61 B2B Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2020

61 B2B Lead Generation Strategies and Tactics for 2020

Lead generation for B2B businesses isn’t a one-size-fits-all affair. What works for a drug testing company may not work for a B2B SaaS company. When you market for B2B, you have to go where your ideal clients or customers are.

That’s why we’ve detailed 61 lead generation strategies and tactics we’ve seen B2B businesses using successfully. If you’re looking to drive new leads to your sales team, try giving one of the ideas below a shot.

  • Website Optimization

  • Content Marketing

  • Email Marketing

  • Paid Advertising

  • Social Media

  • Offline Strategies

Note: Want to discover new leads, prospects, and gain insights on your customers? Try Leadfeeder for free.

What is B2B Lead Generation?

B2B lead generation is one of the early steps in a typical marketing funnel or sales process. It involves collecting potential customer’s information—such as name, email, company name and job title—that will be useful to subsequently make a sale. These people are then typically nurtured by marketing automation and passed to sales when they are qualified. The aim is to create a consistent pipeline of high-intent prospects who you can turn into customers.

Optimize your website for lead generation

B2B marketers know a properly optimized website is critical to increasing the number of quality leads your website generates. Website errors, slow site speed, and the inability to identify visitors can hinder even the best executed B2B marketing strategies.

1. Generate B2B Leads Without Email Forms

b2b lead generation leadfeeder dashboard

We’ll start this list with an introduction to ourselves and our tool so you know who we are and what Leadfeeder does. Leadfeeder tells you what companies visit your website and enriches this data with employee contact information, even if they never fill out a form or contact you.

To get started, all you need to do is connect your Google Analytics and install the Leadfeeder Tracker script.

Tracking your website visitors on an account level is an important tactic that fits well with any other online lead generation strategy. By automatically identifying your anonymous website visitors, you can fill your sales pipeline with leads you never knew you had—instantly generating more leads from your current traffic.

A 14-day free trial is available with paid plans starting at $55/month.

2. Run an A/B test

b2b lead generation ab testing

The only way to really tell if your website is dialed-in from a conversion perspective is to test it. A/B testing software such as Visual Website Optimizer (VWO) can help you determine where on your website to place certain elements such as a lead generation form. This, in turn, can help increase conversions and the number of leads being generated.

As time goes by, the more experiments you perform via the A/B testing tool of your choice, the more it will result in increased leads and conversions and a better understanding of your target market.

3. Fix broken pages

b2b lead generation screamingfrog

When was the last time you dug deep into your website and looked for any errors? If you’re like most businesses, websites only get fixed when they’re broken. The problem with this "laissez faire" type of approach is that there could be errors and technical glitches that are causing your website visitors to leave prematurely or not convert.

404 pages, broken links, and slow site speed can silently wreck havoc on a site. Screaming Frog SEO will allow anyone to scan their website for issues that could cause a lowered conversion rate.

4. Get more conversions from mobile

b2b lead generation mobile friendly

Google penalizes websites that aren’t optimized for mobile phones. These kinds of websites do not render well on a small cell phone screen and can cause a poor user experience.

Your lead generation form might not load properly on a smartphone. Think of how many qualified leads are being lost due to the website not rendering properly on a small screen.

Google has a free website that will help you figure out if your website has issues that will prevent it from rendering correctly on the small screen of a cell phone. The Mobile-Friendly Test page will scan your site and let you know which parts are not mobile-friendly.

There are several ways to go about optimizing your website for mobile, such as making it more responsive or having a stand-alone website for mobile. Your web developer can clue you in on which method will work best for your situation.

5. Find new keyword opportunities in google analytics

b2b lead generation google analytics keyword

Discover hidden keywords by using Google Analytics to look at the long-tail traffic coming into your website. A long-tail keyword is one that is 3 or more words long and is very specific. It usually gets very low search volume, but converts very well due to the intent behind the meaning of the keywords (eg: "Buy Nike shoes now").

By discovering and optimizing for long-tail keywords, you can take advantage of organic search and optimize and rank for keywords that your competitors aren’t.

6. Target competitor’s keywords

b2b lead generation ahrefs dashboard

Tools like Ahrefs can help you uncover keywords that your competitors are already ranking for and taking advantage of. By understanding which keywords the competition is getting traffic from, you can optimize your site to rank for the same keywords.

