By Daniel Faggella

The only thing more boring for Facebook fanpage subscribers than “buy this now” is “sign up for our newsletter”. Though some small businesses are smart enough to know that Facebook offers a great opportunity for lead generation, most little companies still struggle to make lead generation engaging or effective.

In this short article, we’ll examine three sub lead generation strategies used by large and successful companies, and discover how they might be applied in any business.

1)  Webinars
Case Study: HubSpot
Industry: Software as a Service, Marketing Automation

Webinars are a fantastic marketing tool for a number of reasons. First, webinars present a greater sense of urgency to consume a companies message because when done live (and often, even recorded), they only play during specific times. Secondly – and more importantly – all webinar registrants are leads, and can be treated as such.

HubSpot runs webinars about topics that it’s prospective customers might interested in, in this case: Inbound Marketing ABC’s. Any registrant – whether they make it to the webinar or not, can be followed up with via email marketing or via the phone (depending on what information was required for registration). Webinars require an opt-in to get an access link, and so the pages are generally not seen with the same contempt as normal “squeeze pages.”

2)  Contests
Case Study: WayFair
Industry: eCommerce, Home Goods

Contests help generate excitement, build a potential sense of good will, and give people a significantly better reason to enter their information than a “newsletter.”

WayFair sells a billion dollars worth of home goods per annum, and in addition to other social strategies, the company leverages contests to generate excitement and attention around particular products or offers that it wants to highlight. Nearly any small business can do the same, even service businesses (running a contest for an oil change, or a free marketing consultation, etc…).

3) White Papers / Publications
Case Study: McKinsey and Company
Industry: Consulting

Generating a lead doesn’t have to imply going for a direct sale. McKinsey regularly promotes (via email signup, iTunes subscription, or RSS feed) it’s well-regarded “McKinsey Quarterly” newsletter. This publication serves the purpose of positioning McKinsey’s experts as thought-leaders, and keeps the company top-of-mind for the powerful executives who read it. Like webinars, white papers and publications are often seen as a form of educational content that requires an “opt-in,” and so can lessen the barriers to encouraging landing page conversion.

Using any of these three strategies can help make lead generation more engaging and effective on Facebook. Your choice of strategy will depend on your own business, and the kinds of content that your audience responds to.

Daniel Faggella is an email marketing and marketing automation expert with an obsession for customer lifetime value. He runs CLVboost, a boutique email marketing consultancy in Cambridge, MA, and regularly speaks on email marketing strategy. His clients range from venture backed startup companies to eCommerce businesses to established brick-and-mortar businesses.