Lead generation is crucial for business growth. Without enough leads coming in, companies struggle to increase revenue, find new customers, and expand their reach. This complete guide will teach proven lead generation strategies and tactics businesses can use to drive growth.
What is Lead Generation and Why is it Vital?
Lead generation is the process of identifying, attracting, and capturing prospective new customers for your business. It involves generating interest in your company’s products or services, then gathering key pieces of information from those potential new customers, referred to as leads.
The lead information you collect typically includes elements like names, contact details, company names, job titles, and profiling data on the prospect’s needs, interests, or motivations. This allows your sales teams to pursue and close new business from the leads by tailoring outreach and nurturing those prospects.
For any business, diligent lead generation is absolutely vital for long-term success and growth for several crucial reasons:
- Drives New Customer Acquisition: More leads directly translate to more potential new customers for increased sales and revenue. Lead gen is the frontline effort that feeds your sales pipeline the prospects needed to grow.
- Informs Marketing Efforts: The leads provide invaluable data and insights into your ideal customer profile, behavior, pain points, and motivations. This intelligence allows marketing to continually refine strategies and messaging.
- Provides Predictability: A robust lead generation program provides a steady incoming flow of sales prospects. This makes sales more predictable and supports accurate forecasting.
- Supports Expansion: More leads from new segments, verticals, and geographies means new markets to expand into. Lead gen is key for geographical and category expansion.
- Better Marketing ROI: Done right, lead generation provides a strong positive return on investment from your marketing as the cost to acquire leads drops.
- Drives Innovation: Customer insights from leads allow product teams to identify needs for new products and features that will sell. This fuels innovation.
- Competitive Advantage: Companies with superior lead generation gain an edge over competitors in their market who struggle to find new customers.
Without enough quality leads coming in through various campaigns, channels, and programs, any business will eventually stagnate. That’s why most successful companies invest heavily in continuously optimizing their lead generation efforts. It directly separates market leaders from the rest of the pack.
Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics That Work
Many of these tactics have been proven time and time again in the success of companies to deliver more quality leads. A successful strategy is an amalgamation of incoming and outgoing strategies across several mediums.
Most times when lead generation is only done through just 1–2 sources, there aren’t sufficient leads in the pipeline to support substantial growth and expansion of an organization. Attracting the broadest base of prospects is best achieved with an omni-channel strategy.
Here are some of the top lead generation strategies and tactics companies should consider:
Content Marketing: Create tutorial blog postings, videos, tutorials, guides, ebooks, podcasts, or whatever you can think of to draw in leads.
- SEO: Ensure your page and content is optimized for relevant organic search traffic so they can find you.
- Social Media Marketing: Content · Conversations · Community Building · Social Platforms · Engage Audiences
- Email Marketing: Send targeting and personalised email communications filled with useful content to convert subscribers.
- Paid Advertising: Optimize your paid per click advertising — with Google, Facebook, LinkedIn , Youtube and others — To generate leads.
- Website Optimization: Create site entryways and client ventures with a transformation focus, CTAs, gotten freedoms, computers, live visits et cetera.
- PR Outreach: Earn press mentions from influencers, journalists and publishers to achieve brand awareness and drive traffic.
Email Outreach: Blast highly tailor-made cold email messages in targeted prospect lists & accounts.
- Direct Mail: Make the shipping delivery of your physical packages, postcards along with gifting have marketing messages & offers.
- Telemarketing: Make direct calls and prepare scripts tailored to disqualify engagement.
- Live Events: Attend conferences and events where your potential customers hang out — sponsor or exhibit to connect with them firsthand.
- Networking: Attend industry associations and networking events to meet your target audience.
- Referrals: Easy referral — Make it as simple as possible for happy clients to refer you.
- Strategic Partnerships: Collaborate with businesses within adjacent industries for cross-marketing purposes.
- Lead List Purchase: Buy targeted prospect contact lists for outbound campaigns.
With the right mix of inbound and outbound tactics aligned to your business, you can generate quality leads effectively and scale your pipeline. Continuously test new lead gen ideas and double down on what converts.
Run Paid Advertising Campaigns
Paid advertising provides a scalable way for businesses to generate leads by reaching their target audience across multiple digital platforms. With the precise targeting options available today, companies can zero in on their ideal prospects and drive them to convert through compelling and trackable ads.
Here are some of the most effective paid advertising channels and strategies for lead generation:
- Bid on relevant industry and product keyword terms prospects search for on Google, Bing, and other search engines.
- Target ads geographically, by job title, company, interests, and other criteria.
- Drive clicks to tailored landing pages with lead gen offers and forms.
- Track conversions closely and optimize for actions like email sign-ups.
- Create highly targeted ads and boost posts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
- Refine targeting using advanced profile data, interests, behaviors, and demographics.
- Test various ad formats including video, image, carousel, and Stories ads.
- Leverage retargeting and lookalike audiences.
Programmatic Display Advertising
- Use programmatic platforms like Google Display Network to run banners, native text, and rich media ads on thousands of sites your prospects visit.
- Further target browsers by context, keywords, site topic, geolocation, and more.
- Remotely manage large-scale campaigns with real-time optimization based on performance.
- Sponsor relevant YouTube videos and channels your prospects watch.
- Pre-roll video ads on niche industry and educational streaming sites.
- Short promotional videos on Connected TV apps and channels.
Web Push Notifications
- Serve targeted pop-up notifications to site visitors (with permission) even after they leave your website.
- Drive re-engagement and lead capture from cold site visitors.
No single paid channel provides a silver bullet to generate leads at scale. Marketers need to test combinations of paid tactics and platforms while tracking conversions diligently. When optimized effectively, paid advertising can become a consistent driver of inbound leads.
