Effective Ways On How To Generate Leads Online (2021)

The Marketing Team

This is a comprehensive guide on how to generate leads online that convert GREAT. Includes lots of free strategies to help you get leads.

What’s so important about generating leads?

One word: revenue.

A lead can be a person or a company that takes an interest in your products or services. And in this article, we’ll let you in on a lot of tried-and-tested secrets on how to generate leads online.

Contents Hide
  1. 1) What are Lead Generation and Online Lead Generation?
  2. 2) What are the two main categories for generating leads?
    1. 2.1) Outbound or interruption lead generation.
    2. 2.2) Inbound lead generation.
  3. 3) Three questions to ask to find the best way to create leads for your business.
    1. 3.1) Who are your customers?
    2. 3.2) Where are buyers searching for you?
    3. 3.3) What is your timeframe?
  4. 4) Why do you need to pursue sales prospects for your business?
  5. 5) Twenty-one ways for getting leads for free (that work!)
    1. 5.1) Continue marketing to your current customers.
    2. 5.2) Make a Press Release.
    3. 5.3) Use Search Engine Optimization for a boost.
    4. 5.4) Allow your landing page to do it.
    5. 5.5) Produce videos and conduct webinars.
    6. 5.6) Start a blog.
    7. 5.7) Get yourself included in online directories.
    8. 5.8) Release white papers or e-books.
    9. 5.9) Use social media to your advantage.
    10. 5.10) Design to attract.
    11. 5.11) Request for reviews.
    12. 5.12) Start guest blogging.
    13. 5.13) Tap backlinks on other platforms.
    14. 5.14) Personalize your website.
    15. 5.15) Create an F.A.Q. page.
    16. 5.16) Be more visual.
    17. 5.17) Encourage referrals.
    18. 5.18) Start your podcast.
    19. 5.19) Build your network.
    20. 5.20) Take advantage of analytics.
    21. 5.21) Revisit lost opportunities.
  6. 6) How can I make use of inbound lead generation to pull people into my company?
  7. 7) Top 5 tips in writing an email that generates interest and steers towards conversion.
    1. 7.1) Start with an email list.
    2. 7.2) Hook them with your subject line.
    3. 7.3) K.I.S.S.
    4. 7.4) Make it personal.
    5. 7.5) End with a compelling call-to-action.
  8. 8) Nine non-negotiables for a lead generating website.
  9. 9) In what ways can Pay-Per-Click trigger sales?
    1. 9.1) Some tricks you can use for your Pay-Per-Click ads to trigger sales leads.
  10. 10) What are the different steps I can take to ensure that my online marketing videos bring revenues?
  11. 11) What kind of content creates leads?
    1. 11.1) Five ways to beef up your content for leads.
  12. 12) What are the challenges in following sales-ready opportunities?
  13. 13) How can a virtual assistant generate leads for me?
  14. 14) Hire your Lead Generation VA now

What are Lead Generation and Online Lead Generation? 

Marketing and finance teams converting potential customers into revenue streams.

Lead generation is the process of attracting a person’s or a company’s interest and converting them into customers. In digital marketing, online lead generation is when you generate leads by attracting and engaging prospective buyers on social media. You want them to be able to easily find you, follow your social media accounts, subscribe to your email list or video channels, and stay up to date on the latest news about your company and products.  

It is, in essence, the first stage of the buyer’s journey.

Simply put, it is the process of capturing the attention of prospective buyers and clients and converting them into actual customers. As a result, effective lead generation occurs when an inquiry is converted into a sale.

Other names for this approach are:

  • Sales leads
  • Qualified sales opportunity
  • Sales-ready opportunity
  • Marketing qualified opportunities
  • Prospect generation 
  • Opportunity generation 

Suggested Post: How Lead Generation Works

What are the two main categories for generating leads? 

The two main categories of lead generation are:

Outbound or interruption lead generation.

In this process, you are responsible for initiating contact with potential leads. Cold calls and direct emails are the best examples of this type of marketing for qualified opportunities.

Inbound lead generation.

This refers to allowing your prospects to come to you. Content marketing, blogging, SEO, lead nurturing, live chat or messaging, live events, and a bit of program advertising are all used in this online marketing.

Despite their differences, both tactics aim for the same thing: to generate leads.

Three questions to ask to find the best way to create leads for your business.

