Business lead generation is the process of identifying new prospects, then using a range of tactics to turn them into new sales opportunities. In this article, 25 experts share their best business lead generation ideas with you. Some you may know, others will be new and they’ll help you improve the quality and quantity of leads entering your sales pipeline.
Email marketing is an important marketing tool for any small business. Let’s get that on the table up front. Although it may not be as glamorous as social media marketing platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram, it has proven to be more effective for delivering conversions and higher ROI. When small businesses are looking for a cost effective, shareable, measurable form of marketing, the benefits of email marketing place it right at the top of the list.
Before you officially open your doors to paying customers, set up a basic landing page on your domain that invites visitors to stay informed by entering their email address. Don’t beg—write copy that describes what’s exciting about your upcoming product and offer strong incentives for early adopters where it makes sense (e.g., early-bird customers get 20% off on launch day).
Most companies send both types of emails because they serve distinct functions. Mass emails are sent on a schedule of the marketer’s own making, either to every email address on your mailing list or subscriber list, or you can send email to only a targeted segment. The message itself might be an email newsletter or promotion. Transactional emails, on the other hand, are triggered by a customer action (say, a password reset or abandoned cart). Whether it’s the customer or the marketer prompting the send, the usefulness of your emailing software hinges on successful delivery.
Companies can elect to manage their own email marketing campaigns or they can choose from over 100 different companies who offer email marketing services. These services provide easy software tools that allow companies to manage their email lists, design ads, and track how often they are accessed. Larger companies that send out dozens of daily emails to tens of thousands of different customers often use email marketing services to manage the process.
Choose whether emails are sent as new messages to each recipient or as replies to your last conversation with each recipient. If you have no prior conversation with a recipient, the email will be sent as a new message. If you do have a prior conversation with the recipient, the email will be sent as a reply, and the Subject of your email campaign will be ignored, since the Subject of the last conversation will be used.
Mark Sallows is a writer for Fit Small Business specializing in sales and marketing topics. Before helping other small business owners, Mark was co-founder and CEO of a successful digital publishing start-up called Turtl. Mark has also served as a non-executive director in several early stage media, marketing, and tech businesses. Before this he was an early stage venture capital investor for a global investment business. Mark lives in New Forest, a scenic area in Southern England.
Hello; Thanks for the great post. I have my email contacts broken down by category so I can send a email to everyone or just to the groups that will have interest in what I am writing about. As an example owners of amusement parks don’t have the same interests as bounce house rental companies or circuses. Just in case I haven’t mentioned this before my company helps sell amusement, concessions, and confection equipment. I also prefer email because the mailing list is mine. It isn’t dependent on a social media company or someone else’s website. I know that the people who do read my emails are going to be directed to pages on my site and only my site. And one other thing I’ve noticed is that I get more enquiries about new listings in weeks after I sent out an email post to a given group. Thanks again and keep up the good work, Max
An open rate is a percentage that tells you how many successfully delivered emails in a campaigns were opened by subscribers. A standard open rate is 20%-30%. You will notice your open rate is usually higher when you’re first starting out. Your subject line plays a big role in your open rate, too—the more compelling the subject line, the higher the open rate.
As a company, we developed software that solves the problems of search in Windows and Outlook for large enterprises. Native Windows search is not very good, and when there is a problem, many people vent about it on social media or blog about it on their own blogs. To help us generate leads and to find the people that would benefit from our product, we actively monitor social media for several different “pain points”.
As their name suggests, these emails are used to nurture leads through the marketing funnel into a position of sales readiness. For example, let's say you sent your list a marketing offer email. You might then set up a lead nurturing workflow that triggers another email about a complementary offer or piece of content to everyone who converted on that initial offer. The logic is simple: By identifying a particular group of contacts that you already know are interested in a specific topic, you and can follow up with more relevant and targeted content that makes them more likely to continue their relationship with you.
So, to sum up, even though email marketing is being largely ignored lately, because there are other, flashier, ways to promote your business online, it should never be underestimated. There are many reasons for sticking to this this tested and tried marketing method, as running a well organized email marketing campaign will help your business’ cause in more than one way. As I mentioned before, just make sure that you hire a right person for the job and your business will certainly reach new heights.
