A potential customer in your target audience who is interested in purchasing the product or service you offer is referred to as a “lead” in the digital marketing world. Now, to capture this lead – meaning you make them take the first step in your sales cycle – marketing agencies see value in employing different marketing tactics otherwise known as lead generation marketing.

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Not every lead will be ready to convert at that point in time but that doesn’t mean such leads should be ignored. Lead nurturing is especially critical in the lead generation process when prospects are undecided about a purchase. Send them helpful information based on their interests. Automate the lead nurturing process, and set up reminders and a schedule of when to check in with them. You want to be top of mind when they are ready to make a decision.
Setting the different stages in your own lead management process is important for the continually flow of leads from beginning to end of the sales funnel. The lead generation process of reaching leads, retaining interest, nurturing leads to prevent them from dropping off and establishing their desire to interact with your company is the focus of the marketing team.

You can capture leads by asking those that are interested to add their email addresses to your list or fill out a postcard. Even better, leave out a fishbowl into which visitors can drop their business cards. Hold a drawing at the end of the tradeshow to give free prizes that relate to your company, like gift certificates. Be sure to have plenty of business cards of your own handy to hand out as well.

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The problem is that information abundance equals attention scarcity. This is known as attention economics. Social scientist Herbert Simon was the first person to discuss this concept when he wrote “in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.”

Develop your leadership leads. Try to build on the leads you find through your thought leadership efforts, particularly if your initial interaction is online. Schedule a meeting or make a phone call. A phone call is a more personal form of communication, and it is not a generic or mass media message. Plus, it shows your potential lead that you and your company are real, and that she’d be doing business with a real person.

Cost per acquisition advertising (e.g. TalkLocal, Thumbtack) addresses the risk of CPM and CPC advertising by charging only by the lead. Like CPC, the price per lead can be bid up by demand. Also, like CPC, there are ways in which providers can commit fraud by manufacturing leads or blending one source of lead with another (example: search-driven leads with co-registration leads) to generate higher profits. For such marketers looking to pay only for specific actions/acquisition, there are two options: CPL advertising (or online lead generation) and CPA advertising (also referred to as affiliate marketing). In CPL campaigns, advertisers pay for an interested lead — i.e. the contact information of a person interested in the advertiser's product or service. CPL campaigns are suitable for brand marketers and direct response marketers looking to engage consumers at multiple touchpoints — by building a newsletter list, community site, reward program or member acquisition program. In CPA campaigns, the advertiser typically pays for a completed sale involving a credit card transaction.

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