19 Effective Lead Generation Examples to Drive Qualified Leads: Referrals, Landing Pages, Social Media, and More

Imagine having a constant stream of qualified leads flowing into your sales funnel, ready to be converted into loyal customers. Sound too good to be true? With the right lead generation tactics, it's entirely possible.

But generating leads successfully and consistently is quite the task. What if you feel you’ve already maxed out your audience? 

If you’re struggling to bring enough leads, generate quality leads, or just want a set of fresh ideas to level up your lead generation process, you’re in the right place.

We’ll walk you through 19 real-world lead generation examples so you can start seeing real results. 

1. Content Marketing: Meet Leads Where They Are 

Content marketing is about delivering resources that meet your potential customers exactly where they need you. We’ve used this strategy at Close for years and have found it to be one of the most effective lead generation strategies. 

No, this isn’t just another “start a blog!” suggestion. In fact, successful content marketing isn’t about any specific channel or format—it’s about finding the channel and format your leads use to solve their problems and reach their goals.

From podcasts and whitepapers to social media marketing and in-depth guides on your website, content marketing maximizes your chances of hitting the right spot with your target audience.

Example: Teamwork’s Content Machine

Lead Generation Examples - Content Marketing Example

Teamwork, a project management solution for agencies, is a content marketing powerhouse. Beyond the standard blog content, Teamwork publishes valuable content like this project management guide, original reports, podcasts and webinars under the name Agency Life, virtual summits, and ebooks.

Agency owners and employees are bound to run into one or more of these if their goal is to manage their projects successfully. That’s the web that Teamwork built.

Why This B2B Lead Generation Example Works:

Although pieces of content like blog posts and podcast episodes aren’t gated, almost all the others are behind a lead gen form—and because of their depth, rightfully so. They’re perfect lead magnets, promising big outcomes; an example is this guide on scaling an agency through key stages of growth.

Even if someone finds Teamwork’s content through ungated pieces, the journey to a gated one is short—and they’ll likely become a qualified lead.

2. SEO: An Organic Way to a New Lead’s Heart

Search engine optimization is related to content marketing—but they aren’t exactly the same thing. Content marketing comes in all shapes and sizes, but SEO-optimized content helps you show up at the top of the search engine results for a term your audience searches for. 

Think about it—what if your site showed up when leads searched “best [whatever you sell] to buy”? How many leads would come pouring in? 

Good SEO means qualified search traffic on repeat—and if you match it with the right call-to-actions, it will deliver leads straight into your lead pipeline. 

The bad news is, SEO isn’t an easy game to play. It takes perseverance, time, and resources. I strongly recommend starting with Ahrefs Academy. It's a tool we use here at Close, and they publish a ton of great SEO content. 

Example: Hotjar’s Search Engine Dominance

Lead Generation Examples - SEO Hotjar Example

Hotjar helps product teams and marketers understand their users better with tools like heatmaps, session recordings, and surveys. Hotjar’s guides for understanding user behavior, improving UX, and increasing conversions perform really well in organic search. 

Each guide is built of several chapters, and each chapter is a detailed, actionable read. Hotjar’s guides about Net Promoter Score and heatmaps take up the top spots in their respective (and highly competitive) keywords.

Why This Inbound Lead Strategy Example Works:

The folks at Hotjar are masters at embedding the role of Hotjar in the guidance they share through these guides. Each chapter of these guides features a relevant CTA and reinforces the ease of implementing these tips with Hotjar’s free trial.

3. Social Media: Brand Awareness and Lead Gen in One Neat Package

Social media isn’t what it used to be. Back in the day, you reached almost all of your followers with every post you shared. Today, your post on Instagram might reach 25 percent of your followers on a good day, and that number is not even 5 percent on Facebook. But it's not dead, either. 

Generating leads on social media takes a bit of creativity and thinking outside the box. For some companies, that might mean using other social platforms like LinkedIn or even leveraging paid ads to reach highly targeted audiences. 

