What is lead generation?
While lead source and email acquisition channels refer to where a lead comes from, lead generation refers to how and why a lead signs up. Lead generation, then, is the tactics behind getting your ideal market to sign up for your email list.
Once someone has signed up for your email list, that is when they become a lead — you now have the ability to build a relationship and consistently communicate with them, make them special offers, and even get their feedback. This is what we mean when we refer to lead generation: getting a person’s email address so that you may contact them in the future.
But to understand lead generation completely, you must also understand what a lead magnet is.
What is a lead magnet?
Collecting email addresses (or leads) isn’t always as easy as putting a “Subscribe Now” button on your website. That will help, to be certain, but most leads will need a bit more persuading to give you (or any company, for that matter) their email address. The most common way to encourage prospects to sign up for an email list and officially become a lead is to offer a lead magnet; this is some sort of guide, downloadable resource, or sweepstake entry that the company offers for free in return for the prospect’s email address. And they are wildly effective.
Here are a few different common types of lead magnets:
- E-book — This is a downloadable guide that helps the prospect solve some sort of problem they’re facing. Typically, this downloadable guide is far shorter than a physical book, sitting between 5,000 and 20,000 words. So long as the title and topic of the e-book remains relevant to your target market, this can be a very effective way to generate leads for your email list. Here’s a helpful guide to writing and publishing an e-book meant for lead generation.
- Sweepstakes — This is when you run a giveaway and offer free entries for people who give you their email address. Sweepstakes are arguably one of the best ways to quickly grow your email list and fill it with people who care about your industry and products — just make sure that what you give away will naturally collect email addresses from the right people: your ideal market. Here’s a helpful guide for running a giveaway to generate leads.
- Whitepaper — This is the simplest of the three types of lead magnets listed here. A whitepaper is a short downloadable resource that helps your target market solve a problem. It might be a checklist or a mini-guide. Whatever the case, these are easy to create and effective at generating leads if given a great title. Here’s a helpful guide for creating a whitepaper that generates leads for your email list.
- Webinar — This is a live or recorded video that people must sign up for in order to attend. They also, of course, must give their email address in order to attend the webinar, which should be packed with free value and have a remarkable title if it is going to be effective at generating leads. Here’s a helpful guide at running and marketing a webinar.
Of course, there are many different ways to advertise, place, or market your lead magnet. There are also multiple tools at your disposal for generating leads that you should be aware of. And there are even different types of opt-in forms.
- Paid Advertising
- Opt-in Forms
- Lead Generation Tools
- Offline Lead Generation
- Lead Generation Tracking