It is no longer easy to start generating leads for your online business.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Especially, when we are here to help.
You need to think on your feet, give potential leads exactly what they want and help your target audience out before they even start considering you as a solution.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s go over the basics first.
Who is a lead?
A lead is a person who has shown some interest in your business. If someone gave you their contact details like an email address or phone number in exchange for a lead magnet(fancy word for a downloadable pdf) or for signing up to a newsletter that person is a lead. He has engaged on your website. What’s more is that the person has given you permission to contact them.
Defining lead generation is easy. It boils down to finding people who are interested in your business and adding them to your sales funnel. You’re trying to get the permission to reach out to them.
And that’s the golden ticket in marketing.
They are in your sales funnel now.
What are the 4L’s of a lead generation strategy
About 50% of the visitors to your site won’t ever return if you don’t find a way to contact them.
An email address is one of the best things to ask to make this happen. But as you’ll see visitors aren’t always that happy to give up such personal information. The CTAs that hoot sign up here are associated with spam these days. There are a number of ways to make the lead capture form friendly again.
To make the lead capture possible we need to learn to give. We will see how to do that in the next section.
Let’s you’re an analyst working at a company servicing pools. The best way for you to start generating leads is with a free downloadable guide on the different types of pools and their maintenance. Someone who submits their email address to access this guide is a lead and will need pool cleaning or some help with their pool in the near future. They may also know others who may need a similar service.
Offering a free guide is a great way to help the people who matter and populate your funnel with more leads.
There are many types of lead magnets you can offer
- An email newsletter series
- A whitepaper
- An interactive guide
- A training video
- A webinar
Landing page conversion techniques
Your lead generation efforts start with your website.
It’s going to be bad for your business if they leave the site before doing anything on it. You don’t want visitors who won’t sign up, subscribe or interact with your site.
If you want to propel visitors to take action, you need their contact information starting from their name or phone number and other pieces of information to help you sell more.
To do this, set up a website and optimize it to collect leads. It needs to follow design guidelines so that you get more leads.
You don’t even need to be an expert at optimizing your pages.
Tools like Unbounce are helpful in creating high performance epages. All you need to do is drag and drop a few elements. The marketplace offers a library of elements and templates that will convert more leads for you.
Start by offering clarity around what you’re offering.
Be clear about your offer in the CTA. Don’t mince words and be clear about what the benefits are. If you’re hosting a free guide say— “Download the free guide” in the CTA. If there’s a webinar say “Register for the free webinar”. The statement should offer clarity on how compelling the offer is and offer the advantage of getting the guide or attending the webinar.
You only have a few words to paint a picture in user’s minds. Make those words count.
Lead scoring helps you put a level of priority on your leads according to the level of engagement they show with your content.
You will be able to figure out who’s close to purchase with lead scoring.
Here are different types of engagement you should be paying attention to:
- Downloading an ebook 5/10
- Watching a product review 8/10
- Filling optin form 8/10
- Unsubscribing from the list and more 2/10
If you don’t know where you’re going it would hardly matter what you do to get there. Lead scoring helps you understand where you’re going with your leads.
Now, let’s go to the fun part.
Best Lead Generation Ideas To Generate More Leads
Generating leads is the most important task for any sales team. Generate more leads using these simple lead generation strategies.
Answer questions on forums
While you are at it hunting down questions you can use on your blog posts from Quora and answer the public one thing you can do is answer the questions and prove that you are a subject matter expert.
When done well this helps you get leads in a very short time.
By answering questions on forums and on Reddit. Make sure you end the answer with a call to action pointing at your service or better yet a blog page answeging the user;s problem
When you offer free advice people are more than happy to reciprocate in kind by considering you for services in the near future.
This is a great example of generating new business leads and it can be great for seo too.
Offer a free tool or free lead generation magnet
A free tool is one of the off handed ways to help others. If you extend the problem your product solves and offer it up via a tool that will be helpful to users again and again. This again builds on the principle of reciprocity. Offer your users so much that they eventually think of purchasing from you.
Let’s say you are an automobile sales company. After pulling your audience online and doing more research, you realize they are interested in knowing about different vehicles and the costs of different addons. You have an ebook that covers the price range, the cost and more and photos of different cars with addons and accessories.
Or better yet, you can create a tool that helps visitors calculate this on their own.
This is how Asian paints does it with a free quick and advanced painting estimate calculator.
