We have all experienced how the Internet has changed our lives. We now interact with other people, agencies, and issues in a manner completely different from what it was a decade ago. But not many of us realize that the Internet has also transformed the way suppliers of goods and services interact with us.
What Is Lead Generation?
In the good old days advertising was passive. Suppliers of goods and services put out their ads in various media and then waited for interested consumers to contact them.
Then marketing managers became proactive. They collected contact details of groups of people from offline and online databases. They began to contact them through cold phone calls or e-mails without caring to find out if the people would or even could be interested. We have all experienced annoying phone calls out of the blue asking if we are interested in insurance or holiday packages. Cold emails are only slightly less annoying.
Suppliers are beginning to realize that this intrusive method of contacting consumers is counterproductive. This is where lead generation comes in. A lead is a person who has through some medium indicated interest in a company’s product or service. You may have filled up a form at a mall out of interest for the product or in exchange for a freebie. Now, you know that you will hear from the supplier to take the interaction to the next level and you cannot blame them for it. Even if you are not interested in the product, you have given tacit consent to be contacted.
The Internet And Lead Generation
The Internet has disrupted the way lead generation works. The advertiser and the consumer need no longer be in the same physical space like a mall or movie theater. The advertiser can guide the potential consumer through all the steps of lead generation without any face to face interaction in a preset sequence.
Step 1 – Initial Contact And Call To Action
There are so many different ways in which suppliers can make the initial contact inviting the consumers to take some action.
- You are searching an online store like Amazon for music hardware. You see an ad that offers first month free for a subscription music service like songs download. A clickable link in that ad is the call for action. If you are interested then you click the link and enter the next step of lead generation.
- You are searching the Internet to find out how a product works. You reach a blog page on the web site of one of the manufacturers of that product. The information is sketchy. But you see a field that asks you to enter your email address for more information. This is the call to action. You enter your email and submit.
- You are registered at an online casino. The online casino offers you free playing money for every friend you refer. You convince a friend to take the call to action and sign up at that online casino through a link.
Step 2 – Capture Of Lead Information
The call to action will take you to a landing page on the supplier’s web site. It will usually have an online form that is designed to capture lead information. This is a form that asks you to enter your personal particulars like gender and age. It may also ask for your preferences in the related field. The form can be used in different ways.
- The supplier may want to develop a general profile of persons interested in the product so that they can set up the initial contact points more effectively.
- The supplier may have a range of products and the lead information will enable them to give the best proposal.
Step 3 – The Offer In Exchange For Lead Information
Some people would go through these steps out of genuine interest or even urgent need. But most people that take the call to action may not want to fill up forms. So suppliers usually make some offer in exchange for the lead information.
- In an earlier example the offer was one month’s free subscription to music download.
- The offer could be a discount coupon for products of the site on which the ad was placed.
Once the form has been filled and submitted the lead generation is complete and the supplier can contact the consumer without any misgivings.
Lead Generation Companies
There are companies that are professionally engaged in lead generation for a client or even a group of clients. These companies are becoming valuable because of the processes they have developed. Some of these companies are Episerver and Qualtrics.
Online Casino Industry Example
Online casinos are opening up at a rapid rate. The casino operators need to remain focused on providing the gambling services. The lead generation is done through intermediary companies.
- A large number of no deposit casinos are featured on the lead generator’s web site.
- They negotiate exclusive offers for new players signing up from these online casinos.
- Featured articles and blogs that are optimized for Internet search drive casino players to the intermediaries’ web sites.
- There the players take a call to action based on the exclusive bonus offers displayed.
- Clicking on the offers leads the players to the online casino web sites.
- They provide the lead information while signing up and then claim the bonus offer.
Lead generation is a complex process that combines statistics, marketing, sociology and other disciplines. It is also one of the more remunerative functional areas in today’s job market.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.