10 lead generation tactics that work (with examples)
Lead generation is the process of engaging, engaging, and engaging your target market's interest.
Getting more leads is important as it gives you an opportunity to nurture your relationship with potential customers and bring them closer to buying your product or service.
In this post, you will learn about 10 different lead generation tactics that you can use as part of your lead generation strategy.
Here are the lead generation tactics:
- Turn your blog into a lead generation machine
- Guest blogging for leads
- Create free tools
- Partner with other brands
- Start a virtual summit
- Run freebies
- Turn your homepage into a lead collection magnet
- Set up a referral program
- Rank videos on YouTube
1. Turn your blog into a lead generation machine
Sumo's article about writing a newsletter is estimated to generate approximately 1,000 monthly searches:
Within the article, Sumo offers a free download:
Since Sumo sells an email capture tool, anyone who downloads this resource will be a perfect reference point for them.
You can use this strategy to turn your blog into a lead generation machine.
How it goes
First, make sure your articles are ranked high on Google for topics that your target market is looking for. Then add bonus content in exchange for their contact information.
a) Target topics with search traffic potential
You can't just write on a topic and hope that you will rank up. To get search traffic, you need to address topics with search traffic potential.
How do you find these topics?
First, enter some relevant keywords into Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. For example, if you sell coffee machines online, you can enter terms such as "coffee", "espresso", and "French press". Then go to the Phrase match When you run a report, it comes up with thousands of keywords to choose from.
Look for keywords with traffic and business potential. In other words, keywords with search volume that your target market is likely to be looking for.
b) Create content that ranks
To rank at the top of Google, you need to create content that deserves a rank. In this video you will learn how:
c) Capture reader interest with a content upgrade
Sumo captures leads by offering free downloads of bonus content. In the marketing world, this is known as a "content upgrade". This can be a worksheet, template, checklist, etc.
Note, however, that you cannot simply attach bonus content. Look carefully and you will see that Sumo always offers a content upgrade relevant to the article that the reader has just consumed. In the post “How do I write a newsletter?” Sumo offers a swipe file with newsletter ideas – perfectly suited.
Of course, you could give away something much simpler like one PDF Version of the post – but this is rarely a convincing proposition. Ideally, you want to give away something that is so valuable that signing up is a breeze.
As my friend Nathan Collier writes:
2. Guest blogging for leads
Guest blogging is when you are blogging for another website.
If you're wondering why, when you could get the post off on your own website, the answer is simple: you can piggyback the "authority" of a large website to rank on competitive, high-volume topics that You are struggling to rank your website. You can then convert that traffic into leads by linking to a content upgrade from the guest post.
For example, Sarah Cy wrote a guest post for SmartBlogger and linked back to her free checklist:
With the post generating an estimated 3,100 monthly search visits, Sarah is almost certainly getting a decent number of leads each month.
How it goes
First, find authoritative websites to write for. This should be relatively easy once you are familiar with your niche.
If not, go to Ahrefs' Content Explorer and enter a general topic like "Weight Loss" or "Diet". Content Explorer is a mini search engine in Ahrefs. It's backed by our five billion page database and you can use it to find mentions of anything on the web.
Set your search to "in title". Add a Domain Rating filter to show only authoritative websites.
Go to the "Websites" tab.
Browse the list and select the websites you want to write for.
Next, you should find a pitching topic that has search potential. The quickest way to do this is to do a content gap analysis. This tells you which topics the website you are pitching is not ranking for, but similar websites are.
Enter the other websites you found in the Websites tab at the top and your target website at the bottom.
Click on "Show Keywords".
Check the list to see if there are any suitable topics to write about. Then find the publisher's email address and map those topics. In your pitch, make sure these are topics that similar sites rank for, but not. You will surely be interested.
Recommended literature: Guest blogging for SEO: How to Create High Quality Links on a Large Scale
Written content isn't the only type of content you can create and rate to generate leads. You can also create free tools. This is especially powerful if you are a software-as-a-service (SaaS) company. Downsize the paid version of your tool and offer it for free. When someone uses it you can be sure that they have 100% good leads.
For example, we at Ahrefs offer a lot for free SEO Tools:
However, don't be discouraged if you aren't selling software. You can create a tool that solves an issue related to a service you provide or a product you sell. For example, Crunch offers bookkeeping services and offers a free pocket calculator to take with you.
