13 Mar How to collect leads online – A beginners Guide 2022
Do you collect leads online as a part of your digital sales and marketing strategy? No matter if you are in the B2B or B2C market, there is lots of gold waiting for you to utilize.
Generate leads means creating leads that can turn potential leads into customers. You do so using a funnel approach where you identify potential prospects, nurture them and eventually convert them into customers.
This article focuses on how to address the first element of the funnel—collecting the leads online. Done right, this can be an extremely valuable part of your business lead generation strategy.
Lead generation is not a technical task. It is all about understanding your potential customers and where they hang out in the online world.
Online leads can be easily found and collected, and if you do it in the right way, it is possible to be compliant with both GDPR and CCPA California regulations. We will get back to this later.
In this article, we will give tips and tricks to how you can quickly get started to generate leads online.
The process is a bit differently depending on if your target groups are B2B or B2C. Different tactics and rules apply for those groups, so we address them differently.
Collecting leads online
Getting leads means that you look for people who could be potential customers for your products or services.
Collecting online leads is a digital sales tactic that works on different premises than the actions that you probably know already. The key here is that collecting online leads puts you in the driver’s seat, and that has some unique benefits.
The easiest way to see this is to compare online leads with Google Ads or SEO.
Practices like Google Ads and SEO are passive; in a sense, you wait for your users to take specific actions. Such as searching for keywords topics, ext. You would then make them click on an Ad or one of your blog posts that they will find in their Google search.
The two approaches have proven to be an extremely effective way to do online marketing. But it has one major drawback. You are passive in the first part of the process. The basic premise is that the potential customer takes the first step. They do so by clicking on a Google Ad or a Google search result.
Leads collection is an active strategy. Meaning you collect leads so you can reach out to your potential customer. So you can nurture them and drive them into your sales funnel.
You can compare the difference between the tactics by going to a dance. You can wait for a potential dance partner to approach you. Or you can actively seek out the dance prospects that appeal the most to you.
This is what is the core purpose of collecting leads online. To make sure your potential customers know you have a service that could be of value to them.
What types of leads could and should you collect?
There are many different kinds of site categories where you can collect leads for both Business to Business and Business to Consumer purposes. Here are some of the most useful ways to generate you should consider:
If your business prospects are local, then Google Maps would be an ideal place to collect leads.
The great thing about Google Maps is that it is a platform that most businesses feel they need to have a presence on. They might not use it actively, but they will make sure that their contact information is correct.
So you would be able to search locally for hairdressers and be able to collect a very precise list of hairdressers if that is what you are looking for.
It is possible – and legal – to collect contacts from LinkedIn.
You can do this in different ways. One way is to use SalesNavigator. This tool is great because it can find and communicate with prospects within the LinkedIn ecosystem. The drawbacks are the price and the limit to how many you can contact.
So a great option to SalesNavigatior is to collect leads from LinkedIn. Great places to find leads are in newsgroups. Or you can find and select employees of specific companies.
The problem with LinkedIn prospecting is that it cannot stand allows., as you will not be able to get the contact data from LinkedIn. So you need to use tools link Hunter that can match your LinkedIn info with their email or phone numbers.
Yelp / Yellow pages
Getting leads from Yelp or Yellow pages is also a great source.
The concept is pretty much the same as you would do with Google Maps. The difference is that Yelp and similar platforms have a database structure that you can use to zoom in to your potential prospects.
Facebook as a platform is not by default a business platform.
However, many use Facebook for business purposes. Either because they interact with a company, the role as a business person and not a private person.
Or it could be because they participate in business-oriented Facebook groups. So for the same reason as with LinkedIn, it could make sense to extract users from Facebook.
You would need to enrich the data using Hunter the same way as with LinkedIn contact in order to get the last part of the contact details.
Conference sites almost always has a list of exhibitors.
They often represent the most active companies in a special niche. So if you are a supplier to such niches, this could be a great source of getting an idea of who is most active right now.
