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What’s the Best Way to Generate Leads?

September 13th, 2011 ::

By Karen Axelton

What’s the most effective way to generate leads for your small business? A new survey of lead generation professionals by search and display advertising platform Advertise.com found that pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns were rated the most valuable lead generation tool. Cold calling, not surprisingly, was ranked least effective.

When asked what was their most effective lead generation tool, here’s what the survey respondents said:

  • PPC campaigns – 35.9 percent
  • Online display campaigns – 17.9 percent
  • Other – 13.7 percent
  • Third-party opt-in email campaigns – 11.3 percent
  • Trade shows – 7.7 percent
  • Direct mail – 6.5 percent
  • Cold calling – 5.9 percent

Third-party opt-in email campaigns were named as the most underutilized platform for lead generation. When asked which lead generation methods are underutilized, respondents said:

  • 3rd party opt-in email campaigns – 20.3 percent
  • Online display campaigns – 19.1 percent
  • Cold calling – 14.3 percent
  • Trade shows – 13.1 percent
  • Other – 11.3 percent
  • Direct mail campaigns – 10.7 percent
  • Pay-per click (PPC) search campaigns – 10.1 percent

Only slightly more than one-third (36 percent) of respondents had ever used third-party opt-in email campaigns in the past; 64 percent had not.

While pay-per-click ads can be effective, they’re often too costly for small marketers, making third-party opt-in email a more cost-effective alternative. Studies have shown that email is almost universally used and still highly effective as a sales tool when done right, so if you’re not already using this tool, now might be the time to consider it.


The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Business Development, Email Marketing, Marketing, Sales Process, sales process, Small Business, small business | 1 Comment »

  • Gigi @ Big Idea Mastermind

    Hi, I truly appreciate this article. I am always looking out for the best ways to generate leads. One of my favorite ways so far, is email marketing.