The Complete Guide to Lead Generation in 2023

By: Nate Fineberg
April 11, 2023
Complete Guide To Lead Generation 2023

You’re about to discover how to leverage proven lead generation strategies to get:

  • 475% Return on investment
  • 55% Reduced cost per lead
  • 43% Reduced cost per sales opportunity

To top it all off, we’ll also share some of our secret tips to help you stand out from your competitors and steal their leads. You’ll get real-time examples, and actionable steps backed up by data.

That way, you can apply what you learn to your business instantly and start getting massive results.

What is a lead?

Lead is a set of data or information about a person indicating a purchasing intent. It’s different for every business, and there’s no universal definition. 

Image 17

For instance, a dentist might consider a lead to be:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Last dentist appointment 
  • Dental work your need

But that will be different for real estate agents that mostly care about:

  • Name
  • Email Address
  • Budget
  • Type of house you’re looking for

The more relevant information about a lead, the more valuable it is. Let’s now look at the different categories and types of leads.

Marketing Qualified Leads

Marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a lead that has shown an interest in buying your product or service – but is not ready to make a purchase yet.

Here are some of the actions that marketing qualified leads take.

  • Filling out a form
  • Downloading a trial
  • Adding items to the shopping cart

The most common strategies to get MQL to the next stage is to send them personalized emails and show them how to use your product (and why they must get it.)

Sales Qualified Lead

Sales qualified lead (SQL) is a prospective customer that has a need for your product. Your sales team should now be ready to convert them into a customer.

Here are some of the actions that sales qualified leads take.

  • Webinar Registration/Attendance
  • Responding to your emails

The most common strategies to convert SQL into customers is to respond to their queries quickly, showcase why you’re their choice (competitive advantage), and provide social proof.

What Is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is a process of generating potential customers for your business. 

You can generate leads by capturing visitors’ contact information (called leads) via different channels, e.g., web forms on landing pages.

For most businesses, this is the initial stage of the sales funnel.

Image 2

The main goal of lead generation is to generate as many qualified leads (ideal customers) as possible.

B2B Lead Generation Vs. B2C Lead Generation

Lead generation is a little different for B2B and B2C businesses. You can see a comparison of B2B and B2C lead generation below.

Image 12

Source: Digital Marketers World

As you can see, B2B lead gen is a bit more personalized and has a longer sales cycle, mostly because B2B products and services are usually a lot more expensive..

The 4 L’s: Lead Generation Marketing Strategy

Before we jump into creating a perfect lead generation strategy, it’s important to understand the four main areas of lead generation.

These are a MUST-HAVE in every successful strategy.

#1: Lead Capture

Lead capturing is all about targeting the right audience and creating an irresistible offer they will be interested in. It’s the first step in every lead generation strategy.

To create a great lead capture, you must make leads curious, interested, and ready to learn more.

#2: Lead Magnet

Lead magnet provides a free valuable resource in exchange for a lead’s contact information like name and email address.

The most common types of lead magnets include.

  • E-book
  • Cheat sheet
  • Checklist

This will help you set up communication with leads and move them down the sales funnel.

#3: Landing Page Conversion

Landing pages are the pages your potential leads land on when they click on your lead capture ads. They should help you capture leads and warm up potential customers.

Image 16

To get the best results, you should provide an irresistible offer, social proof, and a personalized CTA.

#4: Lead Scoring

Lead scoring helps prioritize your leads by their levels of engagement with your business and ultimately helps you figure out who is ready to buy. 

In essence, you add a certain amount of points for each action a lead takes, such as:

Image 20

Source: Encharge

Lead scoring is a great way to know precisely where your leads are in terms of sales funnel and whether they are ready for sale.

Why Not Just Outsource Lead Generation?

Some companies don’t want to bother with lead generation – they’d much rather outsource it to an external company.

Unfortunately, this is not optimal and may lead to a couple of problems.

  • The high cost. It’s a lot more expensive to hire a lead generation company and pay 10 – 20% of sales made from leads generated.
  • Scammers. You can stumble upon fake companies that will only steal your money. This is especially true with pay-per-lead companies.
  • Going over your budget. It’s a lot easier to get over budget and generate unqualified leads that will not bring you any money, ruining your budget.

If you do lead generation yourself, you can prevent all of these from happening. Moreover, it will be more cost-effective, lead to better results, and help you get ahead faster.

Launching a Lead Generation Campaign: The Step-By-Step Process

In this section, you’ll discover how to launch a killer lead generation campaign. In fact, we will look at strategies that have brought incredible results like.

