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The Lead Generation Process

30 of the greatest lead generation tips, tricks, and ideas

The typical lead generation process includes creating content that consumers are looking for, driving traffic to those content offers, and capturing leads using optimized calls-to-action and forms. From there, the lead can be passed off to the sales team to be nurtured and closed into a sale.

Generating leads that are high in both quantity and quality is a marketer's most important objective.

A successful lead generation engine is what keeps the funnel full of sales prospects while you sleep.

Even so, only 1 in 10 marketers feel their lead generation campaigns are effective. But by mapping out your lead generation process and collecting data on each step of the process, you can be more strategic about creating lead generation campaigns that positively impact your business.

There are many moving parts in the lead generation process, and it's often difficult to know which parts need fine-tuning. In this guide, we will show you the top 30 techniques marketers should use to increase leads and revenue.  These tactics have been tested for years and have been used by our customers to generate tens of millions of leads every year.

So what goes into a best-in-class lead generation engine?

The Lead Generation Process

Before we dive into the tips below, let's first briefly cover the mechanics of the lead generation process. The lead generation process is a funnel that looks like this:

The funnel starts with traffic, which is generated using valuable content that drives people to your website. From there, calls-to-action send site visitors to your landing pages, which encourage people to fill out a lead generation form in exchange for a valuable piece of content. When someone submits their information on that form and becomes a lead, you have the opportunity to further nurture them down the funnel using value-adding content that could turn them into a high-quality lead. High-quality leads are more likely to convert into paid customers.

The best lead generation campaigns contain most, if not all, of these components. From a tactical perspective, a marketer needs four crucial elements to make inbound lead generation happen. These include:

Offer

An offer is a piece of content that is perceived as highly valuable. Offers include ebooks, whitepapers, free consultations, coupons, and product demonstrations.

Call-to-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is either text, an image, or a button that links directly to a landing page so people can find and download your offer.

Landing Page

A landing page, unlike a normal website page, is a specialized page that contains information about one particular offer, and a form to download that offer.

Form

You can't capture leads without forms. Forms will collect contact information from a visitor in exchange for an offer.

These four parts of the lead generation process all need to work together for you to generate the most leads for your business. The tips below will cover each of these elements and how to optimize them so you can see more success and drive more ROI.

Now then, let's get started.

Leads are the metric that we, as marketers, rely on. Because leads mean money.

Kipp Bodnar

Chief Marketing Officer

HubSpot

The 30 Best Lead Generation Tips

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Here's a list of 30 tips that'll help you create lead generation offers, calls-to-action, landing pages, and forms that convert visitors into qualified leads.

Lead Generation Offers

If you think about all the things we do as marketers, it’s ultimately to get people to say "yes" to our offers. When an offer is exclusive, scarce, or in high demand, it becomes more desirable. If we create offers that incorporate these desirable elements, whether they're whitepapers, free trials, memberships, sales promotions, or downloads, we can overcome a potential lead's typical friction, doubt, or concern.

These elements work because they trigger a physiological reaction that makes an offer more valuable. People need to perceive the value of your offer to be greater than what you’re asking for in return. The higher the perception of value, the more irresistible the offer.

So, how do you create irresistible offers? Glad you asked ... dig into the tips below to learn tips for creating high-converting offers.

Want to learn how to create and promote high-converting marketing offers? HubSpot’s Campaigns tool helps you manage entire marketing campaigns and all their pieces in one, easy-to-use app.

  • If you look at the principle of supply and demand, you’ll notice that 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.

    Limited Time Offers

    Limited time offers are among the most popular in the scarcity category. Just think about your average car dealership. Practically every commercial is a limited time deal. "Get 0% financing before it’s gone!"

    Here's an example from blogging.org:

    Limited Quantity Offers

    When something is of limited quantity, it suddenly becomes more unique or exclusive. In some studies, limited quantity or supply offers have outperformed limited-time offers. Why? Because it’s hard to tell when an offer of limited quantity will suddenly become unavailable, while a time-based offer has a known end time.

    Limited quantity offers are great for not only getting people to say "yes" to your offer, but to avoid procrastination completely.

