What separates startups apart isn’t their core beliefs or how they’re going to “disrupt the industry.” It’s about how efficiently they can scale.

Even with a disruptive piece of tech, you won’t get anywhere if you don’t scale. That’s just wasted potential. The most common reason for this is a lack of solid lead-generation strategies.

You’ve got great products! Let’s get it front and center to the people who need it most! In this article, we’ll be going over:

  • The best lead generation vehicles for startups.
  • Common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
  • Best practices to follow for lead generation in 2023.

Best Lead Generation Vehicles for Startups

startup-strategy

Being a startup is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. You’ve got fresh ideas that could shake up your industry. However, everybody’s got their own “good ol’ reliable.”

So, the first thing you need to do is to find people who’re open-minded to change—then change their minds. Here are a few great lead-generation vehicles to try:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

It’s not the fanciest or the most aggressive lead generation route, but it’s definitely amongst the most essential. You want your audience to land on key pages on your site. This helps with that.

Contrary to popular belief, SEO is pretty simple—it just takes time. It’s all about tweaking site speed, ensuring your site has good UI, navigation, and of course, high-value content.

Then, you’d want to invest in building backlinks to your site. Google’s web crawlers view these as marks of approval. The better the backlinks, the more authoritative you are.

You can do backlinking yourself. It can be done naturally just by virtue of your content or you can reach out to other webmasters via cold emails.

With enough high-value content, naturally occurring keywords, and backlinks, you’re primed and ready to rank for the search engine results page.

Podcasts

Reading a 2000-word article about email marketing is fun and all, but what if you could just listen to experts talk about it on an hour-long podcast while doing laundry? That’s a win-win!

Podcasts are incredible for reaching new audiences in your industry. It’s also a great way to network and connect with the top dogs in your niche.

You get to answer questions about your product direct from the people that want to use it. And it’s in a medium that’s easy to digest and easy to go along with.

If you want a seat at the table, look into podcasts about your industry, find their contact info, and start sending cold emails.

Social Media

Social media’s where everybody’s at. Startups definitely want to build their brand image on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.

You need a good combination of both paid and organic content campaigns. Strategize with your team, build your campaigns around your budget, and execute.

lead-gereation-strategies

But, don’t sleep on Twitter. It’s an amazing platform that can get you to converse with leads directly. You can answer questions, create useful Twitter threads, or just be a menace to society.

Either way, you get noticed. Once you get noticed, it’s easier to build a relationship. From here, just network. The real leads are the friends we make along the way. 🙂

Email marketing

If you wanna go “I’m a legitimate business” mode, email marketing will be your go-to. Getting your own email domain is exciting. It makes you look all that more legit.

Email marketing can even have better ROI than social media and SEO. Here’s a quick look at a formula for a lead-generation strategy using cold emails.

Start with identifying your prospect’s pain points or what they’re currently working with. Hit them with a “what if?”. Then, offer your solution and a case study to support it.

“Hey {{first name}},
Quick question, have you ever struggled with handling multiple social media accounts for your content campaigns?
Marketers can spend 10 hours a week just on posting social media content. We can help cut that down to just 1 hour a week with our {{product}}. Mind if we send over the step-by-step guide on how we did it for {{business you worked with}}?”

It’s a simple email that’s straight to the point. It addresses a common pain point marketers have; then, you offer the “what if” (how your product can help). Then, you add the supporting details.

Free Webinars

Everybody loves free stuff, especially if it provides high-value information. Remember, emails are hard to come by. A quick way to build your email list is by offering free webinars.

To join, participants need to give their emails (you can even use a filter to only allow business emails). But don’t lean too much on your product. You want to promote, but make it subtle.

Don’t shove your product down the participant’s throat. Think of free alternative solutions to issues. Then, set up your product to be the ultimate, most streamlined, and efficient one.

