Strategies to Generate Leads
Lead generation is incredibly important for marketers and the businesses they want to grow. Increasing leads means increasing brand awareness and interest in your products or services, nurturing curious prospects through the marketing funnel and into your sales pipeline. If done well, lead generation strategies create strong relationships with qualified customers who invest in your business for a long time.
At one time or another, you’ve probably asked yourself, “how can we increase lead generation?”
Advertisers, content marketers and influencers all try to generate leads in many different ways. Some are successful while others are not—and it’s easy to understand why.
It’s no secret that modern consumers have short attention spans, especially when browsing online. Our channels of information overflow with ideas, advertisements and offers aimed at getting our attention, and we’re all guilty of ignoring them.
So how can we generate leads in a way that breaks through the noise and stands out from other marketers?
The first step is to stay up-to-date on modern lead generation tactics. Luckily, there are many fresh strategies that content marketers, advertisers and influencers are using to increase lead generation—and they’re surprisingly easy to implement.
1. Make Your Website Ultra Responsive
Nothing turns people away faster than a website that loads slowly or fails to load altogether. If you want to generate leads, your website needs to load quickly and work well on mobile devices.
Ideally, visitors should be able to load your site in three seconds or less. If it takes longer than five seconds for a page to load, try speeding things up by decreasing the content on the page.
Your website should also be responsive—that is, it should automatically adapt its dimensions and layout to match every device used to access it. This way, no matter what screen a user is using, your website will always appear as intended.
2. Capture More Emails with Pop-ups
Content marketers and advertisers have been capturing leads via pop-up forms for years now—and it’s still one of the most effective lead generation strategies around. The logic behind this tactic is simple: if you make it easy to request more information, people will ask for it.
By offering users a pop-up form, you make this process as painless as possible—in fact, the user may not even realize they’re generating leads by signing up. They just think they’re receiving some additional information—and if everyone benefits from this exchange of information, what’s the harm?
Today’s pop-ups are more compelling than ever before and come in a variety of forms: lightbox pop-ups, slide-ins and floating bars. You can even use multi-step forms to capture leads from prospects who may be willing to offer different types of information at different stages of the buyer’s journey.
3. Craft More Interactive Content
Content marketers are always trying to generate leads by crafting interactive content that breaks through the noise and captures attention. Unfortunately, not all industries can benefit from creating interactive content—but if yours can, why aren’t you already doing it?
Making content interactive is simple with content creation tools like Quora. For example, you could create a poll asking users to vote on the best way to solve a specific challenge or test their knowledge of a relevant topic. You can also open up your article for comments and turn readers into contributors by allowing them to edit it before publishing.
4. Employ Voice Search
If you aren’t using Google Voice Search to generate leads, you should be.
What is Voice Search?
Voice Search is a relatively new feature that gives users the option of searching Google via voice commands rather than typing. So if a user needs some information, they can simply speak it aloud and receive an instant response.
All they need is a device with Google Voice Search activated—and more and more devices are being equipped with this feature by default.
How Voice Search Generates Leads
Voice Search has the potential to generate leads in two different ways: one, users can speak their information requests aloud, which means that even if they’re alone or on the go, they can still find the information they need; two, users who don’t know what to search for can simply speak aloud whatever it is that they’re thinking about.
In either case, if you have relevant content available online—or at least a way of directing traffic to your site—you stand a good chance of capturing those leads. Unfortunately, many content marketers have been slow to realize the potential here—so if you can figure it out before your competitors do, you might just be able to capture a few extra leads as a result.
5. Add Interactive Visual Elements
If your business operates in an industry that can benefit from interactive visual elements, you should be incorporating those elements as a lead generation strategy.
What are Interactive Visual Elements?
Interactive visual elements are objects with specific functions that you can place in your content so that readers have the option of interacting with them. You might, for example, have an infographic or a photo slideshow—or even a short video with a call-to-action overlay.
How Interactive Visual Elements Generate Leads
These elements are designed to generate leads in one of two ways: they can either capture users’ attention and encourage them to spend more time on the page, or they can give your audience the option to engage with your brand in some way. How much time you invest in creating these elements, of course, will depend on your own resources—but it’s worth investing some time creating at least one or two interactive visual elements if you want to generate leads from your content.
