The Power of Automated Online Lead Generation for Small BusinessPublished on December 29, 2022by Botster
So you’ve found your true vocation and started your lifetime project? My heartfelt congratulations! To turn your nameless startup into a reputable corporation, you’ll need to attract leads 🧲 Let me help you on your thorny way: I’ll enlist some tried-and-true small business lead generation techniques that you can use without hiring an expert!
In this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll learn how to get leads for small business:
- On the phone (B2B);
- By email (B2B);
- On LinkedIn (B2B);
- With Google Ads (B2C);
- And which lead generation software for small business is the best for each of the cases.
What is your small business all about? Do you sell snow tires or bake pastry? Do you produce triple-paned windows or waterproof headphones? Do you run a luxurious boutique or an early childhood education center? If your heart is shining with delight and pleasure whenever you are doing your job, YOU are sure to win!
Yet, as my music teacher so ̶d̶i̶s̶a̶p̶p̶o̶i̶n̶t̶i̶n̶g̶l̶y̶ cleverly put it, your success in achieving your goals involves only 5% of talent and 95% of hard work 😫 I’m here to facilitate and automate your hard work!
Let’s imagine that you are a New-York based window maker and let’s generate the best small business leads for your company! No matter what the type of your business is, my tips will work for each of them.
B2B lead generation for small business
Basically, your task is to find people or companies (i.e. leads) that need new windows. There may be dozens of approaches but here’s what springs to my mind: try to connect with some established construction and building companies that build houses on a regular basis and need windows for these houses.
Every decent lead generation strategy for small business should start with finding partners for business, and the good news is that this process can be automated. Moreover, it can be automated in at least three different ways!
Variant 1: Generating leads for small business on the phone
This is probably the fastest way to make up a list of small business marketing leads because one and the same bot will find both your potential business partners and their phone numbers. This bot is called the Google Maps Scraper. It extracts a list of places with info such as contact details from Google Maps based on your search query.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to launch the Google Maps Scraper:
- Create a free account on Botster:
- Open the Google Maps Scraper’s start page:
- Name your job.
I’ve named it ‘Construction and building companies’ since we are going to look for potential partners in this particular sphere:
- Enter your keywords with locations.
Insert as many industry-related synonyms as possible and add your city, state or country to each of them. Since you are an imaginary New-York based window producer, let’s specify New York as your location.
⚠️ Each query must go on a new line:
- Specify how many companies you would like the bot to scrape for each keyword.
In terms of small business leads generation my most frequent recommendation is to scrape as many results as possible. Yet in this particular case I’ll opt for ‘up to 100 places’ - building contractors are definitely not as numerous as, say, beauty salons or supermarkets:
- Select how you’d like the bot to notify you once the job is done:
- Start the bot!
Watch me demonstrate how to scrape data about different places from Google Maps in this quick video:
The resulting spreadsheet contains a long list of New York building contractors, their phone numbers, addresses, websites, and other data that you can use to get the best small business leads fast.
Here’s the full list of the data extracted by this bot:
- Google Maps URL
- Rating count
- Category (bar, nightclub, etc.)
- Plus code (e.g. "QHRW+6F Financial District, San Francisco, CA")
- Phone number
- Rank on maps
- Working hours (Monday through Sunday)
- Place ID
Lead generation strategies for small business
Follow my tips to achieve the best results:
1. Remove duplicates.
Sort the results by ‘Title’:
Check if there are any duplicates and if so, delete them:
In the resulting table, each company will be mentioned only once:
2. Validate the extracted phone numbers
The company names are in the ‘Title’ column, and their phones are in the ‘Phone’ column:
You can start calling them right now but one of my first lead qualification tips for small business is to check if the extracted phones actually exist. Use one of Botster's smart validation tools, namely the Phone Number Validator: this will save you tons of time since companies often forget to update their contacts on Google Maps in case these have changed.
3. Opt for personal contact
There’s nothing more attractive than your personality! Personal contact is known to have helped establish many important business liaisons.