Offer a free trial
You can also offer free trials. Free trials are especially good if you’re an ecommerce startup. The free trial helps them and provides value. They’re more likely to purchase the product and become a customer. This is popular among those who want to take the product for a test drive to see if it’s suitable for them. Creating a free trial helps you cajole your audience to test out the product without pressuring them into buying the product.
One of the top questions people have about Zoho(the free CRM) is whether it’s really free.
When you interview a personality in your niche this will in turn help you network with powerful experts and help you create great content for not much cost.
Record the interview and turn the interview into a question and answer blog post or to a podcast. This interview format will help you get interested users to your website. Consider putting those interviews behind a gate and get contact information from people that helps you improve your lead generation efforts. Also your interviewees are likely to share the resulting interview across their marketing channels, multiplying your reach and ROI.
There are a number of startups coming and going. They bring investor money. If you cannot generate leads you don’t win. More leads translates to higher revenue and more revenue means more profit for you.
Run a giveaway or contest
A contest can be helpful in generating a number of leads from social media channels. The benefit? It takes very little time for this to work. All you need to offer is a good prize for encouraging participants to refer friends to share the content and like the social media profiles you want.
What you offer as a prize needs to be good and you can set any action like sharing the link, tagging friends or referring others.
You need to giveaway what people want
For instance, eWebDesign put together a giveaway of conversion rate optimization software Zarget, something that its audience found useful.
The giveaway started generating leads and social engagement for eWebdesign and was a great success story. eWebdesign built up its email list as well with the giveaway.
If you have nothing, you can bundle together different blog posts to create a new course for your audience.
Here’s an example from Captivate Designs:
You can simply start by repurposing blog content into simpler and easy to digest lessons. The course gets the same information that’s on your blog but becomes an additional lead generation tactic.
Add a quiz to your blog
Posting a quiz to the blog turns your content to be more engaging and gets the attention from a large audience. You can get readers to share feedback about the blog or article. This lets you
build a better relationship with the audience.
There is a free tool called Interact that helps you create a quiz in a few easy steps and publish it on your blog.
The persona vitamin assessment offers personalized answers to anyone choosing to answer the quiz on their vitamin intake.
Run a podcast
Podcasts are becoming more and more popular. Over 52 million homes listen to business podcasts.
Podcasts help you build a big brand presence. You can offer high value and entertain your audience. And your audience can listen to them on their commute or when engaged in something else.
The focus should be on value. Interview industry leads and create engaging conversations that spill over to social media and other channels. Include CTAs in your podcasts
To turn those listeners into leads include a CTA in each podcast either leading to a blog page or other offer.
Also be a guest on other podcasts. In addition to hosting your own podcasts, to grow your fan base and tap into a new audience it’s essential that you become a guest on other’s podcasts. This will generate promotion and fanfare for you.
As you saw, a podcast can act as a powerful way to get leads. It serves as an entry point for potential customers to understand and get to know your business. It’s all about taking them by hand and turning listeners to active leads and then to customers.
For instance, there’s a podcast called Mind Pump. On the backend they sell exercise programs. They give out plenty of free advice on losing fat and gaining abs through their podcast. Since their launch 6 years ago, they now have over 1000 episodes.
The Mind Pump gets 1 million downloads every month. This traffic is funneled into a system that drives sales for their exercise programs. The image below shows their product page.
Visual content has never lost popularity. Original infographics are some of the most well-performing content. There are a number of tools you can use to create these infographics.
Tools like Canva let you create infographics for free.
You can also get backlinks from sites that feature these infographics on their site.
A report from the Search Engine Journal shows how powerful infographics can be.
Someone is 30x more likely to go through an infographic than a text based article. They drive great results as they are a deadly combination of visual imagery and text.
Create short and useful videos that solve the customer’s problems
Videos can be geared toward solving problems for potential customers in a format that’s entertaining and easy to digest.
Wistia for instance has a number of educational videos on the Learning Center page that need help around creating your own video content marketing strategy.
Wistia being a video hosting platform, videos such as these help create a brand awareness among different classes of users. The page gets thousands of visitors every day. What’s interesting is they have a prominent email opt-in box on the left corner, a spot that most people see first.
Leverage the SEO power of customer reviews
Review sites accrue a number of backlinks and owing to the vast amount of content they publish have a board presence online.
When you ask people to leave reviews, you raise the odds of people discovering you through search on those platforms.
Google too favors review sites in search engine page results.
For instance, when I searched for “best CRM”, the first result was SelectHub, a review platform.
