How to generate leads for your business online [Best Lead Generation Ideas]

Sayani Deb

If you are short of lead generation ideas, you are at the right place. This is where you’ll discover the best ways to generate leads and boost your conversion rates.Do you know what’s harder than generating leads online? Choosing the best ways to generate leads online. 

Research shows that 61% of marketers rank lead generation as their number 1 challenge. But if you have concrete ideas to generate leads online, nothing can stop you from growing. 

To help you with such unstoppable growth, I have created this blog on lead generation. Here, you’ll know what generating leads means with examples, the difference between prospect and lead, and a list of the best lead generation ideas. 

So, without further delay, join me on this knowledge ride!

What Is Lead Generation in Marketing?

Lead generation in marketing involves getting actionable customers interested in a company’s products or services for maximum business output. 

In other words, to generate leads in a business means getting potential customers interested in your business and moving them through the pipeline to make them paying customers. It typically involves customers starting a conversation with you or offering their contact details to know more about your products and services. 

Example – For a B2B company to generate leads, it may receive;

  • A call from a potential customer
  • A form submission inquiring about products and services
  • Online demo scheduling
  • Signing up or subscribing to emails or newsletters

Thus, to generate leads, it is also necessary for companies to structure the marketing experience so that customers can easily engage with the company. Also, your lead generation plans and strategies should be such that they result in prospects exchanging payment info or contact details or an in-person meeting. 

Leads vs. Prospects

Okay, so you may have often used the terms ‘lead’ and ‘prospect’ interchangeably. But there are a few differences between the two if you go by their definitions or meanings. 

Here are the differences between leads and prospects at a glance.

prospect vs. lead


Now, take a look at their definitions with a few examples to get a clearer picture of the differences between leads and prospects. 


A lead is an unqualified contact. Leads are those people who show a certain level of interest in your product or service but are not qualified as they do not fit the ideal buyer persona. Considering communication, leads are typically those you have engaged in one-way communication. For example:

  • Blog post commenters
  • Strangers on your email list
  • People who have liked, commented or shared your social posts
  • Website visitors who engage with your web pages

Leads do have the potential to convert into customers. However, they are yet to communicate and qualify as a potential customer.


A prospect is a qualified contact. Prospects are those who have shown interest in your product, engage with you, and are qualified as ideal customers who would consider buying your product. In other words, prospects are the upgraded versions of leads. They engage well and indicate interest in making a purchase. 

For example, a prospect is;

  • An individual who responds to your email or inquires about your product, pricing, etc.
  • A lead you have spoken with over a phone call or meeting
  • A lead who visits your website through your email link and engages with the product and pricing pages
  • An individual asking about your product or service in a social media thread
  • An individual who fits your buyer persona and with whom you have scheduled a call or meeting.

Overall, when it comes to the sales funnel, prospects are slightly farther down the funnel than leads.

5 Quick Tips on Lead Generation 

While I have shared the best ways to generate sales leads, it’s time to get a few quick tips on lead generation that can help you make your lead generation strategies more effective. Take a look!

1. Focus on quality over quantity

When it comes to lead generation, companies often lose themselves in numbers. They generate hundreds and thousands of leads but still experience low conversion rates. This is where the quality of leads comes in. 

The quality of your leads matters the most. 100 quality leads converting at 55% are more important than 1000 converting at 15%. Also, focusing on quality saves your sales team’s time as they do not engage leads that aren’t interested in your product at all. 

2. Choose the right tools for lead tracking

Tracking is immensely important in any form of lead generation. Use tools like Google Analytics to get insights on traffic and target market behavior. Based on these reports and insights, tweak your ads to make them more appealing to the target audience. 

3. Use shorter website forms

B2B businesses often miss out on this. Hence, I am here to remind you about shorter web forms. Avoid asking for too many details, as it may result in high bounce rates. Make sure to keep your website forms limited to five fields or less. Ask for the minimum details like name and email and keep the rest of the details for later.  

