Using WordPress for Lead Generation

Building a business is hard. Capturing leads is hard. As a small business owner you have a lot to do in a day. From managing inventory, checking the marketing process, hiring, training, building partnerships, creating content…the list goes on.

But what if capturing leads was easy, fast and pretty much automated?

We’ve created this guide with you in mind: the small entrepreneur, looking to provide a great service and hit it big. And what better way to start your online business than with the help of WordPress?

It’s great platform to start implementing your lead capture process, thanks to its community, integrations and plugins.

What you’ll find in this guide:

  1. An explanation of prospects, leads and customers
  2. Basic scenarios of capturing leads
  3. The benefits of capturing leads using WordPress
  4. A quick rundown of the most popular CRM Plugins and Tools for WordPress
  5. Tips & Tricks for capturing leads

So let’s get started with…

Prospects vs Leads vs Customers

Prospects are people who haven’t heard of you before. For that reason, you’ll need a lot of convincing power to convert them down the marketing funnel into leads.

Leads are people who have come into contact with your brand, your services, your product or just your blog. They’re people who are interested and need a few more reasons to convert.

Customers are the leads you’ve managed to convert. This must have a monetary value attached to it and we’ll consider that a macro-conversion.

Each type of type of person likes free stuff, but each reacts differently to content. Getting insights into what drives each individual allows you to nudge them closer to the next level of the marketing funnel.

Prospects will love articles, guides, ebooks and generally anything actionable. Pushing them for a sale now would not only be wrong, but could also negatively impact your relationship with that person.

Leads could use a newsletter, an invitation to a webinar or even a product demo. Since this type of person like you, trusts you (even if just a little), you can start the nurturing process, by providing on-going support and delivering great content.

Customers have already bought something from you. But that doesn’t mean the selling process ends there. This person might use an advanced product demo, a chat with the founder or a specialized consultation.

Basic Scenarios for Lead Capture

Now we now the difference between prospects, leads and customers. It’s time to look at 5 scenarios for lead capture, using your WordPress-powered site.

Get a free quote

Say you’re a web-design firm, a digital agency, a home remodeling business or a real estate broker. Your website is your bread and butter, bringing you leads and new business. One simple way of generating leads is to create and use a “Get a free quote” contact form.

The basic setup consists of 3 elements:

  • Your favorite WordPress contact form plugin (Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, JotForm, etc.)
  • The CRM system you use (Pipedrive, Salesforce, Zoho CRM, etc.)
  • Zapier to connect the two together

Once a website visitor fills in the form, Zapier steps in and pushes that data into your CRM. Thereby notifying your sales team to act on the lead. You might want to take it a bit further than that. Remember to use the filter options in your CRM. That way, your sales team will know right away which is a more important lead to engage – a visitors that is asking for a simple design job or one that is looking to create multiple complex websites?

On top of that, if you’ve got multiple departments (design, website development, mobile development, app creation, etc.) you can segment your incoming data even further. You can then send the right info to the right sales team, saving you time and money in the process. Easy, simple, effective.

Download a whitepaper

For this scenario you’ll either want to use a dedicated landing page builder (such as InstaPage, Unbounce or LeadPages) or create a specific page for your whitepaper download. Make sure the page is focused on one objective: getting leads. That means removing or dramatically simplifying menus and navigation. Contact information is ok, together with information about what happens to the visitor’s email address (a message like “Don’t worry, we won’t spam you” or “No spam. Ever” work best).

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Integrate a contact form, like JotForm on your page and you’ll start collecting leads, as soon as you send traffic to that landing page.

Quick tip for improving the efficacy of this scenario: add a delay to your sales team enquiry. The lead just downloaded the whitepaper, it’s way too soon to push him for further details or try to close some big sale right away. Give him some time to actually read and investigate the whitepaper – a few days to a week (depending on the user’s further activity on your website).

Chat online

As a small business, you know how important is to move fast. Both in growth and user support. A great idea is to have online chat enabled on your WordPress site. That way, not only will you look more human in the eyes of your visitors, you’ll also be able to address issues and suggestions much faster than email.

This is also a great opportunity to collect leads. Start with an online Help Desk app, like UserVoice and integrate that using a widget into your website.

Based on the type of activity the user has completed within the widget (comment, suggestion, ticket, etc.) you’ll want to choose a specific action for Zapier to take, connecting to your CRM. Above there’s an example using Capsule CRM and below using Pipedrive.

There’s an easy way to find all the Zapier recipes (or zaps, the way they call them) that involved UserVoice. Every app available has its own URL, similar to this: Choose the dropdown called “Click here and select the apps you use” to get a list of all the UserVoice integrations.

Your sales team can then filter and segment in your CRM system to find messages that contain the word “pricing” or “demo”, for example. You can have those set as priorities and leave the general support questions to your support team for now.

Complete step 2 of 3 of a purchase

Good leads are everywhere, if you know where to look for them. From newsletter forms to hello bars, chat widgets and scrollboxes, there’s an endless supply of places and opportunities to capture leads.

This particular scenario works great with a multi-page form. Lucky for you, Gravity Forms has got you covered on that front.

It’s obviously a more advanced type of lead, focusing on abandoned carts (which is a high 68% – in ecommerce websites. Since you’re already sending lead data into your CRM, all you have to do next is filter to only show the people who HAVEN’T completed all 3 steps of the purchase process.

