Internet Leads: Where They Come From and How to Get Them
15 minute read
September 6, 2020


Remember the movie Glengarry Glen Ross? 

Alec Baldwin’s character says “A guy don’t walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They’re sitting out there waiting to give you their money!”  

He’s talking about leads

A person doesn’t fill out a contact form on your website unless they’re interested in buying whether it’s getting a mortgage, insurance, or real estate.

But what about all the steps it took that person to discover your website? 

From seeing an online ad, or having a conversation with a friend, there are many avenues that redirect people to your lead conversion website. 

As a salesperson, you should dig into and understand where your internet leads are coming from and the journey your potential consumers have been on to create a sales experience that will delight them.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the deep and intricate world of internet leads and demonstrate many of the likely customer journeys of your leads.

To discuss generating leads (or great films), contact Kaleidico.

What is an internet lead?

An internet lead is a person—never forget that.

In addition to being numbers in a spreadsheet cell, these leads represent real people who need your expertise. It’s why they filled out the form on your website. 

However, to be more specific, an internet lead is a person who has found one of your online channels (your company website, social media profile, etc.) and submitted a contact form with their personal information requesting more information. 

To be honest, the term “internet leads” seems a bit redundant, because these days, most of your generated leads are coming from online! 

You’re probably not sending out thousands of direct mailers, but instead are spending that money generating online advertisements (Google Ads and Facebook Ads) or investing in a company website and digital marketing strategy to generate new leads.

Obviously, internet leads are hugely important for any sales pipeline—a funnel that casts a wide net of new prospects and eventually narrows down to find leads with the highest intent. 

Building impressions offline in your community 

While most of the people discovering your company’s website aren’t familiar with you at all, there’s a good chance that some of those people have heard of you from their friends and family.

Having conversations at church, a child’s dance recital, or a little league game can get the word out to your community that you specialize in sales, whether it’s insurance, real estate, mortgage lending, etc.

Often, these offline conversations then prompt people through word-of-mouth.

“Hey, I was speaking to this real estate agent at my son’s baseball game. Here’s his name. Google him to find his website.”

Once that person Google searches your name or company, you better hope they can find some sort of profile or company website! Or else their search is done and they’re looking for somebody else.

Having a LinkedIn account or Facebook account is a great place to start, just so people can find you first. 

But the real power is having your own personal website because you can design your own lead generation forms and create a branded experience that’s more impressive than a standard social media profile.

The journey of an internet lead: from researching to contact forms

Let’s go through a common scenario of how most of your internet leads will discover your website and become a lead by submitting a contact form to become a new internet lead.

The research (discovery, referrals)

People have a problem that requires a professional’s expertise. They need a mortgage, they want to buy a particular home, they need insurance, etc.

Often the first place people turn to is an internet search or asking a friend or family member for a referral.

In both cases, these people will likely use a Google search to find their answers, whether they’re typing in a particular salesperson’s name, or looking for general advice online.

If a person doesn’t have a referral, they may begin with a simple search such as “mortgages” or “mortgage broker near me.” Or they may begin with a broader search such as “How many years of income do I need to show to get a mortgage?”

From there, the searcher will usually click on the highest-ranking articles in a Google search to begin their research.

The inquiry

Once the Google searcher has clicked on your website’s search result, they’ll land on your website and either read your helpful blog post or browse your website to see if you’re legit or not.

If your blog post satisfied their curiosity, they might begin reading other blog posts on your website.

Or maybe they’ll decide they’re ready to reach out and press the “click to call” button or fill out a conveniently placed contact form.

How do I get internet leads for my business?

You really only have two options for getting internet leads: generate them yourself, or purchase them from lead providers.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, which mostly relate to time and money. 

Buying leads is quicker but may be more expensive. 

Generating your own leads can start off slower, but can be more sustainable and efficient in the future.

Buying leads from lead providers and aggregators (LendingTree, Bankrate, etc.)

If you need leads to call today or tomorrow, then you’ll have to buy them from a lead provider and aggregator sites such as LendingTree, Experian, NextGen Leads, Bankrate, or Smart Assets.

Then you’ll have to ask yourself another question: Do I want to pay more for exclusive leads or save money and buy shared non-exclusive leads? 

Let’s break down the different internet leads for sale.

Exclusive internet leads

Exclusive leads are the most expensive leads you can buy because they’re one-of-a-kind and sent to you in real time so you can contact your lead instantly for greater success.

