Lead Generation For IT Companies (The Single Best Tip You’ll Ever Receive)

This article isn’t meant to cover a bunch of agencies you can work with to get leads.

And it isn’t a long list of tips you’ve probably already thought of to drum up leads.

This article is meant to show IT companies how to get new clients, effectively. 

And I know this- because it is currently working for me. 

So buckle up. 

And let’s get into the short-and-sweet version of lead generation for IT companies. 

Lead Generation For IT Companies

Are you focused top-of-funnel or mid-funnel?

The first thing I want to know when working with an IT company is:

“Is it just leads that you want? Or do you want warm prospects?”

Many IT company owners know who they would like to work with.

The problem is they haven’t had luck with ever getting any reception. 

So they move back to a B2C strategy of inbound marketing.

This means advertising until the leads come to you. 

And don’t get me wrong….

I still advertise on Google for many of my clients. 

And it yields decent results. 

But it never lands that “1,000lb Gorilla.”

If you are focused on just digging up leads (name, number, email)-

Then I suggest a strategy of this:

  • Advertise on Google
  • Develop a solid content strategy
  • Go to tradeshows
  • Work with a B2B agency that uses zoom.info to drum up leads
  • etc…

But if you know what types of people you’d love to work with (but you can’t get through)..

This is the lead generation strategy for you. 

This is what I consider the blue collar part of lead generation for IT companies. 

However, there is a way to automate many portions of it. 

Lead Generation For IT Companies

Step 1: Identify Your Hit List

Whether you work with an agency that can drum up leads for you, or you already know who you would like to work with…

The first thing to do is develop your hit-list.

This should be a spreadsheet of 50 ideal clients for your business. 

You’ll want to include:






Or you can simply develop a list from old prospects that didn’t work out for one reason or another. 

This campaign strategy works great for re-engagement campaigns as well. 

Mug campaigns

Step 2: Print & Ship

In my experience I have tried everything under the sun to get potential clients to give me an opportunity to show them value. 

And it has almost always failed. 

This includes:

  • Cold Email
  • Cold Call
  • Offers (Lead Magnets)
  • LinkedIn

This strategy was always a numbers game aimed at quantity. 

But if you’re an introvert like me, you can only get hung up on so many times.

So we decided to use branded gear to our advantage. 

Specifically, we use coffee mugs. 

This strategy works for a few reasons:

  1. We used a print & ship company so they handled all of our orders (no extra shipping work)
  2. Instead of sending a client press materials for the garbage, they get something of value
  3. On the back we included a QR code to show information exactly how we wanted to present it
  4. If the timing is not right, the coffee mug sits in the office kitchen for years to come
  5. Our average cost-per-click in the industry was $8 with an average dwell time of 90 seconds. For $10 I got someone’s full attention for even longer. 

I recommend using a company like Gelato because the offer an API for their printing services. 

So if you use something like Hubspot, Active Campaign, or SalesForce:

You simply upload your list to your CRM and Boom…

The mugs start getting sent.

But more on that later

Print and ship

Step 3: Timing Is Everything

This is more of a helpful tip when using this strategy.

Most of these companies will provide a tracking API.

Or in the case with Gelato…

We got a tracking number from FedEx.

So all we needed to do what use FedEx’s API to connect the tracking number to the prospect and..

We were able to be notified by our system at the exact moment the mug arrived. 

Using a unique URL for the QR code we could tell if the mug was being scanned or not. 

Lead Generation For IT Companies

Step 4: Personalize When Needed. Automate When Possible.

Once the mug arrived that triggered an automation in our CRM. 

We use a tool called Active Campaign and this worked perfectly with this lead generation strategy. 

The first thing that happened is the system had a 60 min wait block.

This gives the prospect some time to scan the QR code or learn about our services. 

If the contact had not yet scheduled a meeting with us the Active Campaign would create an event in our project management system. 

This would include the contact information with the task to call the prospect.

Instead of getting hung up on- the mug almost always drew enough interest to warrant a short conversation. 


Step 5: Don’t over ask.

We will talk about what happens if the contact didn’t answer in the next section. 

But I want to give you a warning for the times that you do get a prospect on the line. 

Again, there is usually some intrigue because the mug does its job warming leads. 

But you will almost certainly blow an opportunity if you set the barrier to entry too high. 

We found this to work extremely well when our “ask” went from:

“Would you be willing to set aside 30 minutes to meet and see how we may be able to help?”


“I just wanted to introduce myself. We are sending an email over with a little more information on what we do. Would you be willing to just check that out and let me know if it sounds interesting to you?”

With this lower barrier to entry- someone will almost always accept that proposal. 

And when you call back, you know that they’ve had a chance to look at what you can offer. 

The Venue at Greenbrier Estate

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Step 6: If there is no answer

If there was no answer when you called-

then the contact would simply move on in the automation (created with a CRM).

The nice thing about Active Campaign (and I know Hubspot does this as well)-

Is that you can integrate your actual email account. 

And the CRM can automatically send personalized emails.

This isn’t the classic email tool because emails are formatted and look like normal 

You also aren’t required to include the annoying unsubscribe link.

But the best part is- your email deliverability goes way up. 

So you don’t need to worry nearly as much about emails going to spam. 

The automation would then send 2 more emails to the contact over the next 10 days. 

Then finally we would include a task for our sales person to use Loom to create a video for the contact. 

Loom is a video recording tool. 

And it loads an animated gif thumbnail of the video playing, whenever shared in emails. 

So we always include a screen share of the clients website- and we always had high watch rates. 

Because they coud tell this was a 1-on-1 video.

And that is the short version of the touch points:

1: Send Mug

2: Track Package

3: Call On Package Arrival

4: Automate Follow-Ups

5: Send A Loom Video

And if that still can’t get you through the door- we always see if it’s ok to follow up later on. 

The next year, it’s a new mug and the same campaign. 

Johnson Jones Group

Step 7: Simple Yet Complicated

This campaign really sounds much easier than it is. 

That’s really the point. 

By automating much of the process you save a lot of time that you can focus on drumming up lead information. 

And the system itself will manage that prospect through the entire sales process. 

You can even keep notes on the prospect to be able to recount information on a later date.

(This is something I KNOW every CRM has built in).

However, building this automation does take a lot of moving parts. 

And it is certainly not something I would deem as easy. 

However, if you are interested in an idea like this-

We would be happy to help. 

(I’m only going to be on my soapbox for a second)…

If you check out https://johnsonjonesgroup.com/it-consulting-firm-marketing/

You can learn a little more about our services. 

But you won’t find anything about our “mug club” campaigns. 

This is because this is our secret sauce. 

And the only way I will help build one is if I am contacted directly. 

Because this is not a campaign we can easily manage at scale. 

Just in case:

Dillon Jones 


Lead Generation For IT Companies

To Sum Up Lead Generation For IT Companies

You are probably in a position where you are currently deep diving into lead generation ideas for your IT company. 

And I am sure you will hear a lot of ideas. 

Our agency offers most of those services (SEO, Content Marketing, Google Ads, Social, etc..)

But this is truly a campaign that works a little differently. 

We are used to bills in the mail. Not gifts. 

And I was shocked to see what I spent on PPC ads (and that I could be sending mugs for 20% more). 

So try whatever you feel is best. 

But my recommendation from trying it all….

Put in the time to build a great campaign. 

And run it until it doesn’t work any longer. 

(Did I mention it works just as well for lead lists at trade shows?)

Best of luck to you and I hope you’ll tell me how this worked for you.

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