Example: Semrush’s LinkedIn Profile 

Lead Generation Examples - Social Media Semrush Example

Semrush is an SEO tool and resource for digital marketers looking to build a successful content marketing strategy. Their LinkedIn profile is a mix of funny, original memes, informative infographics, and blog posts, like the business content marketing ideas in the example above. 

Why This Social Media Lead Generation Example Works: 

Both of the posts in the example above have dozens of likes and reshares, which means this type of content really resonates with users. By sharing a mix of both funny and informative content, Semrush establishes itself as a laid-back company that can be trusted to share useful content. 

4. Interactive Tools and Content: Win Leads With Unique Value

An interactive tool is anything you’ve built and embedded into your website that creates value for your potential lead. Some options include:

  • Quizzes: “What social media platform is best for your business?”
  • Calculators: “Figure out your cost of hiring remote employees”
  • Preview tools: “See how your landing page will look on Google”
  • Text generators: “Generate a website privacy policy based on your location and tech stack”

The best interactive tools are both hyper-valuable to your ideal customer, and uniquely yours.

Example: Close’s Cold Email Generator Tool

Lead Generation Examples - Interactive Tools Close CRM Example

Yes, we’re tooting our own horn a bit—but only because this actually works. This cold email generator from Close lets busy salespeople save time writing cold emails. All they need to do is enter their company or product, company description, and the desired email outcome—their cold email is generated in seconds. Even without requiring users to log in, we’ve found this tool is helping us generate more high-quality leads. 

Why This Cold Email Generator Tool Works:

The cold email generator is freely available to everyone—no logins or signups needed. Where’s the lead, then?

The tool is built into a page packed with hands-on tips to nail cold emails, positioning Close as a fantastic solution to make that happen. The page then leads to a free trial signup at the bottom, which will help the visitor implement these tips—and win Close a new quality lead.

5. Events and Networking: Lead Generation and Nurturing in One

Selling is all about solving problems, and there's a good chance you have access to a ton of expertise in your industry. And you can put that knowledge to use by sharing educational content and building relationships at the same time. 

How? By partnering with smart people to host webinars. Place webinars behind a lead generation form and keep track of which lead came from what webinar, and you’re golden.

Example: Clearscope’s Webinars on Content Strategy and SEO

Lead Generation Examples - Events and Networking Example from Clearscope

Clearscope, an awesome content optimization platform (that the Close team uses!), runs weekly webinars that dig deep into the expertise of the experts Clearscope invites.

Best practices, real-life experiences and tips, topic-specific freebies like spreadsheets and templates, and access to experts through Q&As are just a few ways Clearscope makes these webinars exceptional. They’re dynamic, interactive, and packed to the brim with actionable learning for marketing teams. 

How This Lead Generation Example Drives Qualified Leads: 

Webinar registrants land on Clearscope’s email list, which is how they then learn about other upcoming webinars and how Clearscope nurtures these leads.

And because guest experts promote these webinars to their respective audiences, Clearscope’s brand awareness grows and enables them to position their product as the right solution.

6. Original Data: Wow Leads With Insights They Won’t Find Elsewhere

Ever seen titles like “The State of Productivity,” “Employee Experience Report,” or “Digital Advertising Trends 2023”?

These are original surveys, data sets, studies, experiments, or reports that a company compiled and packaged into a downloadable resource, like a PDF or an interactive presentation.

They’re huge lead generators.

Example: Data.Ai’s State Of App Revenue Report

Lead Generation Examples - Oringal Data Example from DataAI

Data.ai (formerly App Annie) is a unified data AI platform that brings together consumer data and market estimates, helping brands build informed strategies.

This State of App Revenue 2023 report (and many other reports they publish) is based on the company’s proprietary data.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works:

This report is rich and layered, offering dozens of insights into monetization trends, advertising trends, app categories, and more, each paired with a “Take the next steps” section which takes the reader to different parts of Data.ai’s features.

