Lead generation is critical for small businesses. Everything starts with getting leads into the sales funnel.
It's often said that money is the blood that's running in a business. To advance this metaphor, I say leads are the nutrition a business needs at every moment of its existence.
In this blog, I'll present 21 tips that could help you increase the number of leads you generate and send into your sales funnel.
Constantly improve your content
Let's say you published a business analysis in 2019. It needs updating. There are three reasons for this:
1. Keep SEO in mind
Google likes new content. It's not enough to simply change a date and publish the same analysis again, you need to add something fresh to it.
Users also like new content, so if you're showing the publish date, the conversion on a recent publish date will always be better than the conversion of an older date.
2. Stay relevant
Things change every day. Imagine how many changes there are in one year. Keep this in mind regarding your content.
3. Rank your content higher
A problem I see frequently is that people write a great piece of content that provides a new angle on things or new information, or has some useful tips from professionals. They publish it, and that's it.
Creating a good piece of content is easy. Ranking it is what really matters. Less than 10% of people go to the second page of a Google search, so make sure that your content checks all of the SEO boxes (here is a good Onpage SEO checklist that you can use).
Keep in mind, this tip will not generate leads overnight—it's a strategy that will pay off in six to 12 months.
Also, create an outreach campaign to let other websites know that you have published a great piece of content and try to get some links to it. Even if you have an established site with high domain authority, this will help you rank higher.
Work on your landing page
Improving lead generation is a never-ending road.
Let's say you're getting 100 visitors for $10. If 1% converts, you're paying $10 per lead. So, instead of focusing on how to increase the number of visitors, make sure that your conversion is pushed to the max.
4. Keep it clean and simple
Pages that make the visitor concentrate on what's important convert well. So, make sure that your page clearly points to where the conversion happens.
Get rid of unnecessary visuals that may distract the visitor, and review the text to see if there's any way to tell more with fewer words.
5. Present a clear call-to-action
Be polite, but also be direct about what you want the visitor to do and what you will give in return. That unique visitor may never come back, so it's wise to establish a line of contact before he/she disappears.
For example, do you want visitors to provide their emails? If so, make that clear.
6. Present a consistent message
Make sure that the narrative toward your visitor remains consistent from the moment they saw your link or ad to the moment they submit their name and email.
Also, keep your promises. If you get the visitor to click on your page because you promised a helpful guide, make sure you repeat the promise when they submit their email, and deliver it after the lead is recorded.
7. Make a clear value offer
Here's an example of a non-clear value offer:
“Enter your email and receive great insight into personal finance”
Here's an example of a clear value offer:
“Enter your email and receive a free, five-day email course that explains how to save $10,000 this year”
8. Use eye-popping CTA colors
Don't be afraid to make the call-to-action a unique color so it will stand out within the content.
9. Utilize A/B testing
A/B testing can be stressful—as you have to go out of your comfort zone—but it's an effective way to get better results.
Testing may range from an overhaul of your landing page to just some tweaks, like changing the CTA section.
10. Don't write 'We will not send spam'
Writing things such as “We will not send spam” only reminds visitors about the potential spam that they might receive. Rather, use the phrase “Your privacy is important to us.”
11. Utilize a 'Thank you' page
Keep your lead moving through the funnel—your work doesn't stop after you get the email information.
Make sure that your “Thank you” page navigates to other relevant content or provides related information.
12. Place a CTA on every page (where possible)
Sure, your landing page is the one where you create the most leads, but what about other pages?
Can a visitor easily drop his/her email info from every page on your site to stay in touch? If not, maybe you should consider a small sidebar CTA.
The goal is to make it as easy as possible for the visitor to leave his/her personal information.
13. Make it easy to read
I once read a post about long sales pitches that stuck with me. There was a revelation within it regarding who actually reads long sales pitches, the ones in which you have to scroll down for a minute or two as the text continues. The answer is people who want to buy.
This might be true, but it doesn't change the fact that most of your content will go unread. Visitors will read only 20% of the content, and in addition to that longer words will be skipped 75% of times.
So, make sure that you break up the text of your longer pieces of content by using shorter paragraphs, bullet points, info boxes, quotes, etc. Do whatever it takes to prevent your reader from skimming through your text instead of reading/absorbing it.
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Alternative traffic sources
When people talk about sources of traffic they usually mention the ones that everybody knows such as Google and Facebook. But there are many more platforms that you can try to see how they work for your product.
14. Instagram shoutouts
We all bought ads on Instagram and experimented with them, but did you try to approach actual Instagram accounts?
Check Instagram for the accounts that are related to your niche. For instance, if you're selling fishing equipment, there are many theme pages on Instagram about fishing.
You can write a direct message to those pages, and for a payment they'll place your ad on their account for 24 hours.
15. Giveaways and contests
While gaining in popularity, getting leads with giveaways is still quite under the radar. This may be an opportunity as these can go viral and significantly decrease your price for one lead.
For instance, this referral contest case study shows how an education company managed to get close to 58,000 emails with a contest.
Organic traffic on Pinterest is also easily accessible if you play your cards right, but the paid ads are one of the most interesting things that you can put into your marketing mix to get new leads.
Starting with Pinterest is very easy, and there's no need to wait years to get ranked—in comparison to Google.
17. Ad swaps
There are many communities of “ad swappers,” or you can reach out to a website that could have an email list in your niche.
You propose to send out an email with your link to their email subscribers. You will be paying for each click their subscribers make on your link.
If you don't have contacts in this area, research some websites that may be a good target for such an “email shoutout” and send them a cold email pitch.
You can outsource the search for such leads through Upwork and automate the cold call emails with an outreach service.
Another frequently overlooked ads platform is Twitter, which can become another great source of traffic that you will convert to leads if used correctly.
While everybody seems to still push for popularity on Facebook pages, LinkedIn stays under the radar. And there are many ways to use it to generate leads.
LinkedIn is particularly useful for B2B or more “professional” types of products. You can attract leads with a free guide on a relevant topic or promote a webinar to gather a big audience.
Instead of creating another lengthy guide, invite visitors to a free webinar on a relevant topic.
A webinar allows you to directly present your product or services, answer questions, build the brand and, most importantly, get more leads for your sales funnel.
There are many examples of brands and products that slowly built a notable audience around their YouTube channel. Some just make videos about their existing posts, and some describe how their look would help you achieve your goals.
In this guide, you can get more insight on how to get started with YouTube.
Improving your lead generation channels is an ongoing task. If you're not constantly tweaking and improving, be assured that your competitors are.
Testing your existing channels and testing new ones is the only sure way to stay competitive and make sure that you're converting as much traffic as possible. In other words, never stand pat in this area. No matter how long you're in business, you might be pleasantly surprised by how a particular change will outperform your existing setup.