Lead Generation: A Beginner’s Guide

Learn how to start producing leads for your business in simple ways and how lead generation fits into your inbound marketing plan.

What is a lead?

Any individual who expresses interest in a company’s goods or services in any way, shape, or form is considered a lead.

Typically, leads hear from a company or organisation after initiating the contact (by providing personal information for an offer, trial, or subscription) instead of receiving a cold call from an unknown caller who bought their contact information.

Take into account that you decide to take an online survey to learn more about how to manage your car. A few days later, you receive an email from the automaker that did the survey with maintenance advice.  This procedure would be far less bothersome than if they had just contacted you without prior knowledge of your interest in car repair, correct? This is what being a lead is like.

Furthermore, from a business standpoint, the data the auto company gathers about you from your survey replies enables them to customise that opening communication to meet your current issues — and not waste time phoning prospects who aren’t interested in services.

Leads are a component of the larger lifecycle that customers go through when they go from being visitors to paying customers. Not all leads are made equal (nor are they qualified the same. Depending on how they are qualified and what stage of their lifecycle, there are various types of leads.

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

Marketing-qualified leads are those who have interacted with your marketing team’s efforts but haven’t been prepared for a sales call. A contact who completes a landing page form for an offer is an illustration of an MQL (like in our lead generation process scenario below).

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

Sales-qualified leads are contacts who have made it obvious they are interested in making a purchase. 

An example of SQL is a contact who fills out a form to inquire about your good or service.

Product Qualified Lead (PQL)

Product-qualified leads are contacts who have used your product and shown interest in purchasing by taking certain activities. Businesses that offer a free trial or a free, limited version of their product with the option to upgrade typically employ PQLs.  This is where your sales staff comes in. A consumer who utilises your free version yet interacts with or inquires about features only accessible through payment is an example of a PQL.

Service Qualified Lead

Service qualified lead are contacts or customers who’ve indicated to your service team that they’re interested in becoming paying customers. A client who informs their customer service representative that they would like to increase their product subscription is an example of a service-qualified lead; at this point, the customer service professional would up-level this client to the appropriate sales team or representative. 

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is drawing potential customers to your business and piquing their interest through nurturing, with the ultimate objective of turning them into customers. You can generate leads using online content, live events, coupons, blog posts, and articles.

These lead generators are just a few illustrations of the lead generation techniques you can employ to draw potential clients and direct them toward your offerings. (We will discuss further tactics later.)

I can’t just say, “I develop content for lead generation,” when someone outside of the marketing industry asks me what I do because they wouldn’t get it, and I’d get some very perplexed stares.

Instead, I reply, “I try to come up with interesting ways to draw people to my business. I want to give them enough freebies to get them naturally interested in my business so they gradually warm up to the brand enough to want to hear from us!”

Lead generation is a method of introducing potential clients to your brand and setting them on the route to ultimately making a purchase, and that is typically what resonates best.

Why do you need lead generation?

Changing from a stranger to a consumer is far more natural when a stranger approaches you by expressing a genuine interest in your company.

Lead generation refers to the second stage of the inbound marketing process. It happens when you have a following and are ready to convert those views into leads for your sales staff (sales-qualified leads).
As seen in the picture below, generating leads is important to becoming a satisfied customer.

Lead Generation Process

Let’s go over the lead generation process’ steps now that we are aware of how lead generation fits into the inbound marketing technique.

A visitor first learns about your company through one of your marketing platforms, including your website, blog, or social media profile.

A call-to-action (CTA) is a picture, button, or message that prompts website visitors to take action. This visitor then clicks on your CTA.

That CTA directs the user to a landing page, a web page created to collect lead information in exchange for an offer.

An offer, like an ebook, course, or template, is the information or something of value that is “offered” on the landing page. Visitors must believe the offer to be valuable enough to trade their personal information for access to it.)

