Lead Generation – The Exhaustive Guide
Leads are important for any business to be successful. However, most startups and businesses fail to gather leads consistently. They often find it really hard to gather right leads for their business that they can convert into their customers in long run.
There are lots and lots of ways in which leads can be generated. Lead generation however is an art and you need to try out lots of leads generation methods before you can find out the one specific method that works 100% perfectly for you.
I will be writing this guide to show you various lead generation methods that you can leverage in your business to grow it. I have tried lots of lead generation methods personally in my business and would be writing about some of them which are really great out of the crowd.
1. Leverage Other Networks for Lead Generation
There are lots of networks where lots of people flock in numbers. I have personally found that if you could somehow share your content or something interesting that audience on that specific network would like you could actually grow your leads data out of that network.
Let me give you some practical examples:
A. Warrior Forum
I am long time member of Warrior Forum which is a forum for internet marketers.
I do like sharing my knowledge on the network which actually shows my expertise in the forum. Lots of people often get connected with me when they see my interesting comments or thoughts on variety of things.
At the same time, every once in a while, I release some of my products or giveaway free guides in the network. People buy or download my free guides on the network in return I get leads out of the network. Basically I try to leverage existing networks audience to build and generate leads for my business.
I am believer of building and sharing free products that people can use without having to pay for them. I have personally created lots of WordPress Themes and plugins which are available on WordPress.org network for entirely free. People often download them and at the same time I get lots of free leads out of it.
2. Capture Inbound Leads
You have to be smart to capture leads from out of your own network. But you have to be way more smarter to make sure that any one who comes over to your website directly or by referral should be captured as you leads. Now lot of people make this mistake that they don’t leverage their own network in entirety to capture leads. I know because I have done this mistake myself a lot of time.
I will give you some smarted ways to make sure that you capture every single possible leads out of your network.
A. Capture Leads using Smart Widgets
Lots of people usually have contact page on their website. But often time, I have seen that those contact forms are often limited and are shown on just one specific page on their website. Things shouldn’t be that way. You should be creative and smart enough to find widget which can actually show your contact form on every single page on your site.
Slide in widget is the solution for that.
Shameless Promotion: FormGet comes with a smart sliding widget which shows up on every page on your site.
If you have a widget which capture leads from every single page of the website, you increase your chances of lead generation manifolds compared to your widget present on just a single contact page on your site.
B. Interrupt Them
You can increase your chances of lead generation manifold by presenting your offers or something interesting using some interrupting medium.
This is one of the reasons popups are very popular since they increase the chance of lead generation. People nowadays don’t have time to see you non-interrupting lead generating form somewhere on your website.
If you could smartly present something interesting and in a interrupting way, people would be more than happy to give you their emails.
I have a interesting case study on “How interruptions can actually double your lead generation”
The smart slide in widget that I referenced in the point above has a great evolution story.
Earlier we used to present the smart widget in a non-interrupting way and used to show it on all the pages. The flow used to go like this:
The little red colored slide in tab widget used to stick on right side of the screen. People noticed it and clicked it and than they can fill and basically submit the forms.
Earlier it was non-interrupting and people have to click it to view it.
We introduced a interrupting medium to show the widget few months later, the only change that we did was that rather than it getting stuck on the right. Once the visitors spend few seconds on the page, it used to popup out automatically basically interrupting the users at the right time.
To out amazement the day we started doing that, our submissions through forms went roof. We have twice as many submissions as we used to have when the widget was non-interrupting.
So, if you are not doing it yet. Interrupting is the way to go.
Some things worth trying: Popups, Auto Slide-in widgets etc.
C. Offer Content Upgrades
You have a great content. People love it. You can actually build a upgrade content on the top of initial great content and give it to people in return of them giving you their emails.
I saw that for the first time on a website which was giving away lots of amazing free content for the readers and at the same time, they blocked certain free content that people can see only when they signup.
One interesting example that comes to my mind is of Quora.
Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited and organized by its community of users. Quora built their network initially in the same way by offering content upsells. They used to show one relevant answer for any question on Quora. If the users want to see more, they would have to register to view all the answers on any specific question. This simple thing increased their leads generation tremendously.
We personally build a WordPress plugin which did that and it increased our leads generating manifold. I would be attaching the plugin for free download here.
3. Capturing Leads You Already Have
Often we get so obsessed by the idea of capturing new leads that we often forget to gather leads that are already with us. Those leads that are already with you can be your initial potential customers in your startup.
Few good places to look for those leads:
A. Your Inbox (Gmail, Yahoo whatever)
There are lots of fantastic email extraction tools that can mine emails out of your email inbox and those can be your initial potential leads which can become your initial customers. Lots of people miss to get them out.
B. Your old contact form on your website
Your old contact form on your website that you have since long time might have gathered lots of leads overtime. You can extract those leads in some way and use them as your initial seed list. Last time I extracted all the emails from my 2 year old contact form on my website, I got more that 2400+ emails out of my rusty contact form. I didn’t missed to leverage it.
I used Gravity Form earlier and found a way to extract emails from messages. I use FormGet now which has a built-in mechanism for lead extraction from lead forms.
C. WordPress Comments System
My website is built on WordPress, you might be using something as well along the line. If you have a commenting system on your website. You can actually extract those emails out from your comments and use them as your leads for your business.
You can use this plugin to do that easily: https://wordpress.org/plugins/commenter-emails/
D. Your old Customers
Don’t forget your old customers can be your potential new customers for your new products or services. So don’t miss to leverage them for your new startup or business.
There are lots of other amazing things and ideas to generate your initial leads for your business. You can actually try lots of different things to see which one works perfectly for you.
You could leverage social networks like LinkedIn groups or Facebook groups to see if you could share something interesting in bigger groups and get them to navigate to your landing pages which has some free guides or something else interesting for the audience and basically leverage that existing groups audience to generate leads out for your business.
Takeaway: One key takeaway while generating leads is that never ever spam any system. The only way to generate quality leads is by giving away great things to the audience. That includes showing your expertise in the other networks or sharing freebies or doing something interesting that people would actually love to become your potential customers themselves. It is all about them getting pulled towards you rather than you trying to push onto you.
Feel free to share your amazing lead generating tactics that can help to generate leads efficiently.