Birthday/Holiday Emails — Sending birthday or holiday wishes to your subscribers is a great way to keep your organization top of mind. And because of the fantastic targeting, these emails tend to get a remarkable response. To send birthday wishes, you would have to collect date of birth information on your sign-up or subscriber profile forms. By also including a special offer or coupon in these emails, you can help boost interest and possibly new sales, as well. According to a study by Experian CheetahMail, birthday emails generated more than two times the revenue of bulk mailings to the same customers.
Bonus: As one related mini-lead generation tactic to add onto the process of collecting leads from free downloadable materials on your blog—try leveraging exit-intent popups that detect when a visitor is about to navigate away from your opt-in page, and they'll quickly surface the reader a reminder offer to grab your download before leaving. I've tested this and seen a meaningful lift in new subscribers that otherwise would've left the page.
A few years ago, the ad agency Cummins & Partners wanted to sell out their first live conference, Creative Fuel. They had a limited budget, so they utilized next to nothing aside from a dash of creativity to launch a YouTube video and blog post titled… “The World’s First Crowd-Sourced 3D-Printed QR Code Live Streamed Via GoPro To A Smartphone Or Tablet Device Drone Delivery Ticket System Project.”
For businesses with a long sales cycle or a high list price button text like “Shop now” or “Buy Now” are typically advised against. Why? Because there is a lot of runway left before a visitor turns into a paying customer. First, they’d like to learn more. As you further develop your relationship they’re eventually be ready to buy. Use this button text to provide more information to a potential buyer.
Sometimes the relationship results in a strategic announcement; other times it's as simple as a joint webinar. Let's use the latter for an example of how co-marketing emails work, and why they're so beneficial: Let's say you and another company decide to do a webinar together on a particular subject. As a result, that webinar will likely (pending your arrangements) be promoted to the email lists of both of your companies. This exposure to a list that is not your own is one of the key benefits of co-marketing partnerships.
This should go without saying, but having an optimized website is among the most effective lead generation strategies you can employ. It’s important to understand your website and landing pages are the central hub where most of your sales will take place. Because website optimization is such a robust topic, we’ve picked five best practices that can help your website become a lead generating machine.
If you have any kind of e-commerce component to your business, you’re likely already sending transactional emails such as receipts and confirmations. These types of messages have 8x the opens and clicks than any other type of email. But you may not be making them work for you as much as you could. Since you already have your reader’s attention, this is a great time to share personalized content or product recommendations that the user may also be interested in based on prior behavior or purchasing habits.
Brand Awareness: Similar to newspapers, newsletters create a certain anticipation in readers. Whether it is a daily newsletter or a weekend communication, you get into the habit of receiving it. If you enjoy the content, you will most likely stay subscribed to the newsletter and look forward to getting the next email. By building a habit in your email subscribers, you enable them to recognize your brand and associate it with a positive sentiment.
It’s easy to test, optimize, and continually improve your email-marketing results. Which subject lines, preheaders, calls to action, headlines, content marketing messages, and email template designs resonate most with your target audience? With the right email testing and optimization strategy, you can quickly improve elements of your email campaigns to achieve substantially better performance results and higher ROI.
When it comes to the email your business sends, make it clear that this offer or event is the result of a partnership with company X -- especially if your co-marketing partner is particularly popular or impressive. To do this, you can adjust the company logo in your email to also include the other business' logo. Furthermore, make sure your copy mentions both businesses, and create a custom graphic or image to visualize the offer or event.
Are you getting the most from your email-marketing program? If you’re challenged by building a high-quality, permission-based email list and developing a winning email strategy to engage and convert your target market, FulcrumTech can help. From crafting effective promotional emails and email newsletters to implementing marketing automation and testing and optimizing your email campaigns, FulcrumTech’s team of certified email marketers will get the results for which you’re striving. Contact us and get started today!
Email is an “owned” digital marketing channel—that is, the sender fully controls the content and distribution—and typically works best when used to send personal, relevant messages to segmented lists of recipients. Email is an especially important tool in relation to ecommerce, where it’s used for sending transactional, promotional, and lifecycle messages (which we’ll cover in more detail below).
Lusha is a simple app that enables you to reveal mobile numbers, direct phone numbers and contact email addresses when you are browsing prospects in LinkedIn or Twitter. It takes two clicks to launch Lusha in as an app in Google Chrome. If you’re existing customers use Twitter and LinkedIn this is a great way to generate the direct contact data that you need to make effective and more personalized cold calls.