What is Lead Generation in Internet Marketing?

What is Lead Generation in Internet Marketing

Lead generation is the key to success and the life force of any internet marketing business.

Without a lead generation strategy, you won't have subscribers and users. You won't have potential and real customers. Simply put, you won't make money.

Every business, whether small or big, depends on users, clients, or customers. As a marketer, you are constantly using new ways to attract the right people to your business. As a seller, you are always looking for customers.

The process of attracting and generating leads and customers is not easy, but it is not a science either.

In this post, I will introduce you more deeply to the lead generation strategy: what it is, why you need it, how it is implemented, which channels it uses, which tactics it employs, and much more.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the process of finding and converting visitors into someone who has shown an interest in your product or service and intends to convert that interest into a purchase.

In Internet marketing, this process involves obtaining contact information (name, email address, company name, etc.) from visitors through various opt-in forms and developing a relationship with them.

For example, the following situations can be included in the lead generation process:

  • When the visitor fills out the opt-in form on your website and signs up for the newsletter,
  • When you promote a product on Facebook, and a visitor interested in your product leaves a comment and asks for more information,
  • When you are at a seminar with people from your industry, and you ask for and receive email addresses from them,

The term lead is used in marketing for these types of visitors. A lead is a person who has shown interest in your offer, product, or service.

You use the information left by the leads to personalize the relationship and make the sales call more pleasant and personal.

In simpler terms, lead generation is the process of attracting relevant visitors to the pages of your website or social networks.

Visitors give you the information in exchange for your offer, which represents value to them. Your offer is called a lead magnet.

Through the lead generation process, you have already skipped two stages in the marketing funnel - research and cold calling. So you can move on to the so-called "warm invitation" because interested parties are more willing to listen to you and think about your offer.

As a strategy, lead generation uses inbound and outbound marketing channels.

lead generation outbound inbound marketing channel

Using the outgoing channel, you get to the email addresses of people in advance (most often by buying a list) and contact these people directly (cold call). The main intention here is sales, and communication is one-way.

Finding leads through the outbound marketing channel is a much more expensive and easier way to do it because you invest a little time and effort.

These people do not know you and have not agreed to receive any information from you. There is a high probability that they will mark your messages as spam.

I recommend - that you always contact leads organically, voluntarily, and without purchasing them.

You attract visitors through the inbound channel through content marketing. When visitors discover and use your content, they become your users.

In the process of collecting leads through the inbound marketing channel, through the content marketing strategy, you educate your audience and the audience decides for itself when and how to buy from you or get involved in your business.

The primary motive is education. Communication is two-way and can be personalized for certain audience segments, which you choose.

Leads obtained through the inbound marketing channel cost 61% less than the leads of the outbound channel, and their number is 54% higher compared to the traditional outbound channel.{alertInfo}

Now that you have a better understanding of lead generation, I will show you in a few steps how it works in practice.

  • Visitors first find out about you through some marketing channels you use, such as your blog or website and pages on social networks.
  • Based on the information they find on those pages, they are encouraged to take action and click on the link, image, or button (CTA).
  • That click will take them to the landing page, where your offer (lead magnet) is located - in exchange for their contact information.
  • On the landing page, there is an opt-in form, with fields in which visitors enter the required data.
  • The offer should have value for visitors so that they would be willing to leave their data in exchange for that content (course, book, template, etc.).
  • When the visitor leaves their information and takes the offer - you have received a new lead.

Lead generation will always be a marketing practice - and that will not change. It is only necessary to adapt to lead generation trends. Here's what the statistics say:

  • 17% of marketers spend more than 15 hours a week on lead generation (Marketing Charts)
  • 71% of B2B marketers use content marketing for lead generation (MarketingProfs)
  • 80% of users said they would sign up for an eBook/report, while only 30% would sign up for a webinar (Lonely Marketer)
  • 65% of entrepreneurs say that increasing the number of visitors and potential clients is their biggest challenge in marketing (HubSpot)
  • 96% of visitors who come to your site are not ready to buy (Marketo)
  • Targeting users with content relevant to their position in the buying process results in 72% higher conversion rates (Aberdeen)
  • 80% of marketers who use automation software attract more leads, and 77% convert more (VB Insight, APSIS).

