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 the best lead generation strategies for startups. 85% of expert marketers believe that generating sales leads is the most important element of the marketing arsenal.
However, only 42% of business owners have a proper plan or ways to generate leads online. Even though there are different ways to generate leads, not every marketer is clear about how to generate leads and startups need it the most. Since many people don't know how to generate leads in sales, we have come up with 100 proven best lead generation methods and 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. So how to generate sales leads for your business? Leads can be generated from both online and offline sources.
There is no single method that will help you to generate sales leads. However, by using a combination of relevant methods and the best lead generation strategies for startups, 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 one of the effective ways to generate leads for your business as visitors are brought to the company's website or social media page, and then converted into leads. To attract customers or generate sales leads to a business' website/social media page, marketers can opt for content marketing, social media marketing or search engine marketing.
Through Inbound Lead Generation strategy, companies target those customers who are already actively searching online for the products or services in which the company deals. Inbound Lead Generation is known to be one of the best lead generation strategies for startups as it holds good when you deal in products or services which have a high volume of online searches, and your brand has well established itself online.
How to generate leads for local businesses using inbound lead generation? Let's check an example of inbound lead generation to answer that, So for example 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 prompt 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 a lead generation process 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 generating sales leads ideas and techniques used for outbound lead generation.
'Outbound Lead Generation' is the best way to get b2b leads and is also good to use when the products or services in which a company deal has very low online search volume, or a company is very new and has not established itself online.
Lead Generation Process
The Lead Generation Process is not just about acquiring leads and generating b2b 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-
- Step 1- Attracting your target audience through various ways to generate sales leads like content marketing, social media marketing, advertisements, banners, seminars, webinars etc.
- 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
- Step 3 - This step is about qualifying the leads. This is how you generate sales leads for your business. Qualifying leads means evaluating whether a particular lead has the potential to convert into a paying customer or not. If a businessman 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.
- Step 4- After qualifying the lead, now we arrive at the customer engagement stage. In order to get free leads, 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.
- 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. Many lead generation startups follow this method.
- Step 6 - Once the lead is converted to a customer, a company should now take feedback from the customer and ensure customer satisfaction. And this is how you can generate sales leads for your business.
100 Proven Ways to Generate Leads
Add a Call to Action (CTA) in Your E-mail Signature
An email signature is one of the best ways to generate leads online is just a bunch of texts. Using of Call-To-Action strategy in an email signature can help to generate leads for your business and get free leads. It is always a good strategy and the best way to get b2b leads.
Put a Hello Bar on Your Website
Hello Bar is among the best way to get leads as it is a service for websites that lets you design messages for the visitors coming to your website. This will be the first thing which will attract visitors. The fact that random things cannot be written and posted on it makes it one of the ways to generate leads. It is important to take care of many things while creating a Hello Bar, and once thoughtfully created, Hello Bar can be among great ways to generate leads.
Host Webinars on Other Related Platform
Collaborating and posting webinars on other’s websites can have a fabulous effect on the business. This is the answer to how to generate sales leads for your business. Sponsoring and hosting webinars on own website can generate the required amount of buzz for the company is one of the great ways to generate leads online. It is, in fact, one of the modern steps of the lead generation process.
Pay with a Tweet
'Pay with a Tweet' is a company that provides the best lead generation strategies for startups and amazing tools 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. This is a great way to generate leads for your business as everything is handled by the company and you decide what is benefits are needed to be given to the customers.
Sign up form above the fold
Using the fold strategy for the website’s sign up form is much better as people will remember to sign up to the website. This is one of the main methods of how to get more leads. Above the fold is that part of the screen, which you can see without scrolling. This is one of the few lead generation strategies that will lead to more sign-ups and thus more lead generation and eventually, more sales.
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. Many people ask how to generate leads online for free and this is one of the successful ways to get leads for your business.
Thank you page might be the last thing the visitor sees, but this is 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.
Downloadable blog posts as PDFs
Giving your visitor a free PDF of your post will grab their attention offline and is a popular way of generating sales leads. How to get leads for your business? Whenever a lead will read your downloaded content, they will be reminded of your website. This way, you are in their head even they are offline.
Offering free e-books by taking e-mail ids is the best way to generate leads. 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 is also the topmost generating sales leads ideas will add some value to the life of your visitors, they will come to your website again and you will get free leads.
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 trial classes, or some free courses to attract new customers and generate business leads.
Online courses as drip campaign
Creating online courses with drip marketing is the best way to get leads that will eventually increase your sales.
Letting people subscribe to your periodic newsletter will increase your email collection, advertise your website and in generating sales leads ideas.
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, many lead generation startups you this method to get more leads. This is among the best ways to generate leads as it will increase the credibility of your website. You can find free and paid tools online which will help you design these visitor/ follower counters and generate sales leads.
Surveys and Tools
Many lead generation startups use websites like Typeform or SurveyMonkey to include surveys and other related tools to your website. So how to generate leads for it companies? 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.
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.
Join Social Media Communities
Join some active social media communities and learn from those people as it is one of the most effective ways to generate leads for your business. In the process, talk about your business and promote it there.
