Lead generation is the key to attracting new leads with the potential to convert.
Whether its online or offline, generating leads is the gateway to keeping a business afloat.
Although many marketers today focus solely on content marketing, lead generation is more than just that. It is important to diversify digital marketing strategies and tactics in campaigns to generate endless leads to keep businesses going.
With creativity and adoption of effective lead generation strategies, marketing managers should not just be able to lure qualified leads, but also convert them.
Ready for some motivation to start generating leads online?
There are several proven and actionable strategies and viable tools that can be adopted to empower marketers’ lead generation efforts without content marketing.
Read on to find out.
Landing Page Optimization Generate Leads Online
The landing pages of websites can be optimized in various ways to generate leads online:
1. Development of Product Videos
Approximately 65% of people are visual learners. This means that using videos to explain a business’s product offering is a better way of speaking to the majority of the audience.
Videos do not just keep users engaged, but also inspire them to take action. Product explainer videos, according to a study, have the power to generate leads online to a maximum rate of 33%.
Business marketers can easily use tools such as Animoto to create short and simple product videos.
2. Avoid Using the Word ‘Spam’
Using the word spam on the landing page can reduce lead conversions significantly.
According to an evaluation done by Michael Aagard, using the phrase ‘100% privacy, we will never spam you’ on a sign up form can decrease lead conversions by up to 18%.
Although reassuring an audience is important, it should be done in an interesting and fun manner, without using the word ‘spam.’
A/B tests can help confirm that business signup forms are well-optimized and ready for conversion.
3. Run the Squint Test
Marketers should squint and then have a close look at their business websites. Does it have a CTA (Call-to-Action) that stands out?
A travel website had its CTA tested in a study against another with a unique CTA that had passed the squint test. The outcome indicated an increase in leads by up to 591%.
This means that squinting at website landing pages can increase the number of leads generated by over 500%.
4. Offer Fewer Options
According to Hick’s law, the fewer the choices an audience has at its disposal, the less confused they become. And, when an audience is less confused, a business has high chances of generating leads online.
Each landing page should feature a single CTA to minimize confusion.
Social Media for Lead Generation
1. Use Followerwonk to Spot Leads on Twitter
Leads on Twitter can be seen as fruits. Whereas some leads are ripe and ready to make product purchases, others still need time and to be nurtured to convert, so contacting them can be a waste of time.
Marketers can use Followerwonk to make this distinction.
Learn how to use Followerwonk with this guide by Seer Interactive to help identify and filter leads so that only the ripe leads can be reached to make purchases as new customers.
2. Tweet Promotion
According to a study done by Krave Cereal, customers exposed to many tweet promotions are 12% more likely to convert.
Although promoted tweets are a type of sponsored content, marketers should ensure they’re similar to ordinary tweets prospective customers see on the feeds of business websites.
The tweets also need to be interesting and valuable to the audience, despite promoting business products or services. Marketers should focus on these types of tweets put up by Steamfeed to stay relevant in the niche market.
Linking relevant promoted tweets to a business website’s landing page is an excellent way of optimizing their potential. Furthermore, marketers will realize continual conversations in lead generation campaigns for increased conversions.
3. Make Posts on LinkedIn
LinkedIn has a publishing platform where marketers can create and make posts for lead generation. Although this is a new feature yet to be released in full, over 5000 small businesses that were surveyed by HubSpot in a study mentioned LinkedIn as the best social site for lead generation.
Marketers must note that a great post on LinkedIn goes hand in hand with a great landing page for lead tracking and capture, and a strong product or service offering.
4. Twitter Cards
Marketers can use lead Twitter cards to easily capture leads in the stream of activities. The cards are the equivalent of the signup boxes or forms used on blogs or websites.
Marketers don’t need any experience or skills to use Twitter cards, since they are free and easy to set up.
5. Responding to Questions on Quora
The increased popularity of Quora can’t be overlooked.
Marketers can create profiles on Quora and link them back to business websites or their landing pages. Therefore, it is important to respond to questions asked by prospects interested in knowing more about the solutions offered by a specific brand, giving direct lead exposure as a result.
The full text search feature enables users to make searches using ‘full terms’, reducing the number of irrelevant discussions one has to go through before finding the right one.
Marketers should create useful, targeted posts and link them back to the sites’ landing pages to leverage the Quora platform as a lead generation tool.
This case study showcases how EventBrite generated leads to its website from conversions on Quora.
6. Link SlideShare to Landing Pages
SlideShare receives over 60 million visitors on a monthly basis.
With a pro plan on the platform, businesses can bag leads right away.