Your visitor submits a form on the landing page in exchange for the offer. Although they can potentially be integrated anywhere on your site, forms are commonly stored on landing pages. You now have a lead. That is if you adhere to recommended lead-capture form practices.

Lead Generation Marketing

Once you’ve assembled all these components, you can start producing leads by using your various advertising channels to direct traffic to your landing page.

But which platforms do you need to employ to advertise your landing page? Let’s discuss lead generation marketing, which is the front end of lead generation.

Content

Content is the most effective way to drive readers to a landing page. Usually, the purpose of content creation is to offer free, helpful information to readers. CTAs can be placed wherever in your content, including inline, at the bottom of the article, in the hero, and on the side panel.

A visitor is likelier to click your call-to-action and go to your landing page if they are more pleased with your content.

Email

An email is a fantastic approach to communicating with clients who are already aware of your business, brand, and products. They’ve already signed up for your email list, so it’s much easier to ask them to do something. Use CTAs with captivating language and eye-catching designs to catch your subscribers’ attention because emails are a little busy.

Ads and Retargeting

An advertisement’s sole goal is to persuade viewers to act. Why spend the money if not? Make sure your landing page and offer perfectly match what is promised in the advertisement and that the action you want users to take is obvious if you want them to convert.

Blog

It’s nice that you may customise the entire piece to the final objective when using your blog posts to advertise an offer. To make your CTA very relevant and simple to click, write a blog post about how to choose your marketing metrics if your offer is an instructional video on setting up Google Search Console.

Social Media

The swipe-up feature on Instagram stories, Facebook bio links, and bitly URLs on Twitter are just a few of the social media sites that make it simple to direct your followers to take action. You can also include a call to action in the description of social media postings where you promote your services.  This article will teach you more about social media campaigns.

Product Trials

By allowing people to try out your product or service before buying it, you may remove several obstacles to a transaction. Once a potential customer has started using your product, you can lure them with more offers or helpful information to persuade them to buy. Include your logo in the free versions of your products since this can help you attract additional potential clients.

Referral Marketing

In a different approach, word-of-mouth marketing and referrals are helpful for lead generation. That is, it raises the likelihood that you will get more leads by getting your brand in front of more people.

You should direct users to your landing page regardless of your lead generation channel. Everything else will fall into place as long as you’ve created a landing page that converts.

Why not simply purchase leads?

Both marketers and salespeople want to load their sales funnels with prospects swiftly. Enter the lure of lead purchases.

Although more expensive, purchasing leads is significantly simpler and requires less time and work than naturally producing them. However, you might already be paying for advertising, so why not just purchase leads?

First and foremost, none of the leads you’ve bought has ever met you. They typically “opted in” when signing up for anything at another website but didn’t want to hear from your business.

Your communications with them are consequently unwanted; sending such communications is intrusive. Persons have similar feelings when they receive emails and other messages from people they didn’t ask to hear from (remember that annoying call I received while attempting to eat my spaghetti?).

You interrupt the prospect if they have never visited your website and expressed interest in your goods or services in a nutshell.

There’s a good risk they might mark your messages as spam, which is very harmful if they never choose to receive messages, particularly from you. This instructs their email provider which emails to screen in addition to filtering off emails from you.

You are added to a “blacklist,” which is then shared with other email providers once enough people report your messages as spam. It’s difficult to come off the blacklist after you’ve been put on it.

Additionally, your IP reputation and email deliverability will likely suffer.

Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a method of quantitatively qualifying leads. This method gives leads a score to indicate where they sit on the continuum between “interested” and “ready for a sale.” The standards you choose for these actions are entirely up to you, but they must be the same for your marketing and sales teams for everyone to operate on the same scale.

The parameters used by your sales team to generate a lead’s score may include the activities they have performed, the information they have provided, how engaged they are with your brand, or other factors. For instance, you might give someone a better rating if they interact with you frequently on social media or if their demographics fit your target market.

