How To Generate Leads: 15 Strategies and Techniques For Sales Increase

September 19, 2016 by Nedim Talović

How To Generate Leads
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Think of generated leads as your potential customers. The more you have them, the more revenue you can expect.

But first thing first. Let’s see a lead generation definition:

In marketing, lead generation is the initiation of consumer interest or inquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads.

Obviously, it’s something you want to know about. So, how to generate leads?

 #1 Conferences

Visiting conferences is definitely a great way of generating leads. It’s the place where you can reach out your potential customers.

Conferences

I’ll give you two tips how to generate leads from conferences.

  1. Let’s assume that you’re selling content marketing software. Ask the organizer for the list of people who are attending the conference. Then open attendees’ blogs and check out if there is a space for improving the blog with your app.
  2. Another way of leveraging conferences is to get your speaking time. You can present yourself as an expert, and what’s more, you can share your research full of interesting facts, graphs, and charts. If you have something new, fresh and unique, you can expect to acquire new backlinks (increases organic traffic). Make sure it’s easily accessible (create branded short URL).

#2 Google AdWords

This part will be a bit longer in order to explore just how Google AdWords is a great opportunity for your business.

Bidding on specific keywords in Google search is another amazing way of generating leads. But just as for Facebook ads the same counts for Google AdWords, you need to watch for CPC, CLV, Visit-to-Lead Rate, and Lead-to-Customer Rate.

Ads ROI

OK, let’s move to interesting stuff. Here is how to achieve great results in three steps.

The first step is to do keyword research. You can use different tools for it. Although, the starting point of most marketers is Google Keyword Planner, try with Ubersuggest which is completely free.

I suggest this tool because it lets you find long-tail keywords easier and they got higher commercial intent.

Search at Ubersuggest

Type your head term and click on Suggest and you’ll see the list of long-tail keywords and their CPC’s This will help you to sort out competitive long-tail keywords.

It would be ideal to find keywords with a solid search volume and low CPC. It’s possible, trust me. There is a niche gap for everyone.

The second step is to have your landing page related to your targeted keywords. This way your Quality Score is going to be higher. If you’re not familiar with Quality Score, I’d suggest you visit official AdWords Support website where you can learn about it.

In short terms, your actual CPC will be lower with high QS (and AdRank as well).

The third step is to create ads and organize it into groups. Take this seriously because later on you’ll have to optimize your campaigns, and bad structure will make it hard.

#3 Newsletters

Newsletters are terrific for marking your company an industry leader. You’ll be seen as an authoritative when you regularly send newsletters to your customers. However, you need to write a blog with valuable information and send it to people who subscribed to your list.

To stay motivated, keep in mind that comparing to other digital marketing channels, email marketing has the greatest ROI.

Email Marketing ROI

Let me point out how to create leads with newsletters.

Why would someone give you an email? You have to give them a reason to sign up, and that reason is a valuable piece of content like a free eBook.

#4 Webinars

You’ve probably noticed by now, that most leading digital marketing companies are organizing webinars all the time.

Why?

Surely, not because they all enjoy in live communication that much. The main reason is a high conversion rate achieved through webinars.

This is where you have a chance to show all advantages of your product and immediately answer your customer’s questions. That matters, a lot.

Here are some hosting providers for webinars that you should think about:

Whichever you choose, you won’t make a big mistake because all of these provides are great.

#5 Direct Emails

When you’re thinking about sending direct emails, know that all big companies are doing it because it’s cheap and effective, but above all, because email marketing is the most important marketing channel.

Depending on the type of your business, you can search the Internet to find your contacts, or use sites like angel.co or CrunchBase to get bigger lists where you can search for companies related your industry.

One way or another, you should use quality apps for the outreach. My recommendations are outreach.io, replyup.com, and quickmail.io.

At this point, you should also think about follow-ups. They increase the chances of creating a trial version. Now, only 20-30% will open your email but if you follow-up them, you’ll increase the open rate, and get more trial accounts created.

One more thing. Don’t forget to be very careful because nobody wants to be marked as a spammer.

#6 Content Upgrade

Different ways of collecting emails have different lead rates and content upgrade is the type with the highest lead rate. So, if you were asking how to generate leads online, the content upgrade is the answer.

20% of blog posts will generate 80% traffic (Pareto principle). The main idea is to identify the most visited blog posts, and after that to create an offer.

Top visited landing pages

Now when you know the most visited landing pages, you need to create the offer.

