What is a lead?

lead magnet

A Sales Lead or prospect is a user who shows interest in your product or service and who is very likely to become a client, that is, to make a purchase or hire a service. This interest is shown by sharing their contact details with you –like their email or social networks profile, so that you can send them additional information.

This definition may vary slightly depending on the industry. For instance, for some companies a Lead is a user about to make a purchase, while in digital marketing a Lead is just any user providing their contact details.

Beyond these differences, it’s generally accepted that a lead is a user who has entered our sales funnel and is subject to our follow-up.

What are leads for?

In modern digital marketing, the amount of information available give consumers the opportunity to research for themselves in social networks, shopping guides, to compare prices on different websites, to watch videos from other users, among others –anything that they might need to know before making a purchase.

Actually, it’s highly probable that most consumers have already walked about 60 to 90% of the buyer’s journey by the time they come into contact with you. Though having all that information at the other end of the screen is like strolling along an endless corridor of showcases, with no interaction whatsoever.

Leads generation is kindly inviting them to come over the counter and start a dialogue so that you can offer information and special deals that might be of their interest. Basically, leads are meant to assist your potential clients.

How are leads generated?

Leads generation is not just about harvesting emails from all your visitors, but just from those who might turn into potential clients. Typically, these users get to your website through search engine marketing (SEM) or a Google search (SEO), looking forward to your information.

Those driven by advertising get to a landing page which invites them to sign up by means of persuasive writing, in exchange for some benefits. On the other hand, those coming from SEO are offered additional content with extra value (such as a downloadable post or a multimedia tool) in exchange for their contact details. Those invitations are currently called “Lead magnets”.

Once you’ve built up a database of leads, these are divided and classified into three sections of the sales funnel, in order to send them information and special deals that might prove most effective.

How many leads should I generate?

The ultimate purpose of marketing is increasing your sales, so the amount of leads you get isn’t actually as important as their quality.

It’s really easy to generate lots of “leads” through certain ethically dubious techniques, such as Lead Shaming or false promises, but most probably almost every user providing their email by this means will report your messages as spam at once. These invasive practices usually just lead to rejection on behalf of users who are really worthy.

That is why, although it’s a good idea to establish an objective of leads depending on your traffic indicators, it’s even more important to know the needs of your Buyer persona and to set a conversion rate as a goal.

Do you need help with lead generation?

Leads generation is a very usual objective in digital marketing campaigns. At Workana you can find, in a few minutes, self-employed pros with large experience in the development of efficient marketing campaigns.

An online marketing expert can decide which type of lead magnets needs to be developed by your business, and where to put them. A freelance graphic designer will help you apply appealing designs to those lead magnets (for example, a window with a data collection form).

Besides, a copywriter (or a commercial writer) will work on the writing of short though persuasive texts to increase the users’ interest. Moreover, a web developer will enable operation of the lead magnet on the site and the database.

Keep learning

Leads generation is one of the largest and most complex topics of inbound marketing. Below you’ll find a list of some amazing resources:

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