If you run a startup, there’s an incredible amount of obstacles lying in your way to success. Primarily, startups struggle with the lack of funds, acquiring new customers, getting the right product-market fit, outsmarting their competitors and many other woes.
The core of growing a startup is customers, or in other words, getting new leads. Generating leads is not rocket science, but it’s a process that differs for each industry, niche and company out there. Also, lead generation is the matter of death and life of the success of a startup. The most effective lead generation method is through your website.
So, to turn your startup website into a lead generation machine, there are three conditions for a great lead-gen tactic:
- It has to be cheap
- It has to be scalable
- It has to have great ROI
Here are a few ways to tweak your website for more leads with minimal investments and maximal impact.
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Analyze your current efforts
If you want to know how you can get ahead and generate more leads, first you need to take a look at your current performance. Before doing anything, take a deep dive into your Google Analytics dashboard. Find out which pages generate the most leads, where your users bounce and drop off and which bottlenecks are holding you back.
The second step is to use some type of screen recording and analytics software such as Hotjar, CrazyEgg or FullStory. While Google Analytics can give you numbers, it won’t be able to tell you what exactly is wrong with your website pages and why you’re not getting any leads.
Screen recording software lets you take a close look at what individual site visitors are doing when they (don’t) convert. You may find out that your user interface needs work, that your calls to action are not prominent enough or that your copy is just not engaging. For a birds’ eye view, you can also access heatmaps to see what visitors in general do on your website.
According to Pete from OutreachPete, the best tip with using screen recording software is to let your visitors know that they’re being recorded. Do this using a simple pop-up and let your visitors opt out if they don’t want to share their sessions with you.
Besides, you can also monitor any changes connected to your website’s performance and fix problems immediately with real-time SEO auditing and content tracking software like Moz or ContentKing in order not to lose any prospective client.
Give plenty of freebies in exchange for contact data
In the world where every company is trying to sell something, one person’s email address is probably the most valuable piece of information you can get about them.
Your potential leads are clever enough to know this and they won’t give up their emails easily. You have to entice them with an attractive, compelling offer. What this offer is will depend on your industry, but here are a few ideas.
First, you can try a webinar. They’ve been increasingly popular lately, thanks to the abundance of webinar software out there. If you don’t have too many attendees, you can host a webinar for free.
Your visitors will love an opportunity to learn more about their pain points in a live webinar event. Pro tip: try to host live webinars instead of pre-recorded (evergreen) ones, since they will convert better, as you can answer viewers’ questions right there on the spot.
Second, you can give out a piece of gated content. For example, an eBook that teaches your leads on how to solve a specific problem. Hubspot’s been known to use this tactic very well, and their eBook lead magnets are among the best in the marketing world.
The principle is simple – the lead can only get your content once they provide their email. For example, the SaaS company Chanty has a range of ebooks you can grab, if you provide your contact data:
You can also offer a free live demo of your product as a lead magnet for the final stage of the buyer journey. If they can experience a one-on-one demo with someone from your team, visitors are highly likely to leave you their contact data.
The main point is to have as many opt-in opportunities as possible. Whether it’s ebooks, case studies, reports, cheat sheets, use any chance you can to capture your visitors’ data. Of course, make sure that your offer is useful, exciting and relevant.
Use social proof to get more leads from previous buyers
One of the most potent methods of generating new leads is by using people who already bought something from you.
As research has shown, we are more likely to trust other people (even if they’re complete strangers online) rather than companies trying to advertise to us. In essence, social proof is relying on the words of others that a product or service is genuinely good quality.
There are multiple ways to leverage social proof on your website. Start from the lowest hanging fruit and ask for customer testimonials, which you can display on your landing and product pages.
You can collect and display these manually, or use a dedicated piece of software, such as crowdy.ai. Whichever the method, make sure you actually ask for the testimonials because customers will not give them on their own.
The second way to go about it is to use customer reviews. If you run an e-commerce store, there are plenty of plugins that allow this capability.
Make sure to ask your customers for reviews after their purchase and find a suitable way to present the reviews on your product pages. Besides written reviews, try to include star ratings, as these are also shown in Google search results.
Finally, there are notifications as the latest craze in marketing automation. Every time a new conversion takes place on your website (someone buys something, they sign up for a demo, subscribe to your newsletter, etc.), visitors get a notification showing this conversion.
This is an effortless way to get new conversions from existing customers. If you don’t want to reveal your latest conversions, you can also display your most recent visitors.
The great thing about notifications such as these is that you can display them for a set period time. That way, you can show the total conversions or visits for the past three days or one week, if your daily numbers are too low to show off proudly.
Set up a lead generation quiz
It’s in human nature to be curious about the world and ourselves. For a few decades now, quizzes have been a great way for people to pass their time and find out something about themselves and the world around them.
When Buzzfeed blew up with their famous quizzes, everybody wanted to find out which Friends character they were or which city they should really live in.
At the same time, marketers had a eureka moment – the average quiz converts at 33.6%. That means that for every 10 people taking the quiz, 3 will finish it and give you their email in order to get the results.
As a lead generation tool, quizzes are pretty straightforward. You create a quiz and place it in front of the right audiences. For example, a fitness coach can have a quiz titled “What type of diet suits your body type the best” and in order to get the results, visitors have to take the quiz and leave their contact data.
You can get most of the job done using a quiz maker tool such as LeadQuizzes, but the real magic is in coming up with the questions and the results, as well as putting the quiz in front of the right target audience.
In the end, quizzes are very cost effective and get great results with minimal costs. However, you do have to spend time to create a quiz that your audience will love.
Have an engaging opt-in form
Every website out there has an exit-intent pop-up made to collect emails. Usually, these are made to get subscribers on your email lists, and usually, most of these opt-in forms are pretty bad.
On average, they convert at around 2%, which isn’t horrible, but it’s far from excellent.
The tool you will be using is the least of your worries – although I’ve found Poptin to be great. You should focus on the design of the pop-up, the copy, the placement, and the timing. With lots of testing and creativity, you’ll be able to get much higher conversions than 2%.
As we’ve seen from numerous case studies, pop-ups can increase the number of collected emails by as much as 20%.
However, to get to this figure, you need to split test quite a bit and try out different elements, such as the CTA, the signup form, the timing and many other factors, but the end results are definitely worth the effort.
Running a startup is no easy task. Generating leads and getting new business as someone working in a startup is can be quite a chore, especially if you’re on a tight budget and in a competitive industry.
However, there is now a wide variety of tools that let you get excellent results while investing very little time and money. Whichever method you choose from this list, bear one thing in mind: provide value first and leads will come pouring in.
Carsten Schäfer is the founder and CEO of crowdy.ai, the first Clients-Convert-Clients marketing platform. Inspired by principles and mechanisms of social proof, Carsten is currently on his way to help businesses become trustworthy and thrive in the digital landscape. Feel free to connect him on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.