4. Create CTAs that stand out

Though CTA is a small part of your website or email, they are crucial to generating leads and boosting conversions. These CTAs prompt users to take action. Hence, they must be properly placed and prominent. 

Use brighter colors, images, or buttons instead of texts to make them stand out from the rest of the content. 

5. Conduct A/B tests regularly

A/B testing at regular intervals to monitor your lead generation strategy constantly. Keep making small changes to your landing pages and emails to attract more leads effectively. So, conduct A/B tests on your landing pages and emails to ensure that you update all elements with the shift in trends.

12 Lead Generation Examples

Building a lead generation marketing plan is a must regardless of your industry. It is only through a proper lead generation plan that you can convert strangers into paying customers. 

Check out the top 12 lead generation ways for some inspiration. 

1. Direct engagement

For high-value product sellers, this is the easiest and one of the most effective ways to generate leads. Direct engagement is engaging in a conversation with a potential lead to bring new business. 

You can reach out to potential leads over the phone, through emails, social media, etc. You can also schedule a meeting with the prospect once they are established as a good fit and qualified. 

2. Use LinkedIn for lead generation

For B2B companies, LinkedIn is one of the most effective platforms, and it can yield profitable results for your business. Create relevant and informative content on LinkedIn, post consistently, connect with industry leaders, and ask potential connections for recommendations. LinkedIn can open up several opportunities for you to generate leads and convert them into next paying customers. 

You can also leverage LinkedIn to promote social media ads. You can opt for paid lead gen ads if you have the budget. This allows you to embed forms within your ads, making signing up easy and convenient. 

3. Optimize and rank

SEO is something you cannot do without in the digital world. With content and website optimization, you can rank higher in Google search results and boost your chances of increasing site traffic and conversions. 

Tools like SemRush and Google Ads keyword Planner can help you search keywords, find the right ones, and then optimize your content with the specific keywords. 

I have explained more about SEO, landing pages, and optimization below. 

4. Ask for referrals

Word-of-mouth or referrals are among the oldest and most effective forms of marketing. If you have happy and satisfied customers, ask them to share their brand experiences with their friends and family. 

There will be customers who will gladly review your business and refer your brand to friends and family. But most customers may not do it for free. In that case, offer incentives. For example, provide 20% off on their next purchase for every client they refer. This way, you can generate more leads from your existing customer base. 

5. Advertise and retarget

You know that targeted PPC ads on Google and Bing can help you generate leads. This technique helps you put up ads for searches that are immensely relevant to your business. 

Retargeting is effective, and it works well to convert your website visitors. Most website visitors do not convert on their first visit to your website. When a user clicks your PPC ad, you can use retargeting to show them display ads of your products across the web. 

Creating digital ads is one of the most effective ways to generate leads. However, you must patiently work on it to enjoy amazing results. 

6. Offer lead magnets or free tools

Lead magnets can be digital assets like eBooks, white papers, how-to guides, etc. Further, offering a free tool can also work well to generate B2B sales leads. So, plan on offering a free tool or a lead magnet to help users without eliminating the need for the product or service.

For example, B2B SaaS companies can offer eBooks on signing up or subscribing that contain details about the product, its pricing, benefits, and how it helps, along with industry updates, growth estimates, reviews, testimonials, and more. You can also write a teaser blog or create a teaser video or infographic and then ask leads for contact details in exchange for the eBook. 

7. Hold influencer interviews

Another great way to generate leads is to conduct interviews with industry leaders. It can open vast possibilities for your business and help you network as well. While you can obviously learn from these interviews, you can also use the interviews to create blogs, podcasts, and other powerful content. 

For instance, your video-recorded interview can be converted to a Q&A blog post and podcast. You can also use parts of the interview to create social posts. Hence, these influencer interviews can give you a lot of material to create different types of content. 

8. Answer questions on public forum

Answering forum questions can help you a great deal. You can prove your subject matter expertise while setting the stage for a conversation or reciprocity. If done strategically, these forums can help you generate leads within minutes. 

