How to Do Lead Generation in WordPress Like a Pro

Do you want to generate leads and increase sales from your website? Lead generation should be a top priority for all businesses because at the end of the day, you want to convert your website visitors into subscribers and customers. In this article, we will… Read More »

The post How to Do Lead Generation in WordPress Like a Pro appeared first on WPBeginner.

Do you want to generate leads and increase sales from your website? Lead generation should be a top priority for all businesses because at the end of the day, you want to convert your website visitors into subscribers and customers. In this article, we will show you how to do lead generation in WordPress like a pro.

How to do lead generation in WordPress

Since this is a lengthy article we decided to add a table of contents for easy navigation.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is a method to generate consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business.

Studies prove that more than 75% of users visiting your website from search engines will never see it again.

Lead generation allows you to capture those users by opening a communication channel between your site and the user.

This communication channel could be asking them to like your page on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, or join your email list.

Email is the most commonly captured lead. Simply because it is undeniably the most cost effective and efficient marketing tool at your disposal.

See our article on why building your email list is so important today.

What is lead generation?

Once you get a user to perform an action that opens a communication channel, you can send them special offers, updates, or even freebies to bring them back.

Who Should Start Generating Leads?

Whether you are a blogger, small or large business, or a hobbyist, you need to do lead generation. Basically if you care about growing your audience base, then you should start generating leads.

Many successful online marketers and bloggers will tell you that the biggest mistake they made was not starting an email list to capture leads earlier.

When Should I start Lead Generation?

Lead generation takes time and every moment you are not doing it you are losing potential customers.

You should start your lead generation efforts right away. Even if you are just starting out and not even open for business yet.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to get started with lead generation in WordPress.

Getting Started with Lead Generation in WordPress

First, you will need a self-hosted WordPress.org website. If you don’t already have a WordPress site, then take a look at our step by step guide on how to start a WordPress blog.

After that you need to sign up with an email marketing service provider. These companies specialize in sending mass emails with an easy to use interface. We recommend using Constant Contact or AWeber.

You will also need OptinMonster, the best lead generation software available in the market. This is the lead generation plugin that we use here on WPBeginner.

Aside from that, we will be covering several other WordPress lead generation plugins along the way to help you convert website visitors into customers.

Lead Generation in WordPress Using Comments

Comments are the easiest way to build user engagement. However, default WordPress comment system is not very efficient in bringing back the users who leave comments.

Let’s take a look at how you can capture leads from comment forms on your WordPress site.

Capture Leads by Adding Comment Redirect

By default, when a user submits comment on your website they get to see the same page again. There is nothing new on that page except for the preview of their own comment.

You can convert these visitors into subscribers by redirecting them to a different page on your WordPress site after they submit a comment. This could be a thank you page, special offer page, etc.

Here is how to redirect users after comment submission in WordPress.

First, you need to install and activate the Yoast Comment Hacks plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Comment Hacks page and click on ‘Comment Redirect’ tab.

Redirect users after they leave a comment

Select the page where you want to send first time commenters and then click on the save changes button.

Now all first time commenters on your WordPress site will be redirected to your selected page. You can optimize this page by adding an email signup form, offer a special discount, or anything else you want.

Add Comment Subscription Option in WordPress

As we mentioned earlier, WordPress does not send any notifications to users after they leave a comment. The user will have to manually come back to your site to see if someone replied to their comment.

Adding comment subscription option will allow users to get notified about new comments. It will also increase your pageviews, return visitors, and brand recognition. Most importantly, this will give you more opportunities to convert those visitors into subscribers.

Here is how you can easily add comment subscription option to your WordPress site.

First, you need to install and activate the Subscribe to Comments Reloaded plugin. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, you need to visit Settings » Subscribe to Comments to configure the plugin settings.

Subscribe to Comments Reloaded settings

The default settings should work for most websites. However, you can review the options and make changes if necessary.

