Lead Generation Definition
To get to the bottom of the question of what is lead generation, I think it would be prudent to start by providing a root definition of the term. At its core, online lead generation involves the usage of a variety of Internet marketing disciplines including but not limited to organic search, paid search, and mobile marketing to provide visibility for actionable landing pages like forms or tap to call links. These actionable landing pages focus on aligning with relevant end users searches or in network environments that present solutions for the end user. After gaining the interest of the end user, he or she is presented with the option of completing a short form of qualifying questions or engaging in a phone call to gain more information on the relevant product or service. In short, I define lead generation as follows:
“Lead Generation is defined by the actions of marketing that encourage the expression of interest by a prospective consumer and ultimately leads to the capture of key opt in data points from the prospect that allow for follow up.” – Andrew Bart, Founder & EVP of Digital Strategy at Pop Results
Lead Generation Means Being Visible And Asking The Right Questions
The aforementioned definition relies first and foremost, on achieving visibility for the applicable landing pages or actionable display ads. To accomplish this task, it is important to first identify the most cost effective path for doing so. The answer could be a paid search, on page seo or off page seo seo campaign or through establishing a partnership with display ad networks. At the of the day, it is likely going to be a combination of one or more if not all of those options but, starting with one option is usually the best way to launch a lead generation campaign.
Secondly, once you have developed the lead generation marketing strategies that you intend to use to gain visibility for your landing pages or display ads, the next step is ensure that you present the most efficient and effective questions to the potential prospect. For example, if you are attempting to generate leads for pet health insurance, to generate a prequalified lead, you probably want to ask at least the following questions:
- Is your pet a dog or a cat?
- What type of breed is your pet?
- What is your pet’s date of birth?
- Has your pet had any preexisting conditions?
- What is your email address and/or phone number?
If a pet owner visits a landing page with these prequalifying questions about pet health insurance and they answer them, in all likelihood, that lead is pretty solid. These questions are short, to the point, and they are reasonable and expected of a person who is seriously considering a pet health insurance plan. Lead generation means, asking the right questions in a succinct manner so that you make it simple to get qualifying information from prospects.
Lead Generation In A Mobile World
With the explosion of mobile phones and other mobile devices, tap to call buttons and short forms are incredibly powerful mobile lead generation tactics. Tap to call technologies allow end users to immediately connect via phone with a sales representative or customer service agent who can start presenting solutions as the phone call connects. Real time solution selling models like tap to call mobile lead generation have extremely high sales closing ratios because you have a prospect ready to go and upon engagement of the tap to call action, the connection with a sales specialist is an instantaneous solution.
Short forms are as they sound even more concise versions of their desktop predecessors. Mobile users have smaller screens and key pads that make typing and filling out forms a more tedious activity than on a traditional computing device. Therefore, it is important to pare down the information request into as few questions as possible and if you can give stock answer choices in the form of a button that will make it easier and more likely to gain a mobile lead generation form completion. While there is certainly data loss in short form for mobile, a complex form will result in few if any mobile leads.
From Lead Generation To Conversion Optimization
Now that you know my definition of lead generation, I am going to whet your appetite for another blog topic for another day. I am a tremendous proponent of using both in house lead generation strategies as well as participating in quality third party lead generation buying sources. With that being mentioned, as a business, the absolute best case scenario you can have is to own your lead generation sources and develop a strong focus on conversion optimization otherwise known as conversation rate optimization (CRO). CRO is the effort of honing your landing pages, forms, short forms, and lead generation models so that you are converting the highest number of leads to actual customers. Clearly, CRO is the most important part of any winning lead generation campaign. Don’t overlook the most critical part of the puzzle.