You can run $100 or so worth of paid ads to see if a particular keyword has a high conversion rate before you spend time and money to optimize organically.

You can also use Ahrefs to see where your competitors are getting their backlinks from. A strong backlink profile is usually rewarded by high organic rankings in the search engines.

By compiling a list of the backlinks your competitors have and performing some link outreach, there’s a good chance you can increase your organic rankings in the search engines.

7. Analyze competitor backlinks

b2b lead generation majestic backlinks

Majestic SEO is one of many tools out there that you can use to look at the backlink profile of your competitors. Once you’ve compiled a list you can begin reaching out to those websites via email or phone in an attempt to persuade them to link back to your site.

There are many great SEO guides out there that will teach you the inner workings of a successful backlink outreach campaign. As time goes by and your backlink profile begins to grow, Google will take notice and start sending more organic traffic and ranking your website higher.

8. Record website visitors

b2b lead generation hotjars

There could be several issues or factors that are preventing your website visitors from converting. Slow site speed, poorly constructed shipping API’s, and even bugs on a landing page (that prevent the page from rendering correctly on a specific device or browser) can all cause poor conversion rates.

A tool like HotJar can enable anyone to record user sessions on their website. The software will track and follow the mouse movements and clicks of each of your visitors. This will help you determine why that particular page isn’t converting very well. You might be surprised at what you find when you start recording user sessions on your website.

Content marketing strategies

Content that provides value to the end user is very important to b2b lead generation. It instills trust in your visitors, helps move people along through your funnel, and allows you to engage your prospects in a natural way without having to resort to a heavy-handed sales pitch.

9. Guest blog

b2b lead generation hunter.io

Compile a list of non-competing websites that have blogs. Research the audience and then pitch the owner or editor relevant blog topics.

Using a tool like Hunter.io, you can find the email address of whomever runs the website. Send them a short-but-sweet email asking if they need any guest bloggers.

Pro tip: Pitch ideas that are relevant to their audience for best chances of success.

It’s important that you take into consideration the audience of the website. If they aren’t a good fit with your products or services, there’s no point in guest blogging.

If the website owner responds favorably to your pitch, it’s now your job to write up a 500 to 1,000 word article that offers value to the reader.

This is not the time to write up a self-serving blog post. That will only turn people off. Show the readers you are the expert on your subject matter and they will find a way to contact you.

10. Create lead magnets

One of the greatest ways to generate B2B leads is to create lead magnets. A lead magnet is a piece of valuable content (a PDF or maybe a recorded webinar) that can be viewed, gated, or downloaded in exchange for an email address or other contact info.

Lead magnets come in all shapes and sizes, but the thing they have in common is that they provide value above and beyond what’s available for anyone who visits your site. The more valuable information a lead magnet contains, the more it will be downloaded and passed around.

11. Add lead forms

b2b lead generation lead form

Adding a few lead generation forms to your website on specific pages can instantly create a pipeline of leads being sent to your email inbox on a daily basis. By playing around with and customizing the form, you can further pre-qualify and refine the kinds of leads generated.

There are many form generation services out there—some free, others paid. We like Google Forms because it’s easy to set up, use, and can be tracked seamlessly with Google Analytics.

12. Build a microsite

A microsite is a small, stand-alone version of your website that tackles a very specific topic or niche. For example, if your company sells software (SaaS), you can create a microsite about how a specific industry (eg: "Aerospace") has used your software to solve a problem.

These kinds of sites tend to rank very well for long-tail keywords and allow you to laser target a specific niche.

13. Personalize your content

Having a general type of landing page won’t help increase conversions as it’s too broad in scope. You can increase the prospects your website drives by offering content (landing pages, emails, lead magnets, etc) that’s personalized for the end user.

For example, you’d want to show the CFO of a company a different landing page than you would the marketing manager. Each person has their own wants and desires and by speaking to them directly, you’re creating an opportunity for sales outreach.

14. Answer questions on Quora

b2b lead generation quora

Quora is a question-and-answer website that reaches more than 100 million people monthly. It can be used to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your particular niche.