Don’t forget to click on the save changes button to store your settings. For more detailed instructions see our guide on how to allow users to subscribe to comments in WordPress.

Lead Generation Using Contact Form in WordPress

Contact forms are the most common way to generate leads in WordPress. However, most contact form plugins for WordPress are either too difficult to use or do not integrate with your email service provider.

This is where WPForms comes in. It is the most beginner friendly contact form plugin for WordPress. You can easily create beautiful contact forms and seamlessly integrates with email service providers like MailChimp, Aweber, Campaign Monitor, and GetResponse.

Create Lead Generation Forms in WordPress

WPForms Lite is a free WordPress contact form plugin that you can use to create any type of lead generation form in WordPress.

Whether you want a simple contact form, request a quote form, or another inquiry form, you can easily create it with the drag & drop form builder.

Creating a new form in WordPress with WPForms

For more details, follow our step by step guide on how to create a contact form in WordPress.

Redirect Users After Form Submission

Another technique that you can use to boost sales is adding a redirect page upon a successful form submission.

WPForms allows you to easily redirect users to any page after they have submitted a form using the smart form confirmation feature.

Once you have created your form with the drag & drop form builder, click on the settings tab and then click on confirmation.

Redirect users after they submit contact form

WPForms allows you to choose three type of confirmations. You can simply show a message, redirect users to a WordPress page, or to any other URL.

You can create a separate page on your WordPress site with special offers, optin form, or show them any content that will help you convert the visitor into a customer.

After you’re done with the settings, make sure to save and exit the form builder.

Add Newsletter Signup Option to Your Forms

While contact forms are great for collecting inbound leads, you can also use it to build your email newsletter.

Since the user is already entering their email address in the form, you can automatically sign them up for your newsletter with their consent.

WPForms Pro plugin comes with marketing integrations that allows you to connect your lead generation forms with all popular email marketing services.

For the sake of this article, we will be using the MailChimp integration to automatically add users to our MailChimp email list once they submit a contact form.

Once you have installed WPForms Pro, you need to visit WPForms » Addons page. Here you will find addons for different email service providers.

Go ahead and click on the Install Addon button next to MailChimp Addon.

Install MailChimp Addon

WPForms will install the MailChimp Addon. You will need to click on the Activate button to start using the addon.

The next step is to connect WPForms to your MailChimp account. Visit WPForms » Settings page and then click on ‘Integrations’ tab.

You will see MailChimp listed as an integration. Clicking on it will allow you to enter your MailChimp API key and a Nickname for this account.

MailChimp Integration

You can get your API key from your account on MailChimp website.

Click on connect to MailChimp button to continue. WPForms will now connect to your MailChimp account.

You are now ready to add email optin fields to your contact form.

Headover to WPForms » Add New page. This will launch WPForms form builder interface.

First you need to provide a title for your contact form and then select ‘Simple Contact Form’ from the list of available templates.

Adding a new contact form in WPForms

WPForms will now create a simple contact form for you. You can edit the fields by clicking on them. You can also add new fields by clicking on them in the left column.

Form fields

Now, you need to click on the ‘Checkboxes’ field to add a newsletter signup checkbox. Clicking on the field will show you its settings.

Email consent checkbox

Your form is almost ready. Now you just need to connect the form fields to your email list.

Click on ‘Marketing’ tab and then click on MailChimp. Create a new connection and provide it a name.

Mapping fields and adding conditional logic

WPForms will now load your MailChimp email list and the form fields you just created. Map the name and email address fields to the appropriate fields in your contact form.

Next, you need to check the box next to ‘Enable conditional logic’ option. This allows you to ONLY add users who opt-in to join your email list. This is very important. While you can easily add all users to your email list, the ones who opt-in are a better quality lead.

Go ahead and select the newsletter optin field you added as checkbox.

Adding conditional logic

Don’t forget to save your form and exit the form builder.

Contact forms are the most common way to boost lead generation in WordPress, but you can take it even further with personalized optin forms.