Content Upgrade

For example, imagine that your best article is 17 Ways to Reach Industry Influencers. Here is what you can do.

Offer a simple cheat sheet where will be the printable version, or offer extra 15 ways (in exchange for email). This way, you will build up your email list much faster.

#7 Testimonials

Identify your top customers and ask them for testimonials.

Why?

It increases chances for new business leads and in the end of the day, a new customer. Take a look at Crazy Egg landing page.

Crazy Egg

What comes across your mind when you see brands like Hilton, Intel, mint.com, and many others using Crazy Egg? That It would be great to be part of this group.

That’s how testimonials can skyrocket visitor-to-lead rate.

Except for getting testimonials, you can also benefit from giving testimonials.

This way you will be presented as an expert. Plus, if that site has a good traffic, you will take some part in it (if they link back to you).

BuzzSumo Testimonials

Just imagine what would happen with your traffic if you give a testimonial to BuzzSumo who have 1.9M visits every month. You see my point?

What’s more, getting backlinks would increase the rankings, and indirectly, you would get new business leads.

#8 Facebook Ads

This is your solution for easy targeting. For example, using Facebook ads you can know that your potential client:

  • comes from California
  • use FB payments and spend higher than average
  • is a business traveler
  • has the income between $75,000 and $125,000

The best part is that you can simply target those users in Audience Insights.

Here is how it looks like:

Facebook Audience Insights: Behaviors

Facebook Audience Insights: Financial

However, don’t get carried away with CLV, average Facebook CPC. The whole idea is to generate the profit, not a loss.

Ads ROI

The photo above shows what I’m talking about.

#9 SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

The best thing about SEO is that you’re investing in long-term benefits.

It takes time and patience, but if you do it right you will reach the desired traffic.

If you play smart, SEO will definitely increase your organic traffic which means leads are coming. The best thing about SEO is long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords stand for phrases that contain 4 or more words. For example, email marketing is not a long-tail keyword, but email marketing for the small business owner is.

Long-Tail Keywords

The beautiful part about long-tail keywords is that they have a high probability of conversion. It’s absolutely logical since more words in a phrase mean intent in more specific.

Long-tail keyword research has never been easier since we have a lot of different tools like Ubersuggest or Keywordtool.io.

When you have a good traffic, the hard part is over and opportunities are limitless. SEO will make your leads skyrocket. Trust me, focus on writing a blog using proper long-tail keywords, and you will see benefits over the time.

#10 LinkedIn Ads

Using LinkedIn Ads lets you target people by the jobs they’re doing. Let’s say that you are offering some marketing software.

You would want to contact CMOs, digital marketing specialist, wouldn’t you?

Let’s see how to use LinkedIn for business to business lead generation.

Firstly, when you start creating a new campaign, you’ll be asked what is your goal. Do you want to reach Linkedin members right in the Linkedin feed and beyond, or you want to drive targeted leads to multiple Linkedin pages?

Linkedn Choose Option Goals

It’s obvious that we’re interested in the second option. When I click on Select I have to type the campaign name and choose the language. After that, I need to create an ad. This is what I did:

LinkedIn Ads Edit

The next step is to target LinkedIn users. For example, I just chose to target by Chief Marketing Officer job title and I got dozens of suggestions like VP Marketing, Head of Marketing and many others.

Linkedin Ads Job Titles

What’s more, I can target users by many other attributes such as company size, which is worth when you’re selling the app to small companies. Here’s the full list:

Linkedin Targeting Criteria

When I chose to target LinkedIn users who are Chief Marketing Officer, Head of Marketing, Marketing Director, VP Marketing, and who are from the United States, LinkedIn tells me there are +25,000 users that match the criteria.

The final step is to set up the budget.

Linkedin Bidding

I chose to pay clicks (not impressions) and my bid is $3.17.

That’s it.

#11 Live Chat

When I was talking about webinars, I mentioned a real-time communication with potential customers as one of the biggest advantages. Live chat holds you that opportunity all the time.

You can trigger a chat on various criteria. For instance, when a visitor opens specific page you can send him a specific message.

Apps like Intercom and LiveChat offer the possibility of sending targeted messages automatically triggered by visitors’ behavior on the website.

Intercom

 

Livechat

You can send something like this:

Hey there, you’re watching our pricing page and I’d like to ask you if there is something that I can help you with?

You got the point. Start a conversation with your visitors and try to talk with them. Even when you’re not online, you can offer them to send you a message.