    Here's an example from JetBlue:

    Even something as simple as changing the CTA button text on an event or webinar landing page to "Save My Seat" creates that sense of urgency, like we did for our YouTube Live Event

    Limited Time and Limited Quantity

    The online group buying deal website Groupon is the perfect example of using both tactics. All Groupon deals end within a certain time frame, and they limit the number of people who can buy a Groupon. That’s a powerful combination. The site also packages these scarcity tactics with discounting, which is another great value add, especially for ecommerce businesses. 

  • Humans have a natural tendency 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.

    Proof in Numbers

    When possible, a great way to indicate how awesome an offer is, is to mention the number of people who have purchased, downloaded, signed up, or donated.

    For example, for your next webinar or event, you might include on the landing page that more than X people have signed up or bought tickets. Same goes for an ebook or some other downloadable offer: You might include that more than Y people have downloaded it, like we did on our SEO Myths ebook landing page:

    Similarly, if you're hoping to increase your blog subscriber base, you might indicate how many people have subscribed so far. It can serve as proof that your blog is highly trustworthy and popular, prompting others to follow it.


    Just make sure your claims are not only true, but believable.

  • Newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success. David Meerman Scott popularized the term, thanks to his book, Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage.

    Here's an example: After Prince William and Kate Middleton got married in April of 2011, no one could 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. Even vendors such as David’s Bridal created a "Royal" category so you can dress "just like Kate."

    When something is buzz-worthy, it creates high demand. In situations like this, you can align offers with "what's hot." Companies will often leverage newsjacking for this type of technique – and it works very well for offers, too.

    As an example, remember when Pinterest became huge and marketers couldn't stop talking about it? HubSpot capitalized on this craze by creating the first Pinterest ebook for business owners and marketers, called An Introduction to Pinterest for Business. It quickly became one of HubSpot’s most successful ebooks because it was the first and only ebook available on Pinterest (and we made sure people knew that), and learning how to use Pinterest for marketing was in high demand. This made the offer more unique and thus more irresistible. That’s the power of leveraging both timing and popularity.

  • Brian Halligan, HubSpot CEO and co-founder, said, "you can have a great offer with a bad title and no one will download it. But if you have an amazing title, suddenly everyone wants it."

    Yes: People do judge a book by it’s cover. If your offer is a piece of content, such as a whitepaper, ebook, or presentation, then put effort into creating an amazing title. Titles have a direct impact on both searcher clickthrough rates (CTRs) and search rankings. Test that title using a tool like TitleTester, or even simply by polling your team.

    You'll also want to make sure your title (as in, the HTML element used to describe the topic of the webpage, which is what search engines pull onto their results pages) stands the test of time by optimizing it for search. The more search-friendly the title of your ebook, the more people will find it and download it long after you've published and promoted it.

    To make your title both search-friendly and click-friendly:

    • Keep it below about 65 characters so it doesn't get cut off on search engine results pages.
    • Include one of your target keywords or phrases so it's easier for searchers to identify that your results are relevant to other query, and position these keywords toward the front of the title to catch searchers' attention.
  • The most common offer I see on most websites is “Contact Us.” Sure, you want all your prospects to talk to Sales, but not everyone is ready. As you know, buyers are more likely to do their own research before even engaging with a sales rep. Every prospect is at a different stage of exploration. Some may need more education than others.

    That’s why it’s important to develop different offers at different buying cycles. Someone at the top of the buyer's journey may be more interested in an informational piece like a guide or ebook, whereas someone more committed at the bottom of the cycle might be more interested in a free trial or demo. You don’t need to pick and choose; create offers for each phase, and include a primary and secondary CTA to these offers on various pages throughout your site.

  • A professional image is necessary, but you still want to avoid the dreaded corporate gobbledygook, i.e. jargon terms and phrases that have been over-used and abused rendering them meaningless. You’ll find them mostly in the high-tech industry, but everyone is an offender at one point or another.

    These words are meant to add more emphasis to a particular subject but instead they make your eyes roll. Avoid these words when describing your offers.

  • Not all offers are created equal – some formats perform better than others at converting leads. For example, what’s more valuable, a whitepaper or an ebook?

    Below are the type of offers, in order of performance, that generate the most amount of leads:

    1. Ebooks or guides
    2. Templates or presentations
    3. Research and reports
    4. Whitepapers
    5. Kits (e.g. multiple offers packaged together)
    6. Live webinars
    7. On-demand videos
    8. Blog (including offers in the nav or sidebar)
    9. Blog posts (if there is a CTA in the post)
    10. Middle-of-the-funnel offers (e.g. more sales-ready 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.

