In this article, we’ll cover all the effective ways on how to generate sales leads online so that you can get started right away.
Lead generation can be an overwhelming process for any marketer whether you’re new in the industry or trying to adapt to the changing patterns. Since there are so many ways to generate leads towards your business, it’s quite easy to miss out on one route and then wonder if using that would have helped to grow the business.
What is Lead Generation?
In digital marketing, lead generation refers to the process of attracting potential customers. Through lead generation tactics, marketers want prospective customers to find their content, actively follow them on their social media, and engage in conversations about their product/service with others.
The catch here is, marketers do not just want to attract anyone and everyone as it might do them more harm than favor.
The idea is to attract leads that can be turned into conversions. There’s no point in attracting prospective customers if they never make a purchase. So, the focus should be on grabbing the attention of people who are genuinely interested in the product or service you sell.
Why is Generating Leads Crucial for your Business?
Initially, getting more leads refers to focusing on just the numbers and collecting information based on customers’ behavior. But the real task begins when you need to build a marketing funnel that will work for the prospective customer base. You must provide relevant content to the target customer. With that being said, marketing and sales should be in sync.
It’s not impossible to convert a lead into a customer without the help of your sales team if you have a solid marketing funnel. To make that happen, you must generate leads and analyze their behavior. The more you’re aware of how the potential customer’s mind works, the easier it will be for you to present exactly what they are looking for.
How to Generate Sales Leads Online: 16 Effective Ways
1. Website Optimization
Website optimization refers to the use of tools and practices that leads to improved performance of a website. To break into the competitive space, your website should present quality content which when prospective customers are subjected to, will lead to conversions.
There are multiple ways you can optimize your business website. But an effective way to do so is by utilizing keywords. You can either choose low-search volume keywords and create content around them to gain a first-mover advantage, or you can use high-volume keywords to attract a large number of people searching for those words.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the most organic way of generating sales leads online. It refers to forming and distributing educational information about your niche. The idea is built around gaining the prospective customers’ trust, not just sell your product or service. In comparison to the outbound route which is making a sales pitch, content marketing is the inbound version of generating leads.
Depending on the product or service that your business sells, you can choose from various forms of content marketing including images, infographics, blogs, videos, podcasts, case studies, memes, gifs, and more.
3. Conversion Funnel Optimization
The conversion funnel for every business looks different. For some products or services, the conversion funnel is much longer than that of others. Here’s how it works. For example, a customer wants to buy a pair of shoes. He/she is going to browse through a few articles to find out the best options and go for a pair that seems the most suitable for them. In this case, there are only a few touch points before the customer decides to buy the product.
On the other hand, let’s say the same customer is looking for a new heater to install in their house. Certainly, the research to get this product will be much more in-depth due to the price and type of product they’re looking for.
So, the number of touchpoints, in this case, will be higher before the customer decides to make a purchase. For your business, you must create the ideal conversion funnel so that it can generate a lead.
In order to create a conversion funnel, we recommend to use ClickFunnels.
4. Pay Per Click Advertising
Here’s another lead generation tactic with the utilization of relevant keywords. In the case of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, you’ll have more control over the type of keywords you want your business to be associate with. PPC is a much more affordable type of advertising in comparison to traditional print advertising.
Plus, the majority of the time it creates better leads because only the customers who are genuinely interested in a certain keyword, searches for it thereby, leading to your product/service page.
5. Paid Advertising
Paid advertising is the most tried and tested method of lead generation. Although it involves money, it promises sales leads online. While you can incorporate PPC in your marketing schemes to generate leads, other forms of paid advertising include purchasing advertisement spaces on blogs and magazines.
To receive a report on conversions, you’ll have to set up and designated URL in your analytics. Even though it’s a tough route, it will certainly lead to increased exposure of your brand and that’s exactly what you need to thrive in your business.
6. Utilization of Landing Pages
Optimizing the landing pages of your website is a smart move to generate sales leads. A landing page is a page on your website where prospective customers will land by following a link on social media platforms or through an advertisement available on Google. You must utilize your website’s landing page to convert these visitors into leads.
How can you do that? You can outline a possible problem as the headline of the landing page and provide a brief solution right below it. You just need to make sure that it’s consistent with the ad/post that led the visitor to your landing page.
7. Providing Unique Content
Nothing hits better than providing unique content when you’re trying to generate sales leads online. With that being said, coming up with unique content is certainly not an easy task.
