What is lead generation?
A “lead” is any contact you have acquired through your marketing activities, This contact can be in the form of a telephone number, a postal address, an email address, or any social media contact data, such as a Skype name, a Facebook account, or a Twitter account.
“Lead generation” is the acquisition of those leads. This can be done in many different ways, such as online advertisement. But not all methods are equally successful.
Why is lead generation important?
Being able to acquire leads is generally considered to be the most important aspect in online marketing. The reason for that is quite simple. Once acquired, a lead can be contacted over and over again, in order to get sales.
Business in general is a numbers game. Theoretically, the more leads you can generate, the more sales you can make. But this is where things get a little tricky.
It’s not just the numbers that count. Almost as important as the ability to acquire leads, is the ability to acquire “quality leads”. After all, what’s the use of having ten thousand leads, if none of them is buying anything?
A quality lead is a lead with a high conversion probability. In other words, it is a contact from which you know or suspect it has a higher than average potential to buy something from you.
There are many different factors which can provide extra quality for a lead, and the trick for any (online) business is to determine what these factors are, and to implement them into their marketing strategy.
Lead generating strategies
Basically, there are 2 different strategies to acquire leads. There are free strategies, and there are paid strategies.
It may be obvious that paid strategies will usually generate more leads more quickly than free strategies (if properly applied). However, it is often said that certain free strategies yield more quality, in that there is a stronger bound between the lead and the business.
One should also consider that paid strategies can make you lose loads of money, if you don’t really know what you’re doing or if you make a few mistakes.
This is one of the most important reasons why fully grown businesses (or rich people) have it so much easier to achieve rapid success online. They have much more money to spend and can afford to lose some!
This doesn’t mean, however, that financially less powerful people or businesses are doomed to fail or to remain very small.
With the right amount of effort and the right balance between free strategies and paid strategies, almost anyone can become successful online!