Our 9 Favorite Lead Gen Niches
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Lead generation, or acquiring and selling leads, has been around as long as products have needed to be sold to prospective buyers.
Today, lead generation in the digital world is bigger than ever and represents a huge online industry in which lead generation businesses compete over countless products and services.
Certain niches are more attractive than others and thus a lot more competitive. Some of the best niche markets sell expensive in-demand products and services, and marketers are willing to spend a lot of money developing digital marketing strategies to target those niches through keyword research and social media for example.
This article is going to explore the field of lead generation and some of its largest and most competitive niches.
You’re going to learn the basics of lead generation for your business, what factors to consider when selecting a niche, and which categories are the top-rated lead generation niches.
What is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a relatively simple concept to understand. It’s been around forever and is still highly relevant today in sales and marketing. Basically, lead generation is about acquiring and selling the contact information of potential customers or qualified individuals who are interested in a particular service or product.
A company can perform lead generation on its own or hire a third-party service that specializes in lead generation. Lead generation services will conduct market research, monitor online behavior (e.g. Google searches), or create email outreach programs to engage potential customers and then sell the information to other service providers.
Lead generation services often build out websites to advertise products and services and use them as a lead generation funnel (e.g. call to action). You’re probably considering entering the lead generation business by using websites you’ve already designed or plan to build.
Converting leads to buyers isn’t necessarily the only goal of lead generation. It’s important to develop a marketing plan that seeks to find and initiate consumer interest, as well as help potential buyers navigate the sales cycle.
Generally speaking, there are three sets of activities that encompass lead generation: generating traffic to a business website, converting that traffic into leads by creating interest, and ultimately converting those leads into paying customers.
Lead gen is a vital part of the sales cycle for any company, especially local businesses. These businesses are often small and don’t have big marketing budgets or online presences. All kinds of independent contractors, and those working for commissions, see the value in a local lead because they need new clients to survive.
Business lead generators are always welcome in any marketplace because they find value. However, not all products and services require a dedicated leads generation business to help with marketing and conversion because not all markets are equal.
However, some niche markets have such high demand that finding leads is a budding industry in itself, and lead gen services become essential in the marketing process. Companies will pay top dollar for qualified leads, and lead gen marketers will invest a lot of resources to find leads to grow their own company as well.
What are Lead Generation Niches?
Lead gen niches are vertical markets or business niches where vendors target specific customers, and their specific set of needs while relying heavily on generating leads to conduct business.
As previously stated, not every business in a niche will require a lead generating business to assist in marketing efforts — but there are some niches where a business won’t compete without some type of lead gen activity.
These lead generation niches tend to be competitive and deliver high-value goods and services. If you Google any of these niches you’ll find a ton of results because there’s a lot of marketing and money surrounding these markets.
Millions of people try to find products and services that are offered in these niches and are willing to pay a lot of money for them. Companies are willing to spend a lot of money for leads too. This is why lead generation niches are profitable verticals and lead gen services are sought after to spearhead marketing activities, find potential buyers, and kick-start the conversion process.
These niches depend more than ever on cutting-edge digital marketing strategies to engage today’s customers. Activities like content marketing (e.g. blogs, websites, reviews, newsletters), SEO, email campaigns, and social media engagement are part of every serious niche competitor’s plan to generate leads.
What to Consider When Picking a Niche
There are countless niche markets to choose from and some which haven’t been capitalized on yet. New niches will arise as technology and lifestyles change. Finding the right one will depend on your specific goals and circumstances.
For the sake of discussion, let’s assume you want to start your own lead gen business instead of working for a marketing agency.
Ideally, you want to focus on niches that have high demand (or latent demand) and high margins for which you feel confident enough to execute a marketing plan and grow your own lead gen company.
Acquiring local leads in your immediate geographic market can be a viable plan for short-term gains but may not scale that well in the long run. Usually, the most profitable niches are those where you can expand your business on a large scale and attract as many customers as possible.
