It’s 6 pm, the phone rings! “Do you want to want to hear how to make millions of dollars investing in the stock market from the comfort of your home?”

If you don’t want to be the person making cold calls and want the clients to knock on your door keep reading.

Lead Generation is an inbound marketing strategy of attracting and converting prospects who show an interest in your product or service to buyers. Using high traffic online platforms like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. traffic is directed to a webpage where potential customers can share their contact details should they like to hear more about your product or service.

Most salespeople would much rather speak with someone who’s shown interest in their product or service than cold calling them, as people who have shown an interest are more receptive and there is a much higher probability of closing a deal than a cold call. Similarly, if you are the person who filled in your information on a site you are more open to discussing your needs and don’t feel harassed.

Why is Lead Generation important?

If business growth is important to you then lead generation should be on the top of your list of activities. When a visitor to your website, profile page or promotion initiates a connection with you by sharing their details it creates a natural opportunity to create a relationship. By engaging with your lead, you can start understanding their needs and convert them into a customer. More customers mean business growth.

Not all leads are created equal

If you were a telemarketer, who would you want to speak to first?

• Lead A who is outside of your delivery area, visited your site for the first time today, and entered their contact information to be contacted about your product or service or

• Lead B who is within your delivery area visited your site for the fourth time, they’re a subscriber to your newsletter and also watched a video about your company. They also entered their details to be contacted about your product or service.

Lead B is a better prospect and has a much higher propensity to convert to a customer. Numerous customer relationship management software exists that will help you rank leads based on their demographics and behaviour so you can customize your interaction with the lead to better understand their needs.

For example, instead of someone in your team contacting lead A, an email immediately fires off to let them know you have received their request and asks them for more information that will better inform the salesperson when they call back. Say the company is a Health and Fitness Institute, the email could ask them questions like

1) What goal they’d like to achieve? a) Build muscle b) Lose weight c) Healthy lifestyle

2) How would you rate your current level of fitness? a) Unfit b) Moderate c) Fit d) Ultra fit

Simple engagement like this makes the person feel that you are customizing your response to them and that they are important. At the same time, the salesperson knows how to better connect with the user when they call and increases the likely hood of converting them into a sale.

If your sales team is too busy, you can create a follow-up email once you get their answers with a video educating them on how to attain a healthy lifestyle and a moderate level of fitness. As the lead engages with your content, the system scores them higher and increases the urgency for the salesperson to connect with them. By receiving two emails Lead A has now had the same amount of engagement with the company as Lead B.

Lead scoring

Lead scoring is a way to qualify leads using quantifiable numeric scores to evaluate interest in your product or service. This methodology makes it easy for anyone in the company to evaluate the quality of leads you are getting from a specific source as well as project future sales.

A lead’s score can be based on:

• Actions that are taken

• The information they’ve provided

• The number of engagements they’ve had with your business

• Their demographic information i.e. Bentley have few 16-year-old females buying cars from them.

The score and criteria should be optimised until you find the formula that best works for your business.

How to Generate Leads

The lead generation process starts with a visitor discovering your business through various online platforms like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and ending up on your social page, blog or website.

That visitor then clicks on your call-to-action (CTA) — an image, button, or message that encourages website visitors to take some sort of action. The CTA takes your visitor to a landing page, which is a web page that is designed to capture lead information in exchange for an offer.

An offer is content or something of value that’s being “offered” on the landing page, like an ebook, a course, or a template. The offer must have enough perceived value to a visitor to merit providing their personal information in exchange for access to it.

The form on your landing page consists of a series of fields (like in our example above) that collect information in exchange for the offer. Forms are typically hosted on landing pages, although they can technically be embedded anywhere on your site. Once a visitor fills this out — voila! — you have a new lead! (That is, as long as you’re following lead-capture form best practices.)

Everything fits together and to recap: Visitor clicks a CTA that takes them to a landing page where they fill out a form to get an offer, at which point they become a lead. By the way, you should check out our free lead generation tool. It helps you create lead capture forms directly on your website. Plus, it’s really easy to set up. Lead Generation Marketing Once you put all of these elements together, you can use your various promotional channels to drive traffic to your landing page to start generating leads.

Channels

Which channels should you use to promote your landing page? Let’s talk about the front-end of lead generation — lead gen marketing.

• Content is a great way to guide users to a landing page. Typically, you create content to provide visitors with useful, free information. You can include CTAs anywhere in your content — inline, bottom-of-post, in the hero, or even on the side panel. The more delighted a visitor is with your content, the more likely they are to click your call-to-action and move onto your landing page.

• Email is a great place to reach people who already know your brand and product or service. It’s much easier to ask them to take an action since they’ve previously subscribed to your list. Emails tend to be a bit cluttered, so use CTAs that have a compelling copy and an eye-catching design to grab your subscriber’s attention.

• Ads and Retargeting – the sole purpose of an ad is to get people to take action. Otherwise, why spend the money? If you want people to convert, be sure that your landing page and offer match exactly what is promised in the ad, and that the action you want users to take is crystal clear.

• Blog – what’s great about blog posts to promote an offer is that you can tailor the entire piece to the end goal. So, if your offer is an instructional video on setting up Google Search Console, then you can write a blog post about how to select your marketing metrics … which would make your CTA highly relevant and easy to click.

• Social Media platforms make it easy to guide your followers to take action, from the swipe up option on Instagram stories to Facebook bio links to bitly URLs on Twitter. You can also promote your offerings on your social posts and include a call-to-action in your caption. Learn more about social media campaigns in this post.

• Product Trials can break down a lot of barriers to a sale by offering trials of your product or service. Once a prospect is using your product, you can entice them with additional offers or resources to encourage them to buy. Another good practice is to include your branding in your free versions so you can capture other potential customers, too.

• Referral Marketing or word-of-mouth marketing is useful for lead generation in a different way. That is, it gets your brand in front of more people, which, in turn, increases your chances of generating more leads.

Whatever channel you use to generate leads, you’ll want to guide users to your landing page. As long as you’ve built a landing page that converts, the rest will handle itself.

Why Not Just Buy Leads?

Marketers and salespeople alike want to fill their sales funnel — and they want to fill it quickly. Enter the temptation to buy leads.

Despite being more expensive, buying leads as opposed to organically generating them, is much easier and takes far less time and effort, but you might be paying for advertising anyway … so, why not just buy leads? First and foremost leads you purchase don’t know of you. If you contact someone who has never been to your website, didn’t ask to hear from you or has no interest in your product or service, you’re interrupting them… plain and simple.

Any message you send them is therefore unwanted and sending unwanted messages is intrusive. There is also a high chance your messages could be flagged as spam which can have major implications on your business. Once enough people flag your messages as spam, you go on a “blacklist,” which is then shared with other email providers. Once you’re on the blacklist, it’s really, really hard to get back off of it. Also, your email deliverability and IP reputation will likely be harmed.

It’s always better to generate leads organically rather than buying them unless the leads you buy have opted in to hear from you.