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7 Effective Steps To Help You Generate Leads Online for Free

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way you could generate leads online for free, without having to pay for tools to help you do it?

Well, it might not be as impossible as you think.

Of course, I’m not saying there’s a silver bullet than can generate you quick and easy leads overnight. However…

What if I told you that by utilising some of the best free online marketing tools out there, you could soon have a system up and running that would help get more leads coming in to grow your business? It’s all about attracting the right people to your website, and findings ways of turning them into leads that you can then convert into sales.

In this blog post, I’m going to use my 20+ years’ experience as an marketer to show you ways of doing this that won’t cost you ANY money at all.

The only real cost?

Your time – and don’t get me wrong, it WILL require a lot of effort and hard work.

DISCLAIMER: Before we get started, there is one caveat to this. By only using free tools, you’ll be limited as to the results you can achieve, as many good things that come for free also have paid versions that are even better. However, doing it this way WILL get leads trickling in, so you can eventually start investing in upgrades that will do the job even better.

So, are you ready to learn how to generate leads online for free? Let’s get this thing started.

1. Attract plenty of traffic to your website with a blog

If you want to generate leads, you have to start at the beginning; by attracting plenty of traffic to your website. One of the best free ways to do this is by creating helpful content that matches what your ideal customers are typing into Google search. And where’s the best place to share this content? Your blog.

A blog is a dedicated space for posting the best content that your customers will find helpful or interesting – and they should ideally be able to find it when they visit your website. Don’t have a blog yet? It’s fairly simple to get one.

One of the best free blog tools available is Wordpress – which currently powers 26% of the web. Your hosting site may even have a setting that allows you to add it to your website with one click. It’s also very easy to install!

2. Guide them into taking the next logical step

Once your blog is up and displaying lots of fresh content, you want your readers to keep interacting with your site – otherwise they’ll just click away and go elsewhere, without converting into leads. You can help guide your visitors into becoming leads with call-to-actions (or CTAs).

These are clickable buttons ideally placed at the bottom of your blog. They could say something like ‘subscribe to the blog’ or ‘download our free ebook’.

You can do this by using Inbound Now’s free CTA tool. Or, if you want to be a bit more creative with your own custom CTAs, you could also try Canva.  I use the latter all the time, as you can put together professional-looking images with hardly any effort!

3. Convert them into leads with persuasive landing pages

Once your visitors click on your CTAs, they’ll be taken to what’s known as landing pages. These pages tell them more about why they would want to take the action described in the CTA. For example, if it’s to sign up to your blog or newsletter, tell them the benefits they’d gain.

Or if you have an ebook or guide (more about that below) for them to download, tell them what they can learn by downloading it in return for filling out a form with their contact details. Landing pages shouldn’t be overly salesy, but they should tell your customers why they’d want to take the action on the page. This is how you get visitors to become leads.

You can create free quality landing pages using ONTRApages.

4. Give them what they want for free with downloadable content

You know how I was just talking about ebooks or guides? This is also known as premium content, and you can offer it for free to download on your website – in return for just a few contact details. This really gives your visitors a reason to become leads, as they’re getting something really useful back in return.

You can put together professional-looking images for your ebook on Canva. As for the writing part, all you need is around 1,000 – 1,500 words that provides more detailed guidance for your customers. If you can match them to your blog content in some way, all the better.

TIP: If you don’t have the time to create ebooks on top of your content, you can collate some of your best blogs on a particular topic and make that into a comprehensive ebook or guide – all it needs is just a little editing!

5. Nurture and engage your leads with email drip campaigns

Now that you have some quality leads, you need to keep them engaged with clever email messages and content. This helps you stay in the forefront of their minds. One of the tools you can achieve this with is MailChimp. It isn’t exactly email automation, but it’s very similar – and free. It essentially allows you to create drip campaigns containing carefully planned content to specific contacts every 3, 5, or 10 days.

Email marketing automation is a little more advanced – for instance, MailChimp has no way of determining when people become customers. You’ll also have to segment your lists manually – which is something I highly recommend you do for maximum effect.

6. Grow a regular audience for your blog with RSS-to-email

Now that you’re publishing regular content, you don’t want people to read one blog and just forget about it. So, how can you get regular visitors to read and engage with your blog? Well, MailChimp, as mentioned above, also have a handy RSS-to-email feature which allow people to easily subscribe.

It’s very simple to use, and all you need to do is publish your content as usual – it will land in your subscribers’ inboxes! You can control how many posts go out, and the frequency, too. You can even combine multiple RSS feeds into just one email newsletter – it’s up to you how you use it.

7. Share your content with the people that need to see it

If you want the right people to see and engage with your posts, you have to share it to the right places. It may only be one piece of the puzzle, but you probably don’t want to be going to all the effort above without including social media such as Facebook, Twitter etc. That way you can start to build a following and connect with more of your ideal customers.

Buffer allows you to schedule, publish and analyse your social media posts all in one place – handy! So, if you want to increase engagement on your posts and see how people are reacting, I highly recommend it. It will also save you some time and even help your blogs get found quicker on Google!

