Social media icons in chalkSocial media is a huge opportunity for businesses to spread their message to a large number of people in a relatively short amount of time. However, businesses now pay for exposure through sponsored posts and ads that don’t always produce the results they hope for. Facebook click rates are unimpressive, LinkedIn sponsored posts are quite expensive, and tweets get lost in the mix.

So first, how do you drive more traffic to your site through social channels? And second, how do you convert these visitors who do end up on your site into email leads and customers? Below, I’ve laid out a straightforward process that will generate tangible results from your social media marketing campaigns.

Step 1: Give People a Reason to Visit Your Site

Before you can acquire new leads, you need to get people onto your website. Social channels should be used as a way to get your marketing message and content in front of a larger audience. The end goal here is to provide a solid reason for people to click on your post/ad and get them to land on your site. Let’s look at a few ways that you can drive people to your website.

Actionable Content

Successful social posts provide useful information that individuals and businesses can actually use. “How to” guides and lists of tips will drive the most social engagement and will entice visitors to your website, giving you the opportunity to convert them into new leads. Keep attention span in mind when developing content. Whether it’s short or long form content, make sure it’s scannable and provides value to even the casual reader who’s just skimming subheads. Craft intriguing headlines and use examples whenever applicable.


Webinars are a fantastic way to appeal to high-value leads on social platforms. Typically, you can ask for additional information besides an email address and gain insight on what benefit your products and services can provide them. Since this is a long form of content, develop actionable titles that individuals will want to engage with. Instead of using “Best Practices for Marketing Overlays” try something like “10 Tips to make your Marketing Overlays Pop!”


This one is a no-brainer for any business that wants to see incredible email opt-in results. Select an item of value (this could be a product or service package). Then prompt website visitors to submit their email for an opportunity to win that item. The great thing about this tactic is it’s very appealing on social platforms. The offer is attractive and the process to enter is straightforward for individuals.

In this ecommerce example, The Fifth Watches offers visitors a package of goodies upon arrival.

social media contest


Running a sale or offering a special discount? Advertise it on social media. According to Forrester Research, 100% of B2B decision makers use social media for work. This is a tremendous opportunity to sway these decision makers with attractive savings. Sometimes it just takes a bit of an extra push to get someone’s business and sales/discounts are a proven way to do just that.

Step 2: Drive people from social channels to relevant pages on your website

This step has to do with aligning the proper path for an individual to arrive on your site, making it more likely that they will perform the desired action that you have in mind. It starts with your social post, company profile, or advertisement. Clearly state what you are posting about and why it is beneficial. Headlines like “How to Generate More Revenue with Transactional Emails” or “5 Simple Email Headline Tweaks that will Increase Open Rates” tend to do better in social posts because they are actionable and offer an immediate benefit. Also, include an image within your social post. Images help your post stand out and will increase engagement (as noted in this article from Social Media Examiner).

Marketing Land does an excellent job with their social posts by crafting enticing headlines and also including an image. These two aspects can rapidly increase social post engagement. Here’s how they execute on Facebook:

facebook post

…and the same post looks much the same on Twitter:

twitter post

…and in both cases the call to action takes you to their website, and very obvious encouragement to sign up:

sign up CTA

Next, choose where you want to send visitors once they’ve clicked on the ad or post. Send them to a page that‘s relevant to what they clicked on. If they clicked on an ad for a free eBook, then send them to a landing page where they can get the eBook. Make it easy for visitors to find exactly what they want and expect.

Step 3: Engage visitors in an effective manner

If you want to convert visitors then you have to be the proactive one. According to experts at Chartbeat, 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website. People have short attention spans and can leave your site in the blink of an eye, so capitalize on the opportunity that’s at hand! Here are some effective ways to engage onsite visitors in order to drive conversions.

Simple Landing Pages

Landing pages are obviously a key component of lead generation, yet many businesses are still missing the boat. The first step of building a landing page is to determine what its sole purpose is. If you want to get visitors to fill out a form to receive an eBook, then design this page to drive this action. There is no added value by including distracting links to other areas of your website. Keep it simple by creating a clear path for visitors to sign up and download your eBook.

Here’s a fantastic landing page example from ZenPayroll. The form is front and center allowing visitors to sign up for free. Additional information like testimonials, features, and pricing is accessible lower down on the page so it does not distract the visitor from the initial sign up form.

ZenPayroll landing page


The most effective way to engage individuals on your site is with overlays. Overlays (whether over video, a web page, or a graphic), or float your message over the top of prime real estate to grab people’s attention and provide businesses with many unique ways to engage incoming traffic. Perhaps the largest advantage that overlays provide marketers is the ability to target segments of traffic with specific messages and offers. This allows you to hit visitors with more relevant information, convert more incoming social traffic, and maximize ROI from social PPC campaigns.

The Fifth Watches uses an overlay to collect the emails from visitors who enter the contest giveaway. Since they only sell on specific days each month, they rely heavily on reaching customers and leads through email marketing. The use of overlays has enabled them to collect an average of 500 new email subscribers on a daily basis!


Side Tabs

For a more subtle way to engage visitors, consider using a side tab. Visitors can click a side tab which would then open an overlay where they can opt-in easily. This can be a fun way to market to website visitors if you get a little creative. Here’s a tasty side tab for a promotion from the web’s top bacon retailer, Bacon Freak:

Bacon Freak side tab

The rasher of bacon slides in on the right, and says “Click for a tasty offering.” If you click, you’re served a tempting offer:

Bacon Freak Offer

Exit Offers

Exit offers are an incredibly effective tactic for acquiring more email subscribers, decreasing bounce rates, and saving shopping cart abandonment. Engage visitors right before they leave your site for another chance for a conversion. To prevent cart abandonment directly, set up an exit offer for shoppers that are directly leaving from your cart and checkout pages.

Bill for First Lady uses this hilarious exit offer to prevent shoppers from leaving with items in their cart. By making the promo code available, they can directly drive purchases from the cart page.

Exit Offer

Social channels are beneficial to businesses by providing ways to reach a lot of people. However, the inefficiencies with social media marketing make it difficult to create engaging relationships. By focusing on converting social traffic into email leads, you open a direct channel to market to these individuals … which increases the likelihood of getting their business.

To learn more about how to create revenue from your social media campaigns, take a look at our eBook Likes are Great. Leads are Better. You’ll more about the individual twists each platform requires, how to budget your campaigns, and how to segment and nurture.