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Last updated Tue Apr 09 2024

How to Generate Leads: 18 Surefire Ways [+Examples]

Every business wants to generate leads. 

But how do you capture them?

These 18 strategies will definitely help.

Generate 3x more leads with onsite notifications, popups, website bars, and embeds
sales popup with targeting and results
mobile vs desktop popups statistics
The State of Visitor Engagement on Shopify [Study]

Find out strategies Shopify businesses use to generate leads and sales:

Read the report

How Does Lead Generation Work?

Lead generation is a set of strategies that help you spark customer interest in your product or service and incentivize them to purchase it. 

So, a lead would be a person who is interested in your offer, and there are three types of them:

  • Marketing-qualified leads (MQL) — they have checked out your marketing channels but are not ready to buy.

  • Sales-qualified leads (SQL) — they have expressed a clear interest in purchasing your product.

  • Product-qualified leads (PQL) — they have used your product and want to become paying customers. 

The process of getting business leads goes like this:

lead generation process

1. Use targeted popups

A targeted popup appears only to a selected segment of your website visitors. At the right time to the right audience, if I may add.

Let us show you how it works using Wisepops.

When creating a campaign, you can set screen rules defining when your lead capture popup will get triggered:

  • On a specific page only

  • Upon exiting a page

  • When a visitor clicks a link

  • When a visitor views a product or a certain product category

  • When a visitor adds a product to the shopping cart

  • When a visitor hovers over a certain element of the page

  • Within a pre-set schedule (this is helpful for limited-time offers)

  • For a specific audience (new and returning visitors, paid visitors, visitors from a certain country, etc.)

Here’s what segmentation options you will get if you choose to show your popup for a particular target audience group (returning visitors from Google and direct visitors, in this case):

targeting

You can also used Wisepops built-in Shopify properties to create targeted campaigns based on the browsing and shopping behavior:

shopify properties

So—

How does a targeted popup campaign look in real life?

Yespark, a parking space rental app, used this feature to create a welcome popup campaign with a €15 discount on monthly parking space rental for new clients only:

welcome offer on a website

With this campaign, Yespark managed to get 3,492 emails from newcomers:

performance

Next—

They created one more campaign—for returning visitors.

This time, it was a bar, displayed at the bottom of the website. It had the same message, and of course, the same discount up for grabs:

website bar for returning visitors

Creating a bar campaign for returning visitors was a brilliant lead generation idea because a repeat visit suggested they were interested in signing up for Yespark.

And guess what—

That campaign added 1,245 more emails to Yespark's client base:

performance2

You can do the same, too.

There are 30+ types of popups out there to choose from, but most importantly—

Use targeting. 

Targeted popup campaigns are contextually relevant, so they will help to create positive shopping experiences.

If you need advice on choosing the proper tool, let me recommend Wisepops—there are many ecommerce case studies of online stores generating tons of leads with this app.

See how you can generate leads with Wisepops:

Unlimited free trial, no cc needed

★★★★★

"The software is easy to use. Few clicks, few set up and done. The code is easy, light weight and fast. We collected 2,000 emails within 7 days with one pop up. The analytics is great."

Wisepops review from Capterra

Learn more about the Yespark campaigns as well as other case studies involving generating leads with targeted popups:

yesparklogo
Find out how Yespark generated 4,700+ leads with targeted popups and onsite notifications

2. Implement onsite notifications

Onsite notifications are a subtle, social media-inspired feed containing marketing messages for website visitors.

They appear as a bell icon in the website's header and include targeting features to deliver relevant content to visitors at important points throughout their shopping experience:

onsite notifications black ember

The “Bell” signals its presence with unread notifications, drawing visitors' attention. By clicking the "bell" icon, visitors will see the messages..

There are many ways to use onsite notifications (with product announcements and driving traffic to sales being among the top use cases), including generating leads.

Ideas for generating leads with onsite notifications:

  • Newsletter sign ups

  • Building a waiting list for new products

  • Sharing discounts in exchange for emails

Let’s see some examples:

You can create a notification to invite visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, like this one from Pedego Harlem:

onsite notifications newsletter signup leads

Next—

Just like OddBalls, you can capture emails of customers interested in your upcoming products (the view from inside the editor):

campaign wisepops dash

And speaking of this campaign—

It collected almost 700 emails, giving OddBalls a nice customer engagement with the new product:

onsite notification feed performance
Dan Mitchell, Ecommerce Manager OddBalls

“Our challenge was to generate sign ups for a completely new product type of ours that we had not previously launched before. This was a new way for us to engage in creating sign ups for the business.”

Dan Mitchell, Ecommerce Manager OddBalls

And last but not least—

You can share discounts and special deals (think flash sales) like that:

get sales with onsite notifications

There are more effective ways to generate leads with onsite notifications, of course, and many businesses have achieved impressive results by using them.

