19 Lead Generation Strategies That Work for Small Businesses


85% of businesses say lead generation is their most important marketing goal. Yet, 79% of leads don’t convert. 

This means generating reliable, quality leads are one of the biggest challenges businesses face.

If you want to boost your sales and grow your customer base, you need to start by generating the right leads.

To help you do this the right way, this guide unpacks 20 powerful lead-generation strategies that your business can use. When done right, these lead-generation tactics can help you achieve major results.

Whether you’re a startup or an established company, these proven tactics will help you capture the attention of your target audience, generate high-quality leads, and ultimately skyrocket your revenue. 

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation refers to identifying and attracting potential customers, known as leads, for your business. 

It involves implementing various strategies and tactics to capture the interest and contact information of people who have shown an interest in your products or services. The ultimate goal of lead generation is to convert these leads into paying customers and drive business growth (which you do at the bottom of the funnel). 

Lead generation covers various activities, including marketing campaigns, content creation, social media engagement, email marketing, and more, all aimed at nurturing relationships with potential customers and guiding them through the sales funnel.

19 Lead Generation Strategies

As we said, there are many effective lead-generation strategies you can use. 

Here are 20 successful lead-generation strategies that can apply to practically any business. 

1. Create Plenty Of Opt-In Opportunities

Boost your lead generation efforts by creating numerous irresistible opt-in opportunities. 

Don’t limit yourself to just one or two opt-ins; think bigger. 

Transform every blog post into a potential opt-in page, providing various enticing options. Offer valuable resources like webinars, free reports, live demos, recipes, downloadable PDFs of your blog posts, useful worksheets, and comprehensive resource guides.

Take the opt-in box from the sidebar and make it more prominent with a pop-up. By doing so, you compel users to make a decision. It’s no longer a passive choice—they must actively decide whether they want to seize the opportunity. 

When the option is just sitting in the sidebar, it’s easy for users to ignore or dismiss it. But with a pop-up, they’re prompted to take action and consider your value.

So, while you can’t force people to say yes, you can make it harder for them to say no. By eliminating the easy way out, you encourage users to seriously consider the value you’re providing and the benefits they’ll gain by opting in.

lead generation popup

2. Unleash the Power of Email Marketing for Lead Generation

Email remains a highly effective strategy for generating leads. 

Surprisingly, 42% of organizations consider email marketing their most impactful lead-generation channel. 

To implement an effective email marketing campaign, you can offer a valuable free download in exchange for an email address, then follow up with a warm welcome email. From there, you can nurture your subscribers through a drip campaign, gradually showcasing the value of your product or service. As their interest grows, these subscribers can evolve into qualified leads ready to convert.

3. Always Test

Receiving valuable advice is great, but assuming it will work equally well for you is risky. Don’t dismiss good advice, but remember the importance of testing to determine its effectiveness for your situation.

Even when you think you don’t need to, make it a habit to conduct split tests. Sometimes, the results among your audience might surprise you and go against your intuition. 

Apart from testing words and perspective, there are other elements to consider. Test the immediacy of your message, the level of concreteness, the impact of different images, and more. Split test components such as your headline, button copy, and background image to see which combinations yield the best results.

Remember, testing allows you to gather valuable data and insights that will guide your decision-making. You can optimize your strategies and achieve higher conversions by continuously experimenting and analyzing the results.

4. Use Sales Intelligence

In today’s B2B landscape, it’s crucial to focus on strategies that are relevant to your customers. The goal is to generate lead lists consisting of decision-makers from your target accounts. To accomplish this effectively, sales intelligence tools come into play.

But how do they work?

Sales intelligence technology constantly scans publicly available websites, gathering valuable B2B data. This data is then compared and matched with existing profiles in the tool’s database, ensuring that your historical customer information remains up-to-date and accurate.

You gain a competitive edge in lead generation by utilizing sales intelligence tools.

These tools provide you with the insights and information necessary to identify and connect with the right decision-makers within your target accounts. With fresh and accurate data at your disposal, you can tailor your sales approach, improve your targeting, and increase your chances of successful conversions.

