Sales · · 8 min read

How to Generate Leads Online: 10 Proven Strategies

Learning how to generate leads online lets you sustainably scale your business. Strategies include email marketing, content marketing, and SEO.

how to generate leads online

Digital marketing is the best vehicle for finding leads, generating sustainable revenue, and scaling your business. There are dozens of strategies to choose from. 

Once you’ve learned the best way to generate leads online for your business, all that’s left is to replicate it at scale. Here lies the problems—velocity, scalability, and sustainability.

How fast can your lead generation strategy result in tangible revenue? Can it be replicated at scale? Will it be sustainable enough to justify the cost?  

Choosing the right lead generation strategy is crucial to the growth of your business online. We’re here to help you choose the best one for your business. First, we need to learn:

  • The basics of lead generation
  • Inbound vs outbound lead generation
  • Best strategies for generating leads online
  • Why email marketing is the best way to scale lead generation
  • Lead generation best practices 

Lead Generation Fundamentals

Lead generation is finding people who get the most value from your products or services. You can use lead capture pages, content marketing, or lead finder tools to generate leads online. 

Every business that wants to scale should have a lead generation channel. Even local businesses without a website can generate leads through platforms like Google My Business. 

For B2B SaaS, the most popular lead generation strategies include email marketing, social media, and SEO content. Each can be categorized into inbound or outbound lead generation.

Inbound Vs. Outbound Lead Generation 

Inbound lead generation is about nurturing prospects, providing value, and staying top-of-mind through content marketing. The more you provide value, the more prospects want to know about your business and the products you offer. 

When they’re ready to buy or at least have high buying intent, they can give you their contact information through your opt-in forms or lead capture pages. Leads that opted in are called warm leads. They expect you to contact them or provide additional content through email. 

Outbound lead generation is more proactive. Instead of waiting for leads, you go to them. Two of the most popular forms of outbound lead generation are cold calls and cold emails. Without the proper strategy, outbound lead generation can seem invasive. 

That’s where email marketing has an edge over cold calling. With the proper lead intelligence tools, you can hyper-personalize your emails. This ensures that your email contains timely and relevant content tailored to your leads’ exact needs. 

How Can Your Business Generate Leads Online?

Both inbound and outbound lead generation are necessary for sustainable business growth. However, focusing on one strategy can streamline the entire sales process. So, which one should you choose? Here’s a look at the most popular strategies to help you decide. 

Email Marketing

Email marketing can generate leads and get new clients, whether you’re a small business or an established enterprise. It can also be used for both inbound and outbound lead generation. 

When leads fill out an opt-in form, sign up for a newsletter, or try a demo, email marketing is there to nurture them further down your sales funnel. 

The best part about email marketing is that you don’t need to wait for leads to find your business online. If you’ve built your ideal customer profile (ICP) and buyer persona, you can use sales lead databases to find leads that gain the most value from your offering. 

how to generate leads online 2

That’s where Instantly B2B Lead Finder comes in. It can find leads that match your exact ICPs and buyer personas through advanced filters. Each lead in our database is verified. All that’s left is to create a killer cold sales email sequence optimized for conversions. 

Content Marketing

Every effort to create content for your business can be categorized as content marketing. This includes the copy on your website, the infographics you post on social media, or the emails you send to prospects.

An essential fundamental of content marketing is contextualizing your value to prospect segments. The best way to do so is to focus on the benefits they get from your products or services, not the features. 

Content marketing also revolves around optimizing content for conversions. That means aligning copy to your products and services, optimizing email length, or leveraging persuasion techniques in your lead capture pages. 

Leveraging Lead Capture Pages

Lead capture pages are designed to gather contact information of inbound leads. But leads won’t give out their information for free. To get something, we have to give. 

For example, local contractors offer free quotations for their services. Naturally, leads need to provide their email and contact numbers so the contractors can call them. 

All the best lead capture pages have crucial elements—the ask, the give, the form field positioning, and the CTA. 

The ask is what you require from potential leads. It's typically an email or contact number. Some businesses also use the ask as a pre-qualification tool. B2B SaaS companies often require leads to enter a business email, ensuring a lead is from a company that can use their product.  

The give is what you offer leads in exchange for their contact information. It can be a free demo, a newsletter subscription, or gated content like case studies or infographics. 

SEO Content

Typically customers in B2B SaaS prefer avoiding communications with a sales rep until they’re fully ready to commit to a sale. 

They want to research their options first to make an informed decision. Search-engine-optimized content allows your business to reach them during this research phase. 

Keywords must be aligned with your offering. In competitive industries, targeting long-tail keywords with low competition is the best solution to generate enough traffic to redirect to your lead capture pages. 

Backlink building is also crucial to building authority for your domain. With high content velocity and best practices, your domain has a better chance of appearing on search engine results pages (SERPs). 


Leads want to do business with brands they can trust. However, trust is hard to come by in digital marketing. That’s why referral leads are a gold mine. 

You don’t have to do much convincing for them to go further down your sales pipelines. A person they trust already vouched for your business. 