Network Both Online and Offline
Networking through events, partnerships, and referrals is a time-tested lead generation tactic. By building relationships, you become top-of-mind when prospects need solutions.
Effective networking techniques:
- Attend industry conferences, tradeshows, and events. Set up booths, give talks, mingle with attendees, and collect business cards. Follow up promptly.
- Develop strategic partnerships with complementary businesses. Cross-promote each other’s offerings and co-produce content or webinars to expand reach.
- Active participation and leadership roles in key associations and organizations. Gives access to their membership and contact databases.
- Speaking engagements for company experts and leadership. Provides exposure and credibility. Promote events afterward.
- Request referrals from existing happy customers. Satisfied clients make warm introductions to new prospects. Make referrals easy.
- Connect with prospects on social media platforms like LinkedIn. Join relevant groups and engage through content sharing and commenting.
Online and offline networking expands your business’s reach. Leverage events, partnerships, and recommendations to generate new leads.
Promote Thought Leadership and Industry Experts
Positioning your leaders and experts as industry thought leaders is powerful for lead generation. It enhances credibility, trust in your brand, and perception of your capabilities.
Thought leadership building activities:
- Contribute expert insights and quotes to relevant media stories. Become a trusted source for reporters who cover your industry.
- Get staff and leadership published as contributors to high-profile industry publications. Display company details like website and contact info.
- Have executives participate in prestigious events as speakers, panelists, or moderators. Promote their involvement through PR and content.
- Pursue high-profile industry awards and rankings. Leverage participation for increased brand visibility, even if you don’t win.
- Support charities and initiatives related to your target audience. Demonstrates community commitment beyond commercial interests.
- Conduct and share original research studies and surveys. Become a hub for proprietary industry data.
Thought leadership elevates brand awareness, credibility, and authority. This captures the attention of prospects seeking trusted solutions.
Optimize Your Website for Maximum Leads
Your company website is the digital hub visitors interact with. It needs compelling lead generation experiences. Tactics to boost conversions:
- Optimized headlines, copy, and calls-to-action. Make next steps obvious for visitors.
- Lead magnets and gated content offerings. Gather contact info in exchange for access to premium content.
- Minimal required fields on forms. Don’t ask for unnecessary information upfront before leads are qualified.
- Focused, dedicated landing pages for specific offers and content. Avoid distractions from your main homepage.
- Chat and live chat functions. Engage website visitors directly and convert those needing help.
- Retargeting through digital ads. Remind visitors who left your site to come back and convert.
- A/B and multivariate testing of page elements. Continuously improve conversions by testing variations.
With ongoing optimization, your website becomes a lead generating machine ready when prospects are.
Foster inbound leads quickly and carefully.
This is because inbound leads actively find your business and show some sort of interest. This means taking this window of opportunity quickly, efficiently, and regularly.
Here are some best practices for cultivating inbound leads:
- Respond quickly: Reply to questions within 5–15 min. Lead Conversion Rates are Highly Correlated with Response Time. Invest in call routing solutions or hire SDRs if you do.
- Prioritize leads: Not all leads are equal. Evaluate the leads based on profile, behavior & and interaction. Start by closing those sales-ready leads out there!
- Personalize outreach: Use the prospect’s name and relate to them based on how their question is worded — this implies that they likely have particular necessities or inclinations you can fulfill. Avoid blatant copy-pasta responses.
- Focus on listening first: On your first call make it about educating yourself on where they currently are coming from and what they want to achieve. Allow them to talk before you come in with your offering.
- Provide value upfront: Offer practical tips, or tools just before the sale pitch. Creating confidence and connection is key.
- Follow up persistently: Call leads if they fail to reply promptly, and then email them, call them on the telephone, and send messages via LinkedIn, Social Media, and other means until you get a response. Consistency pays off.
- Nurture with content: Keep nurturing qualified leads with great, educational content (e.g., articles, guides) until they’re ready to buy.
- Leverage CRM and automation: Monitor Lead response activity and assign follow-up items through CRM and Marketing Automation. Develop marketing automation workflows for lead nurturing.
- Monitor engagement: Consider things like email open and click-through rates; content downloads; visits to your website or other forms of engagement; rank incoming leads based on who’s hot.
By cultivating inbound prospects promptly with relevancy and consistency, your business converts at an increased rate. Develop a mechanism for tracking and a follow-up regime for every lead.
Metrics and Tools to Optimize Lead Generation
To improve lead generation continuously, you need to measure performance through key metrics and KPIs. Useful indicators include:
- Cost Per Lead (CPL): How much you spend to acquire each lead. Lower CPLs indicate greater efficiency.
- Lead to Customer Conversion Rate: Percentage of leads that become paying customers. Higher reflects better targeting and nurturing.
- Total Sales Pipeline Value: Total potential business value at different sales funnel stages. Expand through more leads.
- Lead Quality: Rating leads based on profile, behaviors and interactions. Prioritize higher quality leads first.
- Customer Lifetime Value (LTV): Projected long-term revenue potential from acquired customers. Increase LTV through upselling.
Helpful tools for optimizing lead generation:
- CRM Platform: Centralize lead data and interactions for easy management and assignment.
- Marketing Automation: Set up workflows and lead scoring to nurture prospects automatically.
- Analytics: Monitor website traffic, conversions, referrers and more to refine efforts. Google Analytics offers robust free options.
- Advertising Platforms: Manage and analyze paid ad campaigns across search, social, display channels and more.
- Email Marketing Software: Track open rates, clickthroughs and unsubscribes to improve email outreach.
- Landing Page Builders: A/B test dedicated lead gen landing pages. Unbounce, Leadpages and Instapage are leaders.
With the right lead generation approach, any business can drive growth by acquiring more of the right customers. Combining content, digital and traditional tactics maximizes results. Measure progress and keep optimizing efforts through data.