Offline Challenge: Can we come up with a list of 250 Offline Lead Gen Ideas? Here are 53 to start...

21 replies
I thought this would be a fun challenge that can help grow our businesses. This is not meant to be a How-to, just a list to get some new ideas flowing. A lot require some investment of time and/or money, others won’t be a good fit for you or your clients, but hopefully there are at least a couple that you can use to help grow your business. Let’s see if we can get to at least 250 creative ideas!!!!

A note for long term, smart business growth: Always check regulations before starting any campaign. I see things posted in various threads where it doesn’t look like people are protecting themselves legally before starting something by not understanding the laws. There may be local, state or federal laws that restrict or regulate some of the marketing ideas listed (e.g. cold calling consumers, sign placement etc.) and it is important you check to make sure you are in compliance before you start anything. That’s the smart way to grow and scale a business for the long term.

The First Ideas:

(Since these are all discussed all day every day on WF, I didn’t break them down, feel free to add them if you have good ideas, I wanted to focus on things that are not discussed as much)
  1. Rank a website(s) (SEO and all that goes with it, discussed a gazillion times on WF)
  2. Optimize Local Listings (e.g. Google Places, Bing Listings, Yahoo Local, local review site, local directories etc.)
  3. Social Network Marketing (Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube etc.)
  4. Classifieds (Craigslist, Ebay Classifieds, Backpage...)
  5. PPC (Adwords, 2nd tier networks)
  6. Opt-in Email marketing campaigns
  7. SMS campaigns
  8. Rank videos
  9. Pay-per-lead (find other lead generation companies and broker the calls)

B2C (Business to Consumer)
  1. Print door hangers, pay students to canvass local neighborhoods
  2. “Old-fashioned” door-to-door sales
  3. Send flashy postcards to local neighborhood offering discounts
  4. Send classy personal letters from the client to community introducing themselves with an offer
  5. Coupons (Valpak, local mailers newspaper inserts etc.)
  6. For edible products, pass out samples with a QR code or coupon printed on the packaging for a discount to lunch crowds in business areas (trackable coupon)
  7. Leave paper bags printed with your client’s info on the doorsteps for a food drive for a local food bank (pay some people with a truck to collect them and deliver them on a certain date)
  8. Share a booth at national trade show with a partner business
  9. Print advertising (magazine, newspaper, inserts, local classified papers, local service guides)
  10. Ask local businesses if you can post a flyer in their window, offer them some sort of free marketing services in return
  11. Line up speaking opportunities for your clients
  12. Run Radio or Local Cable Ads during off-peak hours
  13. Sponsor a local little league or high school sports team program
  14. Do a vehicle wrap with strong call-to-action
  15. Advertise on shopping carts
  16. Advertise on the side of pay phones (yes they still do exist!)
  17. Post fliers on public bulletin boards where permitted (coffee shops, community boards)
  18. Work out a deal with a cab company to have brochures placed in the back pockets of their cars
  19. Print coasters or placemats for local bars or restaurants for free with client’s info on them
  20. Organize/sponsor a local clean-up day at a park or beach. Contact local media to help get the word out via newspaper, radio, tv
  21. Co-sponsor a free public e-waste or paper shredding day for the local community. Give out some sort of coupon or offer for each person that brings something in.
  22. Get a booth at a flea market
  23. Sponsor some part of a local street fair (e.g. get your client to donate something they need for recognition)
  24. Partner with an intramural league, offer to underwrite something they need in return for sponsorship
  25. Sponsor the prizes for a summer reading program at a local library for a client that caters to children (e.g. tutoring company or gymnastic center).
  26. Fly a banner in an airplane at a major sporting or outdoor event (not as expensive as you may think!)
  27. Hold a charity auction
  28. Get a booth at local art fairs and showcase different client services
  29. Sponsor a school band

B2B AND B2C (can work for both)
  1. Offer free goods/services to local non-profits in return for some sort of sponsorship opportunity
  2. Create partnerships with complementary businesses and do a special offer/cross promotion
  3. Partner with local service providers who complement your skills (e.g. find a PR firm and do joint presentations for a comprehensive marketing effort)
  4. Be a “matching donor” for a local Public Radio Station pledge drive
  5. Contact a local college and see if you can give a guest lecture on a relevant topic to a continuing education class (e.g. schedule a local CPA you have as a client to discuss something to an accounting class). Pass out a summary of the talk with contact info for your client.
  6. Hold a press conference (if you get the publicity out and you have newsworthy info you’d be surprised how many reporters are looking for an interesting story)
  7. Have your client write a letter to the editor of a national business magazine like Inc. Often the business name will be listed underneath
  8. Put a unique promotional item in the trade show bag that are given to attendees
B2B (Business to Business)
  1. Create a professional workshop series with a panel of businesses around a theme such as “tools for your small business”. (can also be done online)
  2. Sponsor an after-hours networking event targeting prospective clients for your client
  3. Go door-to-door to local businesses offering your client’s services
  4. Join the Chamber of Commerce and schedule to do seminars for members
  5. Start your own leads networking group
  6. Join other local civics groups and really get involved in the community
  7. Talk to people everywhere you go!!!!
  8. Write a pamphlet that helps local businesses do their own marketing, give out free and include your contact info on the back (this is for your own lead generation)
#250 #challenge #gen #ideas #lead #list #offline #start
  • Profile picture of the author localvseo
    Print client's info on cardboard sleeves for hot drinks and give free to independent local coffee shops
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  • Profile picture of the author AussieT
    Nice list mate. Will bookmark to read later.
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  • Profile picture of the author businessnewbie
    Print out water bottle labels and pass them out. I knew a title company that did this with realtor mailboxes at the realtor association. You could put a coupon on it, or a qr code, or your own business info on it.

