7 Effective Ways to Generate More Leads for Your Business

Starting a new business is rarely easy. You may plan ahead, pour your heart and soul into it, and advertise it far and wide – but traffic may still lag behind your expectations. Or, you may be acquiring traffic, which, however, fails to translate into leads. Whether yours is an established business or one that’s now taking off, this is far from uncommon. So, in this article, we’ll delve into the 7 most effective ways to generate more leads for your business.

Defining lead generation

But first, let us very briefly define our terms. “Lead generation” is quite a misunderstood term, because its proverbial sibling, “lead acquisition”, also sees much use.

In the context of digital marketing, a plain definition of a “lead” would be “a visitor who enters your funnel”. Thus, leads may include:
•Newsletter subscribers
•Visitors who download free resources
•Visitors who fill a contact form

In all cases, then, a “lead” needs to have submitted their contact information. In turn, lead generation strategies are strategies that seek to generate more leads for your business, using the above definition.

 

Lead generation vs. lead acquisition

So, where’s the difference between the two? ActiveProspect illustrates the difference very well:

An illustration of the components of customer acquisition: lead generation, lead acquisition, and lead conversion.

In  essence, the process of converting web traffic into customers has 3 main stages:

1. Lead generation; this is where traffic yields raw leads. In other words, where visitors and passersby express interest in your proposition and submit their contact information.

2. Lead acquisition; this is where leads become qualified. That is, where leads progress further down into your sales funnel and become ripe for contact by sales reps.

3. Lead conversion; finally, this is where qualified leads convert and become customers.

As you can see, then, the two are distinctly different. Granted, they’re both part of the overall customer acquisition process, and they do overlap in many practices. However, sales performance, from budgeting to outreach to final revenue, does rely on accuracy.

Becoming a top sales performer by leveraging both
Finally, on that note, you may be seeking to improve your sales skills through research into such subjects. If you are, generating, acquiring, nurturing, and – yes – discarding leads definitely need to become part of your skillset.

In this regard, and in the context of this article, consider the following examples:
Lead generation; web traffic is certainly desirable, but generating leads should be its ultimate goal. That’s exactly what this article is about, after all.

Lead nurturing; remember, lead acquisition hinges on proper outreach timing. If you don’t properly nurture leads beforehand, you will be wasting time contacting unready customers.

Discarding leads; finally, no lead lasts forever. From generation to acquisition to nurturing, leads will inevitably fall off – and trying to chase them will be fruitless. It’s the hallmark of a great sales performer to be able to identify such leads and discard them.

These distinctions will come into play just below, and hopefully, help you more effectively generate more leads for your business. From better resource allocation to lead management, these qualities should help your strategies thrive – and save you money doing so.

The 7 best ways to generate more leads

With the above context in mind, let us now delve into said strategies. Citing Ascend2’s oft-cited research, Neil Patel rightly argues the 7 best lead generation strategies are, in order:
1. Email marketing
2. Landing pages
3. Content marketing
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
5. Social media marketing
6. Webinars and virtual events
7. Paid search and online advertising

A graph on the most effective online tactics used for lead generation.

Now, you might’ve noticed we’re excluding #8; testing and optimization. That’s simply because that’s not a standalone lead generation tactic, but a supplementary tactic. As Neil Patel puts it, “testing and optimization isn’t a lead generation strategy in and of itself – it’s something you do with the other strategies”.

The other 7 are, however, notable – and demonstrably effective – tactics that may help generate more leads for your business. So, let us explore the merits of each, and discuss their effectiveness/difficulty ratio.

1. Email marketing

Starting with the uncontested king of lead generation, email marketing remains extremely prominent today. That’s because it boasts an astounding Return on Investment (ROI); Omnisend quantifies it as a massive $40 for every $1 spent.

However, final effectiveness will depend on many factors; your copy, outreach timing, and so forth. In our context, consider 2 forms of email marketing that best showcase the above generation/acquisition distinction.

1. Cold emails. Cold emails are a predominantly outbound, “push”-type form of marketing. Their name comes from them being “cold”, as in being sent to recipients that don’t yet qualify as leads. Understandably, this tactic can generate leads out of successful outreach.

2. Warm emails. Instead, warm emails are the ones your subscribers and existing leads receive. This type of email sees higher open rates and more overall engagement since recipients have opted into them. However, this tactic will acquire and nurture leads, not (typically) generate new ones – given the above definition.

In either case, emails are an excellent tool at your disposal. Moreover, they can synergize with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and other assets you might use.

2. Landing pages

Coming as a close second, landing pages are also incredibly effective – but do require a sound overall strategy.

In brief, landing pages are pages where visitors first “land”, as the name implies. Visitors may find your landing pages through such sources as:
•Search engines
•Social media campaigns
•Referrals and page shares

In turn, landing pages may offer different types of content. Ideally, websites should have different landing page types to court different leads across the sales funnel:

Informational; these landing pages offer informational content that may generate leads.

Navigational; instead, navigational pages court leads who are navigating your website into acquisition.

Transactional; finally, these landing pages convince leads to convert through alluring Calls to Action CTAs.

Finally, landing pages synergize very well with other marketing practices, such as:

Search Engine Optimization; SEO lets your landing pages rank higher in search engines to generate more leads.

Social media campaigns; social media activities can promote engaging landing pages for more website traffic.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO); finally, CRO can refine your landing pages to secure more sales.

Thus, in all cases, landing pages should likely warrant your attention. Optimal landing pages can generate more leads for your business, nurture them along their journey, and convert them into customers.

 

3. Content marketing

Now, content marketing requires two disclaimers. One, according to the above study, content marketing is notoriously difficult compared to other tactics:

A graph on the effectiveness versus difficulty for lead generation tactics.