6. Drive Traffic From Your Email List
Email marketing is still one of the most effective ways to generate leads and drive traffic back to your website.
How Email Marketing Drives Traffic
Email marketing drives traffic by encouraging subscribers to forward your email newsletters to their peers and colleagues. These recipients, in turn, will be introduced to your business—and if they like what they see, there’s a good chance that at least some of them will become leads for you.
Who Can Benefit?
If you have an email list, you stand to benefit from using email marketing as a lead generation strategy. Unfortunately, though, many marketers still aren’t using this method—so if your competitors are ignoring it too, you might just be able to win yourself some extra leads by stepping up your game in this area.
7. Optimize Your Site with Lead Magnets
Lead magnets are designed to give your leads an added incentive to become customers.
What are Lead Magnets?
A lead magnet is something that you offer users in exchange for their email address. That might be a list of tips or resources, an ebook, or—if you’re selling a physical product—a discount code.
How Lead Magnets Generate Leads
When visitors subscribe to your email list, they have to provide you with their email address—and the best way to capitalize on that is by using lead magnets. By offering something of value in exchange for their email addresses, you give users an incentive to sign up—and that makes it more likely that they’ll become leads for you.
Who Can Benefit?
This is a great strategy for generating leads if your business operates in any market. It’s particularly effective if you sell physical products—but it can also be useful for businesses selling intangible goods, or even services. With the right lead magnet, you can increase the number of leads that come your way—so if you want to benefit from this strategy, you need to invest some time into researching what works.
8. Publish Content on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has become one of the most popular places for businesses to publish content over the last few years—and it’s also one of the best places for marketers to generate leads.
The main problem that marketers face when they decide to publish content is actually getting their audience to see it—but this isn’t an issue on LinkedIn, where your published content will appear in front of the right people regularly. This makes it a great place for marketers to generate leads.
How LinkedIn Drives Traffic
LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networks for professionals—so if you publish content on it regularly, you’re likely to get plenty of exposure. The fact that your posts will appear in front of specific professionals makes this even more effective than other publishing platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Who Can Benefit?
If you have a business focused on B2B customers, LinkedIn is an ideal platform for driving traffic to your website. Of course, this doesn’t just apply to established businesses—but it’s still a great strategy if you’re starting out and don’t have a large number of existing leads to contact.
9. Use Video Marketing
Video marketing is an essential component of any lead generation strategy at the moment.
The most obvious reason for using video as a lead generation tool is because it works: if you publish high-quality videos on your website, they’ll help you generate leads and drive traffic to your site from search engines.
How Video Marketing Drives Traffic
Videos also have a big advantage over other types of content, in that they can be a lot more engaging to your audience. For example, people are more likely to watch a video than to read an article—and if you show them how your product works, you’re bound to convince some of them to become leads for you.
Who Can Benefit?
This is a great strategy for any type of business that wants to generate leads and drive more traffic to its site—and it’s even better if your company focuses on B2C customers, since these types of prospects tend to be more willing to watch videos than their peers in other markets.
10. Use an Asset Page
An asset page is a landing page that you create to generate leads. This is the last step in your lead generation process, and it’s particularly useful if you want to drive traffic back to your website by offering visitors something of value for free—like an ebook or webinar.
Why Create an Asset Page?
There are a number of reasons why you might want to create an asset page. First of all, it’s a good lead generation strategy if you have a lot of content that can be packaged into different forms—like ebooks, whitepapers and webinars. By offering something valuable in exchange for visitors’ information, you can encourage more people to sign up.
How Asset Pages Work
These types of pages are very simple in terms of design—you want them to be easy to read and understand, so that people don’t have any trouble filling out your form. If you include strong calls to action in your copy, you’re bound to achieve your goal of generating leads.
Who Can Benefit?
Asset pages are great for marketers who have a lot of valuable content that visitors might be interested in. If you want to offer an opt-in incentive like an ebook, they’re particularly useful—but they can also help B2C companies generate more leads.
11. Email Newsletters
Email is still one of the best ways to generate leads, especially if you have a large existing contact list that you can start contacting immediately.
Why Use an Email List?
The main benefit of using email as part of your lead generation program is that it’s so simple—you can use your sales team to contact customers directly, while at the same time using dedicated tools like MailChimp (one of The Growth Company’s clients) to create email sequences that will help you achieve your lead generation goals.
