A familiar situation for people who regularly browse the web: once you (un)intentionally click on an online ad your are forwarded to a landing page. Now you are faced with a decision: are you willing to give up personal data to access the advertised content or do you close the tab? If you choose to enter your information, you become a lead. Lead generation – i.e. attracting people who might be interested in a brand's products or services - is an important part of online marketing. Leads are essentially data sets that users give up in exchange for information.
The willingness to enter personal information into an online form signals a brand that a potential new customer is at the doorstep. Furthermore, it is possible to track and understand the behavior of prospects on a website through coded links. Companies can gain important information from these data for further marketing activities.
Social Media Monitoring
Data generated through social media channels such as Facebook, Google+ or Twitter can be used by companies to capture criticism, moods, suggestions and opinions about products or the company itself. The information has to be collected continuously and analyzed systematically. This form of lead generation requires a little more effort on the marketers' part as the data sets are generated by evaluating potential customers' social media activities.
In addition, the social media channels can be used for the integration of further lead generation instruments such as newsletter subscriptions.
Incentives are used to „incentivize“ users to share their personal data. Examples are contests, product samples or coupons. Companies gain valuable information about potential new customers through such actions while creating an added value for users: a win-win situation.
Couponing is based on the old and almost already forgotten system of discount markers. Whoever receives and uses a coupon receives certain benefits. In online marketing, this usually works through coupon codes or white papers, which can be accessed through registration forms.
If a customer is interested in the company or a particular product and wants to receive updates and offers on a regular basis, they might subscribe to a newsletter. By subscribing to the newsletter, customers show a strong interest as well as a certain amount of trust in the brand by sharing their contact information.
The generated leads can be used for different purposes. They are often used to set up and expand the customer dialogue (e.g. dialogue or telephone marketing). This is an important basis to learn more about the customers and their needs. Furthermore, a customer database can be created or expanded using the leads.