Lead Gen Basics (or, Why I Always Go For the Breadsticks)

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You might not have pizza on the brain as often as I do, but I think we can all agree that the guy on the street waving a Little Caesar’s sign has a way about him. If I see him out there enthusiastically promoting his brand, you bet your ass I stop in for a $5 hot-n-ready.

This is lead generation at its finest.

So, just what is lead generation and why is it important to you as an inbound marketer?

First of all, a lead is a person that shows interest in your product or service. Lead generation is wooing people with your product or service so they come back for more and grow into aforementioned interested people. And it’s important because we said so.

In the more-modern-than-Little-C’s sense, once you’ve attracted someone to your website via social media or blog posts, it’s important to convert them from simply visitors to actual leads who might go on to become clients and, if you’re really lucky, promoters of your product, service, or brand.

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The most successful inbound marketing lead generation campaigns tend to contain some variations of the following:

  1. Offer: Content about a particular topic that proves you know what you’re talking about (e.g., eBooks, free consultations, product demonstrations)
  2. Call-to-Action (CTA): Text, an image, or a button that sends visitors to a landing page to check out and, fingers crossed, download your offer
  3. Landing Page: A focused page that contains information about a particular offer, and a form to download that offer
  4. Form: A (you guessed it!) form that collects contact information from a visitor in exchange for an offer

According to HubSpot, the process of lead generation makes it more natural for visitors to want to buy from you eventually because they’ve initiated the relationship with you.

If the “Pizza, Pizza” dude bolted into traffic and jumped on the hood of my car, I probably wouldn’t be stopping in. Going in on my own accord shows that I’m interested and then they can sink their teeth into me. They offer me breadsticks before sending me off with a pizza box that has coupons taped to it, enticing me to return.

If I’m being honest, I was gonna return with or without the coupons.

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