What’s inbound lead generation?

Inbound lead generation means using content and experiences to attract people, or leads, to your brand. The idea is to produce what your ideal customer wants and make it easy for them to find it. Learn what it is in under a minute in our video.


Inbound vs outbound lead generation

Outbound lead generation is the traditional approach, where businesses reach out to potential customers directly – typically through cold calling, cold emailing, direct mail, advertising and trade shows. Generally, outbound marketing strategies are more intrusive and expensive than inbound marketing strategies.

Of all these, there is one particular outbound method most have outgrown – cold calling. Who needs that kind of interruption, when people can research their next purchase from the palm of their hand?

This is how inbound lead gen works, giving people control and choice over making contact and the content they consume. It focuses on providing value, building relationships – and meeting customers where they are.

Is inbound replacing outbound lead generation?

Not quite, both have their own merits. In the B2B sales process, in-person outreach and direct communication are essential for closing deals. In reality, the most successful marketing strategies often involve a combination of inbound and human outbound tactics. Let’s face it, large accounts need a bit of silver service from time to time – you shouldn’t automate your most important business relationships.

Content for inbound lead generation

The best content for inbound lead generation is content that provides real value – and shares data that shows if it’s working. Using digital content is a must for marketers if they want to track, analyze and improve an inbound lead gen strategy. You’ll do well to also position your brand as an authority in your industry – a thought leader.

All of the following make ideal content for inbound.

  1. Interactive white papers
  2. Ebooks
  3. Webinars and online events
  4. Digital case studies 
  5. Quizzes, surveys and polls
  6. Digital research papers and reports
  7. Interactive thought leadership

Inbound lead gen for tech businesses

Product-led growth marketing places the product as the north star, driving acquisition, activation and retention. Marketing for this type of business means prioritizing seamless online experiences to get people to use, subscribe, and share easily. Inbound lead generation is the perfect partner.

Answers to problems, guides, explainers, how-tos, ebooks and thought leadership all work as product-led inbound content. By providing content that high-intent prospects need, businesses can demonstrate the value of their product and encourage self-driven exploration.

Inbound content marketing for lead generation has a user-first approach and awareness of content design. Content is tailored to address user pain points to reach people with the right content at the right time.

A carefully considered B2B content marketing strategy provides the framework for any business starting an inbound motion.

Modern inbound content

Marketers now have the ideas, tools and platforms to create a conveyor-belt system of engaged leads, primed and ready for sales professionals to start a direct conversation with.

An increasing emphasis on personalized content, user experience, and data analytics has refined inbound lead management into smoothly served content experiences. Once you’ve hooked leads with digital reports, white papers, or guides, you can automate some seriously convenient, highly relevant content sends.

It’s wise to remember that the more interactive content you present to people, the more engagement you invite from them. More engagement data means your marketing will be more relevant and well-timed. Here’s exactly why interactive content is king, in case you weren’t aware.

Interactive content and advanced CRM systems enable laser-targeted and deeply personalized lead generation. By enhancing customer journeys with personalized content at convenient touchpoints, to encourage higher conversion rates.

Turtl’s Personalization Engine can scale deep personalization in minutes, meaning teams can easily reach more leads in the nurture stream. It’s simply down to how you segment leads and set up content workflows – and a super efficient way to accelerate your sales pipeline.

Generating inbound leads

Follow these steps to attract, capture, and convert more leads into customers.

You’ll need to provide content for each stage of the lead magnet funnel. You can choose various content types, for different stages, topics, and audiences.

  1. Use behavioral data to define your target audience and buyer personas
  2. Attract prospects with inbound content marketing
  3. Offer industry-leading lead magnets
  4. Use frictionless forms and clear CTAS
  5. Follow up with lead nurturing
  6. Use lead scoring models to score and qualify inbound leads
  7. Handoff to sales
  8. Analyse performance and for improvement opportunities
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Learn to make the best B2B lead magnet

Find out which types of lead generation content you should be using

Want to win more leads from digital content? Watch our lead-gen webinar for ideas that work.


How to win more leads with your content webinar


Efficient lead management

Inbound lead management means guiding the flow of leads through your funnel and out the other side. From the first touchpoint to the final conversation, the aim is to ensure the right leads don’t slip through the net. Capturing intent, personalizing content, and optimizing streams with data will help you manage leads more effectively for better revenue outcomes.

Picture this: you create an expensive, resource-heavy piece of content. You publish it and leads start flooding in from your website, social media, and other channels. Now that you’ve got them, the hard part begins.

Scoring, qualifying, nurturing, and closing are the heavy lifting of inbound lead generation. In the past, this process was exclusively manual but thanks to martech, it’s now much easier to identify and convert hot leads or automate their journey through the funnel. 

Turtl shows content engagement signals in Turtl Analytics that flag high-intent readers, making it easy to segment audiences and prioritize follow-up. If you integrate Turtl with systems like Hubspot or Marketo, you can automate nurture workflows when leads complete actions on your lead scoring model e.g. reading content for a long time, or sharing it.

The ability to easily identify and nurture leads is crucial to inbound lead gen success. Relying on metrics like downloads from a lead gen PDF, means teams take far longer to qualify inbound leads.

How to increase inbound leads

Businesses want more leads. If you make the right content for your lead magnet funnel in the first place, you’ll raise the quality, and amount, of the leads you bring in. So how can you achieve this?

One of the best things you can do is use first-party intent data.

How engagement data supports lead gen

1. Deeper understanding of topics

You’ll understand what brings your audience towards your brand by learning what interests them. What are they engaging with? Make more of that.

2. Reveals intent

With the decline of third-party tracking, first-party data reveals what people care about, while heightened activity shows interest levels. Segment audiences based on behavior and serve content that suits how they feel about your brand.

3. Convert more customers

If activity spikes, you might want to follow up with content designed to push leads further. You’ll have a great idea of when to send offers.

4. Optimize pipeline

If you know what your best-value customers like consuming, or you are serving content based on behavior and demographic and firmographic data, you’ll optimize lead gen delivery. Get good and you’ll spot engagement drops in your pipeline, improve conversion rates, and impact revenue operations or RevOps.

5. Solve privacy concerns

Google Topics has been developed because the adtech industry needs data to use following the death of third-party cookies. The quality of behavioral/engagement data transcends sensitive data that has nothing to do with advertising preferences (or buying stages) like sexual orientation, age, race, religion, or political or religious beliefs. Team engagement with other helpful data (company size, job title) and build content far better suited for people.

Turtl takeaway: Generating more revenue with better lead gen

Long-form content is a big deal in B2B inbound lead generation. You’re going to need to create appealing long-form content for B2B lead generation campaigns.

Luckily, we’ve got a guide to help you do exactly that.

Click to read The practical guide to long-form lead generation

Through Turtl we can easily identify new revenue opportunities and leads which are then passed to our sales team. This provides tangible ROI and clear visibility over what impact content is having on the bottom line.

Hannah Dennett

Communications Manager, Mind

If you make lead magnets in Turtl, you’ll have access to Turtl Analytics, meaning you can quickly see who has read and engaged with your content, and how engaged your leads are with your brand.

This removes any guesswork by dramatically cutting down follow-up and nurture time. You’ll manage leads more efficiently, and have a clear idea about when to reach out, what to say, and how to convert more leads into business.

Generate more leads in Turtl

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