More in-depth but still free…

Below are some other free tools you may find useful, although they might take a bit longer to get the hang of:

  • Google Analytics – Very valuable for understanding your audience, and what they’re doing on your site.
  • HotJar – Let’s you use heat maps, scroll maps, funnel analysis and more.
  • Google Optimise – A bit clunky, but great if you want to try A/B split testing for free.
  • Peek User Testing – This is basically someone filming their first impressions of your site. You can easily get some great insights and ‘a-ha!’ moments.

TIP: If you’re not necessarily only looking for free tools, check out my blog ’15 Must-Have Digital Marketing Tools to Grow Your Business’.

One final thought

Well, that’s the basics to help you start generating those much-needed leads online for free! However, you might be reading this article and thinking there’s one clear disadvantage staring you in the face. If you don’t have the time, or the inclination to learn any of the above tools and systems for yourself, you may have to bite the bullet and pay someone to help you.

There’s also the issue of the above tools being very segmented, which means they won’t really talk to each other very well. This can lead to things getting overly complicated and messy. However, it IS a way to save money, and it IS entirely possible – as long as you’re happy to put in the time and effort.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, or get in touch. I’ll be happy to give you some more free advice that might be able to help.

How to Generate an Income Stream from Your Website

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Are you looking for ways to generate more income from your website?

If you’re anything like most of my clients, you probably want to help attract more leads and sales so you can grow your business, and you know what can really help you do that? Your website!

However, not everyone knows how to tap into this potential goldmine that they could already be sitting on, and so their website goes on under-performing while they struggle to get more business in other ways. Continue reading

How to Turn Your Website into a Powerful Sales Engine

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Wouldn’t it be nice never to have to worry about where your next sale was coming from?

(Sounds a bit like a dream scenario, doesn’t it?)

In my experience as an inbound marketer, this is something that many businesses want when they first come to me, although not everyone actually believes it can be a reality – instead, they go back to scraping together a business with referrals and paid ads.

But, let me tell you; with inbound marketing, it’s absolutely possible! Continue reading

How to Match Your Website Content to Your Buyer’s Needs

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Are you looking for ways to improve your existing website?

If your website is under-performing, and you find yourself struggling to get enough leads and sales, you might start thinking about scrapping it altogether and getting a new one.

Whenever I hear anyone start to talk like this, I always say ‘STOP! That won’t solve your problems!’ – In fact, a new, swankier website that doesn’t address any of the problems you’re currently having could mean you’ll just run into the same old issues again and again.

So, what should you do instead? Continue reading

Why Most Inbound Agencies Won’t Let You Pay Per Lead

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Discover the 25 most important points your website must have to maximise the number of qualified leads you receive.
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Are you thinking of investing in inbound marketing, but want to know exactly where your money is going?

I don’t blame you; after all, it’s an entirely sensible thing to expect.

Never seeing your hard-earned cash again is actually one of the biggest fears when making the commitment to inbound, as it usually requires a considerable investment – not only in monetary terms, but also in trust.

As an inbound marketer, I get a lot of questions from businesses on a daily basis, and one of the biggest is: Continue reading

How to Get an Inbound Marketing Strategy for Your Business

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Are you thinking of investing in inbound marketing, and are looking for a strategy to help?

Perhaps you’ve read that just like anything, you need solid inbound marketing strategy in place in order to be successful – but when it comes to getting your hands on one, you’re left scratching your head.

As an experienced marketer, I talk to businesses every day who are in need of an inbound strategy, although not all of them know it – so congratulations, you’re already one step ahead of the game.

Below, I’m going to tell you why an inbound marketing strategy is important, your available options for getting one in place, and the things to consider when going through an inbound agency. Continue reading

Do I Need a New Website for Inbound Marketing?

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Are you ready to try inbound marketing, but worried it’ll mean a whole new website?

Doing inbound the right way can require a big investment and it’s easy to see why the idea of paying for a new website on top of everything else could be a nightmare.

Over the years, this has been a major concern for many businesses I’ve worked with, especially when budget was already tight.

However, you can stop worrying right now. The good news is, you DON’T need a new website for inbound marketing to be successful. Continue reading

When is the Best Time to Market Your Business?

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Are your leads drying up? Looking for a bit of help to get fresh ones?

Many businesses come to me with this specific problem, as inbound marketing is one proven way to help businesses get more high quality leads.

However, is this the best time to market your business?

I wanted to talk to you today about when the ideal time to market your business really is, in order to ensure your business keeps growing. Continue reading

How to be Confident Inbound Marketing will Succeed

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Are you worried that inbound marketing won’t work for you?

I would be surprised if this wasn’t one of your main concerns, as inbound marketing does require a good investment, and you don’t want to waste your money.

The many businesses I have helped by turning their inbound marketing investment into more sales will sing inbound marketing’s praises.

But they were once the same as you; worried and unconvinced that inbound marketing is the best solution for their business.

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In this article I hope not to necessarily convince you that inbound marketing will succeed – instead, I want to explore the facts, and the reasons why you may feel unconvinced.

Hopefully once you have finished reading this article, you will be better informed to make the right decision about whether inbound marketing is the route you want to go down for your business.

Lets first look at the reasons why you’re worried: Continue reading

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