How Email Newsletters Work
The idea behind an email newsletter is simple: send related information to contacts on your list at regular intervals, and make it interesting enough that they’ll want to open your messages every time you send them. This type of email marketing can help you generate leads by encouraging visitors to sign up for more information via forms on your website, or by offering something valuable in exchange for their contact details.
Who Can Benefit?
This strategy is most useful for B2B companies that have an existing customer base—it allows you to keep in touch with customers on a regular basis, and it can even help you develop deeper relationships with them over time.
12. Run a Contest
Running a contest can be a valuable way to generate leads, especially if you want to encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter or follow you on social media.
Why Run a Contest?
Contests work because they provide several incentives for people—people love the chance to win prizes, so by offering one as an incentive, you’re highly likely to attract your target market. Contests can also help you generate leads by encouraging people to sign up for more information—you might offer the prize as an incentive to subscribe, or you might just use it as a bonus that takes people further down your conversion funnel.
How Do Contests Work?
Depending on the type of contest you’re running, there are a number of different formats. For example, some contests require people to give their email addresses in order to enter—this is a great way to generate leads and encourage subscribers. You can also run simple social media contests where you ask people to like your page or follow you on Twitter.
Who Can Benefit?
This type of lead generation tactic is best for B2C companies that want to raise brand awareness. If you have a large social media following, running social contests can be a great way to build your audience—but if you aren’t quite as active on Facebook and Twitter, the benefits might not outweigh the costs.
13. Conduct a Survey
If you want to find out more about your prospects and customers, running a survey is a great way to generate leads.
Why Run a Survey?
Asking people for their opinion can be an extremely valuable exercise—and if you’re lucky, the information you receive back from your survey might lead directly to leads. For example, if you run a survey about the best ways to communicate with your customers, and one of your prospects responds by saying that they’d like to see more frequent newsletters in their inbox, this might prompt them to give you their email address so that you can try sending them something new.
How Do Surveys Work?
All you need to do is send a quick email out with a link to a survey, and ask people to complete it in return for the chance to win a prize. You can also include an incentive in your message, such as free entry into a sweepstake or raffle draw—giveaway prizes work especially well because they’re more likely to encourage engagement.
Who Can Benefit?
Depending on how you run your survey, this type of lead generation tactic is best for B2C companies that want to get an idea about their customer satisfaction levels—or for B2B companies who already have a contact base and are looking for additional information beyond the basic demographics they usually ask for.
14. Run a Launch Campaign
If you’re launching a new product or service, it can be a good idea to generate leads in advance of your official launch date—you might not get as many people giving their details out this way, but the people who respond will almost certainly be more interested.
Why Run a Referral Campaign?
If you run a referral campaign in advance of your official launch date, you’ll be able to generate leads without too much hard work—and since these people are interested enough in your offer to sign up early, they’re likely to give you their contact details when the time comes.
How Do Referral Campaigns Work?
It’s easy to set up a referral campaign—just ask people to refer their friends and family members. You can offer an incentive such as a small cash reward, or just rely on your idea being interesting enough in order to generate leads.
Who Can Benefit?
Companies launching new products or services can definitely benefit from this type of lead generation tactic, but any company that has a lot of people who are interested in their updates can benefit.
15. Run a Free Trial
If you have an online product or service, you can generate leads by running a free trial—and then ask for contact details when people run out of the free stuff.
Why Run a Free Trial?
A free trial is an excellent way to start lead generation as it’s low-commitment; users can decide to sign up and start using your service, and then decide whether it’s worth paying for or not.
How Do Free Trials Work?
You can use a free trial as the basis of your lead generation campaign—all you need to do is ask people what they think of the product after they’ve had enough time to play around. Since you’ve offered them something free of charge, they won’t mind giving up their contact details in order to say thank you for the trial.
Who Can Benefit?
Any company with an online product or service can make good use of this tactic—either by asking people who aren’t satisfied with the trial to give their contact details so that you can explain why they might still want it, or by asking people who are satisfied to give you their details in exchange for a coupon.
An effective digital marketing strategy is vital for any business organization, and lead generation is what you need to optimize your marketing efforts. Lead generators tools and tactics mentioned above will definitely help you in generating more leads and enhancing the results of your online marketing campaign.