If you have ideas about the type of content that will not only answer the questions that arise in the minds of potential customers but attracts them visually as well, you should jump right in and build content around your product. A great example to follow is David Zheng’s thought-provoking article about travel websites.
8. Search Engine Optimization
Customers are always looking for answers so they type in their queries in the Google search bar hoping to find to-the-point article headlines. With Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can provide the type of answers customers are looking for so they end up clicking on the link to your website. If things go right, your product or service will be shortlisted for a purchase decision.
9. Promote Excellent User Experience
No matter how amazing your website looks, it’s not going to generate sales leads if it does not ensure an excellent user experience. User Experience is how visitors search and browse your website. So, the websites that have a good User Experience will have higher interaction rates due to the content of the pages and ease of navigation.
On the other hand, a poor User Experience will lead to confusion and higher bounce rates. To generate leads, your website must be easy to access and understand with a limited number of menus and sub-menus.
If you want to build your website with WordPress, we recommend using Thrive Suite, that includes all the tools and plugins you need to build a conversion focused website.
10. Email Marketing
Email marketing is an effective way to take care of your online leads. It’s easy, valuable, and ubiquitous. Once you have a list of subscribers for your website, you can send them highly targeted emails and push them towards the buying process. You can also ask for post-purchase feedback from your customers.
Email marketing is an effective way of generating sales leads because the moment someone signs up to your website’s subscription list, you already know they are interested in your products or services. This way, you’ve got half the battle covered.
11. Utilize Lead Magnets
As the name suggests, lead magnets attract prospective customers to your business and aids in conversions. Basically, you want your prospects to give you valuable information about themselves like their email addresses.
To utilize lead magnets to generate sales leads, you can conduct polls with three or four options of free downloads. Then, go for the option with the highest votes. Sometimes, A/B testing between the first and the second-best options helps as well.
12. Online Networking
The quality of online networking by businesses plays a huge role in determining how many sales leads will be generated. Of course, the style of interaction will vary in different platforms, the main focus should still be connecting with the right people.
The amount of time and effort put into online networking is directly proportional to the extent of lead generation. Therefore, you should allot significant time to promoting the same message on the different platforms through online networking.
13. Increase Social Media Presence
Increasing social media presence will work wonders for generating sales leads. According to statistics, 68% of prospective customers go to the company’s social media pages to check posts as well as reviews from other customers.
So, if a potential customer checks out your business page on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and doesn’t find anything interesting, they’ll most likely refrain from purchasing products from your brand.
Of course, the extent of social media presence depends on the product or service you’re selling. For example, if you’re selling electronics, a good idea to create social media presence is by answering FAQs on your brand’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
In this case, Pinterest may not play a huge role. On the other hand, if your product is related to fashion or food, incorporating Pinterest will be a great idea.
14. Host Webinars
A webinar refers to a digital seminar. If you have expertise on a certain topic that is relevant to the product or service you’re selling, hosting a webinar could be a great idea for generating leads. Hosting a webinar for the first time can be tricky. But if you get it right, you’ll be able to locate multiple new leads.
Depending on the topics covered, a webinar may last from fifteen minutes to an hour. You need to keep in mind that webinars aren’t meant to just talk about your business. You need to focus on the industry and smartly incorporate your business into it so that potential customers view you as an expert.
15. Set up an Outreach Program
An Outreach Program refers to handing out solutions to a potential customer by tracking them down by yourself. For example, you could be browsing social media platforms and you’ve come across a post, comment, or tweet where a person is looking for a certain product or service that you sell.
In this case, you can consider responding to them with the link to your website. You could also leave them a direct message mentioning that your product/service can help them.
16. Online PR (Public Relations)
Since utilizing online PR to generate leads will be expensive, this should be your last option if you’re on a budget. However, combining it with other methods featured here will surely help to generate sales leads. To utilize online PR, you should shortlist a few social media influencers or product evangelists whose word can increase traffic for your business.
Then, send them your product to review it on their platform or pay them to talk about it.
Since there’s no magical solution to how to generate sales leads online, a good combination of multiple lead generation methods will certainly do the job.
It’s pertinent to find out which lead generation tactics will work for your business so that you don’t end up spending too much money and time on this process. Of course, trial and error always works but choosing a few of the featured lead generation ideas will help you attract customers.