lead generator

An effective lead generator saves you time and money, and gets you more qualified leads.

One way to make the process smooth is to leverage your existing customers and create social proof that captures new leads.

This article explains how social proof can be used in various stages of the lead generation process. 

I’ll also introduce you to the best social proof lead generation tool.

Let’s get started!

Definition of Lead Generator

A lead generator is a bit playful term for a person or system that does lead generation.

If lead generation is something that is done, the lead generator is the one doing it.

In this article, lead generator refers to a mechanism that is built on your website for continuous and automatic lead generation process, especially lead capture in inbound lead generation.

What is lead generation, then?

It’s identifying people and/or businesses who would be interested in your brand and collecting their contact information.

It requires the collaboration of the sales and marketing teams.

Lead generation consists of different stages, which I will be going through in the next section.

The Lead Generation Process

In this article, we are talking about inbound lead generation marketing. It means that you do not proactively contact people, but let people contact you first.

inbound lead generation

Generally speaking, there are four stages in the process of generating inbound leads.

  1. Lead magnet
  2. Lead capture
  3. Lead qualification and segmentation
  4. Lead nurturing

Each stage has an important role in the process.

Lead Magnet

The lead magnet is something that pulls the leads to you. Maybe it’s your powerful brand, or perhaps it’s a piece of content.

It’s something so attractive that the lead is ready to exchange their contact information for it.

We have a separate article on lead magnets that introduces different ideas and real-life examples.

Lead Capture

Lead capture refers to the stage where you get your hands on the lead’s contact details. 

Usually, this is done with a lead generation form where the lead writes down their email address, phone number, and possibly other relevant information.

A lead generator especially refers to this stage. It captures the leads so that you don’t have to.

Lead Qualification and Segmentation

Next comes the lead qualification. At this stage, you must find out whether a person is a sales-qualified lead or a marketing-qualified lead.

Qualified leads are important to find, as you don’t want to spend much time and effort on people who can’t or won’t purchase your product or service.

Generally speaking, a sales qualified lead is someone who fulfills three criteria:

  1. Interested in your product or service
  2. Has a need for your product or service
  3. Has the means to purchase from you (budget, authority, etc)
sales qualified leads

Qualifying leads has no shortcuts: usually, you can only figure all that out after talking to the person, or notice it when they actually purchase your product.

You can ease the process by implementing lead generation chatbots or quizzes, though.

You can also use different lead scoring methods to identify the hottest leads.

Based on the answers, you can segment your leads. This means you divide them into categories based on traits and behavior. 

It might be useful to segment the leads, as it helps you in the next stage of lead generation.

Lead Nurturing

Finally, we have come to the lead nurturing stage.

Not everyone is ready to purchase right away even though the criteria are fulfilled. Most people won’t make a purchase right away.

These are marketing-qualified leads that need some more information about you before they are willing to discuss purchases.

Lead nurturing consists of managing relationships with the leads and engaging them. Usually, it’s done through email marketing, social media, or personal interactions.

In this stage, it’s important to impress the lead and convince them about your authority and expertise, and of the superiority of your product.

Create A Lead Generator with Social Proof

When you want to boost your lead generation efforts, try social proof. It boosts your credibility and makes people trust you faster.

What’s Social Proof?

Social proof is a phenomenon that affects the social animal inside us.

We want to follow the lead of our peers when we are not completely sure how to act.

When you visit a new place, you will surely peek at how other people behave. How they move, speak, and dress, where they go, and what they do.

This phenomenon is the reason why recommendations from other people affect our consumer behavior so much.

If we relate to a person, we are likely to try products and services that they recommend.

Social proof can be showcased in the digital spaces with

Basically, any content that implies you have lots of people on your side can work as social proof.

social proof definition Robert Cialdini

How to Make Use of Social Proof in Lead Generation?

Social proof is one of the most effective ways to generate leads.

Our clients have achieved significant lead generation improvement by implementing different review widgets on their websites.

Let’s see how social proof can help you in different stages of the lead generation process.

Lead Magnet

Social proof can support your lead magnet, or even be your lead magnet.

When someone lands on your website, they have a reason for that. Either they were interested in your advertisement or you match their search intent.

In any case, this is your opportunity to swoon the website visitors.

One way to do so is to show testimonials from happy customers on your landing page.

AFCare does it with Trustmary’s testimonial wall widget:

widget example

If you use gated content such as a research report or guide as your lead magnet, you can use customer reviews about the piece of content as an additional motivator.

The review should state why it’s worth it to access the gated content.

review example

As mentioned above, you could even use social proof as the lead magnet.

Things like customer success stories and case studies can be powerful lead generation tools, especially if they offer some deeper insight into results and processes.

“Read how our client reached a 60% increase in conversions!”

