Effective lead generation is one of the cornerstones of good business. It helps you attract interested consumers to your products or services so you can convert them on specific offers.
At the top of the sales funnel, your customer hasn’t decided what or when to buy. This is the time to ingratiate yourself to prospects and show them what your brand is made of.
However, many businesses get lead generation wrong. Nearly 80 percent of business owners claim dissatisfaction with their conversion rates.
You don’t have to panic, though. We’ve put together 11 lead-generation hacks to help you boost sales and gain more prospects.
What is Lead Generation (or Lead-Gen Marketing)?
Lead generation refers to the practice of attracting consumers to your brand via numerous channels. You’re looking for consumers who fit in your target audience and who have the means and desires to buy whatever you sell.
In the old days, marketers hit the phones to generate leads. You can still do that, but the Internet has created faster alternatives.
Lead-gen marketing simply describes the process required to fill the top of your sales funnel and to nurture leads toward a purchase. The more leads you collect — in particular, high-quality leads — the more sales you’re likely to make.
What Are the Best Lead-Generation Examples?
One excellent way to generate leads is to create an offer for your website visitors. With Hello Bar, you can create different popups and bars that communicate this offer to your visitors.
If people come to your website and see that you’re offering a 20-percent-off coupon, they’ll look for something to buy. We’re hard-wired to take advantage of sales, so it’s just good psychology.
Other great examples of lead generation include the following:
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Paid search and paid social
- Retargeting ads
We’ll explore these in more detail later on in this article.
Why Is Lead Generation Essential for Business?
You know what lead generation is, but why should you do it? After all, won’t people visit your website just because you built it?
The “if-you-build-it-they-will-come” mentality is ineffective at best. You have to give consumers a reason to not only visit your website, but buy your products or services.
That’s where lead generation comes in. Generating leads gives you a connection to interested prospects. Over time, whether it takes two hours or two months, you usher them through the sales funnel and turn them into (repeat) customers.
It all starts with collecting leads.
What Are the Best Tools for Lead Generation?
The best lead-generation strategies often start with automation. One effective way to achieve lead-generation automation is through implementing business process automation (BPA) strategies through which businesses can streamline their processes, reduce errors, and free up valuable time for their team members to focus on higher-level tasks, all while continuing to generate leads around the clock. If you can collect leads while you sleep, meet with team members, or go out with friends, your business becomes infinitely stronger.
Hello Bar, for instance, allows you to not only capture leads with effective offers, but also to A/B test different offers. You’ll collect lots of data as you test different strategies, which will ultimately make your lead-generation campaigns more effective.
You’ll also want a well-respected email service. Such a service automatically collects lead information from web forms and allows you to send email autoresponders and other communications without lifting a finger.
What Is the Lead-Generation Process?
There’s no one right answer to this question because it varies from business to business. However, lead generation often follows a similar process regardless of your industry or audience:
- Attract potential customers through lead-generation tactics, such as content marketing.
- Engage your audience through email marketing, social media marketing, and other efforts.
- Convert prospects into customers by presenting them with irresistible offers.
- Delight returning customers with continued offers and good customer service.
Each stage in this process should be carefully crafted for your specific audience. For instance, some businesses might have more luck with content marketing than social media marketing. That’s okay. Go with your strengths and your prospects’ behaviors.
11 Proven Hacks for Massive Lead Generation
Now that we’ve covered the background details, it’s time to look at the best proven hacks for lead generation. You can use all of them or pick a few with which to start.
Just keep in mind that lead generation can vary depending on your audience. You might find that one hack boosts your leads by 300 percent and another doesn’t make a dent.
If you’re constantly testing strategies and new methods, though, you’ll find the ideal combination. Marketing will get infinitely easier because you’ll know how to reach and attract your target audience.
1. Focus on Content
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads. Prospects can find your content via search engines, then discover what you sell.
The best content solves a specific problem. It hits on a customer’s pain point, describes a process or solution, and offers something memorable to take away.
Let’s say you run a footwear e-commerce store. You could write about topics like running and other fitness activities, selecting appropriate shoes, and coordinating outfits.
Of course, text isn’t the only effective type of content. You can also publish podcasts, videos, infographics, and other types of content to expand your audience further.
2. Optimize Your Website for Lead Generation and Conversions
An unoptimized website doesn’t do you or your visitors any favors. You want to continually reinforce your offers for lead generation, so pay careful attention to every page.
Optimization can seem a bit daunting, especially if you have a site with hundreds or thousands of pages. Deploying a site-wide lead-generation solution like Hello Bar can prove extremely efficient. You can still adjust the offer on individual pages based on their content.
Remember that the word “conversion” has different meanings depending on your goal. For lead generation, you want the prospect to call your business, hand over an email address, follow you on social media, or otherwise get in contact with your company.
In other words, your goal isn’t to make the sale, but to tip visitors into the top of the funnel.
Make Your Message as Clear and Simple as Possible
Today’s consumers are busy and impatient. They won’t waste time trying to decode a confusing offer or follow a ton of steps to reach a goal.
