Can you imagine how awesome it would it be if you owned a machine that could pop out quality targeted sales leads?
Just imagine that for a second.
You simply tell your magical leads machine what you want, push a button and voila!
Your machine starts firing a steady stream of business cards, email addresses and social media handles at you. All you have to do to get the sales is dig into the pile of leads.
Nice thought, huh? I think so too.
But I am pretty sure such a machine doesn't exist (yet). Any tech wizard reading this, you just got yourself an idea for your next project. However, just because we don’t have such a machine doesn’t mean the end of the sales world.
In fact, we can use the next best thing- the internet- to generate sales leads. There are many tried and tested techniques out there that have helped tons of businesses and companies to generate sales leads online. So, let’s focus on what we do have and try to leverage that as much as possible.
When it comes to lead generation, there are two sides involved. The first group is made up of those with a lead generation system already in place. If you are on this side of the fence, you might wonder if it’s worth it to try something new.
In that case, consider this: You know how always fishing at the same fishing hole can get boring? Plus, there is a high possibility that you might miss out on a really good catch elsewhere?
Trying to generate leads over and over from the same place is exactly like that. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to add a couple more fishing holes and to try a different bait once in awhile.
On the other hand, if you are on the hunt for ways to find sales leads, then sit tight and keep reading. That’s because we are about to light up the obscure lead generation corners of the internet with the methods below.
In short, get ready to learn how to not only create but also diversify your lead generation efforts.
The final result? You will reach more people, get more leads and hopefully, close more sales.
Let’s get the fire started.
1. Landing pages + Free downloads
I am sure you must have heard so many folks talk about landing pages and how you can generate tons of leads from them. And it’s true. Good landing pages convert like crazy and allow you to turn visitors into sales leads whenever they opt-in with their email addresses.
In our digital world, email addresses are like currency. Once you have them, you are all set to begin lead nurturing through emails. It’s a well-known fact that only a few people will buy on the first contact. With the majority, you will need to build trust by following up and nurturing the relationship until they are a 100% sure about buying from you.
As you can see below, lead nurturing helps to increase sales and purchase rates. And landing pages with a free download/resource helps to bring in these leads so you can begin nurturing.
However, before all of this can happen, you need to give people a reason to hand over their email addresses to you. This means you will have to offer something in return. It should be the kind of thing that your target leads can’t wait to get their hands on.
(Source: Circles Studios)
Some of the most common opt-in bait on landing pages include:
- Video/audio clips
- White papers etc.
Basically, think about what form of content people in your market enjoy and create that. Better yet, instead of diving in headfirst, do a bit of digging. See what your competitors are doing, ask your customers or conduct a survey/poll. This should make it clear what to create, the topic to pursue etc.
Once you have that, you are all set to put together your free resource and create a killer landing page.
2. Influencer outreach
Why do we see movie stars or famous basketball players in commercials or on billboards? Because influence sells.
People love to buy shoes endorsed by their favorite athlete even though another brand might have something better and cheaper. Being able to associate themselves to their idols (whether it’s through everyday products like deodorant) acts as a purchasing trigger.
And with more than 70% of teens trusting influencers more than celebrities, you have no choice but to invest in it if you want your business to succeed in the long-term.
That's why companies continue to spend more on influencer marketing:
You can also ride the influencer bandwagon no matter what industry you are in. You don’t need to sign up a celebrity for this. Thanks to the internet, there are mini celebrities in every industry known as influencers. No matter what your business is about, there is bound to be an influencer whose audience matches your target buyers. It’s all about looking in the right places.
(Source: The Shelf)
Most influencers are either popular on social media, have their own sites or a strong email list. Any one of these channels is perfect as long as the influencer has a strong voice (and following) in your industry. Doing a quick search online with industry keywords and topics will help you find influential people who talk/mention these topics. From there, you can put together a list of these influencers along with their social media profiles as well as email addresses.
Once you have a list, get in touch with these influencers. Make sure you mention what’s in it for them. It could be incentives such as cash, samples, free memberships etc. That’s something you should try to figure out beforehand. Also, familiarize yourself with their work so you will know how to use that to your business's advantage.