You are the only person to have the lead’s contact information, and thus, have virtually no competition from other salespeople.

However, that exclusivity is going to cost you big bucks, somewhere around two or three times the price of a non-exclusive shared lead.

Are exclusive internet leads worth it? Sure! They may be if the leads are good enough and your success rate is high. But they might not be the most sustainable option for your business.

Semi-exclusive internet leads

Semi-exclusive leads are second best to exclusive leads. 

Instead of being the sole owner of the lead’s information, maybe two or more other people have also purchased that lead, giving you more competition.

With semi-exclusive leads, you really have to be on the ball to contact these leads as soon as they come in or somebody else will get to them first.

If you plan on working with semi-exclusive internet leads, make sure you have a solid lead follow-up strategy.

Shared, non-exclusive internet leads

These are the most affordable leads you can purchase because they’re completely non-exclusive — they’re sold to anybody who wants them.

This, of course, will drastically lower your success rates — unless you are the greatest salesperson of all time (not saying that you aren’t!).

Is it worth it to pay for leads?

Just remember that when you stop paying for leads, the leads stop coming in. 

This is the downside to buying leads. You haven’t created any sort of system that can generate leads for you, like a company website that publishes blogs every week to bring in Google traffic.

In this sense, it’s a lot like online advertisements. Online ads stop showing once you stop paying for the ads.

Generating your own internet leads

Many of you are probably not buying leads. 

Instead, you’re generating them on your company website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile, Google Business profile, or through email marketing, basically, anywhere you can get them online. 

But if you’re a full-time salesperson, you might lack the savvy of a digital marketer who understands the digital playing field a bit better. 

I’m talking about understanding search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, keyword planning, pay-per-click ads (PPC), and all that other digital marketing stuff that’s constantly changing and getting more confusing.

Generating exclusive, branded Internet leads requires the right strategy and skill sets, which sometimes means hiring an experienced digital agency that specializes in lead generation.

I encourage you to set up as many free and paid profiles and online channels as possible, including:

Buying aged leads 

Your last option is to purchase aged internet leads. The beauty of buying aged leads is that you can buy thousands of them so super cheap. 

They’re called “aged” leads because they’re old enough to no longer be considered a “real-time” lead.

Technically speaking, an aged lead could be only a few days older than a real-time lead and be considered aged.

However, many aged leads are usually 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days and older, with each pricing tier getting more inexpensive the older the lead is.

I know a 30-day lead may sound old, but for huge purchases such as mortgages, buying aged leads can make a lot of sense, because many people aren’t actually ready for a mortgage when filling out that form.

Are aged leads as effective as real-time leads? Maybe not, but there’s still plenty of gold in there to be found!

Let Kaleidico generate and nurture leads for you.

Internet lead generation — how to build your lead generation ecosystem

how to build your lead generation ecosystem

A lead generation ecosystem is essentially your main website that’s been interconnected and linked with all of your auxiliary social media accounts and profiles across the web.

Because ultimately, every social media profile and online account you’ve registered in your name should be funneling people back to your company’s website where they can fill out a conveniently placed form to become a lead.

At the center of the ecosystem is your company’s website, so let’s begin there.

Build and design a website optimized for lead conversions

Your website is the “home base” for your internet leads.

Lead generation websites are designed to answer questions, overcome objections, and frictionlessly move consumers into lead generation paths that prompt them to fill out a web form or place a phone call.

Take a look at’s website to understand its internal linking strategy to keep visitors on its website and eventually fill out a web form.

Build and design a website optimized for lead conversions
Build and design a website optimized for lead conversions

When a person lands on your website, make sure you have the following features to keep them on your site long enough to fill out a form:

  • A mission statement at the top of the page (Homebuying made simple!)
  • About us page
  • Contact us page
  • Specific pages for each of your loan products (FHA Loan page, VA loan page, etc)
  • Contact forms on every single page with a call-to-action CTA (Book a consultation, Get a free quote, Apply today!)

Figure out who your “target audience” is and what websites they browse on

Perhaps you already know what kinds of people you’re targeting — college graduates, first-time home buyers, retirees, etc. 

The next step is doing a bit of audience development to see which marketing channels they use. 

For example, if you’re targeting professionals, then you may consider setting up a LinkedIn profile. Or if you’re targeting younger, first-time buyers, maybe you should set up a TikTok or Instagram account.

