What is Lead Generation? The Importance of Leads in 2024

Whether you’re selling products or services, marketing your business to the right audience is essential for you to ensure some solid conversions.

However, with billions of people globally, how would you know exactly who to approach? 

Lead generation lets you figure out exactly who is interested in what you’re offering.

We have researched extensively and compiled the best lead-generation techniques and strategies to help you target not just any customer but those who are actually willing to pay for what you’re offering.

What is a lead?

Before you jump straight into the lead generation strategies you can employ, it is essential that you understand first what a lead is. 

A lead is a person who expresses an interest in a business’s product or service offerings. These leads are usually contacted by businesses after they have engaged in some of the strategies an organization has employed.

For example, a lead may have come upon your business after taking advantage of a free trial you’re offering, filling out some forms, or giving you their contact information in exchange for a free e-book. 

You can use the information your leads provide to target and help address whatever problem they have instead of just calling random people out of the blue. 

However, not all leads are the same—they differ based on how they are qualified and what stage they’re already in. 

Different types of leads 

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)

Marketing Qualified Leads are those people who have engaged with your team’s efforts but still aren’t ready to receive a sales call from you. 

Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)

Sales-qualified leads are those contacts who have taken actions to expressly indicate their interest in becoming one of your paying customers. 

Product Qualified Leads (PQL)

Product Qualified Leads are those contacts who have used your product and have already taken actions to indicate their interest in becoming paying customers.

They are usually those who avail of your free trial offers or subscribe to the limited version of your services with the option to upgrade. 

Service Qualified Leads

Service Qualified Leads are those customers who have contacted your service team and indicated that they are interested in becoming paying customers.

This includes a customer who talks with your customer service representative to explain that they’d like to upgrade their product subscription. 

What is lead generation and how does it work?

Before we dive into the specifics, let us first answer one important question: what is lead generation?

Simply put, lead generation is all about the process of attracting potential customers to your business and increasing their interest by nurturing them until they reach the point that they become paying customers.

There are various ways to generate leads, including posting quality blog posts, hosting live events on your website, or offering free trials. 

Lead generation is basically finding unique and interesting ways to attract prospects to your business.

Instead of just telling everyone outright what you’re selling and what your business does, it is better to come up with a well-crafted lead-generation process to ensure that you are marketing your business to the right people.

In lead generation, you will work on warming up potential clients and customers to your business, which would later lead them to make a purchase. 

The lead generation process

The lead generation process usually goes this way:

  1. First, a visitor comes upon your business after discovering your website or seeing your business on social media.
  2. Then, that visitor clicks on your CTA (Call-To-Action), which could be in the form of an image, a button, or a message that encourages your site visitors to take action.
  3. After clicking your CTA, your site visitor is redirected to a landing page where their information will be collected in exchange for an offer which could be in the form of a course, an e-book, or live events. 

The process itself may seem short, but each step is composed of a wide range of sub-steps that, if done correctly, could help you generate quality leads who are willing to pay for what your business is offering. 

The importance of lead generation in business

Here are some of the reasons why lead generation is important in business:

Increased website visits and business sales

Employing the proper lead-generation strategies would help you identify potential customers who are actually interested in your products or services and are willing to pay for them. This means that effective lead generation leads to effective customer targeting, which leads to more revenue for your business.

Focusing on the most reliable and most profitable leads can yield a high ROI (Return On Investment) so you can make the most out of your sales and marketing budget. 

Cost effective strategy 

When compared with other traditional marketing methods, lead generation, when done right, is one of the most cost-efficient strategies to help you acquire new customers. 

After all, since you will be targeting specific audiences, you can minimize your spending on broad marketing campaigns. These specific individuals are those who have already expressed their interest in your business, so you can focus your efforts and resources on converting them rather than on convincing them. 

Better insight from customers

By employing the proper lead generation practices, you will be able to gain valuable insight into your target customers’ preferences, needs, behaviors, and the challenges they face. 

