We’ve examined the many ways to improve your brand’s lead generation results. In this post we look at some strong examples and assess the channel being used for each lead generation campaign and where it fits in the sales and marketing funnel.
But back up a second, we’re here today to talk about examples of lead generation—a method used by marketers everywhere to find people who might be interested in becoming a customer one day.
Typically, if lead generation is your goal, you’re looking to find ways to collect the contact information of people who you think might become a customer someday—that way, you can continue to connect with them, stay top of mind and nurture them into doing so.
Today we’re going to take a deep-dive into examples of different lead generation campaigns, content types and tactics used by various companies from different verticals.
Let’s begin with a couple of paid lead-generation campaigns that utilize the fast-growing content discovery advertising channel.
- Advertiser: SEMRush
- Channel: Discovery
- Strategy: This native ad is programmatically placed in a newsfeed to create top-of-the-funnel awareness for the SEMRush software platform. Click through on the ad and you’re taken to an informative ‘tips’ article on the SEMRush blog.
- Of note: The blog post features two offers to try a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product, but if it fails to generate clicks for doing so, the campaign doesn’t end there—Stay tuned for more on SEMRush’s middle of the funnel strategy for this campaign.
- Advertiser: Bombas
- Channel: Content discovery
- Strategy: This native ad, which I discovered on The Weather Channel, is actually bottom of the funnel content. Its purpose is to drive sales. The ad leads to a well-designed landing page featuring a list. As the ad promises, the landing page delivers ‘8 Things that Make Bombas the Best Socks in the History of Feet.’
- Of note: This landing page pulls out all the stops. It details features of the socks; the company’s ‘purchase one, donate one’ policy; social proof in the form of a testimonial and media review; and a guarantee. To make the landing page even more compelling, several images are GIFs.
We’ll now look at another popular paid lead-generation strategy, best thought of as a middle of the funnel tactic: re-marketing.
- Advertiser: SEMRush (as shown previously)
- Channel: Re-marketing
- Strategy: A browser cookie informs the Google Ads display network that I had previously clicked-through on a SEMRush ad and it reminds me to return. This is a middle-of-the-funnel tactic. The hypotheses at work here is: I have shown some interest and the decision I may soon make regarding SEO software might be moved along faster with some lead nurturing.
- Of note: SEMRush’s lead-generation campaign turns over many stones. Below you’ll see additional re-marketing efforts that landed in my path as I traversed affiliated sites.
A page-top, mostly text-based banner ad.
A webpage sidebar ad.
An in-article re-marketing ad.
Same offer, different strategy.
Native advertising’s reigning money-making king remains search engine advertising.
Search Engine Advertising
- Advertiser: Multiple snoring remedies
- Channel: Google Ads pay-per-click
- Strategy: Interestingly, the four advertisers who ranked atop my search results and paid for my clicks went with different landing-page strategies.
- Breathe Right’s landing page offered tips, a sleep checklist, four relevant articles, a coupon and a free sample offer, plus many links. The Snore Whisperer’s landing page presented a quiz, an effective mechanism as an interactive lead-generation strategy.
- Snoring Advisor appears to be an affiliate site. Its landing page offers reviews, videos, and more.
- PureSleep’s landing page was the company’s homepage with a tracking code.
- Advertiser: Multiple snoring remedies
- Channel: Google Ads pay-per-click ‘shopping ads’
- Strategy: As you see here, competing makers of snoring remedy devices appear as shopping ads, which sometimes feature images, offers, and reviews.
- Of note: According to Google, shopping ads use existing Merchant Center product data, rather than keywords, to decide how and where to show your ads.
Social media advertising can take prospects on a variety of journeys.
Social Media Advertising
- Advertiser: Seismic Software
- Channel: LinkedIn
- Strategy: While B2B brand companies often advertise on multiple social media channels, LinkedIn’s business-minded audience makes it a popular choice.
- Of note: This ad campaign promotes a webinar to support top-of-the-funnel brand awareness. It uses the LinkedIn Lead Gen form, meaning a click immediately produces a pop-up form. LinkedIn claims this approach increases conversions by two or three times, compared to standard sponsored content campaigns.
- Advertiser: Datorama
- Channel: Facebook
- Strategy: Here, Datorama takes advantage of Facebook’s robust database by serving a marketing professional like me a middle, or maybe, bottom-of-the-funnel ad.
- Of note: The ad’s landing page offers a video demonstration using a gated form —with two drop-down fields — to collect lead data.
- Advertiser: SmartAsset
- Channel: Twitter
- Strategy: This is a top-of-the-funnel lead generation tactic found in my Twitter feed.
- Of note: The ad’s landing page serves a multi-step form claiming the information provided enables SmartAsset to find an ideally matched financial advisor.
Next, we’ll examine a variety of effective tactics for capturing leads on your website.
In our post about lead-generation campaign planning, we look at important steps, including creating an offer and optimizing your lead-capture mechanisms. Now, we’ll look at some examples.
- Advertiser: Wells Fargo
- Channel: Content discovery ad
- Strategy: Wells Fargo aims to entice new checking-account customers with a $400 welcome bonus.
- Of note: Though free educational content has been a raging hot strategy for a decade or so, free money—or discounts—has, and always will be, an effective strategy.
- Advertiser: CloudShare
- Channel: LinkedIn sponsored post
- Strategy: In the B2B space, offering a free eBook remains a popular strategy for top-of-the funnel content and lead generation.
- Of note: The landing page that offers a downloadable is likely to convert well when it (1) gets to the point (2) lists the reasons to take action and (3) requires little information from the visitor.
- Advertiser: Chewy
- Channel: The Chewy.com website
- Strategy: Chewy makes this special offer for what you might call the ‘post-funnel’ stage. The intention is to foster relationships with existing customers with a win-win special offer that rewards the customer with savings and convenience and the brand with loyalty.
- Of note: I’m an existing customer. Out of curiosity, I logged out and when I returned to the site I found the 30% off became 60% for first-timers.
- Advertiser: UNIQLO
- Channel: The Uniqlo.com website
- Strategy: This lead-generation program is a discount and then some.
- Of note: This promotion doubles down on lead generation by requesting the person that opts in to refer a friend.
- Advertiser: WordStream
- Channel: The company’s website.
- Strategy: The lead generation strategy at work here offers a free assessment in exchange for an email address. In the process, it collects a few helpful data points.
- Of note: For quite a few industry types, offering these types of tools is effective. In addition to offering the ads performance grader on their homepage, WordStream also makes the offer via landing pages connected to pay-per-click (PPC) ads, and as an exit intent popup. Obviously, it’s had some success with this lead-generation program and is, therefore, using multiple lead generation tools to promote it.
Learn more about some of our favorite lead-generation tools here
Below is a section of a landing page that demonstrates what the deliverable will include:
- Advertiser: EnergySage
- Channel: The company’s homepage
- Strategy: Here again is a powerful example of a company offering a valuable tool. In this case, the idea is to calculate the potential savings of using their system, which can drive the prospect from the middle to the bottom-of-the-funnel.
- Of note: Like the example above, in addition to being offered from the homepage, the calculator serves as a landing page for digital lead-generation ad campaigns.
- Advertiser: Kajabi
- Channel: The company’s homepage
- Strategy: Webinars are valuable for top, middle and bottom-of-the-funnel marketing — depending on how they’re promoted and what they include. My guess is this webinar aims for the middle-of-the-funnel, but includes an offer aimed at closing deals.
- Of note: Kajabi’s webinar is offered every day, which suggests it’s prerecorded. As such, this lead-generation strategy is remarkably cost-efficient.