Lead Capture

Lead generation forms are the most used inbound lead generation tactic for capturing leads on your website.

Leads can submit their contact information through the form and get the sales team’s attention.

Here’s one example:

lead generation form example

Trustmary offers a variety of lead gen forms that include reviews that matter.

Embed a form on your website or use it as a pop-up. 

An exit-intent pop-up is a powerful hack that gets you some of the leads that would otherwise exit your page.

One of our clients achieved as much as over 60% increase in leads once they implemented an exit intent popup!

Other options are “normal” pop-up forms, in-page forms, and sidebar forms.

Lead Qualification

If you want to specify the quality of leads you get from your website, use more extensive forms, quizzes, or chatbots.

Lead generation chatbots are a user-friendly option for lead generation forms. Even if the chatbot’s survey is a bit longer than a simple form, it has a more personalized and conversational touch to it and feels easier to complete.

When you use Trustmary’s inline chatbots, you can supercharge them with social proof, too.

lead generation chatbot example

Things that you might want to ask in your lead generation chat or survey include:

  • Size of the company (can help you figure out if it’s your target audience)
  • Which role the person has in the company (if this person has any authority in the company)
  • What their budget for a specific function is (to find out if your product or service is in their budget range)
  • Location (in case your product or service is location-based)

You can of course include as many questions as you want, but beware of the dangers. If you over-qualify leads, you might miss out on opportunities. Also, the longer your form, the lower the response rate!

Let’s get back to the social proof aspect. How can it help you find qualified leads?

When you showcase customer testimonials and case studies, you set an example of what kind of people or businesses you work with.

If your potential customers relate to your previous customers, they are more likely to convert.

In a way, some of the leads qualify themselves!

Lead Nurturing

Finally, let’s see how social proof can help you nurture your leads further down the sales pipeline.

If a warm-ish lead is following your newsletter but is not yet quite sure if they should purchase from you, you can try and convince them with customer stories.

Here’s how monday does it:

They name a few of their best-known clients, provide their stories, and add a CTA to their newsletter.

You could also include a testimonial widget on your newsletter and showcase multiple shorter reviews from happy customers.

Some of your warm leads follow you on social media. Make sure to showcase your happy customers there, too.

A Finnish brand Ruokaboksi (“food box”) does this on their Instagram account:

Translation: Delicious and versatile recipes, fresh ingredients, makes everyday life much easier as I don’t have to go grocery shopping or come up with recipes!”

However you nurture your leads, remember to provide them lots of chances to take the next step: starting a trial, making a purchase, booking a meeting, or whatever your goal is.

Benefits of Creating A Lead Generator

This far we have seen how you can use social proof on your website, email marketing, and social media channels to generate more leads.

Let’s see what kind of benefits you can reach with this lead generation strategy.

Automate the Process

Once you set up all the phases of the process, you rarely have to touch the system.

Just check the leads you get from your website, and if they seem ready to purchase, make sure the sales team is ready to continue from here.

Get Qualified Leads

If you implement lead qualification tools like a survey or chatbot, you already have a list of warm, quality leads with minimum effort.

This is a significant difference from a situation where you buy lists of leads and try to figure out which ones are prospective customers.

Save Money

When you use one tool for collecting your leads, you save money.

Utilizing social proof is cost-effective, and can be used in multiple ways and channels.

Develop Relationships

The social proof lead generation machine not only generates leads for your business but also establishes great relationships with your customers.

To set up your lead generation system, you need to ask for your client’s opinions. That’s a great way to develop a relationship with them.

Educate Your Customers

Reviews and testimonials give additional information about your products and services. 

The potential customers can learn a lot through the testimonials even before purchasing anything.

Requirements of The Social Proof Lead Generator

There are two major requirements that you must fulfill to use the lead generation machine on your website.

Enough Website Traffic

First, you need to drive traffic to your website.

If you don’t have any traffic, it makes no sense to invest in lead generation on the website.

Moreover, you need relevant traffic. If you get irrelevant people to visit your website, you don’t gain anything from it.

Use keywords wisely to attract the right visitors.

What is “enough traffic” depends on your business. If you sell expensive projects, a few leads per month might be enough.

If you own an e-commerce store, a larger customer base is needed.

Assuming your conversion rate is around 1%, you would need 100 people to get one lead.

If you aim to get 10 leads in a month, you need at least 1000 website visitors, and so on.

Make sure your lead generation efforts are aligned with the amount of traffic you get. Otherwise, you are wasting time and money!

Happy Customers

If you don’t have happy customers, you can’t have authentic positive social proof.

If you’re in a situation where you don’t have engaged satisfied customers, start conducting customer feedback surveys to find out how to improve the customer experience.

There are no shortcuts to happy customers.

