8 Proven Lead Generation Tips and Techniques
Generating high-quality, high-quantity leads is a marketer’s most important objective. A successful lead generation engine is what keeps the funnel full of sales prospects, even while you’re sleeping! Surprisingly, only 1 in 10 marketers feel their lead gen campaigns are effective. What gives? We’ve looked at the tips and techniques that have worked best over many years—battle tested by more than 8,000 marketers to generate nearly 10 million leads last year. Here are eight of our favorites.
1. Create an element of scarcity
When supply is limited, demand goes up. Scarcity has a psychological influence on us, making us want something even more if there isn’t enough to go around. Scarcity is great because it creates a fear of shortage, and thus a sense of urgency. The three most common elements in this technique are:
- Limited time offers
- Limited quantity offers
- Limited time and limited quantity offers
2. Use the Bandwagon effect
It’s a natural tendency for humans to copy one another, even without realizing it — we like to be a part of tribes and social communities. So when we notice our social circle is doing one thing, we tend to follow suit. One great way to make an offer more valuable is to show that other people are participating in that offer Wherever possible, mention the number of people who have purchased, downloaded, signed up or donated. Just make sure your claims are not only true, but also believable.
3. Leverage newsjacking
After Prince William and Kate Middleton got married in 2011, people couldn’t stop talking about Kate’s wedding dress. Within hours after the wedding, vendors began making near-identical copies or similar styles of the Stella McCartney-designed dress. When something is buzz-worthy, it creates high demand. In situations like this, you can align offers with “what’s hot.” For example, when people couldn’t stop talking about Pinterest, HubSpot capitalized on this craze by creating the first Pinterest eBook for business owners and marketers. It quickly became one of HubSpot’s most successful eBooks with more than 125,000 downloads to date.
4. Create offers For different buying stages (early, middle, ready)
The most common offer we see on most websites is “Contact Us.” Sure, you want all your prospects to talk to sales, but not everyone is ready. Buyers are more likely to do their own research before even engaging with a sales rep. And every prospect is at a different stage of exploration. That’s why it’s important to develop different offers at different buying cycles.
Someone at the top of the buying cycle may be more interested in an informational piece, such as a guide or eBook, while someone at the bottom of the cycle might prefer a free trial or demo. Create offers for each phase, and include a primary and secondary call to action (CTA) for these offers on various pages throughout your web site.
5. Use high-value offer formats
Not all offers are created equal. Some offer “formats” perform better than others at converting leads. Here’s a list of the type of offers, in order of performance, that generate the most leads:
- Ebooks or guides
- Templates or presentations
- Research & reports
- Kits (multiple offers packaged together)
- Live webinars
- On-demand videos
- Blog (including offers in the nav or sidebar)
- Blog posts (if there is a call to action in the post)
- Middle-of-the-funnel offers: demo requests, Contact Sales, RFP, etc.,
It’s important to test different types of offers with your audience to determine what works for you. While eBooks score high on our list, you may find that reports, videos or other formats do better with your prospects.
6. Link Your CTA to a dedicated landing page
This tip might seem minor, but it’s incredible how often businesses miss this opportunity. Calls-to-action are meant to send visitors to a dedicated landing page where they receive a specific offer. Do not use CTAs to drive people to your homepage. Even if your CTA is about your brand or product rather than an offer, point prospects to a targeted landing page that is relevant to what they are looking for.
7. Emphasize the benefits of the offer
Make it clear in your brief paragraph and/or bullet points what the benefits of the offer are. It’s more than just listing what the offer is comprised of; it takes a bit of spin. Instead of “Includes specifications of product XYZ,” say something like “Find out how XYZ can increase productivity by 50%.” In other words, convey the value of your offer clearly and effectively.
8. Use social media
Social media isn’t just for liking funny pictures or tweeting what you ate for breakfast. Social media is an emerging channel that many businesses are taking advantage of. Build a loyal following. Remember that social media is a dialogue, and influence your connections to share content.
These are our favorites but there are dozens more out there. What techniques and tips have worked for you? Let us know!