With this information on your hands, you can then improve your sales strategy, marketing efforts, product development and offerings, and customer service. 

Increased business visibility

Aside from increasing your ROI, a successful lead-generation process can also help you increase brand awareness and establish yourself as an industry leader in your field. 

With the proper outreach strategy stemming from lead generation, you can reach out to huge companies and, ultimately, build trust and credibility within your brand. 

The more customers you have, the more information about your business spreads, and the greater your business visibility will be. 

The best lead generation tactics and strategies

To help you attract potential customers and convert them into paying leads, we have rounded up 11 tried and tested lead-generation techniques you can use in crafting your strategy:

1. Improve your lead-generation landing pages

Your landing page is the first thing a potential customer will see upon visiting your site, so make sure to optimize it to help you increase traffic and conversions. 

First, ensure that you provide a great experience not just on desktops but especially on mobile phones. There’s nothing a user hates more than a website they can’t navigate when using their phones.

After all, you can’t expect your target customers to log in on their desktop computers just to check your website out. 

Aside from that, make sure that you will be providing a clear value proposition. This means explaining thoroughly what benefit a user will gain if they share their information with you.

Will they receive a free e-book? Will they be able to join a webinar you’ll be hosting on your website? 

Make sure that this is clearly stated, and give them the details on how they can claim these lead magnets.

2. Offer live customer support on your website

Aside from cluttered landing pages and a laggy website, another thing a user hates the most is customer support which takes hours or, worse, days to respond. As such, having live customer support is a must. 

Live chat makes it a dozen times easier for prospects to ask questions about your product or service offerings as they browse your website. This helps ensure that they just won’t leave your site if they don’t find whatever information it is that they need. 

Plus, live chats can help you capture customer data in real time. Your chatbot can be set to invite your website visitors to either request a demo or talk to an expert about their concerns. 

As the conversation moves forward, you can ask your prospects to discuss their concerns and ask for their contact information. This way, you can send them updates on their request or just to be able to inform them of any promotions you may have going on. 

3. Make lead generation forms optimized

Since your lead generation forms will collect your prospect’s information, it is essential that you get it right. First, you have to figure out which information to collect.

Remember that you will be using the information your target customers will be providing to improve your sales and marketing efforts, so make sure that you are asking the right questions. 

Some of the fields you can include in your lead generation form include your prospect’s full name, e-mail address, company and their role in the said company, and the country and state they’re in:

  • Full Name: This is the most important information you need so you can personalize your communication with every lead.
  • E-Mail: This is essential so you know how to reach your lead and contact them if you have updates or new promotions.
  • Company: This can help you research what industry they’re in and how you can help them with your products or services.
  • Role in the company: This information will help you craft your approach to communicating with them. Are they the decision-makers in the company? Are they in charge of managing accounts?
  • Country: This is essential to help you segment your leads by region and time zone.
  • State: Getting this additional information about your leads can help you qualify them.

As a rule, if your customer is still in the early stages of their customer journey (for example, they are just at the awareness stage), then your forms should be simpler.  A prospect who’s already invested in your offer is more likely to give extra details compared to those who have just discovered your business. 

Aside from the content, your lead generation form should also be easy to use and, of course, eye-catching.

4. Run lead-generation ads

Lead-generation ads are just like other online ads, except this one is designed to help you get your prospects to share their information with you. You can use different types of ads, such as paid search or display ads.

Some platforms like Facebook have this built-in, and you can use Lead Ads to collect your target users’ information.

5. Produce quality content

Content is king, and what better way to attract your prospects to your landing page than by creating free and useful content that would leave them wanting more?

You can publish articles, host podcasts, and create informative videos. Of course, don’t forget to include CTAs in the body of your content.

Remember that the happier your visitors are with the content they’re consuming, the more they will be persuaded to click on your CTAs and get redirected to your landing page. 

Aside from that, you can never go wrong with creating a high-value lead magnet. This gated content will only be accessible to users who share their information with you, and this may come in the form of e-books, templates, or free webinars.

