Selling is one of the most critical factors for any startup. Your ability to attract and find customers could determine much of your success. To be in the favourable position of a thriving seller, you need to generate some quality leads. 

This article is going to cover everything you need to know about the best lead generation strategies for startups:

  • What is lead generation?
  • What is a lead magnet?
  • What is meant by a call to action?
  • What are landing pages?
  • What are lead ads?
  • What is the sales funnel?

What is lead generation?

A ‘lead’ is a potential customer identified to have some potential interest in your product or service. The process of generating leads is to either actively seek more of these people to locate or acknowledge ones who have discovered you. 

By generating leads, you can nurture them and continue to target them until they are ready to purchase. When generating many leads, you can find people who are more likely to want what you sell. Then, you use multiple techniques to convince them to follow through with that information.

What are lead magnets?

Businesses provide free offerings to potential customers in exchange for their contact details. This process creates a ‘lead magnet’. Some examples of lead magnets include:

  • Trails of subscriptions — if you have a service, then giving access for a limited time  allows leads to experience what you provide in exchange for their contact details.
  • Email newsletters — by regularly offering information they may benefit from, a lead might hand over their email so you can contact them. For more information see how to create a business email.
  • Consultations — if you are an expert in your field and leads feel as though they would benefit from one-on-one time (often used by life coaches, wedding planners and private healthcare). For more information see how to get your first client as a consultant.
  • Samples — leads are far more likely to try something if it is free and provide contact details so you can send samples to them.
  • White papers –– are guides or research reports that leads may benefit from and offer details to download.

What is a call to action?

A ‘call to action’ is a marketing term for a prompt (could be in the form of a button), which encourages the potential customer to do something. This action could be to sign up or purchase and appear on websites, emails and advertising. 

According to entrepreneur Neil Patel, human psychology encourages us to seek the CTA (call to action) on any website or landing page. So it is essential to consider its relevance for generating leads. 

For more information on marketing your startup see the links at the bottom of the page.

What are landing pages?

A ‘landing page’ is a marketing term for a page that directs a lead after clicking on a link from an email or advertisement. The purpose of the landing page is to focus the user’s attention on a singular call to action. Potential customers can provide their email and address in exchange for receiving a free sample, for example.

What are lead ads?

The term ‘lead ads’ refers to advertising that allows you to collect data about your potential customers. Using social media advertising will enable you to use ‘instant forms’, which means that the platform can fill out all users’ information and provide it to you when prompted. These ads work just like any other social media advertising, but you can collect the data from the platforms. You can then use this information to follow up the leads through the sales funnel.

What is the sales funnel?

Marketers use the term’ sales funnel’ to describe the potential journey customers take, from hearing about your product or service to making a purchase. 


There are different ways businesses decide to split their funnels, but for this explanation, there will be three:

  • Top of the funnel – find leads
  • Middle of the funnel – nurture leads
  • Bottom of the funnel – sell to leads 

Top of the funnel find leads

The first stage is discovery. Putting out your lead magnets picks up any potential customers that come across your brand — also the stage for initial advertising campaigns. Either you seek these leads, or they seek you. The messaging at the top of the funnel is centred around piquing the leads’ interests so that they would be open to learning more in the next stage.

Middle of the funnel – nurture leads

The second stage is for identifying the leads that interacted with your brand — those who provided information through the lead magnet strategy or those who reacted to a social media ad. Familiarity and relationships with the leads are created at this stage. The leads become more aware of the brand through more targeted social media advertising, emails, text messages, or phone calls.

Bottom of the funnel – sell to leads

The last stage is where your leads are in the best position to make a purchase decision by fully understanding your brand and what is on offer. Then, the potential customers can choose whether they would like to follow through. When targeting the leads in this stage, the messaging should change. From explaining the brand or product, you now push towards the sale.

Convert those leads into sales and keep track with Countingup

Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here and start your 3 month free trial today.

For more information on marketing your startup business read one of our guides: