3 Lead Generation Strategies for Businesses – For Every Budget

This article was contributed by Samir Sampat, a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. Smith.ai’s 24/7 virtual receptionists and live chat agents capture and convert leads by phone, website chat, texts and Facebook. You can follow Smith.ai on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

You have a great business with quality products and services, but you’re still looking for ways to boost your lead generation. You could simply blast your business name and logo everywhere, but there are more productive ways to allocate your budget to generate leads. 

Here are 3 quick and simple strategies for businesses with varying budgets to help increase lead generation.

1. Free trials

Everyone knows what free trials are and how they can be an effective form of new lead generation. Free trials are particularly well suited for small businesses because of their opportunity to earn a new lead’s trust. For the customer, free trials eliminate potential risks and quickly answer questions. For you and your business, it can lead to a higher conversion rate and keep costs low. 

Customers like to know that a product or service will meet their needs before spending time and money on it, especially if it’s expensive or has a recurring cost. Potential customers can use free trials to evaluate your offering and remove any concerns that they have quickly without significant commitment.

The more a customer uses your service during a trial period, the more likely they will purchase it once the trial is completed. They’ve already worked their way through the learning curve, decided they like your offering, and found a need for it in their lives. This will help push them to convert into a full-time customer. 

Free trials are an investment strategy

For your business, you know that people who sign up for free trials are highly interested. By removing their concerns and reducing their risk through a free trial, you’ll likely have a high conversion rate from your leads. This is also a low-cost strategy, especially if you don’t need to send a physical item. 

Another benefit of offering free trials is that they can be a good method to collect information from leads that are highly interested. You can leverage this insight to provide further data on your current and future products. 

If your business offers free trials, one important thing to keep in mind is how long the trial will last. If the trial is too short, customers are less likely to convert, but they might not feel an urgent need to buy from you if the trial is too long. Decide how long the free trial should run by considering the purpose and the ease of use of your product. 

2. Landing pages

If you have an offer for leads interested in your business, there should be a link that takes them directly to a landing page. This link could direct them to a free trial or form to gather users’ information—sometimes in exchange for information from you like an ebook or webinar. Landing pages are highly focused pages just for that offer, so if you have multiple offers for leads, you should create multiple landing pages.

Your landing page should be clean, simple, informative, and easy to navigate. Since it should only have one purpose, let that purpose flourish with a clear call-to-action. Whether your landing pages are click-throughs for potential customers or a form to collect information, that should be the only interaction leads find on the landing page. Relevant information about the offer is useful, however, other information and distractions are unhelpful. 

With a clean design and simple message, your landing pages are almost ready to go. However, it should be as user-friendly as possible to have the greatest impact. A few other things to consider are how fast the page loads and if it’s mobile-optimized as more and more people use mobile devices.

Collecting lead information on a landing page

If your landing page has a form to complete, consider what information you’re interested in collecting. A name and contact information are always a great start. You might also want to know the lead’s referral source. If your business is B2B-focused, it might be beneficial to know the lead’s position and company.

Collecting too much information makes the form more difficult for your leads to complete. The cost of functional landing pages doesn’t have to be much—it greatly depends on who designs and builds the page. Most importantly, make sure your landing pages have good designs with a single focus to maximize results. 

3. Referral programs

Word of mouth is one of the most successful methods of generating leads. This is due to the built-in trust that comes when you learn about something new from someone you know. Customers that are referred are more likely to be long-term customers rather than one-timers. 

Referral programs are another low-budget option for businesses. It doesn’t cost your company to have a customer tell a friend about you. While not always spread by word of mouth, referral programs are a useful way to encourage existing customers to boast about your business with others. 

The foundation of most referral programs is rewarding existing customers for referring new leads that convert. Many programs reward both parties, helping entice those referred to do business with you. Ideally, referral programs are used to easily track benefits and referrals. 

Happy customers are your best lead-generation tool

As you build out your referral program, you’ll want to keep it simple for both you and your customers. You can do this by creating a unique shareable referral page with a link. This makes it easy for them to share since you’ve already created the page’s content. It’s also helpful to follow up with referrals — whether they’re current customers you have asked to give referrals or people referred to you by current customers.

Another benefit is encouraging customers to refer multiple people. Three is often a nice number because it’s realistic for your customers and can create reach for your business. Since you built the referral program, you can determine the type of achievable rewards and the number of referrals to earn those rewards. 

Reviews have a similar benefit to referrals. They’re another way to gain potential customers’ trust. Asking for reviews, like referrals, gives you something to share directly from the voice of your current customers.

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