9 Must-have strategies for how to generate leads

Let’s imagine that you meet an attractive stranger at a bar or coffee shop: you talk for an hour or two and, because you really hit it off, you want to jot down his number before he heads home for the night. Why? Because you know you need contact information to drive the relationship forward. So, if you’re wondering how to generate leads—that’s how it’s done. Whether you’re at a watering hole or wandering about on the world wide web, generating leads comes downs to collecting contact information so you have a way to follow up with after that initial meeting.

Without leads, you’re stuck with nothing more than anonymous web traffic, which puts you in a frustratingly passive position: instead of following-up with valuable content and offers, you have to just cross your fingers and hope for a conversion.

Collecting qualified leads is what puts you back in the driver’s seat of your business by allowing you to engage qualified customers, so you can start to pull them towards a sale. Without leads, your sales funnel is empty and no business can survive that kind of a dry spell.

At the top, you’re trying to get cold web traffic aware of your brand (AKA that you exist out there in the wild wild web). Then, as you produce additional content and get them to engage with it, you’ll begin converting cold traffic into leads and inviting them to consider the final points of what your business is and what you can do for them. And finally, lower down in the funnel, you’ll dig into the nitty-gritty details of your features/ benefits and how you compare to competitors in the marketplace and by doing so, you’ll invite your warm leads to make a purchase.

First, blogging shows that you are a brand worthy of engaging with and purchasing from. Linda Formichelli with Commusoft sums it up well: “Get started now and be consistent. Regular posting shows your prospects that you’re trustworthy and reliable—so they’ll come to you when they’re ready to make a purchase.” They help establish your business as the ultimate source of information in your industry—and that trustworthiness lends itself well to sales.

One of the strongest lead generation strategies is using your blog’s call to action to attach your lead magnet. John Doherty, founder and CEO of Credo, advises, “Go into Google Analytics. Find your five most popular pieces of content. Then, spend an hour creating content ‘upgrades’ that you can use as downloadables. Once it’s live, have a follow-up sequence via email.”

Basically, this means your blog should give the audience just enough of a taste to make their mouths water… but don’t give them the full meal just yet. Once they give you their contact info, you’ll serve them with more in-depth content with a lead magnet like a downloadable book, template, or guide. Blogs should answer their question at the foundation and the lead magnet should solve their problem at a deeper root.

Then, after the webinar, you can work on converting warm leads into paying customers. If your webinar offers enough value and personality, then your customers will be engaged enough to purchase or move to the next step in your sales funnel. Your webinar should finish with a link and CTA to a second landing page or a sales page so the prospect can seamlessly move into next steps.

Although email capture forms are necessary, they’re also becoming more and more common. Some websites have been using them to spam people, which has made users wary of giving out their information too frequently. Lead magnets work well because they provide legitimate value that your prospects are looking for in exchange for their precious contact info.

“Say something fairly ambiguous that will pique the reader’s curiosity. Try something like, ‘enter your email for a surprise.’ Naturally, people will want to know what your surprise is! Then, when you email them, the subject line could be, ‘Open for your surprise…’ The email can then offer something like a small discount, special offer code, or extended trial for your product or service.”

Every time someone has a question about your business, product, or industry, you have the opportunity to not only answer their question but also to pull them into your sales funnel. This includes live chats, forums, help centers, and comments on social media. If someone even asks an applicable question on Quora, your business can answer to demonstrate credibility and authority.

For example, Zapier automates every aspect of your workflow. From lead generation on your site to an email drip campaign for those leads to communication on Slack, Zapier pulls together all of your business parts to create a centralized marketing environment. This keeps your lead generation flowing while pulling together data that can help you use those leads moving forward.