Every business owner wants more high-quality leads coming in. In fact, a full 61% of marketers say traffic and lead generation is their top challenge.
We can all agree that lead generation is a major driver of growth, but actually getting those leads can be difficult. Where should you focus your efforts? What works best? Why aren’t visitors just handing over their emails?
Not to worry! In today’s article, we’re covering how to create a healthy pipeline of leads, the benefits of lead generation, and our top 10 strategic lead generation tips.
Let’s get started!
What is lead generation?
To understand lead generation, you’ll need to know what a lead is.
Put simply, a lead is an individual (or business) that has expressed interest in what you’re offering. They’ve provided their contact information, which allows you to nurture that lead and coax them toward a purchase.
Lead generation is the process of identifying and/or attracting those potential customers and obtaining their contact information.
A lead generation campaign can be very low tech, like networking or cold calling, or it can be run entirely online through ads, landing pages, interest forms, and/or popups. The purpose of lead generation is to supply quality leads that your sales team can follow up with.
As part of your lead gen efforts, you may also collect other relevant customer details like demographic information, budget, specific interests, or the level of buying intent.
All the data you collect should be included in your customer database or CRM software so you can use it to improve your communications and personalize your messaging in the future. Some data provided by your potential customer will indicate their intent and stage in the customer journey, which you can use to qualify and categorize your leads.
Lead scoring can separate leads into warm, hot, or cold, depending on how soon the customer is likely to be ready to buy.
Why are leads important for your business?
As mentioned, having a good lead generation strategy is the number one priority for the majority of marketers.
According to a recent study, companies that actively pursue lead generation strategies show revenues 133% higher than companies that don’t.
Maintaining a steady flow of qualified leads is crucial for the overall success of your business. While it’s important to retain your existing customers, there will always be some level of churn or customers who go for long stretches without making a new purchase, so having a healthy pool of new potential customers ensures you can continue to grow and expand.
Think of generating leads as the “fuel” that drives your entire sales process. Without enough leads coming in, your sales team won’t be able to perform to their full potential. To generate a consistent stream of qualified leads, incorporating effective cold calling tips into your lead generation strategy can be highly beneficial.
Once you’ve collected leads, it’s time to nurture them. Start by studying their pain points and motivations, and then show your leads why your company’s products or services are uniquely poised to solve their problems.
By turning as many of those leads as possible into paying customers, you’ll enjoy better reach and brand awareness, higher revenue, and faster business growth.
10 tips to generate leads
Whether you’re just venturing into the world of lead generation strategies or you’re a seasoned marketer looking to tweak your strategy, you’re probably looking for tips that you can implement for real results.
Remember that there are many different channels you can use as part of your lead generation marketing efforts, including:
- Websites and landing pages
- Cold email campaigns
- Social media platforms
- Influencer marketing
- PPC advertising
The right place to engage in lead generation depends on your business and your target audience, but you’ll likely want to combine at least 3-4 channels.
Now onto our top 10 lead generation tips in 2023!
1. Create offers for visitors in each stage
How you handle each lead depends on where they are in terms of awareness.
Knowing what stage they’re at will allow you to use lead generation tools to position your offer more effectively.
There are 5 stages that describe the level of awareness a customer has about their problem, the solution, and your specific product or service:
These people are completely unaware that they have a problem. They may notice that issues are arising or that there is a bottleneck in their business processes, but they can’t put their finger on the problem.
At this stage, you’ll need to educate them. Show them their problem using explanatory videos, or use a longer-format blog posts to draw them into a narrative that ultimately introduces them to their problem or pain point.
Provide information that’s useful and entertaining to grab their attention and keep them interested.
People who are problem aware possess an understanding of the problem, but may not know how to seek a viable solution. It’s your job to raise their level of understanding and provide value using educational resources.
Documentation like ebooks, a short course, or a guide shows them potential paths to finding a solution (and positions your company effectively) while helping bring them closer to the next stage.
At this stage, a person is highly aware of their problem and wants a solution. They may be starting to research potential solutions and may even know of a few specific options.
At this point, you want to show that your company has the solution, and provide evidence supported by numbers or stats to demonstrate to the customer why your company is worth considering.
Product aware leads are actively researching their options and considering specific solutions.
Case studies and comparison articles make excellent sales support tools for the product-aware customer. Reinforce your USPs and highlight the merits of your product to solidify their commitment.
These leads are highly aware of their problem, the solutions, and your company. They may even have in-depth knowledge about your products or services, including specific features, pricing, and more. At this stage, you simply need to convert this interest into a commitment!
An irresistible special offer will tip the balance and get the client to buy from your business instead of other companies offering similar solutions.
By identifying each lead’s stage of awareness, you can position your messages and deals in the most appealing way possible.
For example, a product demo or a special offer will not provide value or entice a sale from leads who are only problem aware—more education and a better understanding of your services or products is needed first.