Embracing sales intelligence technology enables you to stay ahead of the game in the ever-evolving B2B landscape. It empowers you to make informed decisions, build stronger relationships with your prospects, and ultimately drive your business toward greater success.

5. Keep Your Lead Gen Forms Simple

Are you curious about the most effective lead generation strategy online? Here it is—keep your sign-up form short and collect only the essential information.

Think about it from the user’s point of view. Nearly half of your website visitors are accessing it through mobile devices, and they’re often on the go. Therefore, it’s crucial not to deter them with a lengthy lead form that overwhelms their small screens.

Instead, focus on gathering the key details you need to initiate meaningful contact. You can always leverage advanced contextual data points and mobile numbers later on to fill in any missing gaps.

By prioritizing simplicity and convenience, you create a frictionless experience for your users. This increases the likelihood of them willingly sharing their information, leading to a higher volume of quality leads for your business.

6. Use Competitor Analysis and SEO for Targeted Lead Generation

In the realm of online lead generation, utilizing competitor analysis and search engine optimization (SEO) can yield exceptional results in attracting targeted leads.

The key lies in understanding the significant benefits of these strategies and their ability to deliver a high return on investment (ROI) while keeping customer acquisition costs low.

To start an effective SEO lead generation journey, keyword research takes the spotlight. It serves as your pathway to generating targeted leads and improving the lead-to-sales conversion rate. 

Begin by exploring broad topic ideas relevant to your business using powerful tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. These tools provide you with long-tail keywords, consisting of three to five words, which offer greater specificity and enable precise targeting of your ideal customers.

However, examining and analyzing your competitors’ approach is crucial to elevate your SEO lead generation strategies. You gain valuable insights into the market dynamics by studying their focus areas and content that resonates with their audience. T

his knowledge helps you refine your tactics and enables you to predict key performance indicators (KPIs) more accurately. By measuring the success of your lead generation efforts compared to your competitors, you can also gauge your performance and make informed adjustments.

Combining competitor analysis with a robust SEO strategy allows you to position yourself for targeted lead generation. This approach allows you to optimize your content, leverage the right keywords, and outperform your competition. As a result, you can attract highly relevant leads who are more likely to convert into satisfied customers.

7. Enhance the Sales Funnel with Search Intent

By leveraging search intent, you can revolutionize the traditional sales process and make it more efficient.

Typically, the sales funnel consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and conversion. However, by carefully analyzing the intent behind the keywords used in your lead generation campaigns, you can potentially skip the initial stages altogether.

The key lies in categorizing the phrases from your keyword research into three groups: informational, navigational, and transactional. 

Instead of focusing on generic keywords that merely create awareness or foster consideration, direct your attention toward those that indicate the prospect’s intention to make a purchase. These keywords hold the power to generate qualified leads, bringing prospects directly to the bottom of the funnel where they are ready to become paying customers.

By understanding and catering to the intent behind user searches, you can reshape your sales funnel and optimize your lead generation efforts. This targeted approach ensures that your resources are efficiently utilized, allowing you to focus on prospects already primed to purchase.

search intent marketing funnel


8. Fast Track Your Lead Generation with Paid Media Campaigns

When it comes to swiftly promoting your content and gaining exposure, launching paid media campaigns is a top-notch lead-generation strategy. 

Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google offer sponsored updates, Facebook ads, and pay-per-click ads to help you achieve quick results.

However, the key to running a successful lead generation campaign lies in mastering the technical aspects of these channels. A small mistake, such as inserting an incorrect link, can result in wasted money and a lack of return on investment. 

Remember, user experience is paramount, as a staggering 76% of customers will abandon a company after encountering just one poor experience. Broken links, slow-loading images, or videos can frustrate users and negatively impact your campaign’s performance.

By harnessing the power of paid media campaigns and ensuring a seamless user experience, you can accelerate your lead generation efforts and achieve impressive results. Prioritize technical precision, optimize your content, and witness the influx of quality leads that will propel your business forward.