Lead Generation Using Popups and Dynamic Optin Forms

Adding a plain looking email subscription box to your sidebar is not the only way to capture leads. In most cases, users don’t even notice those forms because they blend in.

This is where OptinMonster comes in. It allows you to create and A/B test high-converting optin forms for your WordPress site without hiring a developer. We use it on WPBeginner and have increased our conversions by over 600%.

OptinMonster allows you personalize your optins based on user behavior, so you can show them the most targeted offer at the best time.

For example, you can show customized optin forms for:

  • Different sections, pages, or blog categories
  • Based on User’s Physical Location (City or Country)
  • Based on User’s Previous Interactions with Your Website
  • Based on Where the Visitor is Coming from (Google, Facebook, etc)
  • Based on Their Device (Mobile, Tablet, Desktop)
  • Based on Their Activity such as time on page, time on site, scroll-depth, mouse movements, etc.
  • And more…

Combined with these targeting options, dynamic optin forms are the most powerful tool in any marketer’s toolbox.

Exit-Intent Lightbox Popup for Email Signups

OptinMonster is a pioneer in exit-intent technology. This allows you to detect user’s mouse movement and show them a popup at the precise moment they’re about to leave.

This is particularly helpful in giving users one last chance before they leave your website. It is also less annoying because the popup doesn’t appear until a user decides to leave the page.

Exit-intent popup in OptinMonster

Exit Popups are proven to work that’s why all industry leaders are using it.

Social Media Examiner added over 250,000 new email subscribers using exit popups from OptinMonster.

Michael Hyatt doubled his subscription rate with exit popups. Search Engine Journal increased their conversions by 240% (source).

Aside from email signups, you can also use lightbox popups to grow your Facebook page or even increase your Twitter following.

Getting more Twitter followers using lightbox popup

Boost Conversions with Fullscreen Welcome Gates

Fullscreen optins also known as Welcome-Gate or Interstitial popups, allow you to display a fullscreen overlay on your content.

You can combine it with OptinMonster’s exit-intent or content-lock features to make certain pages on your website a lead-magnet.

Designing a fullscreen popup in OptinMonster

Fullscreen is one of the most sought after advertising spot because it converts extremely well. That’s why sites like Forbes, Inc and others use it.

Instead of showing other people’s ad, you can use it for lead generation purposes on your website.

Capturing Leads Using Floating Bars

Floating bars are a particularly effective dynamic optin form that works really well. It adds a sticky floating bar at top or bottom of your website.

The bar remains visible as the users scroll down your website. It does not stops users from viewing your content, and users can easily close or hide it.

Floatingbar in OptinMonster

Slide-in or Scroll Triggered Optins to Grab User Attention

Slide-in or scroll boxes appear on your page when a user scrolls down. The animation grabs user attention and makes the optin more noticeable than a traditional optin.

Below is an example of how iThemes is using it on their website:

Scroll triggered optin forms

Creating and Using Lead Magnets in WordPress

Lead magnets

Lead Magnets are special offers used as an incentive for performing an action.

This special offer could be an exclusive download, an ebook, a helpful resource, discount coupon, etc.

Lead magnet example

Lead magnets work extremely well because they offer users something valuable in return, they are quick and easy, and users don’t have to pay for them.

Need ideas? See this list of 69 highly effective lead magnet ideas to grow your email list

OptinMonster comes with built-in support to easily offer lead magnets and deliver them upon success.

Delivering download

If you are a blogger, then your lead magnet could also be a content upgrade. A content upgrade simply offers users additional useful content as a bonus for performing an action.

See our article on how to add content upgrades in WordPress for detailed instructions and a live example.

Optimizing Your WordPress Lead Generation Campaigns

Lead generation is an on-going effort. You will need to monitor what is working well for your website and how you can improve it.

Here are a few tips that will help you optimize your lead generation efforts.

