A Beginner’s Guide To Lead Generation

In this digital guide, we’re going to outline what lead generation is, why it is important and how you can generate the right type of leads for your business.

What Is A Lead?

We’re fairly certain you are familiar with leads, but for those completely new to marketing/sales – a lead is someone who has directly or indirectly expressed an interest in your business or the products and services you offer.

Leads can express interest in your business in several ways, such as subscribing to a newsletter, downloading a brochure or taking an online quiz (providing you with their contact info i.e., email address).

Through lead generation and effective sales and marketing techniques, you can successfully convert leads into loyal customers. But to do this, you need to be generating the right type of leads.

What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is exactly what it says on the tin – generating quality leads that are likely to be converted into customers.

Many businesses make the mistake of marketing their business to everyone and anyone to try and generate leads. But everyone has different preferences, needs and wants, meaning it is more effective to focus your marketing efforts on people who may have an actual interest in your business.

Lead generation includes various strategies that aim to attract your target audience, capture and nurture their interest in your product/service and then give them the nudge they need to become loyal customers that love your product or service.

Types Of Leads

So, we know what a lead is. But did you know that there are several types of leads? Leads can be categorised into cold leads, warm leads and hot leads.

Cold leads are individuals who have shown little to no interest in your business, but they are your target audience so there is potential for them to be interested in your product/service.

Warm leads are individuals who have expressed interest in your product or service but don’t currently need or want it. However, they may be interested in finding out more about it.

And hot leads or “qualified leads” are individuals that know everything they need to about your product or service and are ready to purchase… they might just need a little nudge in the right direction.

Types of leads for lead generation - image taken from MailMunch
Image Source – MailMunch

There are also different types of “qualified leads”, the most common include:

  • Marketing qualified leads (MQL) – these leads have interacted with your business via your marketing strategies, for example, they have downloaded a free eBook. MQLs are usually warm leads are they are interested in your product/service but may not be ready to buy just yet.
  • Sales qualified leads (SQL) – these leads have taken action that demonstrates their interest in becoming a customer, for example, they have completed a free trial or requested a quote. SQLs are hot leads that are ready to be converted into customers and are usually passed over to the sales team.

Find out more about the different types of leads in this Hubspot guide.

Why Is Lead Generation Important?

Lead generation is crucial for all businesses. Not only does it allow you to attract and convert your target audience into customers, but it enables you to build a community of like-minded customers that are loyal to your brand and will tell others about it.

Some businesses make the mistake of buying leads, instead of generating them. Buying leads often includes the process of buying a list of contact information belonging to people you believe to be relevant.

However, these people will not be familiar with your brand and the marketing messages you contact them with may be unwanted. Buying leads is not cost-effective, nor does it lead to loyal customers. It can also damage your reputation, causing people to view your brand as “spammy”.

But with lead generation, the people you are reaching out to have already expressed an interest in your business, permitting you to contact them directly.

As well as converting prospects into loyal customers and increasing revenue, lead generation can also boost brand visibility and awareness whilst giving your business credibility.

If your customers have had a good experience and love the product/service you offer, they’re going to tell people about it and may even leave positive reviews. Sendonso outlines more key benefits of lead generation in this article.

How Do I Generate Leads?

There are various types of digital strategies, tactics and platforms you can use to generate leads. Some strategies, such as email marketing, are more effective than others. However, the strategies that work best for someone else’s business may not work well for yours.

Common Lead Generation Techniques

The most widely used lead generation techniques include:

  • Email Marketing – considered to be the King of lead generation techniques, email marketing allows you to directly contact those who are interested in your product and service by placing information tailored to them in front of them.
  • Website & Landing Pages – Call To Action’s, email subscription pop-ups and downloadable resources are all simple yet effective ways to attract quality leads via your website.
  • Search engine optimisation – this is the process of researching how your target audience uses search engines and optimising your website to ensure it includes the keywords and phrases that prospects are using.
  • Content Marketing – creating blogs, articles, guides, infographics and video content can attract your target audience to your website.
  • Social Media Ads – determining which social media platforms your target audience is using before creating tailored ads that will display in their feeds can help you engage with your target audience.
  • Online Ads & Retargeting – retargeting enables you to track visitors to your site and then display ads on other sites those visitors are browsing.
  • Webinars, Podcasts & Virtual Events – Interactive content, including podcasts and webinars, allows you to stimulate the attention of your target audience and provide them with more information about your brand.

To create an effective lead generation campaign, you must first understand your target audience. Considering the following questions will help you tailor the lead generation campaign to your target audience:

  • Who am I aiming the campaign at? Who am I trying to attract?
  • Which platform are these people using the most?
  • Where are they most likely to engage and communicate?

This guide by Neil Patel goes into more depth about the most effective online lead generation techniques.

Want Help Generating More Leads?

If you would like to generate quality leads that will convert into loyal customers, we can help! AdLens Digital offers a range of lead generation services, including email marketing, social media ads and more. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can help you.

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