Helpful Resource Alert

Having trouble creating long-form content like ebooks, either because of time restraints or a lack of design skills? We asked our designer to create these 13 customizable ebook templates in PowerPoint so marketers like you can easily edit them with your own content. You can focus on the writing and we'll provide the rest.

 Get Your 13 Ebook Templates >>

Calls-to-Action

A call-to-action (CTA) is an image or line of text that prompts your visitors, leads, and customers to take action. It is, quite literally, a "call" to take an "action."

The action you want people to take could be anything: download an ebook, sign up for a webinar, get a coupon, attend an event, and so on.

A CTA can be placed anywhere in your marketing, including on your website, in an ebook, in an email, or within a blog post. Click the arrows on either side of the images below to browse a few examples.

CTAs are the secret sauce to driving people to your offers. If your CTAs aren’t effective at capturing people’s attention and persuading them to the click, then it makes the offer useless. CTAs can be used on product pages (non-landing pages), in display ads, email, social media, direct mail and pretty much anywhere you can market your offer.

Helpful Resource Alert:

Want to see how real companies have created effective calls-to-actions? Download our free guide, 101 Examples of Effective Calls-to-Action.

This guide will show you what works and how you can implement these tactics in your own marketing. They'll inspire you, foster your creativity, and prepare you to create some stellar calls-to-action.

See 101 CTA Examples >>

But not all CTAs are created equal. In a world where every brand is fighting for consumers attention, it’s critical that prospects choose your offer over your competitors. In this section, we’ll uncover tips to creating CTAs that rock.

  • Regardless what your CTA is for, placement is key for driving conversions. When users land on your site, where do they look first?

    Calls-to-action tend to perform best "above the fold," i.e. the space where your web page is viewable to the user without having to scroll down. According to heat map analysis, anything "below the fold" will only be viewed by 50% of people who visit your page. Doubling impressions on your CTAs can significantly increase your lead count.

    Freshbooks, an accounting software company, place their primary CTAs above-the-fold of a web browser to make sure visitors don't miss them:

     

    Here's another finding you'll want to keep in mind as you design your websites, emails, and other conversion assets: Our natural eye path starts in the upper lefthand corner of a website. From there, they'll read from left to right twice in a row, in two horizonal stripes, followed by a vertical stripe.

    Image Credit: Nielsen Norman Group

    Knowing this, you'll want to think carefully about what to place in these key spots. Notice in the example below how the primary CTA is placed in spot #4.

    Image Credit: Envato Studio

    Test the layout to see what works best for you, but try the F-pattern scanning behavior when you're building the overall layout and design of your conversion assets and place CTAs strategically along the site lines.

  • "Clarity trumps persuasion." That's one of the simplest and best pieces of advice we've ever heard. All too often, marketers will put more focus on being clever than clear.

    Be crystal-clear about what offer is in your CTA, and be specific. If you’re giving away a free guide, say "Download your free guide to X" rather than simply, "Download Now." For your next webinar, try "Register to learn more about selling your house" or "Register to sell your house faster" rather than just "Register Here."

    Here's an example from the retail consulting firm Bob Phibbs. They use the very clear button copy "Train My Team Online":

     

    In the next example from Codebase, they include a primary and secondary CTA with the button copy, respectively: "Create an Account Now" and "Watch a Quick Intro."

  • A call-to-action is meant to stand out, so if your CTA blends in too much with your site design, no one will notice it. You want as many eyeballs to land on that call-to-action as possible, so use contrasting colors to make the CTA stand out, and more importantly, use design to make it clear that it's a clickable call-to-action.

    On the content organization platform Evernote's homepage, their green primary call-to-action stands out beautiful against a more neutral background:

    Event promotion website Eventbrite also does a great job with their contrasting CTA by putting a white box to highlight their primary form and call-to-action:

    Notice how, in both cases, the companies chose to use the same color for the button as they use in their logo at the top right. It would be an interesting test to see if using your logo color for the primary CTA results in the most clicks versus other colors.

  • 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 (and perhaps not an offer like a download), still send them to a targeted landing page that is relevant to what they are looking for.