The main elements of the lead generation process

Based on the previously described practical steps, every marketer, tactically speaking, needs four fundamental elements in the process of collecting leads and engaging interested visitors.

Offer (Lead magnet)

To collect data from visitors, you need to give them an incentive and offer valuable enough to get their data in exchange for it.

This offer is called a Lead magnet.

A lead magnet is the most important element on a website whose purpose is lead generation. It is the entry point into your marketing funnel.

Your offer should be interesting for your audience, relevant, and informative so that your audience wants to download it.

Keep the following ideas in mind when creating a lead magnet:

  • A clear title from which you can see what it is about
  • Emphasize, exactly what is the advantage of applying and what exactly they get
  • Point out what result they will achieve and what they can apply immediately

A variety of digital content is commonly used as a lead magnet, which includes e-books, reports, PDF checklists, free consultations, product demos, vouchers, etc.

A lead magnet also allows visitors to interact with your website.

By providing resources, you not only reach potential clients but also demonstrate your expertise. Don't be afraid to give your great advice.

For people to say "yes" to your offer, it should contain some practical advice, information on how something works, and something that helps them learn and apply progress.

Offer (Lead magnet)

The length of the offer has nothing to do with the value. If there are three pages, the content of which makes life easier for visitors, they will want to download it.

Bluehost hosting is known for offers that seem attractive to users, whose hosting packages start at $2.95 per month, while at HostGator, the cheapest packages are $2.75.

I stick to a strategy that includes e-books, checklists, templates, and infographics.

I have nothing against other types of the lead magnet content. I think big and stick to quality and helpful content.

Call to action (CTA)

A CTA is a button, image, or message that prompts visitors to take action.

The CTA must not be ignored because a well-created and placed CTA is excellent for generating potential clients.

Creating an engaging call to action (CTA) grabs visitors' attention and motivates them to click and contact you.

A CTA can be placed on any website, email message, ad, or social network, within the blog post. A CTA most often directs people to a landing page.

CTA often contains words like "download", "share", "click", "sign up". They are used as a call to action to download the content and that with the audience you have already engaged.

For lead generation, the CTA should be a little different to motivate visitors more so that they stay longer and follow your business.

You can consider "find out," "discover," and "read" because they indicate helpful and open contact.

These are not words like "buy" or "request a demo," which are a little more aggressive and demanding, so visitors will like them less.

If you have created a customer profile, it will help you set a relevant call to action because then you know what motivates your audience and what their pain points are.

For example: "3 types of purchased bread that are better than homemade". This CTA arouses curiosity and does not contain a verb, like the previous examples.

You need to give visitors a reason to click, something that arouses curiosity, with which they will agree or not.

Call to action (CTA)

Something about CTAs that also works well and encourages people to react quickly is adding a sense of urgency and including words like "today", "immediately", and "now" in addition to the already existing words.

For example:

"Read about Affiliate Marketing in my post today."

"Discover why personal development is important to you."

To know that you are on the way to creating a good CTA, put yourself in the position of a visitor and ask yourself - Would you click on it? Is there a sense of urgency? Do I care to know more? Is it clear what I will get if I click?{alertInfo}

Place the CTA in a place where visitors will see it.

Opt-in form

An opt-in form is a form that consists of several fields where visitors should leave the information you are asking them to provide. It is best to ask for only the information you need, such as your name and email address.

You can ask for more information if you have a comprehensive and valuable offer or if you deliver it in physical form.

You design the opt-in form so that it fits into the design of your site.

Here are some tips for creating an opt-in form:

  • The opt-in form on the landing page should be in a visible place
  • Include a descriptive CTA and explain what value visitors will get
  • Ask for the minimum information you need now, not in the future
  • Ensure privacy of information and emphasize it.

Landing page

A landing page is a page where visitors come to familiarize themselves with your offer, as well as to take one or a series of actions.

The landing page mainly focuses on the promotion of one product.

Therefore, if you have a product that solves a problem and answers visitors' questions, they will want (and without incentive) to leave their contact information.

The offer and the product are presented to the audience through landing and sales pages because they provide a lot of information that helps convert visitors into customers.