By the same token, educational videos for leads who are product aware will be redundant as they’ve already performed heavy market research.
2. Personalize offers based on interest
Segmenting your customers and tailoring your offers to best appeal to each lead with personalized messaging is your best bet for converting interested parties to paying customers.
Let’s have a look at an example from Obvi!
They serve different value propositions for people who want weight loss:
…and for people who want better sleep:
Using a platform like OptiMonk makes personalizing the lead generation process easy and improves the customer journey by helping you provide content that’s relevant to their interests, keeping the momentum flowing and keeping your lead moving towards their first purchase.
3. Use well-timed popups
Lead capture using popup messages yields a high success rate. Why? Because a popup appearing on the screen focuses the user’s attention on one specific message, removing all other distractions.
There are many different popup triggers you can use to show them at the perfect moment, including behavior-based triggers.
Your popups can be timed to appear when a user lands on your website, shown after a delay, or displayed when they scroll to a specific section of the page, for example.
Popups can also detect exit intent and appear just in time to catch their contact info before they leave.
You can get started with one of these lead generation popup templates:
4. Create content upgrades
Another proven lead generation method is to attract users to your site and then offer something of value in exchange for their contact information.
What you offer is typically known as a “lead magnet” or “content upgrade.”
To illustrate the concept, imagine a user has landed on one of your blog posts about mountain bikes. They read all the way to the bottom, so you can safely assume they’re interested in mountain bikes. This would be a great time to offer bonus content, like a downloadable PDF on mountain bike maintenance or a guide comparing the top mountain bike models for 2023.
If you can match highly-specific content that’s packed with value, your users will be much more likely to give you their phone number or email address. People love to receive something for free, so content upgrades can be hard to resist!
5. Offer a demo
Demos are useful for leads who are already aware of their problem and your product, but not 100% convinced yours is the right solution for them. By showcasing it with a demo, you give them a chance to experience it for themselves. Turning your product from a concept or an idea into something more tangible might be just what your potential customers need.
Demos can be offered on web pages, added to a landing page as lead magnets, or included in blog posts as a call-to-action.
6. Create courses
There are a number of websites and teaching platforms that share courses and guides on almost any topic. However, no one understands your service or product better than you do!
You can design your own courses or how-to guides to help your customers get the most out of your offerings. And as an added bonus, you’ll also be showing your potential customers that you’re committed to their long-term success.
This can be a strong incentive—many users check out what kind of knowledge base you provide as part of their decision making process!
Course development platforms like Thinkific are designed to help you create courses quickly and easily to share on your own website or landing page for lead gen purposes.
7. Run contests and giveaways
Appeal to your visitors’ competitive side and earn leads with a contest or a giveaway. Pick an irresistible incentive to attract as many new users as possible!
For best results with this lead gen strategy, share the details of your contest or giveaway on your website and your social media channels. Invite interaction by asking for comments or posing a question so that users can respond with their opinions or ideas. To engage your audience effectively, ensure your brand appears credible. Get likes from trusted sources for your Instagram profile to build social proof.
8. Run co-hosted webinars
Hosting live webinars is a great way to engage your target audience and collect quality leads, but you can make this tactic even more effective for lead gen by partnering with industry influencers.
Share a platform with another business in your industry or a related industry so you can both benefit in a lead-producing cross-promotional effort.
By choosing a figure or company that has some overlap with you in terms of offerings, you’ll guarantee a good alignment between your audiences, which means more qualified leads!
9. Use the right tools
As any good tradesman knows, having the right tools for the job makes all the difference.
Generating leads is no exception, and while there are plenty of platforms to help with a variety of marketing tasks, you really want a tool that excels at lead gen.
OptiMonk has a long track record of helping businesses generate more leads, and the platform offers a number of targeted strategies and powerful integrations to make your job easier.
With OptiMonk, you can access up-to-date statistics, advanced features, and an easy-to-use interface that lets you run lead generation campaigns in a variety of formats, including:
- Embedded forms
- Sticky bars
- …and more!
Using the platform and optimizing your online lead generation efforts is easy with a no-code editor, flexible options, and powerful personalization tools.
10. Involve your sales team
Lead generation goes far beyond simply sourcing potential clients. While it’s a marketing function, finding and identifying the right leads also requires the input of your sales department.
Not all leads are created equal, and finding quality leads may require repeat campaigns, targeted landing pages, and sharing posts multiple times on social media to discover what will successfully generate leads for your business.
Align sales and marketing expectations to generate leads that are better qualified with a higher purchase intent.
Generating a consistent flow of business leads is one of the most important things you can do to improve your revenue flow and continue growing your business.
To gain high-quality leads, you’ll need to:
- understand the stages of buyer awareness,
- use multiple lead channels (landing pages, social media, etc.),
- invest in good lead generation tools like OptiMonk,
- align your sales and marketing teams, and
- personalize your offer.