So not only is the gated report converting leads, but it’s also nurturing them before anyone from Data.ai even reaches out. (These types of reports are also great lead magnets that encourage other sites to link to you—which is great for SEO. Win-win!) 

7. Retargeting Campaigns: Continue the Buyer Journey With Hyper-Relevant Ads

Retargeting (aka remarketing) is a way to reconnect with folks who have already interacted with your business in some way—maybe they visited your website, downloaded a white paper, or even created a free account.

Thanks to tech like cookies and pixels that track website visits and product activities, you can show these people relevant ads on social and other websites to bring them back to your site. 

Example: Hubspot’s Free Templates On Facebook

Lead Generation Examples - Retargeting Campaigns Example from HubSpot.

Source: HubSpot

HubSpot, an inbound marketing solution, retargets visitors who haven’t converted with a free, downloadable piece of content; think templates, cheat sheets, or reports. These ads are usually minimalistic with text, focusing on showing what’s inside the piece of content and grabbing attention with a large title.

Why This Retargeting Example Works: 

PPC is hyper-effective because it takes into account previous online activities for targeting—website visits, add-to-cart clicks, and cart abandonment.

That’s exactly why this example works. It shows the person a freebie relevant to the topic they read on HubSpot’s blog earlier—one that helps them put into action what they learned—increasing their chance to convert.

8. Web Forms and Chatbots: Clever Automation For Hands-Off Lead Gen

Some of the best lead generation tactics are those that run on autopilot. Once you set them up, you can sit back and let those hot leads come to you. 🔥

Automated lead gen strategies include pop-up forms, embedded web forms, and chatbots that show up at the right time for the right person.

Example: Intercom’s Simple But Powerful Chatbot

Intercom is a customer service platform that combines human customer support and automation. It’s no surprise to see them leverage a chatbot to generate leads by asking website visitors about their goals and preferences.

Based on pre-selected answers you select, you’re taken to a gated free ebook or a similar resource, and offered a free demo.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

Intercom generates and nurtures leads with its own solution—that’s the first thing that stands out here. But the effort to tweak the landing page based on visitor’s preferences is where this really makes an impact.

This early segmentation also allows Intercom to later tailor marketing emails and even sales calls to that specific person.

9. Email Marketing: Get Casual Subscribers to Take a Leap

Not everyone on your email list is necessarily a qualified lead—especially if they joined through a more generic opt-in form.

The good news is your sales team doesn’t have to spend endless time reaching out to each person on the list to find out their level of interest. Instead, you can send helpful emails to your list, track their opens and clicks to identify engaged subscribers, and use sales-focused CTAs to move them deeper into your sales funnel.

Example: Wyzowl’s Video Marketing Examples In Emails

Wyzowl is an animated video production company. In its weekly emails, Wyzowl analyzes an example of a video used by a business to communicate a message, launch a product, raise funds, and more.

These emails are just the right length to learn something new as a subscriber and get inspired to try something similar. The win for Wyzowl? Each email ends with a “Get in touch” call-to-action to start a conversation for those who are curious about using video in their business.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

An analysis like the one from Wyzowl helps educate their audience and show them how to get video right. That’s the magic of being good at what you do and knowing how to explain it in simple terms.

The subtle CTA at the very end sends subscribers the “We’re right here when you need us” message if they feel overwhelmed or unsure about where to start.

10. Cold Emailing: Experiments For The Win

Cold emailing can be tough and time-consuming, but it’s one of the most effective B2B lead generation tools.

If you do your research, understand your target customers deeply, and manage to grab their attention, you could turn those cold emails into leads, revenue, and long-term customers.

Example: Cold Email By Gong’s Sarah Brazier

Lead Generation Examples - Cold Email Example from Gong

Gong is a revenue intelligence platform. One of its account executives, Sarah Brazier, sent this cold email to 37 prospects. The results: 27 of them opened the email, three of them bounced, and two booked a meeting with her.

