Lead Marketing: Brief Summary
Lead marketing, sometimes referred to as lead generation marketing, is primarily a digital marketing strategy, which is used to try to convert potential customers, who are interested in products or services, into active or paying customers. The strategy itself tends to focus on capturing personal data, such as contact information, which should be supplied willingly. This can then be used further along the sales cycle, in order to try to generate sales.
One of the reasons businesses are increasingly interested in lead marketing is because it is less overtly promotional than many other marketing strategies. This is important because a lot of potential customers are now far more resistant to promotional content and treat it with far greater scepticism than in the past. Indeed, an effective lead marketing strategy will attempt to establish a relationship with a lead before any sales pitch is made.
Lead Marketing: Detailed Summary
To fully understand the concept of lead generation marketing, it is first necessary to explain what a “lead” is. Put simply, a lead is an individual or organisation that expresses an interest in the products or services of a business. In order to capture a lead, the business needs to obtain personal information or contract details. Once this information has been obtained, the lead can be moved into the sales cycle and actively pursued.
Many businesses utilise a broad range of marketing strategies, in a direct effort to generate and capture leads. This practice is what is referred to as lead marketing, or lead generation marketing. Generally, the purpose of lead marketing will be to encourage the potential customer to sign up for something, or to otherwise voluntarily provide personal information. This then allows them to be personally and individually targeted in the pursuit of a sale.
However, this process presents challenges, because customers are usually unwilling to volunteer contact details without a good reason to do so. Modern consumers are also far more cynical towards marketing messages and tend to see through them more easily than in the past. Therefore, a successful lead marketing strategy needs to generate trust and make it seem worthwhile for the potential customer to volunteer their information.
Professionals, who use lead marketing effectively, understand the importance of developing a deeper relationship with potential customers before making an eventual sales pitch, as this makes the sale more likely. With this in mind, a lot of lead marketing content is designed specifically to be of use to the potential customer, or to educate them in some way, ensuring they feel they are getting something out of the relationship too.
Lead marketing itself is an umbrella term, which encompasses a wide range of different marketing strategies and channels, including email marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing and network marketing. Furthermore, certain direct marketing techniques can also have a role to play, as long as they are designed to capture leads.
Lead Marketing Strategies
As previously stated, a number of marketing strategies fall underneath the wider lead marketing umbrella. Indeed, marketers use a range of different techniques and channels to generate consumer interest and capture contact information, all with a view of bringing potential customers into the sales funnel. Some of the main marketing strategies that businesses use to capture leads are explained in greater detail below:
- Content Marketing – Articles, blog posts and other examples of online content can be used for the purposes of lead generation by attracting potential customers and establishing a relationship with them. These types of content can easily be accompanied by sign up or subscription form. Similarly, e-books, white papers, research documents and videos can be offered for download, in exchange for contact details.Social Media Marketing – Social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, are ideal for lead generation marketing, because they offer numerous ways to engage with potential customers, from text and image-based content, through to videos and competitions. In many cases, potential customers can also express their interest through the click of a single ‘like’ or ‘follow’ button, rather than filling out a form.Search Marketing – Search engine optimisation techniques and paid search advertising methods can be used for the purposes of lead generation. In both cases, the main way this can be achieved is by directing potential customers to carefully tailored landing pages. The content on these landing pages can then be crafted to attract further interest and can include a sign-up form for acquiring personal information.
Email Marketing – Newsletters and other forms of email marketing are an excellent way of generating leads. In most cases, the business will specifically request that interested individuals sign up for their email marketing campaign, as this avoids accusations of spam. Once an individual signs up, they are effectively expressing an interest in what the business has to offer, and emails can start to push sales messages.
Affiliate Marketing – Finally, affiliate marketing schemes work by allowing advertisers to promote their content on other business’ websites, and this too can also be used for lead generation purposes. Indeed, some affiliate networks even offer financial rewards for websites that are able to successfully generate leads for other businesses in the same network, whether through banner ads, content marketing, or other methods.
While lead marketing is generally used to describe online or digital marketing techniques, it is important to be aware that some offline methods may also be classed as examples of lead marketing. These can include certain forms of telephone marketing, as well as things like experiential marketing. In fact, one of the most effective ways that many businesses generate leads is through trade show or exhibition marketing, which takes place in-person.
In the modern age, with consumers being more aware of traditional marketing techniques and more cynical towards them, lead marketing plays an increasingly important role in the marketing mix. Put simply, lead marketing is a catch-all term for the various marketing strategies that are designed to initiate consumer interest and capture leads. This is almost always done by obtaining personal information, contact details, or other user data.
The process itself is typically based on a two-way relationship being formed. Once leads have been captured, they can be actively pursued, with the goal of turning them into paying customers. Lead marketing encompasses a wide range of different techniques and channels, but some of the most popular and effective methods include: content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, network marketing, search marketing and affiliate marketing.