Call your potential partner and schedule a meeting in their office. The addresses are in the like-named column, and even the opening hours are available:
4. Head to these companies’ websites
If you aren’t into phone calls and personal meetings, copy these companies’ website URLs. You’ll need them to launch other bots ⬇️ that will extract these companies’ emails and LinkedIn contacts later on:
Variant 2: Getting exclusive small business leads by email
But what if you don’t have the gift of the gab and don’t enjoy phone talks? For example, introverts are known to be better at writing personal emails rather than talking. If you are the one, then opt for generating leads for small business by email rather than on the phone.
To achieve this, you’ll need to use a combination of 2 bots: the Google Search Scraper and the Company Email Finder. This combination will allow you to extract your potential customers’ domains and to export all emails from these domains.
Step 1 - Extracting domains for generating small business leads lists
To export building contractors’ domains, use the Google Search Scraper. This bot can not only extract Google Search results but is also able to turn website URLs into domains in just a couple of minutes.
💡 The domain is the core of a long website URL. For example, botster.io is the domain that is contained in the longer https://botster.io/blog URL.
A short guide on how to use the Google Search Scraper:
- Open the Google Search Scraper’s start page.
- Copy the website URLs extracted by the Google Maps Scraper:
- Paste these URLs into a special field.
Each website must go on a new line:
- Tick ‘First organic result only’:
- Specify the operating system (Windows or MacOS):
- Select the device (desktop or mobile):
- Specify the target language:
- Enter your location:
- Launch the bot.
Watch me show how to use this lead generation software for small business in a short video:
The bot has extracted the domains from all the URLs. For example, https://www.myhomeus.com/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=home became myhomeus.com without you ever lifting a finger ☝️
Step 2 - Exporting emails for small business lead generation
The bot that will extract all emails having these domains is called the Company Email Finder. For example, it will find all emails ending with …@andconstructionnyc.com, all emails ending with …@grandeurhillsgroup.com, and so on. This functionality is absolutely indispensable if you need to perform B2B lead generation for small business.
Here’s how to use this bot:
- Open the Company Email Finder’s start page.
- Copy the domains retrieved in Step 1:
- Paste these domains into a special field.
Each domain must go on a new line:
- Launch the bot.
Watch a video walkthrough that explains how the bot works:
The Company Email Finder has extracted all emails having these domains. Your small business leads lists for each of the building contractors are almost ready!
For example, the bot has found as many as 44 emails for the building contractor gilbaneco.com 💪 (I’ve hidden the actual emails for privacy reasons):
Small business lead generation ideas
1. Sort the exported emails.
Sort the emails in alphabetical order to check if there are any duplicates. This will facilitate searching for a particular person’s email (if needed):
2. Avoid impersonal emails
Don’t send your offer to impersonal email boxes like info@... or hello@... . Decision makers never check them!
3. Contact company leaders
Find the companies’ decision makers on this long list and send them your unique window sales offer. A truly effective lead management for small business implies finding contacts of company leaders, not their secretaries (read my tips on how to find emails of CEOs fast)!
Variant 3: How to generate leads for small business on LinkedIn
What a pain it is when people send your assiduously written cold emails to the trash without even opening them! Let’s change tack and message them on LinkedIn. Marketing campaigns held on this mega-popular social network can do wonders! 🧙♂️
The process of small business lead nurturing will go smoothly with smart LinkedIn automation tools. I could enlist at least 5 strategies of how to use LinkedIn bots for lead generation (I promise to do this in the near future, follow my blog!). But now I’ll describe just one of them - a combination of the Linkedin Company Finder and the LinkedIn Employee Scraper.
Step 1 - Extracting companies’ LinkedIn profiles to get small business owner leads
First, we need to find all your potential window buyers on LinkedIn. The Linkedin Company Finder will find links to the building contractors’ LinkedIn profiles using their company names or domains.
A quick tutorial:
- Open the Linkedin Company Finder’s start page.
- Copy the company names extracted by the Google Maps Scraper above:
- Paste these company names into a special field.
Each query must go on a new line:
- Launch the bot.