If your company is on this list there’s a good chance the product would be found in the consideration set leading to purchase during the decision journey.
You can also get search traffic above your competitors.
Give the potential audience multiple ways to opt in
There are a number of ways for you to place optin opportunities. You can put them inside blog posts, on worksheets, on guides and whitepapers. You can offer live demos and webinars.
Put the opt-in box as a pop-up. The magical thing about a pop-up be it a welcome pop-up or exit-intent pop-up is that it forces visitors to make a choice. Almost every study shows opt-in pop-ups to improve conversions.
Faced with a decision your visitors are most likely to say yes.
Most leads come from referrals- have a referral marketing strategy
Leads can come in multiple ways. For most b2b marketers, word-of-mouth marketing is paramount.
91% of b2b buyer decisions are influenced by word-of-mouth
65% of b2b businesses believe referrals are very important for their business. They also say that 65% of their leads come from referrals.
Plenty of b2c companies have loyalty programs in place. That’s no accident. Before newspapers and magazines existed, people still bought products and they bought from people who their friends couldn’t stop waxing lyrical about.
The same is true even today.
If you’re interested in this strategy you need to work on getting more referrals and inspire existing customers to send you more referrals. Perhaps a finder’s fee or exclusive discounts
Write quality blog posts
One of the most successful bloggers I know runs Bloggers passion. He has been blogging for 12 years.
Consistency is the number key to success for your saas business. It is a platform to be authoritative as a business and providing customers with solutions to their problems
If you’re consistent in your blogging efforts blogging regularly creating new content you can turn your site into a lead generation machine. What’s the best frequency of blogging?
Here’s a number. Blogs that published up to 16 times a month generated 4.5 times the number of leads than blogs that didn’t.
Try to post four times a week..
Ensure that you add call to action links with the content you’re blogging.
Ensure that when you put out more posts you have high quality content and have call to actions in the content you’re creating.
This helps you increase the traffic to landing pages and increase the number of leads.
Make guest blogging a part of your strategy
I am not sure why other marketers say this but guest blogging is something I actively use. 122 experts were polled in this study by Referral Rock and most of them said guest blogging is a powerful way to drive traffic and generate leads.
- Choose the right site to post your guest blog. Ensure that you are targeting the sites that match your ideal buyer persona. This helps you to haul in the right kind of traffic.
- Go for sites with high domain authority. Sites with high domain rating have higher search engine presence. With those backlinks you’re going to improve search engine rankings. This will help your site inch up in the SERPs.
- Provide high-quality content that will benefit the site. When pitching your idea, ensure that your article provides value to the audience. This helps your odds of the post getting accepted and you get a chance to create another post for them in the future.
Create gated content
To generate leads one more common tactic is to hide great content under a gate.
This is content that visitors need to sign up to access. These can be tutorials white papers and articles.
For this lead generation strategy to work, learn from the example of BrightGauge who used this to get more leads from their website.
At the bottom of the site they have calls to action leading to a library of free templates.
On clicking any template, visitors are directed to a landing page where they are supposed to add their email to access the course, template or material on offer.
Conduct lead oriented keyword research
A keyword is something that people use to find stuff online. It takes people to your blog and helps them discover things.
If you want to catch a mouse, you must learn to think like one.
You need a list of ideas when doing keyword research.
- Think like your customer: Think like your client as aks yourselves the words and phrases they’re going to type for searching for a product or service
- Target the right customers: Not everyone is a customer. If you sell accounting software keywords like small business accounting and accounting software are good ideas to begin with/
When doing keyword research there are things you need to pay attention to to find the right keywords to craft your lead generation campaigns.
- Monthly search volume. This is the average number of people searching for a particular keyword in a month.
- Keyword Difficulty. This gives you an idea of how competitive a certain keyword is. Tools like Ahrefs give you a number. Anything above 70 is generally considered too difficult to rank.
- Domain Authority. The domain authority or the domain rating is a score from Moz and Ahrefs that gives you an idea of how authoritative the competing domain is.
Here’s one more useful piece of advice for you. The most successful blogs and companies I know use the tool Answer the public to generate more leads. Rather than simply creating content from the keywords they got, they try to find out questions people are asking through Quora and Answer the Public.
Keyword research tools don’t give you questions that people are asking. Quora and tools like Answer the public fill that gap.
Use these questions to create your own content campaigns.
Test things—offers, copy and design
Getting advice is great but that shouldn’t lead you to think that every advice that worked for others might work for you. You need to test things.
