Do you know how important lead generation is to your company's success?
Sticking exclusively to outbound strategies like cold calling and email marketing might occasionally feel like hitting a brick wall.
It's time to break through that wall and explore the world of inbound marketing and other effective lead-generation methods.
Diversifying your lead generation strategy is vital to attracting new leads.
In this article, we'll explore the different types of lead generation, including inbound, outbound, and other creative methods.
Get ready to restructure your content strategy and produce more leads of the highest caliber ever!
An Overview of Lead Generation
You've probably heard the phrase lead generation often, but what exactly is it, and what should you know before starting your effective lead generation campaign?
Let's explore together what a lead is and what lead generation entails.
What is a Lead?
Why is it crucial for businesses to produce leads, and what exactly is a lead?
A lead is a prospective customer who has shown interest in your goods or services.
This could involve anything from downloading an ebook to attending a webinar or submitting a contact form on your website.
But why are leads worth so much? Because a lead has the potential to become a future client.
Businesses may turn leads into paying clients by nurturing and guiding them along the sales funnel.
Many companies are willing to spend a lot of money on lead generation.
According to recent lead-generation statistics, 74% of the marketers available are already spending more than $50 on each lead-generation channel they use.
And 5% of marketers spend over $1000 on each lead generated.
Therefore, to maintain a high conversion rate in digital marketing, sales teams must convert as many leads as possible.
As a result, we need to discuss what precisely the lead generation concept is.
Understanding the Concept of Lead Generation
Lead generation serves as a technique to acquaint potential customers with your company and set them on the path to eventual purchase.
Looking back at the evolution of lead generation, you will only imagine what companies would do to attain contacts for targeting. They used to go a long way and purchase the consumers' of interest contact sheets that they would then use for sales.
And we can both agree that lead generation has evolved to modern, digitized, and easy lead generation.
But are you familiar with the types of leads available?
Let's explore them below.
Types of Leads
Do you know the various types of leads?
Zig Zigler spills the whole truth that you are out of business if you have no prospects.
Every company aspires to be capable of promoting its goods and services to consumers who will pay attention.
For instance, a company that provides artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions would want to refrain from introducing college students to its services when they are just starting.
Selling a solution with conducting adequate research would be worthwhile for all parties involved because you would only be wasting your time and their time.
Instead, they would approach the people and companies most likely to purchase their products.
They are also called sales leads in the business world, which can take many different shapes.
Remember that a lead is an individual and not the whole company.
You may think of a lead as someone who:
- Shown a desire for your goods and services
- Provided you with their contact details
- Took part in a webinar you hosted
- Downloaded a free guide from your website
Let's look into the different types of leads because this is how you know who is in your funnel.
Based on Interest
One way to organize leads is by dividing them into two groups based on their level of interest.
Warm or Inbound leads
Warm leads, which are also referred to as inbound leads, are potential customers who have already expressed interest in your business and have found you on their own.
An example of such a lead could be someone who has stumbled upon your blog post and has reached out to you directly. These types of leads are considered warm because they have initiated the conversation and have shown a genuine interest in what you have to offer.
Cold or Outbound Leads
Conversely, when it comes to leads, cold or outbound leads are a particular group that is formed through the implementation of lead-generation tools or by utilizing your company's targeting strategy.
These leads are not actively seeking out your company or its products or services, but rather have been identified as potential customers based on their demographics or behavior.
Based on Enrichment
Lead data determines the second category. You can separate them into two subgroups based on your data:
Non-enriched leads have limited information. They usually have a name, email address, or phone number (one contact method).
Enriched leads include additional information that you can use for personalization and multichannel marketing, such as secondary contact data, firm name, location, job position, pain areas, and so on.
Based on Qualification
This type defines leads depending on their qualification and stage in the sales funnel:
Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
The marketing qualified lead (MQL) is interested in you but isn’t set yet in having a chat with you.
They do this subscribing to your blog or newsletters, or signed up for your lead magnet in exchange for their contact information.
Sales-qualified Lead (SQL)
A Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) is someone who has taken a genuine interest in your product or service. They are closer to becoming a paying customer.
These leads may leave their contact information or may also schedule a demo call with you.