Before we move to answer the question on generating leads online, you must first ask yourself these three things:

Who are your customers?

When you have the entire world as your audience, it can be exciting and daunting for business owners. Don’t get caught in the web of social media by focusing on your target market.   

Where are your customers at? What platform do they commonly use?  

Marketing experts concentrate their efforts on these two:  

  • reaching out to the decision-makers 
  • analyzing where they base their purchase decisions on

Marketing via social media is a powerful way to introduce business-to-consumer (B2C) products and services. However, it may not be the same for some business-to-business (B2B) product types and professional services.

A person looking for home furnishings is more likely to get interested in your window blinds after reading a blog about them than seeing generic marketing ads. On the other hand, a finance officer who requires a new payroll system or a new business owner who needs a marketing tool may not be keen on looking for one on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

So before you make a comprehensive social media marketing campaign and get flooded with new inbound interest landing on your pages, make sure you know who and where your customers are. 

Where are buyers searching for you?

One of the fastest ways to determine if buyers are looking for you and what you offer is by doing an online keyword search. And once you do find out, make sure that you integrate those in your content and subsequent online marketing endeavors.  

Do note, though, that not everyone relies on online searches for everything they need. There are still those who ask for referrals or prefer to pick up the phone to cold call. 

Find out which inbound or outbound approach would appeal and effectively bring your target market before coming up with a full-blown digital marketing campaign. Be there where your potential customers will most likely search for the products you offer armed with the right sales strategy to pique their interest.

What is your timeframe? 

Consider the timeline when choosing the method that you will be applying to follow leads for your business.

Outbound lead generation tactics such as email marketing and pay-per-click ad campaigns usually bring in results faster. However, these do not come for free and would most likely entail higher costs. Inbound lead generation by building a website and developing targeted content, on the other hand, would require more time but may also prove to be cost-effective in the long run. 

The success of your efforts largely depends on your timeframe. Think about the instant results versus leads generated over time.

Why do you need to pursue sales prospects for your business?

Three people surrounded by question marks.

You need to pursue leads for your business using inbound and outbound tactics online because it is an effective way to do digital marketing to increase your customer base. The more leads you have, the more potential revenue for you and the bigger chance for your business to grow.   

The process of turning prospective buyers into actual ones, though, is not fool-proof. That is why it is imperative to discern what kind of leads you want to attract for your business.

Your utmost priority when pursuing sales is marketing towards qualified leads who can afford to buy your product or are capable of hiring you for your skills and have a genuine need or desire for them. Having qualified leads also enables you to analyze the behavior of your potential consumers. Being able to do so makes it easier for you to present them with the right offers at the most favorable time.

Twenty-one ways for getting leads for free (that work!)

Infographic: 21 ways for getting leads for free that work!

Continue marketing to your current customers.

An effective way to do lead generation for free is by focusing on the ones you already have. 

Businesses most often tend to overlook their existing customers and thus miss out on potential leads. Don’t fall into that trap! Try these instead:

  1. Send them flyers and reminders through email. This way, you can nurture a connection with them and let them know of your availability.   
  2. Start updating them on new products or solutions you offer through email blasts or newsletters.
  3. Create discounts and send them vouchers to encourage a repeat sale and bring in revenue.    

Make a Press Release.

An excellent way to stir interest is by making it newsworthy across all media, particularly, social media. Create a press release and make an announcement for free by posting it on your social media profile accounts and official pages, as well as enclosing it in your email to existing customers and potential ones.  

Include an invitation in your marketing collaterals to sign up for your page and to subscribe to your emails on your press release to further pursue opportunities.  

Use Search Engine Optimization for a boost.

Increase your lead generation efforts by optimizing your website for search engines. To capture leads, use keywords and key phrases that potential customers type into search engines like Google or on your website’s pages and blogs.

There are several free SEO tools available to assist you in obtaining a high site rating. These tools will provide recommendations and optimize your site to rank on the first page of search results.

Allow your landing page to do it.

A landing page is more than just images and generic information. Use it to enhance your marketing campaigns and improve your conversion rate.  

You can include a button on it wherein a visitor will be asked to input their contact information such as their names, email addresses, and phone number. With this, it functions beyond just directing people to your website. Instead, it becomes a means for you to initiate new income opportunities. 

Produce videos and conduct webinars.

Customers gravitate toward those they deem industry leaders. Making informational videos and conducting webinars are two ways to present yourself as an authority.

Share training and how-to videos on your official pages and social media accounts. Host free webinars where you share trade practices and invite clients to talk about how your company could help them. Level up your marketing efforts by effectively using this media to enhance your image and stir inbound interest for your brand. Doing these will free you from the extra costs of placing ads and enable you to source leads while establishing credibility.

Start a blog.

A blog provides you with content where you can place keywords and phrases which, when used effectively, will improve your site ranking. It also gives you a platform to inform and connect with people.

Experts in inbound marketing suggest that having a blog lets you develop your standing as an expert in your industry, which attracts more leads to your company.   

Get yourself included in online directories.

Utilize third-party listings to get your marketing game on and pursue an online lead.

Make sure that your company is included in sites where your products and services are in demand. Take advantage of specialty directories where people can view your business for free. Get their website visitors to go to your blog and jumpstart your sales-ready opportunity generation program. Doing these will generate leads for your company for free without the hassle of setting up additional pages on your own site.

Release white papers or e-books.

Earn qualified leads by offering white papers on your site. You can either recommend this for free or post it under a registration screen. Another way is to have third-party channels distribute these to potential customers.

An e-book is a good marketing alternative where you can go more in-depth on a particular subject. Making this available free of charge to valued customers or as an add-on in exchange for filling out a form will effectively enhance your revenue streams.   

Releasing a well-written white paper or an e-book allows you to:

  • gain more sales-ready prospects
  • earn credibility 
  • amplify the conversation rate of your potential clients  

Use social media to your advantage.

Is there anyone else left on the planet who’s not on social media? Take advantage of apps and their users by linking your official pages to your posts and blog.

Use the “follow” button to direct customers to your page where they can learn more about your company and eventually increase your revenue.

Design to attract.

A good web design not only looks good visually but also effectively performs inbound marketing for you. It should be planned to drive traffic to your page and collect data for leads.

Make it informative and engaging to enhance your marketing efforts and gather relevant information on prospective customers.  

Request for reviews.

Include a section on your official page for reviews. Ask repeat customers to provide feedback on items or services that are easily accessible to potential customers.

Have this as a part of your purchase process and encourage your clients to leave responses by offering future discounts. This way, their referrals can traffic interest to your page, where you can turn them into sales.  

When people see positive reviews, they are more likely to purchase a product or hire you for your assistance. 

Start guest blogging.

Begin by researching for free guest post sites that allow backlinks and product or service mentions in their blogs. In exchange, they will expect high-quality content that can be posted on their blog site.

Remember that obtaining backlinks from reputable sites can help your site’s ranking and traffic performance. Take advantage of marketing and collaborating with other sites to improve your overall SEO campaign.

Do not limit backlinks to your pages—trade links with other businesses and their official pages to gain from the same customers.

Sharing links is free and mutually beneficial because it provides a platform big enough for your companies to garner more leads.  

Personalize your website.

Avoid generic website designs at all costs. Looking like everyone else is not the best way to go if you want to be an industry leader.

Craft a streamlined and straightforward design that looks and feels professional and not overwhelming. Your goal is to entice visits to your page and eventually gain revenue.

Create an F.A.Q. page.

Make your website user-friendly by having a section dedicated to frequently asked questions. Having one means potential customers will have a clearer understanding of your products and services, keeping them engaged.

What’s more, it encourages users to stay on your page, thus limiting its bounce rate and improves its SEO ranking. With this, your company will be visible in searches and be more successful in pursuing sales online.

Be more visual.

Show more rather than tell. Too much text is not an effective way to do marketing because they get overwhelming. Instead, tell your story to the world through images and sound design.  

Have a website that is engaging, visually appealing, and easy to navigate to entice more people to come and visit.

Encourage referrals.

Word-of-mouth has long been used in advertising and marketing. Extend deals and rewards to your customers who share positive feedback about your business.

Whenever they recommend your merchandise to their friends or convince others to try a service you offer, make sure they get something in return.     

Start your podcast.

Just like blogging, doing a podcast is a tried-and-tested way to establish authority on a subject. However, instead of writing, you record yourself speaking or interviewing people about topics that are related to your company’s product or service.

Build your network.

Reaching out to people on social media platforms, forums, and online groups will yield numerous benefits. Reaching out to people in your market will also produce new leads. What’s more, it can give you a better understanding of their needs and wants. Additionally, joining communities online opens up opportunities for you to network with other professionals and industry leaders.  

Take advantage of analytics.

Analytical tools can be used to determine whether your marketing efforts are successful in driving inbound traffic to your website.

Google Analytics is an example of this type of software. It will assist you in determining the demographics of your visitors as well as the length of time they spent on your website.

Additionally, this kind of tool will provide you with an indication of how many of your potential customers actually became actual purchasers of your products.

Revisit lost opportunities.

Rejection is never easy. Maybe that is why most of us hardly think of revisiting past potential buyers that didn’t quite make it to becoming our actual consumers.    

The truth is there are several factors why some leads fail. And no matter what the reason may be, reconnecting is a good option because, at one point, they already expressed interest in your company.     

How can I make use of inbound lead generation to pull people into my company?

You can make use of inbound lead generation to pull people into your company by making it easy for them to discover you through search engines, social media platforms, and an engaging website.

The major goal of this approach is to earn trust, get attention, and establish a connection with potential buyers. By allowing them to come to you instead of “interrupting” them through outbound lead generation, you are more likely to get it.

Applying this tactic to your digital efforts in marketing enriches the connection with your audience because it’s geared towards helping them rather than selling to them. When you assist prospective customers in making better purchase decisions, the generation of qualified leads begins, which will hopefully translate to your sales.  

Examples of this scheme are as follows:

  • SEO
  • Content marketing
  • Blogging
  • E-books
  • Social media campaigns
  • Webinars
  • Videos

Top 5 tips in writing an email that generates interest and steers towards conversion.

Emails are effective, efficient, and capable of reaching a wider audience than other marketing and communication tools, writing one though takes more than just sending out a template to everyone on your mailing list.

Here are the top 5 tips to guide you on writing an email that will bring in results:

Start with an email list.

This method starts with a list of contacts, professional and social, that you plan on sending your email to. Ensure to include those who revolve around your business and are directly or indirectly connected to your industry.   

Hook them with your subject line.

The amount of email and marketing collaterals some people receive daily is astounding. So you have to make sure that your subject line is catchy enough to convince them to click yours in a sea of so many others.     

K.I.S.S.

Keep it short and simple. Most people, especially those on social media, get easily turned off with huge blocks of text. Also, time, particularly for entrepreneurs, is gold. So it’s best to keep your email brief and to the point.

Make it personal.

The best way to convince someone to read your email is to make it a letter that feels personal and directed to them. Research on the ones on your list and address issues that exclusively concerns them.

End with a compelling call-to-action.

Stimulate your leads to act by creating a sense of urgency, an element of scarcity, and a directive on what they should do next. Make a compelling case as to why they should act now rather than later.  

Nine non-negotiables for a lead generating website.

A lead-generating website is more than just an online brochure. It helps your visitors by educating them about your company, and it’s a way for them to easily contact you in case they need what you offer.

Want to find out how to make sure your website can do this and more?

Below are the nine non-negotiables your site should have:

  1. A contact number to increase consumer trust and gain credibility.  
  2. A lead generation form that requires minimal information.
  3. Testimonials with photos of your clients.
  4. Videos that speak to your visitors.  
  5. Web design that is personalized to your company.
  6. A well-designed site that has breathing space and is not cluttered.
  7. Powerful copy that is compelling and has an impact.
  8. Analytic goals that will direct the layout and content of your website.
  9. Testing software and analytic tools to determine what works and what doesn’t.

In what ways can Pay-Per-Click trigger sales?

PPC advertising ranks as one of the top three tactics in digital marketing campaigns for selling goods and services, according to a survey conducted by Web marketing123. When given a short timeline, PPC is considered the best choice when it comes to generating sales-ready opportunities.

Some tricks you can use for your Pay-Per-Click ads to trigger sales leads.

  1. Match your content to your ad. People will expect to see more information about the ad they clicked from your static page.
  2. Do not direct your potential customers to your homepage. Point them instead to your landing page, which is specifically designed for tracking potential sales.
  3. Focus on securing leads on your forms and not adding unnecessary embellishments that might turn off your potential market.
  4. Offer deals or rewards to potential customers in exchange for their sign-up details.
  5. Have an F.A.Q. section on your website to cater to potential leads. 
  6. Provide testimonials to back up the claims in your ads.   
  7. Make it easy for them to get in touch with you, either by posting your contact number for them to see or by installing a live chat function.
  8. Use tools to track your conversion rates so that you can adjust when needed.

What are the different steps I can take to ensure that my online marketing videos bring revenues?

Most people prefer watching videos over reading. So, it’s not a surprise that videos can deliver a higher level of engagement among online users than texts.

We’ve listed the steps you can do to make sure that your videos adhere to your marketing objectives and increase the success of the conversion of your prospects:

  1. Create a content strategy that focuses on a product or service and brings value to your audience.
  2. Tailor-fit your videos to your target market.  
  3. Promote your videos for free on social media and third-party sites.   
  4. Come up with gated content that requires people to provide information before they can unlock your video.
  5. Consistently upload videos so that you can gain a following. YouTube allows your followers to subscribe to your videos where they are notified each time you upload a new one.    

What kind of content creates leads? 

One of the most effective plans in creating leads is through valuable, engaging, and highly visible content.

Now, how do you craft content that does that? Here’s how:

Five ways to beef up your content for leads.

  1. Know your audience to create content that will match their needs.
  2. Find the type of content that best suits your target market. Do they like reading a blog post, or would they rather listen to a podcast? Do they respond to a personal email, or do they like receiving free stuff?  
  3. Elevate your content. You can produce well-researched, long-form articles, promote a product or service within your blog, add options to subscribe on your site or include in your email, and create downloads and lead magnets that are specifically targeted to your users.
  4. Use distribution channels to get your content out into the world. Divert traffic gains to your company by uploading a blog post or a video on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
  5. Optimize your opt-in page by either doing away with a navigation page or having a clear and hard-to-miss CTA or call-to-action button.

What are the challenges in following sales-ready opportunities?

There’s no doubt that pursuing new opportunities is vital for businesses to grow. However, it does come with hurdles that we all need to overcome to be effective.

We’ve come up with some of the most common hurdles in lead generation, along with ideas on how you can avoid them:

  1. Not sure if your data is accurate? Equip yourself with the right tools to build a robust database.
  2. Trends keep changing! (Of course, they do) But, what can I do to guarantee that my efforts stay relevant? Know your target market well. Understand your target market’s buying journey and study the processes they go through.
  3. How can we respond to their interest quickly? Streamline your work process to improve your response time.
  4. I don’t know if we’re making any progress. The simplest way is to measure the quality of your leads based on your profits.
  5. Who should I get on my team to help me with lead generation? You’ll need a Virtual Assistant who is an expert on sales-ready opportunity generation on your team.  

How can a virtual assistant generate leads for me?

A virtual assistant specializing in generating leads will help you funnel opportunities that you would either have no time for or don’t have the skills for.

Still unconvinced? 

Here’s a list of some of the most common tasks a Lead Generation VA can do for you:  

  1. Get you a large pool of contacts because they are equipped with many creative strategies to build it and establish a multicore network for you.  
  2. Make close to a hundred calls a day to chase potential leads.  
  3. Set appointments for you while you concentrate on other tasks.
  4. Keep your content updated and relevant.
  5. Ensure that your emails and other online posts are equipped for the generation of leads.
  6. Nurture leads for you.
  7. Oversee the development and management of your company’s revenue generation efforts.

Suggested Post: Virtual Assistant Services: A Comprehensive List

Hire your Lead Generation VA now

Free yourself from tasks that keep you from focusing directly on growing your business.

It’s time to outsource your lead generation endeavors without purchasing new software (which will still require some of your time, by the way) by hiring someone more than qualified to handle them.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Enumerate the tasks you need help with.
  2. Determine your budget and timeline.
  3. Choose between working with a virtual assistant agency or searching through a large pool of VAs on a freelancing employment site.

One of the greatest investments you can do for yourself is hiring a virtual assistant. Not only will it earn and free you from time-consuming tasks, doing so will empower you to take your company to new heights.

Leave it to the experts like OkayRelax to provide you with high-quality virtual assistant services. With their controlled and strict screening process and intensive training program, you can be assured of having only the most competent and experienced virtual assistants for your needs. 

OkayRelax also allows you the convenience and freedom of selecting the virtual assistant package that suits your needs. Select between a monthly or annual setup with specialized pricing based on the number of tasks you require.

You may check their pricing page for a full list of affordable packages and rates that are available for you. Prices start at only 29.95 USD.

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