Picture this... you're in the market for a new lawn care provider for your home. The weather is starting to warm up so you need a company who can come and mow your lawn and take care of your landscaping once a week. You've never hired a lawn care company before, so you search "lawn care company near me. "A dozen or so results pop up and you visit the websites of the top two listed on Google. Both companies have good websites with lots of positive reviews.
Website #1 tells you to "get a quote," but you're not quite ready for that. You're just getting some information at this point.
Website #2 gives you the option to get a quote as well, but near the bottom of the homepage, you see a section that catches your eye... the headline says, "Free PDF: 5 Lawn Care Mistakes All Homeowners Make."
Intriguing! You eagerly give them your email address to get this free download. Over the next couple of weeks, you never hear from website #1 (I mean, why would you? You never requested a quote). But you do hear from website #2 a few times... giving you guidance about choosing a lawn care provider, providing valuable insights, and sharing how they can help you have a beautiful lawn.
Which company do you end up hiring? The choice is pretty obvious... you hire website #2. The download you requested is commonly called a "lead generator." The moment you entered your email address, you were entered into an automated sales sequence the company set up ahead of time. The first email sent you the free PDF and then you received a series of emails that helped you make a decision about whether or not you wanted to hire this company.
In this article, I want to share 7 types of lead generators you can use in your business. I'll also show you examples of each. There is an order to this list... I'll start with the easiest/least amount of work to create.
When you're about to launch a product or service, you can offer your audience the opportunity to get first access by opening up a waitlist. They give you their email address, you provide them insider or early access to what you're about to sell. When it comes to waitlists, make sure you have a highly engaged audience who wants what you're about to sell. Though it's very easy to set up, a waitlist is typically not the best option for a new business. Here's an example for Amy Porterfield's Digital Course Academy
As a consumer, you've likely seen a coupon frequently in your online and offline shopping experiences. A coupon simply provides a discount on your product or service to your customer. The customer gives you their email address and you send them a coupon or coupon code for them to use on your website or in your store. Here's an example from Bed, Bath, & Beyond
Similar to a coupon, a free trial provides immediate, discounted (free in this case) access to your product or service. When you use a free trial as a lead generator, you're allowing the user to trade their email address for a trial run of what you sell. Free trial lead generators are a great option for digital products and software. Here's an example from Basecamp project management software
There are a few names for this one... free PDF, white paper, etc. The basic idea is that you create a document that solves a customer's problem. I used this as an example above where the lawn company creates a PDF called, "5 Lawn Care Mistakes All Homeowners Make."Here are a few ideas for free PDFs:
This is the most common lead generator we create for our clients. Here are links to a few that we've created:
Here's an example from one of our past clients, Big Little Feelings (hey, Redditors 👋)
A quiz is a fun and engaging way for your audience to engage with your product or service. Through a series of questions, you can provide your customer with a personalized result and give them the next step for your business. There are a few ways to set up a quiz:
Here's an example from AirBnb:
A video series or a mini-course is similar to a free PDF but in video form. It requires a bit more up-front work, but the payoff can be huge. The customer would provide their email address in exchange for a few videos to be sent to them automatically. These videos would help solve a problem as it relates to your product or service and establish you as an authority. As an added bonus, the customer feels connected to you because they've seen your face and heard you talk on video. Here's an example from StoryBrand (the framework we use for our clients!)
Last, but certainly not least, is a live webinar. Think about this as a free, virtual event for your prospective customers. The benefits of a live webinar are that you're able to interact directly with customers, get instant feedback, ask directly for a sale, and provide tons of value to your audience. This is intentionally listed as #7 on this list because it requires a bit of a time commitment each time you host the webinar, you need to have some skill on camera and in handling objections and questions, and it requires technical know-how and software to pull off well. Here's an example from Intercom live chat software
Whichever lead generator type you decide to use (and you can use more than one!), make sure you have incredibly valuable content that your audience will actually want. We tell our clients all the time: people will part with an email address about as easily as they'll part with $10. That means the lead generators we use should be worth (at least) $10.
If you need some help creating an awesome lead generator for your business, start a project with us today.