web design lead generation
Last updated on October 12th, 2023

Web Design Lead Generation: 6 Ways to Find New Clients

Key points

  1. Building a list of potential clients through manual research, list scraping, or using prospecting software can be an effective way to generate web design leads.
  2. While investing in a blog and SEO is a great strategy for lead generation, it’s important to explore other methods as well.
  3. Consider partnering with other agencies that offer complementary services, as their clients may have web design needs.

Many companies don’t have the best lead generation experience. They’ve tried different tactics but were mostly unsuccessful, or they spent too much money on their leads. This is also true for web designers, who simply want to find new clients regularly without spending a fortune.

As a web design business owner, how do you generate leads that are of high quality without investing too much money or time, though? In this post, I’ll introduce you to the best ways to generate leads for a web design business. Some of them give you almost instant results, others will require you to be patient.

Let’s take a look at six different tactics you can use for your web design lead generation.

List building

The quickest way to find leads is by building a list of ideal clients that you reach out to (via cold email for instance).

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In order to find these potential design clients, you can use different methods:

  • Manual research: let’s assume you’re targeting a specific group of people, for instance lawyers. Use keywords to find their websites, and put them into a spreadsheet. Narrow it down if you want to target specific niches of lawyers, or those located in a certain geographical area.

  • List scraping: Sticking with the lawyer example, you could scrape a list with lawyers to make things easier and faster. Then, use a software to find their contact information (RocketReach, Hunter.io, etc.).

  • Prospecting software: If the first two methods are too much work for you in order to get web design leads, consider investing in a prospecting software such as UpLead or ZoomInfo. These B2B databases have all the information you need to find web design clients by narrowing down your search with filters. Plus, you can start your outreach in the same tool.

Going straight to the paid prospecting tool should be the best choice for most agencies, as the manual work is simply too time-consuming. If you’re on a tight budget, consider the second option by hiring someone who is familiar with list scraping, and can provide you with a list of leads.

Your own website

When it comes to lead generation strategies, one of the simplest ones is using your own website to find leads—or that’s what every web designer thinks. However, it’s one of the slowest methods of generating leads unless you pay for ads, and drive traffic to a landing page. Since most agency owners prefer a cheaper strategy, they invest in a blog and SEO.

SPP.co SEO agencies landing page

This is a great strategy, but putting all your eggs into it will result in one glaring issue: you’ll wait a long time to see any results; and a business simply cannot survive as it needs leads to grow. As such, your website should be one of many ways you find new clients for your website design services. Invest early on in a blog and write content for your niche. Set up lead generation forms with the help of Service Provider Pro that subscribe those interested to a newsletter, and slowly nurture the leads until they are ready to buy your web design services.

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Also, experiment with ads if you have the budget for it. If you can find keywords with a low click per cost, spend your budget within three months and see what the results are. While it makes sense to go straight to the big platforms (such as Google or Facebook), there are other platforms that make it easier to spend your paid ads money. Research websites that have lists of companies offering design and development. Their listicles often feature paid entries at the top, and you pay a certain amount per click, depending on your position in the listicle.

Social media

Social media lead generation is a topic that most agency owners are not familiar with. Those that decide to give it a shot mostly post randomly on social networks, but that doesn’t exactly generate leads for web design companies. Social media needs to be used in a more thoughtful way.

Again, assuming that you’re targeting lawyers, where are they active? Is it Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn? Most of them are highly educated individuals who are interested in thought-leadership content—and that type of content is usually posted on LinkedIn.

The content thought leaders post is often so-called zero-click content. What it means is that offers valuable insights without asking for anything in return: no email signups, no link clicking. It’s so valuable, though, that readers will want to know who’s written it. Potential clients will research you, find your agency website, and inquire about your services.

Twitter @ChrisWillow_ zero-click content

Other ways to make an impact on social media:

  • distribute your content

  • share client testimonials

  • promote an upcoming webinar

Always adjust your strategy to the type of clients you’re trying to target, and the social network used. Some networks prefer certain formats more than others, for instance, LinkedIn is great for short videos and posts that contain slides.

Service provider lists

Are you familiar with websites such as clutch.co? They are the go-to source if you’re looking to find a service provider, be that a web design agency or SEO agency. For some companies, it’s their number one tool to get new leads. They invest a lot of time in building the perfect profile, they ask their clients to leave reviews, and make sure that web mentions appear on their profile too.

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If you want to give this method a try, create a profile on clutch.co and try out the free option first. You can collect an unlimited amount of reviews, get access to badges for your achievements, and you can get featured on partner websites such as TheManifest.com.

The paid plans give you access to analytics features, and you get more visibility in specific directories. Depending on your niche, this might be a worthy investment if you want to set yourself apart from the competition.

Partner up with agencies

Partnering up with other agencies always seems like a counterproductive move. Many agency owners see other owners as a competitor, but B2B relationships are a goldmine. If you’re running a web design agency, chances are high that you can find partners who don’t offer web design as a service. Think of SEO content writing, podcast editing, and web development agencies. Those offer different services, but there’s an overlap with yours. The chances are high that their clients will eventually need a website, or want their existing one redesigned.

When talking about the cost of a website, your partners could recommend you—and you could reward them for the referral. Or, in exchange for the referral, you send your own clients their way if they need SEO services, content, etc.

Convert your clients into brand ambassadors with our affiliates feature

There are many agencies making use of this business model by using the white label program SPP offers. Anyone with a Service Provider Pro account is able to connect to your own account, import your services, and resell them.

Free resources

Another popular way to get website design leads is to give away free resources via lead generation forms. According to a Hubspot study, 74% of marketers are still making use of this method. While you won’t get warm leads, you’ll receive ones that you can slowly nurture until they are interested in buying your services.

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But what kind of resources can you offer for free? In order for the lead magnet to be effective, it has to be relevant to your niche, and be useful to your target audience.

  1. Why not give away a font that one of your designers has created?

  2. Or a free WordPress template that they can use for their blog?

  3. Even better, how about a free course focusing on web design?

Other lead magnets that work well for web designers are templates, checklist, guides, or e-books. Anything that is low maintenance and doesn’t expire, meaning the information won’t be outdated, are a great fit.

Whichever you choose, make sure that the call to action is clear and if you decide to subscribe them to an email list, make it obvious that you do. Nobody likes to click on a button that promises a download only to be greeted by a newsletter signup confirmation.

Conclusion

Finding clients who are looking to get a new website done, or an existing one updated, isn’t that hard. There are countless ways you can generate web design leads these days. Some of them require an investment, others you just need to spend some time on and are low maintenance. At the end of the day, you need to experiment with the proposed methods, and see which once result in high quality leads.

Avatar of Deian Isac
Head of Agency Success
Having worked as a content writer for 8+ years, Deian has partnered up with a lot of different agencies for content production. He understands their processes and now helps agencies scale up their operations with SPP. Besides his success activities, he also manages the content strategy of Service Provider Pro, writes captivating blog posts himself, and produces case studies.

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