15 Best Lead Generation Strategies For Early Stage Startups

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A lifeline for most businesses in one way or another, you might struggle to function without constant fresh leads coming in. 

The challenge for most people is finding them. It can be a frustrating process, with one study in particular reporting that 61% of entrepreneurs find lead generation difficult. 

But there is no need to start walking the high street yelling into a megaphone just yet. We have compiled a list of 15 lead generation tactics to help your company obtain a nice steady flow of opportunity. All you need to do is to convert them.

What Is A Lead Generation Strategy?

A lead is an individual who shows an interest in your product or service.

Lead generation is the process of generating interest in your product or service, and placing interested individuals in your sales funnel.

Inbound lead generation is when you collect people’s details via a form on your website to contact them after they leave your site.

Marketers rely on various channels to generate leads and increase conversion rates, including:

  • Email
  • Landing Pages
  • Paid Ads
  • SEO 
  • Social Media

What Is the Importance of Lead Generation?

Businesses benefit from lead generation by accumulating more leads and increasing their revenue. Without new prospects, your organization lacks the opportunity to expand (at best), or survive (at worst). There’s also the risk of losing revenue from existing customers. Creating more sales opportunities increases your company’s chances of long-term success.

What Is The Best Way To Generate Leads?

These fifteen lead generation strategies are traditional, effective methods trusted by millions of marketers globally. Most companies have different frameworks, so you must judge your individual revenue, resources, marketing objectives, and the competitive landscape when considering each strategy. 

The following lead generation strategies are effective and proven, but remember there is no universal formula for success. Be flexible, and think outside of the box a little with each system, as you need to.

We’ve compiled a list of our top lead generation strategies. These fifteen strategies have worked wonders for other companies. Consider each strategy by your revenue, resources, marketing objectives, and competitive landscape. Even though these generation strategies are effective, there is no universal formula for success.

1. Lead Magnets & Opt-In Landing Pages

Lead magnets are a good starting point to attract qualified leads to your sales funnel. The idea is to offer value in the way of something free – usually an ebook, consultation, or trial subscription – in return for something like an email address, phone number, or both.

Get your website visitors to fill out a sign up form for your email marketing list. You can then use a lead management system CRM to deliver a sequence of insightful and relationship-building emails over time.

A good lead magnet comes in several forms, including a free tool or resource such as:

  • Samples of Physical Products
  • Samples of Downloadable Products
  • Trials of Online Products
  • Trials of Online Services
  • Reports
  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Videos

2. Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads are the engagement with visitors who are most likely to become a customer. Retargeting ads focus on paid advertisements for potential customers interacting with your website or social media profiles.

When you start running paid media campaigns, you build them around your inbound leads. Each retargeting campaign is more targeted than the original campaign. The findings of the original ad allow you to fine-tune your audience for a successful lead generation strategy. Including your contact details is critical for lead generation campaigns.

You can also use this strategy to find new business leads similar to your current customers. Try Facebook Lookalike Audiences or Google Audience Expansion. The algorithm will assist you in expanding your audience and generating new high quality leads.

3. Referrals From Existing Leads

Customer referrals are one of the most traditional lead generation strategies available. If current paying customers are happy with your product or service, ask them to tell their friends and family about you.

Loyal customers may be willing to do this for free if the quality of your company’s offerings is high enough, or you can set up an incentive program. For instance, you can give your customers a percentage off their following monthly retainer fee for each client they refer.

Customer referrals are an excellent way to nurture leads for your firm. They are profitable, and your existing clients do most of the work.

4. Create A Live Chat Feature For Your Website

Live chat services are becoming more sophisticated, as are people’s expectations of them when learning about potential products and services. You could set up an effective lead gen strategy for your business to engage leads.

Audit your website to see which pages your viewers spend the most time on. Then make a call to action to generate leads through live chat. You can install a live chat tool like Help ScoutOlarkLiveChat, or Acquire on the pages where clients need the most help. It allows you to gather and log information about their needs while responding to their questions.

5. Competitor Analysis & SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most profitable online lead generation strategies, owing to its low cost. SEO can boost lead generation efforts by promoting your business through organic traffic to your website.

Keyword research allows you to generate leads from your target audience, which in turn will improve your lead-to-sales rate. Begin by researching broad topic ideas relevant to your market in tools such as SEMrush or Ahrefs. They provide you with long-tail keywords (three to five words) that are more specific and allow you to target your ideal customer in search engines. It also aids in better predicting KPIs and measuring the effectiveness of your different lead generation strategies.