  • 475% Return on investment
  • 55% Reduced cost per lead
  • 43% Reduced cost per sales opportunity

To make it as effective as possible, we’ll also provide you with examples and actionable steps.

That way, you can apply these strategies to your business instantly.

#0: Establish Your Objectives

You need to be clear about what you’re looking to achieve with your lead generation campaign. This will help you move in the right direction and let you know when you hit your target.

The most common goals for a lead generation campaign are:

  • Generating revenue
  • Improving awareness
  • Gathering feedback and intelligence

It all comes down to your goals and the company’s needs. 

To make the most out of your objectives (and have a real chance of hitting them) you’ll need to use the SMART formula for goal setting.

It’s the most effective way to hit your goals. If we transformed the goals above into SMART goals, they would look like this.

  • “I want to generate $20k in revenue in the next 6 months”
  • “I want to increase impressions by 200% in the next 3 months”
  • “I want to gather 30 filled feedback forms in the next month”

Make sure you do the same with your objectives to maximize your chances of actually hitting them.

#1: Research Your Target Market

You must be absolutely clear about what audience your lead generation campaign reaches. This will allow you to provide the best possible experience – showing leads you care about them.

Image 10

To achieve this, we are going to use the Market Explorer from SEMRush.

Explore the Market

To explore the market, learn about the trends in your niche, and more, head over to Market Explorer. There, you’ll have to type in your website and your competitors.

Image 28

You hit Create & Analyze and you’ll get your results.

The first thing to check is the growth quadrant. SEMRush divided you and your competitors into four quadrants.

Image 8

We highly suggest looking to the game changers quadrant – to become a game changer yourself.

(try to see what these companies do differently.)

You should also take a look at the most common keywords in your market – this can give you valuable insights into what your audience is talking about.

Image 4

You can then scroll down to see the basic information about your leads.

Image 22

And their geographical location.

Image 3

Build a Target Persona

You have all the information you need about your market.

Now it’s time to put it all together and create your ideal buyer persona – so you know who to target. For that, we’ll use the Make My Persona tool from HubSpot.

You’ll just fill in the information about your ideal lead and create a persona.

Image 27

This will allow you to personalize experience, use the right tone and language, and create lead generation campaigns your leads won’t be able to resist. 

#2: Craft High-Quality Content

You’ll now need to create killer content that will attract and help convert your leads. The objectives of your content should be as follow:

  • Solve customers’ problems
  • Educate leads about your product
  • Establish your authority and credibility

There are different content types for each stage of the sales funnel – with different goals for each stage.

Image 19

Source: LucidChart

It’s important to cover each of these stages, so your leads can seamlessly transition from one stage into the other – getting closer to a conversion.

There are a lot of types of content you can try with your leads, including:

  • Videos
  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts

It all depends on your business, target audience, capabilities, and budget. You can uncover where your audience hangs out with Market Explorer we used in the previous step.

We suggest you target the most popular channel – even if it’s a bit more expensive.

(e.i. creating videos instead of blog posts.)

It’s much more effective and will lead to more substantial results, which is one of the biggest reasons why our lead generation campaign had such an incredible ROI.

#3: Reach Your Audience

It will be very difficult to reach your leads with the content alone, especially from the beginning.

You will most likely need to use some sort of advertisement to get in front of your target audience and present your offer to them.

Here are some of the most common advertising channels you can use with your lead generation.


PPC ads are ads sitting on top of Google, above organic search results. You pay for each time a potential lead clicks on your ad.

Image 31

We highly suggest going with PPC ads since they are the best type of ads for increasing awareness.

Image 6

Source: Think With Google

You might think these ads are pretty expensive since you’re paying for each click. However, you have nothing to worry about since they have an excellent ROI – 200%.

Social Media Ads

Social media ads are incredible for helping you increase conversions. The best thing about them is that you can reach almost anyone – since there are over 4.76B active users.

Image 14

Source: Smart Insights

The platform you’ll choose depends mostly on your audience and the type of content you promote.

Different platforms provide various targeting options. For instance, Facebook allows you to target a very specific audience with its demographics and psychographics options.

Image 13

Online ads may seem very expensive.

But they are one of the best ways to reach target audiences, improve awareness, and capture leads. We recommend using them, especially from the beginning.

#4: Create a Killer Lead Magnet

You created content or ad that attracted a potential lead on your website – great job!

Now you need to craft an irresistible offer to give your leads in exchange for their contact details. There are a bunch of things you can offer, like e-books, guides, to-dos, etc.

Here are a few of our tips to follow when creating your lead magnet.

  • Be relevant to your audience
  • Provide value to your leads
  • Make them want more

You can see a great example of a lead magnet from AppSumo below.

