Top 20 Lead Generation Ideas For Small Businesses

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lead generation for small businesses

Leads are the most crucial aspect of success for small businesses. Without leads, your business would most likely fail. Every business requires a steady stream of leads which in turn allows your business to grow your email list, customer base, and increase revenue. But without a proper lead generation strategy, you will lose a significant value of the market share. This makes lead generation for small businesses incredibly important.

Marketing and sales teams spend an absurd amount of time and financial resources on lead generation that includes:

  1. Creating in-depth blog content
  2. Launching ad campaigns
  3. Prospecting on LinkedIn
  4. Curating Videos
  5. Hosting webinars
  6. Speaking at conference

But the budget for a startup or a small business is limited and hence pursuing every lead generation for small business strategy can be a bit far-fetched. Don’t worry, we are here to help you cut through all the noise related to this topic.

Best strategies for lead generation for small businesses:

We have outlined 20 lead generation strategies for small businesses to help you stay ahead of the competition.

1. Implement an incentive-based referral system:

Word of mouth marketing is still as important as it’s ever been. How word gets spread has changed drastically with technology. Customer referral programs have become an important aspect of lead generation for small businesses. For example: Developing customized referral codes for your existing customers that provide new clients, discounts on their first purchase, and your loyal clients receive a referral discount too.

2. Use Broadcast Advertising to your niche audience:

Podcasts are gaining popularity rapidly. This means that you now can turn your listeners into leads. This possibly has a greater potential than running a radio advertisement to generate leads. Lead generation for small businesses can be enhanced by identifying the podcast that connects to your target audience and drives them to your website.

3. Optimize your website:

Gone are the days when only large multinationals and big players needed to impress with compelling websites. Nowadays, no matter what business you are in, you should have a website that marries elegant, smart design with speed and efficiency. Read more: What is the Importance of a Website for Small Businesses?

A website should provide the visitors with the who, what, where, and why behind your company and compel them to take some action. Call To Action is of utmost importance here to help you generate leads. Lead generation for small businesses requires CTA that drives visitors to become ambassadors of your brand.

4. Implement Search Engine Optimization:

It is interesting to note that not more than 10% of the search users go past the first page of search results when looking for information. Read more: Why is SEO critical for SME Businesses?

SEO is one of the most crucial lead generation for small business strategy. If your site isn’t ranking for target keywords, people will never get to know you exist.

5. Strengthen your Social Presence:

Social media has transformed into one of the most powerful digital channels in the world, having a significant influence on the buying behavior of customers. It can be a great source of generating leads. Read more: Why Is Social Media Important for Businesses?

6. Stay Relevant:

The content posted online should keep up with the fast-changing scenarios. Keeping your brand relevant will help improve your brand awareness and in turn help you with lead generation. Read more: How to Increase Brand Awareness for Small Businesses?

7. Conduct Giveaways:

Organizing giveaways and contests is a great way to not just generate leads, but also go viral and produce effective results. Lead generation for small businesses where the budget is not too much, utilizing giveaways and contests can really prove to be vital.

8. Mobile Optimization:

The number of mobile internet users in India is estimated to reach 500 million by 2023. Mobile internet usage has become more common than desktop and laptop internet usage. This is an opportunity for lead generation for small businesses to gain a competitive advantage.

9. Use Lead Magnets:

A lead magnet is a marketing asset that can be accessed by the website visitor for free, such as signing up for an email list. The secret here is that the lead magnets should be so appealing that your target audience can’t turn them down.

10. Focus on Blogs:

Did you know, the more blog content you post, it yields approx. 3.5 times more traffic than if you blog less. More traffic means more leads. One thing to always remember is that lead generation for small businesses does not work until you have sufficient traffic.

11. Use strong Call to Action(CTA):

CTA compels visitors to take some sort of action, such as signing up for your email list, buying a product, or enquiring about services. Lead generation for small businesses will only work if you tell the visitors exactly what to do.

12. Implement E-mail Marketing:

E-mail marketing plays a crucial role for businesses to keep in touch with their prospects, generate more sales, and build stronger communities. The pre-requisite for e-mail marketing is consistency. E-mails drive higher ROI than any other lead generation tool.

13. Use Webinars to generate leads:

A webinar is a live or pre-recorded video that provides value to your audience. Generally, marketers start webinars as live events, then publish the recorded versions on their website to use as lead magnets.

14. Use reports and white papers:

Offering free white papers, reports, and ebooks is a great way to generate leads. This also helps attract people who are higher in the funnel(TOFU).

15. Video Marketing:

Did you know: 75% of executives told Forbes in a survey that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. Adding a compelling Call to Action along with your video content can help you drive your viewers to your website and help with lead generation for small businesses.

16. Direct Engagement:

Direct customer engagement should be a top priority for small businesses. This involves live chat, forums, and help centers- where customer service representatives are present all the time. More engaged customers result in better word of mouth and more leads.

17. Strike a balance between Outbound and Inbound Marketing:

As a small business, your priority should be to deploy a balanced approach utilizing both outbound and inbound marketing. This will help you gain a competitive edge.

18. Invest in new technology:

New technology sets the trend in the market. In a nutshell, you should keep an eye on emerging technology and channels through which you can get more leads.

19. Participate in Forums:

Forums are the perfect place to get to know your customers more intimately. The better you know your customers, the easier it would be for you to reach out to them with offers.

20. Answer a question on Quora:

Quora is a question-and-answer-based social networking site with millions of people from different demographics. If you answer enough questions of users, they will spot your profile and most likely check out your website, adding to your lead generation.


Improving your lead generation channel is an ongoing process. It requires constant tweaking and improvements. Testing your existing strategy and trying out new ones is the only sure way to stay competitive. Lead generation for small businesses is crucial for growth and sustenance. If you are a startup or a small business, you need to prioritize these lead generation strategies to gain a competitive edge.

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