Lead Generation & Sales Blog

11 Actionable Tips for Small Business Lead Generation

Small business lead generation tips to boost your sales. Read these 11 effective strategies.

Written by Yaroslav Savchenko

11 Actionable Tips for Small Business Lead Generation

Crafting a small business lead generation strategy comes with a unique set of challenges. 

As a small business owner, you might worry that you don’t have the resources or budget to pour into lead generation. But you have a different kind of superpower.

You can cultivate customer connections in a way that larger enterprises simply can’t. Hyper-personalized service, more genuine relationships, one-to-one attention, and a stronger sense of community – are just some areas where small companies excel. 

The first step is to understand this. Then, you can put your superpower into action by learning how to craft a lead-generation strategy that works for your business. 

This article will explore 11 actionable tips to get started.

What is small business lead generation?

Lead generation is the process of finding and connecting with potential customers with the end goal of converting their interest into a sale. 

This is an important step in the sales process. You know that you need a steady stream of new customers to get your small business off the ground and maintain growth. Generating leads is the first step towards this.

Doing so means turning your target audience into paying customers via outreach that engages them with your products and offerings, such as:

  • Signing up for emails.
  • Clicking through to your website.
  • Engaging on social media.
  • Calling your business with queries.

Any action that a potential client takes to engage with your brand takes them one step closer to being a lead. It means you’re on their radar and can start to build a customer-brand relationship. 

Effective lead generation tactics for small businesses

Whilst tried-and-true lead generation methods like direct mail and cold calling using an autodialer are still effective at building small business customer bases, there are many other things you can do to boost your success. So, we’ve compiled 11 actionable tips you might not have considered. 

Define your ideal customer profile

An ideal customer profile (ICP) is your target audience—the people most likely to be interested in your brand and become qualified leads. These are customers to whom your business can provide value and who will offer value in return. 

To create an ICP, you should:

  • Analyze your existing customer base.
  • Identify which demographics already purchase from you.
  • Identify high-value customers who make repeat purchases, are loyal, and advocate for your brand.
  • Assess the customer pain points and challenges that your business addresses and which customers most benefit from that.
  • Create customer profiles of your target audience.

Forming ICPs helps you dig deeper into potential customers so your sales team can more appropriately appeal to them.

Create informative and engaging content

Content is a powerful lead-generation strategy for any business, but it’s particularly useful for small companies with a limited marketing budget. Instead of flashy, expensive campaigns, the content you create markets itself. 

In fact, a 2022 Content Marketing Institute study showed that the businesses surveyed listed content marketing as their most effective lead-generation strategy.

most effective marketing strategies graph

Modern customers (or, as the CMI calls them, “The Empowered Buyer”) are more engaged than ever. They take time to research brands and products before making a purchase. What’s more, they value a positive customer experience. Lucky for you, content appeals to this – as long as it’s carefully considered. 

Use what you know about your ideal customer to create the right type of content on the relevant channels. Make sure it’s tailored to your demographics, appeals to your audience’s interests, and is informative or entertaining.

Be active on social media platforms

Chances are you’re already on social media, and different platforms will certainly be valuable for sharing content. But social media is also a prime place for small businesses to put their lead generation efforts into practice without breaking the budget.

One key is to be present on multiple social media platforms, but don’t overstretch yourself. You need to be active across them and remain consistent, both in your posting schedule and in sharing a cohesive brand message. 

Look at what social media platforms your audience uses and make sure you’re on them, too. Then, create a schedule for your social media posts. It should look something like this:

  • Posting around 3 – 7 times a week is ideal. 
  • Post during your target audience’s time zones.
  • Engage with customers by replying to comments.
  • Incentivize your audience to create user-generated content. 

Perhaps the most important thing here is to be consistent. Posting regularly in a consistent tone builds your brand’s image and captures the interest of potential leads.

Optimize your website for lead capture

To turn your website into a strong lead generation platform, you’ll need to funnel potential customers to your landing page.

You can optimize your website using:

  • Good search engine optimization that drives organic traffic from web searches.
  • Calls to action in your web pages, blog posts, guest posts, and content that take potential leads to your landing page.
  • Popups that encourage sign-ups.
  • Live chat or chatbot features that offer help and incentives.

Here is an example of a CTA banner for potential leads to schedule a demo.

CTA banner example for lead-generation

Implement SEO best practices

Speaking of search engine optimization…

SEO is a powerful tool for any small business lead generation strategy. Good search engine optimization can drive organic traffic to your website and social media from web searches.

When a potential client types something into their search engine, they’re primed to make a purchase. They’re actively looking for what you offer, which makes them a qualified lead.

Here are some of the most important SEO best practices to follow:

  • Research keywords and phrases relevant to your business, industry, and products/services.
  • Complement those with niche keywords. These drive higher-quality traffic than common ones. So instead of “automated calling,” try “progressive dialer software.”
  • Add a selection of chosen keywords to content titles and headings.
  • Focus on content that showcases your company’s authority and trustworthiness.
  • Optimize image sizes and alt text.
  • Add internal and external links that are relevant to the topic.

SEO best practices help you rank higher in organic web searches and drive more potential leads to your online content.

Run targeted online ads

What is lead generation in digital marketing without targeted ads?

