Any lead generation effort begins with understanding your customers-how they approach the buying decision. Depending on how many stages the decision-making process has, our process of qualifying a potential customer varies. Most likely, we will use a blend of marketing methodologies for an integrated lead generation campaign:
The premise of permission marketing is the self-selecting consumer, the idea that we should market only to those people interested in buying your product or service. How do we know they're interested? They're looking for you. They conduct a search or opt-in for more information. We then obtain permission before advancing to the next phase in the sales cycle. Typically, e-mail marketing is used in permission-based lead generation. This process of permission marketing allows the customer to be and to feel in control of the sales process. They're no longer strangers. They have chosen to be allies.
When conducting lead generation under the permission marketing model, we target prospects searching for keywords and phrases that relate to your specific product or service, then market to them with a "sticky" tactic, such as an offer for free digital products in exchange for contact information and an opt-in or friend referral. Search Engine Optimization as well as Search Marketing is used in lead generation efforts combined with digital product offers. Digital products are web-based content such as white papers, e-books, podcasts and blogs.
Starting a dialogue with your customers is the goal of lead generation. Obtaining feedback from prospects in the form of questions, comments or requests for more information is the beginning of customer dialogue. At this stage, the prospect has engaged with your brand and trust is available to be earned.