43 Tried and Tested Ideas to Grow Your Database In the Real World

43 Tried and Tested Ideas to Grow Your Database In the Real World

Most small business owners worry constantly about not having enough leads.

And yet commonly they use less than 5 different lead generation tactics, are inconsistent in their application, and don’t regularly review or measure their success.

Not all lead generation activities are suitable for all businesses. A yoga studio in the inner east of Melbourne filled its classes in one hit with a postcard letterbox drop in their local area. It was a brilliant tactic for a discretionary, comparatively low cost consumer service. But if you’re selling a high value consumer or B2B product, a letterbox drop will probably give you a very low or no return.

Most businesses need multiple lead generation pathways
Different tactics work best for different products and services
Try a variety of lead generation activities, review and change what’s not working

Before you start something new to encourage leads, consider

  • what are you selling
  • how you would like to be perceived
  • where are your ideal buyers
  • what do they read
  • what interests them
  • what kind of message they are most likely to respond to?

The aim of all lead generation is to get the reader/listener to act. You want them to contact you, and ideally provide their email address, so you can begin to educate them about what you have to offer.

The aim is to grow your database, then communicate regularly

Making a sale is not about an instant response. Regular contact and provision of information is far more likely to lead to buying.

There are multiple possibilities for lead generation online, including social media, pay per click advertising and content marketing, and you should definitely explore and exploit these. However, you could be missing massive opportunities if you ignore the real world.

One or more of these could be ideal

  1. Sales letters
    to key decision makers, followed up by a phone call
  2. Classified advertisements
    in publications read by your ideal buyers
  3. Catalogues in venues
    either geographically or target audience the same as you
  4. Promotional brochures or flyers
    Distributed to a targeted area. Letterbox drop or Australia Post Unaddressed Mail
  5. Direct Mail – addressed postcard or letter to a targeted list of recipients. Make sure you followup by phone within a week, and send at least 3. Repetition counts
  6. Leaflet dispensers at targeted locations
    Local retailers, other businesses with similar customer bases
  7. Telemarketing
    Get professional help with this
  8. Printed Newsletters
    Have massive value if done monthly. Distribution through partners can be very successful.
  9. Information Booklets
    Prove usefulness, credibility and expertise
  10. Magazine and paper inserts
    Select carefully for target audience
  11. Affiliate marketing
    Offer a free gift via an affiliate partner. Value add for them, list building for you
  12. Joint ventures
    Partner with a business that sells to the same audience as you
  13. Radio ads
    Repetition is key, but can be effective for the right business type. Better for consumer products and services
  14. TV ads
    Require deep pockets!
  15. Write a book
    Position yourself as an expert
  16. Local radio interviews
    Position yourself as an expert
  17. Become a speaker
    Position yourself as an expert
  18. Press releases
  19. Sponsorships
    Make sure the community is a good match to your likely buyers
  20. Business cards
    Include a call to action on the reverse such as download this ebook, get this free gift, attend this event
  21. Public relations (PR)
  22. Offer a free trial or consultation
  23. Organise an open day
  24. Run an event
  25. Create a branded give away e.g. calendars, mugs, pens
    with your URL
  26. Write for the local newspaper
  27. Send articles to clients – by post with a note attached
  28. Advertise on buses, bill boards, cabs
  29. Offer a finder’s fee
  30. Car signage
  31. Branded T-shirts
  32. Cross-promote with other businesses
  33. Create a contest
  34. Direct mail
  35. Post card promotions
  36. Networking offline
    MeetUps, Business Breakfasts,
    Make sure you are able to introduce your business in a clear compelling way
  37. Trade shows
  38. Referral incentives
    Gift vouchers, reward events, free service
  39. Cold calling
    in person in your local area
  40. BNI, BOB, local business referral groups, Chambers of Commerce
  41. Gift Vouchers
  42. Bill boards
  43. Community, service or sporting clubs

So there are lots of ways to attract attention and create a lead. Brainstorm what might work for your business, then test and measure. Remember, whatever you choose, ask them to do something. Even if that’s just including your URL so they can visit your website.