Lead Capture for SMBs: Other Lead Capture Sources

May 26th, 2011 by Sean Dwyer

We recently added Lead Capture for Small-to-Medium-Sized B2B Companies white paper to the LoopFuse Marketing Best Practices Exchange.  This white paper essentially wraps up recent blog posts on Lead Capture into a single document such as:

  1. Targeting – Identifying who you want to capture as leads
  2. Positioning & Messaging – Appearing relevant to your target leads
  3. Registration – Inspiring target leads to share contact information with you
  4. Measurement – Understanding Lead Capture program performance and seeking ways to improve

Today, I would like to cover Other Lead Capture Sources.

Inbound leads (following search engine and news article links to your website) tend to cost less to capture and can be 10 times more likely to end up as qualified sales opportunities than leads from other sources; however, inbound lead flow can be unsteady. Therefore, you may consider other lead sources to make the lead flow more predictable and to reach new types of leads. The cost per lead will vary for the programs listed below; if your cost per B2B lead ends up being $25-$50, you’re in pretty good shape.

Here are some alternatives to website Lead Capture:

Tradeshows and Conferences

Exhibit or sponsor a live event and collect contact information from the people who attended the event or visited your tradeshow booth. Tradeshows vary in effectiveness based on your industry, but they tend to cost more than other lead sources and quality can be iffy (attendees tend to be lower-level decision makers).


Web seminars (webinars) delivered via WebEx or GoToWebinar, et al. are very effective Lead Capture programs. They are inexpensive to produce and tend to attract a good-size audience (dozens to hundreds, depending on the webinar topic and your market). Promote webinars via your website, via Twitter, and via emails to your marketing database. To really amplify webinar Lead Capture, find a business partner with a large mailing list to co-host the webinar with you. If they promote the webinar to their mailing list, you’ll end up with many more new leads generated by the event (for free!).

Social Media sites

You can “capture” followers on social networking sites like Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn. They are not traditional leads, but they find you relevant and are tuned into what you’re saying. It is beneficial to build a following via these sites; followers will help you spread your message to their networks of followers and may eventually enter your sales and marketing funnel when the timing and message are right.

Content Consolidators

For companies in the high-tech field, there are “content consolidators,” such as TechTarget and SlashDot, that host topical news sites with hundreds of thousands of registered visitors. They offer vendors Lead Capture opportunities—they’ll host and promote your Lead Capture content (white papers, webcasts, etc.) to their members via ads on their website and via emails and newsletters. They will usually guarantee a minimum number of leads generated by the campaign, which is good, but the programs can be pricey. You can negotiate cost per lead, and they’ll usually agree to exclude certain demographics (that you consider unsellable, such as students/academicians) from your lead count to help with lead quality.

Trade Associations

Trade associations are a fantastic way to capture leads. Trade associations are communities of people that share a common industry or role, so they are ideal for targeted lead generation. For example, if you want technologists (IT, R&D people) working for telecommunications companies, look at the Tele Management Forum (www.tmforum.org). They have tens of thousands of members and offer companies the ability to advertise, and sponsor trade shows/ webinars that reach their membership. Organizations like TMForum exist for almost every industry segment—search for them on Google.

Mailing List Purchases

You can acquire contact information for potential leads from mailing list brokers or from business contact databases like Jigsaw and RainKing. These sources will sell you lists of people (with email addresses or physical mailing addresses) that meet specific criteria (e.g., people in the US with “Technical Manager” in their title or “Dentists from the 404 area code,” etc.). You can then email (or mail) them and count those who respond to the outbound campaign as new leads. The list providers usually charge a few cents to a few dollars per name. That might sound tempting, but consider the fact that conservatively, only 1%-2% of the people on the list will respond to your campaign, so the cost per lead can be quite high (~50-100 times higher than the cost per name).  Whatever your list source list, be sure that you are compliant with anti?spam regulations.

To learn more about Lead Capture best practices, download Lead Capture for Small-to-Medium-Sized B2B Companies


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