There is a right way and a wrong way to use Quora. If left to their own devices, most people will use it as a self-promoting service wherein they drop their contact info and the name of their business. This isn’t going to generate any leads and will only serve to annoy people.

Quora is best used as a way to open up lines of communication as you engage others who are looking for help or answers to a particular subject. The laws of reciprocity will come into play and people will start to reach out to you after you’ve established yourself as the expert on a particular subject.

15. Build an app

b2b lead generation build an app

A mobile app can be a significant source of new leads and conversions. Many B2C businesses use cell phone apps to track and reward recurring purchases.

But, what about B2B?

For this idea to be successful, you’ll need to offer something that the competition isn’t. Nobody is going to download an app because just you ask them. You can create content, a free calculator, and/or brochure apps that will help drive new leads.

A cell phone app that offers immense value to the end user is one that will continually drive a stream of new leads as well as help nurture an existing audience.

16. Hold a webinar

A webinar is a great way to turn lookie-loos into people ready to buy your product or service. You don’t need expensive cameras and studio equipment to hold a webinar. The microphone and camera on your laptop or desktop computer will serve just fine.

You can use the webinar to not only pre-qualify people but help set expectations, and generate interest in your company offerings. You will most likely have the email addresses of all in attendance and you can begin an email nurture campaign after the webinar has ended.

Pro Tip: Here at Leadfeeder, we use Livestorm because it offers us engagement metrics and GDPR-compliance as well as a myriad of other ways to effectively track our webinars’ success.

17. Make Videos for YouTube and Vimeo

b2b lead generation youtube & vimeo

YouTube, Vimeo, and other streaming video websites get tens of millions of visitors every single day. Take advantage of this free traffic by creating a few "how-to" videos or other valuable content for your niche.

Instead of thinking of YouTube as an entertainment site, think of it as a search engine. It’s the No. 2 most popular search engine on all of the internet. People go to YouTube for answers to their questions, and if they find your video with a link at the bottom to visit your websites landing page, that’s a potential lead in the pipeline.

You can also host videos on your website to help solve commonly asked questions, pre-qualify a visitor, or hold gated content. If you’re not taking advantage of video marketing, you’re losing out on potential buyers.

18. Write an ebook

An eBook can be used as a powerful sales tool. It shows the reader that you’re an expert in your field and can be used as reference material.

Don’t forget to link back to landing pages on your website where visitor information can be collected via a form. You can find a relatively inexpensive designer to create artwork for your eBook on such job sites as Upwork.

The eBook can be gated, sent out via email, or used as lead generation in exchange for the contact info of those who download it.

19. Create a "Web 2.0" site

b2b lead generation wix

Old school marketers refer to sites like Wix, WordPress, and Blogger as "Web 2.0" sites. They can be used to quickly and easily set up a mini-website for free. You won’t have to deal with hosting, DNS, or website design as everything is turn-key.

Setting up a bunch of microsites on these free web 2.0 platforms can not only rank well in the search engines, but drive more leads as time goes by. These kinds of sites tend to rank well for long-tail keywords and work very well as a top-of-the-funnel lead generation strategy.

Here’s a small list of popular web 2.0 sites:

20. Launch a podcast

B2B podcasts are another great tool that can be used to generate leads. Because they can be recorded and played over and over again, they serve as a constant source of new leads. If you host them on your website, Google will find and list them in the search results.

You can also promote your podcasts by submitting them to iTunes, Libsyn, SoundCloud, etc. Sharing your podcasts through social media is another great way to spread the word. Podcasts act as evergreen marketing tools that will continue to drive new leads long after you’ve recorded the program and put it online.

21. Publish an infographic

Infographics are visually-stunning pieces of long-form content that are easy to read and digest. Traditionally, an infographic was created by a graphic designer, who passed it off to the copywriter for the final touches.

Nowadays, you can build your own beautiful infographics with tools like Snappa. Anyone can create a beautiful infographic in less than 10 minutes without having to hire an expensive graphic designer.

22. Use comment marketing

Leaving a comment on someone else’s blog or website can help with brand recognition—provided that it’s done in a tasteful way. Unless your name is P.T. Barnum, nobody likes flagrant self-promotion, so keep the overt marketing messages to a bare minimum.

