The art of successful lead generation is a difficult nut to crack for many technology businesses. In fact, according to the State Of Inbound report by HubSpot, it’s the number one challenge for marketers today.

The tech market is becoming increasingly saturated with competition, with lead generation tactics fighting for attention. It’s no longer enough to simply look at what your competitors are doing and replicate it in hope that you’ll get yourself some juicy leads. Today’s consumers are spoilt for choice and so it’s vital that you’re offering them something that’s really worth them handing over their personal information. 

If your current tech lead generation strategies aren’t getting the results you’re looking for, here are six creative ideas that will change everything…

Create an interactive tool

In your professional life, how many times have you handed over your email address in trade for a handy little tool? Those free social media calendars, for one, keep us nice and aware of all those all-important national awareness days from “National Pizza Day” to “National Lost Sock Memorial Day”… 

The truth is, we humans love free stuff. Especially if it makes our lives a lot darn easier. While a lot of the “free template” market is oversaturated in many industries, as a tech business, you’re likely to have the expertise to offer something a bit out of the ordinary.

Many tech businesses — both large and small — are investing time and effort in creating free, interactive tools for their target audience. From Moz’s free keyword research tool to HubSpot’s suite of free tools for small businesses; tool-based marketing is becoming a sure-fire way to attract valuable leads.

All you have to do is create a tool you know will attract your target audience, require an email address for them to have access to, and you have yourself a lovely little lead!

Go “old school” with direct mail

Although direct mail’s response rate has dropped over time, it’s still a valuable tool for marketers and salespeople. Today’s consumers are bombarded with emails. People receive 121 emails per day on average, meaning you have to work incredibly hard to cut through the noise and get their attention. 

In contrast,  four in 10 people reported enjoying the routine of checking for (physical) mail. The “emotional connection” of this act and the excitement of seeing if you’ve received anything good makes it a far more memorable experience. On the contrary, when was the last time you got hyped about checking your inbox?

For your technology business, a great way to generate leads from this strategy is to segment your audience into smaller groups, and then focus your efforts on targeting these to make them more personalised and engaging. 

Examples of different direct mail examples include creatively packaged product boxes, head-turning invitations to online or offline events, a video business introduction delivered on a branded memory stick, and more.

Incorporating direct mail into your lead generation strategy can strengthen your relationships with your target audience because you’re able to provide hyper-focused content through a medium that fosters deeper connection.

Be an active member of your tech community

Another strategy for generating leads is to build connections with others in both online and offline marketing communities. 

Before the rise of the internet and the explosion of digital marketing strategies, word of mouth marketing was the go-to way to garner interest for businesses and generate leads. From intimate networking events to large annual trade shows; these offline marketing channels are a great way to build sincere connections with your community. 

Being an active community member is also something tech professionals should strive to be in online environments. No matter the industry, there are tons of online community sites where you can become an active voice on your topic, including Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups.

Whether it’s offline or online community engagement, as you build relationships and demonstrate expertise in your field, people will naturally start to think of you or your tech business for future opportunities. 

The key to being successful in this lead generation strategy is to forget about the lead generation bit and just focus on being a genuine and helpful community member, being selfless in your interactions with others. By doing this, over time, you’ll be sure to see your efforts returned.

Offer a free trial

Giving customers a short period, free of charge, to try out your tech product will allow them to discover all the benefits it will bring to their life. Once they know what it will do for them, they’ll be sure to consider buying. 

However, the key to seeing success with free trials is to keep it short. According to research into SaaS lead generation, free trials should not exceed 14 days. This period is long enough for customers to explore your product features but not too long for them to take advantage.

It’s a psychological effect. By keeping your trial period short, you’re likely to increase the possibility that your customers will take the time to get to know your product and turn into paying customers. If they know they only have a few days to give it a go, they’ll be more motivated to do it. On the other hand, if you give customers a month or two to trial your service, it’ll be much more likely that they put it at the bottom of their to-do list, leaving it too close to the deadline to really explore its functions properly.

Host a webinar

Your technology business was built to serve a particular need and to solve a problem. As an expert in your industry, you’re likely to have a wealth of knowledge on various topics that an eager audience would be more than willing to hand over their email address in exchange for this value. 

Through a series of webinars and online events, you can educate potential leads and position your technology business as a thought leader in the industry, while also piquing interest in your product or services. 

Even after the initial live event, the webinar can be recorded and archived for future viewings via a gated form on your website. This means you can continue to capture leads through registrations for weeks after the event.

Produce a gated white paper

Practically nobody buys a product on the first visit to a website. People spend time researching, comparing, and understanding their options.

For  B2B technology companies in particular, white papers are a great form of marketing to engage customers. These well-researched pieces take a lot more time and resource than the typical blog post or video, written in a report style from the point of view of an industry expert. The length and format of a white paper allows a topic to be covered in great depth. 

A well-proven strategy to generate leads for your business is through gated content and according to the Content Marketing Institute, 88 percent of B2B marketers use content marketing as a lead generation tactic.

 An excellently written white paper will help generate qualified leads and move audiences along the sales funnel through the offering of high-value technical content that educates, inspires, and helps to solve real business challenges. 

Finding a lead generation strategy that works for your business can be a huge challenge in any industry. In many cases, it’s all about trial and error, paying close attention to what’s generating quality leads and then nurturing them to convert to clients.

Whatever technique you try, the most important thing to keep in mind is that to generate qualified leads, you need to offer your audience quality content. Whether it’s content that seeks to educate, entertain, inform, or inspire — make it stand out and be something too good to miss out on.