How To Generate Leads: 5 Proven Techniques

How To Generate Leads

Creating growth through new customer acquisition has been consistently listed as Chief Marketing Officers’ top priority. With the explosion of available data and continuous fragmentation of communication channels, reaching the target audience is not going to get easier.

In order to generate the proper leads you have to  know your customer. Moreover, not all strategies generate immediate results, so choosing the right one depends on the importance of attracting new customers in your overall business strategy.

Need New Customers Badly?

If the answer is yes, you need to focus on strategies that bring immediate results.

We all understand the importance of search engine optimization, building your own email list and investing in content marketing. However these strategies will not yield the immediate revenue your business needs to operate.

This is what will.

Cold Calling

The old fashion method of picking up the phone and call your prospect is still one of the most effective way to generate qualified sales leads.

The good news is the “cold” aspect of this technique just got a little “warmer”. There is plenty of information available online that will allow you to overcome the biggest obstacle of a cold call: the fear of a quick rejection or even angry reaction from your potential lead.

In a recently completed project with a lead generation company we used a combination of direct marketing, followed by phone calls, to successfully generate leads for our sales team.

The goal of the direct mail piece was to introduce the company and prepare the prospect for the call.

The results were very positive. With a conversion rate of close to 20%, the sales team had plenty of fresh leads to work with.

Paid Email Programs

How do you receive updates from all social media platforms you subscribed to? Via email.

Email is one of the most effective conversion tool. Owning your own email list makes your life easier, since all email service providers will only accept you as a customer if your list is 100% opt in.

The downside of this technique is that list building takes time to grow to a size that will allow you to monetize it.

But what do you do when you have to start from scratch and have to generate immediate revenue? You make use of paid email marketing services.

Simply put paid email marketing services means using a third party email list to generate new leads.

Every serious industry association, trade magazine, and show organizers maintain an email list that is available for rent. In other words, they will send the email on your behalf, based on the designed approved by you. This option eliminates the risk of you  being flagged as a spammer.

Another option is to use a third party email list provider. The key here is to deal with a reputable one, that has been in business for many years and enjoys a solid reputation.

I had relatively good experiences with Scott’s Directories, a company that provides highly segmented email lists at an affordable price.

This article lists other reputable email list providers.

Direct Marketing

With email marketing becoming more and more permission based, direct marketing will become once again a favorite lead generation tool.

A well designed, highly targeted piece will go a long way to generating the call to action you are looking for. The key to a successful direct marketing campaign are design creativity and simplicity of the message being communicated.

In other words you have to make your direct mail piece stand out.

Direct mail pieces are also relatively easy to track, from the moment the package is sent out to when it arrives on your prospect’s mailbox.

Direct mail fits very well in a multi-channel effort that might also include a follow up call, or a digital component.

One thing to keep in mind: avoid making your piece look like junk mail. It will otherwise end up the recycle bin.

Put Your Lead Generation Process on Autopilot

Regardless of how urgent you need to new customers, a portion of the Marketing budget should be directed to SEO and content marketing. The benefits of these medium and long term strategies extend beyond lead generation.


A good search engine ranking for keywords relevant to your customer base is a proven lead generation strategy. Since it’s not advertising,  consumers tend to trust results in organic searches more.

Although the initial upfront cost to set up a SEO friendly website are high, once it gains traction, all that’s required is maintenance, which is less costly.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a great strategy to build brand credibility and trust among your target audience. Fresh, relevant content also helps with SEO rankings, and allows you to build your own email list.

Content marketing doesn’t mean only blog articles. Any medium you decide to use to inform and educate your audience is considered content marketing.

Which Strategy Should You Focus On?

All these tools have to be looked at from your company’s perspective. Some of the tools are more suitable in a B2B environment, while others might be budget restrictive.

Regardless, the best results come from a multi-channel approach that motivates the potential customer to take action.

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