Instead of self-promoting, you should offer helpful advice that shows you’re a thought-leader in whichever subject you’re commenting on. Make sure that your screen name reflects the name of your business, or can otherwise be used to locate you if someone wishes to engage you in further conversation elsewhere online.

Caveat: This tactic could potentially be seen as spam...and if it’s not done the right way it will be viewed as spam. Penalties range from being outright banned from a website for too much blatant self-promotion, to having your target audience think you’re some sort of online tagger, leaving your "digital graffiti" on every single website you visit.

23. Get interviewed using help a reporter out (HARO)

b2b lead generation using haro

HARO is used by journalists around the world who are looking for experts to interview for upcoming news articles. The service is completely free (paid upgrade available) and every day you’ll be sent two to three emails from reporters who are looking to interview people.

Simply respond to whichever requests you feel you’re qualified to answer, and if you’re chosen, the reporter will conduct a phone or email interview. If you’ve given helpful information, the reporter will most likely link back to your website from the news article.

This has a dual benefit: It helps establish you as a thought leader in your industry (eg: "I was featured in the NY Times article about…") and it also helps with SEO. Just a few of these very powerful inbound links can really help your website rank organically for your desired keywords.

24. Engage site visitors with live chat

b2b lead generation live chat

Do you know exactly what your website visitors are looking for? What if they have a question or objection to the sale?

To increase leads, you’re going to need a way to engage in real time. A chat program such as LiveChat allows people to get answers to questions in real time. Alternatively, platforms like Drift incorporate an intelligent bot to pre-qualify potential leads before they’re sent to a CRM.

Email marketing strategies

If you can build a solid sales pipeline, then email marketing can become one of your core lead generation channels. For email marketing success, you must know who you’re targeting and the best way to engage them.

Note: Check your local laws to ensure your email blasts are in compliance with all regulations. These suggestions were written from the standpoint of a business operating within the United States—GDPR compliance is something to consider heavily for EU-based firms.

25. Send cold emails

Provided that you’re in full compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, cold emails are a viable (and legal) method for generating new leads. However, for every one successful "bite" from an email campaign there can conversely be 100 or more ignored and deleted emails.

There are plenty of email guides on the web that give out tips on how to increase response rates and prevent your emails from being automatically sent to the dreaded spam box.

26. Send old blog posts to new prospects

Blog posts are the Swiss Army knives of the internet. Just because you’ve posted a blog post doesn’t mean you can’t use it again. Repurpose it in your marketing efforts. You can send out an email blast or link to it in your newsletter. If the blog post is particularly helpful, you can even run paid ads to it or link to it in an eBook.

Repurposing old content is a legitimate way of saving both time and money. You should keep in mind that content should NOT be repurposed on a website. If you post content to your website that’s elsewhere on the internet, Google will consider this duplicate content and could penalize your website.

27. Create a ‘FAQ’ message

Are you hurting for content ideas for your blog, website, or email campaigns? Dig deeper by locating emails from previous clients/customers. Compile a list of frequently asked questions about your product or service and then answer them in a blog post.

By doing so, you’ll create an informative and useful piece of content and it just might cut down on the annoying repetitive questions you’ve been getting on a regular basis. You can even link to the FAQ blog post from other sections of your website for a more cohesive and engaging user experience.

28. Find the right person to email

b2b lead generation hunter.io email

Finding the right person to reach out to in an organization can be difficult at best. Hunter.io helps you find people’s email addresses.

Simply go to their website (in this case www.Leadfeeder.com), install the Chrome or Firefox Hunter.io extension, and click the orange button in the upper right hand corner of your blog (the above image will pop up).

It won’t find every single email address of every single person in the organization, but it should give you a head start and a general idea as to whom to contact.

Paid advertising strategies

SEO is so popular because organic traffic—once it starts flowing—is free. The problem with organic SEO, is that it takes a long time, doesn’t work unless you know exactly what you’re doing, and can cost an-arm-and-a-leg if you hire an SEO agency.

Paid marketing is sometimes the best way to generate new leads—but be careful. Strategies such as Google AdWords can consume an entire month’s worth of marketing budget in a matter of hours. Make sure you know what you’re doing, or at the very least hire someone who knows what they’re doing when it comes to paid ads.

