We all know a “rainmaker” who has an uncommon ability for generating warm leads – whether they work in a law firm, real estate agency, financial services company, or anywhere else. It’s almost as if they were born with an internal divining rod. But guess what? Virtually any business can turn into a warm lead factory by taking advantage of inbound marketing.

What are Warm Leads?

Warm leads are prospects (either b2c or b2b) who:

  • Have at least a basic understanding of a business and its offerings – either through a website visit, reading an ebook, direct mail, social media contact, connecting at a conference, being part of the same LinkedIn group and so on.
  • Have a problem to solve and/or goal to achieve, and intends to resolve this through making a purchase in the foreseeable future, or influence someone who will (e.g. boss, board members, etc.).

The basic idea is that warm leads are folks who are somewhat open and agreeable to having a conversation, either in-person, phone, online chat or email.

We use the word “somewhat” for the same reason we use the word “warm”. A business can’t and shouldn’t treat these kinds of prospects as slam dunks – they aren’t. They aren’t easy lay-ups either. However, the core building blocks of a relationship exist, and that’s all it takes to generate warm leads.

How to Generate Warm Leads

So based on the above, how can you generate warm leads through inbound marketing? Here are 3 proven ways that work for us and our clients:

  1. Create a dynamic, high-impact and mobile-friendly website.

All prospects – warm, hot and sizzling – will invariably check out your website before making contact. It’s the digital world’s version of “window shopping”. If your website looks like something that took 20 minutes to put together, or was designed in 1995, then it’s going to add a chill to many of your warm leads. The same applies if your website isn’t compatible with mobile devices (tablets and smartphones).

And remember: it doesn’t matter if you’re in the B2B space and don’t use your website to sell products. All businesses, no matter what they do or who they do it for, need a great website. Maybe 15 years ago or so this was a “best practice”. Now it’s a fundamental requirement to generate warm leads.

  1. Generate quality blog content.

While they typically aren’t as dazzling as dazzling as some cool Infographics, the fact remains that blog posts – which have been around in one form or another for years – are still the single best and most cost-effective way to generate warm leads.

There are a few reasons for this. The first is that customers read blog posts to learn about an issue (or in some cases more about a product or service), and use this information to help grasp if your business is credible and trustworthy.

The second is that customers – like anyone else – are influenced, often subconsciously, by the need to reciprocate. If they access useful blog content that helps them learn something interesting and helpful (within reason – we’re talking blog posts here, not books or courses!), then they’re more likely to sign-up for a demo, download an ebook, contact a salesperson, and so on. Part of this motivation will be that they want to learn more. And part of this will be that they received something helpful and want to reciprocate.

The third is that Google and the other search engines, in their wisdom, have decided that blog content makes for excellent search engine results.

And the fourth reason, also search engine related, is that strategically choosing and then implementing keywords in blog posts can help with overall SEO rankings for your main website itself (i.e. not just blog posts). This can help attract leads, and “warm them up” as they go through a website and read blog posts, download ebooks, check out Infographics, read testimonials, etc.

  1. Generate Ebooks, Infographics and other downloadable assets.

We’ve mentioned these assets already, but they’re a core part of the inbound marketing landscape and need their own spotlight. Downloadable assets such as quality ebooks, Infographics, checklists, reports, and so on are excellent, cost-effective ways to generate warm leads.

Notably, and unlike blog posts, these assets can and should be “gated”, which means that customers access them in exchange for their email address, name, and possibly other information as well.

The type and amount of information that can be asked through a form depends on the type of customer, as well as how far along they are on the customer journey. Lukewarm and warm leads that are near the beginning will typically only provide their name and email. Whereas hot and sizzling leads further along may provide other valuable data, such as when they plan on making a purchase, how many employees they have in their organization, and so on.

Learn More About Lead Generation

You don’t need to have a “rainmaker” on your roster to generate warm leads – with inbound marketing, you can have a lead machine working 24/7. Find out how you can turn your website into a lead generation machine by downloading our free eBook below.

This article originally appeared on the Leap Clixx Blog and has been republished with permission.