Even if you have a limited budget, services like Google, Amazon, and Facebook are flexible. Selecting parameters like target demographics and location means you can run a campaign that makes the most of your budget.

This is also where data from your ideal customer profile research comes into play. Use this information to develop personalized ads relevant to your target audience. Choose your channels wisely too, delivering ads through web searches, social media, and website popups based on audience preferences and visibility.

Leverage email marketing channel

Email marketing is a faithful sales lead generator. 

Why? Because potential leads who willingly share their contact details with you have already shown an interest in your brand, so are primed to become customers. 

To encourage sign-ups, you need to offer value in return for data. Can you offer a free product trial? A discount? An exclusive reward?

Once you‘ve built up a database, start to nurture those contacts by:

  • Reaching out to potential leads at various points in their journey.
  • Offering people educational content about your brand and products/services.
  • Highlighting the USPs of your brand, including your products or genuine reviews. 
  • Offering leads discounts and incentives to encourage their first purchase.
  • Reinvigorating lapsed contacts with new content.

Throughout this process, remember to monitor essential metrics to ensure your success. Some metrics to track include open rates, click-through rates, and customer churn rates, which all provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Implement referral programs

Referral programs can create a buzz around your business and encourage customer loyalty, so they really are a win-win.

Incentivize loyal customers to refer your brand to others by offering discounts or setting up a points system that rewards customers for the number of referrals they make.

Partner with other businesses

Partnerships can be a lifeline for small businesses.

Every business has its own audience, so joining forces with a carefully selected partner can put your small business on their radar. Casting your net further afield means you can grow your audience and capture more qualified leads.

You might also find that collaborating with another sales team inspires fresh and innovative ideas for marketing and lead-generation efforts later on. 

Utilize chatbots for real-time engagement

Chatbots are becoming increasingly comprehensive. In the context of lead generation, you can use them to answer customer queries, encourage email sign-ups, advertise products or services, and showcase relevant deals.

When someone arrives at your website, a chatbot can strike up a conversation in real-time to offer a personal touch and encouragement. 

You can utilize chatbots for both customer service and lead generation.

Monitor and analyze performance

Monitoring your sales lead generation process can help you evaluate which parts are working and which aren’t. This lets you hone and improve your strategy.

Many online tools contain analytics. Some, like Google Analytics, are free; some are part of bigger software suites like CRM software. Additionally, simple platforms such as Person Search help small businesses gather contact information about potential leads, so you can perform more targeted outreach.

Best lead generation tools for small businesses

Now that we’ve examined some lead-generation tactics for small businesses, let’s highlight some tools you can use to streamline the process.


It’s a unified solution for all your lead generation, lead nurturing, and customer service needs. 

HelpCrunch customer communication platform chatbots for lead-generation

HelpCrunch lead generation software is a multichannel customer communication platform designed to support and engage with clients across multiple channels, such as a website, mobile apps, email, social media, and messengers.

Top features:

  • Live chat for talking to customers in real-time
  • Auto messages and chatbots for generating more leads and increasing sales
  • Shared inbox for centralized communication
  • Knowledge base for creating informative articles for customer self-service


  • Basic: From $15/month for 1 team member
  • Pro: From $25/month for 1 team member
  • Unlimited: $620/month


OptinMonster is a conversion optimization app that turns website and social media traffic into potential leads. The idea is to grow your email list to get more leads and increase sales.

optimonster conversion optimization app main page

The platform features over 700 templates and a drag-and-drop builder to help you create professional campaigns. Engagement features like gamified wheels and countdown timers help you grab people’s attention. 

Top features:

  • A suite of website optimization tools for capturing and utilizing lead data
  • Geolocation targeting helps you hone in on leads
  • Branded Exit-Intent Technology analyzes customer behavior to reduce abandonment


  • Basic: From $9.97/month
  • Plus: From $19.97/month
  • Pro: From $29.97/month
  • Growth: From $49.97/month


Analytics platform HotJar allows you to evaluate how effective your website is for generating leads. 

hotjar analytics platform main page

The platform aims to help companies improve their sites overall by gathering customer data, uncovering issues in the user experience, and identifying areas for website optimization.

Top features:

  • Recordings show playbacks of user sessions to analyze each visit, navigation, and clicks.
  • Funnels help visualize conversion flows to measure conversions and identify areas where users drop off.
  • A suite of no-code integrations allows for automated workflows.


  • Basic: Free forever
  • Plus: From $39/month
  • Business: From $99/month
  • Scale: From $213/month
  • Custom packages are also available


Effective lead-generation strategies are everything for a business. But just because you’re a small business, doesn’t mean to say your lead generation efforts should be small.

Think big. Take action to find potential customers on the platforms they engage with most and nurture those leads to guide them through your sales funnel.

Even with minimal resources, you can get creative. Think engaging content, consistent communications, and relevant rewards. You’ll soon start turning potential leads into paying customers.

Yaroslav Savchenko
Yaroslav was born in Ukraine. He has been working in content marketing for several years and has managed to write dozens of texts about technology, IT, and business for various online platforms and blogs. Since 2023, Yaroslav has joined the content marketing team of HelpCrunch to create expert materials on customer support. He is fond of photography, traveling, and learning German in his free time.
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