Using the examples from the above, you might give a lead a better score if they utilised one of your coupons, as doing so would indicate that they are enthusiastic about your offerings.

The closer a lead is to a sales-qualified lead (SQL), which is just one step away from becoming a customer, the better their lead score. You might need to experiment with the score and criteria until you come up with a formula that works, but once you do, your lead generation will change into customer generation.

Lead Generation Strategies

Depending on the platform you choose to use to gather leads, various approaches, campaigns, and strategies go under the umbrella of online lead generation. Once a visitor is on your website, we discussed recommended practices for lead capture, but how can you draw them in?

Tips for Lead Generation Campaigns

There might be many moving pieces in a lead generation effort at any given time. It can be challenging to determine which elements of your campaign are effective and which require some adjustments. What exactly goes into the finest lead generation engine in its class? Here are some pointers for creating lead generation campaigns.

Create amazing offers for all different stages of the buying cycle.

Not every visitor to your website is prepared to speak with your sales team or watch a product demo. A buyer who is in the early stages of the buying process might be interested in an educational resource like an ebook or a guide. In contrast, a buyer who is closer to the end of the process and is already familiar with your business might be more interested in a free trial or demo.

Make sure you develop offers for every stage and provide CTAs for these offers all around your website.

Yes, it takes time to develop educational material that nurtures leads through the sales funnel. Still, if you don’t provide anything for website visitors who aren’t ready to make a purchase, they might never return.

Maintain consistency in your messaging and fulfil your commitment.

The lead generation efforts that deliver on their promises and transition from the ad language and design to seamlessly deliverable tend to convert at the highest rates. Ensure your messaging is consistent throughout the process and that you add value to each person who interacts with your lead capture.

Your lead generation campaign should include elements similar to everything else on your website, blog, and final product. If not, moving your lead to the following lifecycle stage will be challenging. Your marketing should focus on creating a new client rather than just collecting email addresses.

Link your CTA to a dedicated landing page.

You might think this is obvious, but you’d be astonished at how few marketers make specific landing pages for their offers. The purpose of CTAs is to direct users to a landing page where they may access a particular offer.

Don’t, for instance, utilize CTAs to direct visitors to your homepage. Even if your call to action (CTA) is about your brand or product (and maybe not an offer like a download), you should still direct them to a focused landing page that is pertinent to their search and has an opt-in form. Send them to a page that will turn them into a lead if you have the chance to employ a CTA.

Get your sales team involved.

Recall how we discussed lead scoring. Well, without the assistance of your sales team, it’s not quite possible. Without knowing whether the defined SQLs are sold, how can you determine what constitutes a lead for sales? Before capturing leads, your marketing and sales teams must agree on the definitions and the procedure for moving information from MQL to SQL to opportunity.

Additionally, be willing to change how you interact with sales and direct leads through your funnel. Over time, your definitions will probably need to be improved; just make sure to keep everyone informed.

Use social media strategically.

As mentioned in the lead gen tactics above, social media may still be a valuable and affordable source for lead generation, despite the fact that marketers often view it as best for top-of-the-funnel marketing. The secret is to use social media for lead generation carefully.

Start by including links in your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media posts that lead straight to the landing pages of effective offers. Inform site visitors that they are being sent to a landing page. You’re creating expectations in this manner. Here’s an illustration from one of our tweets.

Grow Better with Lead Generation

There you go, people. Utilize it to add straightforward conversion assets to your website (or scrape the data from your current forms), so you can learn more about your site visitors and the types of content that encourage conversions.

The fundamentals that we covered in this blog post are just the start. Continue to develop excellent offers, CTAs, landing pages, and forms and market them in multi-channel settings. Keep in continuous contact with your sales team to ensure that you are consistently transferring high-quality leads. Additionally, never stop testing. You can enhance lead quality and boost revenue by adjusting and trying your inbound lead creation process. 

Visit our website to learn more, or get in touch with D’marketing Agency anytime! 

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