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What is the Number One Strategy for Effective B2B Lead Generation?

The answer to this question is “that depends on who you ask”. Research can be biased. When we examine the results from companies that make their living selling Inbound Marketing services, then the answer is that inbound marketing generates the most leads. When we study the results from businesses that create email marketing programs, the answer is that email marketing draws the most leads. When researching organizations from different industries, the answer depends on the lead generation strategies they implemented that year.

Based on a wide variety of research data points, and what we know from working with successful B2B clients for many years, the digital strategies that consistently rank at the top for effective B2B lead generation are:

So we will examine each of these and discuss the advantages.

Email marketing is still a top-converting method of effective lead generation.

  • 81% of US online buyers are more likely to make more purchases, either online or in a store, as a result of emails based on previous buying behaviors and preferences. – Source: Harris Interactive.
  • 72% of consumers shared that email is their preferred method of communication with companies they do business with often. 61% say they want to receive promotional emails weekly and 28% want them even more frequently. – Source:
  • 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message. – Source: Direct Marketing Association.

Email marketing is an effective lead generation strategy because it is a close connection with potential clients.  Current customers appreciate the regular updates from the vendor from whom they made the purchase, so they are more likely to buy another product later. Also, email messages are the primary form of lead nurturing; once the email address of a potential client is acquired, the company can begin a “drip” campaign of reaching out to the prospect with a set of email that follows up with the prospect and encourages conversion.  Based upon this, a company that wants to assure a steady stream of clients would be wise to set up email marketing campaigns as quickly as possible.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a strategic campaign of creating and distributing valuable and relevant educational content to attract and retain a targeted audience. Instead of sending advertising that pitches your products, you are providing helpful content to your prospects to help them learn about solutions to their problems.

Content can be white papers, eBooks, blog posts, videos and articles. What is important is that this content is relevant to the prospect audience and useful for them. Sales pitches are out; today’s marketers help their prospects solve their problems by providing valuable content. The significance of the content builds the relationship which can ultimately lead to a sale.

  • Content marketing generates three times as many prospects as outbound marketing but costs 62% less. (Source: Demand Metric)
  • 82% of consumers who purchased viewed at least five pieces of content from the winning company. (Source: Forrester Research)
  • 68% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after consuming content from it. (Source: iMedia Connection)

Building a strong content marketing program is a sure way to attract more B2B leads as well as convert them into paying customers.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of deploying great content that maximizes the numbers of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the website appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. Through adding keywords and useful content, websites appear more favorable to the search engines and are therefore ranked more highly than others.

Why would a B2B business go to the trouble of optimizing their website?  Here are a few statistics:

  • 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases. (Retailing Today, 2014)
  • The first position on Google search results on desktop has a 34.36% clickthrough rate. (Advanced Web Ranking, 2015)
  • The first position in Google search results on mobile has a 31.35% clickthrough rate. (Advanced Web Ranking, 2015)
  • 71% of B2B researchers begin their research with a generic search. (Google, 2015)

Buyers today do not begin the buying process by contacting companies. They start by searching the internet for information about potential solutions to their problems, and those searches begin at the search engines. A business that optimizes its website and content to match the information that the potential buyer is looking for will rank highly on the search engines. The higher rank will produce more leads coming to your website.

So when you are planning your lead generation programs for 2017 and beyond, consider the top three effective lead generation methods above.  By focusing your efforts on these high-impact programs, you can increase your leads and meet your goals.

KEO Marketing specializes in helping businesses develop effective B2B lead generation programs.  To learn more or receive a complimentary review of your program, contact KEO Marketing or call us at 888-702-0679.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.