How to Generate Leads? Sales and leads will always be the oxygen. Before addressing the best ways to generate leads, it’s best to address what different options are available to consistently generate leads.
What is a lead?
A lead is any person who indicates interest in a company’s product or service in some way, shape, or form.
Leads typically hear from a business or organization after opening communication (by submitting personal information for an offer, trial, or subscription) … instead of getting a random cold call from someone who purchased their contact information.
Let’s say you take an online survey to learn more about how to take care of your car. A day or so later, you receive an email from the auto company that created the survey about how they could help you take care of your car. This process would be far less intrusive than if they’d just called you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even care about car maintenance, right? This is what it’s like to be a lead.
And from a business perspective, the information the auto company collects about you from your survey responses helps them personalize that opening communication to address your existing problems — and not waste time calling leads who aren’t at all interested in auto services.
Leads are part of the broader lifecycle that consumers follow when they transition from visitor to customer. Not all leads are created equal (nor are they qualified the same). There are different types of leads based on how they are qualified and what lifecycle stage they’re in.
now lets begin with some easy hacks on How to Generate Leads. After some How to Generate Leads explanation there is a in-depth example on How to Generate Leads with some tools that might be helpful.
Email continues and evolving to be a top-performing channel that generates maximum ROI and lead acquisition. Your marketing ROI relies on the quality database, and it is crucial to have the right leads in the funnel. For a saturated leads pipeline, you can get the database of potential leads and interested niche-based audiences.
Lead database in the smart marketing era
In this custom-centric age, email marketing is an ideal channel to personalize, reach, engage, establish relationships and take your prospect to the next stage of the sales pipeline. For potential lead marketing data, you can heed on E-database Marketing, Infodataplace, IDP, etc.
The solid reason why the lead database will always rock is that the lead marketing data helps b2b marketers and salespeople to understand the prospect’s purchase preference, interest, location, etc.
Conduct primary research to identify the right lead list-provider, examine their credits & reviews, ask for a sample database, check if they help you in meeting your business criteria and marketing demands. If the lead list-provider fits your scope, then take it forward. Acquire the database and narrow down the potential leads of your niche.
Here are some of the effective strategies that will help you fill the lead funnel in a single stretch,
Offer your prospect attractive incentives, say it can be a coupon code, free trial, e-book, guides. Providing something valuable in exchange for the emails is the worth ways to know the interested prospects.
How to Generate Leads
Setting a sense of urge fills the funnel faster: Create urgency in upsurging your conversion to Generate Leads, you can imply the urgency by adding the ticking clock. Having a limited amount of time may force the interested people to take action.
Indulge in social media promotion: many B2b companies are investing a hefty amount in the Facebook targeted ad-campaign and LinkedIn paid ads to network with the niche audience and increase the conversion ratio to Generate Leads.
Run a compelling ad on YouTube, a well-crafted animated video have the probable chance. Create a short 3D video, nowadays, 3D videos are perfect for generating buzz around your product and services
Facebook has millions and millions of active users, if used effectively, it is a gold mine. Optimize your Facebook page, connect with the niche audience and share valuable messages consistently. Even paid-ads had a boom, brand and businesses have been nailing their marketing campaign by using Facebook paid-advertising
Reach the maximum business prospect on LinkedIn: Start networking in your niche to Generate Leads, so that, you can gain loyal visitors and followers. At LinkedIn, you find several groups and communities. Join the community based on your industry, address the people with valuable content.
You post valuable content, addressing the pain points and give them a solution, engage on the others post and foster a positive relationship, and smart way position your offerings
Conduct a referral program by inviting the existing customers: If you’re aiming to extend your company’s reach, you can make this possible with the help of the existing customer base. With an excellent referral program, you can turn your current buyers into active contributors to your business growth. Offer something valuable to the existing customer base if your business earned a lead or a sale.
Also Read Steps to get started with eCommerce
Here’s an example of How to Generate Leads
You write a blog for a third-party website. In return, you get to include a link back to your business in the blog. Your content reaches a wider audience; both you and the third-party website reap the benefits of this readership to Generate Leads.
Third-party websites generally have stringent guidelines on how you can promote your business within your content. For instance, you cannot have the same number of hyperlinks that you’d have for a page on your own website. So you’ll need to be careful about where you place your precious link(s) to Generate Leads.