Quora Q & A
How to generate leads for local businesses? You can generate leads by using Quora, which is an amazing platform to build and grow your online business. It is one of the tried and tested ways to generate leads online, you simply have to answer questions on Quora which are related to your niche and also talk about the advantages people can get through your service.
Reddit is also an amazing platform to market your website and generate leads for your business. 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. This option is an answer to questions like "How to generate leads online?", "How to generate sales leads for your business?", "How to generate sales?", etc.
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. This is one of the best lead generation strategies for startups as you can create a good LinkedIn connection list.
Speaking at Events
Another great way to get free leads is to personally attend some business events and talk about your company. Public events are a great way to spread awareness about your business.
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 making it another best way to get b2b leads.
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. This is among popular lead generation strategies as there are many other portals, so find those who are relevant for your business and start connecting.
Use polls to identify the need for the new product you want to launch in the market, making it the top generating sales leads ideas. It is better to provide what customers want instead of providing what you want them to buy.
Pre-launch Offers and Discounts
Advertise the offers and discount on the new product before launching it, this is a good lead generation method. 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 generate sales leads.
Bundled Product Offers
Offer the relevant products in a bundle and give a little discount on them. This is an old yet effective ways to generate leads.
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. A/B testing is one of the best effective ways to generate leads for your business. 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 real-life by analyzing what people are buying more and then focusing on the same.
Crisp, digest-able, short video content
Short videos are great for marketing as they don’t eat a lot of viewer’s time and great way to generate more leads. According to Hubspot, today 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. While according to Insivia, Mobile video consumption increases by 100% every year.
Community-based Discount Coupons
Community-based coupons are great to target the same kind of people. There is a strong possibility that most people will like the product. It is one of the best ways to get free leads, as there are many popular communities across various social media platforms. Just search for them, connect to them and let them know about your business and generate leads for your business.
Live chatbots are the next things that will help to create leads. You can also choose to live chat with customers through your phone.
Referral campaigns are to generate leads as they let old users bring new ones and earn from the same. This is one of the best lead generation strategies for startups.
Social Media Profile Updates
Many people get confused with how to generate sales leads for your business, but one of the easiest ways is by updating your profile to grab people’s attention. For instance, you change the theme colour of your social media profiles. However, many times, this strategy backstabs. So, consult with strategists before making any big change.
Presenting Slideshares can tell more than even advertisements, for some people. It is the best way to get b2b leads, as you can generate leads from potential customers or even investors by using SlideShare. Slides can generate many leads if you are into the B2B business.
Medium Blogs with CTAs
Just like answering on Quora, you can create a blog on Medium and use a Call-To-Action strategy while promoting your company to generate more leads.
Self-managed Community Building
Create a self-managed community that can fund itself. Then use that community to advertise your product. You can also fund them and generate some advertising leads.
Testimonial-driven Product Promos
Many lead generation startups use this method 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.
Early Stage Feedback
How to generate leads online for free? One way is by adding some feedback funnels to your website and ask for feedback at an early stage.
Focus on Long-Tail Keywords to Generate Qualified Lead
Figure out what works for you, short tail keywords 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.
Use Lead Forensics Tools
Lead Forensics is a B2B lead generation tool. It is the best way to get B2B leads as the company offers many tools for various uses. You can use the Lead Forensic tools to analyze the visitors and target them accordingly.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn has many tools that will help you generate sales leads. One of its tools is LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which is a CRM tool. Use this LinkedIn’s CRM tool to build a relationship with your customers. It is one of the easy ways on how to get sales leads for free.
Growbots is a company that provides a tool for B2B businesses and helps in getting outbound leads. Through Growbots one can reach hundreds of potential customers in no time. This is yet another effective way to generate leads for your business.
Hunter for Lead Generation
Use Hunter’s extension to find new emails which will help you in email marketing and is used by lead generation startups. You just have to visit any company’s website and click on Hunter’s extension.
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.
One of the best ways to generate leads is by becoming 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.
Become socially active and attend interviews to tell people about your product.
Facebook Live Q&As
Go live on Facebook once in a while. It is a great way to interact with your customers.
Use Twitter’s chat feature to generate leads from your followers on Twitter. It is among the popular lead generation methods, as through Twitter chats, you can understand your customers better and can also let them know more about your products and services.
Unbounce Testing and Optimization
Unbounce is a company that produces landing pages for websites to get free leads. You can use Unbounce to create a landing page and test them to optimize the website, making it one of the ways to generate leads online. As reported by wsiworld.com in 2018, around 68% of B2B businesses use a landing page for generating leads.
Google Form-based Questionnaires
Create a Google form to ask questions from people and analyze their choice.
Searching Public Tweets
Search for public tweets with particular hashtags related to your company, and reach out to those who are talking about you.
Lead Generation by Joining Facebook Groups
Post in Facebook groups and let people know about you. Make it viral content so that everyone shares it. This will give you a boost in public leadership help you generate more leads.
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.
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.