Incentivize your customers to generate more referral leads. You can also create referrals through outbound lead generation strategies like cold email marketing. 

Let’s say you sent a personalized email to a prospect, and they end up not needing your services. That doesn’t mean your email is a lost cause. The prospect can still refer you to a colleague. 

Influencer Marketing

inflencer lead generation

Leads trust influencers more than paid advertising. That’s because there’s still a level of organic authenticity. Leads view influencers or thought leaders as people they can trust. 

Connecting with the right influencer lets you reach a wider audience, increase conversions, and enhance your brand’s credibility. However, you don’t need to contact the most significant influencer in your niche. 

Smaller influencers can have a more engaging audience. Partner with them if you want higher conversion rates. More prominent influencers can provide a wider reach, improving your brand awareness. 

Before collaborating, ensure that their audience aligns with your brand. This helps you qualify the leads gained from your influencer marketing campaign and provides a mutually beneficial partnership.  

If you want a more aggressive lead generation strategy, consider paid advertisements. These help your brand reach a broader audience that fits your ICPs and buyer personas. 

For competitive and saturated businesses like dropshipping, paid advertisements become the primary lead generation strategy.

Businesses in B2B SaaS still need paid ads, but they’re primarily supplementary to organic lead generation strategies like SEO. Scaling paid advertisements can quickly drain your marketing budget if you’re not careful. 

Ensure that you’re making the most of your paid ads by optimizing your ad copy, developing a specific buyer persona, and monitoring the results of your ad campaign. 

Creating a Community

Creating a community around your brand can build a sustainable ecosystem of positive feedback. The more people gain value from the content in your community, the more likely they are to consider your products or services for their business needs. 

For example, Instantly created the Cold Email Masterclass community on Facebook. Members can ask questions, post success stories, and interact directly with the development team. 

Even if members haven’t bought your products or services yet, they can still gain immense value from user-generated content in your community. This can eventually lead to them trying out your product for themselves. 

Collaborating With Adjacent Businesses

Competition is steep in most industries, but that doesn’t mean one business can satisfy every customer’s need. Let’s say you run an online clothing store. 

You can collaborate with another store that sells accessories. The collaboration can lead to better brand awareness, a spike in engagement, and higher conversions. 

Ensure you’re collaborating with businesses that align with yours. For example, you can’t just collaborate with a real estate agency if you’re selling clothes—that doesn’t make sense. The audience of all the parties involved should benefit from making the collaboration work. 

Being a Thought Leader in Your Niche

You can use influencers to improve trust and brand awareness. But what if you could just become an influencer yourself? 

For example, you can visit forums like Reddit, find a subreddit focusing on your products or services, and start providing value to the community.

The key here is providing value, not selling. Answer questions, create guides, or post videos about solving your niche's most pressing pain points. 

There are dozens of platforms where you can build yourself up to be a thought leader. The most popular ones include Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Reddit, and Quorra. 

Why Email Marketing is the Best Way To Generate Leads Online

Email marketing is the best way to generate leads online because it can be automated, it’s the most cost-effective way to scale, and every business can use it. Investing in email marketing ensures your business gets the following benefits:

Streamlined Lead Generation

You only need a lead finder tool to find leads for email marketing. You can scrape contact information from sites like LinkedIn. Or use leads generated from lead capture pages. 

Once you’ve succeeded with an email marketing strategy, you must increase your campaigns by adding more leads. Instantly is here to help you do just that.

Direct Access to Verified Leads

Instantly, B2B Lead Finder gives you access to over 160 million verified contacts and unlimited email warmups to ensure the highest possible deliverability rates on cold email campaigns. 

For many marketers, “cold email” leaves a sour taste. Most would think of spam when the topic of cold emails comes up. However, personalization is the complete opposite of spam. 

Instantly can personalize emails at scale, leveraging lead intelligence to enrich leads with relevant and up-to-date information for every prospect.

Lead Enrichment and Personalization at Scale

Most cold email campaigns fail because of generic, spammy content. Because it is easy to generate leads, many marketers rely on spray and pray. 

That’s a thing of the past with Instantly with features like {{merge tags}}. Paired with lead intelligence data from B2B Lead Finder, Instantly can automatically add company updates and relevant news to your email copy. 

Key Takeaways

Learning how to generate leads online helps your business grow sustainably. You could be proactive with your lead generation and use outbound strategies. Or, you could focus on inbound lead strategies to generate warm leads with high-buying intent. To recap, here’s a rundown of the most popular vehicles for generating leads online:

  • Content marketing: Contextualizes your products as the ultimate solution for your prospects’ needs.
  • SEO Content is best for generating organic inbound leads. Target leads who want to make informed decisions before making a purchase.
  • Referrals: Leverages customers to vouch for your business. Generates leads that are easy to nudge further down the sales pipeline. 
  • Email marketing is used for inbound and outbound lead generation. With the proper tools, it is easy to scale and cost-efficient. 

When generating leads online through email marketing, nothing comes close to Instantly. Start to 10x your leads and scale your business today!

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