Lead Generation

Using lead generation to enhance your business

In the world of Internet marketing, lead generation is the practice of creating interest in a business or website by using search engines, online ads and offers, and of creating customer leads for that business by encouraging users to request a quote or otherwise fill out a form that includes their contact information to receive further information about products or services. Another online lead-generation approach, besides straightforward customer requests for quotes or simply more information, is an incentive strategy that encourages users to sign up for different offers in order to get their discount, free sample, etc.

Internet lead generation helps businesses build e-mail marketing lists or databases, which they can then target using direct marketing; and it is generally undertaken externally by a business lead generation service. The lead generation service hosts (and sometimes even creates) ads or other content for the business and is paid every time certain actions are performed by users—what actions result in payment depends on the agreement between the host site company and the company whose ads and information they feature. Usually, the service is paid for providing leads (potential customers or clients who fill out an online request or information form), but it may even receive commission for the generation of successful leads (actual new customers or clients).

Traditional Network Marketing and Lead Generation

Of course, there are several types of lead generation out there that pre-date Internet marketing, as well. One well-established strategy, which can be seen in action in stores and especially at trade show displays all over the country, is for potential or existing customers to fill out a draw ticket to win, for example, a free service or package of promotional products from a company.

This kind of marketing works especially well for companies built on multilevel marketing (MLM). With MLM lead generation, distributors for the company's products are drawn from the potential or existing customer base, so gathering contact information from interested individuals doubles as both sales lead generation and recruitment lead generation.

Online lead generation is a good form of marketing if you are a small business looking to find new customers or clients who will appreciate what you are selling. Do your research and find out what forms of lead generation will work best for your business and build its customer base.

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