There are very few B2B businesses in the world that can do without sales leads. Everyone wants them, and everyone needs them, but not everyone is in a position to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to receive them. For those looking at more affordable, even free, options, we’re here for you. In this article, you’ll learn:
- What Are Sales Leads?
- How To Get Sales Leads For Free: 12 Methods And Places - including
- Nail Your Email Campaigns
- Dig Into Your Analytics
- Use Social Media Effectively
What Are Sales Leads?
Sales leads are your business' lifeblood. They are your potential for new customers, new relationships, and new revenue. Sales leads come in a variety of forms, depending on the sector and product that you’re offering. They might be entire businesses or individual consumers. The core element is that they are a person or business that has been identified through one of your outreach channels (marketing, referrals, word of mouth) and has expressed an interest in what you have to offer.
Leads aren’t always the easiest things to find, however. To come through referrals and word of mouth, you need a solid reputation where people (those recommending your services) already trust you enough to bet their own reputation on you. You can, of course, purchase leads by means of paid advertising or even investing in an SEO campaign. That’s not always an option for businesses on a budget, and often you’ll find people will look for sources of free sales leads.
How To Get Sales Leads For Free: 12 Methods And Places
Thankfully, there are lots of options when it comes to finding sales leads for free. Some of them are relatively simple, while others will require considerable effort and time spent on your part. What follows is our comprehensive list of where and how to get sales leads for free.
Nail Your Email Campaigns
Arguably one of the most efficient and affordable methods to gather free leads is email. There are many who believe that email is outdated, outmoded, and generally ineffective. That is absolutely not the case. Targeted email marketing has one of the highest returns on investment, especially when you consider that you can start your campaigns for free.
Email is, however, easy to get wrong. That’s probably why lots of people write it off. Spending time honing your skills and getting your campaigns right can lead to a steady stream of high-quality leads that turn into high-value prospects. As an email tool provider, we’d be remiss if we didn’t share some of the best ways that you can ensure your emails are as effective as they can be:
- Always Personalize: Personalization is key to email success. Especially when you’re sending cold emails to potential leads. People like to feel that they’re being addressed by an actual person. At a minimum people want to receive emails that address them by name. Personalization options include in the subject line and the body of the email. If you’re able to include extra details related to your relationship with them even better.
- Subject Lines Matter: Subject lines are the first thing that people see when they receive an email, which means they need to capture the recipient’s attention from the moment they see it. Keep them short, concise, and clear, with an element of personalization. Test a few out, and see which gets the best reception.
- Warm Up Your Account: If you’re going to be sending hundreds, maybe even thousands, of emails with the aim of getting free leads then you’re going to need to make sure that your account is warmed up. Warming up an email account is a way of ensuring your emails don’t end up in spam through a process of slowly sending more and more emails over a long period of time. You could do this manually, or invest in an email tool that includes account warm-up such as Instantly.
- Verify Your Addresses: You’re not likely to get a quality lead if you email a catch-all inbox such as [email protected] or [email protected], where possible see if you can find and verify a decision maker’s email address. Ideally, the person who is going to be giving the yes or no decision, or at least someone in direct contact with them.
- Always Deliver Value: Nobody likes to receive an unsolicited sales email. Where you can, soften the blow by offering something of genuine value such as a free demo, a trial, an eBook, or even a link to a useful blog post. This helps people feel that they’re getting something in exchange for their time.
- Don’t Forget a Call to Action: At the end of your email always include a call to action. This should encourage the reader to complete an action. Often this could be requesting a reply, visiting a page on your website, or signing up for a trial. It could be anything, but it needs to be there. Without one it’s most likely that the reader will simply move on.
Dig Into Your Analytics
Your own website’s analytics is a great place to find potential free leads or at least a potential source for some. Spend time looking into where your visitors come from, what pages they’re spending time on, and where they’re going next. Once you’ve got a picture you can begin to edit and structure your site in a way that capitalizes on these visitors and aims to turn them into useful leads.
Use Social Media Effectively
It’s very easy to run a social media account, but it’s another matter to run one effectively. Effective social media accounts create places for individuals to be educated, informed, and entertained. They encourage engagement and interaction, with the opportunity for strangers and followers to become potential business leads.