The most interesting part is that the email isn’t personalized or customized to a specific recipient, it doesn’t have a big fancy CTA, and it’s longer than the usual recommended length for cold emails.

Why This Cold Email Example Works: 

Sarah’s approach worked because she showed a deep understanding of the universal challenges her target customers face and used a humorous tone to convey this. Her call-to-action is low-pressure while promising a solution worth hearing about.

It’s definitely not a typical cold email structure, but it worked, so it’s always worth experimenting. If you want to up your cold emailing game, check out our list of the best cold email templates

11. Cold Calling: Small Discomfort, Big Results

Like cold emailing, cold calling is a powerful lead generation strategy, but it can be intimidating—and make you feel vulnerable—because it feels more personal than emails.

It’s worth pushing through the discomfort, though. Research shows that 69 percent of buyers accept cold calls from new providers, and 82 percent of them say they accept meetings with sellers who reach out to them. TL;DR: cold calling is worth it. 

Example: Cold Call By Sales Insight Lab’s Marc Wayshak

Marc Wayshak is the founder of Sales Insights Lab, a sales training company. In his video, you hear a reenactment of one of his cold calls to a prospect, which was initially met with the “I’m busy” line, which Marc managed to turn into a meeting appointment.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

First, Marc acknowledged his prospect’s response and only asked for 30 seconds. He then introduced himself by emphasizing his clients’ biggest issues and asked open-ended questions to get the prospect to talk about his pain points in that area.

The prospect then opened up and ended up easily agreeing to a meeting with Marc to go over possible ideas and solutions with him.

Want to make cold calls that get you results like that? Grab our cold calling script templates you can implement instantly.

12. Direct Mail: An Unmissable, Unforgettable Conversation Starter

It’s getting increasingly difficult to stand out in email inboxes that see hundreds of emails every day. 

You know what box isn’t crowded? Physical mailboxes. Sounds old school, right? 

Direct mail takes more time, effort, and money than a quick email. But the results can be tremendous—one report found direct mail gets a 37 percent higher response rate than email.

You can use direct mail with a range of prospect types, like leads that went cold over time, event attendees, lost opportunities, and more. Direct mail is ideal for B2B organizations that deliver high-ticket products or services. 

Example: Intellimize’s “Don’t Gamble With Your Web Conversion Strategy” Box

Lead Generation Examples - Intellimize

Intellimize, a website optimization platform, ran this direct mail campaign with the goal of generating qualified meetings. Their targets were mid- to senior-level roles within their ideal customer profile that were up for renewal with a competing service.

The box had a gambling theme, with the note “Don’t gamble with your web conversion strategy,” branded playing cards, popcorn cones, and a one-page note from the company’s CEO.

Plus, the note mentioned a very enticing incentive—a popcorn machine for the office if they end up connecting live.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

Just imagine a package like this on your desk during a period when you’re deciding on your website optimization strategy. It’s an opportunity that looks too good to pass on, and it delivers an experience that’s hard to forget.

13. Free Trial or Freemium: The Portal to the Aha! Moment

Offering a free version of your product lets you promote its premium version. There are several ways you can do this, including:

  • Free trial, which gives full or partial access to the product for a limited time, like 7, 14, or 30 days
  • Freemium, which gives users access to the product, but limits features or usage

It’s a gateway to your product without a financial commitment, and it can be a mighty one.

Of course, not every lead that converts this way will be a high-quality lead and you may need to be wary of tire kickers. But if you track usage patterns and habits of leads, you can spot those that are likely to thrive with your product and focus your sales efforts. 

Example: Webflow’s Free Starter Plan

Lead Generation Examples - Webflow.

You don’t need to go far to find a freemium product example: Spotify, Canva, Notion, and even Close offer a free trial or freemium offer. 