Your lead-generation message or offer should prove both compelling and easy to follow. For instance, let’s say you want people to sign up for your email newsletter using a lead magnet.
Log into your Hello Bar account, click on the Manage tab on the left-hand navigation bar, and select “Collect Email” from the list of choices.
You can then customize your Hello Bar however you’d like, from the aesthetic styling and success message to the cookie duration and the type of device on which you want it to show.
You can change every element individually. For instance, “Click Here” might not work for your CTA. You could change it to “Get My Free List” or “Yes, I Want My List.”
A/B testing different CTAs and offers can help you maximize lead generation and conversions. Don’t assume that you’ll nail it on the first try.
Once you deploy the Hello Bar, visitors can join your mailing list from any page on which you’ve published it. Including a compelling lead magnet can make your offer more enticing.
Add Obvious and Compelling CTAs.
The CTA matters more than any other element of a lead-generation campaign. If you don’t tell your visitors exactly what you want them to do, they probably won’t do anything at all.
You’ll notice that, in the above example, we used a declarative statement for our Hello Bar: “Download your free lead-generation checklist now!”
There’s a reason for that. Instead of asking a rhetorical question, give a command. You might increase your conversion rates by making this simple change.
Use A/B Testing to Experiment With CTAs and Other Elements
It’s impossible to know exactly what offer or message will work best for your specific audience. At least, not until you test it.
A/B testing is one of Hello Bar’s unique, built-in functions. You can create two or more modals with slightly different CTAs or other elements. Hello Bar will automatically show one version or the other when new visitors arrive at your site.
With Hello Bar, you don’t have to comb through data. It automatically tells you which version “won” your A/B test.
You’ll know which offer to use in the future to generate more leads.
3. Host a Webinar
A webinar unites two marketing tactics that work extremely well: video and interactivity.
During a webinar, you can show the viewer whatever you want. If you’re giving an Adobe Photoshop tutorial, for instance, a screencast might work best. On the other hand, if you’re selling shoes, live video with you in front of the camera might prove more useful.
According to recent statistics, more than 90 percent of webinar attendees want to participate in a Q&A after the event. In other words, they want to interact with you.
However, you can also replay your webinar later for people who missed it. Cut out any promotional offer you’ve included, then publish the video on your blog, YouTube, or a landing page (or all three).
What Is a Webinar?
A webinar is a live-video event hosted online that teaches the audience something of value. Attendees can sign up well in advance of the event, and the business typically provides some sort of discount code at the end.
Beyond that, there’s a lot of wiggle room for webinars. You can use any type of video you want, from animation to screencasts, and you’ll want a program that allows you to read questions and type answers for your audience.
Why Are Webinars an Effective Lead-Generation Strategy?
Webinars work extremely well because they result in conversions. They allow you to turn a prospect into a lead (and then into a customer) in a relatively short period of time.
Essentially, they operate as giant lead magnets. They’re a little like seminars, but attendees can participate from their own homes. That makes them highly effective.
Plus, as long as you’re providing something of value, you get to establish your credibility in your industry and present your business’s culture for the viewer. That’s a great way to inspire brand loyalty.
Use Website Content to Boost Signups
Lead generation isn’t always a straight line. Sometimes, you need to weave your website visitors into your corporate culture and brand through a more complicated route.
Website content, such as blog posts, can help boost webinar signups. At that point, you’ve collected a lead and increased your chances of interacting with the lead.
Include a link to your webinar in your blog post CTA. Later, after the webinar is over, change the CTA to something else so you don’t lose potential leads.
Alternatively, you can run webinars over and over again. In this case, you don’t have to change your CTA as long as the signup URL remains the same.
Plan Webinars in Advance
People often sign up several weeks before a webinar, and if you want to boost attendance rates, you need a long promotional cycle. Start promoting your webinar well in advance, then send sequential emails to remind your registrants about the event.
Tips for Webinar Lead Generation
You can do several things to increase your lead-generation results through webinars:
- Always ask for email addresses during the signup stage.
- Keep a list of people who signed up and did not attend, then send them emails about a subsequent webinar.
- Remind registrants they signed up during later emails to boost brand loyalty.
- Include an immediate download or other lead magnet with your webinar sign-up process.
- Create webinars that are at least 40 minutes long.
- Test different days and times to figure out the ideal timing for your audience.
Don’t forget about promoting your webinar. A Hello Bar can increase webinar signups, so consider creating one to launch about a month before your webinar’s air date.
If you follow those tips, you can maximize your lead-generation efforts and make your webinars more successful.
4. Use Google or Facebook as Your Website Login
People have gotten tired of creating new accounts for every website, especially in e-commerce. Filling out all those fields is time-consuming, and forgotten passwords have become a daily frustration for many consumers.
Lead generation is all about overcoming barriers and objections. A signup form for your website is a significant objection.
