In the old world of information scarcity, the concept of “lead generation” meant marketing found the names of potential buyers and passed them to sales. Buyers expected that they would have to talk to sales and sales expected to speak to uneducated early stage buyers that may not yet be qualified. This has all changed. Today, buyers can do their own research online and can find a variety of educational resources through search engines, social media, and other online channels. Through content resources, today’s buyer can learn a great deal about a product or service before ever having to even speak to a sales person.  So businesses must make sure that they build their digital presence.
With the new buyer it is important to note that your marketing efforts don’t end once a new lead comes into your system – what we call Top of the Funnel (TOFU) marketing.  Many companies do a good job at generating leads, but the problem is that most new leads are not ready to buy yet.  And if a sales rep does engage and the lead isn’t ready to talk with them, it reinforces the notion that marketing sourced leads are not great. As a result leads get lost, ignored, or snatched up by your competitors.
Use direct mail to entice customers. Direct mail still works for a variety of businesses. You can purchase a mailing list that fits certain specifications, such as neighborhood or income level, and send your mailing to these people. Be sure to target demographics that fit your product. The more targeted your mailing is, the greater likelihood you will receive interested leads.

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Set up an email auto-responder. To sign up for an auto-responder, potential customers simply enter their email address. There are various types of auto-responder services that vary in complexity, and some are geared specifically toward generating leads. Types include welcome emails, responses based on specific online activities, and product recommendations.[1]
Tried and true networking is another key to sales lead generation. It may not be surprising to discover that many people prefer in-person meetings at conferences because it gives them the opportunity to read body language and facial expressions. Overall, aim to be where your prospective clients are. Join organizations that your potential clients will most likely join, and also make an effort to attend the conferences they attend. This puts you in the right place to interact with a large pool of prospects.

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There’s a good chance that as a gym owner, you’re sending out quite a few emails per day. Some are going to business partners, but a fair share are probably being sent to prospective new gym members who have emailed you with a question about you facility. Why not put your email signature to use and start getting gym leads from your sent emails. In the picture above, a FitnessTexter client added their texting keyword to their email signature. You can see it below his name and business title. Every email they sent included their texting code and they were able to generate more gym membership leads. You might not realize it, but your email signature can be very effective sales tool. Make sure it includes all your necessary business contact info, along with your texting keyword. You’ll start to generate leads that you didn’t think were possible.
Once you have a good mix of high-value content, including visual content, start promoting it on social channels. The more engagement you get, the more Google considers your content to be of high value, which in turn boosts your SEO rankings. Search engines look for natural links, so the more informative your content is, the more likely people will link to it naturally.

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No worries. There are several tools, such as Leadpages, available that make the creation of high-performing webpages as easy as writing an email. Leadpages enables you to quickly create and publish web pages based on a proven formula of success. Their extensive marketplace and library of page templates help even the biggest novice convert more leads.

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Not all of your site visitors are ready to talk to your sales team or see a demo of your product. Someone at the beginning of the buyer's journey might be interested in an informational piece like an ebook or a guide, whereas someone who's more familiar with your company and near the bottom of the journey might be more interested in a free trial or demo.

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Lead scoring is a shared sales and marketing methodology for ranking leads in order to determine their sales-readiness. You score leads based on the interest they show in your business, their current in the buying cycle, and their fit in regards to your business. Lead scoring helps companies know whether prospects need to be fast-tracked to sales or developed with lead nurturing. Lead scoring is essential to strengthening your revenue cycle, effectively drive more ROI, and align sales and marketing.

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You may think direct mail is a thing of the past. But it’s still effective for targeted communications. Consider a content asset developed for high-level executives. Executives don’t usually browse the web for information. And it can be hard to get through to them via email. That means they may not come across the content you’ve developed with them in mind. This is where direct mail can prove powerful. You could send a direct mail piece to this audience to make them aware of your new, targeted content asset.  Direct mail also gives you a chance to grab the attention of a hot prospect by being creative and interesting with your message and presentation.
Don’t use a simple word processing document. You might be more familiar with using a word processing platform or spreadsheet, but a dedicated survey tool is better. Consider using one such as Constant Contact or SurveyMonkey that aggregates results for you.[5] These tools also have helpful features and types of surveys and questions that you might not have thought about.
Once a lead is a part of your lead management system or email list, it is important to continually nurture them to ensure they move through the sales funnel when the time is right or to encourage another purchase. Retaining their interest in being part of your email list is vital. It’s time to work to build this lead into a long-term relationship that involves both trust and loyalty with your business.

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The first step of lead generation is identifying your target audience. You can't successfully reach and sell to your ideal customer if you don't know exactly who that is, so it's important to research your audience and come up with a clear picture of who they are, where they live, what they like to do, how much money they make, what their lifestyle and personality is like, etc.
Cost per click advertising (e.g. AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing) overcomes this problem by charging advertisers only when the consumer clicks on the advertisement. However, due to increased competition, search keywords have become very expensive. A 2007 Doubleclick Performics Search trends report shows that there were nearly six times as many keywords with a cost per click (CPC) of more than $1 in January 2007 than the prior year. The cost per keyword increased by 33% and the cost per click rose by as much as 55%.

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Coupon: Unlike the job application, you probably know very little about someone who has stumbled upon one of your online coupons. But if they find the coupon valuable enough, they may be willing to provide their name and email address in exchange for it. Although it's not a lot of information, it's enough for a business to know that someone has interest in their company.

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