A robust example that stands out is Webflow, a website builder. Webflow offers a free plan with usage limitations like CMS entries and form submissions, and a webflow.io domain instead of a custom one.

Without paying a single dollar, users can build full-blown websites with rich website templates, pre-built blocks, and even resources from the community forum. In fact, Webflow would fit into several other lead generation examples from this section thanks to its Made in Webflow gallery, templates, and Webflow University.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

This strategy works because it empowers users to take action. It removes any potential hurdles in building their websites with Webflow—including the risk of paying for an account before seeing what’s possible.

14. Challenge: Jumpstart a Lead’s Path to a Goal

A challenge is a lead generation campaign made to drive intentional action over a defined period of time. You can host such a challenge inside your product (if you offer a free trial), send prompts over email or text messages, or even host live video sessions—the choice is yours.

The goal is to spark some FOMO (fear of missing out) and encourage action that naturally ties into your product.

Example: The Refresh Reset challenge on the Alive app

Lead Generation Examples - Refresh Reset

Alive is a fitness app with workout programs both for the gym and at home. It works as a monthly membership, with a 7-day free trial available. Whitney Simmons, its founder, counts over 3.5 million and 2 million followers on Instagram and TikTok, respectively, so her content is already working to generate leads for Alive.

To further fuel lead generation for Alive, the company ran a challenge that included workouts, mobility exercises, and even mental health prompts for a 21-day period. This encouraged people to join the community and go through the challenge together to start or refresh their fitness journey.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

All of the prompts and exercises were hosted inside the Alive app, so those who were new to the Alive world had to sign up for a free trial to access the challenge. 

This meant they could fully experience all the advantages and features of the app, and the challenge ensured they would log in every single day for maximum results—and help increase conversion rates. 

15. Examples Library: Show Your Leads the Success That’s Possible

If you offer a tool that builds something, there’s a good chance leads are asking: 

Will this tool actually help me build what I need? 

That’s where a library of relevant, quality examples of work created with your product comes in handy. By showing leads what is possible, you remove doubt—plus, it's social proof that can help seal the deal. 

Example: Unbounce’s Library Of Landing Page Examples

Lead Generation Examples - Unbounce

Unbounce, a landing page builder and platform, offers a library of over 50 examples of real-life landing pages their customers built with the tool.

Visitors can filter them by categories like travel, real estate, finance, and eCommerce, and even by the type of CTA, like eBook download. Each example comes with a short description and a full-length screenshot once opened as its own page.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

Even when there’s a risk-free trial available, it can be tough to convert visitors smoothly. They often have questions and worries your website hasn’t specifically addressed. A library of examples like the one from Unbounce can answer those questions and nudge them towards a signup.

16. Education: Knowledgeable Leads Make the Best Customers

When your prospects, leads, and customers know why things in your industry work the way they do, they’re equipped and empowered to take initiative. They get to use their knowledge to solve their problems, and that can include finding, trying, and using your product to do so.

You can sit back and wait for your potential customers to get educated on why problems need to be tackled a certain way—or you can educate them yourself.

Example: CoSchedule’s Actionable Marketing Institute

Lead Generation Examples - CoSchedule

CoSchedule is a project and work management software for marketers. For its customers to be successful, they don’t just need to know how to manage marketing projects—they need to be well-versed in marketing strategies, planning processes, and various channels and formats.

Those are foundational to making marketing project management work, and marketing projects meaningful.

That’s why CoSchedule runs Actionable Marketing Institute, which contains dozens of courses on these topics. Customers can choose to purchase individual courses or join a yearly subscription with access to all courses.

The lead gen happens thanks to free courses like Marketing Plan, which provides an hour of learning for leads to turn into immediate action.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

This free course is a lead generator both for the paid courses in Actionable Marketing Institute as it gives a taste of CoSchedule’s teaching style, and also for CoSchedule’s products as it shows their power.

17. Referrals: Loyal Customers are Best Lead Generators

Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most impactful ways to grow your reach, sales pipeline, and customer base.