    For example, this CTA on Mom and Dad Money's homepage:

    ... leads to that offer's own, dedicated landing page:

  • CTAs shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all. If your company offers various products or services, you may want to consider creating a different offer for each of them. Then, you can place CTAs linking to each offer on the website pages that are most relevant to that offer.

    In the example below, you'll see a CTA for "Request a Demo" placed on a product page. To generate more leads, we might also have a CTA for a "Free Guide to Blogging," because it's related to the product offering.

  • Even if someone completes a form on your website (where they’re then converted as a lead), don’t stop there. Increasing engagement is also a top priority for marketers so that prospects turn into loyal fans.

    The "thank-you page" is the page that a visitor arrives on after completing a form. Once someone reaches this page, use that space as an opportunity to promote more offers and content.

    For example, if a visitor on hubspot.com downloads a guide on 2017 marketing strategy, we can offer them another, relevant offer looking back at the state of marketing in 2016:

Want to create CTAs that are designed to convert more of your visitors into qualified leads? HubSpot’s Call-to-Action tool lets you easily create, personalize, test, and optimize your CTAs.

Landing Pages

Landing pages are one of the most important elements of lead generation. In fact, according to MarketingSherpa’s research, landing pages are effective for 94% of B2B and B2C companies.

The use of landing pages enables marketers to direct website visitors to targeted pages and capture leads at a much higher rate. What’s great about landing pages is that they direct your visitors to one particular offer without the distractions of everything else on your website.

From a marketer's perspective, visitors are on a landing page for one and only one purpose: to complete the lead capture form. Every component of the page can be optimized to make it more likely for a visitor to complete that form. Read through the tips below to learn how to optimize your landing page for higher conversion rates.

Helpful Resource Alert

Want to increase the number of leads you generate from your landing pages? HubSpot and our marketing partners have been perfecting the landing page conversion process for years, and we'd like to show you how to produce landing pages that will work for any industry. Download our ebook, How to Optimize Landing Pages to Generate More Leads, which includes a look-book full of examples of high-converting landing pages 

 Get More Leads >>

  • Landing pages, sometimes called Lead Capture Pages, are used to convert visitors into leads by completing a transaction or by collecting contact information from them. Landing pages consist of:

    Logo

    Make sure the visitor knows exactly where they are. All your landing pages should have a logo positioned strategically on the page.

    Headline + Sub-headline

    People have short attention spans, and most of them will probably skim your landing page to find what they're looking for. Use clear headers and sub-headers to describe the offer. You'll also want to include keywords in the headline, just like you did in the title, to make it more search- and user-friendly.

    Brief Description

    Get straight to the point. In a few sentences, highlight the value of what you're offering and how it addresses visitors' needs, interests, or problems. Use easy-to-scan bullet points to explain what they'll get from the offer, emphasize key points using bolded text or italics, and keep things as brief as possible.

    Here's a great example from Velaro Live Chat:

    Supporting Image

    Images can help persuade visitors to convert by giving them a visual of what your offer looks like. Use at least one supporting image to show what they'll be receiving or explain the benefits.

    You might even show them a sneak peek inside what you're offering, either through a video or a slideshow, like we did on our SEO Myths ebook landing page:

    Social Proof & Testimonials

    Social proof is the positive influence created when a person finds out that others are doing something. When a visitor arrives on your landing page, they don't know whether your offer is any good. There's an opportunity here for you to sway them using quotes from customers, embedded tweets, and so on. If they see that people who have consumed the offer are speaking positively about it, they could be more likely to convert into a lead.

    Here's an example from Codecademy's sign-up page:

    Other ways you can add social proof to landing pages includes adding the number of shares or members, embedding social media posts (such as live Twitter feed listing all uses of the hashtag you chose for your upcoming webinar), adding trust seals, or including a privacy policy.

    Form

    We'll get into forms in the next section, but your form is the most important element of your landing page because that's where your visitors can choose to convert into leads.

  • Once a visitor arrives on a landing page, it’s your job to keep them there. If there are links on the page to move about your website, it will distract the visitor and decrease the chance of them converting on the page.

    One of the best ways to increase your landing page conversion rates is to simply remove the main navigation from the page. That’s it!