How it goes
Now the "secret". None of the free tools we created at Ahrefs came out of nowhere. They were created because they had search traffic potential. Sounds familiar? This is exactly the same tactic as blogging for lead generation.
So the next question is: how do you find these topics?
First, enter some relevant keywords into Ahrefs Keyword Explorer. If you are a real estate agent, it could be Mortgage, Rent, and Down Payment.
Then go to the Phrase match Report words like calculator, tool, tools, and checker and paste them into the "Include" box.
Click "Any Word" and click "Apply".
You should now see a list of the relevant tools that are being searched for. Pick the most relevant and create your tool.
While your free tool should be powerful enough to please those who use it. However, don't forget to add a call to action (CTA) to encourage those who want more to sign up. For example, here's how the CTA For our backlink checker it looks like this:
And this is how Crunch's pocket calculator works CTA looks:
4. Partner with other brands
In 2018, we worked with Buffer, a social media planning tool, on a webinar entitled “How to Get Evergreen Website Traffic and Social Media Marketing”.
We are not competitors. But we both target the same audience: digital marketers.
There are many companies that have the audience they want. Find them and work with them. Work with them to create valuable content for their audience. This can be a webinar, eBook, blog post, YouTube video, or even a course. In return, you will get in touch with their audience and drive traffic to your website.
For our partnership with Buffer, we decided not to create a specific offer, as our website is intended to explain our toolset and capture leads. Anyone interested in our product after the webinar could just google our brand and find us. However, you can also create your own landing page specifically for collaboration if that is your strategy.
It doesn't always have to be a different company. You can also work with influencers. As long as they have the audience you are targeting, they can be a good match.
5. Start a virtual summit
Already working on a webinar with another brand? Here's an idea: why not go the extra mile, work with more brands / influencers, and create an entire event?
In the marketing world, these are called virtual peaks. I first heard from them in 2017. They were popular for a short time, but then died out. But now that it is difficult to hold face-to-face meetings, virtual summits have become increasingly popular again. Even our Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Tim Soulo recently spoke in a:
The basic idea is to collect expert content and make it a valuable resource for your target audience. This is how it works:
- Create a summit related to what you are selling. For example, if you're selling link building services, you could create a summit like Outreach Virtual Summit.
- Reach out to a number of influencers, interview them, and record these interviews.
- Set a date for your summit.
- Get people to sign up and attend the summit.
- Deliver the recorded interviews over a period of 3 to 5 days.
Everyone who signs up for your summit is obviously interested in the topic of your choice. As such, they're great leads for your business.
Such events can take longer to organize, but generating hundreds (or even thousands) of leads from a single event is not uncommon. It's definitely a lot easier to organize than physical events. With the virtual conferencing tools available today like Zoom and Podia, creating an event like this should be a breeze.
While we have experience attending and speaking in virtual summits, we have no experience organizing one. So I want to point you to great resources that will show you how to set one up:
A few years ago I worked at a startup where we sold an unknown product: a massage jacket. We wanted to get started on Kickstarter and needed a list of leads that we could … promote quickly.
Then we came across giveaways.
When done well, freebies are a powerful lead generation tactic. However, note the caveat, “if all is well done.” The reason I say this is because I've seen a lot of companies giving out random prizes (like a Tesla car) in the hopes of getting that many leads as possible to get.
But as I said, the Quality of leads is what matters. Giving away big, expensive prizes can draw a lot of attention, but it also attracts giveaway seekers. They are definitely not your ideal customers.
What you should be doing is giving away something that your target audience wants. Most of the time this is your product. At Ahrefs, we've given out a free annual subscription every time we've sponsored podcasts.
Although we no longer make product giveaways, we still do giveaways for our swag. In fact, we recently gave away some and that generated a lot of interest:
Who wants that pretty box of Ahref's loot and goodies?
Just tell us which Ahrefs feature is your favorite feature. We will pick 10 people at random and send them these swag boxes. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/5DQ32B6Qly
– Ahrefs (@ahrefs) April 7, 2021
What if you're a new business or have a product that nobody knows about? Well, that was exactly my situation. We couldn't give our jacket away because we were so new we only had a prototype. If so, follow Tactic 4 – partner with another company.
In my case, I worked with a similar company and gave their product as a prize.