The fundamental elements of the landing page include:

The title - is the first thing that attracts the attention of visitors and decides whether they will continue reading.

In creating a good title, use questions, emphasize results, and offer a solution to the problem.

If you use strong verbs (focus, change, increase, etc.), it can increase your conversions by 113%. Strong verbs serve to convey a direct message, given how impatient today's audience is.

Subtitle - additionally describes the title, emphasizes the value of the offer, highlights the benefits of the offer, and may also contain a call to action.

The text - of the landing page gives more details and information about how your product helps visitors. When writing a landing page:

- Be sure to highlight the results that users will receive

- State the reasons why they would buy your product

  • Lead magnet
  • Experiences
  • Opt-in form
  • A call to action

Thank you page

Thank you pages play a key role in the process of converting visitors into leads, regardless of their minimal content.

The thank-you page should ensure that visitors either download the offer or be notified that they will receive the offer via email.

Visitors are redirected to the thank you page after filling out the opt-in form.

The thank-you page is more than "Thank you for downloading and visiting...".

The point of a thank you page is to offer leads additional, relevant content (like blog posts) to keep them in the marketing funnel.

Additional elements that a thank you page can contain are:

  • Icons for sharing on social networks
  • A message about how and when they will receive their lead magnet
  • Invitation with a link to subscribe to the blog newsletter
  • A call to action that links to related content or an offer
  • A short video about what they will get

Building relationships and communication with leads

When you get a lead, it does not guarantee that this person will become your client and customer. In this case, you continue to communicate and build a relationship with your subscribers.

According to the DemandGen report, leads with whom communication continues are 20% more likely to become customers and clients than leads with whom the relationship is not nurtured.{alertInfo}

This indicates that it is worth continuing communication with interested persons, no matter how unnecessary it seems to you.

The process of building a relationship with leads, in addition to the possibility of buying, has other advantages, such as spreading information about your brand, educating and interpreting your expertise, and getting to know your business culture.

You have already understood that lead generation is not about sales but is only concerned with attracting attention and interest in a product or service, as Marketo says, to develop a sales line.

When you want your business to thrive, building relationships with customers is very important. According to Bain&Company, if you increase your customer retention rate by 5%, it will increase your profits by 25%-95%.{alertInfo}

When you combine all these lead generation elements and start using promotion channels, sending visitors to landing pages and website or blog pages, then you have started the lead generation process.

Strategies used in the lead generation process

Email marketing and lead generation

Email marketing is one of the best ways to encourage new subscribers to leave their information and sign up for your email list.

Email marketing is the most effective strategy ever because it has an ROI of 4400%, higher than any other marketing strategy.

Entrepreneurs and companies use email marketing to communicate with users and educate them. They also promote their products and services and give them the best advice - building your authority.

Received feedback from subscribers can help you create new and improved existing products.

Your content and products should deliver value and solve their biggest challenges!{alertInfo}

When your subscribers build a relationship of trust with you and understand that you are an authority and that you offer quality, nothing will stop them from buying something from you.

To make the most of email marketing for lead generation, offer all visitors who come to your site the opportunity to sign up for the email list.

According to Cognique, 91% of customers check their email every day. Use this information and create messages that your subscribers will love to read.{alertInfo}

Image Source

You can do this by placing opt-in forms in different places on the site, to attract more attention and increase the chances of signing up for the email list.

To use email marketing to generate interested visitors (building an email list), you will first need:

An email service that fits your budget has all the functions you need, is easy to use, and has different types of integrations for the website.

I use and recommend GetResponse, which allows you to:

site creation, a large number of templates, various design options (adapted to mobile devices), email analytics, message automation, segmentation and creation of multiple email lists, creation of landing pages, webinars, etc.

  • Create a campaign and opt-in form using the email service
  • Create a lead magnet
  • Learn to set up an autoresponder and write email messages with interesting subject lines so that subscribers want to open them
  • Monitor email marketing metrics weekly and monthly.
  • Test email messages and improve results. For testing, you can take any element of the opt-in form or email message (title, CTA, colors, time of sending, etc.).

You can divide your subscribers into two groups, send different variants A and B to each, and find out which one is more successful.