When prospective customers type in a relevant question or query, search engines will return links to your website. The higher your website ranks, the more likely users are to click, increasing your website’s organic traffic and your company’s online presence.

6. Launch Social Media Marketing Campaigns

Promoting your content and boosting exposure through creative adverts is one of the best lead generation strategies in online marketing. Good examples of social media platforms that offer paid media advertising include LinkedIn sponsored updates, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, Twitter ads, and Reddit Ads.

Social media ads are one of the best lead generation campaigns. Paid ads have advanced targeting features, allowing you to reach out to your relevant target audience. Customize your ad copy to your target audience to generate new leads through social media platforms.

You can also geo-target your paid ads to reach potential customers in areas where you intend to expand your business. This method of generating leads can fuel your lead generation campaign. The key to making your lead generation campaign successful on those channels is to master their technical aspects. A minor error, such as inserting the incorrect link, will cost you money, and you won’t see an ROI.

7. Mobile Optimized Lead Generation Website

There are many ways to optimize your website to generate quality leads in digital marketing. One fundamental task is to find a good hosting provider. But do you want to know one of the most influential lead generation strategies?

It’s keeping your website mobile friendly. As more people are accessing the internet through a mobile device, you need to pay close attention to mobile-responsive website design in order to generate quality leads.

Decluttering your website is the key to improving browsing on mobile screens. Visitors distracted by unnecessary features or images are unlikely to convert into quality leads.

As a result, when designing a lead generation website, select an easy call to action button for lead capture. Scroll depth is limited on mobile, so don’t place your email marketing sign-up at the bottom of the website. Keep the lead forms brief and only collect necessary information, such as contact details. The goal here is to provide a frictionless user experience, which is one of the most effective lead generation strategies.

8. Right Content For Your Potential Leads

There are hundreds of different types of lead gen content available. To have profitable content marketing tactics, you should create lead generation content relevant to your market.

There are two common reasons for a content marketing campaign: you create content to generate traffic or new leads to your landing pages. Since you need the traffic to generate leads, the two go hand in hand. To have successful lead gen, you need to first drive traffic to your website using other strategies for inbound lead generation:

Blog Posts

Previously used primarily for personal updates, trip reports, and group postings, blog posts have become an essential aspect of content marketing for most companies. Content is king these days – and a blog post is now an invaluable asset for driving traffic and more leads to your website.

Blogposts provide value to your readers while increasing the number of indexable pages in your domain. They are also excellent at driving traffic to your landing page.

Organic Social Media

Here is an incredible stat for you; just over 30 years ago, the world’s population was five billion in total. As of 2022, there are many people using social media alone. Take advantage of this by sharing posts on your social media platform to drive traffic to your website. 

This includes optimizing your social profiles, interacting with other users, and taking advantage of the effectiveness of targeted social media ads for successful lead generation.

Video Posts

Videos are another excellent way to increase organic traffic to your website. Make exciting and market-focused videos to increase the number of shares and potentially increase your exposure. 

YouTube is the second most used search engine, so make effective use of it. By optimizing videos for YouTube, you can drive a lot more traffic to your website and generate high quality leads.


Podcasts have exploded over the last few years, becoming a well trusted strategy for many marketers. 

A recent 2021 podcast statistics report shows over 850,000 active podcasts with over 48 million uploaded episodes. 

Podcasts enable you to engage with your viewers on a more personal level while also increasing traffic to your website and generating more leads.


Quizzes are an underused method of generating qualified leads, but they can be a fun and educational way to learn more about your prospects. 

You can learn about the problems and issues your prospects have by asking them passive questions. You’ll learn what stage of the customer journey they’re in. People enjoy quizzes because they learn more about themselves. 

After completing the quiz, participants are required to enter their name and email address in order to receive the results, providing your company with fresh data to target at a later point.

9. Make Use Of AI And Automation

According to Gartner’s research, artificial intelligence (AI) will dominate the market in the next few years.

Chatbots and virtual assistants can be part of successful lead generation strategies. They also increase website engagement and nurture leads. You can use AI to match potential customers with the sales team member who can best assist them based on their interactions with your website.

It’s one of the most effective ways to generate sales from existing inbound marketing leads. Bots can integrate with CRM systems, and machine learning processes can link to business apps such as Google Analytics, Slack, or email automation software. AI algorithms can then analyze the collected data to provide insights into where your business leads are coming from and their character traits.