As an example, check out this case study with OddBalls, a company I mentioned:

oddballs-logo
Onsite notifications: OddBalls case study

Find out how OddBalls generated almost 700 emails and £50,000 with two campaigns: OddBalls success story

Or—

Prefer to learn by doing? Try them for free:

And you can also watch a quick presentation on how you can grow your business with onsite notifications:

3. Build a high-quality landing page

If we’re talking about attracting potential customers, a landing page is, in many ways, your business’s carte-de-visite, your first impression. 

How do you make it a good one?

Check out an example from The North Face. 

Here is a landing page of the brand’s Renewed initiative - the company receives used The North Face garments, repairs, and resells them in their stores.

landing page

What makes this landing page great? 

  • Straightforward main and supportive headlines

  • Clear mission statement and unique selling proposition

  • Categorization through segmentation - you can easily jump to personalized collections for women, men, and kids

  • Images showcasing the context of use

  • Coherent CTAs

Some businesses can also benefit from adding some social proof to their landing pages, but more on that later. 

4. Fine-tune product pages

Have you ever spent hours looking for a specific product, yet nothing caught your eye?

Oof. 

Unfortunately, this sometimes happens when you’re browsing an ecommerce website with 100+ product pages. And that’s what you need to be aware of if you want to generate leads. 

What should you pay attention to?

Consider the following product page from Holo Taco, a nail polish brand. 

holo product page

You get everything here:

  • User experience — The page design is great and the information arrangement is intuitive and easy-to-follow.

  • Copywriting — The page combines product description writing and the brand’s unique voice and tone. 

  • Brand — Page elements like logos and signature colors connect a product to your brand. 

  • Product — Product photography, demonstration, and focus on details and benefits for users are well done.

Andy-Crestodina
Expert tip: fine-tuning product pages also requires SEO optimization

"Before you write another blog post, go back and optimize a product page. Visitors who start their visit on one of these pages are often 20 times more likely to buy than visitors who land on articles. Focus on the money pages. It's 100% worth it."

Andy Crestodina, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Orbit Media Studios Inc.

5. Impress potential customers with a Testimonials page

Placing customer feedback on a product page is a good idea (like Holo Taco did in the previous section), but if you want to generate more leads for a B2B company, a separate Testimonials page would work better. 

Take any subscription business, for example. 

Sharing feedback in this industry is crucial for landing new clients, considering that a long-term commitment may be needed.

So, businesses often create dedicated website sections with customer feedback, usually in the form of text, to add credibility (credit: Sundays for Dogs, a dog subscription box):

reviews page

However, stats show that video testimonials work better - 42% of customers find them more relatable. 

testimonials

Of course, editing videos can be pretty time-consuming, so Joe Hayden, a real estate agent, devised an idea to record audio stories of his happy clients. It’s less hustle but this real estate photography marketing works just as well for generating more leads. 

More from our blog:

20+ ecommerce tools [for new and growing businesses]

6. Invest in educational blog posts 

It’s sort of a given that blog content is a must-have if you want to attract new clients. 

But is it as necessary in B2C as it is in B2B and SaaS?

Certainly.

Stats show that B2C companies that blog 11+ times per month get up to 4x more leads than those producing blog content only 4 times a month. 

That is, of course, if the content follows these characteristics:

  • Answers the right intent

  • Provides unique insights

  • Showcases expertise

  • Uses direct, clear language

  • Is supported by relevant visuals

  • Includes an engaging call to action

A great embodiment of these six elements is the blog of Stumptown Coffee Roasters:

blog

The best thing about this blog post is the CTA - all readers get an exclusive offer with 16 free meals, 3 gifts, and first shipping for free. That’s a great example of using a blog to get more leads. 

You can generate even more leads by boosting your blog content with high-quality links, but you should do it in a “smart” way.

Grant Simmons, SEO Strategist
Expert tip:

"Earning quality links is still the way to go, but if you think your blog isn't worthy of earning links naturally, the number one thing to do is to make that post content better!

The second thing I always review before resorting to link building is the page itself and the queries that the page is ranking for. I take those queries and bucket them by intent, generally by analyzing the verbs used in those queries, together with the subject of those verbs. This way, I get a great idea of what Google thinks the intent of that page may be. If that intent doesn't match the main intent of the page (in this case 'more leads' then I'll adjust the page to more closely match.

Other things I look at?  

- How obvious is the "path to satisfaction" is it clear to the consumer the next or last step.  

- Internal linking to a page - am I making it clear to Google what the page is about and its context within the site.  - Entity inclusion - am I disambiguating the page focus to ensure Google understands the key focus of this particular page.

