The Best Lead Generation Ideas for Small Business

By Raubi Perilli

      Aug 19, 2020     Solutions    

If you want to attract both new and existing customers, you need a variety of lead generation ideas for your small businesses.

What Is Lead Generation for Small Business?

Small business lead generation is a set of strategies that attract attention from people who are most likely to be interested in your business and then drives them to share their contact information (such as their email or phone number) with you. Through lead generation, you collect customer contact information so you can stay connected with your audience by sending them messages via email and text marketing.

Developing a Lead Generation Strategy for Your Small Business

All small businesses should always be actively engaged in some sort of lead generation.  

When you have a list of leads, you can stay in touch with people who are interested in your business and give them a reason to visit for the first time or the 100th time. It allows you to use marketing automation and lifecycle marketing to sell to customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

To create an effective strategy, use multiple lead generation ideas for your small business. This will allow you to catch interested prospects at different phases of the customer journey. Design a lead generation strategy that:  

  • Attracts new prospects who have never been to your business
  • Collects information from loyal customers who have already visited your business
  • Catches customers at other places along the purchase process

Let’s look at some ideas you can use to get started or grow your existing lead gen campaigns.

Lead Generation Ideas for Small Business

As you think about lead generation ideas for your small business, consider all of the ways that potential customers come into contact with your brand, and design a lead generation strategy for each touchpoint.

#1) Customer Loyalty Programs

One of the best lead generation ideas for small businesses is creating a customer loyalty program. Having a loyalty program encourages customers to share their contact information while making a purchase or planning to make a purchase. This strategy works well for getting contact information from people who are already familiar with your brand. It allows you to stay in touch with existing customers who are very likely to respond to follow-up marketing messages.  

Related: Create a Customer Loyalty Plan That Benefits Both Your Business and Your Customers

#2) Online Ordering

It’s natural for customers to provide their email address or contact information when ordering online. The contact information is usually used to process the order and allow you to contact the customer if there are any issues with their order. It also presents a perfect lead generation idea for your small business. When asking for contact information during online ordering, provide an option for customers to join your email or text list.

Related: Guide to Online Ordering Systems for Restaurants

#3) Desirable Website Opt-ins

When someone visits your website, they are interested in your brand. They are seeking out more information, considering doing business with you, and perhaps even, planning their visit. This is the perfect opportunity for generating leads. Add a desirable opt-in opportunity that interested audiences can’t refuse. In exchange for an email address or phone number, give website visitors:  

  • A coupon or discount code
  • Access to exclusive deals and specials
  • Downloadable resources

#4) Contests

You also need lead generation ideas for small businesses that attract cold audiences. One way to do that is through contest marketing. Contests are attractive to audiences who may not already be engaged with your brand. You can offer audiences an opportunity to win a prize as a means to collect leads for your business. The key is to offer something that will attract your ideal customer. For example, if you run a car detailing business, you don’t want to give away an iPad. You would want to give away a free car detailing session. Then, you can be sure you are generating leads from people who are interested in your offerings.  

See how one brand used contests in a campaign that turned a $725 investment into $5,625 in sales. Read the full case study.

#5) Free Events

Another way to generate leads from new audiences is by hosting events. Both in-person and online events present a good opportunity to generate leads. In exchange for a paid or free ticket, attendees can provide their contact information. To increase sign-ups, consider offering a free event that requires registration and event activities that your ideal audience can’t resist. Consider offering an after-hours event, exclusive access to your business, or interesting training event or workshop.

Related: Using Branded Events to Get Your Business More Visibility and Leads

#6) Partner with Other Local Small Business

If the offers you put out don’t prove successful for lead generation, consider making the promotions more desirable by partnering with other local businesses. Look for other non-competing local businesses that are interested in lead generation, and develop a plan to collect leads together. For example, you could create a local punch card that nearby customers sign up for and can use to get a discount at each participating business. Or, you can create a coupon book for a variety of businesses in your community.

#7) Run Paid Ads to Opt-In Opportunities

To drive audiences to your lead generation offers, you might not be able to rely on organic website traffic or word-of-mouth. You may need to pay for the promotion to get in front of your desired audience. Using digital advertising to target the customers most likely to visit your business. 

  • Target customers based on where they are with geofencing advertising. Deliver ads to customers when they are in locations that would attract your ideal audience. For example, target the foot-traffic in a mall around your fast-casual restaurant.
  • Target customers based on their searches with pay-per-click ads. Make sure your brand and opt-in offers show up when potential customers search for phrases related to your business.  
  • Target customers based on their demographics and psychographics with social media ads. Use the power of hyper-targeting in social media ad platforms to reach the people who are most likely to be interested in your offerings and live near your business location.    

Related: Demystifying Digital Advertising: 12 Ways Local Brands Can Run Paid Ads

Improve Lead Generation for Your Small Business

Now that you have some lead generation ideas for a small business, take action to put your plans into place. Set up systems to collect contact information from interested prospects and start driving them toward becoming repeat customers.  

If you need help, check out our free MySuite platform. Use it to easily set up lead generation campaigns using our local media and tech tools. Sign up for free today or schedule a demo to see the full power of MySuite in action.