9. Boost Conversions with Retargeting and Remarketing

It’s time to leverage the power of retargeting and remarketing campaigns to engage leads who are highly likely to convert effectively. 

These strategic lead-generation techniques primarily utilize paid ads, targeting prospects who have previously interacted with your website or social media profiles.

What makes retargeting campaigns even more powerful is their ability to refine and narrow down your audience based on the results of your initial campaign. By fine-tuning your targeting parameters, you can ensure that your ads reach the most relevant and interested prospects, increasing the likelihood of conversions.

These campaigns also offer an opportunity to discover new business leads who share similar characteristics with your existing customers. Platforms like Facebook and Google provide tools like Lookalike Audience and Audience Expansion, allowing you to tap into a broader pool of potential customers with similar profiles.

To further maximize your reach and response rates, consider utilizing various methods for remarketing, including email and SMS marketing. Statistics show that SMS marketing boasts an impressive average response rate of 45%, surpassing the 20% email open rate and the mere 2% click-through rate on email links.

10. Diversify Your Advertising Channels

It’s time to explore advertising avenues beyond Google and Facebook to uncover the highest-quality leads and expand your market share. 

With the emergence of niche-specific advertising platforms, you can tap into new audiences and maximize your lead-generation efforts.

Start by conducting thorough research within your niche to identify alternative platforms your target audience frequents. Use your common sense to strike the right balance—avoid overly niche platforms, but also recognize the potential reach of platforms you may initially overlook. 

Embrace experimentation and test these platforms to gauge their effectiveness for your lead generation goals.

Once you’ve selected a few alternative platforms, run ads and closely monitor key lead generation metrics such as clicks and impressions. Compare these results against your standard marketing campaigns to determine which platforms yield better outcomes. 

With this data-driven approach, you can optimize your new lead generation techniques to drive a higher return on investment.

11. Supercharge Your Lead Generation with AI and Automation

It’s time to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to take your lead generation strategies to new heights. 

Integrating chatbots and virtual assistants into your lead-generation efforts enhance customer engagement and nurtures leads effectively. AI technology enables you to match leads with the most suitable agent based on their interaction history with your website, providing personalized assistance and improving conversion rates.

By leveraging AI and automation, you can tap into the potential of your existing assets. Connect bots with CRM systems and utilize machine learning to integrate with essential business apps like Slack, Google Analytics, or email automation software. You can analyze the collected data through AI algorithms and gain valuable insights into your leads’ origin and distinctive characteristics.

12. Elevate Engagement with Personalized Demos and Presentations

While incorporating AI into your lead generation strategies can be beneficial, exercising caution and avoiding premature automation is important. 

Rushing into automation can create a gap between your business and potential leads, hindering your marketing targets.

To bridge this gap and foster stronger connections, it’s crucial to prioritize a more personalized user experience. One effective approach is to offer live demos and presentations to your prospects. 

Engaging in real-time conversations directly allows you to understand their interests, concerns, and preferences. By gathering this valuable feedback, you can address any content gaps or product improvements, enhancing the overall quality of your offerings.

13. Harness the Power of Video Marketing for Expanded Reach

To maximize the impact of your lead generation efforts, it’s important to incorporate video marketing into your strategy. 

Platforms like YouTube offer more than just a place to share videos – they serve as search engines where users actively seek out content with specific intentions.

Don’t worry about amassing a large number of subscribers right away. Instead, optimize your video content to rank on search engines like Google. Incorporating relevant hashtags can also enhance the social aspect of your campaigns, further expanding your reach and attracting potential leads. 

Embrace the power of video marketing to captivate your audience and propel your lead-generation efforts to new heights.

14. Tap into Your Business Network for Effective Lead Generation

One of the most powerful ways to generate quality leads is by leveraging your business network. 

By cultivating relationships with partners and salespeople who align with your product, you can tap into their credibility to promote your brand effectively.

Rather than engaging with random individuals, focus on connecting with industry experts who can genuinely endorse your product. These experts possess the knowledge and authority to explain how your offering benefits potential customers, providing authentic and trustworthy recommendations.

This strategy holds immense potential as people are more inclined to purchase based on trusted sources’ recommendations. 

