Generating leads and achieving consumer interest is not an easy task. According to some studies, if you generate more leads, but have an average product – you still win. This shows the importance of lead generation or any business. 85% of expert marketers believe that lead generation is the most important element of marketing arsenal.
However, only 42% business owners have a proper plan for lead generation. Even though there are different ways of lead generation, not every marketer is clear about how to generate leads and startups need it the most. Here we have come up with 100 proven best lead generation strategies for startups that every business owner and marketer must know.
What is Lead Generation?
Leads are potential customers who show interest in your products or services. Lead Generation is the process of attracting people from your target group to express interest in your products or services. Leads can be generated from both online and offline sources.
There is no single method which will help you to generate leads. However by using a combination of relevant methods, you can surely ace the lead generation game.
Lead Generation Strategies
Talking about lead generation, there are mainly two types of lead generation strategies that businesses follow -
- Inbound Lead Generation
- Outbound Lead Generation
'Inbound Lead Generation' is where visitors are brought to the company's website or social media page, and then converted into leads. To attract customers to business' website/social media page, marketers can opt for content marketing, social media marketing or search engine marketing.
Through Inbound Lead Generation strategy, companies targets those customers who are already actively searching online for the products or services in which the company deals.
Inbound Lead Generation holds good when you deal in products or services which have high volume of online searches, and your brand has well established itself online.
To take an example of inbound lead generation, lets say you are planning to buy an air conditioner and are Googling about 'best air conditioners'. You found a nice article on 'the best air conditioners to buy in 2020' . You read the article liked a particular AC and clicked on a particular link given to know more about that AC, which lead to a company's website. Now on reaching the company's website they prompts you to fill in your details to know more about offers. Once you fill the form, you are now a lead for the company.
The other lead generation strategy you can use is 'Outbound Lead Generation'. Outbound Lead Generation is when you are blindly pushing business related communication/messages to a target audience, irrespective of whether those persons are interested in your company/ the products your company deals in or not. Mass e-mail, cold calling, display advertising etc are some techniques used for outbound lead generation.
'Outbound Lead Generation' is good to use when the products or services in which a company deals has very low online search volume, or a company is very new and has not established itself online.
Lead Generation Process
Lead Generation Process is not just about acquiring leads. From attracting potential customers to converting them into paying and satisfied customers, there are several steps involved in the lead generation process. Generally, we can put the lead generation process into 6 steps mentioned below-
- Lead Generation Process, Step 1- Attracting your target audience through various ways like content marketing, social media marketing, advertisements, banners, seminars, webinars etc.
- Lead Generation Process, Step 2 - The second step is when a potential customer expresses some interest to know about your product/services, and communicates with your business by either filling any inquiry form, clicking on any CTA, through email or by calling the support team
- Lead Generation Process, Step 3 - This step is about qualifying the leads. Qualifying leads means evaluating whether a particular lead has the potential to convert into a paying customer or not. If a business man or marketer do not qualify a lead, chances are that he may end up wasting time on a lead who is not capable enough to buy his product or service.
- Lead Generation Process, Step 4- After qualifying the lead, now we arrive at the customer engagement stage. Businesses need to maintain positive communication with qualified leads, in terms of keeping them posted about new products, services, offers etc so as to help the prospective customers make an informed decision about purchasing the goods or services.
- Lead Generation Process, Step 5 - Through customer engagement the business now brings the qualified lead to a stage where he purchases a product or service, and thus the lead gets converted to a paying customer.
- Lead Generation Process, Step 6 - Once the lead is converted to a customer, a company should now take feedback from the customer and ensure customer satisfaction.
100 Proven Ways to Generate Leads
1. Add a Call to Action (CTA) in Your E-mail Signature
An email signature is just a bunch of texts, but an opportunity to generate leads. Using of Call-To-Action strategy in an email signature can help to generate lead for your business. It is always a good strategy for B2B lead generation.
