According to Napoleon, an army marches on its stomach. Business doesn’t march, but it does need to be fed – with a rich supply of well targeted leads. Four of my favourite lead generation ideas follow…

Bring out your dead
Article Marketing
Twitter
Problem solving

Bring out your Dead:

Most businesses have a large number of former leads in their database. These are people or companies that have responded to marketing initiatives in the past, but didn’t buy. As a result, they sit there in the database unloved and unremembered.

The fact is, they’re a rich source of leads and you probably already know a lot about them. For example, you should know what they responded to. And what happened once they arrived at your site. You may even know why they said ‘no’ to the last marketing effort.

These leads aren’t dead, and it’s important to view them as unrealised opportunities. Whatever you were offering wasn’t compelling enough at the time. Perhaps it is now? Or perhaps you’ve since developed a more exciting offer.¬†Either way, I’ve found ‘old’ leads are a surprisingly rich source of new business.

Article Marketing:

A topical article will attract a certain type of person. Such a person is able to read (obviously), interested in the topic in question, and willing to actively seek out information about it on the Internet.

No matter what your product or service, you can promote it via article marketing. Of course, the article has to be interesting. That means it can’t simply be a pitch for your business. This is lead generation, rather than lead conversion.

The best articles deliver genuinely useful information, and provide a link back to your site for more information. You can (if you wish to) link directly to a landing page designed to pick up where the article left off.

In addition to generating leads directly, an article can also provide SEO benefit via contextual links. This gives you an immediate and an ongoing source of leads. The more articles you write, the better you’ll do.

You needn’t limit your activity to written articles. Videos posted to sites such as You Tube can also deliver warm leads. In fact, video is an excellent way to demonstrate the benefits of a complex product. It also offers the opportunity to convey emotion far more effectively than words on a screen.

Twitter:

Twitter is a great way to pick up leads. Simply post a ‘tweet’ about your topic, and link it to a landing page on your web site. Anyone following you on Twitter will see the ‘tweet’ and can click through if they’re interested.

If your post contains useful keywords, it will also be picked up by people searching Twitter for information about that keyword. For example, many of my ‘Tweets’ deliberately include keywords such as lead generation, online marketing and SEO.

Your purpose is to send people to your site, and you don’t get a lot of text to make your case. It’s worth writing and rewriting a ‘tweet’, and make it as compelling as possible. Ideally, the landing page will pick up where the ‘tweet’ left off.

Problem Solving:

All marketing is essentially an attempt to get paid for solving a problem. One way to generate a lead, is to offer to solve a problem you know your target market has. You then link to a landing page designed to sell the solution. For example, a person who needs to know how to write ad copy (and can’t) is likely to respond to an ad like this: Can’t write ad copy that sells? I can show you how in just 7 minutes.

Normally, the page being linked to would then pick up where the ad left off, and try to convince the lead s/he really can write powerful sales copy by purchasing the seller’s product.

Most people won’t believe the seller (and who can blame them). Doubt will creep in, and spoil the deal. I’ve developed a lead generation technique that overcomes this doubt, and delivers a far higher conversion rate.

My approach is to provide a solution to the problem I offered to solve, right there on the web (free of charge, and without collecting personal contact data). The solution is delivered, and in doing so a bigger problem becomes obvious. One that requires expert advice or help to solve. I offer to provide that help, and ask if they’re interested.

If they say yes, I have the warmest leads it’s possible to generate.

Wayne Davies is a lead generation expert based in London (UK). Be the first to see his latest articles by following him on Twitter.