The lead generation process is a crucial strategy for any business that needs to grow. It’s a lead conversion strategy, which means it helps convert leads into customers. This blog post will explore lead generation from start to finish, including how lead conversion works and the benefits of lead generation programs.
What is a lead
The word “lead” has many meanings in marketing speak: One is someone who provides information or makes inquiries about goods or services; another meaning is a person whom you may be able to persuade to buy something through promotional efforts. You will find the first type of lead by offering free samples or discounts on products via social media posts. In contrast, the second type can come about through advertising campaigns and other promotions designed to stir curiosity. Leads are generated at different points in the lead lifecycle, which we’ll cover in detail below.
What are the different types of leads?
There are different types of leads. They can be classified as either qualified or unqualified. A qualified lead is someone who has demonstrated an interest by filling out a form on a website and expressing some level of intention to buy the product advertised. Unqualified leads are those with no such expressed desire to convert into customers. Another type called “hot” leads refers to prospects who have already shown signs they’re ready and willing to do business now (e.g., click-throughs).
The life cycle of a lead
The lead lifecycle is a process that starts with lead generation and ends with conversion. You can generate a lead through offline methods such as in-person meetings or online means, including social media posts. Today, we will focus on lead generation strategies for the internet. However, it’s important to note that both types are relevant and necessary to generate leads at different stages of the customer journey.
The following section will provide more information about each lifecycle stage and the lead conversion process.:
Planning – First, you need a plan that includes your goals (e.g., new customers) when generating leads. You need to know where they’re coming from (online vs offline), who should be involved in lead generation efforts; metrics used to measure success or failure; desired lead conversion rate and lead qualification status.
Implementation – The lead generation process can be done online using various tactics such as Google Ads, social media marketing or email campaigns. Offline lead generation requires more work upfront but has higher chances of success because it provides a live experience that is not possible online (e.g., in-person meetings).
Optimization – Once the lead generation process starts to take off, you’ll need to make sure it runs optimally by refining the strategy with user feedback (including which ads are clicked on most). You will also need to analyze data for insights and focus on the leads’ lifecycle stage if you want them converted sooner rather than later.
What is lead generation? How do I generate leads?
How lead generation works
Lead generation is the process of actively generating potential leads for a business through marketing activities. Online lead generation typically includes social media posts or email campaigns, while offline lead generation may include in-person meetings. A lead can be qualified (someone who has expressed an interest) or unqualified (without any form of expressed intent to buy). Once you plan and start implementing lead generation efforts, it’s essential to monitor them for success rates and optimize your strategy based on user feedback.
Online lead generation
“61% of B2B marketers name lead generation as one of their biggest challenges, so it’s no surprise that there’s so much contradicting information online about the subject.”
Many methods work, including Google Ads, social media marketing and email campaigns; also consider using content marketing because people will feel more interested after reading information about what they’re looking for rather than just clicking away to another website. All these methods are collectively known as Digital Marketing.
Generate new leads through online advertising
Lead generation is also possible via online advertisements. Here are a few online lead generation methods you can try:
Google Ads, or the AdWords platform, is a lead generation tool that lets you target potential customers based on their demographics and interests. You can set your budget for spending per month on lead generation using keywords, ads and targeting options such as location and device. Google will show your promotion in relevant places (e.g., the first page of search engine results), where it’ll be competing with other businesses vying for attention from people searching online for what they’re looking for.
The insights tab within the AdWords platform gives you valuable information about which ad copies are generating click-throughs most often. You can use this data to optimize future lead campaigns by tweaking either copy or placement until conversion rates improve dramatically.
Social Media Advertising
Social media lead-gen is an excellent way to generate new leads because it’s cheaper than Google Ads and people spend more time on these popular platforms. You can create an ad campaign with Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn by creating posts that will target specific audiences. For example, you could advertise your company in the “Parents” group if targeting parents of young children who may be looking for play spaces near them. If lead conversion rates are not meeting expectations, consider tweaking ads regularly, so they’re always fresh and relevant while ensuring various demographics see the same content too.
A lead generation strategy based on Facebook ads will allow you to promote your business and generate leads on a social network with over two billion monthly active users.
Facebook is an excellent place for lead generation because it has advertisements that can put your company’s ad in front of the right people at the best prices with specific targeting capabilities such as location, age and gender. If conversion rates prove disappointing when starting, use insights from the Facebook advertising dashboard to tweak copy or placement until they improve. The process could involve tweaking images within ads to be more compelling based on the type of person you want them to be shown to (e.g., someone who likes pets versus someone looking for a property).
Twitter advertisements are a part of the Digital Marketing strategy that you can use to generate new leads from interested users.