2. Put a Hello Bar on Your Website
Hello Bar is a service for websites which lets you design messages for the visitors coming to your website. This will be the first thing which will attract visitors. The fact is that random things cannot be written and posted on it. It is important to take care of many things while crating a Hello Bar, and once thoughtfully created, Hello Bar can be a great way of lead generation for your business .
3. Host Webinars on Other Related Platforms
Collaborating and posting webinars on other’s websites can have a fabulous effect on the business. Sponsoring and hosting of webinars on own website can generate the required amount of buzz for the Company. It is, in fact, one of the modern step of lead generation process.
4. Pay with a Tweet
'Pay with a Tweet' is a company which provides an amazing tool to generate more attention to the business. People refer to their friends, family, and colleagues and they get benefits which can be in terms of discount coupons, free samples, etc. Everything is handled by the company and you decide what is the benefits which are needed to be given to the customers.
5. Sign up form above the fold
Using above the fold strategy for the website’s sign up form, is much better as people will remember to sign up to the website. Above the fold is that part of the screen, which you can see without scrolling. It will lead to more sign-ups and thus more lead generation and eventually, more sales.
6. Share Plugins on Thank You Page
A Thank You page is the page that visitors, customers or leads see after they fill and submit a form provided on a landing page or website; or after they make a purchase on the website. This might be the last thing the visitor sees, but this the stage, when either the visitor have faith in the business or he starts hating it. But, if they are happy with the service they are more likely to share your website if they see a share button at the end.
7. Downloadable blog posts as PDFs
Giving your visitor a free PDF of your post will grab their attention offline. Whenever they will read your downloaded content, they will be reminded of your website. This way, you are in their head even they are offline.
8. Free E-books
Offering free e-books by taking e-mail ids is a tried and tested way of lead generation. As per a study conducted in 2017 in North America, 65% of b2b businesses in North America uses e-book as an integral part of their content marketing strategy. Giving free e-books will add some value to the life of your visitors and they will come to your website again.
9. Free Online Courses
You can offer a free online course to your visitors against their contact details. This will not only add value to their life, but they will also spread positive word of mouth about your business, which will help you generate more leads. We find many edtech companies offering free trail classes, or some free courses to attract new customers.
10. Online courses as drip campaigns
You can create online courses with drip marketing which will eventually increase your sales.
11. Periodic Newsletters
Letting people subscribe to your periodic newsletter will increase your email collection and will also advertise your website.
12. Consider Adding a 'Follower' or 'Like' Calculators
If your site has a good number of followers, You can add a “visitor” calculator, “like” calculator or “follower” calculator to show how grown up your website is. This will increase the credibility of your website. You can find free and paid tools online which will help you design these visitor/ follower counters.
13. Surveys and Tools
You can use websites like Typeform or SurveyMonkey to include surveys and other related tools to your website. After receiving the contact information from a website visitor, you can request him to fill up the survey form as well, which will help you understand your lead better. However, the survey forms should not be very long and the questions should not be too intruding.
14. Create and Share High-value Content on Your Social Media Pages
Create quality content and share them on your social media handles. The quality depends on the research you did for that content and how much time it can save for others if they directly see your content instead of searching it online.
15. Join Social Media Communities
Join some active social media communities and learn from those people. In the process, talk about your business and promote it there.
16. Quora Q & A
Quora is an amazing platform to build and grow your online business. You can answer questions on Quora which are related to your niche and also talk about the advantages people can get through your service.
17. Reddit Threads
Reddit is also an amazing platform to market your website. Once you join the Reddit community, you can post links, texts, images etc related to your business on Reddit and make people notice your business.
18. LinkedIn Conversations
Create a good LinkedIn connection list. Connect with the people who you think can be your potential customers. Use LinkedIn messages to generate leads for your B2B business by targeting the right person.
19. Speaking at Events
Go to the prospects personally at some business events and talk about your company. Public events are a great way to spread awareness about your business.
20. Collaborations with Co-working Spaces
Get registered for some good co-working places and try communicating and then collaborating with other people. Such collaborations will let you connect to a large number of people, who may be your prospective customers.
