Lead Generation For Startups: What You Need To Know

people-coffee-tea-meeting-1-300x200  Are you SURE you’re ready to start your own business?

Because one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to go live when you haven’t created an actionable plan to generate leads.

And without new leads that you can convert into prospects that then become long-term customers, your startup will fail.

So what exactly are the best strategies for lead generation for startups? Let’s dive in and find out what you need to know.

Make An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Everyone loves free stuff.

And yes, that means that you have to be willing to make an offer, and usually one that costs people nothing.

This is especially important with a startup, however, because no one knows who you are yet, so you have to work extra hard to introduce yourself to cold prospects.

One of the most effective ways to generate leads is getting people to opt in to something that you’re offering.

That ‘thing’ doesn’t have to be your main product or service, but it does have to offer value, AND whet the appetite so that users crave more of what you’re offering.

So how do you do that?

The easiest way is to create calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website that offer things such as:

  • Free webinars
  • Free whitepapers
  • Free worksheets
  • Free resource guides
  • Free e-Books
  • Free demos

But remember, no matter what type of offer you make, it must have value, which means it absolutely must answer a question for the reader, fulfill a want or need, or solve a problem.

And as content strategist Jacob McMillen said, a great opt-in offer attracts the right people…and positions those people to purchase.

Make Your Landing Page Attractive and Easy To Navigate

Here’s what you really need to know about landing pages: clear and easy is the key.

Make your landing page uncluttered, clear and easy to navigate or visitors will lose interest and leave.

You want visitors to process information in a very short period of time, and then perform a CTA that opts them in to that free offer that we previously mentioned.

One of the biggest mistakes startups make is that they fill their landing pages with so much information, color and visuals that a visitor feels completely overwhelmed.

The reasoning behind this may seem solid, after all, the more information you provide a visitor, that visitor will want to explore, right?


The digital world is read-and-react, and the less content visitors have to read, the more likely they are to react the way you want (opt in to an offer).

And here’s another secret, your opt-in box should only contain two fields: the visitor’s name and email address.


Because the less time it takes for a visitor to perform the CTA, the more likely a visitor is to actually perform that CTA.

Implement a Retargeting Strategy

A significant majority of first –time visitors to an e-commerce site will not perform a CTA. And that’s especially true for a startup, which has far less of a digital presence than other more-established sites.

One way to offset this problem is to implement retargeting, a strategy in which you place tags or cookies on all visitors who come to your site and leave without performing a CTA.

These tags follow those visitors as they browse other websites and social media platforms, and allow you to target them with ads that can re-engage their interest.

This is an effective way to follow people who demonstrated at least a passing interest in your website by arriving at your landing page.

Your retargeting campaign can incorporate some of the same free offers from your landing page, or you can create new ads based specifically on the pages that each person visited while they were browsing your site.

And while there is several tools that can help you post retargeting ads, the biggest platforms are Google Adwords, Google Analytics, and Facebook.

These platforms let you target all visitors to your site, or only target people who visited specific pages on your site.

For example, if you use Google Analytics, you can create a retargeting list using different metrics such as focusing on length of time people spent on the site.

You could run ads only targeting people who spent 10 minutes or more on your site, if you believe that length of time is a strong indication that those users are more likely to welcome re-engagement.

The key thing to remember is that you must cap the number of times a user sees your retargeting ad so that you don’t turn them off.

And you must also set goals so that you can measure the effectiveness of your retargeting campaign. For example, is your key performance indicator (KPI) increased number of visitors? Increased conversions?

So make sure that you leave room in your marketing budget for retargeting, as this can not only help draw past visitors back to your site, but can also help keep your company top-of-mind.

Keep Your Eye On the Prize

Your startup will suffer through some ups and downs, but if you keep your eye firmly on the prize of customer acquisition, all your strategies will fall in line. Some startups make the mistake of obsessing about branding at the expense of generating leads. But as marketing guru Matt Heinz stated, “if you can’t drive revenue and grow the business, that brand binder isn’t going to mean a thing.”

If you need to learn more about lead generation for startups, or you want marketing advice, please contact us today for a consultation.

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