Beginner’s Guide To Lead Generation

The moment of jumping into something completely new is well known to all of us. It is like trying to cope with a spoon and fork to have your very first spaghetti bolognese meal the proper way. The first few times might be needing much focus in order not to end up with tomato stains on your shirt. It is challenging but it becomes better each time.

This is why we are here. To give you a helping hand into Inbound Lead Generation. And if you still wonder what it is, here is the short answer. Inbound lead generation is a solution to protect your company from receiving countless amounts of client rejections. Don’t mess with your business’ potential! Eat pasta the right way right from the beginning.

  1. What Is a Lead?
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A lead is any person or organization that shows interest in the product or service you and your company offer. Leads usually send information via contact form to request an offer for specific products or services. Leads might also come as referrals from satisfied customers.

Imagine you are interested in purchasing a new family car. You find a dealer and would like to get more info about the car into account. You send over an email requesting the specifications. A few days later an answer arrives right into your inbox. The car dealer gives you all the info wanted and asks you how they could help you further. Now imagine that the same car dealer called out of the blue, without you initiating any contact at first. Wouldn’t it be awkward? Do they even know what particularly you need? 

The business perspective of inbound lead generation is to collect as much information as possible about the needs and wants of the prospect. By knowing more the seller can not only make a personalized plan to solve the matter but also not waste the time of the lead and their own.

Leads don’t always come as such. Most of the time they start from visitors and become qualified as leads later in the process. Not all leads are equally qualified. This depends on the stage they are at.

  • Marketing Qualified Leads

These leads come from the efforts of the Marketing department. They are not ready to be converted into Sales leads by receiving a cold call. An example of this is a Newsletter. You get to receive it against sharing your email address.

  • Sales Qualified Leads

Sales qualified leads are those who are ready to be converted into paying customers. They have shown interest in the products or services by, for instance, filling out a contact form to request an offer for a service of interest.

  • Product Qualified Leads

These leads represent already existing users of the product/service and are ready to become paying customers. Example of such leads is the trial offered to test a product or service. After the trial ends there is the option to upgrade your plan. This is when the sales team steps in. 

  • Service Qualified Leads

Service qualified leads are users who have indicated desire to become paying customers. Such can be people who would like to upgrade their subscription, so the service rep should forward the request to the respective sales person.

  1. What is Lead Generation?
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Lead generation allows to attract and convert complete strangers into interested in the product or service parties. Online content, job applications, live events, coupons and so on are examples of lead generation. 

These are some examples of methods companies use to generate leads. Well prepared and goal oriented content can lead visitors to the right for them service. Lead generation is a way to attract people in a unique and pleasant way. Becoming a paying customer should happen if you can find enough worth in the products and services the company offers. It should be a win-win scenario.

When a stranger indicates interest in the product or service offered the transition from a stranger to client is much easier and straightforward. 

  1. The Lead Generation Process
  1. Visitor’s discovery of your business through the various marketing channels, blog posts, social media, website, landing pages.
  2. Call-to-action (CTA)- visitors click on the CTA- image, button, or a message and get encouraged to take action.
  3. Landing page- the CTA takes the visitor to a landing page that is created to capture contact information against an offer. An offer can be a template, a course, a guide, a course and so on. There should be enough added value to the visitor to find your offer worth sharing personal contact information.
  4. The visitor fills out a contact form found on the landing page. Most of the time contact forms are hosted on a landing page even though sometimes they get embedded into your website. Now that you have a lead, you can take it forward to the sales rep to take further care of it.

In short, the visitor lands at a CTA that takes him to a landing page, where by filling out a contact form he provides his contact details and becomes a lead.

4. Qualifying a Lead

As we have discussed in the first part, a lead is a person who has shown interest in using your products or services. This section is to help you understand the ways a person shows interest.

Basically, sales leads get generated by collecting information. Such information may come from a job candidate who applied for a job opening and provided the requested data. A shopper could also provide his data to receive a discount code. Students often fill out their email against a scientific piece of paper.

Below are presented a few examples of the ways a lead can be qualified. The quality of it depends upon the collected information and the level of interest.

  • Job candidate– such applicants are quite open to sharing quite some information to be considered for a position. Filling out the application in a proper way not only shows their interest in the job and company but also helps the lead to be better qualified by the recruiting team.
  • Discount code– mostly companies know very little about the people who provide their emails to receive a promo code. If they find your offer attractive they will be more willing to share their name and email in exchange. Even though this is not much information it is enough for the business to re-target that person and offer additional services.
  • Content- wanting to gain access to specific content, educational or not, could not mean direct interest in the services or products offered by your company. So, to better understand the needs of the person you may need to collect more information to give direction to what the visitor needs and wants.

These three examples help outline the various differences between the amount of information needed to qualify a lead. The amount of information will also depend on your business and offer. Think of what you need to understand better whether or not that person fits your target audience. This way you run on the safe side and make sure you don’t just reach out to random people who won’t profit from your offering.

  1. Lead Generation Models

Generating leads can come in different forms. It depends on the platform you wish to use, campaigns, strategies and what more. The question here is how to get them to that platform? Let’s have a look at some of the most popular digital places and their respective lead generation models.

  • Facebook Lead Generation Model
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Since its inception, Facebook has been a model for outbound marketing. People and companies used to share outbound links in posts and personal bio. Since 2007 when Facebook Ads were presented, the platform algorithm started favouring paid campaigns, logically. This changed the way businesses seize leads. Now Facebook Leads Ads offers the possibility to place a call-to-action button on your company’s profile to direct your visitors to your website. 

  • Linkedin Lead Generation Model
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Linkedin’s main purpose since its early days is to connect people in professional conditions. The platform offers Lead Gen Forms, an instrument to collect better quality leads through sponsored messages and content through pre-filled forms. 

  • Pay-per-click (PPC) Lead Generation Model
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PPC is a model allowing paid ads via search engines.  Every day Google reached over 3 billion searches which makes it the most popular search engine globally and the preferred way for lead generation. Effective PPC campaigns incorporate seamless user experience and depend on your budget. 

  • Twitter Lead generation Model
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Twitter has embedded the option to generate leads directly from tweets via Twitter Lead Gen Cards. The tool automatically collects people’s names, email addresses and their Twitter account names. There is a “Submit” button so users can approve the action and share their details. 

The lines below are the starting point of understanding the importance and multiplicity of the lead generation process. A good beginning is to learn more about your target audience, the platforms they mostly use and what type of content elicits them to convert.

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