Sites like Quora and Reddit are the best to implement this lead generation strategy. Find spaces relevant to your business and start responding to user queries. First, answer the question and then embed a CTA to highlight your product and how to solve the user’s problem. 

9. Create guest blogs

Writing guest blogs is a great way to generate referral business through content marketing and improve your SEO. Writing guest blogs has the following benefits:

  • You get to form new industry connections
  • It helps to generate referral traffic from a relevant target audience
  • Industry-relevant and useful backlinks help to improve SEO

For instance, to generate leads, you can start guest blogging for websites that are related to your industry but are not your direct competitors. If you are a marketing company, try guest blogging for B2B companies (like CRM software). Here, the audience of CRM software companies are businesses that would be interested in marketing themselves. So, your services can act as a complement. 

10. Create special email offers

Your email lists often contain a lot of untapped business potential. To generate leads, tap into this gold mine apart from reaching out to new audiences. Build your list of email subscribers and offer them special offers like a limited-time discount or promo codes that can effectively convert them. 

Further, if you’re actively collaborating with complementary businesses, you can strike a deal so that they let you promote your business to the audience. 

11. Start networking

Networking isn’t your direct revenue strategy. It is more about nurturing professional opportunities to grow your business. Try participating in local networking events that relate to your industry. It will save traveling costs and help you know people from the same industry. 

You may meet a complementary business to collaborate with and expand your reach through networking. Or you can also get in contact with social media influencers who can help promote your business.

So, investing in networking can yield multiple returns though it doesn’t directly impact your ROI. 

12. Post valuable blog comments

Besides offline networking, make it a point to expand your network online through industry subscriptions. 

I mean, subscribe to industry publications and keep an eye on competitor blogs. If you see several unanswered comments on a blog, offer your opinions and insights. You can also embed a CTA that leads to your website. 

However, do not post irrelevant CTAs or comments. Suppose you have a page containing additional information related to the specific blog’s topic. In that case, you can add the CTA or page link. 

9 Ways to Generate Sales Leads Online 

There are too many ways to generate leads online. Realizing this can be quite overwhelming, especially if you are new to generating leads online. 

Hosting webinars, creating social posts and infographics, sending emails – TBH, every other online activity seems to be the best way to generate leads online. 

Here’s where I come in to help you out. In this section, I’ll give you a concrete list of 9 ways to generate sales leads online effectively. Take a quick look before we dive into each of them. 

  • Content marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages, website optimization, and SEO
  • Social media
  • Webinars
  • Review platforms
  • PPC ads
  • Online PR
  • Display ads

1. Content marketing

If you want to generate leads organically, content marketing is a must. Whether you are a B2B SaaS company or a B2C company, content is the way that ‘leads’ to your potential leads. 

Content marketing involves creating and distributing content about your industry or domain. The primary intent of your content is not to sell but to educate the target market, engage them, and build trust around your brand. This is the inbound way of generating leads rather than the outbound way where you put up a sales pitch.

There are different content formats that you can use to generate leads. Here are a few common ones that work well for B2B SaaS companies.

  • Blogs – Optimized, relevant, and informative blogs are always a good read for the audience. They are easy on the eyes, easier to read and understand, and less time-consuming. 
  • Videos – One of the most engaging forms of content is videos. So, you can convey your brand message or industry statistics and customer reviews in the form of videos. SaaS companies for offer product tutorials that help to generate leads too. 
  • Infographics – More graphics and less text is what infographics are all about. You can share industry updates, your company stats, or your client’s growth stats in the form of infographics, using less text and more icons and images. 
  • Case studies – Case studies are the perfect testimonials. They include customers talking about your product, its usage, benefits, and the problems they solve. Case studies are significant to generate sales leads. 
  • eBooks – Downloadable eBooks are one of the most common digital assets that B2B SaaS companies offer. This content form is more of a long-form content that’s well-researched and acts as a guide to the audience. 

2. Email Marketing

Do you think email marketing is old and outdated? 

Well, it may be old, but grandpa’s still alive and kicking. 

Email marketing isn’t dead. In fact, it is more relevant than ever before. With an average open rate of 21.33 percent for all industries, emails are still one of the most effective tools. 

