What is a lead?
A lead in marketing terms means any person who has shown interest in whatever a company is selling or whatever services they are providing.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that they have bought or that they will buy, but they are prospects and will potentially make a buy in the future.
What is lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of attracting and further gaining the interest of potential customers in other to sell to them, and this also includes sorting and categorizing the leads depending on platforms or process through which they were acquired.
In recent times many brands make use of various lead generation strategies to sort through a crowd of people in other to conclude on who their prospects are.
Suffix to say before the digital era, when the internet was not yet a thing, many companies had to make the gamble of cold calling lots of people in the hopes that they will be interested in their services or products, and this consumed a lot of time and mostly yielded little results.
However, fast forwards now in this digital age it is way easier to know where your prospects will be and go there to find them, this could be through knowing an influencer that does things related to your business, a social media page that posts contents that relates to your niche or even based off of the location where an influencer is located.
More so, you could make use of social media advertising like Facebook, google or twitter adverts. With these tools you can specifically target any give niche and demography that you like.
All this above mentioned means are possible because people spend so much time online and thus, it has become easy to know where attention lies.
However, in other for companies to take advantage of this opportunities they also have to have a strong presence online through which they can funnel this leads to their database.
This is usually best achieved by companies having a web presence and posting marketing contents on their websites, having a webform, implementing search engine optimization, posting related contents and offers on their social media pages, having a landing page that collects emails to its own newsletter, and many more.
Salesforce’s State of Marketing report, has it that the top three channels with the highest lead ROI in lead generation are Influencers, Social publishing/advertising and websites.
As you already know by now, there are many strategies that can be employed when it comes to attracting potential customers to a product or offers, depending on which one a company or individual prefers to use based on their industry, they are all effective and this could be the use of;
Live events and Seminars
With all the various lead acquisition channels that has been listed above it has actually become easy to generate large quantity of leads, however, it is important and economically sound to work with quality leads.
Focusing on high quality leads helps take away the hit-n-miss kind of process whereby resources are poured into marketing to a bunch of supposed leads and not getting an encouraging return.
However, when you focus on quality leads, the conversion rate goes up and you make more sales and improve on your ROI in the long run.
To determine the quality of a lead, it is important to go through the source of the lead, if for example the leads where acquired through a lead generation campaign, chances are that the campaign will be focused on the desired qualities that the company expects from the leads and it is based on these qualities that the lead was acquired in the first place.
However, for leads generated through some other means where the analytics like demography, interests, financials capacity and many more metrics can not be easily assessed and studied in regards the desired qualities that the company expects from it prospects, then it becomes a case of gambling assumptions.
Types of leads
Leads can easily be categorized into various types depending on what stage in the marketing funnel they are at and this includes;
This type of leads consist of people who you know something about and consider to be potential customers.
These ranges from those who has had any interactions with your business in any way shape or form like; visiting your website, subscribing to your mailing list, to visiting your store at any time and you collected their email.
This type of lead consists of those that you are already having a relationship with.
This relationship could be through them following your page on social media and so they could see your post and activities or they subscribed to your newsletter and so they are getting updates from you or even having a direct phone conversation.
This type of leads consists of people who are not necessary ready to buy from you now, but could buy later in the future.
The goal at this stage is to remain relevant and Top-of-the-Mind for the prospects so that when they need to make the purchase in the future they will remember to patronize your company and product.
Keeping in touch with this type of leads could be through sending them new information of discounts and promotions through newsletter, inviting them for webinars and product launches.
In doing this it ensures that the prospects know more about your company and also the options that you offer through your products and hopefully it will help them make a quick decision when it comes to buying any of your products.
These are the types of leads that you will be better off letting go because they have shown no interest In your products and offers.
Further marketing to these leads could mean a waste of marketing resources because they are considered dead leads.
This set of leads are the ideal leads that have shown interest and wants to do business with you.
These leads lead to sales because they are at the stage that are ready to give you their money in exchange for your products or services because they have seen the products/services and are convinced that they need it.
They are the best leads that can keep a business afloat and profitable with good ROI.