Incorporating Twitter in your lead generation efforts will allow you to promote your business on this social networking site, with over 325 million active monthly users growing daily. One benefit of targeting audiences with ads here is that they’re more engaged than those found on Facebook because it’s designed for constant communication instead of just an occasional update or post about what someone had for lunch. Tweets include pictures, too, so be sure to optimize images within advertisements as well. Some tips would be: using eye-catching graphics or including hashtags related to your niche (e.g., #lawyers).
If you want to generate leads on a social site that’s more visually driven than Facebook, try advertisements with Instagram.
Instagram advertisements are an excellent lead generation strategy because they allow businesses to target specific audiences based in the United States and Canada. As long as they have at least 30 followers or their account is verified – by displaying posts within users’ feeds when people use hashtags relevant to your company.
Some tips for generating successful campaigns would be:
- Including enticing images into ad copies so potential customers can see what it is you’re selling before clicking through;
- Testing various text phrases like “start saving” versus “get started today” until conversion rates improve dramatically.
Linkedin ads are what many B2B marketers consider to be the best lead generation tool. The data shows that Linkedin has the highest conversion rates for generating click-throughs most often; this data can be used to optimize future lead campaigns by tweaking either copy or placement until conversion rates improve dramatically.
Other effective ways for online lead generation
Content Marketing is a lead generation technique that involves creating and sharing content to attract your targeted customers to nurture them into becoming leads.
The content can be in digital or print content such as blogs, e-books, presentations, images, and more. These are used to build the brand identity and establish credibility with prospective buyers.
The target audience for this content should consist of potential buyers who have either expressed an interest or those looking for information about related topics. By targeting these users, you will increase their chances of converting into leads by giving them valuable content they need at just the right time when they’re researching various options available before making a purchase decision. Remember, it’s essential not only to target but also to engage them with content.
It would be best to base your content strategy on your marketing goals and objectives, including the company’s message, product/service offering, branding image etc., to make the content work for you. The content should also include inviting prospective customers to take action, such as requesting more information or attending a webinar with a lead magnet that incentives them into taking this desired action.
A tried-and-true digital marketing tactic that works well for generating leads at all stages of the customer journey (lead, prospect or customer) is email campaigns. It doesn’t matter whether they’re personalized emails sent out by hand with engaging content, automated emails triggered by specific actions such as when someone signs up on your website or even newsletters published through email service providers.
A 2015 study found that 89% of respondents cited email as the most-used channel for generating leads, followed by content marketing , search engine, and finally events.
“59% of marketers point to email as being their best channel for revenue generation”. Okay, if you have someone on your email list of subscribers, they’re already potentially a lead. Still, email is vital for establishing (with little hands-on sales work and lead scoring in place) whether that lead is viable.
Email marketing can be a successful lead generation strategy, but it requires proper planning and execution to make sure email lists are up-to-date, and audiences targeted appropriately.
It also means getting your message in front of people from your contact database who probably don’t have much time for browsing through endless marketing messages online. However, they will still open up their inbox because, well, it’s what they do every day and know how to navigate quickly.
You can personalize online email campaigns using automation technology that automatically sends an email with content based on the recipient’s last interaction. For example, suppose someone clicked on your latest blog post about customer service best practices this morning. In that case, you could send them an email later in the day reminding them of their previous interest or sending them links to related articles. Such campaigns are also known as drip marketing campaigns because people will regularly receive new information from your company. For example, they will receive an email when they sign up rather than once every few months like traditional mailings.
The key to success is ensuring leads’ lifecycle stage is known before emailing them; for example, if you’re emailing someone who is just starting the buying journey, then it’s important to keep emails focused on educating and illuminating the potential benefits of your company.
A big part of digital marketing is using social platforms to generate leads.
Social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter is another great lead generation tactic. Over 66 per cent of marketers agree that as little as six hours a week spent on social media campaigns can have huge lead generation benefits.
You can do this by posting posts on Facebook or Instagram, conducting contests that followers enter for the chance to win prizes from your company. You can also run paid advertising campaigns on Twitter, YouTube or other sites popular with millennials who are most likely looking for jobs in digital marketing. You should implement social media during different stages of the customer journey as it allows you to build relationships–especially personal ones–with customers early on.
Successful lead generation campaigns are targeted in terms of audience (e.g., moms within a specific age range) and timing. Ensure you include content in messages that will appeal specifically to prospects at different stages throughout their lifecycle. That way, they’ll get helpful information tailored just for them – this way, leads won’t feel overwhelmed by too many options when deciding how far along into the lead conversion process they want to be.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a digital marketing tactic that you can use to generate leads, as well. One of the most effective ways for internet marketers to increase their organic ranking in search engine results is by including SEO-optimized content on websites or blogs with high readership rates. Such content will result in more traffic and visitors who are likely interested in what you offer.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves optimizing web pages/blogs, so when people type relevant terms into a search engine, your content will rank high in the results and lead to more traffic from people who have a genuine interest in what you’re offering.
