data-driven insights

Lead Generation: The Ultimate Guide

lemlist team
LAST UPDATED
April 12, 2024
READING TIME
7 min.

More than 53% of marketers spend more than half of their marketing budget on lead generation because it's an effective acquisition strategy.

In this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about generating high-quality leads. From the strategies to tools, keep reading to find out more.

Why Lead Generation is Important

Being the first step in customer acquisition, Lead generation is the process of identifying your potential customers and contacting them so they become aware of your product or service.

At this stage, your goal is primarily focused on getting a means to communicate with them and further convert them in the process.

There are many reasons businesses prioritise lead generation and some of them include:

Increased brand awareness: Lead generation strategies allow you to promote your business to a wider audience. This increases your reach and gives your company more visibility and brand recognition. Over time…

Higher sales records and revenue: Every single customer was once a lead. The way you nurture them is what encourages them to do business with you. So generating more leads increases your chances of getting more customers and in turn, higher revenue.

Better conversions: With lead generation, you can directly track the ROI of your marketing and sales efforts. For example, you can track how many people are interested in your business based on how many website visits you get. You can make more impactful decisions and know what works versus what doesn’t based on the patterns you get from your data.

Cleaner data and customer insights: When you generate leads, you also get behavioral insights like their preferences and needs. This can help with more precise targeting and personalizations that can positively influence your engagement. However, this works especially when you get your leads the right way.

Types of Leads and Which One Should You Target

A lead is anyone interested in your products and services.

Usually, when they become a lead, it means you have their contact information and some details about them. For example, their name, job title, and company to mention a few.

Here are a couple ways to categorize your leads:

Based on interests

This classification allows you to group your leads based on their level of interest, and how they also found your business.

  • Inbound leads also known as warm leads are those leads who did their research and found your business themselves. An example might be someone who signed up for a product demo or your newsletter
  • Outbound leads also known as cold leads, on the other hand, are those generated by you through either a lead generation tool or your marketing strategies. An example are connections you sent messages to on LinkedIn.

Based on Qualification

Another classification method is qualifying them based on where they are in the sales funnel at the time.

This includes:

  • Marketing Qualified Leads: These leads have usually shown interest in your business but passively. For example, leaving an email address after downloading a resource. This makes them a great target for your marketing campaigns.
  • Sales Qualified Leads: Here, the lead is very interested in your product and they just need convincing from your sales team. This could be someone who has signed up for a personalized demo or a chat with your team.
  • Product Qualified Leads: Very similar to SQLs but the difference is that here, the lead is already attached to your product. Usually, they’ve already signed up for a free trial or are on the free plan and are looking for the right plan to suit their needs.

Irrespective of the types of classification, the basics remain the same. Inbound leads are very interested in your business and are known as warm leads.

Inbound leads could also be product-qualified leads and marketing-qualified leads.

Outbound leads are cold and usually passive. These could also be sales-qualified leads and sometimes marketing-qualified leads as well.

How to Generate Leads for Your Business

Depending on the type of lead you want to attract, there are two approaches to lead generation

1. Inbound Lead Generation Method

The type of business you run would determine the exact inbound lead generation model for you.

However, since it is generating interest in your product or service via helpful resources and similar strategies, you need to find promotional channels that work for your team.

Some examples of channels you can use to acquire inbound leads include SEO, social media marketing, podcasts, content marketing through ebooks, videos, infographics, and more.

Choose one of these strategies and then focus on creating content that your target market would resonate with.

2. Outbound Lead Generation Method

Since it’s generally harder to generate leads here, the outbound lead generation method uses a higher level of targeting and personalization from the sales and marketing teams.

Here, you can use strategies like running paid ads on Google and social media (PPC), sending cold emails, or placing cold calls to leads you get from your lead generation tools.

Lead Generation Tools

Lead generation tools popularly known as lead generators are tools that help teams automate the lead generation process.

They can be used to carry out both outbound and inbound lead generation at a larger scale.

Some of these tools include:

  • Email finders and verifiers
  • Email marketing and outreach tools
  • Marketing automation and CRM tools
  • Advertising tools
  • Social media tools
  • Survey and form software
  • Calendar and call scheduling tools

7 Strategies to Get High-Quality Leads in 2024 (+ Examples)

If you’re not sure where to begin when building your sales generation strategy, here are a few examples to inspire you.

1. Set up a Tripwire funnel for PPC Campaigns

This strategy uses a lead magnet to reel in cold leads at first and then triggers a paid product at the backend. It offers an inexpensive product to the customer to sell a more expensive one later.

For example, a lead might not be ready to purchase your course online just yet, so you create a cheaper mini-course as the trip wire and then a free ebook as the bait to reel them in.

Once they are locked into your eBook, you can upsell the mini-course which they’ll be more inclined to purchase.

Another example could be offering a 15-minute consultation service.

Tripwire funnels work because people like to have a good deal. However, they won’t easily commit to your business without a little nudge.

The sales from your tripwire would also help you offset any advertising costs spent.

Tips for setting up your Tripwire PPC campaign

  • Identify your best-performing product or service and create an MVP that’s cheaper but highly valuable
  • Run a highly targeted PPC campaign towards your target audience or demographic
  • Set up marketing automation afterward based on their behavior and interaction with the product

2. Use webinars to generate warm leads

Webinars are a way to incorporate door-to-door selling on a larger scale in today’s world.

For one, it establishes your business as a thought leader in your industry.

During this webinar, you can position your business while addressing any concerns they might have with your product or service.

However, don’t do this the generic way!

Some strategies we recommend when using a webinar to generate leads include:

  • Creating a webinar topic to target a specific problem or point your prospect might have
  • Adding an open-loop system that leaves them curious. For example, sharing that your approach would be easy and free would make them even more expectant
  • Keeping on-demand downloads in exchange for contact information, like Slack
  • In the webinar, use an attendee’s business to show a real-life example of how they can use your product or service to solve a problem

3. Create a helpful resource and send it

Content marketing drives three times more leads than any traditional marketing form.

That’s why you need to implement a content upgrade strategy to generate leads for your business. So don’t just stop at adding an email capture form at the end of your post, add an upgrade to it.

For example, if your blog post is about a personality type, a great upgrade would be a link to a personality quiz.

See how this business uses a cheat sheet on its podcast service page.

Tips for building your resource

  • Create an upgrade they can’t get anywhere else - let them be eager to try it out
  • Don’t use irrelevant content you worked on in the past - let the upgrade be highly relevant to the initial content
  • Follow up with your subscribers on that particular topic - create a separate segment and target them until they convert

4. Leverage social media networks like LinkedIn

Social media networks like LinkedIn are a great place to find cold leads, especially for sales teams.

This is because you can find decision-makers who would purchase your product or service.

So in addition to building your company page and your sales team’s LinkedIn, here are a few strategies we recommend when generating leads on LinkedIn

  • Take advantage of your connections - sending messages to your existing connections is way less spammy than calls. So review your connections to see if you have a lead in there
  • Explore various inMail formats and lead generation forms - Use the data to improve your ad targeting
  • Join groups and post frequently - that way you can learn more about your audience and use the knowledge to improve your lead-generation strategy

5. Give a personalized product demo

An effective product demo shows your value proposition and how it solves a user’s need at a given period.

This strategy is a way to reel in warm leads who have concerns they want to address.

Tips for an effective product demo strategy

  • Ask them what they expect on your demo request form - this gives you ample time to come up with solutions targeted to their needs
  • Make it interactive - some prospects prefer a self-service option. In that case, be prepared to guide them through it
  • Actively gather feedback during and after the demo to improve the experience for other prospects
  • Follow up after the demo - remember, your end goal is conversion

6. Hit the nail on the head in your cold emails

53% of marketers agree that emails are still the most effective lead-generation strategy but that implies that the average prospect gets a lot of cold mail every day.

So before setting up a long sequence that’ll end up getting ignored, here’s how to keep it simple and to the point:

  • Add social proof to verify your authenticity - this could be a link to your LinkedIn or company website
  • Include specifics - don’t just say you were looking through their profile. That already sounds like a template. What did you see in their profile?
  • Reference their pain point - what are you going to do for them? Why will it be worth their time?
  • Keep it under 120 words - they’ll close the email if it's any longer than that
  • Create an automated sequence to follow-up and engage with a multichannel approach

7. Never push for a sale on the first call

Cold calling still works. However, your first call shouldn’t immediately be pushing for a sale because that seems spammy.

Instead, focus on proffering solutions to their problems for free.

Like a tripwire, you can nudge them to build a relationship with you, then try out your product or service to see if they think it helps.

So a script could be something like “I know you already use your (current tool) but why don’t you play around with (my product) for a few days and see if it is something you might like later on?’

A Low-Cost & Effective Approach To Lead Generation

Lead generation especially on a large scale is a lot of work so you need a system that helps you find and nurture these leads.

Fortunately, there are now tools that help you source contact information, verify that these details are correct, reach out to these prospects, and nurture them until they finally convert.

However, rather than subscribing to multiple tools that can achieve this, we recommend using an all-in-one tool to save big on your sales budget. With lemlist, you can find leads and reach out to them on multiple platforms like emails, calls, and LinkedIn.

Start your lemlist free trial now and check out how it can help you.

lemlist team
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