enjoy the freedom, flexibility and financial independence that freelancing offers.”

Here’s how Brent Jones generates leads:

Inline Content Upgrade Form

Inline Gated Content Form

Inline Subscription Form

Subscription Exit Popup

Home Page Opt-in Overlay

The top lead generation strategy from BrentJonesOnline

You can’t quite tell from the screenshot above, but the inline gated content form actually opens up a gated content vault (as Eric Siu would call it) – giving you access to a half dozen downloadable resources. This is a really cool way to generate leads, as it feels so much more valuable than a single resource. And, when you think about it, once you have your lead’s information from one ebook you shouldn’t be gating the others anyway.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

In terms of attracting new email subscribers, one strategy I have found highly effective is creating multiple relevant lead magnets. I then embed opt-in forms within the body of my blog content promoting the lead magnet that most closely relates to the topic of the post. Say, for example, I am publishing a post on time management. I would embed an opt-in form within that blog post promoting the free download of my recommended schedule for freelancers.

Brent Jones

How to Generate Leads Like DigitalMarketer.com

Ryan Deiss founded DigitalMarketer.com as a community where marketers, growth hackers, entrepreneurs and small business owners come to get ideas on driving traffic, increasing conversion rates and boosting social engagement (so the whole gamut, really). Ryan and contributors focus on releasing proven, non-hypothetical, walkthroughs for specific growth strategies which they’ve done and invested in themselves.

Here’s how DigitalMarkter.com generates leads:

Inline Content Upgrade

Content Upgrade Landing Page

The top lead generation strategy from DigitalMarketer.com

Most of Ryan Deiss’ organization is focused around paid training courses, but even they can’t help but take advantage of the email-gated, article-specific content upgrade. And you can’t blame them. They’ve been shown to convert twice as well as subject-related ebooks. That said, I wonder if DigitalMarketer wouldn’t find even better conversion rates if they added the click popup (as most of their competitors have) instead of sending visitors to a new tab and landing page.

How to Generate Leads Like ProBlogger

ProBlogger is the brainchild of Darren Rowse and is all about helping bloggers and content creators learn how to blog from someone who’s been doing it successfully since 2004. Darren started ProBlogger in order to “keep a record of what I was learning about blogging for money and because I wanted to connect with other bloggers making money from their blogs.” In the past 12 years, Darren has added over 8,000 articles, tutorials and case studies as well as (in the past few years) a very successful podcast.

Here’s how Problogger generates leads:

Blog Sidebar Subscription Form

Bottom of Blog Subscription Form

Homepage Subscription CTA

Subscription Click Popup

Blog Sidebar Content Upgrade CTA

Gated Content Landing Page

Gated Content Click Popup

The top lead generation strategy from ProBlogger

ProBlogger doesn’t beat around the bush with their blog subscription. Rather, it makes it super easy to subscribe with a bottom-of-blog CTA and form, a sidebar CTA and even a homepage prompt.

How to Generate Leads Like Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt is CEO of (unsurprisingly) Michael Hyatt & Company, an online leadership development company. Michael writes online content, podcasts and writes hardcopy books related to finding success both in terms of your career and your life.

Here’s how Michael Hyatt generates leads:

Bottom-of-Blog Subscription Form

Email-Gated Article

Gated Content Sidebar Form

Newsletter Subscription Scroll Popup

The top lead generation strategy from Michael Hyatt

I’m intrigued by by email-gated article here. I guess, if you have no SEO-based goals with your content, then gating it might make sense – particularly if your readers have already been convinced of the value of your content. In the case of Michael Hyatt, he’s an incredibly well-known thought-leader in his industry. Anyone who knows him assumes anything he’s written is worth the same price as any webinar or ebook.

How to Generate Leads Like Social Media Examiner

Founded by Michael Stelzner in 2009, Social Media Examiner is the #1 source for social media-related content. With more than 2 million monthly pageviews and more than 500,000 subscribers, it’s one of the most-read marketing sites out there.

Here’s how Social Media Examiner generates leads:

Blog Sidebar Subscription Form

Bottom-of-Blog Subscriber Form

Top-of-Directory Form for Industry Report

Entry Popup for Industry Report

Exit Popup for Industry Report

The top lead generation strategy from Social Media Examiner

In the past few years, SME has focused entirely on their annual industry report. They hype it up a couple months in advance and then use it as their only lead generation content for the rest of the year. It’s what the promote on all of their exit (and entry! – which is new and probably being tested) popups, sidebar and at the top of their homepage. And anyone who’s ever downloaded it knows why. It is the definitive report for social media. It compares annual growth of every platform and asks thousands of marketers for their feelings and what they’re planning for the year. When you have an industry report like SME does, you don’t need any other gated content.

Advice from the Marketing Wizard

There is no silver bullet, but good content gets clicks. When developing your campaign start with a strong headline and end with a compelling call to action. Specify what a respondent will learn and discover via that click. Make sure to offer something of value for opting in to your content, offer or demo.

Emily Crume, Social Media Examiner Director of Strategy


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