Image 7

Essentially, you want to provide as much value as possible and make it seem like your leads will miss out on something great if they don’t opt-in.

#5: Perform Lead Scoring

Lead scoring helps you assess how ready a lead is for sale. 

It is about assigning values to the quality of each lead to help sales teams identify when and how to approach the buyer. 

The most common lead-scoring model consists of these three elements.

  • Fit. The degree to which the prospect fits your buyer persona.
  • Behavior. How the prospect has interacted with your content and brand.
  • Buying stage. Where the prospect is in your sales funnel.

The easiest way to perform lead scoring is to use marketing automation software.

Image 18

You’ll have to choose scoring criteria and assign a point value to each action users take, so you can start scoring your leads automatically.

#6: Nurture Leads

Lead nurturing guides potential buyers through the stages of your sales funnel that lead to a sale. 

The process of lead nurturing requires providing leads with assistance, information and offers based on their current needs.

Image 29

The most popular way to nurture leads is to send hyper-personalized emails to your leads. It’s highly effective and has unbelievable ROI.

Image 5

Here is a sample email sequence for nurturing leads.

  • Welcome email
  • Send more value that matches with subscribers’ interest
  • Introduce yourself, your business and the team
  • More value that can help your subscribers
  • Present your product and why it would be useful for your subscribers

If you’re looking to step it up a notch, you’ll need to segment your audience – a true game changer.

This will help you be super-relevant and make your conversations

#7: Close the Deal

The final step in a successful lead generation campaign is to convert leads to sales. If you follow each of these steps properly, this should happen automatically.

But there are still a few ways you can use to improve the conversion rate.

Leverage Urgency & FOMO

Countdown timers and limited-time offers to convey a fear of missing out. In fact, the presence of the timer alone created an 8.6% lift in conversions.

Image 1

You need to make customers decide as soon as possible and hit that order button.

(or you risk losing them to a competitor.)

There are a couple of ways you can add urgency to your products, including

  • Limited stocks
  • Timely discount
  • Bonus for a limited time

Quick Tip: Make it believable and real; if customers know it’s fake, it won’t have any effect.

Add Testimonials

Testimonials can increase conversions on sales pages by 34%.

If a friend recommended a product you need, you’d probably get it, right? That’s the effect testimonials have on customers.

Customers must trust you to buy from your business. 

If there is just a slight doubt about your products or credibility, they won’t convert. Therefore make sure to include testimonials on your landing pages.

Also, monitor your reviews online and what others say about you to keep your reputation high.

Image 24

Negative reviews will lead to very poor conversion rates.

#8: Measure & Optimize

The last thing you have to do is test your lead generation campaign (and each of its stages.)

You have to make sure you provide a seamless experience without any friction, or you risk losing a lot of potential customers.

That’s right, the poor user experience will cost you thousands in revenue.

It’s also important to regularly measure the effectiveness of your strategy to see whether you’re moving in the right direction.

(if not, there is something you need to change immediately.)

Here are a few ways you can test, measure, and optimize your lead generation campaign.

Take It Yourself

This approach is self-explanatory. You start as a complete stranger, try to find your company, and move through each touchpoint to determine whether everything works as it should. 

Ideally, you’d have a friend do that since you’re all-knowing about your product.

They can give you much better ideas and ways to improve further.

Market Research Tool

The previous approach might have uncovered something you didn’t expect.

For instance, let’s say your new strategy generated a lot more leads ’till the consideration stage, but almost none of them bought your product.

But why did it happen?

Market research tools can give you the answers you’re looking for.

You can create interactive polls or directly ask your target audience why they did not convert and what was their biggest concern.

You create a poll that can look like this.

Image 30

Select your target audience.

Image 11

And you’ll run it and wait for the answers, make the necessary improvements, and fix the problem. If you prefer to use something other than tons of tools, use heat maps or feedback forms.

3 Lead Generation Tips to DOUBLE Your Leads

Following the strategies above will ensure you get tons of new leads and boost your sales. But there is still room for improvement.

You’re about to discover 3 tips to make your lead generation campaign even more effective.

#1: A/B Testing

A/B testing or split testing is a process of running multiple variations of the same web page, headline, emails (or anything else) at the same time.

Image 26

It allows you to see which variation sticks with your leads more – and get better results. It’s the only way to know what truly works.

If you’re looking to get substantial results, you must be consistent.

Image 25

You can A/B test anything that may have an impact on conversions, like CTAs, headlines, or layout.

However, make sure you choose the right sample for your split tests (or else you risk completely ruining your whole campaign.)

Here are a few tips for choosing the right sample.