Remember that you just cannot discount the power of backlinks in content marketing. Google recognizes a website largely on its authority, and backlinks from credible domains lend significant authority to your own website. This in turn determines where your website ranks on Google for the search terms you’re targeting.
But more on that in the next section.
2. Landing pages, website optimization and SEO
How to Generate Leads from Landing Pages. A landing page is where visitors land after being directed from an ad you’ve posted on Google, or from a link in your social media posts. It’s an opportunity to present your business and convert the visitor into a lead.
Successful landing pages combine copy and design in a way that establishes your value proposition in the reader’s mind to Generate Leads.
In the heading of a landing page (called H1 in HTML parlance), you typically outline the customer’s problem or provide a solution. The H1 is consistent with the message in the ad/social post that led the visitor here. The landing page then proceeds to explain how your business can solve the problem, but not in too much detail; a landing page usually doesn’t exceed 3-4 folds.
An example of a landing page
The lead’s information is captured through a signup form and/or a CTA (call-to-action) button in the page. To prevent visitors from dropping off, landing pages generally have no external links, although businesses sometimes take a chance by including a solitary link back to their website.
Landing pages are a classic case of trial-and-error: you try various H1s, move elements around the page, and keep iterating on the CTA copy until more and more visitors convert into sales leads. A tool like Freshmarketer is useful when you want to analyze your landing page for clicks, scroll rates and other forms of engagement.
These tips will help you generate more leads from your landing pages:
- Avoid walls of text.
- Make your copy visually appealing by laying it out in bullets and shorter paragraphs.
- Use a judicious mix of images and videos.
- Keep the page brief, and prioritize value over length.
Optimizing your website in particular and your content in general requires a sound understanding of SEO (search engine optimization) techniques.
SEO can be slightly intimidating to those who’re new to Google and its mysterious ways, but you don’t need to panic.
Think of SEO as a sustained activity to spruce up your online presence so more people can find you.
For more people to find you, you need to break into page one of Google. Let’s admit it, you and I don’t go past Google’s page one, and neither does the rest of the world.
To stake your place on page one of Google, your website must contain content that matches searchers’ intent. And it must be optimized for both desktop and mobile users. #SEO #LeadGen.
This implies a ton of work: getting images to scale according to screen size, ensuring tables don’t bend into the edge of a smartphone’s screen, writing copy keeping in mind the page’s real estate/character limits, and many more such nuances to Generate Leads.
Be sure to include different content types on your website: copy, images, videos, animations, CTAs. And be sure to place them all in strategic locations. If you place a sign-up CTA below a video explaining what your product does, you have a higher chance of attracting clicks than when you place the CTA above the video to Generate Leads.
In a website, two elements are indispensable: a chat widget and a signup form. Using live chat to respond instantly to a website visitor is essential if you want to keep their interest alive and gain mindshare. A real-time interaction can often be the difference between a visitor dropping off and becoming your lead. As for the signup form, make sure you request only for the essential details, and desist from making the visitor feel like they’re filling out some application form to Generate Leads.
Use a tool like Moz or Ahrefs to pick up keywords that are used in your industry. There are two sides to this strategy: you either pick a high-volume keyword (which means more people are searching for it, and there’s already a ton of content around it), and you create quality content to break into this competitive space.
Or you pick keywords with low search volume, create content around them, and gain first-mover advantage in this space. You can create content in the various formats already discussed in this blog. For the specific purpose of website optimization, SEO pages—in-depth webpages around a specific topic—work really well to Generate Leads.
To illustrate, a lot of first-timers to the CRM space begin by googling “What is CRM?”. This keyword is raging hot; it has a monthly search volume of 54K. An SEO page that answers this question is a good way to grab eyeballs and become a part of the discussion, especially if you’re a SaaS company that makes CRMs to Generate Leads.
3. Email marketing
How to Generate Leads from Email Marketing. People like to write obituaries for email. It’s a soft target because it’s a relatively old channel of communication.
But here’s a reality check: email is alive and kicking.
Along with content marketing, email is the most preferred channel for online lead generation, according to a report from Ascend2.
And the reasons are pretty straightforward too.
- It’s simple (you don’t need a developer’s efforts or a designer’s time to write an email).
- It’s valuable (an email is often the first point of entry to a lead).
- It’s ubiquitous (everybody has an email ID, and that’s not changing anytime soon).
In fact, you even have email templates that you can use to connect with prospects right away.
A sample email template
So how does email marketing actually help you generate sales leads?
