Leads are the lifeblood of your business. You've heard that cliché a million times because it's true for most businesses. If your business delivers a service to a specific audience, or products (digital or physical) to individuals searching for solutions online, then generating leads should be at the top of your marketing to-do list.
In this article, we'll share three Leadpages conversion tools you can use to grow a profitable email list of qualified leads—whether you have an existing website on Leadpages or you're using an alternative like WordPress, SquareSpace, or Wix; or, you're just getting off the ground.
Specifically, you'll learn about:
What is a lead?
The term lead means different things to different types of businesses. Generally speaking, a lead is a person who matches certain characteristics of who your business best serves. In other words, they are a person who has a challenge or problem that your company solves, and have recently become aware that you exist.
You can tell that a person has transitioned from a stranger to a lead by a specific action they've taken. In digital marketing, this is typically shown by giving you their email address in exchange for something of value from you—a checklist, short video, webinar registration, free consultation, etc.
These are called lead magnets because they attract strangers online.
In other areas of our blog, we've shared tips on this topic, including 15 Ways to Create a High-Value Lead Magnet in 30 Minutes or Less.
And when someone signs up for your lead magnet, they become an MQL, or marketing qualified lead.
(This is different from an SQL, or sales qualified lead, which is a term used to describe a lead who has been screened through outbound sales conversations (i.e., cold calling), or who has taken additional actions after they joined your list to reveal an even higher level of interest.)
The question then becomes, how do they actually give you their email address?
Increase your marketing surface area
You may have the answer to this question in your mind already: they fill out a form on my website.
But where does that form go? And how do you get it there?
Excellent email service providers like AWeber, Active Campaign, and Mailchimp provide email forms you can embed on your website. These are called "inline" forms, and most businesses place them on their website in unobtrusive places like the footer of the homepage, a contact us page, or in the sidebar of their blog.
Unfortunately, inline forms perform poorly compared to the conversion tools we'll discuss below because they tend to be ignored.
To build your list faster, you need to increase the number and quality of opportunities visitors have to join your list. This is part of what we call increasing your marketing surface area.
That's where the four conversion tools of Leadpages comes in. Let's talk about each one, provide examples, and discuss when to use each type.
3 Leadpages Conversion Marketing Tools
Let’s start with a brief introduction to each of these list building tools found within Leadpages.
A landing page is a standalone page where a visitor “lands” after an initial impression of your brand. They see this type of page after clicking a link in a social post, on a Facebook or pay-per-click (PPC) ad, or in an email; or even by typing in an address from a direct mail piece or a podcast episode.
Compared to a multi-page website, a landing page is focused on one path of conversion. That can be giving away your lead magnet with an email opt-in, or it can be selling your product or service.
A pop-up appears as a window when site visitors click on a designated link, image, button, or text,
They can also appear after a visitor has remained on your page for an amount of time you determine (a timed pop-up—test out 7 seconds as a starting point), or when a visitor goes to close out of your page (an exit intent pop-up).
Although you can use a pop-up to collect payments with a Stripe-enabled checkout form, most Leadpages customers use pop-ups to market their lead magnets as content upgrades on blog posts or as a noticeable call-out in the hero section of their website.
An alert bar allows you to capture your audience's attention and boost conversions in a less-intrusive, mobile-friendly way. Also called sticky bars or hello bars, an alert bar appears on the top or bottom of specified pages on your website.
All three conversion tools are tailor-made to generate leads for your business, but they each have different functions and uses. So how do you know which of these tools to utilize at any given point of your marketing funnel?
Let's walk through the specific uses and benefits of each tool. Then, we’ll simplify the decision-making process so you can start implementing these conversion tactics immediately.
Types of landing pages
A landing page is the most popular conversion tool at Leadpages. In fact, each month small business owners and marketers create tens of thousands of landing pages on our platform—typically in under 30 minutes.
Types of lead generating landing pages include:
- Sales pages
- Webinar pages
- Thank you pages
- Upsell pages
- Launch/promo pages
Since 2013, Leadpages customers have enjoyed exploring our landing page template gallery to select from professionally designed, mobile-responsive landing pages they can customize with our no-code, drag-and-drop landing page builder.
Conversion-optimized and mobile-responsive, our pre-designed landing pages are the fastest way for small business marketers to grow their email list.
When to use landing pages
1. When you’re making an offer (free or purchase)
You want to use a landing page when:
- You’re collecting leads to give away a lead magnet
- You're selling a product or service
- You want to own your post-click (post-advertisement) experience
- You need more space to explain an offer compared to a pop-up, a blog post, or a section on your website
Landing pages are full-size web pages, typically without navigation. This means you have more room to play around with copy, content, and images of the page. This comes in handy if you need additional ‘web real estate’ to convince your visitor to say yes to your lead magnet or purchase your product.
Say you want someone to buy a spot in your $4,000 yoga retreat in Maui. That’s a high ticket item, so you would likely need to include more content in order to overcome some barriers to conversion. With a strong sales page, you can educate your audience about what’s included and the features/benefits in order to attract the right participants willing to buy.
But it doesn’t always have to do with justifying a price. You may be offering something for free, but you might need a little extra content to persuade a hesitant subscriber.
For example, you’re a book publisher offering a free webinar on publishing a children's book. They would have to set aside an hour of their week attending your webinar live (or watching a replay), so you need to show them the value they would get by signing up.
Basically, you want to use a landing page if you’re asking the visitor to invest their money or time in your brand, and the context of your request needs more explaining than a sentence or two.