Business specific databases
Hotels.com / Bookings.com are both business specific sites. In this case, from the travel industy. Such databases are also great ways to find connections. There are many professional sites that hold specialist knowledge, like them.
There is a site that has more than 40.000 names of Digital marketing agencies. And you can probably find similar for shipping, coffee roasting, or whatever your business might be.
Reddit, Qurra.Many there are many professional forums on other social media platforms such as Reddit or Qurra that you could consider targeting.
The biggest issue doing this is that users often here use avatars or aliases that do not resemble or relate to their actual names. This will make it difficult for you to enrich the contact using Hunter.
So as you can see, there are lots of options for collecting leads online.
How do you generate leads?
It used to be quite troublesome to generate leads online. You would need to build web scrapers that could collect data from websites or social media platforms.
However, now there are new and more modern ways to generate leads online. You can use a tool such as Kaddara. It is a no-code tool that can help you generate leads for your business with a single click from hundreds of websites.
All you have to do is to select the source you would like to collect new leads from and then you simply download them as an Excel file.
The legal restrictions
The legal part first. In Europe, there is the GDPR directive that defines how you can work with personal information as a company.
Business to Business and GDPR
The rule of thumb when it comes to email and GDPR in a B2B set-up is that it is fine to send cold business emails if three conditions are met.
1. You cannot send business emails to anyone. You need to have a strong reason that the person you are targeting can actually benefit from your business offer.
2. You must inform your prospect why you are contacting them, what kind of data you are holding on them, and let them out if they do not want you to hold their contact information
3. The final GDPR request is that you must not hold their contact information longer than necessary. There are no specific dates set, but a rule of thumb is that if they have not responded to your contacts, then you must delete the contact after 30 days.
Their roles are actually fairly reasonable. It is very much about respect for the part you are hoping to engage in a dialog with. You would probably not have the best foundation for building a partnership with a person if it was based on you having spammed them with emails constantly.
Business to Consumer and GDPR
As a business, you cannot approach your potential customers without their consent in the digital space.
This means that you cannot send emails to them with commercial content unless they have signed up for your newsletter or given consent for you to do so. Such ways could be via a form on your website or mobile all. Or it could be on a social media platform.
The rules for cold calling are a bit different and vary from country to country. In some countries, specific types of businesses can contact you – link banks or insurance companies. So you need to check which rules apply in your target markets.
So collecting b2c leads for such purposes would be perfectly fine. But you sho
It also means that B2C email addresses should be of less interest to you as you would probably not find many use cases for them unless you operate in markets in Asia or South America where there are fewer strict rules on how you do business.
Generating leads as part of your Digital Marketing strategy
Social media is a prominent source for collecting leads online. If your business target is B2B customers, then you would naturally focus on LinkedIn. If your focus is on B2C customers, then Facebook, Instagram, TikTok would be a more natural choice.
This article focuses not so much on how to optimize your website. You would probably need one or more dedicated landing pages or perhaps use your home page as the landing page. You would then try to caupute leads using forms or free content. Or to go for the goal and have them sign up for a discovery call or a free trial of your product.
The first step you need to take is to define your target audience if you have not done so already. Your product or service defines the audience that you need to target.
There are some alternatives to actively collecting leads online. One is to use your blog to create sales. This basically means SEO to get online traffic on your site. You do this by optimizing blog content to be found on Google by potential users. It can be an effective strategy, but SEO also takes a long time before you get the result. So it is an investment.
Another alternative to get sales is to use ads. Meaning you pay per click and calculate that the pay per click cost per sale is lower than your customer’s lifetime value.
Collecting leads online should be a core element of almost any Digital marketing strategy since the focus almost always will be to convert users into paying customers, and lead generation is most often a great way of reaching your online goals.
Unlike Search engine optimization or Google Ads, then you actively seek and identify your target audience and this makes it possible to convert specific leads into paying customers.