Taking the first step is though. Whether you are planning to talk with a handsome guy who seems into you or find the right audience to interact with your marketing strategy, you must know what to do and avoid.
The process of attracting a handsome guy to talk to you and even flirt with you is quite a similar process to lead generation in marketing. In both conveniences, the goal is to appear lovely and interesting until they agree to somehow be involved in your goal (taking you on a date/ buying your products).
You would not want to interrupt this handsome gentleman while he is on a phone call, do you? Or, you would not even want to start a conversation if you see that he has a lover.
Of course, lead generation is much more complicated than your relationship with a guy (in some cases); however, it is not rocket science.
Today, we will talk about all the details about lead generation regarding what it is, its importance, lead generation process, lead generation strategies, and more.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
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To understand lead generation, we must start by describing what a lead is.
A lead is anyone who shows interest in what your business does, and this “interest” is shown by them sharing their contact information with you.
It does not matter in which way people shared their contact information. They might have been subscribed to your email list or fill out the contact form present on your website.
The logic behind leads is simple yet efficient. A marketing plan that reaches out to the people who have higher chances of purchasing something from you would be much more successful than one that randomly advertises to people.
Imagine this: you subscribed to a beauty center’s email list and have been very interested in acrylic nail services. You have been filling all the surveys about acrylic nails, and then suddenly, you got a mail informing you about the acrylic nail service details of the beauty center.
Now, that beauty center could have sent an email about acrylic nail service to everyone in their email list. But would it be efficient? What if a person who has zero interest in acrylic nails decides to unsubscribe because it was irrelevant?
It is safe to say that leads are visitors who are an easy target to become a customer.
Of course, most things in the marketing world are better when “specialized.”
What is meant here is that dividing your target audience (or leads) would help you achieve better results.
So, your goal should be to get to know different types of leads before getting into lead generation as a whole. The following are some of the most common types of leads used by brands as a classification base.
Sales qualified leads are people who took action that illustrates they are interested in becoming a paying customer of your business. For example, a customer who filled out the contact form to learn about your prices is a sales-qualified lead.
Marketing qualified leads refer to the individuals who interact with your marketing means but are not qualified as “ready” to purchase something from your business. For example, a marketing qualified lead might be adding your products to their shopping cart but never buying them.
Now that you know what lead is, it is time to talk about what lead generation is.
Lead generation is the process of converting your target audience to leads by initiating an interaction that typically includes something to attract interest. In other words, lead generation is converting individuals as possible future customers of yours.
As you can already guess, there are tons of different ways of lead generation. The technique you would want to use for your business should be specific to your business’ nature. Here are few lead generation strategies for you to understand the subject better:
- Email marketing
- Live events
- Social media marketing
Understanding the importance of lead generation is a crucial step because if you cannot internalize its significance and how it can help you grow as a business, you would never put enough effort into it.
Think about a situation where there are two individuals: one is interested in your products, and one is not. If the one that is interested in your products shops from you, there is nothing unusual about that; it was just a matter of time for them to shop from you.
But, how about the other person? Would you expect them to suddenly shop from your store while they are not even interested in what you do? Can you force them to shop from you?
You cannot force anyone to do something, and neither should you.
The only way of making someone do something is by creating a desire in them.
And this is what exactly lead generation is: creating an interest in people that is hoped to be followed by a desire to buy. We must once again mention that forcing people to buy something from you (through begging or giving false promises) is a fatal mistake and would harm your brand image in irreversible ways).
People need to warm up to your brand, just like how it happens in interpersonal relationships. You cannot just share your deepest darkest secrets with a person you just met. You need to talk about your favorite colors or how many siblings you have first.
The importance of lead generation starts here, but there is a lot more. The following are ways in which lead generation can help your business.
Building brand awareness is a crucial step in any given marketing strategy. Lead generation can help you a lot in terms of putting your brand’s message out there to a larger audience. The more leads you have, the more means you must spread the message and increase brand awareness.
Lead generation would help you reach valuable information regarding your customers’ needs and wants. For example, as people fill a contact form on your website, you are getting valuable information such as demographics, what they like about your business and their needs.
Lead generation can help your business a lot through prospects and reaching a larger audience as you understand how trends in your marketing plan are doing and how it can be helpful to expand your market.
More than half of the B2B marketers spend more than half of their marketing budget on lead generation and for a good reason. Lead marketing should be taken seriously that much because the results are totally worth it.
If you have a good lead generation plan and strategy, it will be most likely result in getting more customers, making more sales, and profiting more.
Businesses that focus on lead generation tend to convert those leads to customers and increase profit margins.
Target audience is a key marketing concept regardless of which part you are at on your strategy. No matter what you do, you will need your target audience to succeed.
With lead generation, you can reach your target audience. Every information you will get from a lead is a helpful clue regarding who is interested in your products and who is more likely to shop from your business.
Now that you know all the information about lead generation and how it can help your business, it is time to talk about how to generate leads.
It is crucial to understand that every business is unique with its own needs and requirements, and lead generation should align with your business’ nature.
But of course, there are some general guidelines regarding how to generate leads successfully.
In general, generating leads consists of three steps.
- First, you need to find people who can become leads. In other words, you need to attract people into what you do (could be your social media, webpage, or website). If you do not have anyone seeing what you do, you would not be able to generate leads.
- After you attract them, you need to interact with them in a way that would result in them leaving their contact information. This interaction can happen through contact forms, email subscriptions, or any means, including their email, phone number, etc.
- The final step of lead generation is to requisite this contact information, and you are all done.
Lead generation steps are easy, but your strategies of how to do it are not. The general guidelines of lead generation are indeed the same, but the real question is, how will you attract people and interact with them?
