What is lead generation? (2023)

In order to have a healthy funnel, you need a constant stream of leads. Profiles that really have the possibility of becoming a (paying) customer of your company. We call this process lead generation. And we tell you how to do it.

In this article you will read (click to go directly to the paragraph):

  • What is lead generation?
  • Why do you need lead generation?
  • Lead Generation vs. Lead Nurturing
  • Lead generation is part of a broader strategy: inbound
  • Lead generation and content
  • How do you create a lead generation plan?
  • Is lead generation limited to my own website only?
  • Lead Generation Tools
  • Why should I search for leads myself when I can just buy them off the shelf?

What is lead generation?

beeleading generationYou need to think about all the activities aimed at generating new leads. Add new leads (prospects) for youdatabase/CRMand funnel.

Why do you need lead generation?

Without active lead generation, it can be quite difficult to connect with potential new customers who are interested in your products and/or services.

Without active lead generation, all you have to do is wait for potential customers to contact you.

New leads thus ensure an influx of interested parties into the so-called "funnel". SunMarketing funnel or sales funnel can be seen as an imaginary funnel.

This funnel visualizes the path your prospects, your potential customers, take before becoming customers. Potential visitors go through a process and are guided until a conversion occurs and they reach the end of this “funnel”.

(Video) What Is Lead Generation?

What is lead generation? (1)

Lead Generation vs. Lead Nurturing

Lead generation and lead nurturing are two different stages of this funnel. This is immediately clear in the following graph:

leading generationsee him therenew leadsthey end up in this funnel (and in your database), more specifically in the top of the funnel (TOFU, Top Of The Funnel).

What is lead generation? (2)

lead breedingis the next step in the process: throughexisting leadsIf you “educate” them and educate them, they will become Marketing Qualified Leads (MOFU = Middle of the Funnel). Some of them end up becoming qualified leads for sales (BOFU = Bottom Of The Funnel).

Learn more about the stages of the funnel (TOFU, MOFU and BOFU)read here!

By continually qualifying your leads throughout this process, you're perfectly positioned to determine who's ready for a conversation with your sales team. This takes the guesswork out of your sales colleagues and creates more relevant offers for your prospects.

Lead generation is part of a broader strategy: inbound

You now understand the importance of providing a steady stream of leads into your marketing funnel.

But of course you need a process, a system to further qualify and inform those leads. For us, that global strategy is inbound marketing.

internal marketingIt's all about building a relationship with your prospects. They provide compelling and relevant information that will help them make good buying decisions. You don't do this through advertising, but by posting content that will draw them to your site.

(Video) What is Lead Generation?

In short: you drive visitors to your website, convert them to leads (lead generation!), convert them to customers, and then convert them to promoters.

Need a refresher on what an inbound or sales funnel looks like, or how to create your own funnel?Then be sure to read our guide to inbound marketing funnels!

Lead generation and content

Content is very important within this inbound philosophy. With the right content, you'll draw your target audience to your site when they're looking for information about a specific question, need, or problem you want to solve. And he leads them down his funnel with a matching e-book.

What is lead generation? (3)

What you focus on (lead generation vs. lead nurturing) will have a strong impact on the type of content you offer on your website:

  • Lead generation emphasizes the top of the funnel (TOFU). For this you publish practical and useful posts for youBuyer's personality, the “ideal buyer” of your product or service. Tips, troubleshooting, or answers to frequently asked questions are popular examples of this type of content.

    What is not being done (yet) here is selling. However, it's important that you offer a follow-up step here that takes visitors one step further on their purchase path: a downloadable eBook, for example. Or a product demo.

  • Lead nurturing shifts the focus to the center of the funnel (MOFU) and the bottom of the funnel. Here your content gains a deeper and/or exclusive character, with solutions or experience that convince your customers that you are the right partner. Consider offering free case studies, eBooks, demos, helpful checklists, or reviews.

    Also include this content in your newsletters (your regular emails, but also trigger emails or drip campaigns) to educate customers about your offer while qualifying them.

What is lead generation? (4)

Exactly the content you need on your websiteread here

How do you create a lead generation plan?