10. Optimize Lead Generation With Affiliate Marketing

Another worthy consideration for lead gen would be the popular strategy which is affiliate marketing. Affiliates can send direct lead generation traffic to your landing page from their blogs and websites.

The idea is that you compensate affiliates with a commission based on the number of leads or sales generated from their traffic. 

Affiliates can direct visitors to your landing page and if targeted efficiently, this can be quite a cost effective. It’s a result-oriented marketing strategy and operates on a commission basis.

The motivation here is an incentivized initiative for your affiliates; the more energy and focus they put into marketing your product or service, the greater the revenue stream for them.

11. Encourage Feedback

Online reviews are a critical tool for increasing lead generation. According to a local consumer survey, up to 97 percent of people search online for local businesses.

Furthermore, 73 percent of clients trust a business if they see positive online reviews. According to the same study, 68 percent of clients would be willing to leave a review if asked. Online reviews will lead to healthy social proof- especially when those reviews receive interaction from your customer service team.

When potential customers begin to trust your business, they’re more likely to give you their contact details, which is needed for email marketing.

If you can persuade your customers to write reviews about your company, you can improve the image of your business and lead generation. This strategy makes a favorable impression on prospective clients, who may become leads. It can help increase your sales, revenue, and lead generation rates.

12. Networking At Conferences And Events

In this modern digital marketing age, companies are sometimes guilty of neglecting long-established methods in favor of the latest techniques and strategies. One method which should always be considered and never neglected is good old fashioned leg work.

Industry conferences and events are a great example of this. By attending in person you have the opportunity, through a little charm and people skills, to win fresh leads and garner new opportunities. People are less inclined to say ‘no’ to an in-person pitch and you would be surprised how far a warm smile can carry you!

Further to that, attending conferences and events enables businesses to establish professional connections. It should be seriously considered a staple in your lead generation armory. 

Developing sales lead generation through your existing network creates trust, and builds up your business and contact data.

77% of people prefer in-person conferences as they can read facial expressions and body language. Focus on being where your target market is, in order to have a large pool of prospects.

Networking paves the way for opportunity. Even if you don’t close a sale, chances are you will get referrals instead. 

13. Run Contests

You can use contests to generate leads and buzz about your business. These lead generation strategies can entice people to provide their contact information.

Provide prizes and publicize the contest. You can ask people to share your post and tag their friends (on social media). Or they can submit photos, write taglines, and take quizzes, among other activities. You can use your creativity to think of different types of contests.

People must provide you with their contact information to register for the contests. You can even give those who enroll for the contests a discount. This strategy can assist you in obtaining more active lead generation.

14. Join Social Media Communities

Being present on social media is one of the critical elements of a solid marketing strategy. It includes creating your own social media pages, joining other social media communities, and engaging in their discussions.

Reddit, Facebook, and LinkedIn are popular online gathering places for individuals with similar interests. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and consider where they hang out and join those groups.

While these groups usually restrict promotions, you can still join to understand your target market better. Post questions and answer other people’s questions without being promotional. You can also send people a direct message if you believe your product or service is an excellent fit for their needs.

15. Create An Online Forum

You can create your forum or group via tools like Linkedin, Facebook or other private options such as Skool or Mighty Networks. Businesses include forums on their websites to foster a sense of community in their target industry. It establishes a close-knit circle of current and potential clients who use your site to interact and share valuable insights.

As a result, people will come to associate your company image with trustworthiness and credibility and use your site as the go-to source of information on this specific subject. Furthermore, existing loyal customers who adore your brand might use the forum to recommend your products to potential leads.

Key Takeaways

You can use these top fifteen lead generation strategies to help your business grow and attract potential customers. When generating more leads, thinking outside the box and trying as many strategies as possible with your sales team is beneficial to growth. 

We have covered most of the core bases with these strategies, and whilst there are more complicated, campaign-oriented tactics for lead generation to consider at a later stage, these 15 ideas are the tried and tested bread and butter techniques to create a jumping-off point for your marketing efforts.

If deployed correctly, you should be successful with some, if not all of them, quite easily.

Otherwise, it might be time to dust off that wearable sandwich board and megaphone we mentioned.

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About the author: Anastasia Nenova

Anastasia Nenova is an experienced content writer from South Africa, specializing in SEO-optimized articles. With five years of experience, she creates high-quality and informative content that is optimized for search engines. Anastasia's expertise in writing and SEO makes her a valuable asset to any content marketing team.

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