How to Generate Leads for your Web Development Business

Having a business these days isn’t enough. After all you are competing to get the attention of your customers against 1.95 billion websites. This means if you aren’t visible on the first page of Google, you are basically lost at sea. However there is good news for web development businesses. Every 6 out of 10 businesses still don’t have a business website. But you do need to convince them they need a website as 35 percent of business people think their operations are way too small for a website. Reaching these potential clients needs a genuine marketing strategy. In other words you need to generate leads for your web development business.

Marketing Strategies that Generate Leads

Set your Marketing Goals

You often see businesses haphazardly start a marketing campaign with a good beginning, hopeless center and dismal finish. This is because before you do anything you need to plan out your marketing goals. Write up a marketing proposal, how many leads you want, what you will do when you get the leads, finances if ads are involved, and ideas on how to develop the written concept. Even leads need a set script that answers all burning questions while keeping the information casual.

generate leads
Nike’s “Just Do It” ad

For example, Nike’s marketing goal in the 1980’s was simple. They wanted to compete marginally with Reebok for customers that are looking to get fit. That’s how the “Just Do It” campaign started which has generated Nike billions of dollars in revenue and gathered new fans over the years.

I Spy with My Eye Perfect Buyers

The Content Marketing Institute says that companies that don’t pay attention to buyer personas quickly go out of business. Buyer personas doesn’t necessarily relate to just an ideology of a perfect customer, but rather a genuine replica of someone real. Knowing who you want to sell your services to and why you need to do this is important. You also should know what your company strengths and weakness are, seen through the eyes of your prospective buyer.

MailChimp – “Buyer Persona” ad

For example, Mailchimp is well known as the best marketing platform that caters to small businesses. To compliment the company goal and generate leads, a campaign is started where the advertising images use pictures of real people. The psychological impact this creates is that you easily identify with the people and understand the products are for everyone. The ad is relatable and humanizes the buyer persona vs some unknown figure.

Start a Frenzy with Campaigns

The chase of the elusive perfect marketing campaign is ongoing for most companies. There are different mediums you can use to start a frenzy with campaigns. Contests, surveys, freebies and even partner programs are all up for grabs. If you stoke the emotions of people – happiness or sadness – you ignite passion which gets you tons of leads.

Lung Cancer Alliance “No one Deserves to Die” ad

For example, the Lung Cancer Alliance campaign of 2012 intentionally created bad publicity by displaying posters all over American cities pointing fingers at certain people and saying, “they deserve to die”. Posters had messages like “Hipsters Deserve to Die” or “Cat Lovers Deserve to Die”. People thronged to the Lung Cancer Alliance website to complain but instead got the chance to read the entire message. “No One Deserves to Die”, but lung cancer patients are stigmatized and victimized by discrimination and people’s perceptions.

Free Ads to Generate Leads

Who doesn’t like free marketing and you can get that if you do your SEO right. Organic traffic or traffic via free Google ads (the list below the paid ads) can multiply your revenue if you have the right stimulation in place at your website. Most businesses get rare boosts in traffic, but to retain the ongoing traffic you need to be creative.

Online shopping company Amazon benefits from faster pages loads.

For example, page loads need to be below 2 seconds. If you need perspective on that, try this, every millisecond delay can cost a broker $4 million in revenues. If that isn’t convincing Amazon can potentially lose 1.6 billion for every 1 second delay in page load. Considering people nowadays have an attention span of a goldfish, you do need the fast and furious approach.

Paid Ads to Generate Leads

While the old ways of newspaper, magazine, radio and television ads got most of the marketing budget, this trend has significantly shifted. Now digital advertising is more prominent to generate leads, nearly $30 billion more than conventional advertising venues. Facebook ads, Google paid ads, Linkedin ads and so on can make an impact when you connect with the masses.

For example, the Linkedin ad by Van Heusen India connected with 1.5 million Linkedin users. The surmise was simple, nominate “The Most Fashionable Professional” you know and win prizes. The ad got nearly 30,000 unique visitors with 5000 professionals voting using their Linkedin accounts.

