What Are the Top Two Cheapest Lead Generators?

Looking for lower-cost ways to get more leads (potential clients) for your small business?

In marketing talk, “leads” are potential sales contacts for your business.  A “qualified” lead is someone who is not only a potential sale contact, but who also can afford what you’re selling and gets to make the final decision on purchase.

In a big business, it’s up to the sales or marketing department to generate a steady stream of new people who want to buy.  In your business, it’s probably one of the many things on your to do list.

Since we don’t have entire departments dedicated to this, it’s even more important to find the most effective, least expensive ways to get qualified leads for our businesses.

Check out this data from HubSpot and MarketingCharts.


Blogs and social media top everything else on the list for cost per lead. It’s also interesting how much better inbound marketing techniques do overall against outbound.

What’s this mean for you?

If you’re looking for ways to market your business at a lower cost, you want to be blogging and actively participating in social media.

To get results from any of these strategies you need to have a plan that includes your goals, the steps necessary to reach those goals, and how you’ll measure your results so you can see what’s working (and do more of it) and what’s not (and adjust).

If you’re a service based business looking to expand what you offer clients, you may want to consider blogging or social media related services.  Companies are seeing how effective these are and increasing the percentage of their budgets spent on these areas.

Are you using any of the lead generation techniques listed in the info graphic?  Do you feel like they’re working for you?

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  1. We use our blog and social media…..we are amazed at the power behind it. Great article :)
    WAHM Solution recently posted… Forgiveness- Touches 3 GenerationsMy Profile

    1. Isn’t it awesome? They’re the top two methods I use, too, so seeing the HubSpot graphic was fun. :)

  2. Great post, Michelle,
    I love this. I so agree with it. I’ve tried PPC and a few others, but did not start getting ANY traffic until I started using my blog and social media. Hands Down I think these two are top of the charts for me.

    My blog was like a desert before I started commenting on other blogs and using CommentLuv. I am AMAZED at the traffic now compared to even a month ago.

    Thanks for another great post,
    Tammy Matthews recently posted… Removing Self-Limiting LabelsMy Profile

    1. That’s so true, Tammy. A successful blog is as much about interaction *off* the blog with other bloggers and in the comments section as it is the content itself.

  3. Aloha Michelle, I enjoyed your post and what a great statistic chart to see. It is good to see and read up on information such as this. Glad I came by and thanks for sharing! Mahalo, Lani :)

    PS..we belong to a cool team BMMC on fb. Come by and visit me.
    Aloha – Lani recently posted… Online Community Groups Has The UpperhandMy Profile

    1. Hey Lani, thanks for stopping by – I love the Blogging Mastermind group. Will hop over and check out your blog. :)

  4. Ditto to what Tammy said – I am amazed at how much better traffic is to my brand new blog is vs my year old one! Clearly I’m not applying what I know about blogging and social media to my main business – I’ll be fixing that ASAP! *spanks own hand* Thanks Michelle!
    Lisa R. recently posted… SoloMompreneurs Guide- Five Questions That Will Lead to Better Bartering RelationshipsMy Profile

    1. It happens. lol I can’t count how many times I’ve blogged about something and then went… “Oh… I should go fix that…” because I hadn’t been implementing it consistently on my blog. Talk is easy but actions get us results!

  5. Thanks for this. I’m new to this whole idea of blogging and social media. I’m glad to know that I’m focused in the right direction!
    Alesia Taylor recently posted… Allie LaneMy Profile

  6. I use blogging, social media and some SEO strategies/techniques. But I could probably do more of those last two.

    And thank you for yet another reminder that I need to think about what my goals are and how it’s all going. I keep putting that off and then, forgetting it.

    Thanks for the encouragement about the power of blogging!

    Jeanine Byers Hoag recently posted… 3 in 30- Obscured by Fog- a Cropped Pants Dilemma &amp Heading for the Finish LineMy Profile

  7. I use the first four techniques in the graphic above. I haven’t tried any of the outbound ones yet.

    I’m actually cutting back on my PPC too and focusing mainly on blogging, social media and article marketing.

  8. Thanks for the tip!!! I will have to start doing this!!! :)
    Samantha recently posted… Kombucha!!My Profile

  9. Thanks for the great content once again, my friend.

    This is so wonderful to have empirical evidence that what I’m doing is the right way. I notice the increased number of connections I’m making on my blog and social media…and I’ve only been at this a few months.

