10 Lead Generation Ideas that Work in 2023
Every business needs great leads. That’s more true than ever in today’s hyper-competitive business environment and increasingly volatile economy. Without fresh, qualified leads, even the most dynamic sales teams are left spinning their wheels.
Gone are the days of casting a wide net and hoping for the best. It’s not just about capturing contacts anymore; it’s about fostering connections.
At Close CRM, we’ve generated hundreds of thousands of leads We've identified 10 proven strategies, backed by real-world data and insights, to elevate your lead generation efforts. From the untapped potential of LinkedIn to webinars that genuinely convert, here’s is a practical, no-nonsense blueprint for success.
1. Cut Through the Noise With Hyper-Personalized Email Outreach
We’re all flooded with emails. Inboxes are overflowing. If you're not personalizing your outreach emails, you're just adding to the noise. It's the digital equivalent of shouting into a void.
Hyper-personalized email outreach though? That's a whole different story. It's like getting a well-tailored suit instead of grabbing one off the rack. It shows you care, you understand, and you actually have something valuable for your prospects to offer. You lead with relevancy.
By customizing email copy, addressing real pain points, and speaking their language, you're showing the audience that you understand them, their goals and challenges—and most importantly, that you might be able to help them. That’s how you get cold prospects to not just open your emails, but actually respond.
There are three major ways to find data:
Intent data providers: If you have the budget, this is the fastest way to do it. Intent data providers provide organized and up-to-date customer information that’ll help you tailor your message to leads' needs in a timely manner.
Your properties: Do you have a website, a CRM, a lead form, and so on? You can get lead information by digging into data from all those places. This is especially true if you’re doing inbound sales.
General market research: Once you've identified your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), you can conduct market research to find out more about them. Although this doesn’t give you the same power of super-personalization as the first two, it’s a good place to start.
The key takeaway here is that you should be able to address your leads as if you’ve always known them and their pain points. To streamline the process, you can use cold email templates and modify them to suit each lead.
2. Generate Leads With Influencer Collaborations
The influencer economy isn’t slowing down in 2023. While this lead generation strategy isn’t particularly easy to track, and many SaaS brands tend to avoid it, collaborating with influencers in your industry can help you generate high-quality leads.
Data supports this: In 2022, Oracle found 37 percent of consumers trust social media influencers over brands. If you operate in an industry where most brands don’t partner with social media influencers, that’s 37 percent additional leverage for you right there.
Plus, these folks have already built trust and credibility with their audience, so a recommendation from them can do wonders for your lead generation. For a successful partnership with an influencer, take these steps:
Define your goals: Identify the specific outcomes, such as the expected number of leads, what actions you want them to take, and where you want them, e.g., social media or your website. This will help you find the right influencer.
Identify relevant influencers: When choosing influencers, look for one whose audience aligns with your target market. The influencer's niche, content style, engagement rate, and overall reach are the specific factors you need to consider.
You can use audience research or influencer marketing platforms like SparkToro and Modash to find and evaluate potential influencers to partner with.
Build relationships first: Start by following and engaging with the influencers you want to collaborate with. Like, comment, and share their content to establish a connection. That's how you gradually build rapport and make it easy for them to receive your collaboration request.
Craft a compelling proposal: Once you've built a rapport, approach the influencers with a well-thought-out collaboration proposal. Highlight how the collaboration will benefit them and their audience. Make sure your proposal is personalized, concise, and showcases what you aim to achieve.
3. Tap the Lead Goldmine of LinkedIn Prospecting
If your business is B2B, LinkedIn is the most important social media platform for your lead generation efforts. 89 percent of B2B marketers say they’re using it, and the vast majority consider it effective.
For obvious reasons, prospecting on LinkedIn is a tried-and-true strategy that still works. But it’s not about spamming potential leads; it's about building genuine connections. To get leads on LinkedIn, here are some steps to take:
Optimize your LinkedIn profile: If a lead is going to trust you, they're going to start by looking at your LinkedIn profile, so you should do this first. Use a compelling profile picture and a strong header, highlight your expertise and experience, and invite visitors to talk to you.