21. Search Leads through Web Portals
Use portals like Angellist to find likewise people who are easy to convince and become your investor or even customer. There are many other portals, so find those who are relevant for your business and start connecting.
22. Pre-product Polls
Use polls to identify the need for the new product you want to launch in the market. It is better to provide what customers want instead of providing what you want them to buy.
23. Pre-launch Offers and Discounts
Advertise the offers and discount on the new product before launching it. Announcing pre-launch offers can create a buzz about the product even before it is launched. Many Real estate companies roll out pre-launch offers to attract customers.
24. Bundled Product Offers
Offer the relevant products in a bundle and give a little discount on them. This is an old yet effective way to get new customers.
25. A/B Testing Everything
A/B testing is to compare two of your web pages and analyzing which one performs better and for what reason. Then you can use the data to improvise the overall website. A/B testing is not only for websites but you can also use it in the real life by analyzing what people are buying more and then focusing on the same.
26. Crisp, digest-able, short video content
Short videos are great for marketing as they don’t eat a lot of viewer’s time. According to Hubspot, today 81% businesses use video as a marketing tool. While according to Insivia, Mobile video consumption increases by 100% every year.
27. Community-based Discount Coupons
Community-based coupons are great to target the same kind of people. There is a strong possibility that most of the people will like the product. There are many popular communities across various social media platforms. Just search for them, connect to them and let them know about your business.
28. Referral Campaigns
Referral campaigns are to generate leads as they let old users bring new ones and earn from the same.
29. Live Chatbots
Live chatbots are the next things which will help to create leads. You can also choose to live chat with customers through your phone.
30. Social Media Profile Updates
Updating profile grabs the people’s attention. For instance, you change the theme color of your social media profiles. However, many times, this strategy backstabs. So, consult with strategists before making any big change.
31. Slide Shares
Presenting Slideshares can tell more than even advertisements, for some people. Hence, generate leads from potential customers or even investors by using the SlideShare. Slides can generate many leads if you are into B2B business.
32. Medium Blogs with CTAs
Just like answering on Quora, you can create a blog on Medium and use Call-To-Action strategy while promoting your company to the potential buyers.
33. Self-managed Community Building
Create a self-managed community which can fund itself. Then use that community to advertise your product. You can also fund them and generate some advertising leads.
34. Testimonial-driven Product Promos
Try to collect some testimonial proofs about your product from your existing customers, and then show it on your website. If you have a B2B business, ask your clients to also share about their company so that new clients can check their growth.
35. Early Stage Feedback
Add some feedback funnels to your website and ask for the feedback at an early stage.
36. Focus on Long Tail Keywors to Generate Qualified Leads
Figure out what works for you, short tail keyword or longer ones. Short keywords generally have high competition. On the other hand, Long tail keywords are easier to be ranked on.
Re-targeting your visitors can generate more leads as you will be in front of your visitors most of the time with this strategy.
38. Use Lead Forensics Tools
Lead Forensics is a B2B lead generation tool. The company offers many tools for various uses. You can use the Lead Forensic tools to analyze the visitors and target them accordingly.
39. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn has many tools. One of its tools is LinkeIn Sales Navigator, which is a CRM tool. Use this LinkedIn’s CRM tool to build a relationship with your customers.
40. Use Growbots
Growbots is a company which provides a tool for B2B businesses and helps in getting outbound leads. Through Growbots one can reach hundreds of potential customers in no time.
41. Hunter for Lead Generation
Use Hunter’s extension to find new emails which will help you in email marketing. You just have to visit any company’s website and click on the Hunter’s extension.
42. Share Infographics
Become a guest writer for another website and share your infographics with the people on their platform. This is a cool way to get your business noticed.
43. Guest Blogging
Become a guest writer for blogs and share your experience and some valuable information. By writing guest blogs, you can reach out to a large number of people who are associated with those sites you are blogging for.
44. Social Interviews
Become socially active and attend interviews to tell people about your product.
45. Facebook Live Q&As
Go live on Facebook once in a while. It is a great way to interact with your customers.