Some of the most attractive lead generation niches have a few characteristics in common:
- High demand for leads and lots of potential end consumers that generate high search traffic volume (especially through search engines like Google).
- A lot of big-budget lead buyers, or at least a consolidated bunch of them (direct vendors, service providers, or intermediaries willing to spend top dollar for qualified leads).
- High conversation rates or high value of sales (e.g. big-ticket items, specialized services).
There are other important questions to consider when assessing the viability of a particular niche:
- What are the margins of the underlying products or services (will there be enough money left over to adequately compensate lead generation specialists)?
- How cost-sensitive is the end customer (this can affect their willingness to pay)?
- What are the upfront costs to the end-user (this can affect the conversion rate of leads)?
- Is end-user payment guaranteed for the products or services (is the payment subsidized or facilitated by a third-party funding source)?
Moreover, vertical markets are always ebbing and flowing so timing is important when targeting niches. You should make sure there is a strong and reliable base of lead gen buyers available to satisfy your lead generation business (and growing demand for the end product or service).
Consider how much debt you may need to carry in order to scale your business accordingly to serve large niche markets.
One of the biggest things to consider when picking a niche is how big the sales margins are for the underlying products and services. If you can barely make a profit as a lead gen supplier then is it really worth the time and effort?
Niches Worth Looking Into
The following lead generation niches are worth looking into because they are large, profitable, and satisfy some of the aforementioned criteria concerning the viability of doing business in these markets.
They represent a wide variety of essential products and services that almost everyone needs at some point in their life. Although they aren’t all of the niches you can target, this list will serve as a good starting point for your endeavor.
Here are what we think are the 9 best niches for lead generation:
The legal leads niche encompasses a wide variety of fields from traffic law to family, criminal, health care, and intellectual property. There are so many sub-niches that you can choose to specialize in a certain field within a specific geographic market.
Local businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors play a big role in this niche.
Highly litigious markets like the United States can be a treasure trove for legal lead generation due to the high volume of lawsuits per month and an abundance of lawyers.
Lawyers definitely see the value in acquiring leads (clients) and will pay accordingly for the privilege. Legal representation and legal bills usually cost a lot of money so the profit margins can be good.
A good way to obtain information on leads is to run a website that surveys the parties involved in a lawsuit to gather relevant background information that lawyers need to represent someone. The information can be used to filter and recommend potential clients to specific lawyers. The involved parties can communicate through email to discuss the next steps.
2. Plastic Surgeons
Cosmetic surgery marketing is all about finding qualified leads and presenting them with attractive offers.
A candidate for plastic surgery can generate a lot of income so doctors definitely see the value in acquiring local leads. It’s not particularly easy for plastic surgeons to advertise themselves in this competitive market. Direct referrals are very important.
One of the best ways to generate cosmetic surgery leads is through an email campaign that aims to draw people’s attention with great offers and get them to visit an attractive website where they can learn more about specific procedures.
Another added benefit of this type of niche is that full or partial payment for medical cosmetic surgery is often assured by the customer’s insurance.
Insurance is one of the biggest lead generation niches out there (think of how many insurance advertisements you see each week). Then consider that almost everyone is a qualified lead.
Moreover, insurance products are generally expensive and commoditized. This means that customers distinguish insurance products by specific prices and attributes, which increases transparency and helps with the purchasing decision, but the products are similar to others sold by competing companies.
Insurance is also a market with a lot of sub-niches. There is insurance coverage on virtually everything. This presents an opportunity to specialize in a particular niche.
The insurance industry is continuously growing and insurance companies are making a lot of money. This value can be passed on to you as a marketer tasked with finding qualified leads.
Some insurance is required by law for individuals to obtain. When someone is required by law to purchase a product then the conversion process becomes a little bit easier.
Lead gen websites focused on insurance are generally straightforward. They present potential customers with a call to action and information on various insurance products and then require some kind of simple email sign-up process.
