What Is Lead Generation

Lead generation is the process of gathering contact information of potential customers. In digital marketing, this is usually done through form submissions.

It is the first pillar of email marketing. Meaning, without an effective lead generation strategy, your email marketing will not succeed.

Lead generation is also one of the most overlooked strategy in digital marketing. Most organizations have poor lead generation execution.

This is especially true for most ecommerce sites. They don’t think it’s important. That’s why the only way for them to generate leads on their website is a newsletter subscription.

And we all know where that leads to right? Spammy and unsolicited messages. So why continue using it?

Other marketers also refer to lead generation as list building because most of the time, an email address is collected. This is called an email list and is the primary data inside your email marketing software.

Lead Generation Analogy

You can think of lead generation as buying anything — food, water, a new iPhone or gadget.

You won’t hand over your money for something so overpriced. You will, however, do it if you feel that there is an equivalent exchange in value — whether real or perceived.

Imagine buying a Mocha Frappucino at Starbucks. If it’s priced at 550 per cup, will you buy one?

Most probably not.

You’d think that the value of a single cup of coffee mixed in with chocolate, syrup and cream doesn’t cost that much.

It’s the same for lead generation.

When you ask for contact information (like email, address, phone number) from your prospects, they will associate that personal information with some value.

If what they are getting is not equal or better than what you are asking for, they will not hand it over.

Using the same Starbucks analogy, they won’t pay for your overpriced Frappe.

Why Your Website Doesn’t Give You Leads

This brings us to the biggest problem most websites have — one newsletter signup form asking for a person’s email address.

For most organizations, this is the single, biggest lead generation form they have on the website.

The form asks for an email address in exchange for promo updates.

Is that an equivalent exchange?

Will you willingly give up your private information to someone who will just send you emails you will not even read?

And i’m not even mentioning that promos and discounts aren’t newsletters.

If you want to generate more leads, stop doing what everyone is doing. Don’t ask for email subscriptions to newsletters that contain promos and discounts.

Newsletter subscriptions are for blog updates. Content. Articles. Nothing else.

Here’s How You Generate Leads

If you want to generate more leads, offer something of value to your prospects and customers.

  1. Create an eBook that solves for their problem.
  2. Design a simple checklist about a process they encounter daily.
  3. Publish an email or video series exclusively for people who opted in.
  4. Give them special behind-the-scenes access to your latest project.

These are just samples of what you can do to generate more leads.

All these take effort and time.

But if you’re willing to do the hard work, you’ll definitely see the payoff in your efforts.

You can read more about how to generate more leads in 7 easy steps!

Ariel Lim

Management consultant / MBA / Inbound marketer who helps startups generate leads, create and execute strategies.