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    Why the telephone is still your most valuable lead generation asset

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      Posted by Emily Malone

      So you know who you’re targeting, and you know how to qualify them, but you’re stuck on ideas for generating leads right now.

      Well, it’s no secret that people just want to be helped right now, just as they always have. But I think what we’re currently experiencing is really highlighting that.

      With that in mind, here are some helpful ideas to help you attract and nurture your ideal prospects into legitimate, warm leads through uncertain times.

      Feel free to steal and claim as your very own. We won’t tell, honest.

      1. Share success secrets from thought leaders.

      To establish a reputation as a resource for expert information among your audience, you need to provide unique value in your content.

      A great way to do this is to reach out to a thought leader in your industry or company. This will help you prove to potential customers that you’re dedicated to delivering the best advice and insights.

      You can do this by inviting them onto a webinar, interviewing them for a short video or podcast, or asking them to write a blog to publish on your website.

      2. Create helpful videos to solve issues for prospects.

      Quick, helpful videos help you solve problems for your potential customers in a format that’s easy-to-digest.

      For example, if you’re selling a new ERP system, you could provide quick snapshot videos and post them onto social media each week to give quick tips.

      LinkedIn has also rolled out LinkedIn Stories, are ephemeral videos that disappear after 24 hours. These ‘story’ posts create urgency and allow you to show more of the face behind your business.

      The other great thing about these stories is that they’re generally accepted in a format that doesn’t need edits or even a sophisticated design.

      You can simply record yourself talking on your smartphone and upload within minutes. As long as you provide your followers with valuable insights, you’ll strengthen your reputation as an expert.

      3. Leverage the SEO power of customer reviews.

      Review sites have a strong presence in organic search and are a great opportunity to expand your brand presence among the right audience.

      Always encourage your customers to leave reviews on a third-party review sites with strong SEO, like Yelp or Google. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of qualified prospects finding you – all without you having to spend a single penny.

      Google recognises that these review sites help people and seems to actually favour them in search engine results.

      For instance, when I searched for “best marketing software”, the rich snippet goes to PCMag, which is a leading review platform.

      4. Create an interactive quiz or tool.

      For example, HubSpot’s Website Grader is a free online tool that visitors can use to grade their websites and discover ways to improve them.

      Visitors submit their email to use this free tool, which then provides HubSpot with new leads interested in improving their web presence.

      5. Provide gated offers with best practices.

      For example, Shortlist offers a Lead Generation guide for Growth in Challenging times, which aims to help our audience generate leads through economic uncertainty. And in exchange for their contact information, they get these insider tips from an expert source.

      6. Show what’s working for your company.

      Writing a transparent post that pulls back the curtain on a success or failure can be really interesting to potential leads. It’ll either help them gain a lot of inspiration or at the very least, help them avoid making the same mistakes.

      For example, sharing a strategy guide for something you overcame recently shows you know how to overcome similar issues to them. It then prompts readers to download your strategy guide as a final call-to-action (CTA).

      7. Offer a deep-dive answer for a tough question.

      You can find the answer to any question you might have on the internet. But how many legitimately helpful answers are out there?

      Taking the time to create an in-depth, step-by-step article that answers a question for your prospect is an opportunity to generate a lead. After all, the company that provides the best answer will often get your business, right?

      Your audience will keep coming back to the blog for more insight and instruction and might end up buying from you.

      8. Create a list of useful tools or resources.

      It’s easy to brag about your own products or services. But when you mention other helpful tools your audience could be using, it proves you rank their success over your self-promotion.

      In return, you’re also attracting the kind of audience that’s looking for solutions like yours — which has the potential to drive leads.

      Readers will be more likely to return to your website in the future, and might even subscribe to your blog.

      9. Compile real-life examples with actionable takeaways.

      Finding effective examples to learn from can be difficult to find, but you know once you do, the insights will be so valuable.

      A list of best practices or real-life examples in your industry is an excellent way to drive prospects to a gated download offer or case study.

      People love looking at inspiration from brands and helpful examples, and these things make visitors want to keep coming back for more.

      10. Create a valuable email course.

      A well-developed email course is like offering your audience a real class full of valuable, relevant learnings – but for free and in their own time. All you need to do is get people to sign up using their email.

      This type of offer can be extremely valuable. Because, while showing your audience you’re the knowledge experts, it’ll also give you the chance to generate new leads to engage with over email.

      For example, Buffer gives away 25 social media strategies in 25 days to repurpose their blog content into smaller, more digestible pieces. To sign up, visitors just need to opt-in by giving them their email address. Clever, that!

      11. Host a giveaway.

      Giveaways are one of the most successful forms of lead generation. But beware, if they’re not done logically, a giveaway can also result in a bunch of junk leads and waste your time.

      Just make sure what you’re giving away is something people want or is useful to your target persona.

      Your giveaway will generate leads via email subscriptions and social media engagement. The best part? Whether a user wins or loses the giveaway, they usually continue to engage with the brand in hopes of winning future giveaways.

      Meanwhile, you’ll be adding to your email list to continue outreach with some of your more targeted content!

      12. Offer a free trial.

      Free trials of your services help get your prospect’s foot halfway through the door. And if the free trial helps them and provides great value, they’re more likely to purchase the full product and become a customer.

      Touchless buying is popular among prospects who want to stay online and off the phone. By creating a free trial, your site can do its own selling and encourage buying in a low-pressure way.

      Just make sure your free trial has guidance throughout. The last thing you want is to end up inadvertently turning prospects off when they don’t understand how to use all its fantastic features.

      13. Offer a handy checklist.

      If you’re planning an upcoming webinar, creating a to-do list for it can take up a lot of time. Why not repurpose that list for others to use?

      For example, Shortlist is creating a handy lead-generation checklist to help you tick off any critical steps in your lead generation strategy. Keep an eye out for that later this month!

       

      With the above in mind, your communications should also be reassuring, transparent, positive, and empathetic. Now is not the time for hard-selling, but instead being helpful, guiding others, and building and strengthening trust in your business.

      Check-in with your community, ask them how they’re doing. And whichever lead generation strategy you experiment with next, make sure it’s always relevant and helpful to your audience. When it is, your ideal prospects will come to you again and again.

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