However, businesses can still generate leads online without using the paid plan.
Marketers can link landing pages to SlideShare’s description, presentation, and profile pages. Read this SlideShare traffic case study by Ana Hoffman to learn more about this.
Based on the case study by Hoffman, this platform can be businesses’ 2nd largest source of referral traffic.
Use the traffic and lead generation tactics detailed on this comprehensive case study to exploit what SlideShare has in store for businesses in terms of leads.
7. Learn Social Listening on Twitter
Marketers can do a quick search on Twitter to find out the people interested in their brand at any particular time.
It is only on Twitter that businesses can get this kind of information in real-time, getting the chance to engage with prospects mentioning the brand or its products, or users with issues in need of solutions.
According to a case study done by GNC, engaging with prospects on Twitter can increase social media-sourced inbound sales by up to 25%.
TweetBeep, designed to work in a similar manner as Google Alerts, enables marketers to set up Twitter alerts. The tool allows businesses to keep up with conversations on their Twitter platforms and prospective opportunities for conversion.
8. Creating Communities on Google+
Google+, just like LinkedIn groups, allows businesses to bring their prospects together in groups called online communities. Brands can reach prospects in these communities for conversions, atop being influencers in their niche markets.
Farfetch uses Google+ communities to showcase new products by different designers, realizing up to 116% increase in followers on the same platform, with a 1% conversion rate.
Check out this guide by Content Marketing Institute to find out how Google+ can help businesses in their lead generation campaigns for increased conversions.
Offline Strategies for Lead Generation
1. Make Appearances on TV
Businesses can make TV appearances to have their unique selling position known.
Although the connection between getting new customers to making appearances on TV is not known, businesses can increase their search traffic significantly for certain branded keywords or keyword phrases.
WP Curve made appearances on Forbes and Fox TV in early 2014 to sell its USP, ‘rejuvenating web pages for vitality.’
The company increased its search traffic, and thus new signups, by up to 42% and 27% increase in revenue generated in the month of March, 2014.
2. Warm Calling
Research prospects to find out more about them and their needs before making a call. It is important for marketers to give prospects a reason to take their time and listen when they call them.
According to Duct Tape Marketing’s John Jantsch, cold calls should only be made if prospects are received through a referral.
According to the co-author of ‘Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play,’ Mahan Khalsa, cold calls can result in 1% to 3% of initial appointment success rate, 40% success rate when prospects are referred and even a higher rate when the referral is sourced from the company.
3. Speak at Events
Speakers have authority over their audiences.
Speaking at events is a great way for business owners and marketers to generate increased qualified leads. A successful talk generates leads, which in turn helps create more connections for increased leads.
Neil Patel, the co-founder of Crazy Egg, is fond of speaking at marketing conferences. In a matter of just two years, speaking at marketing events, the business’ co-founders worked on a plan that saw them generate over 100,000 new leads.
Although not all events matched up for Neil, each accounted for a portion of the leads generated.
User Reviews and Referrals for Lead Generation
1. Build Partnerships
It is common for businesses to develop company ecosystems in the form of integration of partners or affiliates with programs aimed at lead-sharing to act as incentive.
Business owners should find and develop partnerships with larger corporations in need of the services or products they offer. They can then go ahead to develop their products or services into those of the larger companies with the help of APIs, in exchange for promotion of the partnership on their website.
Tint attributed the growth of its company to the success of its partnership with Wix within a period of three months.
Although partnerships may take long to be developed, they prevent competitors from entering the market. This is because creating a partnership with a larger company exposes a business to the customers already using the services or products of the former firm.
Moreover, established partnerships can drive traffic and generate leads online in the long term.
2. Influencer Pro Plans
New companies should use thought leaders in the industry as customers to generate many new signups. They should give marketing influencers and top bloggers free service or product features for their communities to follow.
In return, the businesses can ask for honest product or service reviews. Developing good relationships with the influencers can help guarantee positive reviews.
Google is the starting point of many B2B product purchases of up to 71%. It’s a good thing if prospects find a positive business review the moment they make a search on a particular product or service.
Crazy Egg gave free memberships to bloggers, making it one of the ways the company attained 100,000 new leads.
Business owners have a lot to gain from having authoritative and trustworthy websites review their services or products. The trustworthy sites can also list the products on their inventory as a plus.
GetApp is linked to websites such as Business2Community to enable business owners to pay in order to gain increased exposure across various sites.
According to a case study, a marketing SaaS company, Mavenlink, depends on external lead generation for qualified leads and a conversion rate of 11.9%.