Product Qualified Lead (PQL)
A product-qualified lead (PQL) has taken action to become a paying customer.
They are similar to SQLs with one exception: PQLs are typically used by organizations that give out free trials.
These leads may utilize your free trial, but they inquire about features only available with paid subscriptions.
Information Qualified Lead (IQL)
An Information Qualified Lead (IQL) is a lead who shares their contact information in exchange for relevant information.
Now that we've covered the different types of leads, let's look at the lead generation categories.
Categories of Lead Generation
Each company has a way that works for them to generate leads.
According to Hubspot's research, 53% of surveyed marketers confirmed that inbound marketing generates a higher return for their firms than outbound marketing.
18% mentioned that they do not calculate ROI.
Also, according to the respondents, 16% indicated outbound marketing has a more significant return than inbound marketing.
So which strategy in lead generation works for your company?
Let's get into the details.
The style into which you attract your leads can be categorized into the following:
Outbound lead generation occurs when your marketing message interrupts a potential lead's daily content consumption.
It is, in essence, any one-way communication method that attempts to generate leads by capturing people's attention.
Some ways to get leads from the outside are through pop-up ads on websites, telemarketing, cold emails, and ads in traditional media.
Inbound marketing is any method that encourages potential leads to contact you to learn more about your company's product or service.
Your company's website, blog, contact forms, and social media posts are examples of inbound methods.
3. Paid Third Party
The term third-party lead generation describes the process of obtaining prospective customers from other sources.
Such sources include content distribution networks, lead brokers, lead generation companies, and list providers.
With targeted campaigns and data analytics, these organizations frequently offer access to pre-qualified leads.
Events are essential for lead generation because 73% of companies use them to generate leads.
Attending events is one of many ways to participate; you can also do so by booking a business stand at your niche event or hosting one.
5. Branding and Advertising
Branding and advertising are among the ways that generate leads for most businesses.
Also, 33% of marketers use paid advertising to achieve brand awareness.
Whenever a business contributes to the community, it receives something in return, significantly increasing the leads generated.
6. Direct Mail
Because it can raise brand awareness and conversion rates, direct mail gets more responses because 42% of companies use them to generate leads.
Significant retailers and B2B companies integrate lead generation systems, and customers trust friends' recommendations and close connections to generate leads.
Statistically, 38% of agencies embrace referrals as the best lead-generation method.
Public relations (PR) is essential for building relationships with people based on trust and human connection, leading to increased word of mouth and valuable customer relationships.
For 117 B2B companies across five years: the 2016-2021 report depicted that 62% of ROI was generated from PR as a lead generation strategy.
Now that we’ve covered the different lead generation categories, let's look at specific types within inbound and outbound lead generation.
Let's first look at the types of outbound lead generation.
Types of Outbound Lead Generation
Outbound lead generation is a low-cost means of communicating with potential customers who may need to know the company's product or service.
1. Direct Mail
It is important to deliver direct mail to the right people to generate leads, and it is vital to make the recipient feel irresistible to get their attention.
Advertising is becoming increasingly important in the digital age and can be an effective outbound lead-generation tool with both online and offline advertisements.
Most online ads are on Google and Facebook, while radio and print ads are more common offline.
3. Cold Outreach
Cold outreach is contacting or reaching out to people who are unrelated to your business via email.
The email will inform them about your service or product and extend an offer.
4. Email Marketing
Cold email is one of the most cost-friendly and practical outbound marketing.
With this method, sales development representatives (SDRs) send prospects email messages encouraging engagement and conversation.
Outbound email is such a powerful lead-generation tool that many B2B organizations utilize it as their primary lead source in conjunction with sales automation software.
Prospects gain from the most successful types of outbound email.
SDRs must outline how their product can add value to a prospect's business while showing versatility.
Now let's look at types of inbound lead generation.
Types of Inbound Lead Generation
Inbound lead generation, as previously stated, is when a company publishes targeted content to appeal to its ideal customer.
This content focuses on pushing the prospect into action-starting a two-way relationship that eventually results in a sale.
1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
While it's crucial to produce valuable content, SEO is one lead-generation strategy frequently overlooked.
