Lead Generation Growth Hacking Tactics for Startups

07 Jul 2016

Dianne Carillo

Dianne Carillo is the marketing communications and brand manager at PureB2B, a lead generation company that helps accelerate business solutions and technology sales processes. Dianne loves reading, and is especially knowledgeable in both sales and lead generation techniques and trends.

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For bootstrapping startups, developing and implementing the right selling tactics can mean the difference between long-term success and immediate failure. Many budding businesses fall into the trap of trying to sell to everyone without first identifying their target audience. You might have the best product or service around, but that doesn’t mean everyone is going to be interested.

Make the most of your limited budget by adopting a targeted lead generation approach. It’s better to focus on a pre-qualified audience instead of trying to cast a net as wide as possible. Doing so increases your chances of attracting a solid number of qualified leads and effectively filling your sales funnel with genuine prospects that you can turn into customers.

Proven lead generation for growth hacking

Effective customer data management is the first step to improving the quality of your leads. A data-driven strategy improves targeting accuracy and provides direction for future efforts. The more accurately and efficiently you can target your prospects, the higher your conversion rates and lower your cost per lead will be. The right combination of tactics will help you develop a lead generation strategy to source high-quality leads with minimal resources.

Here are some proven tactics to help boost your lead generation efforts:

  1. Enhance your homepage messaging
    • Because your homepage typically gets the most visits, having a clear call to action (CTA) on that page can help direct visitors towards the initial stage of the buyer’s journey. Include the right headline, subtitle and images, then see to it that these elements complement your messaging.
    • Start by showcasing sticky posts on the homepage—highlighting your best content up front. You can also add a must-read section so that new visitors can immediately read your best posts. Experiment with your messaging and continue tweaking based on engagement metrics to maximize your results.
  1. Employ effective re-targeting techniques
    • Re-targeting allows you to get back to visitors who checked your website and left—turning those who left quickly into possible qualified leads. These prospects can very well turn out to be some of your most profitable customers, and they’ve already shown enough interest to visit your site in the first place.
    • Tools like Google AdWords have re-marketing functions that enable you to show your ads to those who visited your site in the past. This is a helpful tool considering that Google states that up to 97 percent of those who visit your landing page don’t convert immediately.

Also on StartupNation.com: How to Create Marketing Demand for Your Startup


  1. Make your opt-in irresistible
    • No one-size-fits-all offer guarantees an increase in conversion rates, just as no cookie-cutter solution will end all your lead generation woes. But, you’re more likely to improve your chances by providing real value to your target audience. Make the offer unique and compelling enough for visitors to be willing to give up their email addresses in exchange for your opt-in offer.
    • For example, online ad agency, WordSteam, offered a free AdWords Grader instead of the usual run-of-the-mill free software trial. In the same manner, think of what your target audience really needs, and focus on that. Give them an offer that solves their most common but persistent pain point, and watch your viable leads grow in the process.
  1. Never stop testing and re-testing your lead generation efforts
    • Just because a tactic worked for one startup doesn’t mean it will work just as well in your case. This also doesn’t mean you should ignore best practice advice used by others before you. Start by using a particular tactic or lead generation tool, and tweak it as you go. Continually conduct split tests to see which combination works best.
    • Changing something as small as a single word can result in a huge difference in response rates. Compare and contrast your headlines, messaging, button copy, image and other elements. Take note of what works, and tinker with it until you find the most effective formula.
  1. Evaluate and nurture your leads
    • Don’t use a lean budget as an excuse to not nurture your leads. If you can’t invest in a customer relationship management system or software right now, start by using a simple excel sheet to keep track of each interaction you’ve had with potential customers. This will keep your finger on the pulse of your market and provide more insight into how your audience behaves.
    • Evaluate the quality of your prospects by developing a lead scoring criteria according to how well they match your ideal customer and what stage of the buying process they’re in.

Final thoughts

Lead generation can be a tedious, time-consuming activity when performed by marketing greenhorns. Then again, it is also an absolute necessity if you want to get a leg up on the market, especially when you’re up against more established competitors.

If you’re a resource-strapped startup or don’t have the expertise to devote to sourcing new customers, consider outsourcing your lead generation efforts. This will leave you with more time and resources to focus on core operations while you leave your lead generation function to the experts.

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