Lead generation may seem like a bit of a catchphrase and in the last few years, it has surely gained momentum. In fact, it relates to a notion that may be as ancient as marketing itself. But, precisely what is it? Take a look at how lead generation operates and find out some examples of how you can use it to foster new interest in your company and its business.
What is a Lead?
A lead is usually someone who has expressed interest in the products or services of your business. There is a general difference in perspective as to how an individual is interested in order to be considered a “lead”, but it is rather straightforward in the context of lead generation.
The individual must have demonstrated interest in dealing with you by exchanging contact information with you, generally in anticipation of further interaction (including advertising) from your company. The word, therefore, can be used with a “prospect” in certain interchangeability, but this is again open to interpretation.
If anyone shares their information in such a manner, this is usually a declaration: “I want this company to stay on my radar because I might want it in future.” If and when that happens, it is a good position for your company to be in with good prospects in the future.
What Is Meant By Lead Generation?
Therefore, lead generation is any practice you perform to generate new leads and have them share some of their essential information with you. It is good if someone is introduced to your marketing products and is interested in what you do, but clearly, it is more important to capture their contact information for you to maintain contact with them and to market to them your services or products further.
The continuing marketing and maintenance of the relationship is the key, but without your contact details, it obviously cannot be done! Notwithstanding the manner in which you collect information from stakeholders, the purpose is to make further contacts to promote sales.
Application of Lead Generation
You have probably found more than a few websites with pop-up windows persuading you to download a helpful resource or whitepaper in return for your email address. This is one of the basic applications of lead generation. The resource they provide is like a carrot pushed before you to convince you to divide yourself from your valuable information. Therefore, the resource is called a “lead magnet,” and this is one of the best-known and easy techniques for lead generation.
Types of Lead Generation: Offline Vs Online
Fundamentally speaking, there are two types of lead generation – online and offline. Whilst attempts to generate online leads appear to be highlighted in our digital era, there are also methods to generate leads offline. Let’s look at a couple of instances for each:
Online Lead Generation
- Pop-up windows convince readers to download a free resource in return for some information.
- Free webinars, demonstrations or workshops on a particular product or service for which individuals have to register.
- Targeted publicity in social media, which may indicate a lead magnet or a technique of information collected from interested parties.
- Encourage your blog readers to be email subscribers by emailing each time a fresh post is issued.
Offline Lead Generation
- Connect or display at corporate events and capture the information of interested parties.
- Host a free workshop or networking event to be pre-registered by individuals.
- Speak at a corresponding business event and give interested parties a free call for discovery and consultation.
- Publicity on TV, radio or print media and indulge in public relations activities to encourage individuals to get in contact with each other.
- Run a postal campaign or leaflet drop providing an event or launch free of charge.
No matter what you do, your decision to generate leads will rely strongly on your budget and the public whether you follow online or offline techniques (or a combination of both of them). In general, online channels are considered cheaper than printed and delivered products and, though this might not always be the case, in particular, printing and distributing costs can frighten some companies which have not much money to play with. Thus, when a business is struggling with money flow, online lead generation can be seen as more desirable.
However, you need to assess what your audience is expected to see and react to, as well as budgetary and reporting issues. For instance, if you provide services to seniors, more ‘ traditional ‘ techniques, such as leaflets or TV / radio ads, are likely to lead to favourable outcomes. Correctly done, the outcomes can be fantastic on both online and offline channels.