Growing your Online Business: Top 3 Lead Generation Strategies You’ll Need

Putting up your own online business is never as easy as 1, 2, and 3. If your ambition is to run a successful business and grow it to the next level, you’ll find yourself  working day in day out to reach your goal. It’s a tougher job across the board, but at the core, the most crucial part to help your business to grow and flourish comes down to finding potential clients and converting them. This process of conversion into actual customers is where the power of lead generation comes into play.


In marketing, it is the generation of interest or inquiry of consumers into products or services that a business offers. Consumers, or more simply put, leads, can be created for a variety of purposes such as e-newsletter list acquisition, list building or for sales leads purposes. It is all about drawing in or attracting the right prospects, and getting them in touch with you and vice versa. To get them attracted, below are the top 3 strategies that you can utilize.

Strategy 1. Content That is Fresh

It is vital to keep your content updated and fresh. You ought to consistently be adding new content to your website, whether it be blog entries, upgraded information or even design changes. Envision strolling into a store in a shopping center and seeing that the majority of the items being displayed there were dusty, the edges of the room had spider webs and the sales representative didn’t exactly look congenial. You most likely wouldn’t have any desire to purchase anything there, would you? Truth be told, you’d be out of there before a sales representative had the opportunity to inquire as to whether you need anything. The same situation is valid for your website. Potential clients need to realize that you think about what you’re putting forth.

Strategy 2. Email Lists

Email addresses are one of the most ideal approaches to create leads. The potential client has offered their email address with a specific end goal to get more data about the product or service that your business offers. You now have the chance to transform them into actual clients. Email is the most ordinarily utilized lead generation form, so it must be done well.

Strategy 3. Social Media

Social media’s viral nature means it is a hotbed for linking with new leads. By persistently captivating your existing clients with high quality content you will increase new leads more naturally. On the chance that you can make content that is engaging, that your customers will forward to friends and family members, then you’re on the right track. You are on your way to effectively generating new leads.

How to Increase Your Email Open Rate

First of all, response rate is a better indicator of performance than open rate. Response rate is a very important metrics when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of email marketing. To improve email marketing, increasing the response rate is essential. Here are a few tips to improve sales email response rates:

1) Prioritize thoughtfulness over tools: Sales teams today are lucky to have so many options when it comes to sales tools to help with things like outreach, target research, and funnel analytics. But no set of tools is a replacement for necessary customer research. Plenty of startups that use these tools, however, still suffer from sub-5% response rates because they fail to speak to their audience in terms that engage and interest them.

2) Parse all available data sources to understand your target: Social media is an underrated source of information when it comes to building buyer personas and Ideal Customer Profiles. Begin with (at the bare minimum) a dozen “ideal” customer contacts for this specific campaign. ICPs can vary at bit for each campaign. For example, some may target the user bottoms-up while others may target the budget-holder top-down. Parse each of these contacts’ social profiles. Start with LinkedIn, which everyone should have: look not only at their current and past roles, but also their certifications, publications if any, professional groups, and endorsements.

3) Watch response rates over open rates: Open rates can be misleading. For example an email with an exceedingly weird subject line can catch one’s eye, but if nothing resonates within the email recipient, your response rates may be just as bad as before. Especially in B2B sales messaging, the best metric to measure the effectiveness of an email sequence is the resulting response rate; remember, the goal here is a conversation. In particular, the number of appointments set up and resulting qualified opportunities are your guiding measures of success. Prioritizing response rates means prioritizing thoughtful emails, which will naturally yield more sales.

4) Make the prospect the hero: Even if you have one core ICP, various different personalities exist within that audience, and your sales email copy needs to correlate to the right set. For instance, a CFO may be more receptive to cost reduction value props, while a developer might be more attuned technical benefits, even though both are stakeholders in vendor selection. Make the prospect see the potential to be her company’s saving grace with the help of your product. Outlining pain points the company faces is not enough; show prospects how they (personally) can solve them today.

5) Think about what’s already in their inboxes: Overly “salesy” or impersonal content isn’t just heading straight to archive or spam; it reflects poorly on your business in a world where everyone receives too much email. Keep in mind the volume and style of sales mail you receive in your own inbox. What do you hate? What’s the last cold sales email you opened? Envision what your contact’s inbox might look like given their company and position. Use that mental image to differentiate your messaging. Avoid ubiquitous jargon or mentioning your own company’s name off the bat. Other smaller elements common to sales emails may also set off alarms that will land your email in the trash: over-formality, fancy signatures, and long blocks of product-description text are a few possible examples.