As you can see, only social media marketing and webinars, and virtual events have a steeper effectiveness/difficulty ratio.

However, the second disclaimer is that content strategies are not exclusively lead-generating strategies. Rather, as Forbes notes, they are holistic strategies that augment your entire sales funnel – including lead generation. Thus, you won’t be engaging in content marketing just to generate more leads for your business. You’ll be doing so to attract, yes, but also nurture and, ultimately, convert leads.

The Content Marketing Institute, cited by Forbes above, defines content marketing as such:

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

So, in our context, what content types can help generate leads? Consider the following examples, and how they may fit your existing strategies:

Landing pages. Your landing pages themselves are content by definition. Consider blog posts, ultimate guides, how-tos, and other informative pages you can promote to attract new audiences.

Infographics. Nothing conveys information as effectively as a visually pleasing infographic. Those can augment your landing pages, appear in Google Image searches, and even be offered to other pages for backlinks!

Videos. Much like infographics, videos are incredibly effective. If you can produce captivating videos, they can elevate your social media posts, enhance your landing pages, enrich your other pages, and so much more.

4. Search Engine Optimization

Having discussed search engines and landing pages, SEO could only follow. While it too presents challenges, it is among the most potent digital marketing tools today.

In brief, SEO is a series of practices that optimizes content for search engines. To do so, it aligns it with search engine ranking factors, allowing it to rank higher and ensure better visibility. According to Backlinko, there are over 200 such factors, including:
•Website loading speed
•Page mobile-friendliness
•Domain Authority
•Content keywords, formatting, images, etc
•Content freshness, quality, and length

Understandably, that’s where SEO’s difficulty stems from. However, it is among the best ways to generate more leads for your business. That’s because, according to Search Engine Journal, the top 3 search results share almost 50% of all clicks:

A graph that shows how Google search result ranking correlates with clicks.

Thus, SEO is the deciding factor that will determine if your content reaches your intended audiences. If done right, it will kickstart your lead generation strategies. If done poorly, it may undermine your content marketing efforts and deprive your website of coveted traffic.

5. Social media marketing

Similarly, social media marketing can offer a potent asset and generate leads for you. However, it does have the worst effectiveness/difficulty ratio of all tactics on this list – so let us discuss why.

Initially, much like SEO, social media marketing offers access to a vast potential audience. To prove this, simply consider the massive user bases of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Moreover, much like content marketing, it is not exclusively a lead generation tactic – modern customers use it for so much more, like:

Engagement. Social media audiences actively seek brands to engage with. That makes social media marketing an excellent lead nurturing tool.
Referrals. Similarly, social media users share engaging content. This does generate leads for you, but with the added perk of generating qualified leads; people share content with their peers who are invested in said content.
Customer service. Finally, increasingly more customers use social media as customer service portals. This lets them serve as customer retention tools, satisfying existing customers and, hopefully, making them advocates for you.

Thus, while social media marketing can present challenges, it too likely deserves your attention. In the digital age, a social media presence alone can work wonders for your entire sales funnel.

 

6. Webinars and virtual events

Next, come webinars and virtual events. This tactic, too, presents some challenges, albeit lesser ones than social media marketing. However, it too can both generate and acquire leads with notable effectiveness.

Naturally, their challenges often stem from content marketing concerns. These may include:
Production costs. Whether you’re conducting webinars on your niche or organizing an event, production costs are a given.
Final value. In addition, the final value of such efforts may come into question. Can you measure their effectiveness to determine their final ROI? In many cases, the answer will be no.
Promotion. Finally, who do you promote it to, and how? Especially without robust SEO and social media marketing foundations in place, your promotion may end up lacking.

 

Nonetheless, they can still pay off very well and generate more leads for your business. Why? Because they can perfectly align with your other strategies. Webinars can serve as free informative material for your pages and other lead generation platforms. Virtual events can leverage your social media tactics, engaging with your audiences, enhancing your brand image, and earning referrals. Thus, while they may not pay off tremendously as standalone tactics, they can certainly augment your existing ones.

7. Paid search and online advertising

Finally comes online advertising, typically in the form of paid search. That’s because, as 99Firms notes, paid search continues to outbudget paid social and display advertising combined:

Pie charts on paid search, paid social, and display advertising budgets.

Often referred to as Pay Per Click (PPC), this tactic comes with fewer challenges but also fewer returns.

The reason for this is simple enough as well; PPC also seeks to acquire leads, not just generate leads. What’s more, PPC requires extensive research, as Wordstream explains the factors that it calls for:
•Keyword relevance
•Landing page quality
•Quality score
•Creativity

Moreover, PPC keywords need to be:
•Relevant
•Exhaustive
•Expansive

That said, PPC can still effectively generate more leads for your business if you do it right. Consider such statistics from the aforelinked article as:

•“17% of marketers use PPC ads for lead generation.”
•“96% of brands are running PPC ads on Google.”
•“PPC is a huge business driver for 74% of brands.”

Moreover, PPC can also synergize with the above tactics – most notably SEO. For example, in the context of lead generation, you may target keywords you can’t rank for through SEO for PPC. This way, one will augment the other, ultimately yielding more overall leads than either would alone.

 

Conclusion

To conclude, there are as many ways to generate more leads for your business as there are marketers. Still, the above should hopefully serve as a good starting point and shed light on how many such tactics synergize. In all cases, however, you should consider two key factors; the effectiveness/difficulty ratio, and how your existing strategies frame them. Should any tactic seem worth your time, effort, and budget within this context, it should help generate those coveted leads.

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