If you're serious about lead generation, we recommend creating a specific entry/content plan.


They primarily plan top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content, supplemented by meaningful follow-up steps that drive visitors further down the funnel via strong calls-to-action (CTAs). This is possible, for example, with closed content, available only to visitors who leave their data.

specifically cansuch content planIt looks like this:

  • Within 6 months: Publish 25 blog posts (post 1 per week), focus on the top of the funnel.
  • In a few weeks: Publish 1 ebook or checklist targeted to the middle of the funnel.
  • After 2 months – Post some case studies that focus on the bottom of the funnel.
  • After 2 months: Release 1 tool, e.g. B. a calculator, simulator, or demo, which in turn points to the bottom of the funnel.

Depending on the combination you want, you can change the focus from TOFU content to MOFU and BOFU according to your preference.

Bonus tip: plan optimized landing pages as well, because a well-thought-out landing page significantly increases the chances of conversion. You can read about all this in ourThe Definitive Guide to Landing Pages.

Also think about wide distribution of your content (see below!).

Looking for easy to use conversion tips for your website?Then be sure to continue reading this guide!

Is lead generation limited to my own website only?

The importance of aligning content planning with your inbound efforts cannot be overstated, but of course, beyond content and inbound, there are many other tactics you can employ in your search for new leads.

For example, also looking for new potential customers on "rented land" (= not in your own medium) and approaching them with relevant content and offers, through which they click through to your website.

What is lead generation? (5)

(Video) Become A Lead Generation Machine (Easy Way To Get More Clients) Masterclass w/ Joana Galvao

Popular ways to connect with new audiences or promote your product include:

  • social media– With organic or paid posts on platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, you can easily reach the right audience that directs them to (a custom landing page on) your website. However, messages tailored to the (very) target audience and shareable content are essential, which you can find here.
  • influence marketing: By leveraging the reach and authority of influencers, you promote your product or service in an authentic way.influence marketingit can be used in many ways online and offline.
  • cooperations: Collaborations with other companies can also be a way to introduce your brand or product to new audiences. It is important that both companies fit together, for example, through complementary services or products.
  • guest posts: Writing a blog post on an external website as a guest contributor is not only a great way to showcase your expertise to the rest of the world, but also gives you the opportunity, directly or indirectly, to draw attention to your own brand or product. of a new audience.

It's also often a good idea to back up your eBooks, ...with a certain budget (FURTHER). For example, on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Lead Generation Tools

A good website with a blog (where your leads can get good information) and where you can register them (with a landing page and a form) is essential to generate new leads. Behind the scenes, you need a central database for marketing and sales purposes.

What is lead generation? (6)

At leadstreet, we bet on HubSpot. To be honest, we are not very impartial (after all, we are the first BelgianHubSpot Diamond Partnerand manage more than 60 HubSpots), butWe think HubSpot is definitely #1.By the way, not only us. Also different studiesconfirm this situation.

What is lead generation? (7)

Why should I search for leads myself when I can just buy them off the shelf?

In some industries, it's easy or common to buy leads from others instead of generating them yourself. For example, from site administrators where you, as a consumer, can request 5 different offers for windows and doors for free, simply by leaving your data.

What is lead generation? (8)

These leads are offered for sale, sometimes at (significant) prices. If you get 1 paying customer out of 20 leads, you probably paid a lot of money. And that's not counting your own time and expenses. Plus, four of your competitors are guaranteed to bombard the same lead with offers at the same time, because, of course, you don't have exclusive rights to the leads you buy from a third party. Not a good place to start, is it?

(Video) How to start a Lead Generation Business in 2023

Want all our opinions on buying leads? Or choose a set of recommendations to help you do better? read herebecause i hate buying email addresses.


If you want a healthy stream of leads, you need to focus on lead generation. You are actively recruiting leads on your own website. A good website with content that appeals to your target audience is essential. As well as a strategy to follow those clues.

Would you like to learn more about this process or optimize your existing lead generation?call us. Do you want to read the entire inbound marketing process? You can do it in the following guide:

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