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Inbound lead generation: 6 effective strategies

Inbound lead generation: entrepreneur using a laptop

Key takeaways

  • Inbound lead generation techniques attract potential customers who want your company to reach out to them
  • High-quality content like newsletters, blog posts, and lead magnets give your target market incentives to connect with your brand
  • Leverage your Yelp Business Page and offer consultations or product demos to give consumers the brand-specific information they’re looking for

Many marketing teams are pivoting toward inbound lead generation to win new sales prospects and away from old-school outbound marketing strategies, like TV ads and cold calls, which can be costly and time-intensive.

Inbound marketing, when done effectively, won’t feel like marketing to your target audience members at all. Instead, it can help you win leads that actually want to hear from your brand and ultimately might become paying customers. Here’s what you need to know about inbound lead generation and the best strategies to use.

What is inbound lead generation?

Inbound lead generation (or inbound lead gen) is a marketing strategy by which businesses offer high-quality content and experiences to attract potential customers. With this method, these types of potential customers (known as inbound sales leads) initiate the first point of contact with your brand—for instance, by subscribing to your newsletter or filling out a contact form on your website—before you send them any marketing materials.

Inbound lead generation is the antithesis of outbound lead generation, which involves pushing messages to consumers before they show any interest. While outbound marketing techniques (like cold calling) can feel disruptive, inbound marketing can feel like a natural and valuable part of the buying process.

6 inbound lead generation strategies

Most inbound lead generation campaigns involve creating helpful content and enticing offers your target market can’t resist. When your marketing efforts create high-value customer experiences, your brand can quickly stand out from the crowd. 

These six inbound marketing strategies can help you attract the most relevant consumers and start generating inbound leads.

1. Create a valuable email newsletter

Inbound lead generation: man using a laptop

Nearly half of B2B marketers (those who sell products or services to other businesses) agree that email marketing is the best tactic for generating quality leads. When people actively sign up for your email list, they typically want to hear from your brand regarding helpful content and offers. As a result, you can generate inbound leads who might be close to making a purchase.

Creating a weekly or monthly email newsletter that offers useful tips and insights for potential customers is an effective way to build your email list. For example, an auto mechanic can offer a newsletter packed with car maintenance tips and seasonal discounts.

After creating a plan for your email newsletter, promote it on your marketing channels, including your website and social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. Be sure to include a call to action (CTA) like “sign up here” that directs potential customers to your email opt-in form.

2. Offer lead magnets on your website

To turn your website into a hub for generating inbound leads, you’ll want to offer your visitors an incentive for providing their contact information. These incentives—called lead magnets—can include discounts, instant quotes, and any piece of content (like webinars, whitepapers, case studies, or e-books) that adds value to a potential customer’s life.

Think about what information your clients might be looking for while researching products or services like yours. For instance, a mortgage company could attract real estate investors by offering a whitepaper on market trends and expected changes in future mortgage rates.

Once you create your first lead magnet, make it highly visible on your website. Share it alongside an eye-catching lead capture form or as a part of a pop-up that encourages website visitors to submit their contact information.

3. Optimize your online business profiles

Generating inbound leads who are ready to make a purchase is all about offering clear information about your business, product, and service, and making the buying process as seamless as possible, wherever they may find you. 

For example, adding or claiming your Yelp Business Page helps give shoppers confidence in your brand by adding to your active online presence and sharing up-to-date information they can rely on. Start by updating your business information, including your business hours, contact information, website, and location or service area. You can also upload images that show customers your high-quality work or products. This can help shoppers weigh your business against competitors while giving them a reason to lean toward your brand.

To win inbound leads even faster, take advantage of the Request a Quote feature, which appears as a call-to-action button on your Yelp Page. Interested users can tap to request a quote, appointment, or more information (depending on your industry), which prompts them to submit their contact information and details about their needs. You can turn on real-time notifications on the site or app to ensure you’re made immediately aware of new leads and can follow up with them promptly.

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4. Offer product demos or consultations

Entrepreneur having a video call

Shoppers can often benefit from a one-on-one discussion about your product or service, especially if you’re in a technical industry or they’re unfamiliar with the solutions you offer. For instance, if a B2B company sells all-in-one software for sales teams, their customers might be interested in a walkthrough that lets them visualize the product and ask questions in real time. This can be much more beneficial and time-effective for consumers than listening to a podcast or reading a whitepaper.

You can start driving inbound leads to your business by promoting product demos or consultations on your marketing channels. Add CTAs to your marketing campaigns that direct people to your appointment scheduling software, like Calendly or Acuity, so they can pick a time to meet with a sales rep.

Keep in mind that one-on-one meetings are best for brands with high-ticket products or services since your time spent with customers can affect your bottom line. However, if your customer lifetime value—the average amount people spend throughout their relationship with your brand—is high, it can be a valuable part of your inbound lead generation process.

5. Build targeted landing pages

Landing pages are standalone web pages designed to turn visitors into leads. Typically, they’re built with a specific target audience and their needs in mind. As an example, a plastic surgeon could make separate landing pages for people searching for brow lifts, buccal fat removal, and Botox.

First, list out the different buyer personas and market segments you serve. These segments can share a specific need or simply come from the same city or ZIP code. Then, build out landing pages that offer the information each unique segment is looking for, like pricing and benefits specific to each plastic surgery service. Each landing page should also include a relevant CTA—such as “learn more” or “book your first appointment”—that encourages readers to take the next step, even if that’s just providing their contact information.

If you want inbound leads to naturally find your landing pages during the buyer’s journey, use search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to make them more visible on search engine results pages (SERPs). For example, you can use a keyword research tool to find highly relevant words or phrases—like “Miami brow lifts” or “best Botox services”—that people are searching for. Include these keywords in your content to tell search engines which SERPs your landing pages should rank higher on.

6. Write high-quality blog posts

To increase brand visibility on search engines—and become even more valuable to consumers—consider implementing blog posts in your content marketing strategy. High-quality blog posts can give potential leads in-depth answers to the questions they might have. By proving your business’s expertise, you can build trust and nudge shoppers to buy from you—or reach out to request more information if they aren’t ready to buy.

To understand what your target market wants to know, do keyword research, looking for long-tail keywords you can focus on. For instance, a nail salon may find that a lot of potential leads are searching for “gel vs. acrylic nails” or “how much is a fill for dip powder nails.” When you create valuable content that answers these queries—and includes these keywords—your business can show up on search engines throughout your customers’ research process.

You can also include a lead capture form at the end of every blog post to gather user information and generate inbound leads more effectively.

Start generating inbound leads faster

Inbound lead generation is an effective way for brands to win highly engaged sales leads who are likely to buy. Inbound marketing—which can include email newsletters, product demos, business listings, and blog posts—is customer-centric and gives shoppers the information they want and need. This can make your business feel more valuable, which drives leads to voluntarily initiate more interactions with you.

As you start generating inbound leads, learn more about the sales funnel—the journey buyers go through before making a purchase decision—to understand how you can enhance your lead nurturing process and get more customers to buy.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.