6. Don’t forget about SEO

We all know the importance of SEO, and employing good SEO practices in your lead generation process will help you improve your rankings organically, which means increasing your business’ visibility. 

Search Engine Optimization will also give you a competitive advantage. The higher you rank for keywords that are relevant to your business, the more clicks you’ll get from your prospects.

7. Utilize reviews

When we say reviews, we’re not only talking about those generic, average-rating reviews but positive five-star reviews. It is in human nature to ask for their peer’s opinions or check for reviews online when deciding whether to make a purchase from a business they’re unfamiliar with or not. 

In fact, 99% of consumers check reviews when shopping online, and 96% of these customers look specifically for negative reviews. This just highlights how important positive reviews are to your business. 

Once a prospect sees your high ratings, it will instill a feeling of confidence in them, which can lead to a potential purchase. So, make sure that your satisfied customers leave in-depth, positive reviews on your site.

If needed, reach out to them via e-mail and personally ask for it instead of just sending a generic message. It would also pay to remember that you cannot please everyone.

In the case that you get a negative review, reach out to that customer as soon as possible and try to get to the bottom of their problem. 

If it’s something irreversible, offer them a discount or a freebie on their next purchase in exchange for them changing their negative review. 

It would also make them look forward to making another purchase, as they know they will be getting a discounted price or freebies once they do. This strategy is a win-win for both of you. 

8. Offer free trials

Whoever said the best things in life are free knew exactly what they were talking about.

Freebies are like YouTube clickbait (without the negative connotation)—they lure you in with their enticing thumbnails and interesting captions, and you watch the video until the end, waiting for the big reveal or the conclusion to some big news that was going around.

People love freebies because getting a free mug, a free dessert, or a free keychain without actually paying for anything gives them the feeling of satisfaction. 

The best thing is that these freebies encourage your prospects to put their foot in your door as they leverage the power of reciprocity. Whoever offers something first has the power to demand back something else (mostly of bigger value).

This means if you offer your prospects a free e-book, you can later on present to them an online course you designed with a detailed outline of exactly what they need. 

You gave them a bite with your free lead magnet (the e-book), and now, it’s time to offer them a piece (online course)—except now, it comes with a price.

9. Host online events on your site

Online events can involve free webinars or training courses. To make this an effective lead generation strategy, make sure to require your attendees to register for the event in advance.

This way, you can gather essential information about them (with their express permission, of course). 

Pre-registration also creates a sense of commitment and builds up anticipation, which can lead to higher engagement levels and participation. Just be sure to choose a topic that appeals to your target audience and is relevant to your business!

10. Utilize social media

Almost everyone in the world is on social media right now, and if you want to talk numbers, there are about 3.05 billion users on Facebook alone. 

This makes social media a great place for you to generate leads. 

Of course, you wouldn’t target all 3.05 billion users on Facebook. Aside from the fact that it is impossible, it is also a waste of time and resources—what you need are quality leads. 

Here are some of the best practices you can employ on social media:

  • Create a profile on the platform where your target audience or prospects hang out
  • Publish content that appeals to your target audience
  • Engage with your potential customers by answering questions and replying to their comments and queries
  • Monitor which posts perform well and adapt your strategy accordingly

11. Don’t underestimate business referrals from customers

Did you know that according to 78% of B2B marketers, referral programs generate excellent leads? This highlights the importance of creating a referral program to reward your existing customers for bringing in new ones to your business. 

Plus, it is also one of the least costly methods because once your program is up and running, your paying customers will be the ones to generate the leads for you. 

However, for this lead generation strategy to work, you must offer a strong incentive. Most businesses reward both the person who brought in the new customer and the new customer who was just brought in. 

Once again, this strategy emphasizes the importance of providing good quality service to your customers because, for obvious reasons, unhappy customers won’t recommend your business to their friends. 

Lead Generation Best Practices

Whatever tactic you employ, make sure to keep an eye out for these lead-generation best practices:

Perform audience research

You can’t just go on targeting whoever—you need to target the right people. 