4. Loans and Credit Cards
Credit cards, loans, and other financial products are similar to insurance products in that they are typically commoditized and many people are qualified to receive them. There are loans for a wide variety of purposes (like there are insurance products for a variety of circumstances).
Some of the types of loans include mortgage, business, student, home repair, and auto financing loans. There are various types of credit cards too that cater to specific demographics and come with different perks, interest rates, and spending limits.
Loans and credit cards have low upfront costs (often there isn’t any transaction cost at all to obtain them). This low upfront cost influences people to finalize purchase decisions with minimal buyer’s remorse. Converting leads may be easier with financial products than other expensive items which require a monetary transaction at the point of sale.
Keep in mind that new customers are particularly valuable to banks and issuers of loans and credit cards because a customer has the potential to remain a customer for many years.
You’re probably familiar with lead gen sites focusing on loans and credit cards (especially if you’ve personally shopped for credit cards). These sites provide value to shoppers because they aggregate marketing information on dozens of products and promotional offers from numerous financial companies. As a potential customer, you can compare and contrast to choose the best deal for you.
Lead generation websites focusing on loans and credit cards are also similar to affiliate marketing sites because they refer visitors to third-party sites to submit email applications (usually that of the financial institution issuing the loan or credit card). Compensation would be based on a cost-per-action model whereby you (the referring domain) would earn a lead gen fee whenever someone fills out an application or submits an email on the other site.
5. Home Services and Remodeling
Local businesses, sole proprietors, and general and independent contractors play a big role in the home services and remodeling niche market. It’s a broad category that includes any individual or general contractor that can be hired to perform renovations and essential home services like painting, plumbing, landscaping, and HVAC installation.
Local service providers see a lot of value in local lead gen marketing and there is a lot of search traffic for home services and remodeling. Being able to rank in search engines for services in specific geographic areas like suburbs and residential neighborhoods is a best practice for this niche.
Home improvement and specialized home services are not cheap. This means as a lead gen specialist you can ask for a decent cut of the final sales margin from companies and contractors.
Most home services and remodeling companies don’t have big advertising budgets. It’s not uncommon for a select few successful companies to dominate airtime on radio shows and buy out pricey billboard space. Other smaller companies need professionals who can help create online ads and search for customers.
Lead gen sites in-home services and remodeling create value by providing shoppers with a place to read reviews on various service providers and explore the type of work available. It’s also a place to give out promotional offers and special deals. Anyone is qualified for home services and remodeling granted they can afford it.
Typically customers expect a job well done before payment is made to the service provider. This places emphasis on the contractor to perform a good job. As a lead generator, it’s important to research your business partners to ensure they are legitimate, reliable, and will deliver on what they promise to the customer.
Education will continue to be a valuable service for the foreseeable future. In particular, online education has become normalized and this vertical is continuing to grow. Most accredited brick and mortar institutions offer competitive online programs in a wide variety of fields as well.
There are also many online universities that deliver programs completely online. Like traditional education institutions, their target market will consist of internet users who search for programs online. Sometimes these users already express interest in a particular online program which simplifies conversion.
Education is a profitable lead generation niche because of big margins and constantly high demand. Although most online universities promote themselves as being affordable, online degrees offered by competitive traditional universities are still very expensive and there is no shortage of people wanting advanced education.
You don’t necessarily have to target people looking for online education. Running a website providing information on various types of federal loans and scholarships that can be applied to any university is valuable and institutions will pay for this service.
Most people pay for their education with loans from financial institutions that are supported by the federal government. This means that end-user payment is virtually guaranteed. This is good for the service provider and lead generator.
There are also low upfront costs associated with enrollment. People tend to be less cost-conscious if they choose to pay for tuition completely with loans. All these factors combined make the education niche worth considering.
7. Mortgages and Real Estate
Here’s another burgeoning market that relies heavily on the lead generation business. The mortgage and real estate industry is seeing a shift towards digitization and online marketing. There is a significant amount of search volume for real estate.