4. Business Email Signature
Business owners and marketers send out thousands of emails on a monthly basis. Linking a business’s email signature to the landing page of its website is a great way of exploiting the emails.
The Red Cross has to generate revenue, just like any other company, through donations. The organization has attained this goal by adding links to its donation pages in the email signature of every employee.
Prospects who reached out and engaged with the workers through their altered signatures were 20% more likely to make a donation.
The customer service team sends out even more emails and gets in touch with different kinds of people. Therefore, businesses can use the signature section of their emails to pass information to prospects. For instance, ‘refer a friend to get 20% discount.’
Lead Generation Tools and Services
AdRoll is a tool that business owners and marketers can use to keep track of warm leads. These are the prospects that have previously been exposed to a business website and had a positive experience.
The tool can help marketers bring back warm leads to the business site to make purchases.
Art of Tea tracked customers who abandoned their shopping cart using AdRoll. The company realized a five times increase in revenue.
Pop-ups can help increase op-in rates.
According to a case study conducted by the A Weber blog, pop-up signup forms can generate leads online by up to 1,375%.
A good pop-up is attractive enough to lure prospects and easy to exit in case visitors are not interested in signing up.
LaunchBit is a great alternative to buying or renting email lists.
Businesses can promote their lead generation campaigns in email newsletters that their target audience would love through sponsoring.
The tool ensures that all lists are legitimate through screening. Sponsor transactions to the advertiser are also handled for a smooth experience.
Businesses can access newsletters related to their target audience through the LaunchBit marketplace.
Kinvey used this tool to market its new ebook to generate new subscribers as email leads. Every time the company invested $3 in LaunchBit, it generated a new lead and thus named the ‘$3 machine.’
Kinvey successfully generated new leads through the platform.
4. Social Hubs
Posts made on social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook have a lifespan of about 3 hours.
Businesses can use social hubs to prolong the lifespan of their posts. The hubs are embedded directly onto websites, and they function by tiling posts on social media platforms into a grid. Calls-to-action can then be inserted in the grid to track and collect leads from the posts on social sites.
Data.com is a site under the ownership of Salesforce; a large database of companies in existence today.
Businesses can make use of this tool to streamline their lead generation campaigns. As a result, less time is spent looking for new leads and more time dedicated to engaging prospects.
The tool allows for fast and accurate identification and filtration of new prospects. Nucleus Research used this tool to increase its yearly revenue by up to 200%.
6. Google AdWords
Businesses use AdWords to place forms within search ads, generating leads online with the potential to make purchases. Email addresses can be placed just below text snippets, resulting in qualifications different from those obtained from landing pages.
Red Oak Apartments generated leads with up to 300% increase in traffic by using AdWords.
Check out this comprehensive guide on how to save money when using AdWords to generate leads online.
Drip allows businesses to take advantage of passive traffic in lead generation.
The tool comes with a less obtrusive popup technology. It gathers leads from prospects interested in a brand, funneling them into the business’s email marketing programs.
Drip can be embedded onto a website through its popup technology to track and collect leads.
Temper.io used this tool to create an awareness regarding its email newsletter. Temper is a subscription service that quantifies how customers feel about any given brand.
In just two months, the company was able to generate more than 1,000 new leads (email subscribers). The new leads were given special offers to transition them from free plans into paid plans.
The most comprehensive internet guide on Microsoft Excel, SkilledUp, receives thousands of visitors to its website each week. It is an online courses site that assists people from all over the world to learn Microsoft Excel. However, it barely generated any leads upon its development.
The site deployed a quiz to examine people’s skills in Excel. The test on the company’s site was set up to send leads to MailChimp. In just a matter of 2 and ½ months, SkilledUp was able to generate about 1,438 new leads.
For quizzes to be effective in generating leads online, business owners and marketers must:
- Design an easy to use and fluid user interface, without radio buttons, as they are a reminder of school tests.
- Come up with topics that are highly relevant to the business niche and useful to the audience.
- Offer enough reward at the end in exchange for lead collection.
Take Charge of Lead Generation Campaigns
Marketers can validate their campaign efforts to determine whether or not prospects are gaining any value by filling their sales funnels with new leads.
There’s always the pressure to generate and deliver qualified leads via the sales funnel. Although the essence of lead generation is well understood by all business owners and marketers, there’s always the challenge to come up with effective and fresh ideas.
With proper understanding of the strategies and tools discussed in this guide, any business, whether new or established, should be able to generate sufficient leads in no time.
Although content marketing is not included, it’s just as important.
Got another great strategy or tool in mind for generating leads online that is worth sharing? Add it in the comments section below!
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