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5 Underestimated Online Lead Generation Channels

We all love the underdog. It is quite easily the underpinning of any success story that shaped industry and business. So many thriving companies were built by underdogs that, while facing insurmountable odds, were able to conquer the giant and find success. If you look at it, the story of the underdog is appealing because it is the story of the little person creating enormous changes.

There are underdogs in every nuance of your business. We think that the fastest, the most widely used products generate the greatest results. This type of thinking can be dangerous—especially when looking at lead generation channels.  

What if we were to find the underdogs of lead generation channels? Believe it or not, there are still channels out there where you can make some significant differences in your search for new leads without having to fight off swarms of competitors.

Pinterest Advertising

If your ideal demographic is a millennial woman, then we have the perfect lead generation channel for you. Some might mistakenly think of Pinterest as being the perfect platform for grandmas looking for the latest trends in fairy gardens, but the reality is very far from this. In fact, 50% of millennials use Pinterest on a monthly basis, and 45% of women on the internet are Pinterest users.

If that didn’t make your ears prick up, you might need to read that again. That is a lot of people you could be missing out on just because you assumed Pinterest was a site where people went to look at pretty pictures (much like Instagram, and we can all agree that that is a platform that has done quite well for itself).

Before you start wildly uploading photos onto Pinterest, keep a couple of things in mind. When setting up your boards, be sure that your cover image makes sense. Mix up your pins with a variety of pictures, videos, and gifs—and be sure to do this once or twice a week. Double check that your categories are correct to ensure that your pins will be found by customers browsing.

Most people think of Pinterest as a social media channel, but it's a search engine.  So, make sure you have done adequate keyword research before pinning. Insert those keywords and keyword phrases with your pins so that they pop up when users are on Pinterest.

Lastly, if you are a data junky, be sure to use their analytics feature to find great insights.

Text Messaging

Text messaging has become such a standard part of our daily lives that it seems almost impossible to remember the days when we had to call one another to communicate. However, that daily familiarity has lead us to ignore the power that text messaging has.  

Apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Kik have made it easy to send messages from any type of mobile device.  And, businesses have capitalized on the opportunity to share promotions and information with customers through these apps.

But, what many businesses fail to see is that using SMS messaging as a channel for lead generation instead of a third party app is much more beneficial.  The reason is simple--SMS messages are available if a customer is not connected to WiFi.

Consider, for example, that 79% of wireless subscribers state that they use text messaging. To put that in perspective, by the end of 2017 Q4, there were 424.3 million wireless subscribers according to Statista. That’s a pretty big chunk of people you could be reaching every day by using SMS instead of a third party app.

This means that they will be more likely to respond to your text messages and follow your sales funnel. Before you start diving in, keep in mind that there are some basic rules that you can learn about in text messaging guides online. For example, you should never send a text to a person without permission. You get that permission, when prospects opt-in by filling out an online form and leaving their phone number, or by sending a shortcode to your corporate number. With this action, users agree to get messages from your business.

Oh, and one final little statistic: text messages have a 98% open rate.


While LinkedIn might not be a secret source of leads by any stretch of the imagination, its size and magnitude will surely make you rethink dedicating a little extra time to your LinkedIn lead generation efforts. In fact, did you know that LinkedIn is 277% higher on lead generation than Facebook and Twitter?

What currently makes LinkedIn particularly attractive is their paid lead generation platform called LinkedIn Sales Navigator. It’s an excellent lead generation tool for the same reason that  Facebook Ads was so many years ago: precision.

Much as with Facebook, LinkedIn allows you the capability of customizing your lead search to super-precise attributes. However, the feature that makes this a great tool is the ability to contact saved leads directly.


eBooks aren’t new, and they aren’t usually the flashiest lead generation tool out there. However, eBooks can pack quite the punch. Consider that this year, eBook sales will account for a quarter of all book sales. Furthermore, 41% of individuals surveyed stated that they read 15 eBooks or more per year.

Who would have thought that eBooks are consumed at such a massive level? It makes sense since they are easy to read and usually short in length. The mystery then becomes how to write an eBook that triggers customer engagement.

Think of being funny or dramatic while at the same time making sure you are highlighting what you are trying to sell. If the thought of trying to write an eBook sounds nearly impossible, then consider finding a ghostwriter on a freelance site like Fiverr or Upwork.


Another underestimated lead generation channel is webinars. Webinars usually sound great in theory, but in practice, they require a lot of effort. That effort, however, will likely pay off. If you want to run a successful webinar, consider these statistics.

  •  41-44% of attendees wish a webinar to last between 30-45 minutes
  • the majority (32%) of viewers prefer 11:00 AM as a time to watch a webinar
  •  92% of attendees want a Q&A session at the end of the webinar

If you pull off a webinar correctly, you could have an entire audience banging on the door and ready to buy what you are selling.


While it may feel at times as though there aren’t any new opportunities out there to generate leads, often you need to look just a little harder. If you are creative and willing to go a step further than your competitors, you will likely find that lead generation is not quite the mystery you once thought it to be.

The author, Anastasia Sviridenko, is a content marketing manager at TextMagic. TextMagic is a bulk SMS solution for businesses. It allows setting up SMS marketing campaigns, as well as sending text alerts, notifications, and reminders.

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