Split-testing is one of the tactics you can start to test the advice you get from others.
When you change a certain color or use words to personalize the copy that can result in significant improvement in conversions.
In the example above, the optimizers changed the copy to a more action-oriented one.
That improved conversions by 38%.
There are a number of things you can test. You can test the images. You can test the headline. You can test the background image. As with everything some tests won’t yield meaningful results others might just end up surprising you.
Use Images rather than text alone
Images give you more attention that simply text does and it demands more attention. Using an image will highlight the offer in a much better way than simply text alone.
The heatmap study shows that if the image is oriented towards the offer or the call to action, then you can direct visitor attention toward it.
Also, use the power of contrast. If your call to action blends with the rest of the page then nobody will pay attention to it. You will get more people landing on the call to action with a contrasting color.
Make your CTA link clickable
Multiple times I have seen call to action buttons that aren’t just buttons. WIthout a link your visitors have tno idea how to get the offer. They’re most likely to give up. The only loser is you. So you need to make doubly sure that your CTAs link to the correct landing pages.
Have KPI tracking in place
Key performance indicators are metrics that help you track how successful your lead generation campaigns have been.
By setting KPIs you know which strategies are working and which strategies you need to improve.
This will help you generate more leads for your brand.
Here are some of the common lead generation KPs we track:
- Organic traffic: Organic traffic is one of the best kinds of traffic that you can start attracting to your website. Because this traffic comes from people who arrive on your site after searching for problems that are affecting them. I could go on, but these are the best kinds of leads you’re going to get.
- Traffic-to-lead ratio: This metric shows the percentage of each kind of traffic and the percentage of that traffic converting itself to leads. The traffic is from social media channels, from Google or Bing and ads. You see the direct number of leads who are converting. This helps you determine which traffic source is the best one for you. So if there are 100 people from organic traffic and 4 convert you get a 4% conversion ratio. And you can compare that with say ads traffic.
- Landing page conversion rates: The landing page conversion ratio shows the number of people visiting the landing and the percentage of which converts into new leads for your business.
- Clickthrough rate: This metric is a measure of the number of people who click on a link on the landing page to know more about the offer and this gives you an idea in which link performs best for you.
- Bounce rate: The site’s bounce rate is another important KPI as it tells you the number of people who are leaving your site without clicking through and not visiting any other page on your site. The lower the bounce rate the better it is to capture the audience’s attention.
- Cost per lead: The cost per lead is a metric that lets you understand the amount you’re spending to generate a lead for your business.
Develop a well-thought buyer persona
Your buyer persona is critical for you to generate leads properly. Your buyer persona is your window to insights on customer pain points, their interests and goals.
This will help you craft your copy in a manner that delights and interests your clients so they are keen on giving you their information and sign up to whatever you’re offering.
What’s crucial is to know that you don’t need to stop at one single buyer persona. Most businesses, SaaS companies target multiple buyer personas.
Let’s look at the product flywheel from HubSpot.
Everyone on the target list at Hubspot shares the trait that they do business online. There are multiple products that suit every sub-niche in marketing from Hubspot.
Create your buyer’s journey from their perspective
It doesn’t matter who you’re targeting. Even if they are big companies. What’s more important is to remember that they are looking for solutions to the problems or issues they are facing. If you want to turn them into leads you need to come up with a good solution
To provide these solutions you should understand and cover the different stages of the buyer’s journey.
- Awareness Stage: In this stage they understand they have a problem and they want to learn more about the problem
- Consideration Stage: In this stage they know what the problem is and are looking for solutions
- Decision Stage: They have solutions and are comparing them.
The truth is you need a working lead generation model to drive consistent growth for your business. If you implement these tactics you can automate most of the work necessary to bring leads to your business. After all, new leads are the lifeblood of any business.
You can create giveaways as they are one of the simplest ways to get started. You can choose different gifts to give away.
You can create a powerful referral marketing program. Or go head-over-heels with a blog and podcast. Even though there are 25 strategies, don’t start getting overwhelmed by the sheer number of possibilities I presented you with.
These methods will help you build strong and lasting customer relationships.
As you can see there are a number of ways for you to generate leads on your website and for your business at large.
My advice is to pick from two to three methods in this list and stick with those until you see success.
All of the methods are bound to work and will help you generate plenty of traffic and business.
What do you think of the tips and tricks? Do you think we missed something? Do let us know in the comments below.