Ensure that you define your target audience specifically so you can tailor your approach to suit their needs accordingly. 

Aim for the quality of leads over quantity

Garnering low-quality leads is just a waste of resources and a huge waste of time. 

With this said, ensure that you are focusing your attention on high-quality leads who will most likely generate revenue. 

This might mean narrowing your target audience, but as we mentioned, the quality of your leads is more important than the quantity.  If you can get high-quality leads in large volumes, then that would be a huge win. 

Use your target customers’ data responsibly

Since you will be collecting your customers’ sensitive data (like where they reside, their name, e-mail address, and sometimes, their phone numbers, too), you have to ensure that you are collecting these data properly and handling them with the utmost care.

Aside from the legal implications, doing this can build trust with your target audience. Only collect the essential data you need, and explain clearly how you will be using it. 

Measure your lead generation strategy’s results

It wouldn’t make sense to keep on strategizing if you won’t be able to track and measure your results. 

Identify and measure essential metrics to see which lead generation strategy proves effective for your business. In most cases, you’d need to focus on conversion rates or the percentage of website visitors that become leads. 

It would also be best to keep track of whatever lead generation strategy has proven effective for your business so you can replicate and improve it.

Don’t stick to one lead generation strategy

Business models, markets, and audiences change, which means it’s essential to review your lead generation strategy often and upgrade it as needed. 

Your strategy should be as dynamic as the potential customers you are targeting. As their behaviors and opinions change, so should your lead gen strategy. If needed, improve your site content, review your process, and update your customers’ information as needed.

Be consistent and deliver your promise to customers

Having new customers shouldn’t just be your goal—having recurring customers who bring in new prospects should be. 

Don’t stop putting in the effort after you’ve acquired new business customers, and ensure that you will deliver on your promise to them. 

Remember that lead generation is just the beginning, and after that comes other essential processes that you should employ to ensure that your business not only becomes visible to your target customers but generates substantial revenue too.

10 Tools You Can Use To Generate Leads

Here are some of the lead generation tools you can use to assist you in crafting your strategy:

HubSpot Marketing

HubSpot Marketing and its lead capture tool make the process of capturing, storing, and nurturing leads easier. Some of their tools include Live Chat, Pop Up Forms, and Chatbots, to name a few. 

With HubSpot’s easy-to-use tools, you can create content to hook visitors and capture high-quality leads, then nurture them until they become paying customers. 

This is one of the most used lead generation platforms on the market, and the best thing is they cater to all businesses regardless of size.

Price: Free, then can later on be upgraded to their paid tiers which range from $45 to $3,600/month, depending on your company size

Woorise

If you’re after an all-in-one lead-generation platform that allows you to create interactive campaigns, including landing pages, surveys, forms, quizzes, and giveaways, then Woorise is worth looking into. 

Aside from its modern landing page and forms builder, over 100 interactive templates, and built-in analytics, it can also be integrated with HubSpot, Facebook, Zapier, PayPal, Google Analytics, Stripe, and more.

Price: Basic Tier: $29/month, Pro Tier: up to $99+/month

Intercom

Intercom boasts of its onsite messaging and chat features that can help you engage with your website visitors and collect their information. 

With this easy-to-use tool, you can create message triggers to assist you with customer onboarding, support, and retention.

Price: Starts at $74/month

OmniChat by MobileMonkey

If you want more than just integrating a live chat feature for your website, then OmniChat by MobileMonkey can help you out.

This tool helps make lead capture, qualification, and nurturing easier, all thanks to its live chat feature that extends up to text messaging, as well as Messenger for Facebook and Instagram.

OmniChat is a multi-channel chatbot builder. It also serves as an automation platform that enables users to create chat campaigns and use them on various channels, unifying every customer support message in a streamlined inbox.