One report noted referrals are a top lead generation tactic for 65 percent of B2B respondents—in fact it's even more powerful than channels like email marketing, SEO, and social media.

That’s because personal recommendations play the role of social proof—if other people tried this and it worked, we want to follow suit and see those results, too.

Example: Refind’s Referral And Rewards Program

Lead Generation Examples - Refind

Refind is a content recommendation engine. Based on a person’s goals and category preferences, Refind sends a daily email with suggested reads from all over the internet.

Users who send 20 people Refind’s way get lifetime access to the premium version of the tool, which removes ads and has additional features like weekend editions and deep dives.

Refind also rewards each referral with 20 coins. Here’s what that means: “Once Refind is profitable, we’ll use 10% of our profits to buy back coins. I can’t tell you when that will be, or if it will ever happen. But my promise is this: Those who help us become successful will participate in our success.”

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

Refind nailed its referral strategy by combining an instant reward (free access to premium) with a long-term one (a chance to earn).

Bonus points to Refind for an encouraging email they send for every new referral, reminding users about both of those rewards and enticing them to keep referring.

18. Partnerships: Be Part of Powerful Tech Stacks and Services

Chances are, your product doesn’t exist in a vacuum. For every customer, it’s part of a stack of tech tools and services, and the better they play together, the better results they can create.

Some pairing examples? Online course platform and an email marketing tool. Invoice issuing and a CRM. An eCommerce platform and a growth agency. Project management tool and a business consultant.

Example: Close’s Partnership Program

Lead Generation Examples - Close CRM.

Here at Close, there are several ways to partner, recommend, and integrate our product that, in turn, generates new leads.

Instead of a catch-all referral program, we built dedicated options like:

  • Partner program for content creators, influencers, and business/CRM consultants
  • Integrations for companies who want to grow by offering native integration with Close
  • Close for Startups for incubators, accelerators, and startup communities that run a perk/deal marketplace for new companies

Why This Lead Generation Example Works: 

This lead generation approach works because it places Close right in the center of the action.

It helps others hit their goals—nurture an audience, help their customers, and grow their reputation as experts—while bringing Close quality leads.

19. Influencer Marketing: Tap Into a Trusting Audience

Influencer marketing is usually seen as a B2C strategy in industries like beauty and fashion, but there’s opportunity for startups and SaaS companies to get in on the action. 

As always, the name of the game is relevance, AKA partnering with an influencer who serves an audience that is relevant to your products, topics, and goals. The good news is that, whatever industry you’re in, there’s an influencer for that. 

Example: EasyDMARC’s Sponsorship On the “All Things Secured” YouTube Channel

Lead Generation Examples - EasyDMARC

EasyDMARC is a cybersecurity solution that protects its customers from issues like phishing attacks and data leakage. The company partnered with All Things Secured, a popular YouTube channel made for non-techy people who want better privacy and security online.

The video they partnered on is about YouTubers getting hacked, including lessons and tips to prevent an attack.

Why This Lead Generation Example Works:

With this sponsorship, EasyDMARC clearly wanted to reach YouTubers who consider their channel part of their business. If something happens to the channel, their business suffers, too. That’s who this channel reaches.

Videos on the All Things Secured channel get thousands of views, and most of them are evergreen. This means EasyDMARC can continually reach new people and win new leads with this one-time campaign.

Level Up Your Lead Generation ASAP

Some of the most efficient lead generators use inbound, outbound, product-based, and borrowed audience lead generation tactics.

You can too—and win big. But there’s no prize for generating hundreds of leads and converting zero of them into customers. You need a way to track how they progress through your sales pipeline: their interests, needs, pain points, objections, and questions.

That’s where a CRM comes in—making it easy and seamless to track all of that and take the right action at the right time. 

Close does exactly that. ​​Start a free trial to see how Close can turn your lead generation efforts into revenue.

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