Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into the leads. By creating appealing content and getting people to interact with it, you create an opportunity to warm up potential customers to your business.
The purpose of lead generation is to interact with visitors and prospects that are initiating the relationship with you – instead of the other way around. This makes it easier and more natural for them to want to buy from you somewhere down the line.
Within the larger inbound marketing methodology, lead generation falls in the second stage. It occurs after you’ve attracted an audience and are ready to actually convert those visitors into leads for your sales team. Generating leads is a fundamental point in an individual’s journey to becoming a happy customer of your business.
A lead is a person who has expressed an interest in your company’s product or service in some way. For example, maybe you took an online survey to learn more about your new fridge. If you got an email from the appliance company that hosted the survey on their website about how they could help you take maintain your fridge, that survey is far less intrusive than if they’d just called you out of the blue with no knowledge of whether you even care about your appliance maintenance.
From a business perspective, the information the appliance company collected about you from your survey responses would help them personalize that opening communication to meet the existing needs of other potential customers. Think Amazon.com. They are masters at generating and cultivating leads and none of us cares one bit because they use it to improve our experience.
A lead is a person who has indicated interest in company’s product or service.
Essentially, a lead is generated through information collection. Here are some examples how information could be collected:
Here are some actual components of the lead generation process.
All these components work with each other to help collect information. Once you put all these elements together, you can use your various promotional channels to link and drive traffic to the landing page so you can start generating leads. Here are some example pathways for lead generation:
Marketers and salespeople alike want to fill their list and they want to fill it quickly. That’s where the temptation to buy leads comes in. Buying leads, as opposed to generating them organically, is much easier and takes far less time and effort.
However, there are a lot of issues with buying leads. First and foremost, the purchased leads don’t know your business. Usually they’ve “opted in” at some other site when signing up for something and didn’t actually opt in to receiving anything from your company. The messages you send them are therefore unwanted messages. If the prospect has never been to your website, indicated an interest in your resources, products, services, or even industry, then you’re interrupting them.
If they never opted in to receive messages from you specifically, then there’s a chance that they will mark your messages as spam. This can be dangerous for you. Not only does this train their inbox to show only emails they want to see, but it indicates to their email provider which emails to filter out. and your company could be put on the “blacklist”. Once you get on that list, it’s really hard to get off of it. Also, your email deliverability and IP reputation will likely be harmed.
To sum it all up – it is better to generate leads organically rather than buy them. If you would like to learn how to get more leads for your business – we are here to help.