29. Facebook ads

b2b lead generation facebook ads

Facebook Ads is one of the most powerful paid advertising platforms out there. Facebook collects data on every single user and makes it available to advertisers. You can drill down your targeting with a laser focus.

With Facebook Ads, it’s possible to single-out, target, and show your ads to a very specific demographic, for example: 35 year old females from Boise, Idaho who love Britney Spears, drink Starbucks regularly, have a college degree, own their own home, and work in finance.

Throw in ad retargeting and a properly run Facebook Ads campaign can be an evergreen source of new leads. Check out these Facebook ad examples for more inspiration.

30. LinkedIn ads

b2b lead generation linkedin ads

Running LinkedIn ads will allow you to connect to a huge number of businesses. The downside to paying for ad placements on a site like LinkedIn is that competition for certain keywords has gotten so tough that it’s cost-prohibitive for many smaller to medium sized companies to engage in.

The average cost in 2017 for cost-per-click on LinkedIn was $6.50 versus $2.69 for Google Adwords. This means you’re going to want to make sure your paid campaigns are optimized, dialed in, and your budgets (and expectations) are properly set.

While your cost-per-acquisition may be a bit higher with LinkedIn Ads, you can’t downplay the value that advertising on the network brings.

31. Google Ads

Google AdWords is the original pay-per-click (PPC) network. In order to keep the ROI at an acceptable level, you’re going to need to spend some time optimizing your:

  • Ads

  • Creatives

  • Landing pages

  • Targeted keywords

  • Bids

Much like LinkedIn, your entire monthly marketing budget can be consumed in less than an hour on Google AdWords. If it’s too much to invest time and money to properly learning how to run an AdWords campaign focused on ROI, you can always hire an AdWords expert to set it up and run it for you.

32. Trade Ad Space with Non-Competitor

Look for local or national businesses who sells complimentary services, but aren’t a direct competitor. Then reach out and offer to exchange banner ads for free. In short, they will run your banner ad and you will run theirs.

Pro Tip: For this lead generation tip to work, you’ll need to ask them how many visitors view their website on a monthly basis. The best way to go about this is to simply ask them for their monthly traffic levels.

Barring that, another way to tell if it’s going to be worth your time is to look for businesses that are actively engaging in online (or offline) advertising. Generally speaking, they will most likely have new inbound traffic every single month which will see your banner ad.

33. Media buys

This lead generation tactic is one that almost all Fortune 500 companies have been doing since the dawn of the commercial internet as we know it. A media buy is simply buying ad space or air time on someone else’s website, radio, or TV program.

Depending on the channel, audience, and time of day, a single ad placement on a site like the Wall Street Journal can cost more than the average house in America. For the vast majority of B2B businesses, these kinds of rates are cost-prohibitive. However, there are ad buying companies out there who buy a block of ad space and then resell smaller chunks for a fraction of the cost.

As the old saying goes, caveat emptor: You should perform all due diligence before hiring an ad buying company to make sure you’re going to get what you pay for.

34. Affiliate marketing

b2b lead generation commission junction

Affiliate marketing is where someone else promotes your products or services in exchange for a commission (set by you) when a sale or conversion takes place. Sites like Commission Junction, ShareASale, and Linkshare will allow you to find other websites in similar niches who can promote your products or services.

You set the commission and terms to be paid out. If you have a good offer, many other websites that are closely related to your category will start running your text ads or creative banners on their website.

When one of their website visitors clicks an affiliate link to your website and makes a purchase or sale, it gets tracked and at the end of the month you’ll owe the owner of the referring website a commission (usually a percentage of the sale).

Sites like Commission Junction charge a decent monthly fee (in addition to any commissions you pay out). Some companies like to avoid paying that fee and will run special software that tracks commissions on its own.

While this is a great way to avoid having to pay a monthly service fee to Commission Junction, the downside is that you are responsible for finding people and other websites to promote yours.

35. Remarketing

One of the more powerful features of Google Adwords is the ability to remarket to your website visitors. This is called ad remarketing and happens when someone visits your website but doesn’t convert.

A small piece of code called a "cookie" is automatically placed in their web browser and will anonymously track them wherever they go on the internet. If they visit a website that has Google Adsense on it, your ad will be reshown to them. This very powerful way of remarketing has been shown to dramatically increase leads and conversions.