  • Instead of guess work, use A/B testing to improve your optins
  • Use multiple optins to maximize your efforts
  • Experiment with different colors, images, videos, etc.
  • Create and use multiple lead magnets to boost leads
  • Do not ruin user experience by annoying users
  • Keep looking for new creative ideas to generate more leads

That’s all for now.

We hope this article helped you learn how to do lead generation in WordPress. You may also want to see our ultimate guide to boost WordPress speed and performance.

Note: OptinMonster is part of the WPBeginner family of premium WordPress plugins. We built it for our own use and publicly launched it in 2013 because of all the user requests. Today, it is the most popular lead generation software in the market.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post How to Do Lead Generation in WordPress Like a Pro appeared first on WPBeginner.

Which is the Best WordPress Popup Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared)

Converting website visitors into email subscribers and paying customers is the main goal of all businesses. Did you know that more than 70% of people visiting your website will probably never come back again unless you offer them a chance to subscribe. This is where… Read More »

The post Which is the Best WordPress Popup Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.

Converting website visitors into email subscribers and paying customers is the main goal of all businesses. Did you know that more than 70% of people visiting your website will probably never come back again unless you offer them a chance to subscribe. This is where a WordPress popup plugins and lead generation tools come in handy. Considering there are tons of great WordPress lead generation plugins in the market, we have decided to compare the top ones to determine which is the best WordPress popup plugin overall.

Best WordPress Popup Plugin

The Problem With WordPress Popup Plugins

There are so many WordPress popup plugins available both free and paid. The main problem with most popup plugins is that they can become very annoying for users. This has a negative impact on user experience.

Another common problem with popup plugins is that they can slow down your website. Some take too much time to load while others are very resource intensive on your servers resulting in a slow page load time which negatively affects your SEO.

The main purpose of using a popup plugin is to generate leads and boost your email list subscribers. Many popup plugins fail to do that properly because they don’t have the right balance of features and functionality.

Last but not the least, some of these popup plugins aren’t very easy to use. Setting them up is not easy for an average WordPress user.

So how do you go through hundreds of popup plugins and find the best one for your needs? Well you don’t have to. We did the research for you and below are our results for the best WordPress popup plugin.

The Contenders for the Best WordPress Popup

To keep things simple, we are only going to compare the 4 most popular WordPress popup plugins in the market today.

We decided to try them out and run performance tests to see how each of them perform on a test website. The criteria we looked for in our comparison are: speed, ease of use, aesthetic appeal, and features.

The contenders for the best WordPress popup plugin are:

Let’s take a look at how each of those performed during our tests.

Speed

Speed is an important factor to consider whenever you are adding something new to your WordPress site. A faster website not only ranks higher on search engines, but it also offers a better user experience for the visitors. This is why it is #1 priority in our comparison.

We added a default popup for each plugin with minimum customization and set them to appear on the page load. This is how they each stacked up for speed.

Popup Plugin Page Load time Requests Page size
OptinMonster 2.18s 40 531.2KB
Bloom 3.03s 42 635.4KB
SumoMe 3.32s 45 583.0kB
ThriveLeads 3.89s 45 754.4KB

As you can see in the test above, OptinMonster was the fastest loading WordPress popup plugin.

The reason for this is because OptinMonster is highly optimized for speed. It uses the powerful Amazon cloud infrastructure to minimize your server load thus producing the best performance.

Features of Each WordPress Popup Plugin Compared

You want your popup plugin to help you build your mailing list, generate leads, and convert visitors into actual customers. For that, you will need a lot more than just a shiny popup.

You will need different kind of optin forms, lead generation tools, analytics, A/B testing, and more.

Let’s see how our contenders stack up in terms of features.

