24 November 2015
What do you want? Leads! When do you want them? Now! The best lead generation ideas are designed to attain contact information and permission from your prospect for you to reach out. In short: To get the email, gate the content.
Blogs, infographics, and fun memes are all content that engages your website visitor, and they’re useful when given away for free. For higher-value content (that takes higher effort from you), you want to get something in return. What content do you put behind the lead form, though? What types of content entice prospects to hand over their precious email address?
There is no #1 best piece of content to offer behind a lead form. That depends on who you are and who your customers are. There are ideas with a record of proven success though. Here are our top 10 lead generation ideas (in alphabetical order):
1. Case Studies
Although Dynamicweb gives away a series of case studies for free on our site, potential customers do give their email addresses out for long-form case studies. This type of content is great for someone who is further along the funnel and wants to delve into how your business works and how you solve specific problems.
2. Digital Tools
One of the primary concepts for lead generation ideas is that whatever you are bartering for your prospect’s email address has to be valuable to that person. Branded digital tools related to your business such as templates, checklists, and calendars all have a functional use, which makes them desirable objects. There’s a reason that promotional pens disappear so quickly at tradeshows!
3. eBooks and Whitepapers
We’re combining these two because they serve a similar purpose. Whitepapers are more authoritative documents about your business or industry while eBooks, split up into smaller chapters, are more casual and interactive. Both are long-form content, though, and they take time and effort to research and create. For this reason, eBooks and whitepapers hold unique value that is worth putting behind a gate. And according to Pew Research, 3 in 10 adults have read an eBook.
4. Free Trials
Especially useful for software companies, free trials acclimate potential customers to the solutions you sell. When a lead downloads a free trial, you definitely want the ability to follow up with them. Ensure a good user experience by asking if they have any questions about the product. For the consumer, the value of a free trial is that they get to try before they buy. Free Trials make a perfect offering for lead generation.
Everyone loves podcasts. Whether Serial or This American Life or Joe Rogan or Marc Maron, podcasts are taking over. So if you have a relevant podcast that your prospects want to listen to while doing their groceries or gym exercises, then you have a very valuable commodity. Just put those downloads behind a gate and email your customers to see if they want more information on any of the topics you cover.
6. Product Demos
Another lead generation idea that is useful for potential customers further along in the buying cycle, product demos engage prospects with a first-hand experience of how your products work. And then, after watching the demo, those leads may even go for the free trial!
7. Product Documentation
In the old days, you’d have to send out a box of CD-ROMs if you wanted your customers to have all the necessary product documentation. Nowadays, you want to make it easy for customers to get the support they need with e-learning tools. All that you require is that they fill out a simple lead form, and the documentation is right there for them. Win-win for the both of you.
8. Research Documents
If you’ve done research related to your industry, those reports are at the top of the list when it comes to lead generation ideas. These documents inform potential customers, guide them to a purchase, and establish your expertise. Many companies even outsource the actual resourcing to specific firms in order to get the reports for their own online lead generation.
9. Video Series
Video is everywhere. You can’t even escape auto-play videos on Facebook or website advertisements. Fortunately, there are still videos that are helpful for customers, rather than irritating. These include How-To videos, Instructionals, or even fun side projects. Videos allow you to get creative, and as long as your videos hold a value for the end customer, you want to put a few behind the gate in order to get that email.
While free content such as blogs help establish your expertise, webinars are for potential customers who want their learning to go deeper. Once you’ve established a baseline of trust, prospects sign up and invest serious time into hearing you speak about your business and industry. This is your opportunity to prove you are able to solve their pain points. The information you speak about is valuable enough that customers understand when you gate a webinar behind a lead form.
*** A Note on Getting That Email
Once you get the email, you want to be respectful of your leads and potential customers. Don’t spam them and always give them an option to unsubscribe, because you want to leave everyone with a great user experience and a trust in the integrity of your brand.