Lead Magnets and Why They Matter

lead magnet

As I discussed last week, building an email list is dependent on giving people what they want and giving it away for free. If you give something to them that they view as valuable then you create a bond that they will continue to want to take advantage of. These are called lead magnets. They attract and act as a catalyst to conversions.  Initially it might seem daunting when deciding on what exactly you’d like to give away as your lead magnet, but that’s why we’re here to help. Your lead magnet should be something that helps your potential clients with one of the biggest problems you can help them solve. Don’t settle there though because it’s not enough. You need to give away even more for free, without initially requiring contact information, to establish trust, and get people to want to give their contact info for the next level of your wisdom (the actual magnet).

The next step that people often forget is that you need a way to know if and when leads are interacting with your content so that can follow up at the right time. This is the basic function of CRMs and email marketing platforms like Constant Contact. This is the key to acquiring conversations that matter. The details of the content will vary depending on what your industry might be, but make sure you have this designed to get you not just the lead, but the conversation as well. That all being said, here is a basic list of things you can provide as lead magnets.

1. An eBook

2. A Discount

3. A Trial Offer

4. A Free Tool

5. A Useful Guide

6. A Checklist

7. Free Shipping

8. A Quiz or Test Assessment

9.  A Webinar or Video Training

10. A Free Consultation


Growing your Email List in 2016

A while ago I wrote lengthy list of all of the ways you can grow your email list. As is always the case in marketing though, things change and practices are updated. That being said, I’ve decided to revamp that list and bring you the updated version of how to build your email list in 2016.

Here are the two fundamental rules for giving your list the boost it needs:

  1. Make signing up irresistible by offering something that your readers really need AND want.
  2. The ABC rule of email marketing = always be collecting.

1. Making it irresistible 

You need to know 2 things to make signing up a necessity. First, you need to know what your readers really want. There might be a difference between what your readers want and what you know they need. Start with giving them what they want, because this way you won’t need to do the additional convincing, and then later on you can deliver what they really need.

To give them what they want, generate a lead collector or lead magnetf in the form a freebie packed with valuable info that you’ll send them in exchange for an email address. This is an absolute must if you want to grow your email list. It’s the rocket that drives signups through the roof. You can separate these things into two groups, primary lead magnets, and content upgrades.

A primary lead magnet lives at the top of your front page. It’s always there, and it is something that’s related to the overall theme of your site. It should be able to motivate someone who wandered onto your page and doesn’t really know your brand or what you write about. A good example of a primary lead magnet is an ebook or a report in one of your main areas of expertise.

A content upgrade is a freebie that is specific to a blog post, and offers additional resource on the topic of the blog post. A good example is a checklist version of the post, a workbook, or a video tutorial on the subject of the post. Because a reader has already invested time in reading your blog post, they are more likely to take one additional step to get even more on the topic, so content upgrades are amazing for growing your email list.

There are so many ways to execute a lead magnet that this topic requires another post that will come later this week.

The second thing you need to know to make signing up irresistible is a little bit of psychology, particularly how FOMO (fear of missing out) works. Throughout your blog / website, consistently make it clear that your email subscribers receive something exclusive, something you never share on your site. You either get itif you’re on the list or you don’t at all. People will immediately feel like they’re missing out, and wouldn’t want to miss the next value-packed email like that.

2. ABC = Always Be Collecting

If you want to grow your email list, you have to always be collecting! There is a plethora of ways and places where you can collect email addresses which was the main focus of the previous list, but for the sake of this post I’ll be mainly focussing on how to collect them specifically from your website.


Before we begin, one note: you might think pop-up windows are annoying, but the statistics show that they convert really, really well, given they are done right. So try them out and use efficient A/B testing to find your optimal conversion driver.

Here are ideas for how you can collect email addresses on your website:

Top of your website / ribbon

This is the primary real estate of your website, so put it to good use. You can have a slim bar across the website with smart call to action, or a full-fledged feature box with the image of the freebie you’re offering in addition to smart copy.

Exit behavior pop-ups

A box (with or without the image of a freebie) that will pop-up when readers navigate their mouse towards the top of the window.