OptinMonster

You want to give users multiple chances to sign up. OptinMonster comes with multiple optin types that you can place on different locations on your landing pages and throughout your website. It supports the following optin types:

  • Lightbox popup
  • After post / inline
  • Floating bar
  • Slide in
  • Mobile Optins
  • Sidebar Optin
  • Fullscreen takeover (Welcome Gates)
  • Canvas
  • MonsterLinks

One of the features that OptinMonster became famous for was their signature Exit-Intent® technology. This means that your popup only appears when a user is about to leave your website.

exitintent-popup

MonsterLinks is a lightbox popup that can be embedded into any ordinary link or a button. The lightbox popup appears when a user clicks on a call to action button or a link.

OptinMonster allows you to design your own optin forms using their visual designer. You can choose fonts, colors, add your images, and choose from multiple ready to use templates. This gives you to create very powerful, completely brandable, and stunning optin forms for your website.

OptinMonster optin designer tool

Apart from that you can get detailed analytics on how each of your optin is performing. OptinMonster is a certified Google Analytics partner, and it integrates directly with your Google Analytics account to provide you with the most accurate analytics.

You can run A/B tests to see which optin types are bringing you the most subscribers, and use highly customized page level targeting to show custom optins based on which page the user is on.

Most importantly, OptinMonster works on all websites not just WordPress sites. This is a huge advantage if you run multiple sites on different platforms or want to start a few in the future.

Last but not least, OptinMonster comes with a Canvas feature which allows you to create any type of popups (not just email capture). You can add custom HTML / CSS or use WordPress shortcodes. Think outside the box: related post popups, related WooCommerce popups, contact form popups, contest popups, and more.

Bloom

Bloom comes with multiple optin types.

  • Automatic lightbox popup
  • Sidebar Optin
  • Slide in Optin
  • Below post/Inline Optin
  • Signin to Unlock

Bloom does not have exit-intent technology. Instead it uses the standard timed delay to display automatic popups. Now the problem is that studies have shown us that users usually decide whether they want to stay or leave a website in the very first few seconds. If your optin is set to display too late, then the user is probably already gone. If it’s set to display too early, then this will annoy the user and they will leave.

Optin types available in Bloom

Bloom does have a locked content functionality that requires users to enter their email to unlock the content which can be very effective.

Bloom comes with a lot of ready to use templates that you can customize to use your own images and fonts. They do not have a visual customizer, so you can’t see the changes you make without clicking on the preview button.

ThriveLeads

Just like Bloom and OptinMonster, ThriveLeads also comes with multiple optin types.

  • Automated Lightbox Popup
  • Sidebar Forms
  • Slide in forms
  • In Content Forms
  • Post footer form
  • Content Locking Optin
  • Fullscreen Optins

Thriveleads has a lot of similar features to OptinMonster. It even has exit intent technology for popups.

Choosing template in ThriveLeads

Just like other plugins in the list, ThriveLeads also comes with pre-built templates for optin forms. You can customize those templates in ThriveLeads on visual composer.

ThriveLeads allows you to create Leadgroups and leadshotcodes, so you can create different targeting campaigns with different kind of optins.

SumoMe

SumoMe is a free plugin with limited features, and you can upgrade to unlock additional features.

The free plugin comes with a few optin types. However, the big catch is that all these optin types include prominent SumoMe branding.

  • Lightbox Popup
  • Slide-in optins
  • Floating optin
  • Welcome Mats

You will need to signup for a free SumoMe account in order to use the plugin. All your users will see a prominent blue menu bar across your site unless you pay SumoMe to remove that branding.

SumoMe comes with control panel where you can install add-on plugins, and setup your email optins. It offers some basic customization options to design your signup forms.

Similar to OptinMonster, SumoMe can also work on all type of websites (not just WordPress).

Conclusion

As far as the features go, OptinMonster comes out as the clear winner here. It offers the most comprehensive set of tools that you will ever need to grow your business and website.

Ease of Use

We believe that lead generation and growing your website is such a crucial thing that every site owner should be able to do that without hiring a developer. Let’s see which WordPress popup plugin is the most user friendly.

OptinMonster

Getting started with OptinMonster is very quick. You just signup for a plan, install a plugin and then you are good to go.

