Lead generation definition
Lead generation is the process of creating, maintaining, monitoring, and converting prospect interest. As the second stage of inbound marketing, the lead generation process occurs after you've attracted a group of anonymous visitors and are ready to begin the work of converting them into leads—known as marketing qualified leads (MQLs)—for your sales team to follow up on. Although all marketers have their own set of processes and workflows, the digital lead generation process does have a few commonalities:
An anonymous person discovers your company through one of your marketing channels—your website, blog, or social media page.
Call to action (CTA)
That person then clicks on your call to action (CTA)—a hyperlinked image, button, or string of text—that encourages them to take the next step.
That CTA takes the person (or visitor) to a web asset or landing page. Marketers design their websites and landing pages to capture lead information. Depending on your marketing automation platform, the information you collect can be used to create the lead in your CRM system, update a lead score, trigger a set of retargeting actions, or place a contact into a particular marketing campaign.
To move a lead from an anonymous person to a known contact, marketers often use forms to collect contact information, such as email addresses and names. Forms are typically hosted on landing pages, although they can technically be embedded anywhere on your website. Landing page visitors can be prompted to fill out the form to access an offer or a high-value piece of content.
Once added to your CRM, the known contact becomes a lead that can be engaged, scored, and segmented for various campaigns.