The most basic function of marketing is to generate leads. After all, with no pipeline and nothing to convert, there’s no business to market.

But when lead generation is such a basic skill, why do 65% of marketers cite it as their biggest challenge (Hubspot, 2015)? The problem is that it can be difficult to think of new ways to get fresh leads when you feel you’ve exhausted your usual network.

And because lead generation is seen as hard work it’s often when agencies are asked to help. In the following post we take a look at what suggestions agencies can make to clients wanting to increase their leads.

Incentivise them

A great way to generate leads is to incentivise people to give you their contact details. PurePromotions is a great tool that allows you to organically grow a database by publicising competitions, sweepstakes and promotions which incentivise the customer to submit their email address. The platform allows you to publish sign-ups across social media channels and your website and can help grow your client’s lists by up to 20% over 6 months. It’s a fun way to engage an audience and increase leads.

Make it easy

A lot of leads simply get lost. Review your client’s website and make sure there’s no unnecessary lengthy forms and it’s easy for the end customer to make contact. Suggest the client introduces a ‘call me’ button on their website to make it easy for the end customer to quickly and easily make contact. Allow the customer to quickly fill in the name and contact details – the client can contact them to find out the rest and start a conversation.

Make it measurable

Sometimes the problem isn’t that there are no leads being generated – it’s that the leads just aren’t tracked by the client. When you launch any type of lead generation activity make sure you can measure the success – especially if you need to quantify the success of your work as an agency. Web tracking, promotional codes, SMS short codes and dedicated email addresses or phone numbers will all allow you to track responses. You can see whether what you’re doing is working and develop your campaigns overtime.

Tease them

Humans have a scarcity mindset – we hate to think we’re missing out on something. If you want to generate leads ASAP then give prospects a time-limited welcome offer and tell them about your limited availability. Always remember that customers are attracted by other customers – it’s the herd mentality. Promote the fact that your clients is in-demand and make it clear that the customer might miss out if they don’t act fast.

Give them something they need

If you want to engage new people make sure you offer them something they need. A free download, cheat sheets or interesting blog updates all attract new people if the content is useful to them. You can create ‘lead magnets’ by simply asking people to submit their email address to receive what you’re offering. By doing this you can get their contact details in exchange for content that’s useful to them.

Jump on the bandwagon

Awareness is the first stage of the path-to-purchase (McKinsey) so the first step in generating leads is being seen. Brands commonly create paid search ads off the back of popular searches to drive awareness. We love how Ann Summers took this one stage further a few years ago by bidding on the popular search term of ‘hung parliament’. With some cheeky copy they created an eye-catching PPC campaign about the virtues of ‘a well-hung parliament’ generating interest in their brand from the most unlikely source (Econsultancy, 2011)! OK, so your client is unlikely to be in the same field as Ann Summers but you can still think of tongue-in-cheek ways of introducing a brand to an unsuspecting audience.

Get social

Turn social fans into tangible leads by asking followers to sign-up to a brand’s email programme. This means you’re not reliant on fans or followers noticing the brand on social media and you can directly contact them to start a conversation. By converting fans and followers to email subscribers you can also build a database. Remember that our PurePromotions platform can be used across your social channels to publish competitions, promotions and sweepstakes and is a great way of converting fans into subscribers.

Strike while the iron’s hot

Introduce automated emails that are triggered when someone browses your client’s website. If you can tempt a visitor to give you their email address then you can set-up an automated email that alerts a sales person of the customer’s recent browsing activity, or follow-up their visit with a timely email urging them to come back. This type of email automation is useful to sales people so they can contact prospects when the time is right. Our PureTargeting suite offers the ability to create automated emails based on the customer’s behaviour and can be easily integrated to help generate leads.

Ask for referrals

There’s nothing wrong with asking existing customers to recommend new ones and a great basis for your next campaign. In fact studies often find that sophisticated marketing methods still can’t match the power of word-of-mouth recommendations made by family and friends (The Guardian, 2014). Invite or even incentivise your client’s customers to recommend new customers. Demonstrate that that their existing customers think highly of them by promoting customer reviews and suggest customers forward your latest campaign to a friend.

Follow these simple recommendations and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to help your client generate new leads.

So next time a client asks to about lead generation, embrace the challenge. There’s so many opportunities to generate leads and show your clients that your efforts can produce tangible results which will directly increase their sales.

Download the Pure360 Guide to the Email Maturity Model