June 11

Top 6 WordPress Plugins to Increase Sales Lead Generation Effectiveness of Your Company Blog

I love how my funnel optimized website helps invisible buyers become visible sales leads. This site, which was created by Copyblogger Media is built on the Genesis WordPress platform using a customized Streamline child theme. To enhance the site’s ability to power my social selling efforts, and serve as a never need a vacation painless prospecting power house, we added a few WordPress plugins to enhance its sales lead generation capability.

A lot of people ask me about our site and the plugins we use, so today I want to share six of my favorites and the role each plays in our lead gen program.

Increasing Leads

To convert web searches into sales leads, you need an SEO plugin. Our site has the SEO tool built into the base WordPress install, but if we didn’t have that, then we’d use SEO by Yoast to help us optimize our web pages and blog posts for search engine ranking (SERP).

The second plugin is one that I spent months finding. We use MicroKids Related Posts to create our related content on each blog post. Unlike a Most Popular Post or other Related Content widgets, MicroKids’ plugin lets us hand select the blog posts and web pages that appear next to every blog post we publish here. By hand selecting the content, we’re better able to create those dynamic funnels so important in proper funnel optimized website design.

Lead Capture & Lead Nurturing

As I’ve said before, function should lead form when you design your website. While an important branding vehicle, the number one role of your website is lead generation. There are lots of tools you can use to create forms but here at Converse Digital, we like Gravity Forms. The Gravity Forms plugin is highly versatile and does a lot more than just capture information. In addition to integrating with numerous email marketing platforms, the plugin can also send automatic emails after a form submission. These emails are a great way to automate the sending of white papers, ebooks and other lead generation content tools AFTER someone has submitted a valid email address.

To fulfill against our leads, we use MailChimp and the MailChimp plugin. This plugin seamlessly integrates into our Genesis powered website and our Gravity Forms. Thus, by integrating our forms directly into MailChimp, we’re able to automatically populate our various lead nurturing mail lists. This saves us a load of time and automates not only the sending of a white paper, but also the post white paper lead nurturing email campaign.

Website Visitor Analytics

If you know me, you know I’m frugal. Whether spending my money or my clients’ money, I make it a point to always seek out the least expensive way to solve a sales & marketing challenge. Analytics is one place where you can get a ton of value for virtually no spend. We use Google Analytics and to make accessing that data easier, we selected the Google Analyticator plugin to automatically insert the necessary Google code on every page of the site. We’re also watching how visitors flow through the website to improve its funnel optimization. To do this we use the ClickTale plugin and the ClickTale’s In-Page web analytics. You can access both a free and paid version of the analytics and we find the insight — especially the heat maps truly enlightening.

Your Company Blog as Sales Lead Generator

Your company blog, and the helpful content you share there, is a great sales lead generator. By analyzing your website analytics to discover how your sales leads are moving through your site, which content is the most popular and which content converts the best, you can steadily improve your lead conversion ratios.

By investing in a few inexpensive plugins and a decent email marketing service, like MailChimp, you can then nurture the leads that don’t close for future business development opportunities.

And finally, half the content marketing battle is getting found. Far too often company bloggers don’t pay enough attention to the basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so take advantage of simple plug-ins like Yoast’s SEO plugin to give your great content a fighting chance to be found via your prospect’s next Google search.

Wanna learn more about how you or your organization can leverage the power of social selling to grow your business? Why not check out our inexpensive online social selling courses or schedule a time to talk about our powerful social selling workshops.

 photo by: mzeuner

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  1. Generating high leads is the major problem faced by many entrepreneurs. These tips are really helpful and will try to implement them on my wordpress too. Thanks

  2. I’ve always strayed away from the related content, because I’ve read that it will actually compete with other things that you want people to do (i.e. sign up for your mailing list). Do you find that there are a lot of clicks on the related content? Have you experimented not having it on there? Do you think the pop-up sign up prevents that competition? Wanna just say the heck with this whole blogging thing and grab a drink instead?

    1. Betsy

      I can’t say that I’d agree with anyone that says “related content conflicts with other CTAs like blog sign-up” because under that thinking every page on your site would need to be a landing page. Related Content, IMO is no different than an anchor link in the text. It’s a way to let the visitor go deeper into your content AND in doing so, send a buying signal to you, the website owner.

      I can’t say that I’ve experimented with having the Related Content on a page and not having it on the page because that would require fairly extensive redesigns. I can say, since adding the Related Content and moving to a funnel optimized site/blog layout, I’m seeing higher avg page views per visit and the GA tracking data clearly suggests that people are following those related links and diving deeper down various dynamic funnels.

      As for the pop up — not sure. I have seen diminishing returns from mine (though I suspect it’s not been working correctly). Can’t say I’m ready to ditch the blogging thing but always up for grabbing a drink. 😉

  3. Tom, this post of yours was mentioned in last weeks #blogchat … in writing up a recap post, we’ll link to it, BTW.

    In reading, I noticed you didn’t mention your popup as part of lead gen … which surprised me, since the darn thing did pop up a I was reading your post, and building your list is obviously important …

    Any thoughts about it? the stats seem to support having one. if you like the one you use, which one is it? Should we read anything into your excluding it from your list?

    1. Rhonda,

      It was a purposeful omission. I actually had it in the first draft of the post but then pulled it out. Honestly don’t recall why I made that decision…but yes, a popup can and according to commonly shared info, does increase lead capture. I use Pippity and I know a bunch of other WP based bloggers use the same including #BlogChat’s own Mack Collier.

      LMK when you publish the post so I can drop by to read it.

      1. Hey Tom. Just a followup, for now I’ve decided to nix the Pippity plugin. I just can’t tell that it’s making a difference for me with signups. I think the MailChimp form plugin is definitely driving signups, but I don’t think the popup is. The whole point of adding the popup was that I was hoping to see a HUGE boost in signups that would justify keeping it up. Because almost all of us can agree that we hate popups. But I really can’t see where it’s made a huge difference for me. Maybe I’m not reading my stats right, which is entirely possible.

        1. Funny you should say that Mack. I’ve been watching the plug-in and I still see a steady stream of sign-ups but nothing to blow the doors off. I’ve begun limiting the pop up to ONLY appear at the end of a post… to see if that effects anything. Will let you know what I find out.

  4. Hey Tom,

    I found you via an article you wrote at copyblogger: How to leverage the science of relationships to gain true influence. Your 4 steps for creating Propinquity gave me a couple of great ideas. It also inspired me to click through to your G+ profile where I found this post about plugins. Great insights. I decided to heed your advice and loaded the plugins via ftp and will be testing them out over the next several months.

    Keep the good stuff coming as I’ve decided to subscribe to your insights and information and I added you to my feed me circle on G+

    Thanks for sharing and have a stiff one for me would ya.

    Only the Best,
    Les Dossey

  5. For the lead management part, I also suggest another plugin/service: 59sec.
    59sec helps companies with wordpress sites to answer leads under 59 seconds, in order to boost conversion.
    Because in average, if you answer a lead in 30 minutes versus 5 minutes you have 21 times LESS chances to actually close the sale (according a study done by MIT and Kellogg and published in Forbes).

    I am a really big fan of 59sec 🙂

  6. I have been reading Jeff Walker, the author of Launch, and this guy has always told me that the list was the most important feature on your blog. I have since been testing out different lead gen pages and plugins that make the best opt ins. Didn’t know about Gravity Forms. I’ll check that out.

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