Facebook also has an ad remarketing tool that will enable you to show your ads to people no matter where they go on the internet. Facebook Pixel in conjunction with Facebook Custom Audience can turbocharge your lead generation efforts by only targeting those people who closely match your buyer persona.

36. Social media influencers

Social media influencers are a great way to drive new leads. They have a captive audience that willingly consumes the content they put out on a regular basis. A buy recommendation from them usually results in new sales.

Pro Tip: You should check with all applicable laws regarding hiring a social media influencer to promote your product or service. The last thing you want is the FTC knocking on your front door.

37. Forum Sponsorships

Forums are a great way to get in front of people who have a specific interest. There are millions of forums online that attract people with interests from A to Z. The best way to find these forums is to type in the category of your business with the word "forum" behind it in a Google search.

Reach out to the webmaster of the forum and offer them money to run your banner ad for 30 days. You can track the effectiveness of this campaign via Google Analytics.

Social media lead generation strategies

Social media marketing is much more than making a few self-serving Facebook posts every week. To make your social media efforts worthwhile, you’ll need to not only create engaging content, but intelligently leverage each social media site to target your ideal demographic.

38. Social media chatbots

b2b lead generation chat bot

Chatbots are comprised of internet-based software that reach out and engages with live human beings on social media sites. They help you reach a wider audience by automatically starting conversations and parsing the best ones to pass off to you as a warm lead.

ManyChat, ChatFuel, Mobile Monkey and FlowXo are just three of many different chatbot programs available. The best way to use chatbots to drive leads is to pre-program them with persuasive, short, and effective copywriting that will help guide prospects and leads to the next step in your funnel.

39. Start a Facebook Group

Facebook groups are useful tools to engage your audience. You can run paid ads or create gated content (paid or non-paid) to entice new visitors to join the conversation. Facebook groups are highly content-dependent, meaning that you need to post engaging content on a very regular basis. If done properly, your Facebook group will grow over time and will be a constant source of new leads and business.

40. Become a thought leader on twitter

b2b lead generation twitter leadfeeder

There are more than a few people who think Twitter is absolutely useless for generating B2B leads. We disagree. Twitter is great for positioning yourself as a thought leader in your industry. It’s not meant to broadcast a spammy advertising message for your company (although you can...but be prepared to lose followers).

Using Twitter on a regular basis and engaging with other thought leaders in your niche (or industry) will help get you and your business noticed. Tools like Buffer can help you gain control over the social media beast and its incessant desire for fresh, new, and engaging content.

With it, you can pre-schedule posts so that you’re not trying to rack your brain at the last minute for content ideas because you haven’t made a Twitter post in over a week.

41. Connect with prospects on linkedIn

b2b lead generation linkedin leadfeeder

LinkedIn is one of the best marketing tools for B2B companies out there. Your entire audience is in one place and the site encourages user participation and interaction. As with other social media sites, you’re going to need a comprehensive game plan before you start seeing new leads.

LinkedIn is all about participating in communities, connecting with new people, and getting your name out there as the expert in your industry. By engaging with the community, you’ll be helping others and people will take notice.

If, however, you use LinkedIn as your personal billboard, advertising your business or service after connecting with a new contact, you’ll quickly find that people will start to ignore you.

Pro Tip: Download Leadfeeder’s Social Selling Guide for ideas on how to use LinkedIn for connecting with your leads, effectively and efficiently.

42. Build a following on instagram and pinterest

b2b lead generation instagram & pinterest

If the industry you’re in is one that could benefit from showing off photos of the work you’ve done, Instagram and Pinterest are good places to engage new leads.

Let’s say that you own a construction company which does custom work for businesses looking to remodel. By regularly posting pictures of jobs that you’ve successfully completed, your target market can reach out and engage with you.

43. Generate positive online reviews

B2B businesses that have a lot of online reviews instill a level of trust in prospective customers or clients who may be researching them. Bonus points if you’ve successfully resolved a complaint from a customer in a professional manner.

Especially if you sell high-ticket items, potential customers will want to know that other businesses have purchased your products or services and have had a good experience. Sometimes all it takes is a single positive review to cause a person to reach out to you for more information about your company.