Utilize Linkedin lead generation features: LinkedIn offers several lead generation features like sponsored content, lead gen forms, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. These are paid tools, but they are effective if you want to capture leads quickly.
Offer lead magnets: Create valuable resources such as e-books, whitepapers, or webinars and offer them as lead magnets. Direct interested prospects to a landing page where they can provide their contact information in exchange for the resource.
Create valuable content: Regularly write helpful posts on LinkedIn. This is how you build authority and trust and attract potential leads to your page.
4. Demonstrate Value Upfront With High-Quality Web
Webinars continue to be an excellent lead-generation tool. Why? Because they offer an opportunity to establish credibility and let potential leads know you truly know your onions.
However, don’t make them a boring sales pitch. Instead, provide actionable advice that leaves your audience gasping for more. You could also invite industry experts and engage with your audience through Q&As.
And this all begins by making your webinars a must-attend event. Here are our recommendations on how to make the most of webinars for lead generation.
Promote your webinar on social media: Create compelling posts on your social media pages and in relevant groups to announce your upcoming webinar. Highlight the key benefits and value that participants will gain by attending.
Include a call-to-action (CTA) directing interested individuals to register for the webinar.
Share teaser content: Promote your webinar by sharing teaser content related to the webinar's topic on social media. You can use short video snippets, written posts, or images that give a glimpse into the value participants can expect.
Include a CTA to register for the full webinar to learn more.
Offer exclusive content or resources: To turn your webinar participants into leads, provide valuable and exclusive content they can't get elsewhere. Offer additional resources like downloadable guides, checklists, or templates.
To access these resources, participants will need to provide their contact information, which will allow you to reach out to them later.
Follow up with attendees: After the webinar, reach out to attendees via email. Express gratitude for their participation and provide the additional resources promised during the session.
Encourage them to reach out if they need any assistance. This opens the door for further conversations that can lead to sales.
5. Engage, Then Convert Through Interactive Content
Interactive content is known for its virality and high engagement rate. One study by Demand Gen shows it gets twice as much engagement as static content.
It engages your audience, keeps them on your website longer, and can help you gather insights about your potential leads. These are some types of interactive content and how they can drive leads:
Quizzes and assessments: Create quizzes or assessments that allow users to answer questions and receive personalized results or recommendations based on their responses. To generate leads, require users to provide their contact information before receiving their results.
Interactive infographics: Transform static infographics into interactive experiences by allowing users to explore different sections, hover over data points for more information, or interact with elements. Interactive infographics can provide an engaging visual experience and allow users to delve deeper into the content.
Include lead generation forms within or after the interactive infographic to capture user information.
Surveys and polls: Conduct interactive surveys or polls to gather user opinions, preferences, or feedback. Surveys can be used to collect valuable data and insights while providing users with a sense of participation.
Include a lead capture form at the end of the survey or offer incentives for completing it to generate leads.
6. Leverage Strategic Networking at Virtual Events
Virtual events have increased since the pandemic and show no signs of stopping. Attending these events is a fantastic opportunity to network and generate leads without leaving your office.
However, this isn't as straightforward as it is in real-life events. This is how you can go about it:
Get attention by actively participating: Participate actively by asking insightful questions or sharing your expertise in the chat. This will help you grab the attention of other attendees and position yourself as a knowledgeable professional, which is the first step in opening a conversation with them.
Follow up after the event: By making meaningful contributions during the virtual event, you’ve already taken a step towards familiarizing yourself with potential leads. Now, take advantage of that by following up and connecting with other participants.
Even if you didn’t talk at the event, you could still kick off a conversation with other participants who spoke by using their topic and expertise to start a conversation.
Host virtual gatherings: Consider organizing your own virtual gatherings, such as a Q&A session or an informal networking event. Collaborate with other like-minded individuals or companies to co-host the event and expand your reach.
This will give you a platform to engage with potential leads in a more relaxed and interactive setting.
