Lead Generation for Startups

Leads are the single most important part of the pipeline puzzle. Without a steady supply of leads, a high converting offer is all but useless. Although constant split testing and tweaking your campaign can be laborious, even a small increase in conversions now could spell big rewards and a boost in your income later.

If you’re lacking lead generation inspiration, check out these simple tips to get you started.

  1. Thoughtfully Bump Up the Social Media

Using the right kind of social media for your business, such as Instagram or Pinterest to share photographs of everything from physical products to photos of staff members. Facebook and Twitter are better options for content creation and curation and are a quick and simple way to humanise your brand and boost your appeal across the board. Just be sure to use the right social media accounts for your brand and don’t sign up for everything. Update the accounts regularly and interact with followers and commenters often.

Image Credit - Jason Howie

Image Source – Jason Howie (CC License)

  1. Opt-Ins! Calls-to-Action!

You can quite easily add a little opt-in form or a call-to-action onto anything that you publish, be it an email or a blog post. Try a variety of media, such as free or heavily discounted videos, whitepapers, PDFs or e-books until you hit something that works well. The key to this is value. Leads won’t fall into your lap unless you provide readers with something of substance that makes them give you their details, so keep that in mind.

  1. Split Test Everything

Changing just one word here or there can make a much bigger difference than you’d think. Wordstream.com, for example, changed the wording on one of their buttons from “Create My Account” to “Create Your Account” and found a conversion rate drop of a whopping 24%. This finding informed the wording of future products. Remember, though, to only test one thing at a time: testing multiples won’t give you an accurate representation of what is boosting leads and what isn’t. If you have multiple ideas, run multiple split tests; but only test one thing against another.

  1. Make Signup Forms As Simple As Can Be

The more forms that a potential customer has to fill out before they can hit submit, or, “Okay, I Understand!”, the more likely you are to lose ‘em. Make the signup form as stripped back as you can get it and ask for only the information that you need at this moment in time. If you’re just sending them a free ebook, you only need a valid email address and a name. If you’re capturing credit card information for a purchase, the long card number, the expiry date and the 3-digit number on the back of the card are usually all that’s necessary. Another way to shorten the time spent on the form is to just ask for a house name or number and a postcode, too, so that your customer can just pick their address from the list instead of typing it all out. Oh, and make sure you include some JavaScript so that if there is anything wrong with the information that the customer provides, they know which field they need to go back to. Giving them a generic error code at the end that doesn’t provide them with specific information is a surefire way to make them click off the page and is a lost lead for you.

  1. Retarget Your No-Shows

If someone has spent a bit of time on your site but hasn’t quite committed to buying, or has filled in some of the opt-in form but got bored halfway through, you can retarget them. Put simply, this means that you use a cookie to “follow” said potential lead, popping up now and then to remind them of your site, or to retarget them with special offers “just for them”. In retail, this is often effectively used in the form of a voucher or coupon if the customer completes their checkout within X amount of days as a way to shift leads from a “maybe” buying state into a “credit card in hand” state.

  1. Give Them a Call

Lead generation via telemarketing is surprisingly effective – especially when the potential leads have already been “screened” or have already bought an item of yours in the past, as this takes away some of the fear and means that they are far more likely to want to sign up when you get them on the phone. Test a few scripts to see which works best, or work with a marketing company like Virtual Sales to do the job for you.

Many factors can come into play when it comes to lead generation – from the seemingly small, such as the colour of your buttons and backgrounds, to the large, such as the content that you create and share with visitors and potential customers. Those small, innocuous-seeming tweaks might just make all the difference, so make sure that you track, track, and track some more.

Do you have any additional lead generation tips? Let us know in the comments.


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Andy Dickens

Andy Dickens is a veteran of IT Sales, used to leading by example. He is the CEO of Virtual Sales Limited (VSL) who offer telesales, telemarketing, lead generation and appointment setting services to B2b businesses. He previously was Sales Director EMEA for Red Hat and before that ran sales at Visio before it was acquired by Microsoft.