Going Down the Funnel: 6 Easy Ways to Convert First-Time Visitors into Leads

Going Down the Funnel: 6 Easy Ways to Convert First-Time Visitors into Leads
It takes a ton of work to drive traffic to your website. You pay for ads, optimize for search, tweak landing pages, and bare your soul on social media. But when visitors start dropping by, how exactly do you get them to stay longer and take the next step? As a business, you don’t want visitors to just take a look then head for the exit. You want them to stick around and always take something that will make them want to come back every now and then. As often as possible, you want visitors to discover something fun, useful, or valuable enough on your site to spend money on. Bottom Line: Getting people to window-shop is great, but that won’t pay the bills. You need to convert prospects into leads who’ll likely do some real shopping over time. There are several ways to do that, but you won’t find a one-size-fits-all solution. Different businesses might have similar marketing funnels, but they’ll likely need different methods of generating new leads. For example, some brands might focus on SEO while other companies thrive on building funnels from affiliate partners. But first things first. Before visitors get to promote your products, they need to qualify as leads.

6 Easy Ways to Convert Visitors into Leads

The success of a business depends on the volume and quality of its leads. The more leads you have, the more opportunities you get to monetize your product. At the basic level, leads are individuals or organizations who exhibit an interest in your product. They are, in other words, potential customers. Not all visitors end up becoming leads though. In fact, only a very small percentage of them do. With that in mind, here are several tactics for converting site visitors into new leads.

1. Cast a wide net.

The more people who visit your website, the more valuable it becomes. Visitors might not convert the moment they find your landing pages, but a few would after some time — including visitors you don’t even expect to need your product. That said, the quality of leads is still more important, but a healthy volume of visitors also benefits your company. A large pool of potential buyers is a good place to start. Remember, the number of visitors roughly equals the number of opportunities to share your brand and make a good impression. Getting more visitors also enriches segmentation data, which can help drive research and expand your product line. So start from the very top of the funnel. Create multiple buyer personas to complement your ideal customer profile.

2. Focus on your ideal customers.

Casting a wide net doesn’t mean ignoring your likeliest buyers. You can welcome everyone and still give your ideal customers the extra attention they deserve. After all, converting more visitors into leads involves targeting the right audience. Which means you need to precisely identify the subset of your audience that is most likely to convert. Have a full understanding of the pain points and the buyer journey they normally experience. You can then define your market segmentation more accurately, using this group as your core audience. Design your campaigns (AdWords, newsletters, content marketing, etc.,) around these high-quality visitors.

3. Reframe customer service as the “New Sales.”

When potential customers have questions about a product or service, they do not wait to get in touch with sales. They seek advice from their peers on social networks and trusted review sites when making purchase decisions. If they do not find a third-party review site with the answer, they are likely to open up a chat messaging widget on your website and type their question to a live chat support agent. If you do not have a person ready to answer their question at the time, then you risk losing a potential sale. On the other hand, having a 24/7 customer support team is expensive. As a cost-cutting solution, overseas call centers have been popular for decades. However, today’s companies focus more on quality service and training their own employees while minimizing expenses. A good example is DirectBuy. The company struggled with the costs of maintaining an office for their internal customer service team. (The real estate costs at the time in Austin, TX clocked in at $481/sq. ft). The solution: DirectBuy expanded their team without having to expand more offices by allowing employees to work from home. Their max capacity was no longer tied to the physical space of their office. All they needed was to hire more people. Here’s how they thought about it: You can introduce partial work-from-home schedules, flex time, or other solutions that allow you to maximize your real estate. Or, like many companies in 2019, including Amazon, you can empower your customer service with 100% remote employees. Bottom line: Your company must have a sales and support process that aligns with the way your customers prefer to communicate. Not the other way around.

4. Embrace marketing technologies.

In a competitive environment, you need all the help you can get. Marketing technology can help reduce operational costs, extend the capabilities of your people, and amplify your impact. Don’t go far afield without them. Let technology do the heavy lifting so you can focus more on the human, creative, and emotional side of the business. For example, you can use the right platforms to automate your marketing funnel and social media activities. There are email marketing software systems that can help you nurture a large number of email subscribers. You can also incorporate UCaaS solutions to support your customer engagement efforts.

5. Use data to improve the buyer journey.

Leads are meant to be nurtured. One way to do that is to provide visitors with seamless, personalized experiences that move them further across the funnel. But how do you know which experiences and messaging truly resonate with your audience? Actual data gleaned from your visitors’ activities and behavior can reveal their sentiment, problems, and aspirations. Data analytics software and CRM (customer relationship management) platforms can help you gain greater visibility into the needs and preferences of your customers. Surveys and feedback gathered during “moments of truth” also provide valuable and actionable intel on what your visitors actually want.

6. Explore and experiment using A/B tests.

You’ll never know if an idea will click if you’re not willing to try it out. Nothing is really clear-cut in the ever-changing fields of business, marketing, and human behavior. Nonetheless, a significant part of human progress certainly resulted from trial and error. Fortunately, you can now test many of your marketing ideas (such as different layouts for landing pages and different copy for emails) without spending or risking too much. There are modern tools that can help you design, execute, and monitor controlled experiments that reveal valuable insights about your customers. So don’t depend entirely on your hunches. Use A/B testing to allow your customers to speak for themselves.


Lead conversion is among the most important processes in sales and marketing. In fact, many startups and technologies focus on providing advanced solutions for this process alone. The reason is plain to see. The more prospects you convert into qualified leads, the higher your revenue potential becomes. The foregoing tips can help you move visitors to the next stage of the funnel. But it doesn’t end there. You need to stay around for the full stretch of the journey and ensure your leads only get the best customer experiences they deserve.

Gaetano DiNardi is the Director of Demand Generation at Nextiva and has a track record of success working with brands like Major League Baseball, Pipedrive, Sales Hacker and Outreach.io. Outside of marketing, Gaetano is an accomplished music producer and songwriter – he’s worked with major artists like Fat Joe, Shaggy and loves making music to stay turbocharged. To get in touch, follow him on LinkedIn

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