    Here's an example from one of our Twitter ebooks' landing pages:

  • A good message promises value, delivers on that value, and has continuity throughout the messaging. Make sure you keep your messaging consistent between:

    Title + Offer

    Remember, the title is the line that shows up on searh engine results pages, and it's often the main thing that prompts people to click into a webpage. Make sure your title is consistent with what you're offering. If people click on a link for a free offer and then find out there’s a catch on the landing page, for example, then you’ll instantly lose their trust.

    Title + Meta Description

    The title and meta description should match as well, since they appear right next to one another on search engine results pages.

    Headline + CTA Button Copy

    Similarly, if the headline reads differently than the CTA button, it might lead to confusion, and the visitor might wonder if the CTA is linked to the wrong page. It all goes back to getting specific with your CTA button copy.

     

  • I’m sure you’re aware of the rule "keep it simple, stupid." The same applies to landing pages. For most industries, a cluttered page means a distracted visitor.

    Keep your copy brief, concise, and to-the-point. It’s in the offer itself where you give more information. In addition to your headline, include a brief paragraph explaining what the offer is, followed by a few bullet points outlining the benefits of the offer.

    It's worth testing whether longer or shorter landing pages work for you. You might find that in certain industries (like finance, perhaps), more information up-front actually leads to higher conversions. But for many marketers, less is more.

  • 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. 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.

    Basecamp does the great job of explaining the value from the user's perspective:

  • Remember Tip #5, "Create offers for every stage of the buying cycle?" The more offers you create, the more landing pages you have; and the more landing pages you have, the more opportunities you have to generate more leads for your business. According to a marketing benchmarks report, companies see a 55% increase in leads by increasing landing pages from 10 to 15.

    Want some inspiration? Here's a list of 20 types of lead generation content you can put behind your landing pages.

Want your landing pages to generate leads and look great on any device? HubSpot’s Landing Page tool lets you create and launch professional-looking landing pages in minutes, with no designers or IT help required.

Optimized Forms

Forms are the key to a landing page. Without them, there is no way to convert a visitor into a lead. Remember: Your goal is to encourage as many people as possible who arrive on a landing page to fill out and submit the lead capture form. You can optimize the landing page to encourage conversions, but don't forget you can optimize the form, too.

The following tips will uncover how to build great landing page forms.

free-tool-alert-sidekick-content-email-etiquette-tips-guide-sidekick

Having trouble tracking and consolidating everyone who's filling out the forms on all your different landing pages? Collected Forms is a feature within our free conversion tool, HubSpot Marketing Free. The Collected Forms feature collects submissions on all your website's existing forms, making it possible to consolidate all your leads into one contacts database. You don't have to be a HubSpot customer to use this feature: It's specifically meant for third-party forms that are not built within HubSpot.

 Try Our Free Form-Scraping Tool >>

  • You might be wondering how much or how little information you should require with a form. Unfortunately, there's no perfect answer when it comes to how many fields your form should contain but the best balance would be to collect only the information you really need.

    The fewer fields you have in a form, the more likely you will receive more conversions. This is because with each new field you add to a form, it creates friction (more work for the visitor) and fewer conversions.

    A longer form looks like more work and sometimes it will be avoided all together. But on the other hand, the more fields you require, the better quality those leads might be.

    So ... the single most important question you need to ask yourself when deciding on form length is:

    Do you need more new leads, or more high quality leads?

    In a nutshell, the length of your form inevitably leads to a tradeoff between the quantity and quality of the leads you generate.

    Not sure how to A/B test form length? Download our free introductory gide to A/B testing by clicking the button below.

    Learn How to A/B Test Your Forms >>

  • To "submit" or not to "submit"? That's the question many landing page visitors are forced to ask themselves. One of the best ways to increase form conversion rates is to simply not use default word on your button: SUBMIT.

    If you think about it, no one wants to "submit" to anything. Instead, turn the statement into a benefit that relates to what they are getting in return.

    For example, if the form is to download a brochure kit, the submit button should say, "Get Your Brochure Kit." Other examples include "Download Whitepaper," "Get your free ebook," or "Join our Newsletter."

    Another helpful tip? Make the button big, bold and colorful. Make sure it looks like a button – which means it's beveled and appears "clickable."