Imagine a website visitor signs up for your blog. You know they’re interested in what you’re talking about. If you’re a B2B SaaS company, you can leverage this interest to begin a personalized discussion that eases them down your sales funnel.
You can use subject lines that reference their recent activity on your website. (Can I share some some useful info about our pricing?)
You can address them by name at the top of the email. (Hey Walter! It’s been a while since we caught up. How have you been?)
You can draw their attention to developments in your business that they might be interested in: a new blog, a product update, or a promotional offer. (You get a flat 40% off on your annual subscription if you sign up this week.)
Always use a single CTA in an email. Asking your recipient to do too many things in one email usually means they’ll do nothing at all. If it’s an offer to download an ebook, state it without ambiguity; don’t distract them with multiple offers.
With time, you’ll develop a relationship with your recipient, and this can lead to a product signup, a product purchase, even a referral.
4. Social media
How to Generate Leads from social media. The best thing about social media is it’s hard to keep up with sales leads once they start flowing in.
But when do they start flowing in? That takes some work and time, but it’s not too difficult when you have quality content and a distinctive voice.
Take Wendy’s on Twitter.
Wendy’s has 2.57 million followers as I write this. They distinguish themselves with a stinging sense of humour, take digs at competition in clever ways, are quick to seize upon current trends, and most importantly, they reply to tweeters. Not all the time to everyone, but enough to maintain a healthy relationship with Twitterverse.
A sample of how Wendy’s speaks:
On social media, a lot of businesses make the mistake of using it only like a megaphone to blare out announcements about themselves.
Take time to discuss news about your industry, share tips that aren’t always compiled by you, and never shy away from a conversation. People are very perceptive to a brand’s voice, and if yours is unique, they’ll recognize and appreciate it instantly.
On the other hand, as a targeted exercise, you can also employ a number of tactics to generate sales leads through social media.
Run a contest/poll, invite people to join a campaign, go live on Facebook—in addition to sharing links (leading back to gated content), running paid ads, announcing referrals and product/business updates. On social media, your lead generation initiatives are really only limited by your own creativity.
It also helps to remember that you need to be able to switch tones depending on the platform, and still retain the brand’s essence. Wendy’s on Twitter speaks differently from Wendy’s on LinkedIn, but you know it’s them.
You can find below a list of popular social media platforms. I’ve segmented them by B2B and B2C, but like a lot of things digital, boundaries are blurring and businesses are exploring everything. So take a look at each platform before deciding what’s best for your business.
A quick note on Quora and Reddit here. These are information hubs, not promotional platforms. While Quora is a shade lenient in allowing you to plug your product into an answer, Redditors are quick to spot a marketing attempt and quicker to penalize you. The standard rule of social media applies here: genuine conversations only.
How to Generate Leads from Webinars. Webinars are to online lead generation what events/trade shows/conferences are to offline lead generation. It all comes down to picking a topic that people are interested in, getting the right speaker on board, and having a quality conversation to Generate Leads.
Sounds a lot like a podcast? Not really—and for two main reasons:
- Your audience needs to sign up if they want to attend your webinar. A podcast doesn’t require signups.
- A webinar is a live discussion. A podcast is a recorded file.
You can use various channels to let the world know you’re hosting a webinar. Your website can have a sticky header, you can send emails to your mailing list, and you can share a link to the webinar on your social media pages.
When you’ve completed your webinar, here are a couple of recommended follow-up practices:
- You can send targeted messages to your registrants based on registrant type, like existing customers, recurring registrants, and new registrants.
- You can transcribe the webinar into a blog and publish it, so it can reach a wider, different audience. If you’re able to distil the insights into a presentation, you can repurpose your webinar on SlideShare too.
Click on the image to see how a webinar transcription becomes a blog post
When you get a renowned speaker for your webinar, their popularity enables you to gain more sales leads. Their tweets and posts reach far and wide, so the leads generated from this activity can be shared between the two of you.
The speakers for your webinars usually cost you, depending on how popular the speaker is. But if you’ve got a strong social circle, and you can’t afford to spend too much, you can leverage this network to help set you up.
6. Review platforms
How to Generate Leads from review Platforms. Every business in every industry has at least one hugely popular platform for search, discovery and reviews to Generate Leads.
- The hospitality industry has TripAdvisor.
- The food industry has Yelp.
- The job search industry has Glassdoor.
- Software has a bunch of prominent options, including Capterra and G2 Crowd.