If you don’t have a lot of online reviews for your business, you can start the process by offering an incentive for current and past customers/clients to give you an honest review.

44. Run a contest or discount

Who doesn’t love coupon codes? Especially ones that are easy to use and redeem.

Running a contest on your website or offering a discount is a great way to generate new leads. You could offer the chance to win a $250 Amazon gift card in exchange for providing contact info.

If corporate rules prevent an employee from accepting your gift card, find a prize that their entire department could use (eg: small inexpensive Chromebook or 40" HDTV). Bonus points if you find a way to emblazon your company logo or URL on the item and get them to use it in their offices on a daily basis.

Offline lead generation strategies

Lead generation for B2B businesses has been going on long before the internet came into existence as we know it. The following methods have been by businesses since at least the early 1900’s.

45. Attend a trade show or buy a booth

b2b lead generation trade show

Trade shows are the hallmark of B2B lead generation strategy. Potential clients are all in one place and they’re open to learning more about new services and products that could help their business. The initial upfront cost can be high for most small businesses—upwards of $10,000 or more for a small booth.

When it comes to trade shows, don’t skimp out on the trade show materials just because the booth fee cost several thousand dollars. If you’re going to do a trade show, do it right. Have ample printed materials and backdrops created to showcase your brand in the best possible light.

46. Direct mail

b2b lead generation direct mail using ups

Due to the fact that most companies are focusing the vast majority of their marketing budgets online, competition for the mailbox has never been lower. Direct mail still generates a lot of leads for B2B businesses, and when combined with a seamless online experience, you’ll have the makings of a great funnel.

You can get postcards printed up at a local print shop and take advantage of the Post Office’s Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) service. Select a geographical area on a map and the Post Office will deliver your mailer to every single business in that area. This is a great way to laser-target a specific geographic area.

47. Mix-and-match strategies from this list

B2B companies can combine on- and offline marketing tools for a seamless and cohesive experience. A theoretical campaign might look something like this:

  1. Send a direct mail postcard to a prospect that has the URL of a landing page on your website.

  2. On Facebook, you can upload your mailing list which will be matched to their respective Facebook accounts. A day or two after the mailer has been delivered, run a paid ad campaign on Facebook to remind users to check their mailbox for a special offer or freebie.

  3. Using retargeting from either Facebook or Google (or both), you can hit the person continually with retargeted ads until they convert or move on to the next step in your funnel.

48. Create printed marketing material

b2b lead generation printed marketing material

Sell sheets, whitepapers, prospectuses, business cards, and even outdoor banners can all be printed up by a professional print shop to showcase your services or products. Be sure to hire the best graphic designer that you can, as you’re going to want to put your best foot forward when marketing the old school way.

If you already have printed marketing material, is it updated with your email address, website URL, and social media accounts? If not, you’re missing out on a great opportunity for prospective clients and customers to connect.

49. Hire a lead generation company

There are many lead generation companies out there that specialize in harvesting and selling leads from a particular niche such as construction, legal, or medical. The lists they sell can run in the hundreds or tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the quality of the leads.

Be careful about which company you buy leads from. Perform your due diligence because not all leads are created equal and you could very well be buying poor leads that won’t convert. Some of the fly-by-night companies will use lead generation methods that aren’t exactly legal (eg: email spam).

Your best bet is to ask for white papers, case studies, or customer reviews that show the lead generation company is legitimate, their leads are high quality (meaning that they’re not double-dipping by selling the same lead to two different businesses), and that the data has been harvested legally.

50. Hire an internal or external sales rep

Never underestimate the power of pounding pavement for new leads. Some sales reps are willing to work on commission only, whereas others require an annual salary as well as commission. An internal sales representative can be tasked with handling both inbound sales leads as well as making cold calls during downtime.

51. Get referrals from existing clients and customers

b2b lead generation referrals

Think about your existing clients or customers. Can you upsell them anything that would compliment your primary product or service? You already have the trust factor working for you, so take advantage of it by marketing to your current clients or customers on a semi-regular basis.

52. Co-Branding

Let’s pretend you own a plumbing company. Your main clientele are strip malls and other industrial or retail businesses. You can always reach out to a local electrician, carpenter, or HVAC business and see if they’d be willing to co-brand.