Watch a short video guide on how to find company pages on LinkedIn using this bot:
The resulting spreadsheet contains the company names you inserted and the links to their LinkedIn profiles:
Step 2 - Contacting company CEOs in terms of online lead generation for small business
Now let’s extract these building contractors’ employees and find out who of them is in the driver's seat! The LinkedIn Employee Scraper will scrape the names, job titles and LinkedIn profiles of these companies’ employees. This tool is an unbeatable lead generator for small business!
How to launch the bot:
- Open the LinkedIn Employee Scraper’s start page.
- Select how many employees you would like to scrape.
The more employees you export - the higher the likelihood that at least one company leader will be on the list:
- Copy the companies’ LinkedIn profile URLs retrieved in Step 1:
- Paste these LinkedIn profile URLs into a special field.
Each URL must go on a new line:
- Launch the bot.
As promised, the resulting table contains the names, the job titles and the LinkedIn profile URLs of these companies’ employees. This is exactly what we need to generate exclusive small business leads for your window production company:
Small business lead generation techniques
1. Find decision makers
- Open the resulting file in Excel.
- Click ‘Ctrl+F’, type in the word CEO, and click on the ‘Find all’ button in the bottom left corner of the screen:
- Click on the ‘Background color’ button and select the color you like (e.g. yellow). All cells containing the word CEO will get highlighted in one click:
- Perform the same actions for words like Founder, Leader, Head, Chief, Director, etc.
Now all decision makers are highlighted:
2. Message them!
Open the decision makers’ LinkedIn profiles and send them your eloquent offer!
Generating B2C leads for small business
Now that you’ve got a promising list building contractors longing for your window offer, let’s target ordinary people.
Windows aren’t a product that we buy every day. Bulk-mailing and cold-calling people who might need a window some day isn’t worth it.
A much more deserving approach is to launch a targeted Google Ads campaign. Why? Because when people do need new windows, the first place where they start looking for them is - surprise, surprise! - the Internet. Google analyzes the users’ most frequent search queries and shows them the so-called targeted advertisement. This is a great source of small business leads.
For example, if a user has been searching for windows recently, during the next couple of days Google will be bombarding them with windows advertisements. And you are interested in your windows ads being shown to potential windows buyers, aren’t you?
The point is to stand out in the crowd of other keen window advertisers. Know your enemy, know his ̶w̶i̶n̶d̶o̶w̶ sword! (© Miyamoto Musashi) That is to say, you need to know what kind of ads your competitors do.
The Google Ads Extractor will help you! This bot extracts currently running paid adverts from the first page of Google Search for a list of keywords based on a specific location.
Here is a quick tutorial on how to get more leads for your small business with the help of the Google Ads Extractor:
- Open the Google Ads Extractor’s start page.
- Enter your keywords relating to windows.
⚠️ Each query must go on a new line:
Frankly speaking, the window industry doesn’t offer much room for fantasy! If you want more keywords to generate small business sales leads in bulk, read my guide on how to scrape Google Search for relevant keywords.
- Select your location on the map:
- Select the language that the windows ads should be written in:
- Specify the target device (desktop or mobile):
- Select the operating system (Windows or MacOS):
- Start the bot!
Video tutorial on using the small business lead software
Watch me demonstrate how to generate sales leads in your small business using the Google Ads Extractor:
The Google Ads Extractor has exported paid windows ads currently running in the United States:
Here’s where the advertising titles and descriptions actually come from:
Read my tips on how to use this valuable information for small business leads generation purposes 👇
💡 Lead generation tips for small business
Every ad has a title and a description. Read and analyze these carefully:
While reading other window producers’ ads, ask yourself the following questions:
- Which keywords do ad titles and descriptions contain?
- Which words and phrases sound inspiring and evoke positive emotions in me as a reader?
- Do my competitors use short or long sentences, or both? How does this influence my perception of the brand?
- If I needed to install new windows in my home, would I click on this ad?
👍 If yes, why?
👎 If no, why?
Now write your own exciting advertising texts based on your answers. Don’t forget to include enough keywords!
No matter which of the described ways you go, use the best small business lead generation software to achieve your goals. Automation makes things come faster and easier! Be it B2C or B2B lead generation, small business of any kind will definitely profit from using smart automation tools.
I’ve enlisted just a couple of strategies but there are more - follow my blog and don’t miss new leadgen automation opportunities!