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Pulling in interested prospects is a matter of give-and-take. If you want a website visitor to provide an email address with permission to send them further information, first you have to give something away. Lead generation is a barter system, trading information and products for permission to market more information and products. The key to hacking lead generation is to make trades that don’t appear desperate or shady while still remaining enticing enough to be effective. Here are a few ideas that fit the bill.

1. Give a free assessment: If you were the owner of a sporting goods store, you would probably recommend a good pair of soccer cleats for free in return for the customer hanging around the store and possibly making a purchase. To translate that online, develop a simple test to help your visitors find the right product or service for them. If you are in the e-commerce business, offer a free assessment to help viewers find a product that matches their needs. In the example below, the assessment helps viewers find a skin-care product that fits their skin type, but you can create an assessment no matter what industry you’re in.

What’s Your Skin Type?

Take the Quiz

 

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2. Offer Free Education: If your industry is complex and can benefit from a full course on a particular subject, it can be used for lead generation. Offer a free bundle of information, or a webinar taught by yourself and other industry experts in return for a lead. Go beyond just a single download to a series or full course to see the conversions really rise. Kissmetrics does a great job of this with their free SAAS marketing bundle that’s offered in return for an email address. Use a free theme such as Launch Effect to create your own lead generation landing page quickly and easily.

kissmetrics lead gen

 

3. Actually Teach People: If you are an expert in your field, offer to teach people in an interactive environment. Use gotomeeting or a google hangout to get potential customers face-to-face and chatting about their concerns and interests. As part of the sign-up process you’ll receive contact information from the attendees and after they’ve met you, those are hot leads!

4. Let Twitter do the Work: Introduced in May 2013, the twitter lead generation card is a new way to collect leads from interested fans. Simply create a card and start collecting leads from existing followers. A little more technically involved, twitter cards are a way to leverage an existing audience in a new way. Read about them in twitter’s blog post.

5. Create A Free Tool: According to the QuickSprout blog “Tools are the New Content,” and I agree with them. Creating a free website analyzer or keyword density tool is simple enough to build and sparks interest in your site. The leads you receive from a free tool already know that you’re willing to give value, and are instantly happy. Check out Quick Sprout’s new website analyzer for a great example of a tool done right.

tools
To get something, give something. Live by that principle and leads will come much less painfully and with more respect for your business. Hacking your lead generation takes more investment up front, but when done right the lifetime value of your funnels will be enormous.

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