4 Super Creative Ways to Generate Leads for Almost No Cost
Website Ops & Security | June 03, 2020
Building a well-oiled lead generation machine at scale doesn’t come cheap. Sure, for some businesses, it makes sense to run a super lean, one-man operation – but if you’re running large monthly budgets across multiple platforms, you’re probably paying for headcount, tech stack, SEO, and, of course, the media spend itself.
One of the big questions all marketers deal with is how to be more effective with their lead-gen budget and how to lower CPLs while retaining lead quality and hitting monthly targets. To that end, we’ve decided to share some super-original tips that we apply here at CHEQ, which are effectively driving large numbers of leads for us each month at almost zero cost.
1. Focus your outbound on people liking and commenting on your ads and content
This is an amazingly and surprisingly effective way of generating new leads at almost no additional cost. Basically, once every couple of days (or even more frequently if you have the resources), scrape all your social media content and campaigns and collect the names of the people who have liked, shared, or commented on your different assets. Remove those people who don’t seem like they could be a fit for your product, and then run the relevant ones through a sales prospecting tool. We would use LeadIQ, but there are other good tools out there too. The tool should be able to provide you with the contact information of those people who’ve engaged with your content. Now that you have contact information get your outbound team to reach out, preferably over the phone. This has been such an effective way for us to get new quality leads.
We would have weeks where we would generate 20 MQLs using this method, which then were converted to about 3-4 SQLs. That’s around 12-15 SQLs a month for a B2B SaaS product with an average ACV (annual customer value) in the tens of thousands of dollars. Even if the sales team would only end up closing 2-3 deals from those SQLs, that’s hundreds of thousands of dollars in CLTV (Customer Life-Time Value) from this simple and ridiculously cheap method. To date, this might be the best-ever ROI we have seen from a lead-gen tactic.
Another small tip from our sales team is that when you reach out to these people, remember that they haven’t filled out a form, so they’re not expecting your call. One thing that worked great for us when reaching out was to be super casual about the outreach, saying stuff like, “Hey, I was just browsing our LinkedIn ads and saw the comment you left and thought to myself, what the heck – why not reach out to you.” Not only did this work, but it yielded surprisingly positive conversations, and our sales team actually loved these conversations.
2. Convert your site forms to “instant” forms
I think we just made up the term “instant forms,” but basically, there are some great tools out there that will shorten and simplify your site form fills to a simple click of a button or a filling out of one field. We have been using Lusha to do this and have seen a measurable uptick in organic, on-site form fills.
Basically, all over the site, we’ve placed CTA’s (in our case, “Get a Demo”) and replaced the traditional 4-5 field form with an instant form, where the user fills out their email. The tool then automatically pulls up that person’s information and contact details (company, role, phone number), and we get a notification in HubSpot. Around 60% to 70% of the time, the tool will successfully find that information, but when the information isn’t available, then the form will expand to include the additional missing fields. Again, this has proven very effective and has yielded a steady flow of quality organic inbound leads from our site every month.
Another small hack, on the heels of this one, is to add pop-up forms on pages where there is no lead form or CTA. This way, you ensure that a user navigating your site can leave you their details at any given moment. This method hasn’t yielded incredible results, but given our product price point, even one or two additional quality leads per month from this effortless channel are potentially worth a lot of revenue.
3. Provide valuable gated tools for your potential clients to engage with
This tactic, when done correctly, is an absolute monster lead generator. Many marketers are, of course, familiar with tactics like gated content. Basically, you provide a valuable piece of gated content (this could be a piece of research or a professional guide), collect the leads, and then unleash your outbound team to try and convert them. But what we’ve discovered is that there’s an even more effective tactic than gated content, and that’s gated tools. For example, we created a calculator for advertisers to easily calculate how much money they were losing to click fraud. Such a tool didn’t exist online, and it proved valuable to PPC advertisers looking for ways to optimize their campaign spending.
We put the calculator behind a gateway, and while that, of course, caused a certain number of people to drop, the inbound leads we were getting were absolutely priceless, as these were people who had literally just learned how much money they were losing to click fraud, making them a perfect target for outbound. This method has proven extremely effective in generating a steady flow of very high-quality, ripe leads at very little cost to us.
4. Deploy click fraud prevention software
This tactic isn’t directly aimed at generating leads, but rather – it should help lower your CPA and save you a great deal of wasted ad spend, which you can then reinvest in getting more quality inbound leads. A recent study by the University of Baltimore found that 14% of all PPC ad clicks are non-human, fraudulent, or just completely invalid. This varies from industry to industry, but basically, anyone who’s spending on paid search and paid social is losing significant ad spend to invalid clicks. Any advertisers looking to improve their inbound and generate more leads for less money should deploy click fraud prevention software to eliminate this waste.
CHEQ is the only platform today that prevents invalid clicks across all major paid search and paid social platforms and is the solution of choice for the world’s largest advertisers and agencies. If your ad spend is smaller, however (under $10K-$15K) a month, you might want to deploy a more affordable solution like ClickCease, which will only cover you on Google and might lack certain features and capabilities that enterprise clients would want, but is still effective for small budget advertisers.
Those were four tactics that we deployed religiously and have saved us a ton of ad spend while generating a steady flow of inbound quality leads. Please feel free to share these tried and tested methods and deploy them yourself. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
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