A lot of brands collaborate with influencers to create custom content that provides value and in the process, directs sales leads to the company’s website. Another method is to use product placement or reviews. All of these are indirect selling methods but work well since people trust influencers and love to buy stuff recommended by them
(Source: The Shelf)
Bonus: Here are 10 tips on how to collaborate with influencers the right way.
3. LinkedIn Saved Search
This is a “set and forget” lead generation method. If your potential customers are LinkedIn users, this is the easiest way to get targeted sales leads right to your inbox.
All you have to do is search for people with relevant keywords. For example, if your target buyers are sales managers, use the search bar to look for them. Once the results are in, you can further narrow them down based on location, industry etc. and then hit the “save search” option at the top.
From there, you can choose to receive weekly or monthly results by email. LinkedIn will then send you profiles of people that match your search criteria. Seems quick and easy, right? It should be. After all, LinkedIn is where business meets social.
4. Facebook Ads
Considering the huge number of active visitors that log into Facebook from all over the world every day, advertising is a good way to tap into a potential consumer base.
(Source: All Infographics)
Thanks to Facebook’s Ad Manager, you can run campaigns solely for lead generation purposes. You can also advertise your landing page on Facebook so people will go there directly and opt-in. That's much better than a website in terms of lead generation since visitors usually end up moving onto another website. Once they click away, it's hard to bring them back.
However, don’t jump into advertising on Facebook without research first. Like every other platform, you need to know if your target audience is actively present there or not. The best way to do this is to check out the pages of competitors. Also, search Facebook with keywords related to your industry to see the pages and groups available. You want lots of engagement in these places in the forms of likes, shares, and comments. Once you are able to tick all these boxes, then that's a go-ahead.
Just like other forms of advertising, you will need to run experiments, tweak campaigns, and measure results. All this can seem daunting. And it is, especially if you are new to advertising on this platform. However, I found a solid guide that walks you through this process so you can make the most out of every buck you spend on ads.
Also, check out these examples of Facebook advertising done right for more ideas.
It seems like anyone with some sort of expertise now has a webinar to their credit. Before I knew and got attracted to webinars, I thought it was just a trend and wasn’t bothered to find out more. But as time went on and webinar invites kept popping up, I just had to give in.
Finally, I found out what the hype was all about. A webinar is a short form of “web seminar” and it’s just an online presentation, workshop, or event. Since it’s held online, it allows for a greater pool of participants from around the world plus you can attend one in your PJs.
So, how can webinars help you with lead generation? Well, before the webinar goes live, people have to register to attend and this means they will need to provide their email addresses. So, right off the bat, this means you now have email leads.
(Source: Webinar Jam)
If you manage to properly promote your upcoming webinar by bringing it to the attention of the right folks, you could have a nice number of attendees. But keep in mind that not every registrant will be present. However, since you still have their email addresses and you can send them recordings or other helpful materials. The cycle of lead nurturing can continue long after the webinar ends.
For those who show up, provide them with tons of value in the form of Q&A, live chat etc. And at the end, throw in a call to action. Or you could follow up later via emails.
(Source: 3Sixty Interactive)
The main thing is, webinar attendees convert into sales leads well if you plan ahead carefully. Also, because people actually take the time to opt-in and show up, it’s a green signal that indicates they are ready for you to nurture. However, keeping track of how long a webinar runs is crucial since webinar lengths are important. Stretch it and you might bore people, make it to short and you could miss out on important points that your audience is waiting for.
(Source: 3Sixty Interactive)
Alo, some days and times are much better than others in terms of webinar attendance. So, keep that in mind when picking a date and time.
If you are pumped up and can’t wait to host your own webinar, here’s something to check out before you jump into it. Might save you tons of time.
6. Strategic partnerships
Some people prefer to go solo. They scale mountains on their own or handle business by themselves. Even though that’s fine, you could go further and do much better with some outside help. Ever heard of the saying “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours?” When it comes to business, you need to do a lot of back scratching. This means you will need to give up your status as the lone cowboy (or girl) and rope others in.
