How to do leads generation in 2017 explained by one of the industry leaders

Leads generation is one of the hottest topics in every digital marketing department. This challenge intensifies especially in the growth stage of a company, when it needs to scale it's user base 3x, 4x or 10x times.

Lead generation

Leads generation is one of the hottest topics in every digital marketing department. This challenge intensifies especially in the growth stage of a company, when it needs to scale it’s user base 3x, 4x or 10x times.

Companies that are in the SAAS industry, including mine EmbedSocial, urge to discover new tools, tactics or make everyday experiments that can convert their web visitors into relevant leads.

One of those tools that can help you do this and improve the lead generation on your website is Sleeknote.

I had the pleasure to interview Kristian Jønsson, a Growth Marketer at Sleeknote who gives us an insight into the current challenges, the best performing practices and the future trends of leads generation.

Hey Kristian, tell us more about you and your company Sleeknote?

I’ve worked with marketing for 2 years and right now, I work as a Growth Marketer at Sleeknote. My goals are to increase the traffic to our website, get more people to sign up for free trials, and to get others to link to our site to improve our ranking. Besides that, I test different marketing strategies to find new ways of growing our business.

Sleeknote was founded in 2013 by 5 co-founders, all with a background in e-commerce.
They had all experienced that a lot of e-commerces had problems getting quality leads from their website so they decided to make a new tool for doing this.
The result is Sleeknote which is a lead generation tool to set up lead capture forms on your website.

Now, we are 21 people of 7 different nationalities in the company.

We know that a lot of people find popups intrusive and that they for that reason potentially can have a negative impact on the turnover of e-commerces.

When creating Sleeknote, one of the goals was to make it as unintrusive as possible.
We’ve achieved that by giving our clients lots of options for personalization when creating their sleeknotes. This means e-commerces can personalize and customize their lead forms to their specific purpose and to the specific visitors of a specific site.

We typically see our customers using sleeknotes for getting visitors to sign up for their newsletter, stopping abandoning visitors from leaving their site by offering a discount, presenting their visitors with a contact form they can fill out so they can call them later or promoting a limited offer.

In your experience, what is the best practice to improve the conversion rates on a website?

4 things I consider best practices for improving the conversion rates on a website:

Personalization: A lot of e-commerces have a lot of subpages for different products. In cases like that, one sleeknote is not enough – you need to show something of high relevance to every visitor.

For example, if you run an e-commerce with beauty products, you may have a subpage with foundations. Here, it would be a good idea to show a sleeknote specifically about the foundation. That could be a guide for choosing the right foundation or an opt-in form offering visitors a discount on a foundation if they sign up for their newsletter.

You may have another subpage with skin products and here, you would do the same. For example offer your visitors a guide on choosing the right skin product.

Images: I can’t say it enough; always use pictures. Nothing captures the interest of your visitors more than an image. That said, the image needs to make sense and support the text and messages on your website. It’s also important that you’re not only using stock photos or other types of impersonal images.

Content upgrades:
If you hope in any way to build a lifelong relationship with visitors on your site, you need to offer them value right from the start. A good way of doing that is to offer content upgrades when, for example, asking visitors to sign up for your newsletter.

And the more relevant the content upgrades are, the more visitors will want to get it (and sign up for your newsletter). You could offer e-books, how-to guides, swipe files or whatever you think could provide value for your visitors.

Providing value for your visitors like this will increase the conversion rate of your website and thereby the likelihood of your visitors turning into customers.

For instance, if our visitors are reading our blog post on high-converting CTAs, we know that they are interested in this subject. In that case, we create a sleeknote for this specific page on our site and offer its visitors a free swipe file of CTAs:


A lot of e-commercers make the mistake of thinking that content upgrades aren’t applicable for their business, but in most cases they are. For example, if you sell food or kitchen equipment, you could offer content upgrades with recipes.

Be unintrusive:
However you choose to ask your customers to turn into leads, it’s important that you do it in an unintrusive way. It needs to be with perfect timing and placement. The only way to figure out what works best for your e-commerce is to test different things.