Creating new optin forms is easiest with OptinMonster

Creating new optins is also extremely easy. Just click on New Optin button, choose your optin type and customize the design. After that, you can go to your website and select how you want to display your optin.

The user interface is clutter free, and is inspired from the WordPress user-interface.

Bloom

Bloom is a standalone plugin. Getting started is easy because all you need to do is install the plugin and activate it.

Creating new optins with Bloom is straightforward and the user interface is quite easy to figure out. The trouble comes in when you are configuring display settings. There are too many options to choose from making the UX confusing, so you will have to configure them carefully.

Bloom display settings

ThriveLeads

Getting started with ThriveLeads is quite difficult even for experienced WordPress users. First of all the plugin itself is quite heavy, so if your WordPress host hasn’t increased your upload limit, then your plugin upload will fail in the middle. It is 15MB in size which is actually heavier than WordPress itself.

Upon activation, you will need to provide your activation key. After that you will notice font manager, icon manager, api connections, and thrive leads menu items in your admin dashboard.

ThriveLeads comes with cluttered and bloated user interface

When you reach the ThriveLeads dashboard you will see leadgroups, leadshortcodes, and 2 step lightboxes.

It will take you quite some time before you can actually figure out how to get to the actual optins that you wanted to add.

SumoMe

SumoMe is a bit unconventional because they don’t have a centralized admin panel. You have to click on their badge to load the admin options in a popup.

This experience alone is not intuitive.

Before you could add a popup to your website, you will have to install another app from Sumo store which has free and paid apps. It will take you sometime to figure out how you would actually get to the point where you can add a popup to your site.

SumoMe dashboard

However once you’re in their design builder, the steps are very easy and straight-forward.

Conclusion

In terms of ease of use and beginner friendliness, OptinMonster is a clear winner. Beginner users with very little experience can quickly create and add popups and other optin forms into their website.

Pricing

Another decisive factor when choosing a plugin is pricing. The chart below highlights the pricing, but we will explain the pros and cons of each.

WordPress Popup Plugin Price
OptinMonster $49 – $199 per year
Bloom $89 – $249
ThriveLeads $67 – $588
SumoMe Free – $100 per month

OptinMonster comes with the most clear cut pricing options. You pay $49 per year if you just want the basic features, $99 per year for more advanced optins, and $199 pear year for the full suite. They also offer monthly pricing, but annual plans are on average 40% cheaper.

Bloom is not a standalone plugin. It is part of a yearly membership of Elegant Themes club. So for $89 per year, you get all Elegant Themes plugins and themes which is a great bargain. The $249 is a one-time fee option.

ThriveLeads offers a single site license, a multi-site license, and agency license. All the plans come with one year of support and updates.

SumoMe is free, but it can become the most expensive if you purchase their $100 per month upgrade. If you use their free version, they show prominent SumoMe branding on your entire site (not very professional).

Conclusion:

There isn’t a clear winner here.

If you have no budget, and you don’t mind compromising on features and displaying someone else’s branding on your site, then SumoMe is the best choice for you.

If you have a small budget, want additional goodies, and don’t mind sacrificing on some features and site speed, then Bloom is perfect because the Elegant Themes membership comes with tons of other themes and plugins.

If you’re looking for the most comprehensive and powerful WordPress popup and lead generation plugin, then OptinMonster is the best option.

And The Winner Is….

Considering the criteria we set in the beginning of this article, we found that OptinMonster is the best WordPress popup plugin in the market. It offers the most bang for your buck considering the features and ease of use.

Use our OptinMonster Coupon to get an extra 10% OFF.

We hope this article answers the question regarding the best WordPress popup plugin in terms of performance and quality. Which is your favorite WordPress popup plugin? Let us know by sending us a tweet to @wpbeginner on Twitter.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

The post Which is the Best WordPress Popup Plugin? (Performance + Quality Compared) appeared first on WPBeginner.