Once you have that abandoned lead information, you can assign it to your sales team, so they can investigate whether that was a technical issues or something to do with your sales process. No trust logos? No supported credit cards mentioned? No shipping information?

Ask a support question

A good SaaS product/business always has a bit of explaining to do, before people use it. Be it a tutorial, an instructional video, a knowledge base or all of the above – you must reduce the anxiety that the user has.

But even with all of these elements in place, a website visitor will still (sometimes) want to talk to a real person. So make sure to also provide the ability for website visitors to contact you fast. And then in turn reply to them with a personalized answer.

To start off with this scenario, you’ll want to integrate a form plugin that takes the appearance of a support element. Let’s say you’ll be using Gravity Forms. Choose one of their templates or create one from scratch.

Step two is connect Gravity Forms to your CRM using Zapier. You need the Developer license for Gravity Forms for this integration to work.

An alternative to Gravity Forms is using UserVoice as a method of gathering user feedback.

You’ll next want to define what kind of action to take, once someone does submit a support question. A basic workflow is to create the person as a contact in your CRM, but make it so that the sales and support teams see it. That way the website visitor will get his question answered, but you’ll also start the lead nurturing process from there.

Why lead capturing using WordPress is so attractive

According to a WordPress survey from 2014, this Content Management System now powers over 23% of all the websites in the world. That’s over 60 million websites.

Some of the reasons why WordPress is so popular are because it’s constantly updated, there are tens of thousands of plugins and an ever growing community of developers and marketers. And they’re all working together, finding new ways to grow their business and make their customers happier.

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It all starts with a host and a WordPress installation. You can find a good host for under $10/month and if you’re using cPanel, you’ll have WordPress up and running in a matter of minutes.

Start customizing it using free or paid themes. Add a few plugins and you’re ready to go.

Drive traffic to your website, start blogging and creating partnerships.

Pretty soon you’ll see your numbers growing and find yourself in a situation where you WANT to do it all: design, development, copywriting and marketing. Because having WordPress as a CMS makes everything easier and faster. Now let’s take a look at the plugins and tools you’ll use to setup your WordPress site as a foundation for your CRM process.

A quick run down of the most popular CRM tools and plugins

There are a number of plugins that are mentioned over and over again. And for good reason, they’re great products:

Gravity Forms is the most popular paid contact form plugin for WordPress. It’s highly customizable and comes with lots of support for new users. The pricing starts at $ 39, but you’ll need the $ 199 Developer license, in order to integrate it with Zapier and really use it for lead generation. There is also a yearly renewal fee, but it’s not necessary for the plugin to work.

If we’re talking popular form plugins, we can’t forget to mention Contact Form 7. With over 1 million installs, it’s amazing value for its price – it’s free. In order to connect the data to a CRM you’ll want additional free addons such as Contact Form 7 Integrations or Forms: 3rd-Party Integration. Not as easy as using Zapier for the entire process, but you’ll be staying in WordPress most of the time.

With around 1.100.000 installs, Ninja Forms is the fun, new contact form plugin on the block. The main plugin is free to use, but Zapier only offers a few integrations. In order to connect CRM tools to Ninja Forms, you’ll have to buy plugin addons. That means at least $ 29 for EACH CRM tool (CapsuleCRM, Zoho CRM, Salesforce, etc.).

The second piece of the puzzle are, of course, the CRM tools:

Dubbed the “Sales CRM for small teams with big ambitions”, Pipedrive offers a simple web-based interface (with separate mobile apps for Android and iOS), with powerful customization. The standard sales pipeline features 5 stages: Idea, Contact Made, Needs Discovered, Proposal Presented, In Negotiation. There are a slew of integrations (including Zapier) and the price is $ 12 per user/month.

The most complete and complex CRM system is Salesforce, with multiple editions and pricing starting at around $ 30 per user/month. All the features you’d expect are here: task, people and event tracking, lead scoring, tracking of opportunities and customizable reports.

CapsuleCRM is the cheapest option, at just $ 9 per user/month (it also has a limited, but free version). It focuses on simplicity, from the interface to the way you use its features. Not only do you get a complete overview of your leads, but the built-in to-do system makes sure everything is on track.

If there aren’t any direct integrations for WordPress, you’ll use Zapier. It connects the web apps you use to easily move your data and automate tedious tasks. The best about it is that Zapier is rock-solid and there’s no need for any frequent updates. In fact, Zapier is not something you install. It’s a free online service that connects two of your apps.

Final Tips & Tricks

It’s easy to ask: “Which one should I use?”, but each plugin and tool has its own strengths and weaknesses. You need to dig a bit deeper and ask yourself:

  • Is price an issue?
  • Will I use all these features?
  • Is it easy to setup?
  • Is there a good support community?
  • Is your CRM built as an integration?

Lastly, you have to put yourself in the lead’s shoes. Would you contact yourself? Would you buy from yourself? A simple Free Quote form could might not work, if the website design is not in top shape or if there are competing offers/pop-ups on the page.

People close deals with other people, so try to put a human touch on everything. “SuperAwesome Website Design – about your free quote” sounds ok. But how about we turn that into: “Hey, this is Jay, from SuperAwesome Website Design. I’m excited to talk to you about your free quote”. Definitely puts you in the running to close the lead, if your competitors are only pushing their company, without a personality.

Charlie has been building WordPress themes, reviewing web hosts and utilizing social media since their respective inceptions.

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