Lead Generation: What, Why, How, Where, And When?
Whether you’re in marketing, sales, or you’re the owner or manager of a business, I’m sure you’ve at least heard of the term “lead generation“.
And while most understand what a lead is, some people might still be a bit confused when it comes to lead generation, not fully knowing what it is, why they need it, or how they can apply it to their own business models.
Therefore, I thought it’d be a great idea to put together the following guide on lead generation to help explain what it really is and how you can use lead generation strategies to improve your business and reinforce your bottom line!
What is lead generation?
As the term implies, lead generation techniques or strategies are used to generate leads for a business.
Essentially, a lead is a person who has shown some type of interest in a business. For instance, a lead might be a person who has recently visited a website, or someone who has signed up for a mailing list.
It’s also important to understand that there are several degrees of leads, ranging from cold leads to hot leads.
A cold lead is a lead that has shown some interest in a product, service, or business, but isn’t necessarily ready to make a purchase or interact with a company.
In the examples above, the cold lead would be the person that visited a website, checked it out, and then left. While they have shown some interest in the company by visiting its website, they haven’t necessarily made any intimations that they were ready to buy anything.
On the other hand, a warm or hot lead might be someone who visits a website, fills out a form, and then signs up to a mailing list.
Here, not only has the person shown that they’re slightly interested in the brand or company. But they’ve also made several interactions with the company by filling out its website form and offering their email address, which, from the company’s point of view, says that this person is truly interested in interacting, and possibly making a purchase from the company.
So with that explained, generating leads simply refers to the techniques and strategies that are implemented by companies to attract new leads to their brand online.
Why use lead generation?
To put it simply, you and your business need this if you want to grow your client base and increase your overall business profits.
Lead generation strategies are used to provide you with a consistent stream of potential leads, therefore, offering you a consistent stream of potential profit.
Once a lead generation system has been established, business owners gain much better control over their sales, being able to attract customers when needed, allowing themselves to grow consistently as an increasing number of customers are brought on board.
How does lead generation work?
Because it’s the process or act of drawing in and attracting prospects, and then converting them into customers, a wide range of marketing strategies can be used to generate leads.
In fact, because of this, many companies turn to specialized lead generating services to help them find new customers to increase their sales. These companies help business owners and managers become better at attracting and converting leads into paying customers.
Essentially, to generate leads, especially warm, ready-to-buy leads, a business must establish some form of sales/marketing funnel. A funnel is basically the overall plan on how a business is going to walk a cold lead through the sales process, eventually, converting them into a paying customer.
One of the most common examples of a technique you’ll see used quite often today are the email subscription popups or “free download” offers that you’ll find on virtually every website out there.
Typically, these forms allow website visitors to exchange their email address for some type of downloadable content. However, the key lies in the fact that the individual has willingly provided the business with their information.
By doing this, they’ve indicated that they are, in fact, interested in what this company has to say, and they want to learn more about what they have to offer.
In turn, as the business gradually builds up its list of email subscribers, they can then market directly to these leads, who have clearly and willingly shown interest in the brand.
Where does lead generation happen?
Typically, lead generation is performed online. However, any form of customer outreach can generally be considered as a form of lead generation.
But with that said, today, with the prevalence of the internet, it’s more important than ever for brands to think about online lead generation, and how they can leverage the power of search engines like Google, by using SEO techniques and strategies, to generate a consistent stream of potential customers. Lead generation can also be performed on social media as well.
When should you implement lead generation?
If you haven’t already started thinking of ways to use lead generation for your business, the time to start is now.
Not only is lead generation a method for drawing new, potential customers. But it’s also a way of making more sales, increasing profits, and growing your business bigger than it’s ever been before.
Need help putting together a lead generation strategy? Contact The Hobo Marketing Co. today!