  • Randomize sample size
  • Equally divide customers
  • Have a huge sample size

You need at least 5,000 visitors per week to the page you want to run split tests. Anything less than that may skew your results.

#2: Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting primarily uses paid ads to target audiences who have visited your website but have not taken any action.

Retargeting these users is essential since they have a much higher chance of becoming a prospect.

Here is how it works.

Image 23

Your visitors won’t buy on the first contact – in fact, it usually takes 7 contacts for sale to occur.

And that’s what retargeting will help you with.

It can help you with recovering abandonment carts too. The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 70%. 

Fortunately, if you know what you’re doing, you can save a large amount of these customers. 

#3: Quality over Quantity

The quality of leads is far more important than quantity. If you generate 100 leads, yet no one will convert into customers, you’ve just lost a bunch of money.

That’s why lead quality is one of the top priorities of lead generators.

Image 9

It’s also one of the reasons why we were able to achieve such an incredible return on investment.

The easiest way to generate high-quality leads is to target a hyper-specific audience that is most likely to convert into loyal customers. If you can align your target audience to the buyer persona, you are on the right path. 

Avoid chasing numbers by generating irrelevant leads – it will only hurt your ROI and budget.

Lead Generation for Every Type of Business 

Still not sure how to apply these lead generation strategies to your business?

In this section, we’re going to look at specific types of businesses (mostly contractors) and provide you with useful tips on how to choose the highest quality leads.

Quick tip: If you have a local business, you must leverage local SEO, create a Google My Business account, and start attracting leads from organic search.

Med Spa Lead Generation

If you are looking to generate leads for a medical spa, you are looking for leads who need help with their health as quickly as possible.

(since they are most likely in a painful condition.)

To make this work, you must dig a little deeper and capture additional information on top of name, email, and phone, such as:

  • What happened (why they are in pain)
  • What part of their body hurts
  • How long are they in pain

For medical spa, one of the best strategies after you get the first few customers is to create a loyalty program and utilize referral marketing.

Education Lead Generation

If you are looking to generate leads for higher education, you need to earn the interest of prospective students with measurable results.

The best way to leverage this is to show students what the education process would look like. 

To do that, you can offer:

  • Virtual events
  • Downloadable resources
  • Free one-time consultations

The best channels to reach these types of leads are PPC ads and social media. To make the most out of every lead, capture additional information, such as:

  • Previous education
  • What subject they want to study 

Family Law Lead Generation

If you are looking to generate leads for family law, you are looking for leads who need help with their legal issues as quickly as possible.

(adding urgency to your offer can be excellent for getting more leads.)

Here are some of the crucial information you should capture on top of the name, email, and phone.

  • What legal issue do they need help with
  • How much they’re looking to spend

Construction Lead Generation

If you are looking to generate leads for construction, you need to show your leads you’re credible by providing your previous results.

(so leads can be sure you get the job done.)

Here are some of the crucial information you should capture on top of the name, email, and phone.

  • Type of project they need help with
  • The time frame
  • Budget

Lead Generation Tools

Lead generation may seem like a tedious process.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do everything manually, and there are some tools you can use to 10X the whole process of generating leads.

Here are some of the most common types of tools to create the best lead generation workflow.

  • Lead nurturing tools. They help you deliver a personalized experience that will delight your customers by making them feel valued and providing helpful information.
  • Lead scoring tools. They are used by companies to determine the potential of each business opportunity.
  • Lead distribution tools. They help with lead management by automatically assigning leads to the right sales executive based on previously set criteria
  • Sales analytics and reporting. They are AI-powered technology that automatically gathers all types of sales data and transforms that data into important metrics related to the sales process

Make sure you give them a shot to make the most out of every lead.


Lead generation is a critical aspect of every business. It’s the only way to ensure a steady flow of new customers, so you can scale your business and maximize revenue. But capturing the right leads may be difficult (and very expensive if you don’t know what to do.)

Fortunately, now you have all the information you need to nail it.

Following the steps above will allow you to create a seamless lead generation campaign and get a massive return on investment.

Not sure how to get started – or need additional assistance?

Reach out to us, and we’ll take care of your business instantly.

Our experts will create a perfect lead generation campaign, optimize it for your leads, and help you generate massive revenue in no time.

Written by:
Nate Fineberg
Nate Fineberg is the owner, president and CEO of Group6 Interactive. With a long history in the creative space as a high performing web developer, he has decades of enterprise level industry experience. Before starting Group6 Interactive, Nate worked as a web developer at IDEA, a Houston Texas based creative agency before moving on to SONY, located in San Diego California, as a senior Web Developer.
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