Get Others Tweet About You
Ask people to tweet about your product to get offers and discounts. Many big brands follow this strategy.
Comment on the Blogs
You can comment about your product or website and insert a link in the blogs’ comment section and generate b2b leads. 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 kinds of blogs will attract your target audience and might convert you into a customer.
Use Instagram for Lead Generation
Post beautiful photos about your products, write a nice bio and make the most of Instagram for your business and this way you can get leads for your business. Read our article on 'How to use Instagram for Business'.
Free Demo and Trials
Let people access the demo or trial version of your product for free, this is the main part of any lead generation business model. Once your target audience gets a taste of your product/services the probability of conversion rises.
Facebook Events for Lead Generation
Find relevant Facebook events to attend, and leverage them to promote your business.
Product Hunt Launches
Product Hunt is a platform where users can share, find new products and generating leads. You can launch your product on Product Hunt and get yourself noticed by investors and other people.
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.
Invite people to create the podcast with you as it also is one of the upcoming lead generation strategies. This way, you will have more people who will listen to your podcast, thus you will achieve a higher engagement rate.
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.
Connect to Competitor's Twitter Follower
How to generate leads online for free? 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.
Use Facebook Messenger Bots
Use messenger bots to interact with customers.
Web Scraping Directories
Try to scrape out the data from internet directories. Scraping can take a long time but is the best way to get leads. So, start doing it before starting your campaign. Read more on Web Scraping.
Reply to Other's E-mail Campaigns
Reply to emails received from other people’s email campaigns.
Attend meetups held in your city or another city to meet and pitch your product to the target audience and investors. Meetups are a great place for lead generation if you are into the B2B business as they will help you generate business leads.
Check Other's Twitter Lists
Use people's Twitter list to find potential buyers.
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 and the best way to get b2b leads. 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.
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.
SumoMe based CRO
Use SumoMe plugin for your website for conversion rate optimization (CRO) as it is best lead generation strategies for startups. SumoMe is a complete suite of marketing tools that will help you grow both traffic and conversions and automate your site growth.
Provide a FAQ section on your website with your contact info and generate business leads. Because this clears most of the doubts of your visitors.
Publish a Chrome Extension
Create and publish your own chrome extension. Chrome extensions are one of the best generating sales leads ideas as they help to get into people’s devices and diversify your reach.
Repurpose your old content with new data and post it on several platforms and is a good way to generate leads online. 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.
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.
LinkedIn InMails Outreach
InMails is another LinkedIn’s product that is another way to generate sales leads. It lets you send direct messages to people you are not connected with on LinkedIn.
'Feel Bad' Pop-Ups
Use the “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.
Bribing E-mail Subscribers
Gift discount coupons to all the people who subscribed to your email list.
The Commitment Checkbox
Include a commitment checkbox on your website to make it easy to subscribe to your users.
Removing Landing Page Navigation
Remove the landing page navigation to speed up the process and save the time of your visitors.
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.
Give small gifts to your customers and brand them with your company’s logo. It is one of the effective ways to generate leads for your business as gifts are always a good way to spread positive word of mouth about your business.
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 have always been an important part of the lead generation process as it is the best way to get b2b leads.
Offering Incentives to Inactive User
Give free add-ons to your inactive users to get their interest back into you.
Custom GIF Publishing and Sharing
Publish custom GIF images and share them with your customers. They capture too much attention and everybody love them.
Subscription-Based VIP Memberships
Provide VIP paid membership to your users. This will help you to focus more on your target audience.
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 that took place. You can also keep a tab on the trends and create content accordingly. Hashtag monitoring tools are available online and is the main part of any lead generation process.
Provide 'Click-to-Tweet' Option
Provide a “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.
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.
Exit-intent Pop-ups on Website
Use Exit popup to remind the customer when they attempt to navigate away.
Strong Verb-based Headlines
Create headlines that have a strong density of verbs. This is a way which many tries to get the web visitors, take more actions while on the site.
Leverage LinkedIn Publisher
Repurpose the content of your blogs on the LinkedIn publisher. This will help you attract more attention to your business.
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.
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.
Content Shares by Influencers Using Outreach
Ask influencers to share your content on Outreach with all customers of their customer list.
Shared Google Doc Templates
Share some Google Doc templates with other people to connect with them better.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate more leads. It is one of the lead generation methods as influencers will share your product’s link with people.
Provide Free Excel Worksheets and Templates
Provide free Excel worksheets and their templates to your customers.
Create Lead Databases
Create lead databases to track and analyse the customer’s buying behaviour.
Free Consultation Sessions
Provide free consultation sessions to your customers and solve their problems.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the lead generation process?
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.
What are the types of lead generation?
There are mainly two types of lead generation strategies that businesses follow -
Inbound Lead Generation and Outbound Lead Generation.
What is Lead Forensics?
Lead Forensics is a B2B lead generation tool.
What is Growbots?
Growbots is a company that provides a tool for B2B businesses and helps in getting outbound leads.
How do I generate Google leads?
To increase site traffic and generate more leads from Google Ads, keep tweaking your campaigns and trying new strategies.