No matter if you’re running a small-scale home business or growing a promising startup, lead generation is one of the most essential strategies you need to build your brand presence. Generating leads is so much more than making yet another sale. It’s much more about developing a lasting bond with a potential customer, preferably one that will result in repeat purchases.
Fortunately, the digital realm offers a myriad of lead gen strategies that can help you scale your business more efficiently and while preserving your resources, time and money included. Here are some of the most effective and diverse lead generation tactics you can leverage online.
Let Your Support Team Leverage Live Chat
Whether you have an e-commerce store or you have a service-based business, setting up live chat can become an excellent lead generation method. Your customer service agents can use the opportunity to ask the customer about their preferences, to cross and up-sell, and to get a better understanding of the market in general. While this may require some customer support or sales training or onboarding for your teams, it’s a decision that is worth it.
Live web chat may be a support-primary feature. But, when used to its full potential, it can help you bring people back to the site, develop stronger customer relationships, and even inspire referrals. Have you tried cold email?
No need to dread the idea of sending out dozens or hundreds of emails to the right target audience – lead generation using cold email is now much more seamless with automation.
You can use cold email software to set up campaigns which you can then track, analyze, and improve your deliverability and targeting over time. With advanced reporting, automatic scheduling, and the opportunity to tap into existing contact databases, you can simplify your outreach and expand your lead generation without excessive investments.
If you have a wide enough audience or would like to extend and diversify your reach, then sending bulk emails to as many potential customers is a great way to get more leads quickly. When creating such email marketing campaigns, make sure to research your recipient groups and personalise email batches to maximise engagement and open rates.
Keep in mind that file sizes and the way attachments are displayed will vary depending on the device and the email software they use. You also want to be able to optimise your emails with visuals without compromising on quality. Outlook, for example, limits file size to 34 MB.
On the other hand, some Outlook alternatives out there might be a better choice for marketing teams that want to have full freedom to scale and optimise their emails with the right visuals and messaging that will get people interested and turn them into qualified leads.
Offer Value Through Free Resources
Guiding customers on their journey increases your chances to turn them into prospects and thus generate more valuable leads. One great way to do that is to offer free, yet value-driven resources on your website. Modern customers appreciate brands that educate and offer actionable tips to their audience. You can even include these offers in your exit intent popups. Offering something valuable in your exit strategy can help you reactivate customers that were almost lost.
In exchange for simple, no-fuss subscriptions, you can offer an informative marketing ebook that is chock full of useful tips. Ebooks, infographics, and other resources are a wonderful way to educate your target audience, position your brand, and most importantly, get them interested in your offer. When written well, these resources can even earn you referrals and brand mentions across the web, which can only mean even more leads!
If creating such resources is too time-consuming for your business and current staff, you can easily outsource content creation to an expert. Then it’s up to you to make the resource available on your website, talk about it on social media, and send out a newsletter to your existing subscribers to remind them of your business.
Gamify Lead Generation with Quizzes
Although we all love those “what kind of pizza are you” quizzes, companies use this form of data-gathering for much more than fun. Brands today use quizzes for effective lead generation, as it allows them to add a more exciting layer to customer-facing content. Simply put quizzes allow brands to engage with their audience without being pushy or “salesy”.
Your brand can achieve so much by simply introducing the element of gamification to market research and customer questionnaires. A quiz is a perfect tool to help your audience learn something fun about themselves, making the experience far more personal, yet not at all demanding.
Make sure that at the end of each quiz, your potential customers have something to look forward to: a detailed analysis of their responses giving them useful insights. Fitness and nutrition apps leverage quizzes to provide great tips and to still guide the customer to the right kind of service on their site or app.
Invest in Inbound for Long-term Lead Gen
This is where online lead generation becomes a more in-depth, long-term effort, but with equally long-term impact on your business success. Inbound marketing consists of various creative content formats, such as blogs, videos, podcasts, interviews, infographics, reports, ebooks, etc.
The goal of adopting inbound lead generation strategies is to engage with a much larger audience. You will introduce the right keywords, informative links, and of course, meaningful CTAs throughout your content to drive more leads to your business. Inbound marketing requires you to play the long game in order to truly leverage it for lead gen. That means committing to regular content output, including written content and video marketing, engaging with your audience, and continuously analyzing and improving your efforts.
The most beautiful part of inbound is that a quality piece of value-driven content will often generate leads for months, if not years, after you’ve published it. Hence the immense ROI that comes with long-term inbound that makes this approach so worth your while.
Be Active on the Right Social Channels
Modern customers want brands they can relate to. If your brand has its own personality and character, it needs to be a living, breathing creature on social media, too. Creating quality content for social media does require effort, time, and creativity, but it’s also a brilliant way to drive more leads to your website and even generate sales through the social media platforms themselves.
Everything from authentic hashtags, user-generated content, contests, all the way to live streaming and free events can bring more people to express interest in your business. Social networks are a goldmine of leads for brands that are willing to put in the work to post regularly, respond to comments, shares, and messages, and grow their presence over time.
Connect and Network to Expand Your Reach
If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s that business owners can always find a way to persevere, even in the most impossible circumstances. When in-person events were banned, businesses rose to the occasion and started organizing digital get-togethers.
So, why wait until the next online gathering? You can organize your own webinars, workshops, conferences, and invite as many people as you think is suitable for your industry and audience. Networking remains one of the best ways to generate leads while building your own credibility in your field of work.
Over to You
Starting a business is merely scratching the surface of what it takes to sustain its growth and make sure that your solution finds its way to the people who need it most. Lead generation strategies are far from limited to the online realm – but using them can help you reach more people and build a stronger presence for your business.