What is Lead Generation – All You Need to Know

By TechFunnel Contributors - Last Updated on April 19, 2021
Complete Guide on Lead Generation

We live in an age where online marketing has become highly competitive. Receiving insight on lead generation will allow yourself as a business owner to consider solutions in approaching online marketing for your brand. Hence, the importance of the idea to revamping your brand is through making connections with customers, and becoming more familiar with the process of lead generation. After all, discovering and receiving leads for your business means that you are one step closer to increasing your revenue in the marketplace.

What is a Lead?

In marketing, it’s important to collect leads to improve your business. It’s important to establish leads for your business because you get to know the customer on a personal level. With that being said, let’s dive into what is Lead Generation and why you should implement it you’re your marketing strategy.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation allows ways to get your company to attract people in giving their contact information to you. It falls under the methods of advertising your business and plays a major role in the contribution of popular online channels. There are two different kinds of leads: Marketing Qualified Leads and Sales Qualified Leads. These terms are commonly known as “MQLs” and “SQLs”.

MQL’s vs. SQL’s 

Marketing Qualified Leads, or MQL’s, refer to leads who will most likely be a potential customer for your business. This can usually be conveyed by closed-loop reporting, which is a system for marketing and sales professionals to collects data and information. Marketing Sales Leads are measured by a user’s level of engagement on a business’s website and downloads of content offers.

As for Sales Qualified Leads or SQL’s, these types of leads are considered to be the next stage to the marketing sales process. The big difference between MQL’s and SQL’s is that MQL’s are not ready to be in the buying stage yet. As for Sales Qualified Leads, this means that a sales team has qualified a potential customer as a lead, and therefore makes the SQL a part of the buying cycle for a business.

Importance of Lead Generation 

Still, wondering why lead generation is important? If you think about it, there are tons of people using the Internet almost every day. Even due to the shelter-in-place orders, it’s no surprise that Internet usage has skyrocketed since then! Businesses heavily rely on lead generation because it’s one way to generate more traffic and more customers engaged.

(Download Whitepaper: What Is Lead Generation?)

The 4 Phases of Lead Generation Process:

Phase 1: Content Strategy Phase:

This phase should be kept in mind when establishing leads for your lead generation process. You have to ask yourself, “Who is my ideal audience?” This question will give you an answer on where you need to start with your company’s lead generation. Four main mistakes that companies tend to do are the following:

  1. Using the wrong strategies.
  2. Lack of content.
  3. Having follow-throughs that aren’t good enough.
  4. The landing pages are poor quality.

Another effective question you must ask yourself is “How will you attract & convert your audience?” In order to gain leads, and eventually turn them into customers, a business has to be detail oriented. According to a Marketing Manager from RM Friedland, you must pay attention to your audience’s pain points and create concise visuals that soothe them quickly.

Other strategies that will gain traction with your leads is through educating and informing. Rather than just interrupting and selling, companies need to educate and inform the audience. It’s better to let your audience know about your brand and what products you have to offer.

However, when doing so, remember that you want to approach this strategy in the most simple and effortless way possible. This means that your lead generation should show less, and expose more. The more visual you become with your marketing, the more engagement you will have.

Although there are two effective questions, there’s just one more that we thought you should know before executing an effective strategy for receiving effective leads. The question: “What’s your lead magnet?” Once you figure out who your target audience is and what your topics are, then the last step is choosing the type of lead magnet.

Lead magnets are incentives that you offer your target audience in exchange for their contact information, which would probably consist of an email or phone number. This is considered the last step to your content strategy phase because this is pretty much where the actual events get put into motion before moving on to the next phase.

Think about lead magnets as the final touches and garnishes to a dish before sending it out. It needs to be made to perfection for your customers.

Phase 2: Visual Phase:

The second phase in the Lead Generation Process is the Visual Phase. Here are some quick perks to using visual content:

  • 65% of people are visual learners.
  • Visuals that have color increase people’s desire to read content by 80%.
  • Posts that have images produce 180% more engagement.
  • 93& of all communication is visual. Hence, why visuals tend to attract our attention and affect our attitudes.
  • People are 85% more likely to buy your product after watching a video about it.

In hindsight, visual marketing is an effective tool since you communicate better with your audience. According to Cognitive Neuroscientist Carmen Simon, “Visuals have the potential to impact the customer’s memory and memory impacts their decisions.” If this doesn’t say, “effective marketing for your lead sales”, then we’re uncertain with what else would be considered.

Overall, it’s important to corporate more visuals into your lead generation strategies. Besides generating leads and boosting up sales, here are the following examples of visuals that you can consider when deciding on your lead magnet and visuals.