Van Heusen’s “Most Fashionable Professional” ad

On Facebook, the most viral advertising that you might have seen people talking about is the “Ice Bucket Challenge” by the ASL organization. People posted videos of dumping ice cold water on themselves to spread the word about ASL. Even celebrities like Dwyane (The Rock) Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and many more joined in to support the ASL organization.

To Blog or Not to Blog Dilemma

It seems everybody these days is blogging. Even the local priest is on the net regaling readers with Bible stories and tales about the Saints. Businesses too start with blogging when they are on a strict marketing budget to boost the SEO and bring more organic traffic. However 43 percent of people admit they just skim the content unless the writing is gripping and addictive.

Kyle Taylor founder of The Penny Hoarder.

For example, The Penny Hoarder is a blog that talks about how to make more money. Started by Kyle Taylor, the blog generates revenues around $40 million. Quite a feat considering the blog doesn’t use advertising to make a buck. Rather their marketing trick is to form partnerships with the right companies that have great affiliate marketing programs.

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Write Inspiring Emails

There is an entire generation that remembers what letter writing was all about. Writing today however has become more commercialized, losing that personal human touch. However not everyone follows the herd and sends out generic “Hello, we are so and so company…” emails. The more personalized your emails are, the better the response you get from your leads.

Warby Parker “Prescription Expiry” ad

For example, the email from Warby Parker talks about a prescription that is soon to expire. The content is simple, but personal. You feel like they really care about you and the health of your eyes. They are also so helpful that they include directions to the optometrist and suggest you make an appointment soon. The email is breezy and unrushed and extremely memorable.

Telling is Wrong for Storytelling

Newbie content writers often get yelled at for “telling” and not “showing”. Telling gives the impression that you are not invested in the storytelling. Showing however makes it look like you are right in the middle of the entire story. Businesses that show via storytelling are often seen as more approachable and trustworthy.

Korchet Kids empowers women to life themselves and their family from poverty by crocheting products.

For example, Krochet Kids is a company that sells hand crafted high-quality products. Their company motto is simple, “we empower women from Northern Uganda, India and Peru to lift themselves and their family from poverty”. Each product comes with the name of the person who has made it. If the customers are curious, they look up the person’s profile and read all about her on the company website. You can even leave a thank you note and can talk about how you cherish the woven product.

Talk your Head Off

We all talk, some more, some less. However effective communication takes practice which is the main requirement for networking. Ninety two percent of people trust recommendations from family and friends. This makes word of mouth the most important marketing technique in your arsenal.

CrossFit – challenging you

For example, CrossFit uses customer testimonials to build trust and brand recognition. Members talk about how effective CrossFit is and the impact creates on their personal life. Using YouTube for the video testimonials, the company shifts focus from them and on to the people. The diversity shown in the videos encourages a wider demographics to join up.

Failure is Success in the Making

You win some, you lose some ideology makes you a better business owner. And the same is said of marketing strategies and leads that run hot in the beginning but then suddenly turn ice cold. As every business is different, you need to come up with strategies that works for your business, products and services to generate leads. And you especially need to be mindful of what is comedy, what is cruel, what is sadistic and what is just plain awful.

Audi’s Chinese Wedding Ceremony ad that missed the target and crossed over to awful.

For example, Audi created a PR nightmare in China. The ad features a woman examining a would-be bride as if she were some horse or cattle. The girl’s lips are pinched, ear pulled, teeth and tongue examined before getting the sign of approval. The tagline doesn’t help – “Important decisions must be made carefully”.


Creating marketing strategies and applying them effectively is how you generate leads. At Aspiration Hosting we too have had our share of good vs. awful ad campaigns. In fact we are currently in the midst of a marketing campaign. The “Desi Touch” caters to the Indian web developers interested in Partnering with Aspiration Hosting.

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