  • People are more resistant to give up their information these days, especially because of the increase in spam. There are a few different elements you can add to the form or landing page to help reduce a visitor’s anxiety to complete the form:

    • Add a privacy message (or link to your privacy policy) that indicates their email will not be shared or sold.
    • If your form requires sensitive information, include security seals, a BBB rating, or certifications so that visitors know their information is safe and secure.

    • Adding testimonials or customer logos is another great to indicate social proof. For example, if your offer was for a free trial, you may want to include a few customer testimonials about your product or service. Go back to Tip #14 for more on testimonials.
  • Sometimes people won’t fill out a form just because it "looks" long and time-consuming. This is especially true for mobile visitors – the last thing they want to do is pinch-and-zoom. If your form requires a lot of fields, try making the form look shorter by adjusting the styling.

    For example, reduce the spacing in between fields, or align the titles to the left of each field instead of above it so that the form appears shorter.

    If the form covers less space on the page, it may seem as if you’re asking for less.

Multi-Channel Lead Generation

Your website isn’t a silo. Marketers need to utilize many other channels in order to maximize their lead generation efforts. Another channel might be a retail store, a website, a social media platform, a blog, an email, or a text message.

The objective is to make it easy for buyers to research, evaluate and purchase products in any way that is most appropriate for them. It’s all about having the right marketing mix.

Check out the tips below for tips on generating leads from high-converting channels.

  • According to a recent HubSpot benchmarks report, companies that blog 6–8 times per month double their lead volume. This proves that blogging is a highly effective channel for lead generation.

    In fact, one of the biggest benefits of business blogging is converting the traffic it brings you into leads. Just like every blog post you write is another indexed page, each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads.

    Here's what that looks like in numbers: If each one of your blog posts gets about 100 views per month, and your visitor-to-lead conversion rate on the blog is about 2%, then you'd get two leads from a single blog post each month. If you write 30 blog posts per month, you'd get 60 leads in a month – two from each blog post.

    Keep blogging consistently like that for a year, and thanks to each blog post's compounding value over time, each post you write will drive value for you in the form of traffic and leads. By the end of 12 months, you'll end up getting 4,680 opt-in contacts per month, not just 720 opt-in contacts (60 leads*12 months).

    Sound good to you? Knowing how many leads you can get from your blog, remember to include hyperlinks to landing pages within the copy of the post within each blog post, as well as a prominent CTA.

  • Many businesses may think that email marketing is only best used when communicating with existing prospects and customers. Not so! Email can be a great channel for new lead generation.

    Here are some ways you can use email to generate more new prospects:

    Focus on an opt-in strategy.

    If you’re buying email lists and spamming your prospects, no one will want to share your email with others. They will only want to unsubscribe! The first step to email lead generation is to make sure you have happy subscribers that enjoy receiving emails from you.

    Send people valuable offers.

    If you send really interesting or valued offers – whether it’s downloads, discounts or educational content – people will more likely share your emails with their friends or colleagues.

    Give people the tools to share.

    Don’t forget to add an "Email to a Friend" or "Forward to a Friend" link or social media sharing buttons within each email so people are encouraged to pass it on, like we did here:

  • 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.

    While Instagram and Snapchat are still emerging social channels for lead gen, others like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are much more mature, and many of them have lead capture built in to their free and paid features (such as paid ad units).

    Here are some great tips for generating leads on social networks:

    Build a loyal following.

    Building a relationship with potential customers is a critical first step. Social media connections are really about people-to-people, not always company-to-individual. Get to know your audience online, and communicate and share information with them. In order to generate leads, you need to have human interaction with others.

    Remember, social media is a dialogue.

    Companies that only use social media to blast out messages about themselves aren’t using social channels effectively. The goal is to interact with others and be helpful. When you share content on social media, don’t always post something that relates to your company. Share links to other interesting things you’ve found online. People will be very thankful you are noticing their work, too.

    Influence connections for content sharing.

    Publishing and sharing content that directs traffic to targeted landing pages is the single biggest lever to increase lead generation through social media. Share your new content offers by posting links to landing pages, and in addition, share blog posts, discounts, and other great resources.

  • While promoting your offers in many channels is crucial for lead generation, it’s also equally important to make it easy for people to find your landing pages through search engines.

