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A lead is a term from sales / marketing and refers to a voluntary initiation of contact and/or provision of qualified contact information by a potential prospect.


Leads – for example:

– Email addresses,
– Phone numbers,
– (Company) names or dates – denote a record of a prospect’s contact information. The customer voluntarily provides this information to a company in the context of marketing – for example in the form of filling out an online form. Generating leads in high data quality is an essential task in the acquisition of new customers and one of the most important goals of companies.

When a prospective customer shares his user data, he expresses a latent need to the company. The company can then use this for further marketing campaigns to prepare the prospect for the purchase of a product or service – the prospect is then said to be “sales ready”.

The cost of a lead throughout the lead generation process is called cost per lead. They vary depending on the quality of the data set.

What does lead generation mean?

Actions that get the potential new customer to leave their contact information are described as lead generation. You can use lead generation in the context of dialogue marketing, permission marketing and/or inbound marketing. Lead generation is a critical driver of a company’s growth, and this includes developing new revenue opportunities with existing customers.

Online and offline lead generation

To effectively generate online leads, businesses need to build a well-optimized website with a strong and consistent brand message that resonates with your target customers. It is rare for visitors to land on your homepage unless they are specifically looking for a brand. Therefore, every single page of your website must be consistent with your brand identity.

It’s important that the online lead generation strategy remains focused on the customer rather than business goals and marketing. What does your client want? Why are they here? How can you help them? How can you contact them? You need to answer these questions in order to focus on the needs of the customer.

Offline lead generation
describes any method of generating interest in a service or product that does not use the Internet. Even though many sales people are of the opinion that offline marketing is dead, this is not true. Online marketing may be much more effective in this day and age, but traditional offline marketing has its own strengths that you can’t nor should you ignore. Offline marketing may be able to reach an audience that online marketing cannot.

There are several ways that online and offline lead generation can work together to effectively reach a target audience. For example, in-person events can be a means to gather as much information as possible about the customer, including emails and contact numbers. Business owners and marketers can use this collected information to connect with people on social media or send content-related information about what they discussed during the event.

Importance for online marketing

The definition of a lead affects the lead generation process and forms the basis for upcoming campaigns. The methods of lead generation are related to the different characteristics of the leads: While a postal address is only used for offline leads, email addresses can be used for various online leads.

To determine the characteristics of a lead, you should discuss what the strategic goals are and how an ideal lead is defined for the company. The goal is primarily to generate leads that are “sales ready”. An essential step in generating leads is therefore “lead nurturing”, the further qualification of leads.


Leads describe a set of data that a prospect voluntarily provides to a company as part of its marketing efforts. Generating leads is a key driver of business growth and the foundation for downstream campaigns.


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