  • eBooks & Guides: These are great ways to connect with your audience because in order for a reader to “subscribe” to an eBook or a guide, the viewer would have to leave an email and other kinds of information in order to download the visual.
  • Infographics: This is always a fun go-to tool for visuals. Almost anybody that views and reads an infographic on the Internet pretty much knows how helpful they can be. Marketers tend to choose this type of visual because it summarizes all the complex information in a clear format that’s beautifully depicted onto a colorful interactive template. In other words, it’s pretty easy to read through without any problems or confusion.
  • Presentations and Webinars: These types of visual aids tend to take less time than eBooks guides and infographics combined. However, creating webinars or mini presentations for your business can attract your audience and keep them more engaged. Other ways that you can contribute to this type of visual are through blog posts, guest articles, online courses, and conference talks. Think of these as fun lectures that people can engage with before becoming a supporting customer to your business.
  • Videos: As for videos, this marketing strategy is quite useful for generating leads. At least 87% of marketers currently use video content in their marketing strategies(1). With use of videos to your landing pages, your business can increase its influence through conversion rates. Although every business is different, it’s encouraged that you should always experiment to find out what is the best form of visual aid that can enhance your brand.

Phase 3: Promotional Phase:

As for being the third phase in the Lead Generation Process, the promotional phase is the most crucial part of executing an effective lead. How does one find an audience you may wonder? Well, it all starts with your landing page. One of the most common mistakes that businesses often do is forgetting to put any effort into a landing page.

It may sound silly and all, but thoughtfully designing landing pages to fit your brand will drive traffic and generate the type of audience you’re catering to. When creating the perfect landing page, every business should follow these five core elements:

 Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

  • Your main headline
  • A supporting headline
  • Reinforcement statement
  • Closing Argument

Following this format will allow you to create an effective USP for your landing page. Here are other solutions that can create a successful landing page for your business.

Benefits of your Offer: Create bullet points that will summarize the benefits/values of what your business offers.

The Hero Shot: Provide or create images and videos that present your brand’s value proposition.

Social Proof: Testimonials and success stories about your business will give customers insight on the  products that your business currently offers.

A Call-to-Action (CTA) : This will allow a single conversion goal and create more encouragement towards future and returning customers.

 Phase 4: The Nurturing Phase:

In this last phase, it’s important to know the significance behind building a relationship with customers. When referring to “lead nurturing”, you are seeking the process of developing relationships with your potential customers throughout every stage in their customer journey with the use of your product. Throughout the nurturing phase, a business must “enlighten” leads with the user of empowerment through your product.

A few ways that your business can do this is through educating your leads, adding as much value upfront to your product, and gaining the trust of your leads. Overall, this fragile process can take time depending on how your business approaches a lead. Based on this strategy, the final phase of the Lead Generation Process will be complete and effective for your business.

(Also Read: How to Generate B2B Leads with Content Marketing)

Lead Generation Challenges

There are some setbacks that you must keep in mind before considering if lead generation can benefit your business.

  • Finding strategies

    Although there is plenty of advice provided for you, it will still remain a challenge to find tactics in getting the attention of potential leads. This tends to be 42% of the problem for businesses when generating leads.

  • Finding the right people

    Yes, the key to knowing your audience is the best way to approach lead generation. At least 38% of businesses encounter this challenge. However, finding the right people to project your marketing strategies often has its challenges. Just like relationships, knowing yourself and what you’re capable of will help you find the right person to build a connection with. After all, good business revolves around building relationships with your customers.

  • Funding

    At least 20% of the challenges behind lead generation would be funding. Strong ideas need to have stable budgets, but when businesses have limited funds to cover lead generation activities, then it tends to result in the lack of having good sales and tactics for your potential leads as well as the appropriate knowledge on how to generate more leads for your business.

Lead Generation Strategies

  • FB lead generation: Ever since the 2007 launching of Facebook Ads, the social network’s algorithm has shifted how businesses have used the platform to generate leads. Because of paid advertising, Facebook established Lead Ads in order to help our businesses by capturing more leads to seek products and services from businesses worldwide.
  • Twitter lead generation: Twitter’s platform lets businesses generate leads within a tweet without having to leave the site. Businesses can easily create leads through Twitter by clicking a “Submit” button that allows you to automatically pull a user’s contact information into the Twitter Lead Gen Card. 
  • LinkedIn lead generation: LinkedIn’s approach for lead generation is with the creation of Lead Gen Forms, which auto-populates a user’s profile data whenever they click on a CTA. This will allow the information of a lead to be easily captured. 
  • B2B lead generation: When it comes to B2B marketing, lead generation is required for a B2B business model. This is where SEO comes in. SEO is the top resource for capturing business leads, followed by email marketing and social media. So, when using B2B lead generation, remember that effectiveness varies by every channel. 
  • PPC lead generation: Pay-per-click lead generation is when ads appear on search engine result pages (SERPs). This space is known as prime real estate for lead generation and any other ad campaigns that businesses launch. The way that PPC lead generation works is that it heavily relies on a business’s seamless user flow, target keywords, and budgets.
  • Search Engine Optimization: SEO allows a steady stream of leads to grow and survive for B2B and B2C lead generation. The way SEO works are that it refines web pages in improving their ranking on a results page on a search engine. When a user types in a question onto a search engine such as Google, then chances are that your brand will be shown on the result page from that relevant question or query. The higher the website ranking, the more occurrences that your page will come up.