Consider the social media campaigns that you’re running. A post here or there without planning won’t successfully draw in leads. Instead, create a campaign with purpose that delivers value and encourages those that see it to first interact with the business, and then show interest in your products and services.
Develop Your Branding
Your branding is your identity. It should distinguish you from your competition and help your business be memorable. Consistency is key here. That means your logo, color palette, tone of voice, and style, should all be the same across all of your channels. That includes your website, your social media accounts, your emails, anything where your customer identifies that they’re talking with you. A developed brand is far easier to connect with and makes the sales funnel far easier to navigate. People are far more likely to become leads when they feel that they’re connecting with a brand.
Leverage Your Blog
Your blog is a great place to entertain and educate the general public. Remember that every blog you create has the potential to be found through Google, especially if you spend time focusing on specific keywords. That means someone who has never even heard of your business could be spending time on your blog. They might even share your articles within their network.
If you’re able to create high-quality, specialized content that delivers value, not only is Google more likely to rank your work but you’re also far more likely to captivate the reader. A captivated reader will connect with you and, hopefully, become a lead.
Work With Influencers
Working with the right influencer can create a great stream of leads. Influencers are in their position because they understand their audience. They’ve built up a strong following and are now in a position where they can suggest and genuinely influence thousands of people. Pick an influencer that shares your audience, has a similar tone of voice as you, and markets themselves in a way that aligns with your values. You might need to try and connect with a few influencers, so it’s worth developing an influencer outreach campaign.
Once connected, run campaigns with them that showcase your work. This doesn’t even have to be a straight-to-camera sales pitch, simply using your products in a seemingly organic way is a great way to build rapport with the audience. They’ll have their interest piqued and could then go on to reach out to you.
Share Your Expertise
Helpful, informative experts are far more likely to be trusted. This means acting like an expert in person, of course, but also through all of your communication channels. A great way to do this is through social media, when someone is stuck or needs help, simply offer your advice and expertise. Expect nothing in return. People remember these helpful acts of kindness and often return when in need of your goods or services.
Develop A Referral Program
It’s easy to forget your current customer base when you’re chasing after the next new sale, but they are some of your best potential marketing and sales agents. Creating a referral program is a great way to leverage your customers. Often you’ll provide them incentives for sending you leads in the form of referrals. Sometimes you’ll even offer a discount to the person that’s the lead. Run properly, you’ll find leads will come flooding into your business.
Build Your Review Profile
When your business is recommended to someone, or if someone finds your business organically, one of the first things that they’ll do is check your reviews. They want to see what experience customers have had with you and what it might be like to be a customer of yours themselves. First make sure that your customers have ample opportunity to create reviews on platforms such as Google, Facebook, TrustPilot, etc. Then make sure that you’re engaging with your reviews by responding, especially to ones that are lower star ratings.
Google My Business
Google My Business is a great way to generate local business leads. If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, or you deliver your services in a specific location or area then Google My Business could work wonders for you. First of all, it puts your business on the map. Quite literally, as it gives you a pin on Google Maps. It’s a hub for reviews, plus if you’re able to optimize your listing, you’ll show up for keywords when they’re searched for. What’s best is that it’s completely free to use!
Get To Know The Press
If you can nurture a relationship with the press then you’re going to develop your profile considerably. That means local press, industry-specific press, and even national and international press. Any exposure that you can get for your business will be useful for your brand awareness. Remember that reporters want to report stories and provide pieces that are of interest to their readers. Pushing sales pitches to reporters and journalists is never going to get you printed or published.
Use Online And Print Directories
Directories are a potential gold mine of leads. It’s true that the majority of people will use search engines to find services, but many search engines will deliver back directory results for general queries. Plus they often have high authority and stand more of a chance ranking than less authoritative sites. It’s also worth considering print directories, especially if some of your target markets are less digitally minded.
Generating free sales leads is going to take some effort and dedication, unfortunately, there’s no magic tap that you can turn on to generate leads for free. There are, however, lots of different methods that you can employ to maximize your free lead generation. Start with this list, then explore your own methods.
- Email is still one of the best methods to generate free leads, and it works best with a robust piece of email marketing software.
- Consider what your audience is most likely to interact with and focus on that initially.
- Test different methods and track your results, then adapt.
If you’re keen to use email as one of your free sales lead sources then you’ll want an email tool that makes the process efficient and easy to master. That’s where Instantly can help, and you can get started for free today.