During those early days of customer discovery and specially interesting whilst on the customer harvesting/scalling stage leads are the main ingredient of the nectar of Startups. Crucial information that drives Sales.
It is the first proof of commitment a customer will give you before paying. Without an email, a name, a phone number you can't really push that extra effort to do the sale or discover more about your ideal target audience.
But how do you get those leads? There are specific channels and tools that allow you to maximise this capture without requiring a lot of effort from your tech/profuct team and over optimization of landing pages.
Easiest way is simply finding where your customers leave their contact details. You can simply go there and manually record these contacts.
Examples: Looking at the yellow pages, owners direct (real estate), classified websites, vertical aggregators (jobs, properties, cars), ...
Contrary to manual lead generation performance channels will generate inbound leads (warm leads that actually showed interest in your proposition).
Examples: Facebook (leadads), Twitter (leadcards), Adwords/LandingPage, Adwords (GSP), Affiliates.
- LeadAds (Facebook) or Leadcards (Twitter) allows you to get emails/phones with a couple of clicks/taps.
Facebook Lead ads:
With RON (Run-out-of-network)/DSK (Display Select Keywords) Campaigns<->Landing page combination you get a powerful combo of cheap and broad reach targeting options that enables you to optimize and test propositions and conversion fields.
Adwords GSP technology allows you to target specific domains, languages, keywords from directly your customers inbox in GMAIL. You can also add a form that they can fill without leaving GMAIL and allow your user to save or forward to friends/colleagues.
Affiliates pretty much says it all. Breaking a deal with a complementary business with the same user segments and instead of paying a cpc, cpm, cpa deal you will pay a CPL deal.
Find all relevant events and search for any direct email/post Marketing databases. Always request for a sample first (perfectly normal to pay for this), and check how many contacts you can do, for how long do they maintain the list, minimum order, minimum spend, if they require you to check any blacklists.
Ideal for B2B targeting, white papers and similar research studies ask for a contact with something in return. If you are a new brand you can find the top references in your vertical and interview them and then just chop it up in 1 or more white papers to distribute through a landing page.
Breaking a partnership is a great way to get the right leads in a cheap and efficient way. Low risk since you are leveraging on someone else's userbase, high relevance if you pick the right partner. Example: You do shipping, who sells boxes? or bubble wrap?
What to do or Ask?
- Surveys/Content Studies - Maybe with a final incentive to collect the lead after you collect the information.
- Newsletter email sendout to userbase - Sending traffic to a lead collection landing page.
- Blog post / Social distribution - Same as above.
- Link on Website - Same as above.
National and international agencies in the regions you are targeting. How? CPL/CPA/CPC/CPM deals.