What is Lead Generation?
Before we look at what lead generation is we first need to understand what exactly a lead is.
A lead is a person or business who shows interest in your product or service.
This interest in your company is expressed through the sharing of contact information, such as a phone number, email address, or address.
Lead Generation is the process of attracting and converting consumers and businesses into someone who has an interest in your product or service.
Types of Leads
Leads can differ from each other depending on what type they are or where they are in the lead generation process (outlined below). The main types of leads are:
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
Marketing qualified leads are individuals who have interacted with your marketing communications but are not quite ready to receive a sales call. For example, a person who sees your post on social media and clicks through to your landing page to fill out a contact form in order to receive a free eBook.
Information Qualified Lead (IQL)
An information qualified lead discovers your business at random while searching for information. This type of lead will likely share their contact details in exchanged for information. For example, a person who is searching Google for information on setting up social media accounts for their business lands on a blog on your website. The blog provides them with the information they need and also offers them a free downloadable social media checklist in exchange for their info.
Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
A sales qualified lead is an individual who is towards the end of the sales funnel and has expressed a clear interest in purchasing your product or service. For example, a person who fills out a contact form in order to receive a quote from you.
Product Qualified Lead (PQL)
Product qualified leads are individuals who have used or trialled your product. For example, a person who took advantage of a free product trial and has now indicated that they are interested in upgrading to the paid version.
Service Qualified Lead
A service qualified lead is an individual who expressed their interest in becoming a paying customer of your service. For example, a person who contacted you to discuss upgrading their subscription.
The Lead Generation Process
Now that we have a better understanding of leads, let’s take a look at the process behind lead generation.
After identifying your target audience, you create and share content that this audience would be interested in.
A person then discovers your business through one of your marketing efforts, for example your blog, website, online ad, or social media account.
This visitor then clicks on your call to action (CTA). A CTA is a prompt that tells the user what specific action you would like them to take. For example, ‘buy now’, ‘find out more’ or ‘sign up’.
After clicking your CTA, the user will be brought to a landing page. A landing page is a distinct page on your website built for one single conversion objective. It’s designed to capture contact information in exchange for something of value, such as a free eBook, template, or checklist.
Using the contact information the user shared with you, you continue to contact them through emails further addressing your product or service. To make this run smoothly you can set up automated emails to be sent to the lead after they first share their details and following up a short period after that.
When they’re ready to buy they move from a lead to a customer.
This final stage involves turning these customers into loyal promoters of your business and products or services.
With this understanding of lead generation, you can now begin incorporating what you’ve learned into your marketing strategy. If you would like to find out more about lead generation you can reach out and contact us.