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Innovative Leads Generation Strategies Of The 90’s

olden days leads generation strategies

I have compiled innovative lead generation strategies of the 90’s that still work today.

The 1990s despite being the days of yore, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and people used rotary phones, were also a time of great technological advances.

The internet was born, and with it, a new way to generate leads for businesses. 

As of then, business-to-business lead generation was all about developing relationships with customers and building trust (just like these days too).

Sales reps would spend hours on the phone, getting to know their customers and their businesses. They would attend industry events and trade shows, meet customers face-to-face, and send them personalized letters and emails.

Even though the internet has drastically changed and while the lead generation strategies of the 90s may seem outdated, the fundamental principles of leads generation still hold, so many still work effectively today.

Here are the most effective techniques from the 90s that you can use in your B2B lead generation campaigns today:

1. Cold Calling

Cold calling might not be the most popular lead generation strategy today, but it still works!

It can be one of the most effective methods of generating leads if done correctly.

It can be difficult to get started, but once you have a few cold calling scripts down, it becomes much easier.

In the early days of business-to-business (B2B) lead generation, cold calling was the go-to strategy for sales reps.

It was an effective way to reach potential buyers who were not already familiar with a company’s products or services. And it still is.

Here are three innovative cold calling strategies that still work today:

Qualify leads before you call them.

One of the biggest mistakes sales reps make is calling leads that are not a good fit for their products or services.

By qualifying leads before you call them, you can save yourself and the potential customer a lot of time and energy.

There are a number of ways to qualify leads, including using a lead scoring system or a qualification questionnaire.

Target The Right Prospects

Another key to successful cold calling is to target the right prospects and to have a well-prepared sales pitch.

You need to identify your target market and identify the companies that would be the most likely to need your product or service.

Once you’ve identified your targets, you need to research them and learn about their business. Then, you need to create a list of questions that will help you determine whether or not they are a good fit for your product or service.

Tailored Sales Pitch

The next step is to create a sales pitch that is tailored to the needs of your target market.

You need to be prepared to answer any questions that the prospect might ask.

2. Personalized Letters and Emails

One of the most effective lead generation techniques of the 90s was personalized letters and emails.

Sales reps would take the time to create personalized letters and emails, addressing customers by name and talking about their businesses and the challenges they were facing.

The use of personalized letters and emails allowed businesses to target their leads more effectively.

Since the recipients of these letters and emails were already interested in the products or services being offered, there was a much higher conversion rate than with other lead generation methods then.

In addition, businesses could track the success of their lead generation campaigns more effectively using personalized letters and emails. This allowed them to fine-tune their campaigns and improve their overall results.

Today, many companies still use personalized letters and emails as a lead generation strategy. And it still works!

Even though it’s old, a study by Experian Marketing Services found that personalized emails generate six times more revenue than non-personalized emails.

So, despite the advances in technology over the past two decades, the use of personalized letters and emails is still an effective B2B lead generation strategy.

3. Trade Shows

In the early days of lead generation, trade shows were one of the most popular and effective ways to generate leads.

The reason trade shows were so successful is because they offered a unique opportunity for buyers and sellers to come together in one place and learn about new products and services.

Businesses would set up booths and hand out flyers and brochures to potential customers.

And of course, you’d have to bring along your best salespeople, because they would be the ones talking to potential customers.

These days, trade shows are still a valuable lead generation tool, but they’re no longer the only game in town.

There are now some innovative B2B lead generation strategies that you can use to get in front of potential customers easily.

These are the likes of:

4. Networking Events

Networking events are another B2B lead generation strategy and have stood the test of time, after 2 decades.

Networking events are a great way to meet potential customers and partners.

Attending industry events and trade shows can help you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and connect with potential customers.

5. Direct Mail

Another successful lead generation strategy from the 1990s was direct mail.

While it’s certainly not as popular as it once was, it’s still an extremely effective way to reach potential customers.

Sending a targeted letter to potential customers was a great way to get their attention and generate leads.

Direct mail is a tried and true lead generation tactic that still delivers results today.

Here are two reasons why:

1. It’s personal.

When you send a direct mail piece, you’re sending a personal message to your prospects. You’re not just blasting them an email; you’re taking the time to create a custom piece of mail that’s specifically tailored to them.

2. It’s attention-grabbing.

Most people are bombarded with emails all day long, but direct mail is a lot less common. So when prospects see your mail piece in their mailbox, they’re more likely to take notice.


The 90s was a great time for business, with the growth of the internet and many innovative lead generation strategies. Despite the many changes that have taken place since then, some of these strategies still work today.

By picking up any or all of these old but effective strategies, paired with today’s B2B lead generation strategies such as creating quality content, developing strong relationships with customers, using the latest technologies, etc, businesses will generate more leads and ultimately increase sales.