Lead-hungry startups can’t only rely on purchased lists for new prospects and quality leads. In the critical early days, it is crucial for businesses to procure and chase as many new leads as humanly possible – and they don’t have to spend a lot of money to get the job done. Social media, content marketing, Q&A sites and even internal error pages present some opportunities for businesses seeking to boost the number of high-quality leads they rely on to grow their sales.

Create Gated Content

Gated content – high-value content that users can only access after they’ve filled out an opt-in form – can generate high-quality, pre-qualified leads. Fewer people will complete the form – and therefore actually see the content – but those who do will have pre-qualified themselves as quality leads and potential prospects. Some of the most common gated content items are e-books and instructional manuals.

Target Social Visitors

As discussed in the article “5 Lead Generation Tactics That Work Best for Startups,” social media can serve as a lead-generation machine. Be sure to create separate landing pages specifically designed for visitors coming from social. These top-of-the-funnel visitors require landing pages designed to introduce them to the product you sell or service your provide.

Become an Authority

Businesses use content marketing to position themselves as authoritative experts – but content is not the only means to achieve that end. Businesses can join FAQ and Q&A sites such as Quora and Yahoo! Answers, provide responses to the questions posed by users and position themselves as credible, knowledgeable and trustworthy. Visitors who ask questions on those sites can quickly become high-quality leads.

Use the Error Page

Many businesses overlook the potential of the 404 error page. Often they are uninspiring or, even worse, set up to make it seem like the website is no longer functioning or that the company has gone out of business. The occasional broken link or misspelled URL is inevitable. Use the 404 error page to point visitors in the right direction, to inject humor or to inject some personality into your otherwise boring error page.

Savvy business owners can find leads in error pages, in social media, in FAQ sites and gated content. The key is creating opt-in forms that visitors are willing to fill out when they reach your gated content. It is also critical to create landing pages specifically for your social visitors.