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Here the word ‘generation’ is a noun for ‘generate’, and lead generation means producing or creation of leads. In this blog post, you’ll learn what leads are and what marketing strategies can result in a purchase. You’ll benefit from lead generation strategies to absorb more customers as an entrepreneur.

What Is Lead Generation?

If you’re looking for a target audience and expanding your potential buyers, lead generation is what you need. It’s collecting data and attracting people to convert them into customers. Potential buyers can be people (B2C) or companies (B2B). 

Generating leads is a process that takes time to complete, but will give long-lasting results. So how do you turn strangers into leads? Before moving into the lead generation process, let’s check out what leads.

What Is a Lead?

Leads are people who have the potential to become your clients because they have previously shown an interest in your products and services or something similar. We call them leads until they are ready to buy a company’s products and services.

Each lead would contain the contact information, personal information, and more. Business-to-business (B2B) leads might also have leadership names, financial data on the company, and other information needed to market to them. 

There are two types of leads based on how the lead was acquired, inbound and outbound.

Inbound Leads

Inbound leads that come to you first, without you taking action. They’ve seen your products and services through social media or the internet. After seeing your company as a potential seller, they may have subscribed to your newsletter or created an account at your e-commerce shop. Inbound leads are warm leads in the lead generation process because they’re self-initiated.

Outbound Leads

Outbound leads are the ones you have to fetch yourself. This group of people is a result of your targeting strategy. They are cold because they are not interested in your business until you change their minds. These leads directly result from your marketing efforts, not incidental contact with social media.

What Is Lead Scoring?

Aside from categorising leads into inbound and outbound, you can score leads based on their tendencies and readiness to buy.

Scoring with temperature terms: marketers use the BANT system to scale a lead as hot, warm or cold. BANT stands for budget, authority, need and time frame and shows how likely a customer is to buy a product. A hot lead shows an immediate need for the product and has a precise budget estimate. They also have the authority to purchase the product and the same expected implementation time frame as the service or product requires. By contrast, a cold lead has little or no interest in the product.

MQL or SQL: prospective buyers are either marketing-qualified leads (MQL) or sales-qualified leads (SQL). MQLs are interested in the product but not ready to purchase. In this stage, the marketing team contacts MQLs to provide additional information and answer their potential questions. Doing this makes an MQL prepared for buying and converting to SQL.

What Are Lead Generation Strategies

According to research, the lead generation strategies changed after the Covid pandemic. In an article about key shifts in marketing channels in 2021, Garner reports that the largest increases are in social marketing, SEO and Digital advertising. But what are the types of lead generation strategies for each lead type? 

Inbound Marketing Strategy

As we have previously noted, inbound leads are those that come to you by themselves. However, they didn’t just decide to be interested in your company based on nothing. There is something that triggered them‌, something that gained their interest.

Publications such as blog posts, articles, e-books, and videos that appear on the internet serve as attractors. You can also promote your services or products through SEO content, ads, and PPC (pay-per-click). We have already created “An Introduction to Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs” to cover this topic. 

An inbound marketing strategy is essential for lead generation. Not only does it hold the key to growing sales, but it’s also less bothersome to your potential clients. This is because an inbound marketing strategy is a passive way of reaching out to potential customers and letting them choose you on their own.

Outbound Marketing Strategy

Outbound marketing is done using a variety of targeted advertising and marketing strategies. 

  • Traditional advertising: using television, radio, newspapers and billboards. Although it’s considered old-fashioned, it’s still effective due to the high audience.
  • Call/email outreach: emails and calls aimed at a group of potential customers. This group can be your target audience or strangers. They are later converted into visitors before becoming your leads. Read our “Complete Guide to Reach Audience With Effective Mass Mailing” to learn more about email outreach.
  • Personal contact can be performed at marketing and sales events by sponsoring products and services. You can promote yourself directly and let people get to know you better.

Of course, everything depends on the type of business you own. It’s not the same if you have only a product to offer or a service, and whether you have an e-commerce business or something entirely different.

Conclusion

Your business can grow actively and passively through various strategies. Lead generation is a part of marketing and is vital in generating growth. Be creative, plan, prototype, and test your strategies and ideas. Nothing has to be perfect at first. Just keep working on your plan, and it will all come together. Generating leads and nurturing them with the right strategy absorbs more customers and increases sales.

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An exclusive 10-month, fully-sponsored, program designed for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place.

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Daniel Dippold

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