Unobtrusive slide-in forms

A little box in the corner of the screen that slides up upon a certain behavior (for example, when the reader is 60% done with the post). Such pop-up doesn’t interfere with readers’ experience as much, and still reminds them that they can get more if they subscribe.

Content upgrades

Content upgrade is packaged information that’s complementary to the blog post, which readers can only get if they sign up. This is genius, because if a reader already invested time in reading your post, they are so much more likely to want to get that additional info (content upgrade). Just make sure it’s an essential addition to your blog post, so that readers can’t resist it.

About Page

About page is another valuable area of your website, so take the opportunity to utilize it for driving leads and converting readers into subscribers.

What to Include in Your Monthly Email Newsletter


Monthly email newsletters are a common theme of any business. They keep your consumers up to date with the ongoing practices of your practice and help establish one on one relationships that people find valuable. Thee kinds of things are important because it shows that you are investing in them just as they are investing in you and your brand. But how do you create an effective newsletter that keeps people intrigued and wanting to continue their relationship with you? This is a common question that we hear every day and that we encourage businesses to ask themselves. Keeping an email newsletter interesting and effective requires that the content be top grade. Below I’ll expand further upon what that means.

  • Recap of Industry News – Your customers are busy running their business and may not be up to date with the latest industry news, so give them a quick rundown of what’s happened in the past month. It shows them you’re in-the-know and up to date with the latest trends, technologies, etc.
  • Case study – If you’ve helped a customer solve a problem of theirs recently, tell the story about it, how you solved it, what tools you used, etc. As long as it contains useful information for your audience (and isn’t just a huge plug for your services), it can be a worthy read that showcases your expertise and how it can help businesses like theirs.
  • Event/Conference Calendar – If your customers are all in the IT industry, then maybe you could include a summary of upcoming events (conferences, awards, etc) that they could potentially attend. This is useful for them, and also shows you’re tuned into the industry.
  • Important Dates – I don’t know a lot about the I.T industry, but are there important dates that people need to know about (I’m thinking like deadlines to submit things to regulatory bodies, or something like that)? If so, include a calendar of those dates to help people remember them.
  • Discounts & promotions – Could you possibly partner up with other companies you have good relationships with to offer exclusive discounts on their products or services to your customers? These discounts and offers can be valuable for your readers, and also help you build stronger relationships with the people whose products you’re offering to your customers.
  • A survey – Depending on how big your email list is, you could ask your audience to complete a survey on the industry and then turn the results and insights from that survey into a blog post or content piece that you can include in a future newsletter.

Increasing Your Email Marketing Open Rate

open rate

A few weeks ago I discussed the basics of email marketing campaigns that anyone could use to get started. That’s all well and good, but having a campaign means nothing if people aren’t opening your emails. There are many things that you can do to help your email open rate. Most of these are just a matter of delivering quality writing and content. What exactly does that mean and where should this ‘quality content’ matter most? Great question.

1. From name & email address. This is the first thing that people are going to see when they receive an email from you, so make sure it’s recognizable. Many people are opting to go more casual with this and use their first name @ company for the FROM field. Others will just use the company name which is usually a less desirable method as it creates a less personal experience in many cases. Whichever you decide to go with, make sure that you keep it consistent, familiar, and keep in line with the tone of your email campaigns. For example, don’t use a very casual from field if your email is very professional.

2. Subject line. As has been mentioned, this is like the handshake you give someone when you meet them. Something I read in researching this post was to remember CURVE when looking at a subject line: Curiosity, Urgency, Relevance, Value, Emotion. When you can invoke all of these things, you’ve probably got a winner. As always, A/B Testing multiple subject lines to see which will garner the highest open rate is a great idea.

3. Preheader. A lot of people forget about this, but this is literally the part of the email that someone sees without opening it. What is written here for many people determines whether they will open the email. Make it engaging and eye catching. If it’s not done right or filled with HTML code then it can be really damaging.

4. Delivery time. If I receive an email at 3am, likely I’m asleep and the email will end up just one of a pile of unopened when I eventually wake up. However, if I receive an email at 3pm I might see it come in and open it straight away. There are actually some platforms out there that will collect data and analytics based on your subscriber’s optimal open time and send it automatically at that time. If you can’t access something like this then try using the more simple ‘deliver at local time’ option so that subscribers aren’t receiving your email in the middle of the night.

There are many more things you can do to tweak your emails in the right direction, but these should be your major focus. If you’d like to know more about increasing your open rate you can visit this great list.