15. Maximize Visibility with a Strategic Social Media Approach

Creating a well-defined strategy for social media is crucial to boost your lead-generation efforts. 

The approach may vary depending on your company’s goals and growth stage. Startups may focus on increasing visibility and awareness, while more established businesses with multiple sales objectives face a slightly more complex landscape.

Before creating content, establish clear sales objectives and align your marketing efforts accordingly. Determine your aim and equip yourself with the tools and processes to execute your strategy effectively. 

Remember, being active and engaging on social media is key—consistently share valuable content to stay connected with your audience.

16. Boost Engagement with Interactive Content and Gamification

If you want to captivate your audience and drive them towards becoming leads, consider incorporating interactive content and gamification into your lead generation strategies. 

People are naturally inclined to be social and enjoy competition, so leveraging gaming elements can be a powerful way to engage prospects and guide them through the sales funnel.

By integrating gamification, you can make actions like email signups a requirement for participation. For example, you could implement a wheel of fortune on your website or create a fun test that matches participants with a product or service. 

You could also enhance landing pages by incorporating gaming mechanisms. Rather than placing premium content behind a form, consider placing the lead generation form after prospects have played a game. 

Once invested in the experience, they are more likely to provide their contact details.

17. Gain an Edge with Gmail Ads Targeting Competitors

If you’re looking for a clever tactic to generate many leads while leaving your competitors behind, consider the power of Gmail Ads. These ads offer a prime opportunity to engage with your target audience directly.

There’s often no audience more valuable than your competitors’ customers. With Gmail Ads, you can strategically tailor your Ads campaign to exclusively reach individuals receiving emails from your competitors, granting you direct access to users familiar with similar products.

There are a couple of effective approaches to achieve this. One method is targeting specific keywords that your competitors will likely use. By signing up for your competitor’s email lists and taking note of the common words and phrases they employ, you can add them as target keywords in your campaign. A more precise strategy involves targeting your competitors’ domains.

18. Boost Lead Generation with Engaging Live Chat

Live chat is a powerful tool to engage visitors to your website and drive lead generation. 

When potential customers land on your site, they often have questions and concerns before purchasing. 

You can connect with them in real time by offering live chat support, addressing their queries, and capturing their interest. 

This approach ensures visitors don’t leave without providing their information, increasing the chances of converting them into leads. 

Customers also appreciate the convenience of immediate assistance. In fact, 63% of respondents stated that they are more likely to return to a website that offers live chat, and 38% said they made a purchase as a direct result of a chat session.

Leveraging chatbots further enhances lead generation. With proactive chat rules, a chat widget pops up at the most opportune moments, prompting visitors to ask questions or seek more information. 

By automating workflows, you can seamlessly collect contact details, assign leads to your sales team, and send welcome emails—all in one go. 

19. Boost Lead Generation with Referral Programs

One of the most effective ways to generate high-value leads is by leveraging your existing customer base through referral programs. 

Your satisfied customers, who already know and love your product, can become valuable advocates and recommend your offering to their network. Instead of relying solely on their initiative, make it effortless and rewarding for them to refer others by implementing a referral program. 

This program can include click-to-share links, timely requests, and incentives such as discounts or monetary rewards for every new customer they bring in.

78% of B2B marketers achieve good or excellent quality leads through referrals, and more than half of them find that referral programs offer a lower cost-per-lead compared to other channels.



In a competitive business landscape, staying ahead of the curve is essential for sustainable growth. With these lead-generation strategies at your disposal, you have the power to transform your business and outshine your competitors. 

By implementing these proven tactics, you’re equipping yourself with the tools and knowledge to tackle that challenge head-on. So, don’t wait any longer. Start implementing these strategies today and witness their remarkable impact on your lead-generation efforts.

Of course, to make all of this possible, you’ll need to have the right lead-generation tools available. Propel IQ is a next-level marketing and sales platform that includes all the lead-generation tools your business needs. Beyond this, the platform also includes everything you need to engage with leads, automate processes, and convert leads into customers. See how it can grow your business