What Is Lead Generation?

What is lead generation?

Everybody running a business and trying to sell something wants and needs leads. In other words, you need some way to get in touch with people who are interested in your products and services. A lead is a person who is at least somewhat interested in what you're selling. They are shopping around for the type of product you are selling and you want the opportunity to connect with them to see if, perhaps, they might buy from you and become your customer. So, naturally, generating leads is a really big deal for anyone running a business. So, let's look at some ideas for how you can generate leads online through your website.

Not All Leads Are Created Equal

Some leads are better than others. If you're writing a book about urban gardening (like when we were talking about landing pages) then you want leads for people who live in the city and want to grow their own garden. So, if you can find people like that, they are really good leads. If you just found someone who is interested in gardening, but they live in a rural area, then they are still leads. They might still buy your book because they want to know what you have to say about gardening, but they are not really part of your target audience. While they are still leads, they are not as qualified as people who both live in the city and want a garden. The better the potential customer fits the profile of the person you're trying to reach, the better the lead is.

How To Attract High Quality Leads

You can attract high quality leads online through your website by creating and using a lead magnet. A lead magnet is something that you give away for free in exchange for the person's email address. A lead magnet gives you the opportunity to start building trust with your potential customers before you start asking them for money.

You and I are probably alike in that we don't give away our email addresses very easily. But, if I'm on a website that I'm interested in and they are offering something I'd like to have or that I think will help me in some way, I'd like to sort-of test the waters with something that only costs my email address as opposed to money.

Invite folks to spend their email address before asking them to spend their money. Build Trust. Win Customers #leadmagnets #onlinemarketing Click To Tweet

If I like how that experience goes – the thing I actually get meets or exceeds my expectations and I don't feel like they are abusing me by flooding my inbox with spammy emails all the time – then I'm pretty likely to move forward and actually buy what they are selling.

As someone who wants to attract high quality leads you need to think of something awesome that you could give away to your potential customers for free. Then you can offer this thing for just the price of an email address.

A Lead Magnet Example

I was just recently chatting on Facebook with someone who sells wearable heating pads for back, neck, and shoulder pain. She was asking how to get leads for her heating pads so we started talking about lead magnets. Since she's in the business of helping people with back pain, she knows things that people can do at home to get some relief from the pain. I suggested that she write up a list of home remedies for back pain and title it something like Top 10 Home Remedies For Back Pain. In the list, she could include things like stretches, standing desks, specific exercises, anti-inflammatory supplements like turmeric, etc. Put serious effort into making the list really helpful and you will start earning trust.

How Lead Magnets Work

Once you have this awesome list of home remedies for back pain, put an email opt-in form on your website – preferably a landing page specifically about back pain. Then create a drip campaign that sends one tip per day via email for the next 10 days. By the end of 10 days, you have emailed out all 10 of your awesome tips on things people can do at home to help with back pain. In those emails, you can mention some of the science behind why heat helps to relax muscles and other related benefits of heating pads. The key, however, is that these emails are not all commercials for your heating pads. The emails are to educate, provide help, and build trust.

Now you have this 10-day relationship with your new potential customer. You have had the opportunity to prove that you really know a lot about back pain. You have positioned yourself as an expert. The next logical step would be for your customer to start trusting you as their expert on back pain and that your wearable heating pads are what they need for their back pain.

The Big Picture

Putting it all together, it works like this:

  • Create a landing page for one specific product or service
  • Create something educational, inspirational, or valuable
  • Put an email opt-in form on the landing page
  • Give away the free thing in exchange for an email address
  • Build trust by exceeding expectations with your awesome, free thing
  • Win a new customer who loves you and your product
  • Repeat this process with other products you sell

You Can Have Multiple Lead Magnets

If you sell more than one thing, you should set up multiple landing pages and use multiple different lead magnets. For example, with the wearable heating pads, you can set up three different landing pages. One for back pain, one for neck pain, and one for shoulder pain. Then also experiment with other types of offers. Lead magnets don't have to always be educational. You could offer a coupon code for a discount or free shipping on their first order as you lead magnet.

Leads Come From One Thing

The whole point of creating landing pages for lead magnets is to get very specific information about only one thing in front of your potential customers. It's all about one thing. You don't want multiple products on the page. You don't even want to sell your product on the landing page. The entire page and everything on it is to encourage people to opt-in to your email list. Adding multiple products or multiple offers will decrease the effectiveness of your landing page and reduce the number of leads you capture.