The best place to promote your email campaigns is your website or blog.

SEO and lead generation

SEO optimization improves the ranking of your content for relevant keywords in search results. When users enter keywords into the search engine, they come across your content, which leads them to your site or blog by clicking, bringing you organic visits.

If your content answers their needs and questions, you now have the opportunity to turn those visitors into potential customers.

In this way, SEO brings visitors to your site, which becomes your best tool for generating leads.

It is now up to you to take care of creating quality SEO-optimized content, which will represent value for both people and search engines. In addition to this, it is also important that your site functions efficiently.

You can also attract visitors to your blog or website through advertisements. When considering this option, consider research that has shown:

  • that the use of ad blocks has increased by 30% in the past year.
  • that 70% of people do not pay attention to ads in search results at all.

SEO is a strategy that you must not bypass because it provides you with a long-term lead generation process.

SEO and lead generation

To create an SEO strategy, you need to know your audience and create a profile of your ideal customer. Next, it is important to define what a lead is for you so that you can measure the results of the SEO strategy (whether it is a subscription to a newsletter, registration to a course, download of an e-book, etc.).

The next thing is to research the keywords that your audience uses and that you will include in your content, to optimize it for SEO.

You can use Google Analytics to find out which keywords are bringing you visits. You can also find out which pages are displayed the most in search, especially if you have landing pages (Behavior > Site content > Landing page).

All this information will tell you what works well, and which pages, so you can make small changes for better SEO ranking.

The leads you get with SEO optimization have a 14.6% higher chance of becoming your customers, compared to 1.7% for print ads. {alertInfo}

In a few months, you can see significant changes if you dedicate yourself to the SEO optimization of your blog or website today.

Content marketing and lead generation

Content marketing will help you the most in attracting interested visitors, customers, and clients.

When visitors become users, the emphasis is also on the content so that they remain interested and informed.

Learn more about content marketing in this guide: What Is Content Marketing? Everything You Need to Know

To use content to attract leads, the first rule is that it should be tailored to the ideal customer. Once you understand your ideal customer(Buyer Persona), then you can start creating content.

If you have multiple customer profiles, then you will create content that matches the people you want to attract.

You cannot convert visitors into leads if your site has no visitors. 

Here are some types of content that will help you increase your traffic:

  • Blog posts are a basic element of content marketing. All other content you create should drive visitors to your blog.
  • Videos on YouTube are a great opportunity to bring organic visits to your site. Next to Google, YouTube is the biggest search engine.
  • Infographics are a combination of text and images, and they can help you emotionally connect with potential clients. Sharing them increases visibility.
  • Posts on social networks will bring visitors to your blog.
  • Images and photos are the type of content through which your brand connects with the audience and influences a larger number
  • When you have a free e-book on a platform, you can also bring visits to the blog and expand the audience.
  • Creating podcasts is an interesting way to reach new visitors, as they are easy to share.

The content that converts visitors into users, and subscribers, includes all the free resources that you give in exchange for someone's contact information (lead magnet).

The best and most commonly used types of lead magnet content include:

  • Reports, e-books from which users learn about a topic.
  • Lists with some useful tools and resources.
  • When you sell products, you can offer discounts and coupons in exchange for an email address.
  • Free trial period for using products, services, and software.
  • Registering for a webinar works great as a lead magnet.
  • A mini-course in the form of a series of videos or email messages/where a process is gradually explained.
  • Offer a free quiz, where you will deliver results to users in exchange for an email address.

According to HubSpot, companies that blog generate 126% more leads than companies that don't.{alertInfo}

For your lead magnet to be effective and interesting for visitors, it should have the following:

  • A specific topic that is not too general but as narrow and specific as possible.
  • Valuable and quality information that is usable.
  • That it is easy to read and understand (the best example is PDF lists, and only then e-books, reports...)
  • That it solves a problem for your target audience, something they need and want to download.
  • To help the audience achieve a result easily
  • To showcase your expertise and knowledge
  • That it can be downloaded immediately and easily (with one click after entering the data).

Social networks and lead generation

The social media platforms you use can be a real gold mine for the lead generation process.

