How to generate leads from content (and 7x your conversion rate)

March 26, 2020 Christine Otsuka

Most companies these days have a blog on their website. It’s an expectation and a necessity if your goal is inbound traffic. But what good is all that traffic if you aren’t converting it into leads?

The uncomfortable truth is that the vast majority of your visitors leave without taking an action or identifying themselves. Demand marketers everywhere are shaking their heads.

Traffic without leads is meaningless. But if you can convert that traffic from the authoritative blog your content team has worked so hard to build into actual leads, you’ll be the envy of your peers (not to mention the star of your team). 

How to generate leads from content: The old way

Traditionally, marketers have captured information from their blog visitors through newsletter sign-ups and converted visitors into leads through linking to gated content or webinar registration pages. 

It’s not a bad strategy—linking to a related template or ebook in a blog article is a great way to capture leads based on what you already know your visitors are interested in. The problem is most marketers gate content using a form on a landing page.

They’ve spent all this effort trying to attract a visitor to their content, yet they send them to an entirely different experience on a different page of their website. So the question remains: Why do marketers send their inbound traffic outbound?

At Uberflip, we don’t hate landing pages. We just don’t think they’re the most effective way to gate content. Why?

  • The landing page experience lacks consistency with your blog.
  • It provides no next step. (Dead ends!)
  • It means the visitor has to navigate back to your blog to continue reading.
  • It presents a prime opportunity for distraction.
  • And probably the most important reason… a form on a landing page has a measly 2.35% conversion rate.

Not to mention: this old way makes the visitor wait for what they want—your company’s amazing content!

The new way to gate content

If you already have the attention of your blog readers, why not insert a CTA to capture their information easily. In the example below, the marketer is able to insert mini-forms alongside their blog content so they can make the most of their traffic.

A mini form in a resource center

You can also link to gated content that keeps visitors on-site. No landing pages here.

At Uberflip, we use what’s called an Overlay CTA to gate our content. It’s this mini form that appears on top of the content the visitor wants, but leaves that content peeking through. 

Call it a tease, but it’s down-right effective.

Here’s how it works. A visitor navigates to the ebook page and for a few seconds see the ebook they’d like to read. Then a mini form pops up overtop, greying out the content, but revealing the asset they’ve already decided they wanted underneath. The content within their reach is enough to hike up those conversions. After all, it’s… right… there.

A short looping video of a form overtop of a piece of content

This method of gating content results in a 17% conversion rate on average. That’s 7x the conversion rate of a standard form on a landing page (which, if you recall, is a measly 2.35%)!

Curious how we got those numbers? Well, our data science team analyzed the results of 440 customers who were using overlay CTAs to gate their content and 17% was the average conversion rate our customers saw using this method. (We wrote about it here > The Content Experience Report). 

Our own marketing team sees crazy high conversion rates: closer to 40% (shhhh! I probably shouldn’t tell you that).

I put together this cheat sheet so you can measure the pros and cons of both the old or traditional way of gating content and what I’m calling the effective way—for obvious reasons. 

The old way vs the effective way, a summary of the points

Beyond customer experience related concerns like their wait time, you also run the risk of losing them to distractions which would impede conversions. Inconsistent experiences and dead ends are the stuff marketers nightmares are made of. 

But a dreamy 17% conversion rate? That’s within your reach.

Ready to start generating leads from your content?

There’s nothing wrong with doing things the way you’ve always done them if you’re happy with the results. But if you want to learn more about how to turn your high-traffic blog into a lead-generating machine, let us know

We’re ready to help you see results like these.

About the Author

Christine Otsuka

Christine is an experience-obsessed marketer. Officially, she's Uberflip's Senior Content Marketing Manager, where creating engaging content experiences for marketers is a challenge she accepts daily. She believes that if you can't attract, engage, and compel that next action with your content, then why bother? She also has a thing for pugs, but who doesn't.

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