Lead generation - Definition, Types and Tools for lead
In a world where the simplest way of earning is by providing your services to a client or selling your products to a buyer, the need to find such potential clients and buyers is at its peak. Marketing products to generate income by increasing sales is the most common form of b2b. The basics of marketing include the practice of how a marketer can increase the interest and the want-to-buy mood of a potential buyer to sell a thing. This potential candidate is called a lead. These leads are the ones who marketers persuade to gain an increase in sales.
The process by which these potential leads are persuaded to spend their money is called lead generation. Lead generation is one of the most used methods of a marketer or teams of marketers. So, lead generation can be called the method by which the curiosity of a potential buyer or client can be piqued so that they can organically get comfortable in paying you for the services that you're providing or the product that you're selling. A team of marketers uses this method worldwide, whether it is the online mode or the offline mode. Today, this article will emphasize the online side of lead generation as it is the most used one in this era of technology.
- Definition of a lead
- Types of leads
- How to generate a lead?
- How to persuade a lead?
- Platforms for generating leads
- Lead generating tools
Definition of a lead
A lead is any possible buyer or client who has shown interest in the service you're providing or the product you're selling. Having possible leads is a better way to sell things than contacting random numbers or people to buy your product or services.
Understand it like it as if you have the choice as to whether to contact someone who has shown interest in your service or product through various sources, or to contact someone who you don't know anything about or any of his/her interest that can profit you.
That's why recognizing leads is an important process while selling your product(s) or service(s). if seen through the perspective of a business, having possible leads not only saves time, which would have been wasted in contacting uninterested people, but it also increases the chances of getting better sales.
Types of leads
There are many types of leads, which are sorted as per a company's standards. But these standards resonate with the common sorting designations given to each of these types of lead forms. The main types of leads that are common in every business are:
- Leads that are qualified for marketing purposes mainly known as MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads). The customers who are qualified in this type of lead are the ones who show their interest in the business's product or service but aren't ready to attend a call yet.
- Leads that are qualified for sales purposes, mainly known as SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads). The customers who fall under these types of leads are the ones that actively express their curiosity towards paying for the company's product or service and hence, are quite potential ones.
- Leads qualified for the product's sale, or widely known as the PQLs (product Qualified Leads). The customers that fall under these categories are the ones who have already used the company's free trial or the limited version of the company's product and are now interested in upgrading to the paid plans.
- Leads that are qualified for services, or widely known as the SQLs (Service Qualified Leads). The customers who fall under this category are the ones who are already using the paid subscription and now wish to upgrade their plans to the more expensive ones for more benefits.
How to generate a lead?
After knowing what exactly I lead generation and what are leads. The next question that might pop up in your mind can be just how you can generate leads? Well, the answer is pretty simple; it depends. It depends on which approach you'd like to take to increase sales by generating more leads.
There are many ways of generating leads in the online methods; most of these are how you can evaluate whether or not your potential customer has any interest in buying your product or paying for your service. Chronological steps by which the process of inbound marketing methodology can create a lead are:
- This process starts with the discovery of your website page's existence by a customer online. This discovery can occur due to any possible marketing methods that may have been put up, such as through your content, social media, e-mails, blog, ads, or any other method.
- The process now advances with the help of any CTAs (Call to Action) that you may have out up in any of your marketing methods. CTAs are activated when clicked. CTAs are the buttons that you embed in your article that perform certain actions. CTAs can be an image, button, or even a message.
- The next part of this process starts when the CTA lands the lead on the web page. In this part, the interested lead's information is asked by the website in exchange for an offer of any kind. Offers are the trade-offs that the website provides in exchange for the lead's information; it can be a free guide, an add-on, a free article, or even a free subscription.
- This part of the process occurs if the visitor gets interested in the trade-off's offer. The visitor then gives an organic response to that offer by his own free will. This response gives his/her information to the web page in exchange for the freebie that comes with it.
As this process gets completed, the information that the visitor has given by his own free will gets saved in the back-end server of the website. With this information, the website owner can now call this visitor a lead and this whole process as lead generation.
This lead will then be designated to what kind it is. Then he/she will be persuaded to use their services or buy their products within the rules and regulations of the company that the website is of. This process of persuasion includes various methods.
How to persuade a lead?
Now that the discussion over what lead generation is, what exactly leads are, and how many types of leads are there, let's move on to the more important topic. The ways that a business or a website can get more sales through marketing and lead generation are various, depending upon the method or the platform through which the marketing is taking place. However, the most common ways by which marketing can be done through lead generation are:
- Landing page content
- Well versed e-mail
Landing page content
The content that is displayed on a website's landing page is one of the most useful representations. The CTAs are the best marketing tools to use in the associated pages as they keep the viewers and pique their curiosity. Due to this piqued curiosity, the viewers will click on these CTAs and get transferred to your landing page, which will eventually lead to an increase in your chances of sales growth.