Once you've decided on something suitable, it's easy to set up a giveaway. Just use a free app like KingSumo and you're done.
All that's left is to promote the giveaway. Marketing an ad campaign is similar to promoting content: send it to your email list, post it on your social media, share it on communities, work with influencers, etc.
Follow this content promotion checklist for a list of things to do:
7. Turn your homepage into a lead collection magnet
The Ahrefs home page receives the most traffic from all pages on our website.
This probably applies to you too. It makes sense – after all, your homepage is linked from every other page. It is also the "face" of your website. A percentage of people who typed from another page will likely click and review your home page.
If you want to generate more leads, one possible idea is to turn your homepage into a lead collection magnet like the one you see on Gaps.com:
One caveat: don't jump right into this tactic because you've seen your favorite internet marketers do it. It depends on your strategy. It can be a good idea if you want more leads and want to sell through your email list. However, if you're a SaaS company like us, you may want to reserve your home page to explain your value proposition.
8. Establish a referral program
According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family on any other type of advertising. This turns word of mouth generated leads into one of the highest quality leads you can get.
While happy customers may of course recommend your product or service to their friends, most of them need some nudge. This is where a referral program comes in.
A referral program “nudges” these satisfied customers by offering them incentives. It is believed that incentives are a good reason to tell your friends. And these incentives are offered to both Referrer and the referee.
So the success of the referral program depends on the incentive itself. In general, there are two types of incentives you can give:
Cash incentives are straightforward. For every new customer someone they refer, you give them and the person they referred $ X in exchange. For example, PayPal initially gave everyone who opened an account $ 20 and another $ 20 to refer someone to open an account.
This means they have grown to over 100,000 customers in just one month.
To the In-kind incentivesThere are a variety to choose from. You can give away discounts, credits, your product or more. The best-known example is the Dropbox referral program. They made the whole process playful by offering more storage space for each successful transfer.
Which resource and material incentives should you choose? In general, it depends on whether your customers are making repeat purchases.
If they don't buy often (such as a mattress), a cash reward may be more exciting for your customers. If they make frequent purchases (e.g. clothing), you may be able to give out credits that they can use on their next purchase.
Of course, this is just a general rule. You need to test it out in your store to see which one works better.
9. Rank videos on YouTube
We talked about written content and free tools. However, there is another popular format that we haven't talked about yet. Videos.
YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world. Every day, people watch over a billion hours of video on YouTube. You have a great opportunity to generate leads via video.
How it goes
This is how you can generate leads on YouTube.
a) Target video topics with search traffic potential
For video marketing, follow the same content marketing strategy that you used for blogging and free tools both search traffic and business potential.
Enter a relevant keyword into Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to find these topics. Switch the search engine to "YouTube". For example when you sell BBQ Equipment, you can use terms such as "BBQ"," Grilling "and" Grilling ". Go to Phrase match Report.
Browse the list and select the relevant ones.
b) Create a video that deserves a rank
In order to rank on YouTube, the times are important. Hence, your video needs to be fun, informative, and grab your audience's attention. We recommend that you script your videos so that you can keep the video up to date. Then edit them intelligently to get high engagement.
c) Capture leads
In general, the YouTube ecosystem is not good for lead generation. But that doesn't mean it isn't possible. This is how the popular basketball channel ILoveBasketballTV does it.
FirstUsing YouTube's end screen features, add the link to your landing page / guide magnet at the end of your video:
Next, add it to your description:
Finally, write a comment pointing to your landing page and pin it:
You used one of the tactics mentioned above. A certain number of leads were generated. But of course not everyone who has visited your website has signed up. You might think this is the end – if you haven't signed up now, you're lost forever.
But that's not true. You can still try to get them back. How? Retargeting.
When the visitor leaves your website, your ad platform can use the cookie to display your ad.
Retargeting is not a tactic that we personally use at Ahrefs. But many companies do. You can use it too.
Re-direct yourself to people who have visited certain pages and send them to a landing page with an offer to sign up. Make it alluring by giving them something useful in return – an eBook, free course, etc.
But don't assume that the "carrot" you offer is the "magic bullet" that works. Send your target audience to different landing pages with different offers and see which one is performing the best.
Hope you have received a few actionable lead generation tactics to test on your website.
Did I miss a cool lead generation tactic? If you have anything to share, please let me know on Twitter.