Real estate agents are being encouraged by their realty firms to grow their own business using digital marketing strategies to attract clients. Old fashioned methods of lead generation are being replaced by cutting-edge digital marketing techniques.
You can expect real estate brokers and mortgage lenders to pay well for the best leads. The conversion rate is lower than in other niches but there is a ton of money in real estate and converting leads can generate substantial revenue.
Although many people are interested in real estate, not everyone will qualify for a mortgage loan. Similar to loans and credit cards, lead gen sites in this niche may operate similarly to affiliate marketing. Prospective buyers will shop for the best loan rates online and be referred to a third-party site to submit a loan application.
Real estate sites facilitate the sales cycle by providing a database for prospective buyers to find homes in specific locations and interact with sellers through email, recommendations, reviews, and local insights.
8. Senior Care
Senior care and assisted living is a fast-growing industry especially as baby boomers are in the process of retiring.
Many people are looking into senior care for the first time and don’t know anyone to rely on for information and advice. Word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family can be hard to come by.
Having said that, the senior care niche is a profitable market because assisted living and home care services are often quite expensive. There are lots of people searching for senior care services online and that number will continue to grow.
One reason why you don’t see many advertisements for senior care and assisted living is that they target a very specific audience. A broad advertising campaign may not provide the best return on investment. This is where lead generation specialists can step in and create value.
End-users of senior care services and assisted living facilities need to meet certain requirements and background checks in order to qualify. Doing the initial research and screening necessary to find qualified leads is a valuable activity that will pay well.
A simple but attractive website could funnel leads to local nursing homes and senior care facilities. Visitors would fill out information including their email and phone number and then get in touch directly with representatives.
9. Drug Rehabilitation
Drug rehabilitation centers need patients to fill beds. A treatment center will need to explore ways to get the phone ringing if it’s operating at low capacity. Finding and converting leads is just as important here as in any other niche.
A lead generation service can provide solutions for drug treatment facilities by generating qualified leads through various methods.
Pay-per-click services that advertise addiction treatment can help a drug rehab organization find patients and yield a significant return. Social media can be leveraged to find and listen to individuals in need of help, guiding them with meaningful content and information resources.
Newsletters and email marketing provide an opportunity to target specific people with personalized messages in a time of need. Lead gen specialists help in building a list of candidates who would benefit from an email outreach campaign.
Lead generation can also be fruitful through offline methods like print and direct marketing. Also, keep in mind that this niche is a great way to utilize emotionally engaging email marketing techniques to connect with people.
Lead Generation Niches Wrap-Up
Lead generation for business monetization is an important and lucrative activity in today’s digital world. There are literally hundreds of profitable niche markets that depend on leads for growth.
But is there a best niche for lead generation?
This article has discussed several key factors to consider when conducting business in lead generation niches.
Other considerations worth mentioning include the laws, regulations, weather, and demographics in a chosen location. Choose a specific location, find several niches in that location, and always look out for more opportunities while paying attention to these considerations.
Use Google to search for businesses that need leads or are interested in buying them. Contact them through email and gauge their willingness to pay for qualified leads. Consider joining a Facebook SEO group lead gen networking and advice.
Also, take a look at key performance indicators for specific locations and niches. Metrics like population size, search volume traffic, competition density, consolidation of lead buyers, seasonality of products and services, profit margins, etc.
Use tools like link trackers to scale your affiliate marketing and optimize your ad campaigns to increase conversions.
Don’t forget about small businesses, sole proprietors, and independent contractors. These commission-based professionals always see the value in new leads and they often lack the resources to acquire them. Reach out to them through email.
Ultimately your goal is to find the right niches that will have the highest chance of success and maximize your earning potential. The best niches are those with lots of buyers, high profit margins (conversion value), guaranteed payouts, and high conversion rates.
If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!
Contributing Author: Brian Kihneman
Hey I'm Nick, one of the guys behind SirLinksalot. I have a passion for building online businesses and taking websites to the next level with the help of my amazing link building team.
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