46. Twitter Chats
Use Twitter’s chat feature to generate leads from your followers on Twitter. Through Twitter chats, you can understand your customers better and can also let them know more about your products and services.
47. Unbounce Testing and Optimization
Unbounce is a company which produces landing pages for the websites. You can use Unbounce to create a landing page and test them to optimize the website. As reported by wsiworld.com in 2018, around 68% of B2B businesses use landing page for generating leads.
48. Google Form-based Questionnaires
Create a Google form to ask questions from people and analyze their choice.
49. Searching Public Tweets
Search for public tweets with particular hashtags related to your company, and reach out to those who are talking about you.
50. Lead Generation by Joining Facebook Groups
Post in Facebook groups and let people know about you. Make it a viral content so that everyone shares it. This will give you a boost in public leadership.
51. Encourage Your Customers to Post Your Content in Their Facebook Groups
Ask other people to post your content in their Facebook groups. You can also offer some incentives for doing so.
52. Ask Customers to Post About Your Products on Their Whatsapp Groups
Ask and encourage your customers, friends and family to send your post to their WhatsApp groups. You can pay commission on the basis of leads generated or sales made.
53. Get Others Tweet About You
Ask people to tweet about your product to get offers and discounts. Many big brands follow this strategy.
54. Comment on the Blogs
You can comment about your product or website and insert a link in blogs’ comment section. Make sure the blog is relevant to your product. People research a lot before investing in any tool or service for their company. So, they read as many blogs as they can. Hence, if you have a service based B2B company, commenting on those kind if blogs will attract your target audience and might convert into your customer.
55. Use Instagram for Lead Generation
Post beautiful photos about your products, write a nice bio and make the most of Instagram for your business. Read our article on 'How to use Instagram for Business' .
56. Free Demo and Trials
Let people access the demo or trial version of your product for free. Once your target audience get a taste of your product/services the probability of conversion rises.
57. Facebook Events for Lead Generation
Find relevant Facebook events to attend, and leverage them to promote your business.
58. Product Hunt Launches
Product Hunt is a platform where users can share and find new products. You can launch your product on Product Hunt and get yourself noticed by investors and other people.
59. Free Explainer Videos
Create and provide free explainer videos about your product to all the visitors. This will help them understand your products and services better.
60. Guest Podcasting
Invite people to create the podcast with you. This way, you will have more people who will listen to your podcast, thus you will achieve a higher engagement rate.
61. Keep an Eye on the Competitor's Twitter Support Handle
Keep an eye on competitor’s twitter support handle. You can generate many leads from there.
62. Connect to Competitor's Twitter Followers
Try to get in touch with the followers of your competitors. You know they use your competitor’s product which means they are already your potential buyers. All you have to do is to make them try your product.
63. Use Facebook Messenger Bots
Use messenger bots to interact with customers.
64. Web Scraping Directories
Try to scrape out the data from internet directories. Scraping can take a long time. So, start doing it before starting your campaign. Read more on Web Scraping
65. Reply to Other's E-mail Campaigns
Reply to emails received from other people’s email campaigns.
66. Attending Meetups
Attend meetups held in your city or another city to meet and pitch your product to target audience and investors. Meetups are a great place for lead generation if you are into B2B business.
67. Check Other's Twitter Lists
Use people's twitter list to find potential buyers.
68. Micro Influener Marketing
Micro-influencers are the people who have a decent fan following. Generally, the people with followers count between 1k to 50k are known as Micro-influencers. Approach micro-influencers to promote your products. If you hire good and relatable influencers, it will definitely be going to generate a lot of leads for you. Read more on Micro-influencer marketing.
69. Get Your Business Featured in a Magazine
Get your business featured in magazines by attracting their attention towards your company. Contact the reporters if you received any achievement. You can also crack a deal with the magazine to get yourself featured.
70. SumoMe based CRO
Use SumoMe plugin for your website for conversion rate optimization (CRO). SumoMe is a complete suite of marketing tools that will help you grow both traffic and conversions and automate your site growth.