Research says that 77% of B2B companies use an email marketing newsletter as a part of their content marketing strategy, and 79% of B2B marketers find email to be the most successful content distribution channel. 

So, the love for emails isn’t vanishing anytime soon and the reasons are pretty straightforward. 

  • Emails are simple and less time-consuming.
  • They are valuable (often, emails are the point of entry to a lead)
  • Emails are universal. Everyone has an email id and hence, access is easier. 

How do emails help you generate leads?

Suppose a visitor signs up for your blog, and you are well aware of their interests. If you are a B2B SaaS company, you can use this interest to personalize emails, get into a conversation with the lead and ease them down the sales funnel. 

You can also keep prospects updated via personalized emails. Send them offers, promotional discounts, personalized discounts, the latest development news, and more. Moreover, embedding links or CTAs to your email can also trigger user actions like signing up, downloading eBooks, availing offers, etc. 

3. Landing pages, website optimization, and SEO

A landing page is a webpage where visitors land after being directed from a Google ad or social media post a link. Landing pages give you the opportunity to introduce your brand and covert the lead. 

There’s no structured theory or one strategy fits all approach to building the perfect landing page. It is a trial-and-error method. Hence, you must keep improving your landing page to see what’s working and is not. However, here are a few tips that can come in handy. 

  • Keep the content simple, precise, informative, and understandable.
  • Create and use a balanced mix of images, texts, and videos.
  • Make the copy visually appealing – use bullets, shorter lines, and paragraphs.
  • Avoid cramming content. Give appropriate spacing for the landing page to look clean. 
  • Prioritize the value of the content over length. 

Website and content optimization is where you need a sound understanding of SEO. For newbies, SEO can be slightly intimidating. It is all about researching keywords and doing a lot of groundwork before you can get the keywords to optimize your content and website. 

SEO helps your content (like blogs) and webpages rank higher in Google. The better the SEO, the higher the ranking in Google search results. 

Tools like Ahrefs, SemRush, Moz help with your SEO techniques. These tools can assist you to pick up keywords in your industry, research their volume, and then develop quality content around it to rank well in Google. 

4. Social Media

To generate leads via social media, have quality content and a distinctive voice across all social channels – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others. 

Coming to the content of social media ads, never use the channels to blare out only your business announcements. Discuss some industry news, share updates, latest trends, etc. Be creative with your posts. You can be humorous and friendly, engage in conversations, and share real-life things that aren’t always researched. Be as unique as you can on social media. 

Other than the post content, you can go for options like Facebook live, running contests/polls, Instagram reels, running paid ads, announcing referrals, product or business updates, and customer shoutouts.

However, before creating your social content, explore the platforms and switch tones per the channel requirements while maintaining your brand’s essence and uniqueness. For instance, go informal and funny on Facebook and maintain a more formal tone on LinkedIn. For B2B ads, check out Quora, Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Here are a few examples of social media posts by Salesforce across different channels.

Salesforce LinkedIn Ad
Salesforce LinkedIn Ad (Source)
13 Twitter Ads Examples To Inspire Your Next Campaign
Salesforce Twitter Ad (Source)
Facebook image ad example: Salesforce
Salesforce Facebook Ad (Source)

5. Webinars 

Webinars are a good way to generate leads online. Consider them powerful tools for online lead generation, just like events/ trade shows/ conferences are for offline lead generation. It involves picking a topic people are interested in, getting the right speaker, creating relatable and relevant content, and having a quality conversation with the target audience. 

Though webinars may sound a lot like podcasts, they aren’t really because

  • Webinars are live discussions, and podcasts are recorded.
  • Unlike podcasts, your targeted audience needs to sign up or register for a webinar.

You can choose several channels to promote your webinar. Send emails with registering links, share on social media, or put up a website header to let people know about your webinar. 

Here’s an example of a webinar promotion ad by LoginRadius.


6. Review Platforms

Review platforms in every industry are a must now. And in every industry, there’s at least one review platform that is the king – hugely popular for research, reviews, and discoveries. 