The only way is to continuously develop your business to better fit the customers’ needs.

Sometimes the problem isn’t the lack of satisfied customers, but finding and contacting them.

One way to identify your happy customers is using the Net Promoter Score. Once you know who they are, you can ask them to leave testimonials.

happy customers leave testimonials

Step-by-Step Instructions for Setting Up Your Lead Generation Machine

Now, let’s go through how you can set up your lead generator.

Plan and Set Goals

All projects start with planning and setting goals. Only after making the basics clear, you can start creating your lead generation process.

  • What are you trying to accomplish with the lead generation tools?
  • How are you going to use the contacts once you have them?
  • What do your ideal leads look like?
  • What would make them give you their contact information?
  • How will you take things further after the lead capture?
  • These are just some questions you should consider.

Create A Powerful Lead Magnet

The next step is to have a lead magnet that pulls in the leads.

We discussed the principles of lead magnets above. In a nutshell, it must be something so valuable that the lead is willing to exchange their contact information for this item or piece of content.

Sometimes your brand or product is strong enough, but other times you need an instrument that provides information, entertainment, or practical help for the customer.

You should have figured out during the planning stage what your ideal customers would appreciate.

Remember: you can test our different options! Most likely, that is necessary. Not all potential customers are the same.

Get Your Social Proof

To utilize customer testimonials, you must first have them.

If you happen to already have reviews on Google or other review sites, just import them to Trustmary.

You can also start from scratch and collect unlimited testimonials and video testimonials from your customers.

There are plenty of tried and tested templates you can use, but the forms are all customizable.

Trustmary collects reviews from your customers through email, website embed, or QR codes. When the email campaign is launched, you can expect the first reviews on the same day.

See our tips on how to get testimonials from customers and read instructions for collecting reviews.

asking for testimonials

Set Up Widgets

Now that you have your social proof, you can set up the widgets on your website.

Choose the desired widget from Trustmary’s widget library:

  • Review widgets
  • Pop-ups
  • Lead generation forms
  • Chatbots
  • CTAs

Customize the widget in the editor and pick the reviews you want to showcase.

Next, copy and paste the code snippet to your website or configure the sites where you want the pop-up to appear.

It’s that easy!

See more thorough instructions on using the widgets.

Contact or Add to Email List

Once the lead submits their contact information, remember to make use of it.

The right tactic depends on your business model and whether you have sales-qualified or marketing-qualified leads.

If the lead requested pricing for your product or a quota for your service, contact them to discuss a possible purchase.

In case they gave their email because they wanted their hands on a piece of content, drive the contacts to an email contact list and keep nurturing them.

An effective lead nurture campaign is a topic of its own.

Follow Your Success

Congratulations, your lead generation tool is up and running!

All you have to do is monitor how many leads you get, and perhaps analyze their quality from time to time.

If the leads you get are of poor quality, reflect on the process. 

  • How could you improve it?
  • Is your value proposition clear?
  • Are you asking the right questions?
  • Is the lead generation widget in the right place?
  • Have you chosen the right reviews to highlight? Are they giving an accurate image of your business?

You can always make changes to your process when you notice it’s not working ideally.

Conclusion

Lead generation is tough work, and if there is any chance to ease the workload, take it.

Trustmary can help you with building a lead generator that relies on social proof and captures more leads from your website.

Here are the steps you need to take:

  1. Set goals
  2. Create a lead magnet that attracts potential customers
  3. Collect social proof from satisfied customers
  4. Choose, customize and set up a suitable widget to collect leads from your website
  5. Make sure the new leads are nurtured further down the funnel
  6. Follow your success and make tweaks when needed

If you want this strategy to work, you must have an adequate amount of traffic to your website, as well as happy customers who are willing to leave reviews.

Start using Trustmary today for free and experience the benefits!

Further Reading

FAQ

What is a lead generator?

A lead generator is a person or system that generates leads. When you implement one, you save time and money on your lead generation campaign. Trustmary can help you with getting a social proof lead generation campaign going.

How to get high quality leads?

Finding high-quality leads can be challenging, time-consuming, and expensive. When you implement different lead generation tools like testimonials, forms, and chatbots, you can help the process. When potential leads learn more about your company through testimonials, and your lead gen form asks the right questions, you get qualified leads automatically from your website.

How to make an effective lead form?

When you have a powerful lead magnet, you should make sure to collect the contact information from people who are interested in it. Lead generation forms are easily created with Trustmary: try a pop-up form, in-page form, or a stylish CTA widget.

What is the best lead generation tool?

Let’s be real: you need multiple tools for effective lead generation strategy. One for lead capture, perhaps one for lead qualification, another for lead nurturing, and so on. If you are looking for an effective and easy lead capture tool for your website, Trustmary can help you.