Like the one you're reading right now, articles (or blogs) are an excellent way for search engines to find leads.
This way, you can establish your brand as an authority in your industry.
Statistics show that 61% of marketers rank SEO efforts and increase organic visibility as their top inbound marketing priority.
Therefore, you can draw in and convert more inbound prospects with SEO. Do this by writing blogs that add value with your ideal reader in mind.
Include these items in your SEO:
- Effective CTA
What action do you want the people who are your target audience to take after reading or watching your content?
- Quality Content
Ensure your content is informative and of a high standard, no matter what kind you produce.
The probability that potential customers will be interested in what you have to offer increases if your content is dependable and helpful.
The more relevant the content, the higher the probability that a potential customer will interact with it.
2. Content Marketing
Content marketing is the engine behind an effective inbound campaign.
Blogs, eBooks, and videos are just a few examples of content types helpful in educating, informing, and delighting your prospects.
If your content is valuable, prospects will continue to read it by signing up for more content, which gives you their contact information, turning them into leads.
3. Website Presentation
There are many ways to increase traffic to websites and blogs.
Even so, you still need to turn that worthwhile traffic into leads.
Unfortunately, most websites for professional services need to be better suited to accomplish this.
On the other hand, a lead-generating website makes it simple for a visitor to comprehend what you read, watch, or download as educational materials, and reach out if they have a need.
4. Social Media Marketing
The top lead generation businesses on social media create brands and B2B marketing campaigns.
While developing a brand, these businesses continuously monitor and optimize campaigns from various lead sources.
Social media is essential to any inbound lead generation strategy if you want to emulate its success.
The fact that social selling is the top sales tactic used by almost 90% of top-performing salespeople is not surprising. (See the diagram below)
Why not try it too?
5. Product Video and Webinars
Webinars offer almost all the same benefits as in-person educational sessions and many new ones.
You can show how knowledgeable you are, answer questions, and get to know your audience just like at a live seminar or training session.
You can also ask people for their contact information to send them relevant offers later.
Try collaborating with a partner in a related industry who also serves your audience.
They will bring their audience to the event, extending your reach.
On the other hand, video is the best inbound marketing channel for professional services organizations.
It allows your audience to see and hear your specialists in a controlled environment.
Potential clients can taste what it's like to work with your organization before they buy.
That's quite effective.
6. PPC Advertising
Although some lead sources generate leads organically, pay-per-click (PPC) is a more expensive lead generation method.
With the performance team you have, it's a quick way to establish your brand and get in front of potential customers who may have already shown some interest.
Pay-per-click means you will be charged each time a user clicks on one of your online advertisements.
After discussing the various types of lead generation, we will now focus on the types of lead generation content that can be used for landing pages.
Your landing page likely is to blame if conversion rates are low despite high traffic levels.
Here are things you can place behind a landing page to help you attract new leads that can shake up your content balance.
Ebooks may generate leads, educate prospects, and build industry credibility. Choose a topic to help prospects progress from reading the ebook to having a good sales discussion.
Ebooks may generate leads, educate prospects, and build industry credibility.
Choose a topic to help prospects go from downloading the ebook to talking to a salesperson.
Free trials without risk, obligation, or credit card can help establish consumer loyalty.
Prospects need merely fill out a form.
Calls-to-action on key parts of your website, such as the main page, explain the product or service, and make it easy for visitors to book a demo with your staff.
Contests are fun and can teach people about your product, increase outreach, and create leads.
Websites and social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram can host contests.
6. Cheat Sheets
Cheat sheets are brief, bookmarkable offers. They should have clear headers and little detail for easy reference.
A good landing page should have no navigation and only relevant text and images.
Checklists can be printed or downloaded from a landing page. Use bright headers and a brief copy.
A multi-part email series is sent to a subscriber. It sends fewer emails than an email subscription.
9. Email Signups
Business blogging increases website traffic and leads. How do blog readers become leads?
Ultimate guides are long and detailed, including screenshots, explanations, and step-by-step directions.
Simple guidelines are shorter and more straightforward.
You can also provide tactical, pocket, beginner, and advanced manuals.
