12 Simple Ways to Collect Leads Online

What tool do you use to collect leads on your website or blog and why?

online lead generation
Image by Phiseksit

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC recently published #FixYoungAmerica: How to Rebuild Our Economy and Put Young Americans Back to Work (for Good), a book of 30+ proven solutions to help end youth unemployment.

1. Go With Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms is a plugin created specifically for simple WordPress integration. It ties in with lots of other providers offering simple integration to Aweber, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Authorize.Net to charge credit cards, and more. In addition to building a lead list, using Gravity Forms simplifies billing and user registration. It offers a complete toolkit for managing contacts and customers.

Nick Reese, Microbrand Media

2. Wufoo Is Fast and Cheap

Wufoo is an easy-to-use, lead generation form-building tool. After building your custom form and setting up your preferred email notifications, just embed it with a few clicks into your webpage. It’s simple, fast and cheap. They even give you a few free forms up front to start with!

Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

3. Move Into MailChimp

The only option for my business is MailChimp. After trying Constant Contact, Aweber, 1ShoppingCart and other tools, I have found MailChimp to be a great tool for list-building. It has built in social media features, great reporting functions and it integrates with many of the popular services I’m already using (i.e.: Freshbooks).

Erin Blaskie, BSETC

4. Integrate Infusionsoft Now

My company uses an email marketing, shopping cart and CRM tool called Infusionsoft. With Infusionsoft, we collect detailed data on each prospect like which lead-gen tools they’ve opted in for, what links they’ve clicked, and their purchase history. This allows us to segment our marketing messages to only the audience that is most interested.

Laura Roeder, LKR

5. Put In Popup Domination

Popup Domination integrates easily with most websites and has some great features to control how and when you display a popup to your visitors. Combine this tool with a compelling offer for a free report, video, demo, webinar or anything else your ideal prospects want, and you’ll start collecting a lot more leads from your website.

Phil Frost, Main Street ROI

6. AWeber Always Works

AWeber is an excellent email service provider. It has a very robust auto-responder system and is very good from an email deliverability standpoint. You can also segment your lists to target your prospects with specific messaging related to their entry source (and keyword) from your website. Marketing to leads is all about targeting, because this is what drives conversion!

Warren Jolly, Affiliate Marketing

7. Look Into LaunchRock

Prior to having a landing page we designed, we used a LaunchRock page for months. It’s professional, gives great analytics, and the smart people in charge of the company will help spread the word about your startup if you plug them from time to time.

Joe Cassara, You Need My Guy

8. Provide Good Content

Tools aren’t inherently valuable. The best way to collect leads is to develop content and an offer that users are interested in. I’ve seen Wufoo forms collect zero leads and Wufoo forms collect thousands of leads. It wasn’t because of Wufoo, it was because the offer was better.

Wade Foster, Zapier

9. Connect With Facebook Comments

Everyone is all about collecting an email address of someone that visits your blog, but I prefer making a social connection with them on Facebook. The way you can do this is by installing Facebook comments, and connecting with your commenters. The only downside is that you have to create really good content on your blog, which encourages comments.

Derek Johnson, Tatango

10. Give Out the Freebies!

Offer an incentive to your readers to sign up for your newsletter. Whether it’s a free CD or an awesome writeup, make sure it’s something they’d want with lots of value — but doesn’t give away too much of your secrets.

Angela Pan, Angela B. Pan Photography

11. Forced Registration Works

Forced registration is our method of choice. Even though our eBooks are free, we require visitors to register first, which is a powerful way to build your list. On the flipside, it allows us to provide our members with additional benefits, such as personal libraries, so it’s really a win-win.

Nicolas Gremion, Foboko.com

12. Post Your Phone Number!

We try to make it incredibly easy for interested parties to reach out to us. Retailers and organizations that are interested in creating custom products want the ability to learn about us “now” — not in 72 hours after an email. By giving them a number, we take away the friction of making a personal connection.

Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches