In many ways, leads are the bread and butter for any business. It is impossible to have a customer without them first being a lead, which is why lead generation is the critical point of your Inbound Marketing efforts.
What is a Lead and Lead Generation?
When we use the word “lead,” we mean a person who has expressed interest in your product or service. This interest is shown by downloading an offer, filling out a form, or requesting more information about your product or service. The whole goal of Inbound Marketing is to attract visitors to your website and turn them into leads.
Why? Because leads have a great potential to turn into customers. And every business needs customers.
Lead Generation is simply the process of attracting visitors to your business and turning them into leads. Lead Generation is the first step of a greater strategy to create customers who are passionate about your business and will promote it.
Hubspot defines the process of Inbound Marketing in this way: Attract, Convert, Close, Delight.
In this stage, strangers become visitors for the first time. This is accomplished through your branding, website, use of keywords, blog, and social media platforms.
Visitors to your site have a choice: either continue a relationship with you, or leave and never come back. There are things you can do to encourage them to stay and get to know you better. The process of taking a visitor to your site and discovering their desire for more information about your business is where a visitor becomes a lead. This occurs through a valuable offer, a form they must fill out, and a landing page to hold it all together.
A lead is not a customer. A lead is someone who has expressed interest in your product or service, but it is not someone who has committed to a purchase. You can have 100 different leads and make zero dollars until you nurture your relationship with them and they choose to buy from you. This nurturing occurs through emails, additional offers, and phone calls (depending on your product or service). It’s important to stress that building this relationship takes time. Inbound Marketing is not a quick fix. Instead, it requires time and effort to build a relationship with quality leads who will become lifelong customers.
Once a lead becomes a customer, you are not finished. You have the opportunity to take them from a customer to a promoter of your business: someone who will gladly share about you to friends and family. The way to create people who are passionate about your business is by continuing to provide them great value. Create special offers and discounts for them, continue to offer valuable information, and commit to the best customer service possible.
How Do You Generate Leads?
Now that we’ve looked at the necessary steps to take someone from being a stranger to being a promoter of your business, we’re going to look closely at the Convert Stage, the point when a visitor turns into a lead.
The Reader’s Digest version is that a visitor to your site becomes a lead after willingly trading their contact information for a valuable offer. The actual process is a little more complex, involving the creation of the valuable offer, a form, a landing page, and a Call-to-Action (CTA). We’re going to give an in-depth exploration of each of these components in the months ahead.
We’ve created a helpful offer to walk you through the different components of generating leads. To download it, click the image below!