I started my web design agency over 15 years ago, and one of the biggest problems I had was consistently getting high-quality web design leads every month. 

Fortunately, after years of trial and error, I finally found the best lead generation strategies that work!

You can use these strategies to help you get any kind of web design lead, including:

  • WordPress web design leads
  • Custom web design leads
  • Web design & branding leads
  • WordPress web development leads

And more!

Even though I no longer provide web design services (I now specialize in lead generation services instead), I’ve been able to help other web design companies get leads from people who are happy to pay $3K, $5K, $10K or more for a new website.

Here are my best lead generation strategies to get more high-ticket web design clients.

Let’s get started!

Quick Summary

The fastest and best way to get web design leads and clients is to set up an automated appointment funnel. Once the funnel is set up, you need to proactively send people to it by using free or paid lead-generation strategies. The more leads that go into the funnel, the more clients you’ll get out of it.

My free Masterclass training explains how to do this in more detail.

Best web design lead generation strategies

1. Solve a big painful problem

The first step to getting high-quality web design leads and clients is to solve a big painful problem that people have.

You see, in a world where anyone can build a website for $50 or less using AI website builders, it’s not a good idea to compete with other website builders. Instead, you need to position your web design agency as a company that solves bigger and more painful problems for clients.

The biggest and most painful problem you can solve for business owners who need a website is explaining to them how having a website contributes to their business revenue (more customers and clients).

This doesn’t mean you have to offer digital marketing services (unless you want to), but it does mean you need to explain how your web design services specifically help them generate more leads and clients through their website.

To learn how to do this, check out ‘Step 1’ and ‘Step 2’ of our free Masterclass training here.

2. Use a video sales letter lead magnet

One of the best ways to get high-quality web design leads and clients is to use a video sales letter. A video sales letter is a short educational video that explains why working with your web design company is better than other alternative solutions.

This video sales letter is essential if you want to get high-ticket clients who pay $3K, $5K, $10K or more for a new website. 

Why does a VSL work so well for getting web design clients?

If you want to charge high ticket prices, you need to provide at least 10x more value than what you charge. A VSL can educate your potential clients on the value you provide.

A VSL usually works better than other lead magnets like free eBooks or website evaluations. Most people don’t read the eBooks they download (video is a lot more engaging these days). As for free website evaluations, this usually only works well if people already understand the value you provide first.

3. Invest in SEO

One of the most profitable ways to get web design leads and clients is to invest in search engine optimization (SEO).

This free lead generation strategy is effective because it allows you to get clients who are looking to hire a web design company right now.

In the early days of my web design company, most of my leads came from ranking at the top of Google for keywords related to web design in my local area. However, over the years, I’ve learned that it’s good not to limit yourself to just local SEO. It helps to target keywords that solve a variety of problems your potential clients have that are related to web design and development. 

In the competitive SEO landscape, creating content targeting a niche can also increase your chances of ranking higher on search engines.

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Some SEO topics you could write about include: 

  • How [niche] can get more clients from their website
  • Best web design companies for [niche]
  • [Niche] website design ideas, examples & inspiration
  • How to build a [niche] website

4. Leverage Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms provide outstanding opportunities to connect with potential web design clients. However, not all social media marketing strategies yield the same results. 

80% of social media activities (posting daily updates, commenting on other people’s posts, following/unfollowing people on Instagram, etc.) yield little results. 20% of social media marketing results come from more direct lead generation strategies.

For example, LinkedIn lead generation. LinkedIn is an excellent social media platform for generating web design leads. But don’t just use LinkedIn to post daily and join LinkedIn groups. Use LinkedIn to actually build relationships with potential clients.

For best results, it also helps to automate your LinkedIn lead generation.

Here’s a video on some LinkedIn automation tools you can use to do this:

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5. Invest in Paid Advertising

The fastest way to buy web design leads is to use paid advertising platforms like Facebook ads or TikTok ads.

Paid advertising enables you to generate hundreds of web design leads at scale. After spending a few thousand dollars with paid advertising, the advertising platform you’re using will tell you your cost per lead. On average, our clients get a cost per lead of $20 and a cost per appointment of $200.

So if your cost per appointment is $200 and you convert 1 in 4 appointments into clients this means you’ll spend $800 to acquire a new client. If your profit from a new client is over $2K you should be able to more than double your investment.

Of course, running ads does come with risks. The risk is there is no guarantee that you will get leads and appointments. This is why it helps to have a high converting sales appointment funnel before you start running ads (if you want to lower your risk).


  • Provides immediate visibility and exposure
  • Allows precise targeting of specific audience segments
  • Offers measurable results and ROI tracking


  • Requires ongoing budget allocation for sustained results
  • Competition and bidding wars can increase advertising costs

Watch this video to learn more about creating a high-converting sales funnel.

6. Develop Strategic Partnerships

Build business in sales funnels

A great way to consistently generate new web design leads and clients is to collaborate with graphic designers, marketing agencies, or technology firms. In fact, in some cases, you can even white-label your services and do the work behind the scenes for others. 

By leveraging each other’s networks and expertise, you can reach out to new audiences and generate mutually beneficial leads.

For example, if you specialize in WordPress web development, you could contact web design agencies that outsource the web development part.

Wondering how to initiate these strategic partnerships? 

When I owned a white-label WordPress web development company, I picked up a bunch of clients through cold calling, cold emailing and LinkedIn outreach. 

The great thing about strategic partnerships is that when you have one good strategic partner, they can refer you many leads and clients every month for years to come.


