What Is Lead And Lead Generation

Lead Generation

To sell online, you need to know at least where to find a customer and how to contact them. Leads provide this kind of information, and lead generation gives more leads.

Table of contents:

  1. What does this term mean
  2. Who needs lead generation
  3. Essential Lead Driving Tools

What Does This Term Mean


A lead is a potential client who is interested in a product or service and has left his contacts: he made an application, ordered a call or indicated an email in the feedback form.

Although leads can be called everyone who performed some targeted action: subscribed to a public, installed an application or registered on the site. It depends on the product and KPI.

By the way, don’t be confused: in content marketing, a lead is the text under the headline or the first paragraph that motivates you to read the article further.

The difference between leads and a regular target audience is that the former is closer to making a purchase decision (in the language of marketers, this is a “hot”, “warm” or “warmed” audience). You can easily contact them directly – send a push notification, an email or a personal message – and offer to buy something. And it won’t be perceived as spam. But with a “cold” audience, you can interact only indirectly: for example, display ads (calls and letters with commercial offers are likely to only annoy). Visit Portland digital agency website to learn more about lead generation and ROI increasing.

Lead Generation

This is the process of collecting these very contacts using various tools: for example, pop-ups on the site, promoting an application on Google Play, or advertising with a lead form on Facebook and Instagram.

Lead generation is only a part of all-round marketing. Because it works not only to attract customers and sales, but also to image, brand awareness.

Who Needs Lead Generation


Anyone who sells goods or services over the Internet. It is easier and more effective to interact with leads than with a casual, “cold” audience.

Lead generation is also used by offline businesses: sushi bars, mobile operators, gas station networks. A sushi bar can write to direct about a 10% discount, an operator can send an SMS about a new service, a network of gas stations can inform by mail about special conditions for corporate clients.

But lead generation is especially needed for specialists who work according to KPIs. For example, performance marketers who receive a flat fee for each potential customer who gives their contacts. Lead generation is also very much in demand in traffic arbitrage: advertisers pay only for leads like confirmed orders or app downloads.

Lead generation is everywhere, but the methods of collecting contacts will differ depending on the niche, business specifics, traffic sources.

Essential Lead Driving Tools


You can use different approaches in lead generation. They mainly attract visitors from different sources to the site, where there are special tools for collecting contacts.

Lead Forms


A person visits the site and sees an offer to clarify the price, sign up for a course or get a cost estimate for an individual project. He leaves a name, phone number and email in a special form, and in return gets what he wanted: the exact cost, booking a place, calculating the price.

Chat bots


They are installed on sites, social networks and instant messengers in order to:

  • advise potential customers, talk about the product;
  • answer additional questions about the service;
  • record contacts and transfer them to the manager.


“Smart” chat bots can place an order and accept payment directly in the dialogue, and then “send” it to the CRM system. For them, lead generation is an auxiliary function, they are mainly focused on direct sales and customer support.

Lead Magnets


This is something free in exchange for contacts. For example, a company might donate an e-book or give a big discount. There are many options: template, selection, video, infographics, test, trial period.

There are also special ad formats that allow you to generate leads even without a website. For example, in the VKontakte advertising account this format is called “Collection of applications”. How it works:

The advertiser creates a form and launches its display to the target audience.
The system stores the responses (and contacts) of users.
Then the advertiser processes the resulting list of leads.
What companies are doing with leads
If you just collect contacts, nothing will happen. Leads need to be processed: get in touch with people as quickly as possible to help make a purchase decision. This can be done in different ways:

  • tell about new products and company news in an email newsletter, send useful content (guides, reviews, collections);
  • send out personal messages with notification of new discounts and promotions;
  • call and offer services that a potential client was interested in.


More often than not, leads are simply sold head-on: they get in touch and offer to buy something directly.

If the person is interested in the product and has already interacted with the company, it is highly likely that he will make a purchase decision. But obsessive processing of leads, aggressive “squeezing” can be annoying and lead to the opposite result. If the prospect isn’t ready to be active yet, it’s best to take a break.
To effectively collect and process leads, as well as build relationships with existing customers, you need to be well versed in marketing. That is, to be a professional marketer, strategist, analyst, contextologist and targetologist all rolled into one.

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