But try to make it part of the natural flow of the website.

Can you list 3 call to action titles that perform better when engaging leads?

I’m going to start by saying what definitely doesn’t perform well – the infamous “Sign up” CTA. If you’re using it – change it right away and I bet you’ll see an immediate jump in your conversion rate. Here’s some advice as for how you can improve it:

Value: Whatever action you want your visitors to perform, always focus on what’s in it for them. They need to know exactly what they’re going to get from performing this action. For example, if you want visitors to sign up for your newsletters, tell them what they’re going to get from your newsletters or from signing up for them.


Headline: Want to grow your email list?

Text: In this eBook, we’ve gathered 101 ways to grow your email list so you never have to worry about coming up with new ideas. Get your hands on the free eBook by signing up for exclusive insights and hacks from leading e-commerce experts.

CTA button: Grow my email list today!

Urgency: Our experience is that adding a sense of urgency to your CTAs makes them perform better. For example, if you’re promoting a special offer, you can add a sense of urgency by telling your customers that the offer is only available for a limited amount of time.
You can also add a sense of urgency to your CTAs by using words and phrases as “today”, “now”, “right away” and so on.


Headline: 10 % discount today only!

Text: We’re now offering a 10 % discount to new members, so sign up today and receive your discount code straight in your inbox.

CTA button: Get my 10 % discount now!

Address your visitors’ fear of missing out (FOMO): From all the split tests our clients are doing on their sleeknotes, we can see they all get a higher conversion rate when addressing their visitors’ FOMO. They do that by writing CTAs like “Don’t miss out on…”, “Be the first to hear about”, and so on.

Can you give us an example of a client that has great success with their web leads generation?

One of our clients who has had great success with their lead generation is Airtame.

They had a lot of traffic to their website, but they didn’t really get any value from it. They needed a way to capture the value from these visitors so they decided to try Sleeknote.

They get people to sign up for their newsletter through this signup form to a competition:


By using Sleeknote, Airtame has reached an average signup rate of around 4 % of all visits. And because these leads are actually relevant, they have achieved a high email marketing ROI.

They’ve also used a sleeknote popup on their cart page to offer a discount when buying multiple devices and it actually doubled their sales.

How do you think that leads generation will evolve in the future?

I think the keyword here is personalization. We will see less and less mass marketing and more and more 1 to 1 marketing. The benefits of segmentation are many and with new tools and possibilities for segmentation every day, more and more people are leveraging these benefits.

What growth hacking tactic did you use to expand your business internationally?

One of the tactics I think has really helped us to expand internationally is doing webinars together with businesses from other countries. This has resulted in large signup lists with potential customers that we have been reaching out for subsequently with great success.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment and what do you need to do in order to overcome it?

One of our biggest challenges is getting people to create their first sleeknote.
In order for a sleeknote to show on a website, you need to implement a tracking code on your website. It’s a big barrier in the process of converting our leads to customers although it’s really easy to do.

Our experience is that when people actually implement the tracking code on their website and create their first sleeknote, they often end up becoming customers because they find out how user-friendly our editor is and see a high conversion rate for their sleeknote.

We’re trying to overcome this challenge by analyzing and improving our onboarding emails so more people will make their first sleeknote.

We’ve also added a new feature to our editor. If a customer who hasn’t implemented the tracking code correctly creates a sleeknote and saves it, they will be met with this screen that makes them aware of the issue:

sleeknote snippet code option

We’ve experienced that some of our customers forget about the tracking code and don’t understand why their sleeknote isn’t showing. This feature is to make sure that customers know exactly what is the problem if their sleeknote isn’t showing. And how to solve it.
We hope this will help more free trials overcoming the barrier of creating their first sleeknote.


Hope you find these tips helpful and improve your leads generation in 2017. If you have more, feel free to post in the comments below.

Co-Founder of EmbedSocial and Head of Growth. A previous owner of a Facebook Partner Company and a digital marketing agency. Marketing API geek and a Call of Duty fan.