You would help promote each other’s services in your marketing and you can even split the cost of a major advertising expense—whether it’s a billboard, commercial, ad in the newspaper, social media, etc.

53. Referral programs

b2b lead generation referral programs

Setting up a referral program is simple. Just pick which one of your services or products you’d like to promote and then offer a 10% commission (or Amazon gift card) to whomever sends referrals your way. You can even send out a newsletter email blast to your current customer list and in the call-to-action promote your referral offer.

54. Sponsor a charity event

Charity events, fun runs, and community service outings can help ingratiate your business with the local community. If the event is big enough, your business (and website URL) might get a mention in the local newspaper or other printed marketing collateral. You can even write a blog post about it and promote the event to your clients and customers.

55. Join Chamber of Commerce (and participate)

Almost every single city in the U.S. has a Chamber of Commerce (CoC). Depending on how active your CoC is, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in several networking events throughout the year and make new connections along the way.

An added bonus of joining your local Chamber of Commerce is the amount of support that you’ll get as a B2B business owner. Just because there are no potential B2B clients in your geographical area doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t join. You never know if one of the other CoC members could give you a business referral that would drive new leads and business.

56. Reach out to the community

Most communities have various interest groups such as men’s or women’s business networking groups, charity groups, and business alliances. Drumming up new leads is well worth spending a Tuesday night at the local YMCA banquet hall while chit-chatting with other local business owners. Consider giving a talk or speech on a topic to further establish your brand with the various members of these groups.

57. NAICS codes

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is a coding system that identifies businesses by the type(s) of activities they engage in. There are tens of thousands of codes and each business can be comprised of more than one code.

The NAICS Association has put out a guide (PDF) that explains how to locate the NAICS codes and then market to businesses. If scraping and parsing all that data is too much work, you can always purchase a pre-scraped list from the NAICS.

58. Informative booklets

b2b lead generation booklets

Booklets are usually 80 page (or so) "mini books" that are bound (usually “perfect binding” for a more professional look and feel). If you’re not feeling up to writing 80 pages of thought leadership, you can always hire a copywriter to ghost-write it.

Once you have a box of booklets in hand, start sending them out to prospective clients and customers. This, in turn, will help increase brand awareness and trust. After all, you literally "wrote the book."

59. Executive Events

Executive events are another old school way of driving new leads. The only downside being the time, energy, and effort you’ll need to expend to make merry and ingratiate yourself with other executives.

A few enterprising marketers have even figured out a way to get leads from executive events and industry conferences, without attending the event themselves.

60. TV and radio advertisements

b2b lead generation tv radio

TV and radio spots still work in this day and age. The only downside is the high up-front cost of making a commercial and running it on local TV. There are some companies that buy ad time and offer packages in a timeshare-esque format. Instead of sharing a vacation rental cabin in the woods, you’re sharing airtime with other local advertisers.

61. Hire a call center

b2b lead generation call center

Call centers have one function and one function only: to make cold calls on your behalf. If you have a halfway decent list, you can easily find a few new leads by giving it to a call center and letting their sales reps do all the work.

A call center can breeze through a list of phone numbers in a matter of days. That same list would have taken you (or one of your office employees) months to get through.


Generating a continual stream of B2B leads is not something that happens overnight.

Through hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck, it should only take a few months before momentum takes over and you start seeing some leads.

Note: Want to discover new leads, prospects, and gain insights on your customers? Try Leadfeeder for free.

Anna Crowe
By Anna Crowe

Anna is the Assistant Editor for Search Engine Journal and Content Strategy Lead at Leadfeeder. Over the last 9 years, Anna has successfully developed and implemented online marketing strategies, SEO, and conversion campaigns for 100+ businesses of all sizes; from the Fortune 500, to startups, and nonprofits. She enjoys burritos and puppies (in that order).

Now that you're here

Leadfeeder is a tool that shows you companies that visit your website. Leadfeeder generates new leads, offers insight on your customers and can help you increase your marketing ROI.

If you liked this blog post, you'll probably love Leadfeeder, too.

Sign up

Leadfeeder knows the companies visiting your website

Install today to start identifying new business opportunities.

See for yourself

Free trial. No credit card required.

As seen in

  • Forbes
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Fox
  • Mashable
  • Social Media Examiner