Social networks can bring interested visitors to your site and thus improve visibility and ranking.

For a strategy on social networks, it is important to know who your audience is and what platforms they use; which platforms will suit you for product promotion; how the audience uses social networks; and whether you will use paid advertising.

Here are statistics that make a good case for using social media for lead generation:

  • Companies using social networks have reduced their marketing costs by 65%.
  • 24% of companies that used social networks increased their revenues
  • 23% of Internet users spend most of their time on social networks and blogs.

Twitter - is a great tool for finding interested users because it has great search functions that help you find people who are in your niche.

The following content is used on Twitter: images, text, links, and videos.

Statistics from Twitter show that 69% of people purchased with the code entrepreneurs they followed.{alertInfo}

A good way to reach a specific audience is to use hashtags, which will help users find your content. You can create; hashtags, use popular ones or search for others at hashtags.org.

Facebook - is a network with over 2 billion users and offers many ways to generate visitors.

Make sure your fans know about your site because it's the easiest way to get leads from Facebook.

To expand the audience, place a Facebook-like box on the page of your site or use a pop-up with an invitation to like the page.

You can connect your Facebook page with an opt-in form and directly get subscribers to the email list.

Facebook allows you to view the best content that your audience likes through the Insights option. Here you will find more information that you can use for your target audience.

By following the posts with the most clicks, you can create similar content, because it moves and engages your audience the most.

Facebook also has an option to place a call to action at the top of the Facebook page, which helps you send visitors directly to your site.

Instagram - is a network with over a billion monthly active users and over 25 million business profiles. 60% of Instagram users discover new products on this platform.

Instagram is the ideal place to build a brand, and communicate with your audience. The pictures you post should have a personal touch because that's how you build trust with the audience, which will eventually turn into your leads.

On Instagram, you can also run paid ads, and only for an audience that is interested in your product. For this purpose use Facebook pixel.

The audience on Instagram can interact with you in real-time using a live video broadcast.

Content on Instagram is best used for "in-the-moment" promotion, so it's a good option for event announcements, new products, and sweepstakes.

To use all content on Instagram for lead generation, be sure to add your call to action (site link in BIO, about yourself, contact email).

I recommend that you read: 

PPC marketing and lead generation 

PPC advertising is a marketing strategy that is very effective in attracting potential clients and customers. To reach people who want to pay for your products and services, it is important to write an ad that they will like.

Here are some best practices when creating PPC ads:

Use keywords that relate to your industry, and describe your products and services. To make it easier for your target audience to find you, use GoogleAds and find a few keywords that are specific to your business.

The main part of the ad is the title, which should attract potential clients. The information that the title should contain is: keyword, price, brand name, and the like.

When users type in the search field the exact words you specified, then your ad appears as relevant in the search results, with a bold title.

Use calls to action (CTA) so that users know what to do after seeing your ad ("sign up", "call for more information").

For best results, you can use different CTAs on different ads so they know which ad performs well and brings in the most leads.

PPC ads generally point to landing pages, where you need to tell visitors that they will get everything that is stated in the ad.

PPC ads require a certain budget and can be run on all social networks.

With PPC ads, you can achieve quick results, reach thousands of people and get a large number of leads. Only people who are interested in your offer will click on the ad and come to your site for more information.

With PPC ads, it is mandatory to use a tool for tracking conversions (Google Analytics, GoogleAds), which especially applies to landing pages.


At the end of this article, you should have a better understanding of what lead generation is and how that process looks in practice.

Your next step is to use the elements of the lead generation process and decide which strategies you will apply in your business.

Creating an email campaign, activity on social networks, and work on creating quality content - require discipline, time, and concentration.

Every result requires stepping out of the comfort zone, especially if you are looking for a strategy that will bring maximum results.

Every visitor who comes to your site and blog is interested in something you offer. The most important thing is that you don't let those visitors leave your site and leave empty-handed.

Do your best to get their information, so that they become your customers and later customers who buy from you. Getting quality potential clients and engaging them takes time.

Start applying the tips listed here for attracting leads, because the real satisfaction will come in the process of applying everything you've learned.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. Share your opinion and experience in the comments and this article on social networks if you found the information helpful.

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