    Just thought of another one... Fishbowl and sweepstakes boxes.
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  • Profile picture of the author ginder
    You dont need that many ideas! You need 1 idea and decent enough IQ to make that idea work. Its not that hard, having so many options or ideas can be counter productive.
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    • Profile picture of the author localvseo
      work out a deal with local hotels to place offers in hotel rooms with your clients info (restaurants, clubs etc.)

      Originally Posted by ginder View Post

      You dont need that many ideas! You need 1 idea and decent enough IQ to make that idea work. Its not that hard, having so many options or ideas can be counter productive.
      I agree that nobody should try and do a huge amount of them. Maybe pick a few as a core strategy, and then once in a while find a new one to work out. I figure with a list of 250 there would be a big enough list to pull from and then use what will work best for a particular client and your own skill-sets and strategy. There are a lot of people on this forum and I think one thing that I see is everyone tries to do the same thing,which also can be counter-productive. marketing is a big area,your creativity is the limit in many instances.
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    • Profile picture of the author RRG
      Originally Posted by ginder View Post

      You dont need that many ideas! You need 1 idea and decent enough IQ to make that idea work. Its not that hard, having so many options or ideas can be counter productive.
      Good luck with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author andynathan
    Blog about your expertise

    Delighfully Inexpensive: The Scientific Formula For Profitable Blogging takes you step-by-step into how to create mind-blowing content that inspires your readers to learn more about your services.
    Scientific Formula For Profitable Blogging Link

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  • Profile picture of the author Amsterdam81
    Still, lotsa people do SEO these days, ranking site can be either difficult/easy depending on the competition :p

    but great info man!


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  • Profile picture of the author localvseo
    Here's a cool idea I thought of this weekend. Go to or a similar site and get smart phone protective covers printed with your client's info and a catch phrase (something to do with not forgetting to call when you need this service). Make them look half decent so people will use them, but people love free stuff. Pass them out at events or maybe even leave at local business counters or be creative...
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  • Profile picture of the author HappyGayleen
    Great creative ideas - and can be used to generate leads for yourself - or in many cases, for your clients and be another revenue source.
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  • Profile picture of the author HappyGayleen
    Here's one I just thought of: coasters for drinks with a logo imprinted! Maybe a "text _____ to get ___________."
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  • Profile picture of the author Site87
    Wow what a fantastic list! I'll be bookmarking this to check it out later.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rick Britton
    Get a toll free number and record an info message about the clients business or service and add the phone number to every item you send out

    Message can say "before you open this/before you do this phone this number"

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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Many of these sound like alot of the thoughts that go through my mind on a week when I dont feel like cold calling and Im trying to reason my way out of it. "Placing flyers on car windows...". Lots of ideas here, maybe a only handful of good ones in it, but thats how it works. Numbers.
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  • Profile picture of the author JimOrr
    offer a youth league a sponsorship in exchange for them going out and promoting a huge giveaway. Like a Pizza place offering a grand prize of a free pizza a week for a year. Kids go around getting people to optin for the prize. I ran the numbers on this a while ago. You could easily collect 5000 leads in a local town if done right.
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  • Profile picture of the author localvseo
    Pass out seeds with custom packaging. Come up with a cute phrase about growing your business
    Advertise on the side of the seats that shoeshiners on the street use

    Co-sponsor an eyeglass collection drive for charity , give free lens clothes with your logo and number imprinted on them for everyone that donates
    Hire someone to draw attention with the "good ol' arrow sign on the corner" trick
    Sponsor street performers in larger cities to wear a shirt or display some other sort of advertising with your message. (Some get a lot of attention and passing foot traffic).
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  • Profile picture of the author localvseo
    Sponsor the game program at a local college or high school sporting event

    Sponsor college events such as local concerts or club sports

    Give out free reusable grocery bags (they'll think of you every time they go shopping)

    Partner with a local retailer that makes sense for your service, sponsor a kid's day at their location (clown, balloons etc.) and have freebies with your business on it as well
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  • Profile picture of the author stamford
    Nice lists :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Noah Fleming
    The real secret is create value in the marketplace so you can shift from pursuit to attraction.
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  • Profile picture of the author RiskTaker
    The food Drive one has some wheels if done right. I am gonna try this one.

    Get Paid

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  • Profile picture of the author goendul
    wow, very inspiring
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