71. Heavy-content FAQs
Provide a FAQ section in your website with your contact info. This clears most of the doubts of your visitors.
72. Publish a Chrome Extension
Create and publish your own chrome extension. Chrome extensions help to get into people’s devices and diversify your reach.
73. Content Re-purposing
Repurpose your old content with new data and post it on several platforms. You can even give the old content a new form. For instance, if you have a research based old article published on your blog, then you can convert it into an infographic and post it on social media.
74. Skype Interviews with Industry Leaders
Take an appointment and interview the leaders of your industry on Skype. Then you can post the interview video on social media platforms.
75. LinkedIn InMails Outreach
InMails is another LinkedIn’s product. It lets you send direct messages to people you are not connected with on LinkedIn.
76. 'Feel Bad' Pop-Ups
Use “feel bad” strategy in pop-ups to get more subscribers. However, not all web visitors may like it so be careful about using this strategy.
77. Bribing E-mail Subscribers
Gift discount coupons to all the people who subscribed to your email list.
78. The Commitment Checkbox
Include a commitment checkbox on your website to make it easy to subscribe to your users.
79. Removing Landing Page Navigation
Remove the landing page navigation to speed up the process and save the time of your visitors.
80. Create a Competitor Comparison Page
Create a page comparing your product with that of your biggest competitor. This way people will be able to make a better choice.
81. Branded Gifts
Give small gifts to your customers and brand them with your company’s logo. Gifts are always a good way to spread positive word of mouth about your business.
82. Arranging Free How-to Webinars
Provide free webinars focusing on relevant “how-to”s and proving guides to the activities related to your product. Webinars has always been an important part of lead generation process.
83. Offering Incentives to Inactive Users
Give free add-ons to your inactive users to get their interest back into you.
84. Custom GIF Publishing and Sharing
Publish custom GIF images and share them with your customers. They capture too much attention and everybody love them.
85. Subscription Based VIP Memberships
Provide VIP paid membership to your users. This will help you to focus more on your target audience.
86. Hashtag Monitoring for New Conversations
Monitor the hashtag related to your product, on all the social media platforms to get knowledge about the new conversations took place. You can also keep a tab on the trends and create content accordingly. Hashtag monitoring tools are available online.
87. Provide 'Click-to-Tweet' Option
Provide “click-to-tweet” option so that people can directly share quotes from your article to their Twitter. This way your content is likely to be shared more.
88. IP Address based Lead Tracking
Use the IP address based tools to track the websites traffic. Then use the data to focus on the particular customers.
89. Exit-intent Pop-ups on Website
Use Exit popup to remind the customer when they attempt to navigate away.
90. Strong Verb-based Headlines
Create headlines which have strong density of verbs. This is a way which many tries to get the web visitors, take more actions while on the site.
91. Leverage LinkedIn Publisher
Repurpose the content of your blogs on LinkedIn publisher. This will help you attract more attention to your business.
92. Email ID in Social Bios
Include the email address in the bios of your social media handles, so that interested people can contact you when required.
93. Create Co-branded Content
Ask other brands to feature you in their content and you do the same for them or pay them for it. This way you can leverage each other's followers.
94. Content Shares by Influencers Using Outreach
Ask influencers to share your content on Outreach with all customers of their customer list.
95. Shared Google Doc Templates
Share some Google Doc templates with other people to connect with them better.
96. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate more leads. Influencers will share your product’s link with people.
97. Provide Free Excel Worksheets and Templates
Provide free Excel worksheets and its templates to your customers.
98. Create Lead Databases
Create lead databases to track and analyse the customer’s buying behaviour.
99. Free Consultation Sessions
Provide free consultation sessions to your customers and solve their problems.
100. Free Audits
Provide free audits to your clients. Many agencies offer free website audits, by taking e-mail ids from customers.
Connecting with more and more people and letting them know about your business is very necessary for making your business successful, and this article is intended to help in this very regard. "How to generate leads" is a crucial question for every business, and the methods mentioned above are some of the best ways for lead generation. If you are using some other ways to generate leads for your business, please let us know in the comments.
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