Take, for example, TripAdvisor is a highly popular review platform in the hospitality industry. Similarly, the job search industry has Glassdoor. Similarly, Capterra and G2 rule the SaaS space. So, if you want to generate potent leads, get listed on review platforms like G2. Then comes your real work of obtaining reviews from customers on these platforms. 

Though getting reviews is a tough job at times, you must ask for it. Some customers are more than happy to share a review, but there are others who require a little push. Incentives, discounts, free services, gift cards, etc., work well for the latter.

Coming to negative reviews, you do not need to initiate them, obviously. But be prepared to handle and give a good response to negative reviews. Try addressing the issue that customers face and mention it in the review. 

7. PPC Ads

Pay-Per-Click or PPC Ads are those that appear on the first three to four Google search results when you search for something. Though they look exactly like the other search results, they have an ‘Ad’ tag at the beginning. Take a look 👇

Example of PPC ads

You can create PPC ads on Google Ads. They are a type of paid marketing which costs money and this is how they work – a visitor clicks on your PPC ad through Google search results and goes to a landing page. The individual learns about your product or service. Now, you pay Google for each of these visitor’s click. The amount you pay depends on the keyword popularity around which you create your PPC ad. Competitive keywords require you to spend more money as several brands bid for these keywords. Similarly, lesser popular keywords cost you less. 

Here are a few basic things about PPC ads.

  • Businesses that have the budget and no time to rank organically usually opt for PPC ads. 
  • PPC ads can capture your target market’s attention by making your brand appear in the first 3-4 search results.
  • Optimizing your PPC ads with relevant keywords is significant. The ads need a title, a hyperlink, and a meta description. 
  • You need to write the best ad copies to capture your business in the tight space along with keyword insertion. 

8. Online Public Relations (PR)

Online PR involves spending money. Social media influencers and product evangelists can help you boost your website traffic and generate more sales leads. But online PR isn’t cheap. Generally, small businesses and startups do not opt for online PR at the start. So, you can invest in social media, content, and email marketing to generate leads before stepping into online PR. 

Example of  Public Relations
An example of Press Release (Source)

You can choose PRWeb or PRNewswire for paid online press releases. There are several other news sites to syndicate content. This will help you develop connections, get a wider reach, and also quality backlinks. 

9. Display Ads

The easiest way to explain display ads would be ‘digital billboards and hoardings’. As the name suggests, these ads are more creatively inclined than PPC ads. They need good color schemes, images, illustrations, animation, and the right layout to appeal to your audience. 

However, there are a few things that PPC ads and display ads have in common. 

  • Limited ad space; and
  • When visitors click on the ad, they go to a landing page.

Here’s an example of Conversica’s display ad 👇

conversica google display ad that reads "so many leads, so little time, 451 research examines how intelligent virtual assistants can increase sales capacity. get the research"

So, if you’re interested in creating display ads for your brand, here are a few best practices. Follow them and generate more leads.

  • Check the websites where your display ads will be featured. These must be trusted websites close to your target market. Avoid any controversial domains.
  • When creating your ad copy, utilize the space to highlight the solution to your audience’s problem or provide a benefit. It captures maximum attention. 
  • Align the message on your ad and your landing page. Maintain consistency between the two. For example, you cannot place an ad that says about the benefits of CRM for start-ups and a landing page that talks about how CRM is useful for businesses in general. 
  • Add a clear CTA. Make it prominent. Choose the right color, placement, and layout. Your display ad must be informative and aesthetically pleasing. 

Let RevenueHero help you with Lead Generation and Management.

Are you interested in generating more leads for your business? Of course, you are!

Then, RevenueHero can be your partner in this lead generation journey. RevenueHero is the perfect platform to automatically help you capture leads, qualify them, prioritize, and route them to the right sales reps. 

Even when you have thousands of leads flowing in, RevenueHero can help your potential leads schedule instant meetings with sales reps. 

So, contact us today to learn more about the platform and improve your lead generation.

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