Here’s the other thing about social media — don’t feel like you need to set up an account with every social media platform ever created. Stick to what you know and what you’re familiar with! 

Maybe, for now, it’s just setting up a Facebook page and a Google Business profile.

Generate traffic to your website: Google searches, blogs, and SEO 

Your biggest challenge in generating online leads is getting enough traffic to your website.

Lead generation is a numbers game. Not everybody who visits your website will fill out a form, but if you get enough traffic, that won’t matter because you’ll generate enough leads for your sales pipeline.

How did your lead find your website? Through a Google search most likely!

generate traffic to your websites

Here’s the secret to generating traffic to your website using Google searches—you have to write blogs!

Also known as content marketing, writing blogs is your key to generating traffic to your website without using paid ads

It’s a form of search engine marketing because people are searching Google for questions such as “how do I qualify for a conventional mortgage?” More often than not, the people writing these blogs are mortgage lenders attracting people to their lead generation websites because if you can help them understand mortgages better, they’ll trust you and decide to work with you!

Content marketing is closely related to search engine optimization (SEO), which involves adding the right keywords and search phrases on your website that your audience is searching for. 

In other words, if your mortgage website has thousands of mentions of the word “mortgage” it’ll probably come up in a Google search for mortgages! 

So, if you’re trying to generate leads to sell more mortgages, you should be blogging about mortgages to capture all that Google traffic.

Similarly, if you’re trying to generate real estate leads, then you should be blogging about how to find the perfect home and other related topics.

Remember this — it might take a few weeks or months to see traffic for specific blog posts. However, once they start ranking on Google, you’ve created an evergreen form of content that will last essentially forever, and potentially generate leads for years to come. 

Let Kaleidico create your content marketing plan.

Generate traffic to your website with paid advertisements: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, PPC ads

generate traffic to your website with paid advertisements

Don’t have time to wait a few weeks for certain blog posts to rank on Google? 

Invest in some Google Ads and you can have your website’s URL on the first page in no time! Just know that it may be pretty expensive.

Google Ads, especially the text-based ads you see in Google searches cost money every time they’re clicked. It’s why they’re known as “pay-per-click” advertisements.

To buy these ads, you need to “bid” on a specific keyword or search phrase, such as “conventional loans.” 

For example, you might say, “I’ll pay $15 every time somebody clicks on this ad for the keyword ‘conventional loans’” to outbid somebody else who only wants to pay $14 for the same keyword. 

When this happens, your Google Ad will be shown whenever a person types in your keyword into a Google search.

Hopefully, if your ad’s headline and text are captivating enough, the Google searcher will click on it to be redirected to a special “landing page” on your website.

Your landing page will be a carefully designed webpage on your website that educates your reader about the specific topic they’re researching, gains their trust, and hopefully gets them to fill out the contact form on the same page.

Convert website traffic into internet leads

Once you actually get traffic to your website, you need to get them to fill out a contact form to “convert” into becoming a new internet let.

Is placing a million contact forms on your website enough? No! 

I think by default, most people tune out those ugly, generic forms on websites. They’ll do anything, except fill out those forms! 

By the way, this is all trackable using Google Analytics — you’ll actually be able to see the number of people coming to your website versus the people who convert by filling out a form. So if you have a high amount of traffic and low conversions, your contact forms may be to blame.

In our experience, generic forms don’t work. Do you know what does work? Progressive field forms. 

convert website traffic into leads

Progressive forms are those smart, pop-up bubble windows that ask one simple question at a time. They’re attractive, intuitive, and user-friendly, and as a result, convert much more visitors over generic forms!

There’s another term called a “lead path.” A lead path is essentially a clickable button on a website that is used to pop up the progressive field form.

So, instead of displaying an ugly form, instead, you have a clickable button that says “Buy Home” or another one that says “Free Quote.” 

This is a sneakier and more effective way to generate leads over using clunky forms.

Kaleidico can help you close the deal

Want to generate your own exclusive leads through a personalized website and content marketing strategy? 

Work with Kaleidico, a lead generation agency, and marketing company. We’ll help you create a winning lead generation ecosystem online that will continually fill your sales pipeline with fresh internet leads!

Benefit from working with Kaleidico and our 15+ years of lead generation in the mortgage real estate, fintech, and insurance industries.

Book your no-cost discovery session with Kaleidico today.

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