At this point, lead generation strategies come and find us.
It is extremely important to know different lead generation strategies, decide on which one is the best for your business, and implement this lead generation strategy to your business as naturally as possible.
Now, let’s see different lead generation strategies.
Here you can find different lead generation strategies for your business. You should keep in mind that all those lead generation strategies are suiting to the three steps of how to generate leads.
The first lead generation strategy we will share is a controversial one, but we are here to tell you it can create wonders if it is done correctly.
For the record, cold outreach refers to the process of sending emails to potential clients to draw them to the market. In other words, cold outreach is a way of directly telling people that they might be interested in what you have in hand.
Many businesses and companies are seeing cold outreach as an old-fashioned method that decreases the brand image, but it really is not if you do it in a professional manner.
To have a successful cold outreach process, you need to do research on who is a good candidate to be your customer. You should nicely narrow down your list of good candidates to perfect candidates; it is time to create personalized cold emails to them.
As your lead candidates see your email, the first step of generating leads will be complete, even though it is more indirect: they will see what you offer. To complete the second step, you have to present an appealing offer to people who read it and convince them to leave their contact information to you.
After you complete the second step, all you have to do is to capture that contact information.
One of the most popular ways of generating leads is through content marketing, especially blogging. In fact, many businesses prefer blogging as their main method of lead generation.
Blogging makes so much sense for generating leads because the three steps of lead generation can perfectly find a place in blogging.
For example, attracting people to your blog can be possible through search engine optimization. And of course, you are free to use how you will convince people into leaving their contact information on your website, but there are thousands of methods of that, too.
A common method of convincing people to leave their contact information is to offer free content. For example, if you own a website that sells online courses, you might want to offer one free course in exchange for your visitors leaving their email addresses.
It would be a successful way of generating leads because people who want to get the free online course are more likely to be converted to purchasing customers than those who do not sign up for the free course.
Another clever way to generate leads is through contests and giveaways.
Contests and giveaways are great methods to see who is interested in your products. Besides, you will get to have email addresses or other contact information of people who join your contest or giveaway.
Like in the example of a free online course trial, people interested in what you offer will join your giveaway or contest. Since there will be many people who want to join, you can reach many leads on such short notice.
Of course, people love free things. However, you want to make sure that people joining your contests and giveaways are people truly interested in what you offer.
A possible solution to see who is interested in your products and who is just participating to get something free is quite simple. Just include one more condition to join to the giveaway (such as sharing it on social media channels) and see who will join then.
Sharing the giveaway on a social media channel might not seem like a big deal, but most people who just want a free product would not do it, and you are left with only those who are truly interested in what you offer and ready to go the extra mile.
Answering forum questions is another strategy for lead generation. If you have a solid plan for answering forum questions, you can generate leads in the most successful way possible.
Many people ask questions to popular forum sites such as Quora and Reddit. Why not use this to the best advantage for your business? You can simply search for questions related to what you do and answer people’s questions.
Of course, you will not simply just answer the question and leave. Answer the question in the most informative and smooth way possible, and then use a call to action for them to visit your website or directly contact you.
This makes so much sense because you are giving people what they ask (the answer to their question). They will be more likely to comply with what you ask from them. People tend to feel obligated to obey someone’s request when they previously helped them with something.
As you professionally answer people’s questions, the chances of them following your request and giving their contact information to you will increase. Just make sure that you answered their question nicely, and it fits what you offer.
You would not want to answer a question about computer software and offer people to your shoe store. While it can be helpful once in a blue moon, answering questions about shoes would increase your chances a lot more.
If there is one thing that would help you through lead generation, it is the social media algorithms.
Social media algorithm is very passionate about giving people content regarding their likes; since it is the only way of making them spend hours on a day.
For that reason, if your social media content is something an Instagram user likes, the chances of the Instagram algorithm offering your account to follow is a great start for lead generation.
See More: Social Media Advertising
By consistently sharing about your business on your social media channels, you can find your lead easily.
Additionally, social media channels are the perfect tool to make people take action. Many social media channels facilitate the process of taking action for businesses. For example, you can implement a link to an Instagram story as you talk about your products and tell people to swipe up to fill the contact form.
With that being said, do not underestimate the power that social media can bring to you. Keep promoting your products on social media, and you will see wonderful results.
We mentioned several times how getting contact information is an essential step of lead generation. But what should this contact information include?
You should keep in mind that not all businesses are the same, and hence, not all lead generation forms will be the same. Your business may or may not require some of the information asked in a lead generation form, which is okay. You just need to make sure that you got all the information you need according to the nature of your business.
What you ask people in a form plays a crucial role in the success of lead generation. The following are the basic things that should be present in a lead generation form:
- Full Name: It is crucial to have personalized communication with your company and lead, so a full name is a must.
- Email: Of course, you need your lead’s email to communicate.
- Company and role: To communicate with your lead properly and gain insight about how you can be helpful for them.
- Country and state: Helps you to qualify your lead and increase service quality.
Lead generation is an important marketing domain and plays a crucial role in your marketing plans and the company’s overall success. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about lead generation that might help you to understand it better.
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The lead generation process attracts people to your products and services to get their contact information for a sales pipeline.
An example of lead generation would be giveaways on social media channels. Businesses get your contact information as an exchange for participating in their giveaways, so they have information about you, a person who is interested in their products.
In general, it is safe to mention two types of lead generation, one being outbound lead generation (cold outreach, advertising, etc.) and the other one being inbound lead generation (search engine optimization, social media, etc.).
A lead generation specialist is a person who is an expert in acquiring new leads to the company or business.
Even though there are many different ways of generating leads, the most common strategies include answering forum questions, content marketing, blogging, and social media marketing.