7. Reach a Wider Audience with Podcasting
Right now, there are over five million podcasts in the world, serving an estimated 460 million listeners. Research also shows that most of these listeners are young people between the ages of 18 and 34. That’s a huge lead goldmine.
Consider starting a podcast in your niche or being a guest on other podcasts. Either way, the key is to provide value, share your expertise, and draw in potential leads. With enough valuable and helpful tips, your leads will come looking for you to learn more about what you have to offer.
There are many things you can do on podcast shows to bolster your chances of getting leads, including:
Sharing personal stories and experiences: Opening up and sharing personal stories or experiences during the podcast creates a sense of authenticity and connection with your listeners.
When they feel a personal connection with you, they are more likely to reach out to share their own stories, seek advice, or express their appreciation.
Requesting feedback and questions: Ask your listeners to share their thoughts, questions, or feedback about the episode. Encourage them to reach out via email, social media, or a dedicated feedback form on your website, and let them know you value their input and are open to engaging with them.
Prompting engagement on social media: Actively engage with your audience on social media platforms where you promote your podcast. Respond to comments, start conversations, and ask thought-provoking questions related to the episode.
Encourage listeners to share their opinions, experiences, or takeaways. When they see your active engagement, they are more likely to feel comfortable contacting you.
8. Run Retargeting Campaigns to Stay Top of Mind
On average it takes around six to eight touchpoints before a customer decides to purchase from you. Have some people visited your website but didn't take any action? They're not lost causes. Retarget them online to remind them about your product or service.
This strategy puts your brand back in front of these potential leads, increasing the chances of conversion. The ads should be meant to be gentle reminders or a gentle nudge in the right direction, not a direct call to purchase. Google Ads, Facebook, AdRoll, and LinkedIn all offer ad retargeting.
9. Harness the Power of Referral Programs
Never underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned referral. People trust their friends, family, and acquaintances more than they trust advertisements. Referrals have been, and will for a long time, remain one of the most powerful lead generation strategies.
What could you be doing to generate more leads from referrals? Are you asking customers when you interact with them in person for referrals? Do you follow up with them if you did? Do have CTAs in your email marketing campaigns to elicit referrals? Do you reward and incentivize people who want to refer your offer to their network?
It’s very rare that I come across a business which really taps into the full potential of referral marketing—set aside half a day to brainstorm and implement referral marketing ideas, they’re a low-cost way to generate high-quality leads.
10. Be There 24/7 Without Losing Sleep With Chatbots and AI Assistants
It’s the age of AI, and customer expectations for immediacy are at an all-time high. People expect quick responses, even when your sales team is asleep or out to lunch. Enter chatbots and AI assistants.
These smart tools are no longer clumsy and completely impersonal. They've evolved to the point where they can provide meaningful interactions and generate leads in real time. Use them to qualify leads, book meetings, or answer product questions instantly.
Companies that implement chatbots intelligently can see a significant increase in leads generated. But understand their limitations too: we’ve all had cringeworthy interactions with chatbots that wasted our time without being helpful, and those tarnish the brand’s reputation.
Monitor the performance of your chatbots continuously and ensure that prospects have the kind of experience you want them to have with your company.
Gain More Leads with Our Effective Lead Generation Strategy
You’ve made it all the way to the end of this article. The worst thing you could do now is to do nothing and go about your day—you won’t generate leads this way. The second worst thing would be to try and implement all of these strategies at once, but do none of them well.
Here’s what you should do instead: Assess which of these lead generation ideas is most promising for your business right now. And then put it to the test.
start experimenting with the idea, learn, optimize, and only once you’ve either established it as a successful lead generation channel (or determined that you can’t make it work for your business currently), then do you move on to the next idea.
Remember, lead generation is not a one-size-fits-all approach; it's a dynamic tapestry woven from data, insights, creativity, and genuine interactions. Each strategy presented in this article is a thread, ready to be woven into the fabric of your unique brand story. If you go about it this way, you’ll build a lead generation strategy that sustainably grows your business.