If you’re in B2B SaaS, you start by getting listed on a site like G2 Crowd. And then the adventure begins: obtaining reviews from your users/customers.
Review platforms are completely user-driven, so you’ll need to pull out all your networking skills to keep the review count ticking. Some users are more than happy to leave reviews on request. Some others need an incentive, like a discount on your product/service, or a gift card.
Negative reviews don’t need your initiation, of course. Just make sure you’re on hand to respond to the review, and close the loop by following up with the respective reviewer to Generate Leads.
How a brand’s profile looks like on G2 Crowd
These review platforms are your content bank—they’re a form of content marketing without you writing the content. New businesses and those looking for a change of product/service are always stopping by review platforms. They often make a decision solely on the authenticity of what your users say. This is one very important reason for you to refrain from posting fake reviews.
An important pointer: update your profile on every single platform where you’re reviewed. You cannot afford outdated information about your business anywhere on the web. Discerning searchers can quickly notice inconsistencies between profiles on different websites, so don’t take any chances.
7. Online PR (Public Relations)
How to Generate Leads from PR? I’ve included online PR towards the end of this list because it involves spending money.
Look out for product evangelists and social media influencers. Their word can amplify traffic to your website and help you generate more sales leads. But these people don’t come cheap. If you’re a small business or a startup, it’s a better idea to spend your first few months generating leads through content, social media and email before you step into this game.
A sample press release
For online press releases, PRWeb and PRNewswire are two popular websites. Many other news sites syndicate content from these two, so if you can develop connections here, you’ll get a wide reach and quality backlinks. However, both PRWeb and PRNewswire are paid press release sites. Keep an eye on your budget before you approach them.
8. PPC (pay-per-click) ads
How to Generate Leads from PPC ads. PPC ads are the first three or four search results that appear on Google when you type stuff like “best crm software.” They look exactly like regular search results, except that they have the tag “Ad” before the hyperlink.
PPC ads on Google
As the name suggests, PPC ads cost money. You create them on Google Adwords, and this is how they work—a visitor clicks on your ad and goes to a landing page where you explain your business; you pay Google for each click you get. The amount you pay is directly dependent on the popularity of the keyword you’re writing your ad around. Closely contested keywords require you to spend more because many businesses are bidding for them. A less popular keyword means unexplored territory, so you’ll spend lesser.
So who invests in PPC ads? Businesses who don’t have time to organically rank at the top of Google’s search results, but have the budget to spend on ads.
Three key benefits from investing in PPC ads: you get into the first fold of search results (which is the hottest property on Google), you capture people’s attention, and you increase the probability of a click. #PPC #LeadGen
With PPC ads, it’s all about optimizing your copy with the relevant keywords, within the limited space you have. Notice from the image that each PPC ad comprises a title, a hyperlink, and a meta description.
You need your best copywriters to capture your business succinctly in this tight space. Businesses generally prefer keywords over descriptive sentences in PPC ads. Well chosen words, when arranged judiciously, can describe your business better in this context.
Also Read Best Tips for SEO Strategy of Website
9. Display ads
How to Generate Leads from Display Ads. Display ads are the digital equivalent of hoardings and billboards, on a much smaller canvas, of course.
Display ads are more creatively satisfying than PPC ads—you get to play around with copy, images, illustrations, and even animation. But a couple of features from PPC ads remain the same here:
- You work with limited ad space.
- When someone clicks on your ad, they go to a landing page.
Example of a display ad ( How to Generate Leads )
To make your display ads a valuable lead generation channel, here are a few best practices you can follow:
- Be careful while selecting websites where your ad is going to be featured. These must be domains that are as close to your target audience as possible, they must be domains with authority, and they cannot be controversial websites.
- Address a problem or provide a benefit—DO NOT spend that precious ad space waxing lyrical about your company. Your viewer is scrolling down that page in a second or lesser, so you’ve got a very, very minimal timeframe to offer value and seize their attention.
- Ensure a consistent message between your display ad and your landing page. You can’t have an ad that talks about why your CRM is the best for startups, and then lead the visitor to a landing page that explains what your CRM systems can offer for businesses in general.
- Even if you have no body copy in your ad, invest all your energy in writing a clear CTA. The CTA button appears prominently, and plays the most crucial role—that of getting the viewer to click. Choose the colour, copy and placement very carefully.
So there you have it. I hope this article on How to Generate Leads would have helped you to get some leads and turn them into long lasting customers.
Happy generating leads, Cheers!