Common Lead Generation Pitfalls for Startups

lead generation challeneges

Lead generation is simple enough once you have a system. However, this can easily lead to bad habits if left unchecked. Here are the following lead generation pitfalls you need to avoid:

Buying Email Lists

Being a startup isn’t a pay-to-win game. Although there probably are legitimate sites that sell email lists, it’s still something to avoid, even if it’s within your budget. Here’s why:

  • The people on the list probably don’t know you.
  • They can easily be fake.
  • You’d have to validate those emails yourself.
  • Data compliance issues.
  • Poor-quality leads.

As a rule of thumb, if an email list is cheap, don’t buy it. If it’s expensive, don’t buy it. Maybe avoid it completely. Purchasing these email lists won’t be worth it.

Sending emails to contacts that are unfamiliar with your brand can lead to your emails being marked as spam. This can lead to severe penalties for your entire email domain.

Not Utilizing the Lead Generation Tools at Your Disposal

You might not realize it, but you’ve probably got a couple of lead-generation tools collecting dust on the shelves. For example, your entire website could be a 24/7 lead generation machine.

Make sure you’ve set up the proper analytics tracking on it. Look into setting up your site with Google Analytics. Strategize the metrics you want to look into.

For lead generation, these are typically page visits, CTAs, blog content, or online forms. Use every inch of your site as a tool to find leads. Implement visual queues or intuitive navigation.

Sticking to One Approach

Even as a startup with just one product, sticking to a single lead generation approach isn’t efficient. There are a lot of moving parts in every business, even with just one product.

For example, you can use blogs to offer deeper insights on how to efficiently use the products that encourage users to contact you for more tailored solutions.

Meanwhile, email campaigns are great for nurturing leads, announcing updates, sales, and other promotions. Try out different tools to find leads. Then identify which ones to keep and which ones to let go. But don’t just stick to one approach.

Misusing Social Media

Social media is great for lead generation, but it could give lackluster results when it’s misused. Are you just jamming informational content about your product down your audience’s throat?

That gets boring fast. What you want to do is create relevant, interactive, and engaging content. Use memes, highlight user-generated content, start trends, or let people shop directly on your pages. But, whatever you do, don’t forget to link back to those key revenue-generating pages.

Failing Lead Nurturing

Getting an email from a lead is hard. When you have it you have to nurture it. You need to stay top of mind, consistently provide value, and offer solutions.

To streamline this, you’d need an email marketing tool that can run automated lead-nurturing campaigns. Find an email tool that can schedule or send emails based on behavioral triggers like Instantly.ai.

You can set it up so that when your lead clicks on a link, a blog, or a form, there’s already a set response. The setup is easy and intuitive, and it’ll do the heavy lifting for you.

Lead Generation Best Practices

Best practices differ depending on the lead generation vehicle you’re using. But, most of these practices are built on these three fundamentals:

Collaboration with Sales Team

Your sales team will be the ones to follow up on important leads. Make sure all of you are on the page when it comes to your approach. Strategize for each mode of communication but keep a consistent message.

Keeping a Consistent Message

There are various channels you can use to generate leads. But, across all lead generation vehicles, you need to keep a consistent message. It helps your brand build a recognizable image and voice and can help build your authority.

Optimizing CTAs

Your call-to-actions need to be clear and concise. Be straightforward with what you’re offering, whether it’s a downloadable case study, a link to a free webinar, or a free trial of your product. Make the CTAs stand out through visuals or how it’s positioned in relation to other elements.

Key Takeaways

Lead generation can take any startup from a budding business venture to an authoritative figure in any industry. Here are some important details you might’ve missed:

  • The best lead-generation channels for 2023 include SEO, social media, podcasts, webinars, and email marketing.
  • Don’t fall into the trap of buying an email list, sticking to one lead-generation channel, or failing to nurture leads.
  • Regardless of what you’re using for lead generation, you should always collaborate with your sales team, keep a consistent message, and optimize CTAs.

If you want to do lead generation with email marketing, look no further than Instantly! Sign up for our free trial today!