- Lastly, I test on people I trust to give me feedback on whether the page is simple to understand, use, convert on, and what the experience overall is like. This is how I would improve the quality, quantity, and conversions overall of a page on a site."

Grant Simmons, SEO Strategist and Consultant at Brilliant Strategy.

7. Create a newsletter

Newsletters are common lead magnets both in B2B and B2C - they don’t cost much but deliver a high ROI. 

This average rate will vary from industry to industry but always depends on the following factors:

  • Is the content compelling?

  • Does it appeal to the right audience?

  • What is the value of storytelling?

  • Is the design user-friendly?

  • Do CTAs effectively encourage the reader to proceed with the next step?

This newsletter from Meow Meow Tweet answers all these requirements:

newsletter1

It ticks all the boxes:

  • Storytelling

  • Great readability

  • Appealing to the target audience

Moreover, content arrangement and design lead to straightforward CTA buttons encouraging the readers to learn more about the cause and support the nonprofit. 

Related:

Learn how to use signup forms.

8. Organize contests and giveaway campaigns

Contests and giveaways are a chance for your followers to enjoy a freebie, while you are generating new business leads. 

And there's a lot of giveaway ideas out there.

Besides, it's a piece of cake to set such a campaign in motion:

  • Pick a social media channel with a solid following base to ensure high engagement.

  • Make sure the audience on the chosen social media account is relevant to the idea of the campaign.

  • Prepare a straightforward campaign goal and participation rules. 

  • Choose a prize.

  • Figure out a way to determine the winner.  

  • Set up campaign hashtags. 

  • Draw up a promotional plan. 

A great move to get more leads for your business is to ask participants to tag their friend(s) and have them enter the competition, too. This way, you can get more potential SQLs. 

Or—

You can also have giveaways on your website.

Faguo, a fashion store, generates leads this way regularly. Here's one campaign from them:

This campaign generated 48,146 emails:

Learn more about this campaign:

Picture of Martin Charousset
Faguo reduced popup software costs by 75% and is generating 11 times more leads

9. Network with your followers

Surprising or not, some online comments receive brand critiques. 

So, what do you do with bad comments from clients?

You shouldn’t ignore them, that’s for sure. 

But you shouldn’t be rude either, like in this case:

review

Instead, Google recommends apologizing and trying to resolve an issue over the phone or email, and it applies to all your channels. 

Anyway, how does responding to people’s comments help get more business leads?

  • You get to collect more information about your audience’s pain points. 

  • Next, you can use new data to create targeted lead generation campaigns (e.g., PPC ads). 

  • Also, you land an opportunity to make improvements to your product/service, increasing customer loyalty and your own credibility as a result. 

Tip: Collect feedback with an NPS popup from your website visitors.

This guide shows how to create one:

Learn more about how to get more feeback with onsite feedback campaigns:

No cc needed, unlimited free trial.

10. Collaborate with influencers

Influencers can be a goldmine of lead generation opportunities.

There are a few stipulations, though. 

  • Do not choose influencers that are not experts in your niche (they won’t have the right audience). 

  • Do study their engagement rates on your preferred platform. 

  • Do make sure their values align with yours. 

  • Do ensure that their content style aligns with yours. 

  • Do ask for information about previous campaigns to generate new leads for other businesses. 

Here’s a campaign example that ticks all the boxes. 

CeraVe partnered with a TikTok influencer, Charli D’Amelio, to promote their skincare products among teenagers. Charli became CeraVe’s partner promoting must-have products, from sunscreens to acne treatment. 

video

The campaign results are still to be expected, but the engagement under her videos featuring CeraVe is insane - starting from 500K views and 300K likes. 

11. Start UGC campaigns

A UGC campaign encourages your followers (among whom might be your potential customers) to produce content featuring the use of your product and reward them for the effort. 

One of the best ways to get leads, for sure. 

Starbucks’ OG white cup campaign is the living proof of that. 

The contestants got to decorate Starbucks white reusable cups with their own designs and submit them using the #WhiteCupContest hashtag. It encouraged thousands of people around the U.S. and Canada to participate. 

The winner’s exclusive design was sold in Starbucks stores, and the proceeds helped her open her own graphic design business. 

starbuckspost

Learn more on how to make your seasonal offers more appealing:

13. Launch referral programs

One of the most reliable ways to generate leads is to work with referrers. They get a commission for sending new customers your way, and you get a boost in sales. 

Consider Airbnb. 

The company’s referral program offers referrers travel credits for bringing in new users, up to $5,000 for Booked Home Reservations, and up to $2,000 for Booked Experiences. And we must say it’s doing quite well. 

But don’t just take our word for it. 

ReferralCandy had an interview with the marketing team at Airbnb, which reported that referrals drive 900% year-on-year growth for first-time bookings, growing their user base from 1,000 to 2 million users in just two years. 

