Have you ever wondered why some customers are simply attracted to some businesses and not others? Why in the case of some businesses, which may offer the same service as the other business, things don’t seem to work as well?
Well, the “culprit” is the lead generation process itself.
For your business to thrive you need people to buy from you in the first place, don’t you? That is, that end customer who may even become a loyal customer of your business.
But it’s not that simple. The process your customer goes through, from not knowing you, hearing about you for the first time, to trusting and wanting your product or service, becomes a long journey for both you and the customer.
This is where the role of the lead generator comes in, and if you know how to do it really well, it will be worth all the effort.
Enjoy the process first and foremost and be as creative as possible in attracting customers.
What is the Lead Generation process?
We live in a very competitive world, and our business idea may not be unique. Few businesses have succeeded in bringing to market something that doesn’t already exist. But if you have an idea that others have had, that doesn’t mean you won’t succeed.
Either way, whether you want to attract your customers into a unique business or simply want to differentiate yourself from the competition, attracting leads helps a lot, in the process.
If you’ve created a great product or service, but you haven’t thought about the lead attraction part of it, then your business will not generate the success you want, regardless of the quality of your product.
People are attracted to businesses they know about first and foremost, and then how they manage to attract them. So lead generation can be done in a variety of ways, and here, only your creativity is the limit.
Developing the lead generation strategy is all about guiding the customer through the sales funnel, from the beginning until they become the final customer.
So, lead generation refers to the way or strategy you use to attract potential customers to your business to convert them into an end customer.
How does lead generation work?
To understand how lead generation works, first of all, we need to understand what a lead is and pretty much what its journey through our business is.
What is a lead?
A lead is basically any potential customer of your business, anyone who has shown interest in what you sell or offer.
Leads generally hear about your business from some source as soon as you’ve started a lead generation process, regardless of the method or channel you’ve approached.
Once a customer has made contact with you, they have become a prospect and can turn into a customer for your business.
How does it work?
Let’s take an example of how lead generation works, so you can understand how it works.
Suppose you wanted to learn more about how to promote your business online.
You download a free guide that gives you some of the answers to what you’re interested in. From here, you find out that you can attend a course where you can put all the information you’ve learned into practice, and even get support from experts.
You sign up for this course because your intention was to find out how to do this, practically, to generate results, right?
Well, here’s how lead generation worked, without feeling annoyed but on the contrary, helped.
In addition, the data you provided and your interest is collected by the business so that in the future, the offers made to you are as personalized as possible, according to your interests. Often these can change.
This is how the lead generation process works and when you understand it very well you will not only attract customers but also provide them with a lot of value.
The lead generation process is not just about bringing in customers but also about helping them, giving them as much of what they need as possible. When you know how to do that, they will love you and trust you 100%.
Why do you need lead generation?
Not only have business marketing strategies changed over time, but so has customer behavior. They are no longer as easily attracted as they were a few years ago. In addition, the plethora of offers on the market can make it even more difficult for them to decide when they want something.
So the lead generation process is what will make the difference in your business. The more creative ways you can find to attract the customer, the more value you can offer them, the greater the chance that they will turn into a potential customer.
Why do you need lead generation?
Because you need customers. Without them, your business can’t function, it wouldn’t grow and it wouldn’t generate profits, would it?
This is a constant process that will lead to the next step, which is customer retention and loyalty. Basically lead generation is the first step you take towards your customer and they towards you. Then you move to the next level, which is retention.
Both of these processes need to run continuously in your business for it to work and grow.
In addition, through the lead generation process you will get to know your customer better and give them exactly what they need. This will help you a lot in establishing and creating future strategies.
Types of leads
To be able to set your strategy right, you’ll need to know what stage each customer is at in relation to your business.
Specifically, where they are in relation to your business in the sales funnel. That way, you’ll find the best approach for each one, so that you can move them through all the stages of the sales funnel, so that you can move easily from one level to another.
For example, you can’t offer something for sale to a customer who hasn’t yet interacted with your business, and a customer who already knows what you do won’t be attracted to your business story, but will want more.
So here are the types of customers you’ll have in your business, depending on your sales funnel.
Cold leads or cold audiences
This type of lead has not yet shown any interest in your business but fits the ideal customer profile of your business, so is a potential customer at this point. Regardless of how you tracked him down, you need to set up the right strategy to convert him from a cold customer to a potential customer.
Being a first interaction, your strategy must be very good.
Warm leads or warm audience
People in this category have already interacted with your business and have shown some interest in what you offer. They either follow your blog, visit your YouTube channel or comment on your posts. However, they haven’t yet made purchases.
In this strategy, you need to find a really good strategy to entice them to make the sale.
Hot Leads or Hot Audiences
These types of leads have had multiple interactions with you and have even requested additional information or made contact. They either contacted you by phone, filled out a contact form or requested information or custom offers.
They require immediate attention from you, otherwise interest in your business may disappear. So “strike while the iron is hot” in this case.
Steps to a Lead Generation Campaign
To choose the most appropriate lead generation campaign for your business, and to ensure that you attract customers who may be genuinely interested in what you have to offer, it’s good to go through certain steps.
Of course you can use strategies that others have already tried, but that doesn’t guarantee you any success, because every business is different.
If you want all success, here’s what to do.
Find out what your ideal client looks like
This step is essential before you start a business and even more so when you start creating your lead generation strategy. You can look at the customers you have so far if you don’t have a customer avatar yet. That way you will know which aspects to focus on, predominantly in your strategies;
Set your goals
Ok ok, you’ve decided to run a lead generation campaign but do you know what the goal is?
Don’t say more profit, because you’re kidding yourself. This is the overall goal of your business and not the camapania. Generating as many customers as possible is not a good goal either.
So what’s your goal? To get X number of site visits, to get Y form downloads, to increase conversion rate by X %. That’s what your goals should look like.
Create your campaign materials
Whether you want to create a social media, email marketing or website campaign, you need to know exactly what “magnet” elements you need to achieve your goals.
Do you need an engaging video? A more visible button? A form? A download? etc.
Create your campaign in the most attractive way
Use the most attractive elements according to the campaign you are going to make.
For example, if you want to engage through social media, create a video that explains the customer’s problem and redirects them to your solution, or offer them a downloadable piece of material in exchange for their email address.
Use whatever you can, depending on your campaign, even feedback from customers who already trust you. Remember, the more value you offer, the more customers will be attracted to your business.
Channels in lead generation marketing
As we have discussed so far, you can choose different methods and channels through which you can attract your customers.
Now that you know what the steps are, you know pretty much where each customer is and what they need, it’s time to decide which is the best way to reach them.
One of the most widely used lead generation channels is social media. Whatever your business, your customer is definitely on one of these social media platforms, so a campaign here will be effective. In addition, you can run this campaign alongside other lead generation campaigns.
Moreover, here you can use tools to help you closely track all the data but also create the following general lead campaigns on your website or email marketing, for example.
This method is one that has always been used in marketing to attract leads. If you know your customer, you’ve segmented your list, according to audience, they know how to convert each one, depending on what stage they’re at.
Email marketing is a very effective method if you do it very well and know exactly what your goals are.
The website is the business card of your business and without it, your customer will not trust your business.
Offer as much information as possible, free materials such as downloadable blog articles or guides and forms for them to leave their details. Don’t forget the buttons that can attract the customer and the campaigns you can do afterwards with this information: product launches, offers and promotions, invitations to webinars/classes etc.
Whether we’re talking about social media or Google, you can generate a lot of leads with paid campaigns.
This is where you’ll target exactly the type of customer you want in your business, and can be created according to the goals set out in your strategy.
The SEO strategy implemented on your website is a very good method of attracting leads but also of converting the potential customer into a final one. So consider this strategy in addition to all the others.
Why not buy leads?
You’ve probably heard about the fact that there are databases that can be purchased. This would be a very simple way to get leads but is not recommended because it is inefficient. Why? First of all you don’t know who those customers are.
Every business is unique and has its own customers. If you’ve already made your customer avatar you’ll realise after a few campaigns that maybe not even 10% of your purchased list matches your customer avatar. Thus you have wasted not only money but also energy and time. And you certainly don’t want that.
Bringing in customers who are interested in food when you’re selling car parts isn’t a very good deal you’ve made. And by buying third party listings, that’s pretty much what happens.
Although, that lead generation takes time, the results you get will be what you expect. Be patient, and go through the whole process, if you want to get those customers, who are really interested in what you can offer them.
How do you check if a lead is qualified for your services?
Before you start collecting leads you need to know that not all customers have the potential to become your client.
So in order not to waste valuable resources in your strategy but also in terms of spending there are a number of things you can do to identify if your customer is qualified for your products or services.
But before we do that, let’s find out what types of qualifications your customers have.
Qualified leads for information
These customers are the ones who are looking for different solutions to their problem and know they can find it with you. About these you have some information but they have not yet shown interest in your solution, other than the information you provide.
You get them mostly from various webinar sign-up forms, electronic downloads or other free information.
Keep in touch with them, find out concretely what they need and gradually offer them your solution.
Qualified leads for marketing
You know that customer who does a lot of online research or even goes into the physical store to see the product before they buy it?
Well, that’s pretty much what these customers are like. They’re basically researching. They know your product, they’re watching all the solutions you offer, they’re downloading all the case studies or how your product can help them, but they haven’t decided to buy it yet.
Since he appreciates you and considers you an authority on what you do, it won’t be very difficult to get him to make the buying decision.
Qualified sales leads
This type of customer is prepared to meet with you directly, and is even prepared to make the sale. However, something is holding them back from taking the plunge before they contact you.
So here you need to find out quickly, what the reason is and what information you can give them to make the sale happen.
What is a qualified lead?
A qualified lead is a person who has a very high potential to make a purchase from you or at least be interested in what you offer.
There’s no “set in stone” way to check this, but there are some things you can look for to make sure that customer is a qualified one.
First and foremost, a qualified lead is clearly one that fits the profile of your ideal customer. So, if you haven’t yet determined what your customer avatar is, it’s wise to do so at this step.
Then it’s important to segment your customers by the actions they’ve taken in relation to your business.
The next step is to identify where your customer is in their skill level so that you can give them what they need. And at the end you just have to start the right strategy for them.
Advantages and disadvantages of lead generation
Attracting leads is basically a mareting strategy that is applied through certain methods to generate potential customers in your business.
Ok, but like any other method it can bring you both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s see what they are.
Here’s why you should establish a lead generation strategy
- increase your following – i.e. your brand. The more people you reach, the more likely they are to convert into loyal customers.
- you expand your customer base – surely your business can’t thrive if you stick with the same customers you started with, right? And how can you bring in new customers if not through lead generation methods and strategies? Not to mention the fact that you may lose customers you already have.
- you collect more reviews – this step is quite difficult if you don’t use a clear strategy. Don’t forget, that end-customer reviews have a very strong impact on potential customers.
- increase your revenue – once you get more potential customers, whom you manage to convert into end customers or even loyal customers, this can only generate more profit in your business;
- Improve the quality of leads – As you do more of these strategies and campaigns, you’ll get better and better in this segment, you’ll be able to better identify customer needs and know what to offer them. You will become very creative.
Anything can bring with it certain disadvantages, especially when you don’t fully understand how to implement it. So here are the disadvantages of your lead generation strategy.
Risk of customer loss
If you have managed to reach your cold audience and then stopped your strategy of turning the customer into a warm audience, then you risk losing the customer altogether and your strategy will become unworkable.
The same thing happens at every stage your customer is in. You must always stay in touch with them and prepare them for the next stage by giving them the attention they need.
Low or no return on investment
Some campaigns can be quite costly, either in terms of time or money. And if you haven’t followed all the steps and reached your potential customers, you may not only not generate a profit, but you may not recoup your investment.
Lead Generation Strategies by Social Network
As I said, social media is a great channel for attracting leads, mainly because everyone is here.
But still, how do we attract customers with social media?
Let’s take them one at a time.
- Valuable and engaging content on your business page;
- pinning important posts, or posts where you offer something, to the top of the page;
- including links to specific offers;
- posting new blog articles on social media;
- use of informational videos;
- CTA-like prompts in posts;
- event creation;
- paid campaigns;
- link in bio;
- polls in stories;
- Valuable information in feed;
- paid campaigns.
- Useful videos;
- channels closed to members;
- CTAs at the beginning or end of the video;
- links to website or document download;
- podcasts with expert guests;
- paid campaigns.
Tips & Tricks about lead generation
You’ve certainly got the idea, what to do. But here are a few more very important things to keep in mind when setting up your lead generation strategies.
Use every possible way to attract leads and don’t give up even if you’ve been turned down. If you don’t get a response on the spot, come back with a new and fresh way that will generate in your customer the impulse to interact with your business.
Offer a lot of value before you sell something
Whether it’s a new customer or one who already knows you, showing them that they are important to you, that you care about them, will increase their trust and fondness for you. So don’t sell, don’t ask, before you offer.
Keep in touch
You know the expression, “eyes that don’t see are eyes that don’t look” right? Well, unfortunately it applies here too. So always keep in touch with them, through your various chosen channels. Don’t let them forget you. Show them what you’ve been up to, what you’ve been working on, what you’ve been up to, what you’ve been creating for them, how you can help them.
Find out all you can about them and their needs.
Yes, it may seem like a cumbersome process, but it’s well worth it. The better you know your customer, the more you’ll be able to give them exactly what they need through your strategies. This will set you apart from the competition and they will gain a lot of trust in you.
Lead generation tools
Lead generation can also be done automatically if you have a very large business. In this case, you need to use software to help you automate the process.
Here are the tools you can use:
- tools for repairing and storing email addresses: Hunter, FindThatLead, Lusha, etc.;
- email communication tools: Mailchimp, Prospect.io, Sendingblue, OutreachPlus etc.;
- Marketing and sales automation tools: CRMs, CallPage, Intercom, Drift etc.;
- promotional tools: Facebook Ads, Google Ads etc.
Make use of these tools that fit into any business:
- CTA buttons on your website;
- downloadable materials ( e-books, guides);
- newsletters with CTA;
- callable telephone number;
Now that you know what you need to do to generate customers and profits in your business, it’s time to start implementing the best strategy for your business.
Remember, nothing is functional until you apply it yourself.
So, good luck with your sales and as many customers as possible!