Origin and history

The modern concept of lead generation is from the direct marketing emerged. The origins of direct marketing go back to companies, which after the First World War distributed their products by mail, so mail order companies like Eduscho and source, Since the 1980s, however, the increasing customer focus of other companies has led to a stronger focus on direct marketing.[2] Thus advertising companies their Target groups reach with reasonable economic effort, they need a professional direct marketing. Experience has shown that through direct contact almost any medium can be used as a sales medium, for example via coupons, telephone callbacks or orders by fax. This direct customer contact increases the chances of a long-term dialogue.

How the lead generation works

The following instruments are used in classic direct marketing for lead generation:

  • Coupon ads (couponing)
  • Ad with telephone counseling service
  • Display with attached order card
  • mailing, with information card for requesting further information

If the interest of the potential customer is aroused, the latter enters his contact data desired by the advertiser into predefined fields of the medium used and forwards this back to the advertiser. The advertiser now receives a lead.[4]

Online, very diverse advertising material (banners, Text links etc.) in virtually all available delivery channels (classic websites, e-mail, social networks, search engines, etc.) are used for lead generation. In these advertising materials can be found the incentives (Sweepstakes, coupons, product samples, etc.). If the user clicks on it, it will become the so-called landing page of the leadpublicity campaign where he can enter his data on predetermined data fields and gives his consent to be saved by the advertiser (web forms with the explicit consent for advertising).

A range of tools and services are offered as part of online lead generation and lead management. For example, it is possible to use coded links to observe the behavior of the lead on the corresponding website and thus to draw conclusions about its interests. The comparison of the visitor IPs of the provider portal with databases can identify visiting companies and thus contribute to lead generation. That too Social Media Monitoring is a discipline of lead generation.

Another way to generate leads is to create high quality content for a specific audience. This may, for example, a White Paper, a guide or a checklist. These are not freely accessible. Interested parties must provide their contact details. Often, the users get access to the desired content only after one Double Opt-In-Method. In addition, the interested party is encouraged to subscribe to the newsletter. In some cases, leads that are interested in such content are also tracked by phone to make the product palatable. The advantage of such a procedure is that it is relatively easy and cost-effective to attract leads from a specific target group. Because only those, for whom it is really interesting, will give their contact data voluntarily. On the other hand, the procedure can also scare off those who value privacy or fear spam. In addition, it is possible that false information may be provided in order to read the contents

Quality of generated leads

The quality of the leads generated is determined by the following factors: correctness, timeliness, the voluntary, deliberate release of the data by the (potential) customer and the genuine interest of the customer in the relevant product or company.

Not all leads are of the same quality. For example, there are the so-called "cold leads" and the "warm leads". The "cold leads" are leads that have data entered to achieve a purpose, such as downloading an ebook. There is no interest in the publisher or its products and services. The so-called "warm leads" are the higher-quality leads, in which there is an independent interest in the service or the product of a company. In the "Warm Lead", the data was entered voluntarily, without receiving a reward, as in the case of the Cold Lead. In order to ensure a high quality of the generated leads, lead generation often requires the evaluation and qualification of the leads. The goal for most advertisers is to generate high quality leads. If no high quality is given, the customer dialogue becomes more difficult and can not be managed in the long term or sustainably. For companies, it is usually associated with great (time and financial) effort and costs to identify and sort out incorrect or even invented records. In addition, there is a risk that consumers could feel bothered by the respective company if they advertise them without their specific consent send or use their data.

A high quality of generated leads can be achieved through various measures. These are currently in the Online Lead Generation easy to realize, because here the data sets are available in digital form right from the start and can thus be checked automatically in a simplified way. The leads gained online can learn as many validation levels as they are checked not only automatically but also manually for correctness. Some examples of such validation levels include:

  • Ensuring consumer consent to re-use their data (eg through double opt-in procedures)
  • Automatic checks of the generated data records, eg For example, there are obviously invented information (eg Mickey Mouse as name), double entries, plausibility (eg there is no city in Germany called New York) or similar.
  • Examination by human sighting (eg on typing errors)
  • Additional telephone contact by a Call centerto make sure that the user is really interested, and As an incentive such as a "trial training in the fitness center" for appointment

Use of the generated leads

Companies generate leads for different purposes, such as: B.

  • to build and expand a customer database
  • to initiate and expand customer dialogue as part of its dialogue marketing, d. h. to then contact the potential customers by phone, theirs Newsletterto send, o. Ä.
  • In addition, companies with lead generation campaigns can build a positive image with the consumer and develop brand awareness (so-called brand awareness). branding) push forward. This can be described as a positive side effect of such campaigns, because these effects occur as soon as the consumer perceives the advertising material, even if he does not forward his data.

As a result of the aroused and promoted customer interest, the sales of a company should be increased.

data protection

When generating customer data, companies (including but not limited to data protection) Requirements of the so-called Permission marketing in Germany. The data collection methods must be transparent and consumers give their express consent before they can be contacted in any way. All information must be provided voluntarily by consumers. A sensible and privacy-compliant procedure for this is the Double Opt In procedure, which is also used when sending newsletters.