    The challenge for me now is to make my lead qualifying more effective. It’s exciting to learn a new skill set, however.
    Steve recently posted… Life’s ‘Wickedly’ Incredible JourneyMy Profile

  10. Hi Michelle. Great info you’re providing. I t is also encouraging to now we’re in the right path.
    Gustavo recently posted… You can’t always avoid pitfallsMy Profile

  11. I have expanded my social network to include Yelp! as well as joining several groups at LinkIn.

    Your article is so helpful to people who really don’t know where to get started in getting the word out about their business.

    I have been lucky enough to get some local newspapers- both the Daily Herald and Splash.com to write articles about our business, Jjanusz Custom Jewelry Design.

    And many people from the social networking sites have been kind enough to post 5 star reviews after receiving a service from us!

    So, I love to read positive articles like this. Now, I just need to set up a blog and do it- I am terrible at procrastinating.

    1. Blogging rocks, once you get started, Joyce. :)

      I need to check out Yelp! as I’ve heard several people mention it lately.

      5-star reviews are AWESOME. Way to go!!

  12. Michelle,

    Very nice graphic from HubSpot. I have just recently joined for just this kind of information. Thanks for bringing to our attention. This is something I can put into my marketing to clients.
    Sheila Atwood recently posted… Speedlinking To Learning Online VideoMy Profile

  13. Thanks for these stats. Glad to see I am on the right track! Social media drives so much of my traffic to my blog and is free, free, free! (Couldn’t help it, I so love that word that I had to say it three times!) As usual, a very informative post for all of us out here trying to increase our profits!
    Martha Giffen recently posted… Remember Your First TimeMy Profile

    1. Agreed, agreed, agreed! :)

  14. Hi Michelle,

    Thanks for sharing these stats. I am mainly blogging at the moment and want to get more involved with social media soon. It’s just that there are still so many things to learn about blogging that I feel I should continue to focus before moving on to social media.

    Now you have given me the motivation to get started with social media especially my FanPage and LinkedIn sooner rather than later!
    Diana Simon recently posted… Get Your Blog Out There!My Profile

    1. I’m still learning a lot about blogging. ;) So don’t let that stop you! :)

  15. Great information as always Michelle! Thanks for being such a great resource!

    1. Thanks Tor, and you’re welcome!

  16. Hi Michelle

    I have had a tough time generating leads especially when i started my online marketing. Though seems to be some improvement now, i find your chart very useful.

  17. Hi Michelle
    Nice to have the facts and figures rather than a lot of speculation about blogging and social media.

    Thanks for sharing the graphic – so easy to understand even I could figure vit out.

    Bottom line…

    “Blogs and social media top everything else on the list for cost per lead.”
    Keith Davis recently posted… Online Video- Un Art… Une TechniqueMy Profile

  18. I’ll top you one. *Referrals* are even better than blogging and social media because they provide third-party validation. (I discuss this in several of my marketing books, especially Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green).

    Oh, and don’t forget publicity in traditional media. Another one that costs nothing but time.
    Shel Horowitz – Green/Ethical Marketing Expert recently posted… Corporations and Governments Need Thicker SkinsMy Profile

  19. […] What Are the Top Two Cheapest Lead Generators? […]

  20. Great info, Michelle — I’m a big fan of HubSpot.

    It’s definitely reassuring to know I’m indulging in the two top lead generators. And it doesn’t hurt that I happen to love blogging and social media, either!

    But I’ll have to say nothing in the world beats good old fashioned word-of-mouth advertising. Satisfied customers and/or clients really can’t be beat when it comes to generating new leads for your business.
    Melanie Kissell recently posted… Grab A Pen And Write This DownMy Profile

  21. I hear Weezoo.com is launching a PPC program in November, like Google Adwords and Yahoo’s pay per click programs. What I like about Weezoo.com is that prospects can search and enter request for quotes, giving you full information on yoiur click throughs, versus Google and Yahoo, which all you get is click throughs with no prospect information.
    Several plumbers have said that Weezoo.com’s program is a lot cheaper per lead, than any other search engine. They were paying over $45 per lead to ServiceMagic; OUCH!
    With Weezoo.com, at $50 per month for unlimited leads, with a 5 leads per month, or that month is free; you cannot go wrong.
    Aside from that though, if you have the time, blogs and social media are a great way to go cheap. But, you need to invest the time to blog and network.

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