Jellymetrics Chat

Interesting, isn’t it?

#12 eBooks

Probably the smoothest way to lure someone into leaving his email is offering an eBook in return. You realized it by now, that it’s always about getting emails.

However, if you manage to get their names too, your position will be much better.

Why?

Because, if you have names on your email lists, you will be able to send personalized emails, which can make a real difference.

I won’t go into details, but let me just say that sending personalized emails will result in better open rates and click rates.

Email Personalization

Leads without opening emails are useless. This is where email personalization comes as a hero.

Now, let’s take a look at eBooks again.

How to choose a topic for an eBook?

Well, if you were wondering how to generate content marketing ideas for the blog, the principle is the same. A length of the book is the only difference.

If you’re still in doubt, I suggest checking the article about content marketing tools, where you can find 6 different tools for generating ideas, 4 for writing, 6 for content creation, and so on.

Content creation tools are important since they help you in creating beautiful charts and graphs, which can be useful for books you’re planning to write.

#13 Infographics

A picture is worth a thousand words. Too bad it’s not a thousand backlinks, but we will settle with hundreds. That’s how it works with infographics, they’re simply the best for backlinks.

Kissmetrics’, the multi-million worth company, success is actually the result of infographics they created.

They generated 41,142 backlinks from 3,741 unique domain, all from 47 infographics and they spent $28,200.

Infographics experience from Kissmetrics

In other words, Kissmetrics acquired one backlink at a price of $0.68 ($28,200 / 41,142 backlinks).

Knowing that SEO agency charge up to $100 per quality backlinks, we can realize just how great their work is. Heck, I often ask myself if it’s too hard for them to get links from sites like The Huffington Post and Forbes.

However, you need to be careful if you pay infographics at a price of $600. A good digital marketer will say you that you need to spend 20% of the time on content creation and 80% of the time on content promotion (Pareto principle, again).

PiktoChart

For the companies on the budget, I suggest trying tools like Piktochart or Infogr.am.

Infogr.am

In the end, if you don’t promote infographics the whole job is useless. Test your content promotion skills after creating a few infographics in these tools.

#14 PR

HARO (Help a Reporter Out) connects you with journalists of the most readable media.

HARO

Imagine how many visits you can get if you get cited at USA Today?

Well, HARO helps you in getting links at sites like USA Today. When you get backlinks at such high authoritative site, your ranking, traffic and leads will increase, too.

If you were wondering how to generate leads online, and how to get more business, I hope you understand much better now.

Take a look at two offers from USA Today journalists:

Haro offers

and offers from CNN Money and The New York Times journalists:

Haro offers

For example, USA Today have 158M visits per month. Can you even imagine how many traffic (and leads) you can get from USA Today traffic?

USA Today traffic

It’s 60th website in the U.S. and 226th in the world.

USA Today metrics from SimilarWeb

What’s more, usatoday.com has a Domain Authority of 95.

USA Today metrics from Moz

It will skyrocket your referral, and organic traffic as well if you get a link there.

To sum up, open HARO and register as source and every day you will get a few emails with offers where you can pitch.

#15 Quizzes

Nutrition Secrets Quiz

You might be thinking that getting new business leads from quizzes is not possible and that business owners are serious and quizzes are more for B2C (as on the photo). Wrong.

People will always be curious. Just think about creating something like this: Test your knowledge with SEO trends or What Is The Right Link Building Tactic For You?

For me, this is the best way to generate leads. Creating a new quiz is pretty simple because you only need to create a couple of questions and a few answers to the questions. You can do all that in tools like LeadQuizzes and Qzzr.

I suggest you to avoid creating a 30-minute quiz. Don’t go over 10 questions (make it fast).

OK, how to get more business, where the heck are leads?

Quiz Results

Leads are in entering first name (personalization, remember?) and email address.

Someone who spends a few minutes of his life on answering questions will give you the email address, easier than someone who just sees a pop-up window where you say: Sign up for our newsletter list.

Tip: Never say that you will ask an email address for getting the result. Never.

Conclusion

In this blog post, I’ve shown you some of the best ways to generate leads.

it’s not an easy job, especially for new businesses and there are no shortcuts, but at the end of the day, if you work hard, you’ll see how your leads and conversions increase.

For me, the key thing is to be creative since digital marketing success is nothing but the mix of art and science. Creativity helps you to collect leads in different ways and forms, but science helps you to measure the success.

Let me know if there is something I should have mentioned. Share your thoughts.

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