What is lead generation? It can be a difficult question to answer because lead generation encompasses so many different aspects. At its most basic level, lead generation is the process of acquiring contact information for potential customers. But there are many different ways to generate leads: email marketing campaigns, direct mail campaigns, telemarketing and more.
This beginner’s guide to lead generation will explore lead types and strategies for generating quality leads in order to help your business succeed.
What is a lead?
A lead is a potential customer. The lead may be generated through an advertisement, email marketing campaign or other lead generation method. Leads can come in many different formats–including phone numbers, emails and mailing addresses–and with various degrees of engagement.
A lead can be qualified–meaning the lead is a good match for your product or service and has shown high levels of engagement with your marketing efforts. Or they can be unqualified, meaning it might not turn into a sales opportunity because there are too many unknowns about them. It’s important to know whether you have leads that are potential customers or lead sources.
What are the types of leads?
A lead can be a phone number, email address or mailing address. These are the three main types of leads and they all perform differently in lead generation efforts.
- Phone numbers provide instant access to potential customers because you have their contact information immediately.
- Emails work similarly by providing quick access to someone’s inbox–but this is not always an accurate lead source, as people often use multiple email addresses or have spam filters that block lead emails.
- Mailing addresses are a reliable lead type because you have someone’s physical address and therefore can reach out to them through post.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation works by collecting information from people who are not yet customers to identify company’s potential leads. Lead generation is an essential part of lead nurturing, a marketing tactic used for retaining high-value prospects and converting them into paying customers.
How does lead generation work?
Lead generation works by tracking down lead sources, qualifying them and then sharing those qualified leads to distributors for future use. The best lead generation strategies will take advantage of a diverse lead-source base that includes direct mail marketing, telemarketing campaigns, social media advertising and more traditional digital marketing channels.
Leads can come from four main sources: Social media, online advertising, offline advertising and inbound marketing (marketing that is done with content on your website). Lead conversion happens when a lead becomes an opportunity or customer through the use of one of these methods.
Why is lead generation important?
Lead generation is important because lead conversion will happen when a lead becomes an opportunity or customer through the use of one of these methods. The best lead generation strategies will take advantage of a diverse lead-source base that includes direct mail marketing, telemarketing campaigns, social media advertising and more traditional digital marketing channels.
There are four main sources for lead generation:
- Referrals from other lead sources (e.g., Facebook, Google+, Twitter).
- Paid lead sources such as search engine ads or social media advertising.
- Inbound lead sources where prospects find you through a blog post and sign up for your email list.
- Outbound lead sources that are broadcasted to a specific locality or region.
People lead to other people, so lead generation is all about making the connections. For example, if you have a local business and your target market is in close proximity it might be helpful to advertise in print publications that are geographically relevant for prospects who read them. You can also ask friends and family members to refer others in your lead generation campaign.
Lead nurturing is a process that targets each lead’s interests and needs in order to progress them through the sales cycle by moving them from an awareness stage into consideration
Tips for successful lead generation
Here are some key ideas for successful lead generation:
- Run a lead generation campaign.
- Understand your target lead’s interests and how they consume information in order to best reach them with the right lead gen content.
- Focus on creating high quality lead generating content, rather than quantity of leads. All lead gen campaigns should have a well thought out strategy for targeting qualified prospects that aligns with business goals.
- Utilize lead nurturing and lead qualification tools to get the most out of your lead gen activities. Lead generation campaigns should have a consistent flow of content, follow up emails or messages that can then be used for lead qualification and lead nurturing.
- Make sure you’re not wasting time generating leads from contacts who are never going to buy from you.
- Keep lead qualification criteria and lead scoring in mind when the lead is generated so that marketing can help determine which leads are qualified or hot enough to move forward with, as well as assign a lead score based on how likely they are to buy. ight lead gen content.- Focus on creating high quality lead generating content, rather than lead gen content.
- The lead generation process should always be viewed as a lead conversion funnel: from lead to buyer, lead to qualified and then engaged prospect (when possible). ight lead gen content.- For example, the following would be an appropriate flow for generating leads based on how likely they are to buy: generate a lead; qualify the lead; engage the lead. ight lead gen content.
- Build a lead generation campaign that features: lead magnets, landing pages or blog posts, ebooks, white papers and other lead generating assets. ight lead gen content.
Sources of high-quality leads
Generate high-quality leads for your business by:
- Capitalizing on lead generation moments like: industry trade shows, conferences and other events.
- Marking the lead’s birthday; or their anniversary of purchasing your product. ight lead gen content. This is a great opportunity to reach out with offers for promotions, discounts or other incentives that will entice them back into your business.
- Hosting lead generation events with speakers or subject matter experts. ight lead gen content.
- Offering tickets to a local event, goodies and swag bags for attendees as an incentive to take the lead’s contact information.
- Leveraging social media channels like Facebook and Twitter into lead generating powerhouses.
- Creating posts that lead to lead generating landing pages. For instance, if you post a picture on Instagram of your latest product line with the caption “Check out our new collection,” make sure that link takes followers directly to a lead capturing web page or form where they can enter their name and email address for more information.
- Sending emails with lead generating links, either automatically or manually.
- Using lead generation forms on your website to capture data from visitors and then use that information for lead nurturing campaigns via email marketing, social media posts with lead capturing options like the one mentioned above, etc.
What is the process of lead generation?
The lead generation process can be broken down into four steps: lead identification (finding prospects), lead qualification (determining the best leads to pursue based on their level of interest and potential value), lead conversion (turning leads into customers), lead nurturing (developing long-term relationships with qualified prospects).
Lead identification is the first step in lead generation. It can be accomplished through a wide range of tactics, including developing your own mailing list (e.g., by providing an email address on the company’s website or with products), advertising to generate leads from potential customers who are not yet aware of your product or service, and using social media platforms to drive traffic to lead-generation landing pages.
The next step is lead qualification, which is the process of determining if lead generation prospect matches lead requirements. This can be accomplished by understanding how a potential lead’s interests, demographics and behaviors align with those of your business.
Lead conversion is the next step in lead generation. This can be accomplished through various marketing tactics, such as content marketing (i.e., producing free educational material), e-mail campaigns (which may offer a call-to-action for filling out contact details on an opt-in form or lead capture page), lead nurturing (i.e., the process of providing valuable content to lead recipients and monitoring which ones are ready to convert) or lead scoring, which assigns a numerical value that indicates how much an individual is interested in your product.
Finally, lead nurturing is when lead recipients are provided with valuable content through lead generation, such as e-mail campaigns which offer a call to action for filling out contact details on an opt-in form or lead capture page. Lead nurturing is crucial during the process of lead scoring because it determines how qualified the individual is and what they are looking for in your product.
Where to learn about lead generation
A variety of online training courses are available for lead generation. One of them is offered by My Lead System Pro, a company that claims it provides the best multi-level marketing tools for digital marketers.
It’s important to research training programs to see if they’re the right fit for your needs. I Buy I Review does a lot of that for you. We buy programs and then review them to determine if they’re legitimate or a scam.
I buy and review courses so you don’t have to. Sometimes, I even find courses that are legitimate and worthwhile; and that’s how I accidentally came across one that led me to building a 6-figure business in a little under 5 years. Now, I still review courses because it’s my favorite hobby. 🙂 Learn more about me here.