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Leads are the lifeblood of any online company. Having a consistent and reliable source of potential new business is vital to your brand’s growth and success. Many companies pay top dollar to affiliates to generate leads online. But what these companies often find is that the leads they receive are very “cold” or unqualified.

Online lead qualifying scale

At best, these leads take a lot of nurturing to convert into a customer. At worst, they don’t convert at all. Both situations leave you with an inflated Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and valuable time wasted But fortunately, there are plenty of free techniques you can use to keep your pipeline consistently filled with high-quality leads.

Here are 5 Ways to Generate Leads Online (Without Paying!)

1. Leverage Social Networks to Promote Your Content

Like any conversion funnel, generating leads online starts with creating awareness. Social networks help you boost your awareness and connect with potential customers. Start by identifying the platforms that have the most potential for your brand. Remember that there are a lot of networks beyond Facebook and Twitter with huge user bases. Platforms like Pinterest, LinkedIn Groups, Quora, and Medium are great places to share your content and create awareness. Just be sure to share your content in the form of a link in order to drive users to your website.

2. Add A Lead Generation Form Directly to Your Facebook Page

Add a contact form directly on your Facebook page and capture leads early on in the conversion funnel. While Facebook doesn’t allow you to do this directly, you can use third-party tools like JotForm  to create a form for the objective that you prefer. You can also use this as an additional space for Newsletter Signup. Mailchimp  allows you to create Newsletter Signup Forms that easily integrate with your list. You can also ask multiple choice questions, like in the example below, to help you qualify and segment your leads. 

Mailchimp facebook form

3. Start Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is a powerful way to create visibility amongst qualified audiences, while simultaneously positioning yourself as an industry thought leader. Start by identifying other websites or brands that share a similar target audience and a high volume of monthly traffic. If you’re not sure how much traffic a website has, use some free tools like SimilarWeb or Alexa to estimate. 

Offer to write a guest post for their blog about an interesting topic in your industry, or a pain point that your brand solves. Most brands will be happy to publish a free article, particularly because they know you will help promote it, making it a win-win situation. Don’t forget to add clear, do-follow backlinks  so you can drive this qualified traffic to your website.

4. Capture Leads on Your Website with Downloadable Content

Content is the driving factor of a successful inbound marketing strategy, and downloadable content is the single best way to capture high-quality leads for free. Start by creating content that addresses a major concern or pain point of your target customer. By making this content specific to their needs, you make sure that you are attracting leads that are qualified, potential customers. 

When it comes to formats, E-Books and White Papers work best as downloadable content offers, but Workbooks, Templates, Checklists, and Webinars are also great. If you already have a blog article that you know performs well across your target audience, then try repurposing this into an E-Book or PDF. Make this that users can only receive after filling out a form giving their name, email, and contact information. Promote this page using social media and watch as your list of highly qualified leads starts to build.

5. Use Surveys

Surveys are highly underrated tools. As marketers, we spend countless hours trying to understand the thought process of our target customers, yet we often forget that it can be as simple as asking them. Contrary to popular belief, surveys don’t have to be invasive. Rather, they can be an opportunity to show potential customers that you value and consider their opinion. 

Tools like HotJar allow you to create free surveys that trigger on specific pages or events, such as when a user tries to navigate out your site. If you offer an incentive in return for completing the survey, such a discount on a first purchase, users will be more likely to respond (and you may even convert some leads into customers!).

Generating Leads Online is Just the Beginning

Generating leads online is mandatory for businesses operating in the digital age. 

However, once have a healthy pipeline of potential new business, you mustn’t neglect the remaining stages of your conversion funnel. You still need to transform these leads into paying customers, and once you have customers, you need to transform them into advocates and brand loyalists. Nurturing your leads through digital marketing is important at every stage of the customer journey. 

Need help finding the digital techniques that make your online conversion funnels run like a well-oiled machine? 

Contact Codedesign to get in touch with an expert today!

About the Expert


This week's Voice of Experts was written by Nicolette Holmes. Nicolette is a Business Development Specialist at Codedesign. When she's not generating leads and strategizing about online customer journeys, you can find her doing yoga, or hanging out at the beach like a true southern Californian

Connect with Nicolette on LinkedIn!

Codedesign is a digital marketing agency specializing in data-driven online sales and lead generation solutions for brands in a variety of verticals. Contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our digital marketing experts.

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