Lead Generation Guide

Whatever the method, the goals of these tactics are all the same. The sites want to grab your attention and convert you into a precious lead for their sales funnel.

Do these tactics work?

Yes, but as you could have guessed, there are far more effective ways to generate high-quality leads for your business.

In this guide, I am going to share with you actionable lead generation tactics that your company can start using to generate high-quality leads.

From content upgrades and ebooks to running contests, explore our tried and true tactics for lead generation.

Before we delve into our list of lead generation tactics, let’s first talk about what lead generation is, how leads are created in the sales funnel, and how businesses score the quality of a lead.

Lead Generation, Scoring, and Tactics:
What is Lead Generation?
Demystifying the Funnel
Scoring your Leads
Lead Generation Tactics

What is Lead Generation?

As you could have guessed, lead generation is the process of capturing new leads for your business. From inbound marketing to good ol’ fashioned cold calling, there are seemingly endless tactics that b2b and b2c businesses use to increase the sales pipeline and create new customers. I can imagine you’re able to connect the dots on why lead generation is essential for any business.

However, leads don’t appear out of thin air.

As lovely as that would be, not everyone is going to buy your product or service. Some have no intention of ever purchasing, others will require nurturing to purchase at a later date, and very few will be ready to buy right there and then.

To simplify this understanding, we use the visual of a funnel to explain the lead generation process.

Scoring Your Leads

Have I lost you yet? There are dozens of industry terms to identify the quality or stage of a lead. But where do you start?

Any lead generation campaign should start with a defined lead scoring system. This will vary for every business, but for the sake of this example, we’ll use the two most common terms.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQLs):

You have a list of potential customers, but you’re not sure they’re ready to buy from you just yet. Sure, you could pick up the phone and cold call them, but that could be a costly effort for your sales team and brand integrity.

Wouldn’t you instead nurture them with helpful information until they’re ready to buy from you?

This is the idea behind an MQL. The qualities that define an MQL can also vary, but below are a few example criteria to consider when creating your internal lead scoring system.

Qualify them with an MQL scoring system such as the following:
Do they have a business email address?
Did they express interest in any particular service?
Is the company in an industry that you service?
Once you’ve defined this lead is an MQL, you can engage marketing efforts to move them down the funnel until they’ve been identified as an SQL.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL):

You’ve qualified your MQL as a sales lead and believe they’re ready to be passed off to the sales team.

But how can you know for sure that you won’t be wasting the sale team’s time?

Qualify them with an SQL scoring system such as the following:
Have they indicated a budget they’re willing to spend for your product or service?
Does the lead have the authority to make the decision to work with you?
Do they have an actual need for your product or service?
Is it the right timing to begin working together?
Marketers love acronyms, so this SQL scoring system is better known as BANT in the industry. Which is short for budget, authority, need, and timing.

Once you’ve determined that the lead is an SQL, this is the point where the more ambitious efforts come out in an attempt to convert the lead to a customer.

Of course, this information is helpful and all, but what use is it if you aren’t generating any leads in the first place?

Let’s delve into our favorite lead generation tactics in detail and share some of our favorite resources to help you to implement on your own.

Tried and True Lead Generation Tactics

Content Upgrades

Content upgrades are one of our personal favorites when it comes to lead generation tactics.

Content upgrades are add-ons to an existing piece of content that provide additional value to your readers in exchange for their email address. They can be anything from downloadable checklists, as seen in our vetting SEO providers article, to additional insights in a step-by-step guide, as seen in our Twitter Leapfrog Method article. While these leads will be considered top of the funnel, it still presents an excellent opportunity to nurture them for a sale at a later date.

Additional Resources:

How to boost conversions with content upgrades
30 content upgrade ideas to grow your email list

Email Newsletter Signup Forms

Companies with a reputation for creating badass content may find email newsletter signup forms to be the most impactful lead generation tool for their business.

Companies like Backlinko and Sumo acquire subscribers on autopilot by creating incredible content and making it very easy for their readers to sign up to hear about their newest content/offers. Audit your blog to ensure you include concise calls-to-action for users to subscribe to your email newsletter.


Remember the last time that you looked up that fly pair of kicks on Amazon, and then saw ads for those shoes nonstop for the next two weeks?

Ever wondered what witchcraft Amazon had to cook up to put this together?

This is a technique known as retargeting, and it’s one of the most profitable marketing investments that a business can make.

Retargeting allows you to send highly targeted ads to people who perform specific actions on your site (such as adding an item to their shopping cart without completing their purchase). Setting up retargeting can require some help from an expert, but below are a few helpful resources to get you started.

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