Common denominator? Most are tutorials with step-by-step directions.
Ask for their email address and turn them into subscribers. A one-step form on your blog makes subscribing easy.
By combining comparable offerings, they're perfect for repurposing content.
You're giving additional company information and media in exchange for contact information.
11. Firsthand Research
Data and analytics are increasingly valuable as many areas become data-intensive.
Original, data-heavy industry studies can create audience trust if your team has the capacity. Curating them involves time, resources, and skill.
Surveying subscribers, leads, consumers, and industry professionals is a cheap way to gather unique data and research.
You may grow an audience, demonstrate your brand's expertise, and show off your company's individuality using podcasts.
They voice your brand.
You only need a good microphone and a smart but entertaining emcee to keep your audience tuned in.
Asking listeners to subscribe to podcast updates is a great way to generate leads.
Because the latest statistics from Music Oomph show that of all podcast listeners that use their smartphones to access podcasts, 54% are on Apple's iOS environment (i.e., use iPhones), and 43% use Android.
The statistics assure you of a good audience for your brand.
Grab such opportunities to generate leads for your brand.
Some marketers share SlideShares without forms because they drive traffic like blog posts.
You can still share information for a SlideShare download. Good SlideShares can easily convert readers into leads.
Templates give readers a foundation for developing original content. Calendars, workbooks, and other templates can help varied audiences.
Are you hosting a seminar, meet-and-greet, or speaking to an event?
Ask attendees for their details so you can send or email tickets and have ID badges ready for them at your event.
This way, you may follow up with participants about similar events, strategies to connect with people they met at the event, and where to download stuff they saw there.
Follow-up messages can include calls to action asking them to follow you on social media or subscribe to other content.
Interactive tools are hard to make but worth it if they serve your audience.
Webinars introduce prospects to industry thought leadership and identify you as an expert.
A well-planned and promoted webinar can create high-quality leads, but it requires much work.
Whitepapers and ebooks are casual, design-heavy, in-depth information.
Academic whitepapers persuade.
They offer an issue and solve it.
They are authoritative, detailed, and informative.
Whitepapers are valuable since every audience needs to know their industry details.
Why Your Business Needs Lead Generation
Do you wonder why you must put in so much work to get good leads for your business?
All sales marketers know that not all leads convert to deals. This is why the primary goal in lead generation is to get quality leads into your sales funnel.
Eventually, this enables businesses to develop a means of generating more revenue.
So why get high-quality leads?
It can help you to:
Choose the Right Audience
You target specific customers more likely to purchase your goods or service.
This saves time and money while optimizing your company's processes and increasing sales.
Increase Brand Recognition
In order to attract and engage potential customers, it's important to share information about your organization and what it has to offer.
You can do this by reaching out to them proactively or by highlighting the unique features and benefits of your product. By taking a friendly and informative approach, you can build strong relationships with new leads and help them learn more about how your organization can meet their needs.
Get useful Information
Generally, lead generation involves gathering information about your prospective clients, their wants and requirements, and your competition.
This assists you in improving your product or service so that it can compete in the market.
Increase your Revenue
Your organization might generate more revenue than expected with an efficient lead-generation strategy.
To successfully implement a lead-generation strategy tailored to your business, determine which type of lead generation is most appropriate for your business needs.
What Type of Lead Generation Should You Go For?
As a rule, concentrate on the person most likely to close the deal.
This indicates that a hot lead requires more attention than a warm one, a SQL deserves more follow-ups than an MQL, etc.
Knowing the fundamental differences between the different sorts of leads is vital to bringing in sales and not wasting time on dead ones.
Final Thoughts on Lead Generation
Getting leads is important to running a successful business.
Because the more leads you convert, the more revenue your company generates.
As we've already discussed, there are two main ways to get leads.
They are either inbound or outbound.
Your company may prefer one to another because it works for you.
As a lead generation company, AI bees uses AI-powered solutions to find and talk to potential customers, increasing your company's conversion rates and sales.
Whether your business is new or well-established, AI-bees' innovative approach to lead generation will help it grow and thrive in today's cutthroat market.
Relax and contact us immediately to take advantage of our high lead conversion rates and expertise.