So yes, referral programs can be quite profitable, but the key is for them to have the right incentives and goals to generate business leads. 

14. Participate in events and trade shows

Even though the world has pretty much moved online, offline events are still a thing and work quite well for lead generation. 

According to Display Wizard’s 2022 report, 70% of trade show participants managed to generate business leads.

Not too shabby. 

The secret lies in the good old face-to-face networking, which allows you to notice non-verbal clues, and you get a chance to adjust your rhetoric to sound more convincing. 

Another benefit - a highly targeted audience gets to experience your product or service in real life. You can also approach them with lucrative offers to move them from MQL to SQL faster. 

So, how can you get more leads at an offline event?

  • Provide robust product experiences

  • Promote your brand at the event to build awareness

  • Go hard on networking 

  • Always follow up with new leads

If the visitors are not ready to purchase, you can invite them to your online community where they can learn more about your brand and product. 

Our Wisepops community is a great example, go check it out!

15. Support local events

If your brand targets a specific localization, it would make sense to generate leads for your business through sponsoring local events. 

The best thing is that it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. 

For instance, Team Iowa Physical Therapy paid only $2,500 to support the Iowa City Run for the Schools.

social media

What would they get from this donation?

First and most importantly, they get exposure through all the marketing at this event. You can also host a booth to tell more about your offer. 

Another crucial thing - supporting a local event allows you to create a good first impression among potential leads. 

All of that will, of course, work if you pick the right event to sponsor. Your algorithm of action here would be similar to choosing the influencer - the core values of the event should resonate with your own. 

16. Host a webinar

Webinars are among the best ways to generate leads, especially for B2B brands - 73% of B2B marketers and sales reps say webinars are the most effective method of attracting potential buyers. 

However, you’re walking on very thin ice here, and your webinar might just turn into a flop.

Many brands make the mistake of getting too salesy, trying to push their product or service onto the participants, and talking too little about their paint points. 

So, your key task is to address your customers’ problems and explain how your product will solve them.

Consider our webinar with Klaviyo explaining how to use our solutions to prepare your e-shop for Black Friday:

Note: following up with your audience after the webinar is as important. 

So, send exclusive content, sales promotions, and special offers to keep nurturing new leads.

17. Personalize customer experience

Generating new leads goes hand-in-hand with personalization. There’s just no way around it. 

If your business offers a variety of products and services, it especially makes sense to add personalization to both BOFU and MOFU stages of the funnel.

Here’s how you can do it. 

Let’s check out Calm’s website. Once you enter the domain name, you land on the homepage with the list of issues Calm’s app can help you with. 

calm1

That’s the first personalized step in discovering this service - you choose the problem you want to solve, and Calm asks you a few more questions to customize your experience. 

Next, you create your account to save the preferences, and the app provides a selection of meditations that suit your needs.

calm

The test will take a potential customer 2-3 minutes to complete. They get to try your product, and you get a sales-qualified lead. 

17. Incentivize inactive leads

How to get leads if none of the above-mentioned strategies are working?

A good idea is to tap into the pool of inactive leads that stopped interacting with your brand at some stage of the funnel. 

You’ll get two benefits from this:

  • Craft effective win-back strategies by identifying the reason why leads went dormant. 

  • Pinpoint the negative trends and fix them to prevent further loss of potential clients. 

One of the ways to incentivize inactive leads is through email marketing. For instance, here, the brand tries to re-engage a dormant lead by giving them time-limited discounts:

email

This email is a classic example of re-activating customers through segmentation - a crucial step in helping you understand why they went dormant in the first place. 

19. Provide excellent customer service

Communication is the key to getting business leads. 

So, you simply can’t disregard customer support, which is the first point of contact between a lead and your brand. 

However, you don’t necessarily need to hire more reps to handle all customer interactions. Instead, you can turn to automation. 

  • Add live chat or a chatbot to your website.

  • Build a knowledge base, a.k.a. an FAQ page.

  • Develop templates. 

  • Implement routing. 

  • Use surveys and polls to get feedback. 

Steve Madden, one of the top Shopify stores, is an excellent example of how live chat can help a new lead learn essential information about the brand. 

live chat

Wrapping Up

Getting leads for your business takes time and sometimes is a case of trial and error. 

So, in most cases, you just have to keep going, segmenting your audience, applying different strategies, and nurturing your potential customers at every funnel stage. 

Here are a few more resources to help you make your lead generation knowledge more profound. 

mariia

Mariia Kovalenko

Mariia Kovalenko is a seasoned digital marketing professional with experience in content and link building. With a passion for research, digital marketing, content management, and literature, Mariia brings a unique blend of creativity and analytical thinking to the digital landscape.

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