This is especially important if the customer is new and doesn’t yet have a relationship with you or your brand. In general, “cold” traffic needs a little more content in order to be convinced, which is where landing pages shine.
2. When you’re replacing a web page
You can actually use landing pages to replace entire sections of your website. For example, you might use a “coming soon” page as a filler to get people jazzed about a new product or blog launch. Or you can use a landing page as a 404 page not found page to capture more customer data while regaining lost traffic!
An example: Take a look at our current Leadpages 404 page as an example. We don’t just let our customers fall off the grid when they reach an unknown page. We actually use a landing page to redirect them where they might be looking and we then encourage them to download more resources.
Never waste an opportunity to grab leads!
Pop-ups are a favorite amongst savvy marketers because they’re easy to implement and highly effective at converting traffic. In fact, we've found pop-ups to improve opt-in rates by an average of 30% compared to inline forms.
Pop-ups are windows that encourage your customer to make an immediate decision about opting-in. Case in point: when a box pops up, a visitor has just two options.
- Yes - Sign up
- No - Close the pop-up.
This means they are at the micro-moment of a decision—and you have just a few words (and seconds) to convince them to take action.
Pop-ups are so impactful because they streamline the opt-in process. Visitors can quickly and securely opt-in with minimal information (asking for their email only typically converts best). The easier it is for them to opt-in, the more likely they will.
When to use pop-ups
1. Turn any post or webpage into a lead generating page
A lot of marketers link homepages, blogs, and other website pages to landing pages in order to capture leads.
While this works well, it also pulls visitors away from what they were reading on your site, and gives them more reading—i.e., it makes them work harder.
Pop-ups at the start and end of a blog post (which we call content upgrades) provide a contextual opt-in opportunity that doesn't require overwhelming the visitor.
A button incorporated into the hero section of your website can launch a pop-up for your podcast notes, or to book a free consultation on your Calendly scheduler.
2. When utilizing sidebars or banners
Many websites have some sort of sidebar or banner, often offering a promotion or stating a call to action. Whatever the case, you are probably already using one of these methods to encourage visitors to hand over their email address in some way.
Pop-ups enhance the conversion rate of sidebars and banners. Rather than a static call to action sitting on your webpage, a form pops up on their screen and demands an immediate response.
This also works well for images. People tend to click on photos that intrigue them. That makes it a great opportunity for a pop-up because your site is further engaging with visitors who are showing interest in your images or buttons.
3. When blogging or guest posting
The purpose of blog posts is to pull in high volumes of traffic. Then, it’s your website’s job to redirect that traffic to the next stage of your sales funnel.
Pop-ups are the strongest way to capture blog visitors and turn them into subscribers. This is true for guest blogging on other websites as well.
You simply embed a small snippet of Leadpages code within the blog post (we recommend near the beginning and at the end). When a visitor clicks on the link, they’re presented with your attractive pop-up that entices them to opt-in right now. They’ve already seen the value of your work through the blog post, so they’re more likely to make the immediate decision.
The simplest conversion tool of the bunch, alert bars are awesome add-ons to any web page you own. They can be used to tell your visitors about a new product, announce a recently published blog article, celebrate free shipping, or share an exclusive offer. And of course, they can be used to grow your email list with a form within the bar, or a clickable button to your landing page.
These full-width page banners are one of the best ways to effectively reach your audience without distracting them from the content they came looking for in the first place. You can deliver a message in a single line of text and your visitors can opt-in or click to make the bar disappear from view.
When to use alert bars
1. When you want to create an opt-in opportunity
Have a lead magnet? Highlight it in your alert bar! Include a simple opt-in form and call-to-action button to boost conversions and reduce bounce rates.
2. When you want to unobstructively alert visitors of a deal or promotion
Whether you’re announcing a discount sale, an alert bar will get the headlines across without jarring the visitors’ user experience
3. When you want to promote new content
Just published a notable blog post or eBook? Put it front and center on your site to capture people’s interest and get them in the sales funnel
4. When you want to boost social media followers
You've put a ton of work into curating posts, editing captions, and creating awesome content—so use the alert bar to invite people to click, friend, and follow you.
5. When you want to make it easy to book time with you
Growing your business with consultations? Connect your alert bar directly to your calendar with the Calendly integration.
Putting the tools into action: a conversion example
Let’s say that you’re hosting a free webinar and you want a solid audience of registrants. You want to maximize your marketing surface area with all four conversion tools.
1. Use a landing page where your visitors will land after they see social media posts about the webinar. You use Leadpages social preview settings to include a compelling image on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
2. You write a blog post that serves as a precursor to the webinar. At the top and bottom of the post, you include a button that triggers a registration pop-up. You then add a banner to the sidebar of your blog and to the hero section of your website, which triggers a similar pop-up for registering attendees.
3 . To further draw attention to the webinar, you add an alert bar to your website. This offers a subtle yet effective way to remind visitors to register.
The best part: with Leadpages, you can create all three of these conversion tools in a single sitting!
How to choose the right conversion tool
Still not sure which is right for your purposes? Check out this decision map to select the perfect conversion tool for your list building needs.
Building your list is critical to your long-term success. Making it easier to sign up is your job as the chief marketer of your business. Conversion tools like landing pages, pop-ups, and alert bars can do wonders with improving your conversion rates and bottom line.
Have you used these marketing conversion tools? How did they work for you? Let us know in the comments below!