  • Expands reach and visibility
  • Accesses new sources of leads
  • Fosters mutually beneficial relationships


  • It requires time and effort to establish and maintain partnerships
  • May encounter conflicts of interest or competition among partners

7. Leverage AI lead generation tools

There are many ways to get web design leads and clients using AI lead generation tools. Some of my favorite AI marketing tools for web design agencies include:

  • AI Chatbots: These can convert website visitors into leads. The chatbot on this page is a real-life example of this strategy in action.
  • Customers.AI: Identify and cold email anonymous website visitors who don’t convert on your website.
  • Kartra: Create sales funnels and marketing automation campaigns. This tool helps you both generate and convert leads into clients.

You can leverage these and many more AI lead generation tools to generate high quality web design leads. 

To learn more about using these and other tools to generate leads, watch my free Masterclass training here.

8. YouTube videos

One of the best ways to get free web design leads is to use YouTube videos. Wes McDowell is an excellent example of this. Most of his web design clients come from his YouTube channel.

So, how does Wes get web design leads and clients?

He creates helpful YouTube videos for business owners on how a website can help them get more customers. He then sends people from his YouTube videos to a video sales letter (his free Masterclass). 

By leveraging YouTube as a lead generation platform, he has built a multiple 6-figure web design business.

Watch ‘Step 4’ of this video to learn more ways to use YouTube to generate leads and appointments for your business each month.

9. Follow up with leads

You need to have a strong follow-up process to get leads to convert into paying web design clients.

For best results, it’s important to create follow-up emails that provide value to clients. Don’t just send follow-up emails trying to sell all the time.

In my experience, the following emails will help you convert leads into web design clients:

  • Client results & testimonials: This email will get you the most conversions. Nothing converts leads better than social proof!
  • Helpful content: Repurpose your blog & YouTube videos into emails you can send your clients.
  • Frequently asked questions: Answer common questions (or even sales objections) about your web design services.

The longer you follow up with leads, the more conversions you’ll get over time. In my business, I’ve had leads convert in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months and even 24 months or more. If I had stopped emailing leads after 3 months, I would have lost out on a huge amount of clients.

So, in your web design business, be sure to follow up with leads regularly with email marketing.

10. Use freelancing websites

A great way to get web design clients is to leverage freelancing websites like Upwork. On these websites business owners who are looking to hire web designers or web developers will post projects identifying their requirements.

Here are a few examples of web design projects currently available on Upwork:

You can then submit a proposal to people who are actively looking to hire a web design company.

This is a great way to get web design leads quickly and cost-effectively. In the early days of my business, I even used my video sales letter (mentioned above) to stand out from all the other proposals. It’s also a great way to pick up your first few clients (if you don’t have any yet) to get some testimonials/reviews.

However, the downside with freelancing websites like Upwork is that it’s often very competitive.

If you don’t have any reviews yet, it will be hard to stand out. This means you may need to lower your price to compete with everyone else. 

Also, the quality of the projects are not always great. In my experience, about 70% of the projects on Upwork are fairly low quality. But occasionally, you do get some really good web design projects that pop up.

11. Buy web design leads

Another way to get web design leads fast is to buy them from a lead provider. There are many types of web design leads you can buy, including:

  • Lists or databases of web design leads
  • Exclusive web design leads 
  • Shared web design leads

Here are some web design lead generation companies you can use to buy leads:

Note: I haven’t personally used these services, so I can’t verify the quality.

Buying web design leads can be a quick and easy way to get leads, but there are some downsides, such as:

  • You’re not in control of your own marketing
  • Leads are sometimes shared with other web design companies
  • The quality of leads is not as good as generating them yourselves
  • Buying leads is often more expensive than getting your own leads

Because of these downsides, many of my clients prefer to generate their own exclusive leads following the strategies in this video.

12. Attend Networking Events

Networking events, conferences, and industry meetups provide fantastic opportunities to connect with possible clients and people from the same industry. 

This isn’t my favorite strategy, but in the early days of my web design business, I was able to leverage networking events like BNI and seminars to pick up new clients.

Have you ever hesitated to attend one of these events because you did not know what to expect?

Do not worry—I have been there, too. However, let me assure you that these events provide wonderful opportunities to display your portfolio, exchange business cards, and develop important relationships with prospects. 

The biggest downside to getting web design clients through networking events is that they take up much of your time. In my experience, I’ve found it’s more productive to use some of the online marketing strategies mentioned above.


  • Allows for face-to-face interaction with potential clients
  • Provides opportunities for collaboration and partnerships
  • Enhances brand visibility within the industry


  • It requires time and effort to attend events
  • Results may vary depending on event attendance and networking skills

13. Implement Referral Programs

Although it’s not the most predictable way to generate leads, referral programs and incentives can still be a good way to increase the number of web design leads you get.

The best way to get referrals is to offer a commission for anyone who refers you to a new customer. This will incentivize your existing clients to refer new clients to you.

It’s also a good idea to regularly use email marketing to stay top-of-mind with leads and clients and increase the chances of getting referrals.


  • Generates high-quality leads through word-of-mouth marketing
  • Encourages client loyalty and engagement
  • Provides a cost-effective way to acquire new clients


  •  Requires careful planning and management
  •  Incentives may impact profitability in the short term


Following these web design lead generation strategies will enable you to start winning new clients with business owners who actually want to work with you.

Want to learn more about getting leads and high-quality sales appointments with your ideal clients? 

Be sure to watch our free Masterclass training!