When you run a business, you need to generate leads. Leads will turn into prospects who will turn into customers, and you will quickly start to boost sales and make a profit. It sounds simple when written down like this, but in practice it can be difficult to find good quality leads that will really make a difference.
Online lead generation is the key to finding these good customers and there are a number of different strategies you can use. Below are some lead generation ideas to start with, and while they should work with any business, you’ll need to tweak some parts to make them fit with what you want them to do.
There are billions of active email accounts all around the world and that means there are billions of potential customers — if you look at it in very general terms. However, some of these email addresses will belong to people who have no need of your services or who are not geographically in an area you want to sell to.
On the other hand, some of these addresses will belong to exactly the audience you want to sell to and who are most likely going to buy from you. Therefore, it is useful to use email marketing as a method for lead generation.
To begin with, you need to know who you get in touch with. You should have a personal email rather than a generic office one (if you are emailing businesses), and you should have permission to use this email. Having people sign up for newsletters on your website or via social media is a good way to ensure this happens.
Next, the emails you send out should create value for your customers and this value will depend on what your business is and who you are reaching out to. There could be an offer included, or you might want to talk about new ways you can make your customers happy. This email should be treated as a newsletter and include anything relevant — from choosing new dental software, to making life easier, to opening up new stores or putting a sale on.
Email marketing might be the best way to capture potential customers’ attention right away, but content marketing can also be useful in a more long-term plan. Content marketing means using online content to let people know about your business. The easiest way to do this is to use the blog facility on your own website. The blog is useful as it can give people an insight over time into what you are doing and who you are. It will offer help and advice, information, and give rewards such as discounts if you want it to.
As well as blogs on your own site, you can guest post on other websites, ideally those with high authority. This will help get your name and business noticed by even more people. Guest posting requires you to write interesting informative pieces, just as you would on your own blog.
Alternatively, if you don’t like writing — or if you aren’t confident about your skills and whether people will enjoy your blog — you could make a video instead. For some, this is the ideal way to get their message across in a more personal, friendly way. For those who are a little reticent about showing their faces on video, a podcast can also be of use and really help potential customers to know more about you and your business.
Whichever of these lead generation ideas you decide to use, make sure you have a social media page to share everything to, as this is also extremely important.
Need more ideas and resources? Check out these six creative lead generation ideas with examples.