Ever heard of the saying “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours?” When it comes to business, you need to do a lot of back scratching. This means you will need to give up your status as the lone cowboy (or girl) and rope others in.
With the internet, you don't even need to be at the same place for these partnerships work. Nowadays, online partnerships are becoming increasingly common and popular due to the benefits they offer.
Apart from generating sales leads, a lot of companies believe that partnerships also help with customer acquisition the most. Not only that, an increase in revenue is another factor that pushes companies to enter partnerships.
No matter what you sell, there is bound to be complementary products/services that other businesses offer. Here is where partnerships come in. By pairing your products and , you are all able to make use of each other’s consumer base. The other plus point is, unlike partnering up with someone to run the same business together, you won’t be stepping on each other's toes. Rather, this will lead to increased exposure for every business that takes part.
Apart from that, strategic partnerships allow businesses to pool resources and ideas. Using each other's insights can help each business improve their own strategies and this can result in more sales leads.
You can also leverage your newfound affair by collaborating on content creation and sharing it with your respective audiences.
Bonus: Here are some rules to keep in mind when opting for digital partnerships.
Have you ever thought of podcasting for lead generation? If not, then you should. That's because nowadays, there is a podcast for almost every industry and interest. Multitasking is responsible for the rise in popularity of podcasts. People try to juggle so many things at once which means they want to consume information whilst commuting or having dinner without the need to pause every few seconds just to go back and read.
I can confidently say this because I also listen to podcasts most of the time. In fact, I mentally high-five myself whenever something I am searching for has a podcast episode. It means I can hit play and get the information I need whilst doing other stuff. Because unlike reading or watching videos, I don’t have to stare at the screen all the time and this makes it so convenient.
I am positive a lot of other people share this same feeling. Don't take my word for it, podcasting stats point to a rapidly growing user base. These people are hungry for new stuff all the time.
So, do your homework and if podcasts are popular in your industry, then consider trying them out. Remember, it’s all about providing value to your sales leads. This way, they can trust you enough to buy from you.
Another way to take advantage of podcasting is to reach out to already established podcasters. Once you have built a great relationship with them, request for an interview or mention on their show. If you provide value to these podcasters and your product is useful for their target audience, it will be easier for them to say yes.
I have personally discovered so many great businesses as a result of listening to interviews. This means other people out there are also tuning in and discovering products that match their interests. Find out how you can get started with podcasting for your business here.
8. Live chat on website
When you add a live chat box to your website, you tear down the barriers of communication. Not only does chat equals convenience for customers but it also leads to more sales leads. Customer support is able to guide visitors/sales leads/customers live without back and forth emailing. Plus with live chat, people can’t complain about getting stuck on hold whilst waiting for help.
(Source: Marketing Tech Blog)
Consider the stats below and you will see that many people prefer to chat with support instead of calling or emailing. If you want to improve your customer service and convert casual visitors to loyal buyers, then something as simple as a live chat box can make that happen.
(Source: Marketing Tech Blog)
Previously, the slogan was that every business should have a website. Nowadays, it’s shifted to every business should have a website AND a blog. Due to this, more businesses are including blogging as part of their online lead generation activities.
Without a blog, you miss out on a lot of opportunities including pleasing the Google gods. That's because blogging helps you to add fresh content to your site and Google thrives on fresh, relevant content. Blogs that are search engine optimized and reader-friendly help to increase website rankings. Better rankings equal more traffic which means more sales leads.
(Source: Feldman Creative)
Besides Google, blogging makes valuable information within the reach of internet users and your customers.
(Source: Feldman Creative)
Without any doubt, blogging, when done right, is a powerful tool that can increase customer acquisition and retention. So, you should make sure your business has a blog in place that is regularly updated with great content according to your industry.
Have a question about something I wrote?
If you have something to add that may improve the helpfulness of this information, I’d love to hear from you.
Whatever the case, leave your thoughts in the comment box below and I will get back to you.