What is Lead Generation? | A Complete Guide 

So you want to transform your audience into customers? Of course, you do. After all, it’s the sole purpose of all your marketing. In anything you do in digital marketing, whether posting on social media, creating content, crafting an email, or producing a video, the goal is to turn visitors into buyers.


However, in 2023, successfully converting your audience goes further than chucking a load of marketing material on the web and praying someone bites, or worse still, performing cold reach outs. Thankfully, there’s a much better way to do it. Enter lead generation. Before we dive into how to use lead generation effectively and the different types of lead gen, let’s define lead and lead generation. 

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What is a Lead? 

A lead is someone who is at least somewhat interested in your offer. Potential leads can be anyone who has visited your site, engaged with your social media account or looked at your product page. The extent to which they do this is known as lead qualification, which we’ll explore later. So if leads are interested prospects, what is lead generation? 

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation, or lead gen now we’re talking like true digital marketers, is the art of identifying potential customers and nurturing them through a tailored marketing funnel. While we’re not focusing on marketing funnels and buyer journeys here, lead generation is a method of taking an audience member and transforming them into an interested, highly qualified lead, which after a strong email sequence, will result in that lead becoming a customer. 


In digital marketing, your lead is a hook to capture your audience’s attention. For example, this could be a free PDF download such as an eBook, cheat sheet, or free webinar. Your lead generation is unusually a pop-up displayed on your website pages, offering the reader something infinitely more available than the content they’re reading currently. This is typically in exchange for an email address. 

Why is Lead Generation Important?

Lead generation is critical in nurturing leads through a sales process or marketing funnel. Sans lead gen, you rely entirely on the dreaded cold reach out or hoping your website pages are conversion optimized enough to sell cold. Hint, they’re not! 


Instead, you establish a relationship with that audience member by giving value with your irresistible lead gen offer. Then, after a series of valuable, relationship-building emails, you should only attempt to sell. Lead generation paves the way for sales; it’s that simple. So how does the lead generation process flow?

The Lead Generation Process & Strategy

When a visitor comes to your site, they, at the broadest level, are considered a lead. After all, they’ve found your site through organic Google search, clicked through social media, and are interested enough to read your content. 


That said, lead generation works differently depending on your industry. If you’re new to lead generation, a great place to start would be to create a pop-up form offering a weekly newsletter in exchange for an email list. This is the most basic lead gen; you can then send helpful emails to let your audience know of the latest goings on in your industry or help them with their pain points. 


But to excel with lead generation, you’ll need a more irresistible hook! You must create something infinitely more available than a simple newsletter. Spend time developing an eBook, cheat sheet, or free webinar that genuinely helps your audience. Good questions to ask include: 

Whatever type of lead generation you choose, ensure it resonates with your audience and offers a heap of value. Afterward, you can proceed with your email sequence, which should continue adding value and building a relationship between you and the audience member. After an excellent email sequence, you’re in a great position to make a sales offer. 


By doing this, you also evoke reciprocity, an emotional marketing technique part of the six pillars of persuasion. This means when someone receives something free, they will naturally feel the need to give back to you. In other words, buy from you! 

Different Types of Lead Generation 


eBooks are one of the best and most effective lead-generation methods out there. You can quickly put one together by hiring a freelance ebook writer and using tools such as Canva to design it. eBooks are a super easy way to pack lots of value into something easily downloadable. 

Blog Articles (Gated content)

Ever clicked on a blog to see a paywall? While this is annoying, as a lead magnet, a gated article can work wonders for enticing your audience into giving you their email. Tease them with a content snippet, such as a great introduction, then ask for an email to read. While this may deter some readers and increase bounce rates, it filters out those who aren’t interested, leaving those who are. Winner! 


As video content is the most engaging content, it’s also incredibly effective in lead generation. Website visitors can sign up for your free webinar and consume great informational content in a fun and engaging manner. This also gives a face to your brand and a behind-the-scenes look into what you do. 

Different Types of Lead Generation 

Lead generation can be as simple as a PDF download, such as “X Tips to improve your X.” This is super easy to create and an excellent way to offer additional value. 


Need help creating awesome lead gen? Get in touch today to find out how I can create awesome lead gen with conversion-optimized landing page writing. 

Lead Qualification 

There are many excellent ways to determine how qualified a lead is. For instance, you can look at engagement, interaction, and email response and see how visitors use your website using a tool such as HotJar. This tool highlights how users navigate, helping you identify the most interested users. 

Lead Scoring

Some companies score their leads using a points system based on audience interaction. For example, email opens, and responses could be +10 points, Hotjar data certain another +10, social media engagement +10 and so on. This helps you visualize the most qualified leads you have. 

Measuring Lead Success 

So how do you measure lead success? This will primarily come down to your business goals, content strategy, marketing campaigns and the product or service you’re promoting. Before starting with any lead gen, it’s critical to establish a measure of success. Without it, you’ll never know what determines a successful leader or be able to make adjustments later on.

Lead Generation for Digital Marketing - Final Words  

Lead generation helps you transform a broad “cold” audience into warm qualified leads who are almost ready to buy. Creating a well-designed pop-up and offering lead gen as an ebook, download, or webinar can provide value and entice your audience. You can then build trust, increase credibility and nurture that oh-so-sweet long-term custom relationship to pave the way for sale later. 


If you need help writing landing page copy, lead gen pop-ups or the content for your lead gen, then contact me today. I write landing pages, ebooks, blog articles, and video scripts and would love to help you create a fantastic, enticing lead gen.