    To do this, you need to apply search engine optimization (SEO) best practices to your landing pages. For detailed tips on improving the SEO of your landing pages, download our free on-page SEO template in Excel.

    Here's a quick overview:

    Pick a primary keyword for each landing page.

    ... And focus on optimizing that page for that word. If you oversaturate a page with too many keywords, the page will lose its importance and authority because search engines won’t have a clear idea of what the page is about.

    Place your primary keywords in your headline and sub-headline.

    These areas of content have greater weight to search engines.

    Include the keywords in the body content but don’t use them out of context.

    Make sure they are relevant with the rest of your content.

    Include keywords in the file name of images.

    In other words, the file name should be keyword.jpg. In addition, you'll want to include your keywords in the ALT tag.

    Include the keywords in the page's URL.

    Here's an example of a URL optimized for the long-tail keyword, "email marketing examples":

  • Your offers themselves are great channels for lead generation.

    For example, in our SEO Myths ebook, we included a link to a related offer on SEO tips readers could download. As people share this ebook, they may discover other resources that we offer by the links within the content.

  • One thing that every great speech has throughout the history of the world is a strong call-to-action. Great orators ask the audience to do something next. Your videos should follow the same formula and inspire action in the video viewers. Any video content your team creates should always include a call-to-action. 

    Your video's CTA could be something as simple as verbally telling viewers, "Give us a call!" or "To find out more, click below."

    If you're using YouTube, Wistia, or Vimeo, you can take video CTAs a step further and actually add clickable elements to your videos.

    For example, in one of our recent videos on growth hacking experiments, we included a clickable CTA to the YouTube video leading directly to the landing page of a relevant offer.

    Click here for step-by-step instructions for adding a clickable link to your YouTube videos.

  • While this isn’t a channel per se, A/B testing is a great way to increase leads across all channels and tactics. You can A/B test your calls-to-action, landing pages, email marketing, advertising, and more.

    According to HubSpot research, A/B testing your landing pages and other assets can help you generate up to 40% more leads for your business. When done correctly, tests and experiments can provide a huge competitive advantage for your company.

    To learn more, download our free ebook, An Introduction to Using A/B Testing for Marketing Optimization.

Lead Scoring

As marketers, our job doesn't end at generating leads. Scoring those lead before you pass them off to your sales team helps them by making them more efficient and helping them prioritize which leads to actually follow up with. It also helps inform your marketing team as to which types of leads are better to pursue.

What is exactly lead scoring, you ask?

Lead scoring is a system in which you assign a value (e.g. a certain number of points) to each lead you capture. The score is based on the information these leads have given you, as well as how they've engaged with your website and brand across the internet. Lead scores help sales and marketing teams prioritize leads and increase efficiency.

Every company has a different model for assigning points to score their leads, and the most important part of an effective lead scoring strategy is coming up with and agreeing on the right criteria. What defines your ideal lead? What would you want to know about them?

Lead scoring works best when you have two types of data: demographic information captured by forms, and lead intelligence on how prospects have engaged with your various marketing channels online. Many businesses use data from past leads to create their value system.

Once you've created that value system, you can calculate lead scores with this simplified approach: First, calculate the lead-to-customer conversion rate of all of your leads. Then, pick different attributes customers whom you believe were higher quality leads. Calculate the individual close rates of each of those attributes, and then compare the close rates of each attribute with your overall close rate. Assign point values accordingly.

For example, you might prioritize leads that have given heavier indicators of good fit and interest, like signing up for a demo, consultation, or trial. You might follow these strong indicators with things like webinar downloads, ebook downloads, email clicks followed by email opens, pricing page views, and so on.

The more complicated method of calculating lead scores including employing a data mining technique like logistic linear regression. However, the simpler approach is a great starting point.

Now, it's your turn.

Generating leads online has the power to transform your marketing. Using great offers, calls-to-action, landing pages and forms – all while promoting them in multi-channel environments – can reduce your cost-perlead while delivering higher quality prospects to your sales team.

The basics herein are just the beginning. This guide contains many best practices for every aspects of lead generation to help bolster your conversion rates, but these tactics are only the tip of the iceberg. Continue to tweak and test each step of your inbound lead generation process in an effort to improve lead quality and increase revenue.

Now it's your turn to become a lead generation master.