Lead Generation Metrics

When it comes to metrics for lead generation, it’s important to keep track of these top lead generation metrics:

  • Performance
  • Click-Through Rate CTR
  • Conversion Rate
  • Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Time to Conversion
    • (TTC = the Total Time Spent by Visitors/ Total Number of Leads)
  • Cost Per Click (CPC)
  • Time Spent on a Page
  • Cost per Lead
    • (CPL = Money Spent on Capturing Leads/ Total Number of Leads Captured)
  • Lead Generation Rate by Channel
  • Month-to-Date Channel Goals (MTD)

Need to refresh your memory on these terms and how to use tools for Lead Generation? Learn more about it in our article about the top Lead Generation tools that can help you out with your business.

Lead Generation vs. Demand Generation 

Demand Generation

When finding the distinction between lead and demand generation, every business must know the difference before using different types to apply to their marketing strategies. When using demand generation, businesses must be aware that this process is used to create awareness and more demand for your company’s product or services. The main goal for demand generation is to establish a foundation with your target audience, establish trust as well as spark an interest with your company.

Lead Generation

With lead generation, on the other hand, businesses go through the process of converting potential customers into MQL’s or SQL’s. This method of generating leads allows a business to funnel-in more customers to buy their products. With lead generation comes a four-step process. Below is a graph of examples that can help differentiate a lead and demand generation.

Lead Generation Examples Demand Generation Examples
Gated Content (eBooks, PDFs) Blog posts or articles
Free-trials Social media posts
Email Subscriptions Press releases
Product Demos Case Studies
Courses Podcasts & Interviews
Events Resource Pages

Frequently Asked Questions about Lead Generation

Q. What is lead generation in digital marketing?

A. In digital marketing, lead generation is the start of consumer interest or inquiry into products or other services provided by a business. The purpose of lead generation in digital marketing is to assist in growing your business.

Q. Is lead generation sales or marketing?

A. In a sense, it’s both! One cannot function without the other. With lead generation, comes sales and marketing. Lead generations are a part of the concept of marketing. Hence the terms SQL’s and MQL’s help sort out a business to determine what kinds of leads there are.

Q. Where do leads come from?

A. Customer leads can come from anywhere. It can vary from word of mouth referrals to even data-driven marketing systems that implement common-sense marketing intelligence.

Q. How do you improve Lead Quality?

A. Here are a few ways that can help improve Lead Quality:

  • Get both sales and marketing departments to cooperate with one another.
  • Use marketing automation software.
  • Run targeted ads.
  • Target more specific keywords.
  • Know who your audience is.
  • Create content
  • Establish a marketing funnel

The solutions to improving your Lead Quality are endless. However, don’t let the following solutions stop you here. Check out our article “Top Lead Generation Techniques for B2B Sales” to learn more about Sales Leads.

Final Thoughts 

Let’s be real here. It’s a complex process. Lead Generation is a tricky component of marketing strategy, especially with how competitive it is for online marketing nowadays. The next thing to consider when using the right strategy with Lead Generation is to figure out how a certain strategy will fit into your business brand. Whether it’s through PPC or social media, the biggest insight to keep in mind is finding the right fit for your marketing strategy.

When you approach a lead, consider how your business should funnel potential customers in with a lead magnet. Remember how seeking leads and lead generation will have its setbacks with funding and finding the right crowd. However, just remember this: Trust your first instincts and acknowledge that it’s okay to have failed attempts and that you take a risk to try again.


Aileen Padua is an aspiring social media coordinator. She is currently majoring in Advertising at Fresno State University. With her understanding of the power of social media, Aileen is passionate about preserving and enhancing the image of one’s reputation in the public eye.

TechFunnel Contributors | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicated to sharing unbiased information, research, and expert commentary that helps executives and professionals stay on top of the rapidly evolving marketplace, leverage technology for productivity, and add value to their knowledge base.

TechFunnel Contributors | TechFunnel.com is an ambitious publication dedicated to the evolving landscape of marketing and technology in business and in life. We are dedicate...

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