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Since getting the attention of your target audience is becoming more and more difficult, you need to have a clear and effective lead generation strategies to succeed.

As you know, customers are the foundation of any business. Without them, nothing else matters. It used to be that customers could find your business online relatively easily. Today, regardless of the industry you’re in, from ecommerce to selling online courses, your target audience is busier than ever — which means that you have to go after them yourself.

In this article, we’ll cover the best lead generation marketing strategies and show you how you can improve your digital marketing and get more qualified leads in no time.

What is lead generation?

Jeffrey Josephson, in his book on generating qualified sales leads, refers to lead generation as “the missing link between marketing and sales.”

In general, a lead can be defined as anyone who expresses interest in your product or service. Regardless of whether you’ve contacted them first or they’ve found your business in another way.

Lead generation is the process of generating leads and finding potential customers. It’s essential to any business that wants to consistently grow its customer base.

How can you start getting customers with lead generation? Here are a few lead generation tactics that anyone can follow.

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8 lead generation strategies that work

Both marketing and sales teams tend to work on implementing top lead generation tools into their overall marketing strategy.

Some companies separate lead generation from demand generation. The former is often more active (e.g. sending DMs on LinkedIn or making cold calls). Whereas the latter is about doing the work upfront to attract potential customers later (e.g. blog posts, email marketing).

Below, we’ll share a mix of lead generation tactics that can either involve your marketing or sales team.

1. Content marketing

One of the most durable and effective lead generation tactics is constantly creating new content. The content then becomes accessible on your website for years to come. Think blog posts, ebooks, white papers, how-to guides, FAQs and so on.

In the short term, your potential customers sees that your website is being regularly updated. New information keeps them coming back to learn more.

In the long term, the content on your website will get indexed by search engines. Meaning, you’ll start to come up higher in search results for various keywords. You can anticipate that and include keywords that are relevant to your audience in your content marketing materials.

For a deep dive, read How To Generate Leads With Content Marketing (6 Simple Steps).

2. Website optimization

Make sure you have at least one separate landing page for each target audience you’re trying to serve. Landing pages are invaluable because they allow you to tell the your business’s story. It also allows you to explain the value you deliver in a way that’s specific to a particular customer. This makes it more likely that they will proceed to the next step of your sales funnel.

Landing pages also work well for ad and social media campaigns as well as cold calls and promos.

3. Case studies

Unlike other types of content marketing, case studies have something unique that all potential customers are looking for — testimonials.

It’s one thing to read about a certain product on a website. However, if your target audience can hear the experience of other customers (and see how they’ve used your product to solve a problem), it greatly improves your chances of them turning into high-quality leads.

4. Email marketing

Even those who are interested in your product or service won’t remember to come to your website regularly for a long time. To keep them engaged, it’s important to get their email address and continue to deliver valuable content in email form (e.g. newsletters, discounts, individual offers).

To make sure that enough people leave their contact information when visiting your website, you can use contact forms. Try doing this when offering a free trial or before they can download a case study (or a white paper).

For your email marketing to work, set a schedule for your newsletters and ensure that each one contains as much value for your potential customers as possible.

5. Pay-per-click (PPC) ads

While search engine ads are becoming more competitive and expensive every year, you can still find lots of potential customers by targeting the right (and less competitive) keywords.

PPC ads are a great source of leads because you get exposure to people who are contextually interested in a similar offering (since they are searching for your keywords) but otherwise completely unknown to you.

6. Social media content

Once you get your first customers, some of them are likely to follow you on social media to get updates about your company and your products.

One of the key aspects of any social media network (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok) is the ability to share posts easily. If your social media post is shared quickly, it might go viral, getting your product in front of tons of potential customers.

Social media also works well for nurturing leads and turning them into customers by telling your compelling story over time.

7. Social media ads

Unlike PPC ads, social media ads are often more about building brand awareness rather than a high direct response rate. You can define your perfect audience and show them the value of your offering. Those who are interested in your solution could then be directed to a landing page and further down the sales funnel.

8. LinkedIn connections

A social network for professionals across various fields with more than 800 million members, LinkedIn provides anybody with unprecedented access to decision makers in their target audience.

Your sales team can message executives in your target companies directly, providing them with insights and key marketing materials about your offering.

To get really good at LinkedIn, read Online Marketing. LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies. How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads by Richard Künzi.

The 4 L’s: A lead generation marketing strategy

If you’re trying to combine various lead generation tactics into a comprehensive strategy, you can start with 4 Ls: lead capture, landing pages, lead magnets and lead scoring.

1. Lead capture

Most leads that end up on your website never come back. This means that you have very limited time to get their contact information to try to engage them in the future. An email address is the most common thing to ask for, but you have to offer some value first before they would agree to share their information with you.

How do you do that? The answer is lead magnets.

Related: 30 Ultra-Effective Lead Magnet Ideas (With Examples)

2. Lead magnets

A lead magnet is a promise of value to your potential customers in exchange for a piece of their personal information (e.g. an email or social media follow).

Some popular lead magnets are:

  • Ebooks
  • Webinars
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • Free trials
  • Demos

Don’t go out creating as many lead magnets as possible. A few high-quality pieces of content can go a long way and work in your ads, newsletters as well as on your website and landing pages.

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3. Landing pages

We’ve already touched on landing pages above, but they are also the ideal place for your lead magnets. Since you customize each landing page for a specific audience, you can be sure that they would be interested in a particular lead magnet, thus increasing your conversions.

To learn more about using lead magnets with landing pages, read our guide — 6 Step Lead Magnet Funnel To Capture & Convert Prospects (+ Templates).

4. Lead scoring

The final L in your lead generation strategy should be lead scoring, or qualifying leads based on how well they fit in your target audience and how interested they are in your offering.

If you have a good CRM and analytics solution in place, you can conduct lead scoring on high-quality leads manually, adding points for positive actions or characteristics (e.g. subscribing to a newsletter) and deducting points for negative ones (e.g. working in a non-target industry).

Otherwise, there are lots of sales and marketing products that can score your leads automatically, based on the information in your CRM, their IP, browsing patterns, etc.

Related: 6 Step Lead Magnet Funnel To Capture & Convert Prospects

Why your lead generation strategy and campaigns matter

As you can see, there are lots of ways of getting leads. But you can’t do them all at once. Depending on your offering, industry and customer base, you should select a few key tactics that would work best for you and unite them in an effective lead generation strategy.

For example, if you have an e-learning business or are selling courses online, you can read about creating an effective inbound marketing strategy in The Ultimate Guide To Revenue Generation With Online Learning.

How to generate leads for your online course

If you’re thinking of creating your first online course, the process for generating leads is exactly the same as with any other business, and you can employ the same tactics we discussed above.

What you need first, however, is Thinkific — an online course-creation platform that makes it effortless to build, sell and promote your course all in one place.

Create your online course in Thinkific in just a few hours, without any coding. Select a beautiful template and customize it to your needs using an intuitive drag-and-drop editor. Add any type of content, from videos to quizzes to presentations.

Get started with Thinkific for free! Build a lead magnet on your own education academy, and if any lead magnets are too successful, you might want to consider selling them!

This article was originally published July 2022, and was refreshed September 2023 to be even more useful!