The key is making sure any marketing message goes out at an appropriate time relevant to the specific audience–which can be done through Search Engine Optimization or other methods–so it meets their needs without being overwhelming.
=== # Marketing And Lead Generation Tip # ===
“Running contests and giveaways is an excellent way of generating leads— contestants exchange emails for a chance to win a prize. If you select a prize that your ideal leads are interested in, they will enter your contest”.
Caution: Buying lead lists can be dangerous
The ultimate goal of lead generation is to find a way to create a large number of leads in the shortest time possible. Lead lists can range from anywhere between $50 and $500 per 1,000 names.
The issue with lead lists is that many times they are outdated or even scams. The problem with buying lead lists is that you are making up for the lack of customers with would-be customers who likely will not buy anything from you. These sellers only want your money, and the leads you acquire from them will not give you their information or buy from you.
“And when you buy or rent a list, you forfeit control over the quality of the contacts in that list. That means you have little to no knowledge of whether the email addresses you’re purchasing are active, attached to the correct information, or even legal (in which case you could be violating the CAN-SPAM act and at risk of incurring thousands of dollars in fines)”.
Lead nurturing is the process of progressively developing and strengthening relationships with prospects so that they eventually cross the marketing conversion threshold.
The ultimate goal of successful lead generation programs is converting leads into sales. However, marketing is about more than just generating leads; it’s also about keeping them warm and engaged to not forget that your company exists or are confused by the choices when deciding whom to buy from.
Nurturing lead relationships involves:
- Providing valuable content to the lead at just the right time.
- Keeping them up-to-date with relevant information about your business or industry.
- Making sure there’s an invitation for them to take the desired action.
Lead nurturing is broken into three distinct steps:
Lead identification is the lead generation process of finding, creating and qualifying potential prospects. Their web browsing behaviour may identify the lead (e.g., visiting specific pages on your website). The identification process could be through an inbound lead form submitted or just a phone conversation initiated by the lead.
Lead qualification is the lead generation process of qualifying lead prospects by determining their needs and interests. This step in lead nurturing helps businesses determine whether or not they are a good fit for each other, which can also mean that the prospect isn’t interested in what you have to offer.
Lead conversion involves converting qualified sales leads into sales through an action, for example, scheduling an appointment with them or sending them additional information about your product/service offerings via email marketing campaign or social media post.
Lead conversion is broken down into three distinct steps:
Campaign initiation involves starting a sales campaign or sales process that leads to action. The process can include personalizing the content and language of marketing messages, changing up the frequency with which they’re sent (e.g., from monthly emails to once per week) and including sales-oriented sales funnel that lead to a specific action.
The appointment setting step involves scheduling an in-person meeting or phone call with the qualified lead prospect, which could result in sales if they buy something at this point. You usually send them information on your product/service offerings via email marketing campaigns and social media posts.
The lead sales step involves converting the qualified sales lead prospect into a sale by closing the deal. You do not always do this in person. You could send them more information about your product/service offerings via email marketing campaigns or social media posts to get their feedback on what they’re interested in purchasing. Then there’s an invitation from you for them to call with questions at any time during the sales process and provide purchase options so that when they do reach out again, it will be easy for you to close the deal without losing momentum.
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Lead Generation ROI
Successful lead generation campaigns lead to increased brand awareness, customer loyalty and high conversion rates in sales. It’s not enough to generate leads; lead generation programs should be seen as a marketing investment that needs to sustain itself by generating revenues. A lead conversion rate of at least 20% is often considered high. You can calculate ROI using the following formula:
ROI = (Gain from lead conversions) ÷ (Cost for lead generation campaign)
Analyze your data on cost per lead, average sales price, and the number of buyers in each transaction or purchase level. This information will allow you to quickly calculate the return on your investment in terms of dollars spent versus revenue generated. Multiply this dollar figure by 100, so it’s expressed as a percentage – then compare this percentage with other investments made within your company over time, such as in marketing, research and development or other lead gen programs.
Evaluate lead generation ROI by tracking the cost per lead and comparing it to the average sales price for leads you convert.; if your lead gen campaign is costing $100 but generating an average sale of $500, then your ROI is 50%. So every hundred dollars spent on lead generation will result in one new customer – which may not seem like a great return at first glance. However, when looking at this number as a percentage with all investments made within your company over time, such as in marketing, research and development or other lead generation campaigns (assuming these are also making money), then 20% becomes much more significant because it’s higher than most others metrics tracked by organizations.
Lead generation is one of the most critical parts of a successful digital marketing strategy. An online lead generation campaign will generate new leads for your company through advertising channels and other means. There are many different types of leads, as well as methods to generating them. Have you tried any? Let me know in the comment section below!