Lead generation: 5 outstanding ideas to try

Customers don’t appear out of thin air. In fact, the process of turning a stranger into your customer includes a great number of actions, where lead generation is a core element. There are some proven lead gen methods like newsletters, PPC advertising, or webinars. That said, you shouldn’t be limited to these tactics.

Illustration of 5 types of lead generation to try.

In this post, I’m going to describe 5 less known ways of lead research and generation that will help you to fill your pipeline with leads!

Idea #1 Create a report

Newsletters have always been the most common way to generate leads that will become paying customers. However, the times are changing, and not every newsletter will work out. The email you send to the person should be as personalized as possible. There are a lot of studies that prove my point: personalization increases open rates and customer engagement. Now let’s find out what we can do with it.

The simplest way to personalize is to start adding a name of person and his/her company to each email. Fortunately, there are a lot of services that allows doing it automatically.

We’ll go further! There is another way that allows personalizing and bringing the value to each potential customer as well. If you’re selling some useful service, you can create a report for your potential customer’s site!

See, sometimes a person doesn’t even know that she needs something until you show the real example and real benefit of it. I know that the guys from Mention do it this way. Once I stopped using their service for a few months, they sent me a report with my main competitors’ mention statistics. And it worked out! I realized that it’s really interesting to know the number of mentions of each competitor and compare it to my service.

So you can apply your service to your potential customer’s site and send the report via email. Thus, you’re bringing the value and showing your service in action at the same time.

This method suits any IT company as you don’t even have to use your own service to create such a report. If you’re selling website development, design, or SEO, you can use some tools to make a site audit for your potential customer. Then you can send a report pointing all the errors on his/her website. For instance, Serpstat allows creating a site audit report in PDF format and adding your own logo to it.

Screenshot of Serpstat

Your customer may not  even know that they have these problems on their site. Therefore it’s a way to create value for them and increase their loyalty.

Example Serpstat site report.

The tool can find a lot of errors related to Meta Tags, Headings, Indexations, Redirects, Links, HTTPS certificates. You receive a full report with your own logo to it and can immediately send it to your potential customer.

Quick tip: don’t be overly self-promotional. It probably won’t work if you write something like: “Hey, I found a lot of errors on your site. I can fix it if you give me $100.” Would you get interested if you were to see such an email?

Creating a report is just a good way to start a conversation as long as you’re not asking for a favor in the first email. You can say that your IT company is working on a study of the most common mistakes on sites in 2018 and this is why you were analyzing their site. Once you strike up a conversation, you can try to offer your service.

Idea #2 Create a quiz

Good quizzes often go viral! It’s always interesting to check your knowledge, so people are glad to pass the test and to share it with their friends and colleagues. It could be some serious quiz, or just a senseless and funny test full of your niche’s inside jokes. Anyway, if your quiz is good, you’ll get exposure! A good example is Moz’s SEO quiz:

Screenshot of Moz's SEO quiz

The main advantage here is an opportunity to get a lot of your potential customers’ emails. You can ask your visitors to sign up before taking the test or ask to insert email address at the end of it to get an email with results or even with a certificate.

I’ve used a great tool called Qzzr to create quizzes:

Screenshot of Leadership IQ's leadership style quiz

People that take a quiz may be:

  • Visitors to your blog
  • Interested in your niche
  • Well-educated in your subject (or they just think so)

You can get a lot of emails of people that are likely to become your customers!

Idea #3 Difficult content

By saying “difficult content”, I mean studies, infographics, interviews, video content. You may ask what it has to do with lead generation strategies. Well, as I said earlier, your lead generation methods should be based on bringing the value instead of pushing the user to buy your product.

If you write useful content that provides actionable advice, share templates, or post unique case studies, your reader is likely to come back to your site over and over again. Your audience will be loyal to your brand, they will read your newsletter and attend your courses. All you need to do is to grab all Marketing Qualified Leads to your email list and start working with them.

Idea #4 Email course

Another way to get a lot of email addresses is to host an email course. Thus, you can get new contacts and bring value to people as well.

Screenshot from "Emotion Sells: The Masterclass" email course

Your course shouldn’t be promotional. Your goal is to introduce your company to the larger audience and get their contacts. If your email course is useful, you can increase the loyalty and build great relationships for the future. With an email course, you can add a bunch of new contacts to your email list.

Idea #5 Social media

The last thing I’m going to describe is getting leads from your social media platforms and some other external resources. Using social networks, you can expand your subscribers base too. There are few ways to do it:

  • Post content on LinkedIn. Hubspot points out that LinkedIn is the best platform for lead generation.

Bar chart from HubSpot showing that LinkedIn has a visit-to-lead conversion rate of 2.74% compared to .69% and .77% for Twitter and Facebook respectively.

  • Find leads on Twitter. Followerwonk tool can help you to find, filter and reach out to your prospects. Also, use social listening and lead generation cards.
  • Answer questions on Quora. Type your main keywords into the search box on Quora and find questions that are related to your niche. Here you can provide valuable answers mentioning your product or a piece of valuable content you created, and find new leads as a result.

Summing up

There are a lot of basic, time-tested lead gen strategies, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try something new. I described a few outstanding methods many companies aren’t thinking of. All of them are based on creating value and increasing users’ loyalty instead of trying to sell your product in the first email. Check these strategies out and draw your own conclusions!

About the author

My name is Anna Rud, and I work for Serpstat. Establishing an active presence on external resources, developing rich and quality content, implementing of brand strategy and many other are my key responsibilities. I’m often writing useful pieces on how to rank higher, how to write for the Web, how to carry out PPC campaigns and so on. Obsessed with the constant learning, liberal arts, and blues dancing.