Price: Startup Tier: $119/month, Growth Tier: contact them to request for a quote

Paperform

Just like a Swiss army knife, Paperform is an all-in-one lead generation tool you can utilize in crafting your lead gen strategy, all thanks to its easy-to-design quizzes, pop-up forms, and surveys. 

If you’re feeling creative, you can add your brand assets and data from Adobe’s Cloud library to Paperform and even make some tweaks in the images, fonts, and colors. 

Price: Essentials Tier: starts at $24/month, Agency Tier: up to $159/month

Mailshake

If you’re interested in e-mail outreach to help increase your business sales and website visibility, then make sure to check Mailshake out. 

This lead generation tool helps users personalize, automate, and optimize cold emails. 

Aside from lead generation, this tool can also be useful in promoting your content, for link-building purposes, and for PR outreach. 

Price: E-Mail Outreach Tier: starts at $58/month per user, Sales Engagement Tier: starts at $83/month per user

HotJar

Seeing as customer analytics experience is one important process in lead generation, HotJar is one great tool that can help you with this.

From analytics to on-site polls, their features serve as a double-edged sword, as you can collect customer feedback and get their e-mail address so you can send them future promotions too. 

Price: Basic Tier: Free, Business Tier: starts at $80/month

Pointerpro (formerly Survey Anyplace)

We’re very well aware that forms and surveys are used to collect data and information from customers; however, the customers usually walk away without getting anything in return. 

Pointerpro has almost every feature to help keep your business sales machine up and running.

This advanced survey tool gives respondents a personalized PDF report based on how they answered the survey questions. This could be in the form of detailed offerings, the best product or service that would suit their needs based on their answers or any essential information they may want to have. 

With the right data, Pointepro can turn cold prospects into warmed-up leads after a couple of clicks. 

Price: Essential Tier: starts at $49/month, Enterprise Tier: contact them for a quote

Zuko (formerly Formisimo)

Zuko helps businesses optimize their lead generation forms. Aside from that, they provide detailed form analytics, and you can segment each report based on the device your customers are using (whether it’s mobile, desktop, or tablet). 

Aside from that, you can gain tips and ideas on how you can improve the quality of your forms and share this data with your other team members. 

Price: Offers a 7-day free trial; after that, their tiers range from $140 to $700/month. If you’re a business enterprise, you need to contact them for a quote.

Datanyze

Datanyze is a data company focusing on technographics. Basically, this lead generation tool helps you discover the tools your customers, website visitors, and prospects are using. 

Just imagine if you knew exactly that your website visitor is using the product or services of your direct competitor. This can help you improve your landing pages based on what you see as effective, customize your website, or improve your CTAs.

Price: 90-day free trial, Paid Tiers range from $20 to $39/month.

Conclusion

May the lead generation strategies, techniques, and tools we shared here prove useful in helping you gain high-quality leads. 

In case the lead gen process is sort of new to you, you can always employ the help of lead generation specialists.

We at Learo can promise you one thing—we’ll keep your business phone ringing, your e-mail busy, and your pipeline filled with nothing but quality leads. 

Our team makes sure that we stay up to date with the latest trends and that we constantly improve our strategies so we can keep up with your customer’s ever-changing needs. 

At Learo, we don’t just consider ourselves as your “service provider”—instead, we view ourselves as your trusted partner, and we are just as invested in your business’ success as you are.

It’s time to increase your brand’s visibility, reach the right people, and take your business to the next level!

FAQs

What is the fastest way to generate leads?

If you want to generate leads fast, you can employ the following lead-generation strategies: maximize referrals, increase your online visibility, be active on social media, ask your customers for feedback, and utilize live chat support on your website. 

Why do we need to generate leads?

Businesses need to generate high-quality leads because they are the potential customers who can generate revenue for your business. 

These leads are the ones who are actually interested in what your business is offering and have the tendency to become paying customers.

Who needs lead generation?

Businesses need to utilize lead-generation strategies to increase brand awareness and reach, reduce their marketing costs, and grow their sales pipeline and revenues. 

Play Video