5. Use Strong Verbs to Write Powerful Headlines
Your headlines help convey value to your audience. Many people won’t read beyond the headline at all, especially if it’s not sufficiently compelling.
The best headlines combine SEO and clickbait. You want to entice both search engines and people, so include keywords related to the page’s topic along with something juicy for readers.
Powerful verbs automatically give more gravitas and interest to headlines. For instance, in the headline for this article, we decided to use the word “boost” instead of “increase” because it’s more powerful and interesting.
Many strong verbs exist, so grab your thesaurus. When you use a verb in a headline, make sure it’s the right one for your audience.
6. Create Irresistible Lead-Generation Offers
A lead magnet is designed to incentivize signups or other desired actions. Without a lead magnet, your audience doesn’t have any reason to convert on your offer.
Lead magnets come in lots of shapes and sizes. Many businesses offer e-books, checklists, or whitepapers as thank-yous for signing up. However, you can get as creative as you like.
The important thing is to create an irresistible offer for your audience. In other words, what do your specific leads want most?
If you’re marketing to people who don’t like reading, an e-book becomes a waste of time as a lead magnet. You could offer a video or audio recording instead.
Other potential lead magnets include webinar replays, calculators, cheat sheets, PowerPoint timeline templates, and case studies. You can decide what will most delight your audience.
7. Don’t Neglect Social Media for Lead Generation
Social media can play a huge role in your lead-generation efforts. It’s designed for interaction, so every time you respond to a comment, like a prospect’s post, or otherwise engage with your audience, you’re laying the foundation for a future relationship.
You already created a lead magnet in the hack above. Link to it from your social accounts using a compelling CTA. Focus on what’s in it for your audience.
Consider holding a contest or hosting a giveaway. These events are great for lead generation because they instill desire in your prospects. If they participate in the contest, they want the prize. Those who don’t win might buy instead.
You could also use the new live-video options available through many social platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. When you “go live” for your audience, you’re seen as more transparent and trustworthy.
Just remember that social media might seem like nothing more than a fun place to hang out, but people still want value. If your tweet, Facebook post, or other social media content doesn’t offer anything valuable, resist publishing it.
8. Dedicate Content to LinkedIn’s Platform
LinkedIn has its very own publishing platform, which allows you to publish original content for your LinkedIn followers to read. It’s also a fantastic lead-generation tool.
You have several options when deciding out to use it.
The first is arguably the easiest. Publish a new article on LinkedIn every time you publish a new blog post. Simply copy and paste the introduction into the LinkedIn publishing system, then add the words “Continue Reading” to the end. Using “Continue Reading” as anchor text, include a link to the full blog post on your own website.
Alternatively, you can create original content for LinkedIn alone. This takes more time and effort, but it can help you build authority.
Even if you republish whole blog posts or create original content for LinkedIn, always include a link in your CTA. It can go to the full blog post, as described above, or you can link to a landing page to collect email addresses.
9. Create Strategic Partnerships to Generate New Leads
Partnering with other business owners can improve your lead-gen efforts. You gain access to each other’s audiences, which benefits you both.
Look for partners who operate in the same industry, but that aren’t competitors. For instance, if you sell footwear, you could partner with a fashion company that sells other clothing.
Cross-promote each other’s content, link to one another in your blog posts, and host shared contests or giveaways. You’ll both maximize your lead generation and build more brand awareness.
10. Employ Exit-Intent Popups
An exit-intent popup is triggered when a website visitor moves his or her cursor close to the button for closing a browser or browser tab. You can easily create attractive exit-intent popups on Hello Bar.
Essentially, exit-intent popups provide a last-ditch effort to capture your lead. Most of these popups include some special offer or discount code to entice a visitor to provide an email address or buy a product.
11. Use the Best Software to Maximize Your Lead-Generation Efforts
Automation is the name of the game when it comes to lead generation. Now that we have many tools available to use for automating lead gen, how do you know which to choose?
The best software programs offer flexibility, ease of use, and effectiveness. Hello Bar is one of the best available.
You can use Hello Bar to capture leads, A/B test your offers, and much more. Plus, you’ll get sophisticated data to help you design campaigns in the future.
Partner Hello Bar with automation tools like MailChimp that help you nurture leads through the sales funnel. Staying in communication with your prospects helps you build brand loyalty and boost customer retention.
What is lead generation? It’s the process of acquiring access to potential customers. You can use automated lead-gen tools to collect leads faster and more efficiently.
If you’re struggling with lead generation, focus on deploying our 12 fast and simple tips.
Focus on content and optimize every page of your website for lead generation and conversion. You can host webinars, create lead magnets, publish on LinkedIn, and partner with other businesses in your industry.
Consider allowing people to log into your website using Google, Facebook, or both. You’ll eliminate a common objection.
Strong headlines with powerful verbs can help keep prospects on the page longer, and exit-intent popups allow you to present visitors with a final offer for conversion. If you’re using Hello Bar, you can create one in just a couple minutes.
What’s your favorite lead-generation hack?