This also highlights the importance of your website's content, as the quality of the growth can be directly proportional to the increased traffic on the landing page. This means that the traffic on your website's page will depend on how engaging and interesting the content displayed on your website is.
Well versed e-mail
E-mails are one of the most used ways of communication by professionals and working individuals who can spend on things they like based on their own free will; this makes it one of the best places for marketers to expand the word of their products or the services that they are providing their clients or buyers with.
It is even a better option than other ways of persuading a lead as there are more chances of them opening your email if every aspect of the email is written properly. In addition, those who have already subscribed to your website page will like to get acknowledged about any new service or product you or your company is coming up with.
Blogs are the new-age newspapers and newsletters that rule the world of the online reading population. If you have a blog that attracts a good amount of traffic, you can use it to increase your sales. This is quite a good way to persuade leads interested in topics related to the service or the product you're selling to your landing page, as that can be a potential selling point for you.
One of its examples is if your blog is about a game, you can write a paragraph about the gaming chair you are selling and embed a link to its landing page in that same blog. This has proven to be quite a fruitful method in attracting, persuading existing leads, and even persuading the new ones.
As a short preview about SEO to understand its context, here is a summary. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process by which the keywords in an article or any content on a web page are brought forth by the person who has performed a search on a search engine with those keywords. Having good knowledge about how to manipulate SEO is an essential part of lead generation. SEO is one of the most efficient and cheapest ways to increase organic traffic on a website's landing page.
Ads have been one of the best ways to sell anything for a very long time, and it has changed now too. But in advertising a product or service, a business has first to pay the advertiser to advertise their service or product in exchange for money. The same process goes for its online counterpart. The advertiser, in this case, your business or you, has to pay the search engines so that it would display their landing page whenever something or some search is made on those search engines.
This paid method is the most efficient and common way to persuade leads to take action by clicking on your ads. And those ads should display only what is being offered on your page without any additional lie, as that will ensure that the viewer gets satisfied with the page and increases your gains.
Social media is the place of modern time socialization, as most of you would have known already. But what you may or may not have known is that it is the best place to sell anything. If you have a social media account with a good amount of followers, you can use that followership to increase your gains by increasing the range of your customers.
Social media offers a great amount of versatility to its users and can be utilized in many ways. One of the best ways to utilize such marketing benefits is by either putting the link to your landing page on your profile bio or in the caption of your posts.
This is another one of the best offline modes of marketing that have even existed. Its online counterpart is no less than that. In referral marketing, word-of-mouth plays a vital role. It is the only way a marketer introduces the possible buyer to the product or service that a certain business is providing. The process for its online method goes pretty much the same. In the online method, instead of the mouth of a word, the word of referral links works as the main introducer.
The referral links play a very important role in increasing the traffic of your website's landing page. Its process starts when a customer is reading or seeing the web page in which the referral link to your article is embedded. The process goes on to the part where the customer finds the mentioned content credible and finds that he /she would like to try the product or service referred to. The process ends when the potential customer clicks on the CTA link and lands on your website's landing page.
Platforms for generating leads
We have talked about common methods as to how to persuade a lead. But let's dive deeper into the subject and talk about strategies to score and time leads in the modern markets according to specific platforms. Of course, the most famous and widely used online websites are the ones of social media. This makes it one of the best places to start generating your leads in the first place as it has one of the biggest crowds in the whole wide world. Some of these strategies and platforms for generating leads are:
- Facebook lead generation: If you have never heard the name of this company, then you are living in the Stone Age. Facebook has more than one-third of the world's population on its platform, making it the biggest place to score leads and get traffic.
- Twitter lead generation: Twitter consists of the world's biggest educated crowds in itself. Attracting people and increasing followers is sure on this platform, but it is worth the pain for a marketer. This highly educated crowd also refers to a crowd that can pay.
- B2B lead generation: B2B isn't a platform but a business model consisting of various social media marketing strategies. Mastering the art of b2b isn't about creating as many leads as you can. It is about how many quality leads you can create.
Lead generating tools
There are many tools out there that can help a marketer create an increased number and quality. These tools are used by thousands of online lead generators in the marketplace and are rated as one of the highest in their fields. Some of the tools for lead generation are:
- Visitor tracking
- Form-scraping tool
- CTA templates
- Lead generation software tools
All these tools can prove to be of great help to you, whether you are a professional or a novice in this field of work.
Lead generating is one of the most important parts of the workflow of a marketing specialist in these times. Mastering the art of lead generation can not only help you gain more excellence in this career but can also let you pave the way for your own business. All that a person requires to make a good sale is a strategy. People are willing to buy any crazy thing on the internet if you tempt them in the right way.
Learning how to use and manipulate this way of tempting others to buy your things or hire services is what differentiates a rookie from a successful marketer. This article includes all the things that a beginner needs to know about lead generation, such as what leads are, how they are made, what strategies one should take to create leads, and which platforms to look at for making the most amount of leads.
About the author
Dennis Hoinkis has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2020, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.
Dennis Hoinkis CEO, FSOM Group Corp.