What's lead generation?

Lead generation (a.k.a. lead gen) is all about rallying interest in a product or service amongst prospects, aiming to convert this interest into a purchase.
In digital marketing, lead generation gathers a user’s contact details through an online form. Once submitted, marketers have the green light to begin the lead nurturing process (through email marketing for example). Once these leads have been qualified, sales teams can then reach out directly to start building relationships to encourage conversions.

Why lead generation is crucial for B2B

Lead gen plays a vital role in the B2B sales funnel. Its high-value nature means there’s often a lower chance of encouraging immediate online purchases. B2B decision-makers need detailed information, strong customer support, and trust in their provider to confidently progress through the sales funnel.

Lead generation tactics help B2B businesses form valuable relationships through personalized interactions, tailored content, and targeted communication. This type of lead nurturing takes time, but the high-value conversions are worth it.

But what about B2C?

B2C businesses often aim to attract a larger volume of leads, since their sales transactions are typically lower in value compared to B2B. This often involves capturing consumer interest through promotions, social media engagement, competitions, and compelling content to drive purchases or subscriptions.

In both cases, the fundamental goal remains the same: converting interest into sales – whether that’s a quick transaction or a more considered investment.

What is a lead?

A lead is a potential customer who has shown interest in a product, service, or brand by taking a specific action – such as filling out a form, subscribing to a newsletter, or engaging with content. By providing contact information, the lead has indicated a willingness to explore further engagement.

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Not all leads are created equal.

Cold leads are less engaged and need a lot of attention before they progress through the funnel.
Qualified or hot leads have had many interactions with your brand and are much more likely to convert.

Why does lead gen matter?

Lots of reasons!

Let’s start with growth. An inbound lead generation strategy is indispensable for sustained growth. Without a consistent influx of potential customers, you’re going to find tumbleweeds in your sales pipeline. By actively engaging and attracting prospects, businesses expand their customer base and market reach, which creates opportunities for increased sales and revenue.

Second – relationships. Lead gen helps businesses form valuable relationships with potential customers. Through bespoke interactions, companies can nurture leads – building trust, brand loyalty, and credibility over time. Good lead gen significantly enhances the likelihood of converting leads into paying customers.

Third – insights. Lead gen strategies offer valuable insights into consumer behavior, preferences, and market trends. By analyzing lead data and content engagement patterns, businesses can refine their marketing strategies, optimize their approach, and better understand their target audience. It allows for more efficient resource allocation, maximizing returns on marketing investments.

Lastly – a competitive edge. In an increasingly competitive market, businesses that successfully capture and nurture leads are better positioned to adapt to changing market dynamics, stay ahead of competitors, and establish themselves as industry leaders.

How does lead generation work? What’s the process?

Different industries, audiences, goals… there’s no one-strategy-fits-all when it comes to lead gen. But, when you strip back all the bells and whistles – it comes down to two things: traffic and data capture.

The lead gen process involves two primary elements: driving traffic to a lead capture form (usually on your website) and subsequently persuading users to submit their contact details. But… How do you drive traffic to your form? And how do you convince users to part with their contact details so your marketing team can begin the lead nurturing process?

A data-led content marketing strategy aligned with your business goals and value proposition will help you draw the right audience to your form. Once you know who your best customers are – by this we mean who provides the highest long-term value – and which content attracts, delights, and converts them, you can build content for your lead magnet funnel.

Viafoura gated content on website


Lead generation content might mean signing up for a discount or a webinar, or allowing you to download long-form thought leadership, a report, or a white paper. B2C companies will look at data to segment audiences for different lead-gen offers. Let’s say you visit a new website and start browsing when a pop-up offer explains you’ll get 20% off if you sign up now. If you didn’t make a purchase you’ll likely get a follow-up email nudging you, retargeted ads, another welcome offer, and so on. Your ongoing behavior with the brand will be tracked so you can be segmented into similar groups of prospects or buyers.

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In B2B, lead gen content is often presented as a webinar or long-form content.
Long-form is usually published as a downloadable PDF - but this format offers no meaningful tracking data for digital marketers.

Lead capture forms

You’ll need a compelling online lead capture form to convert visitors into leads. This is where your powers of persuasion come in – the ones that encourage users to part with their contact info.

And how do you convince people to hand over their details? By giving them something valuable that they can’t get elsewhere. Whether it’s original research, clear solutions, or a fresh perspective on industry topics, readers need to see the benefit before they fill out that form. Here are some value-rich offers that help lead capture forms to perform:  

Lead magnets
Offer free content in exchange for someone’s details. The goal of lead magnets is email capture, so you’ll need to promise prized content in exchange for someone’s personal information. Think industry reports, whitepapers, case studies, and newsletter subscriptions.

Run informative live video sessions for prospects. Spend time planning a topic that the data shows will resonate. Webinars position you as an industry thought leader – and leads love to follow the leader. They’re also great for humanizing your brand, which ups approachability and trust. For some inspiration, check out our webinars

Hero product/service landing page
If you offer a compelling product/service that solves a major pain point, that can be enough of an incentive to encourage visitors to fill out the form. A concise, user-friendly landing page with a clear call-to-action will encourage visitors to part with their contact info because they genuinely want more information.

Lead nurturing 

If a lead comes in that falls within your target market – it becomes a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL). Digital marketers design lead nurturing campaigns for these MQLs which usually involve automated emails for different MQL segments. For example, sending follow-up content relevant to what each lead’s shown interest in. The more relevancy, the more likely an MQL will turn into a sales lead.

Speaking of MQLs, check out how global SaaS company Redstor used Turtl to increase monthly MQLS by an astounding 567%.

Click to read Redstor + Turtl | Case Study

Lead conversion 

When a nurtured lead is persuaded to make a purchase or to get in touch with a salesperson, this turns them into a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). A high lead conversion rate is the ultimate goal of every lead gen strategy. And how can you achieve that? With insights-informed buyer journeys and top-tier collaboration between teams.

How to qualify a lead

Qualifying a lead ensures that sales and marketing efforts are focused on prospects most likely to convert into customers. It’s all about driving the right traffic to your form to increase the chance of conversion, and generally avoid any time-wasting.

Here’s how to effectively qualify leads:

Define your ideal lead

Establish specific parameters that characterize an ideal lead based on demographic information, behavior, and their interaction with your brand.

Criteria may include factors such as industry, company size, budget, authority, need, and timeline.

Measure engagement and interest

Take note of the level of engagement and interest the lead shows.

Assess their interaction with your content, frequency of visits to your website, engagement on social media, responses to emails, and participation in webinars or events.

Identify what makes them tick, and what ticks them off

Understand the needs and pain points the lead faces and assess how well your product or service aligns with addressing those needs.

This can be gauged through direct communication, surveys, or by analyzing their online behavior and inquiries.

Evaluate budget and authority

Determine if the lead has the necessary budget and power within their organization to make purchasing decisions.

It's crucial to verify that they have the authority needed for a successful sale – otherwise, it’s a waste of your time and theirs.

Assess timeline and readiness

Understand the lead's timeline for making a purchase - some leads might be in the initial research phase, while others might be ready for immediate action.

Align your outreach according to their readiness and urgency.

Sync up with sales

Maintain open communication between sales and marketing teams. Gather feedback from the sales team about lead quality and adjust your qualification criteria if necessary.

This collaboration ensures sales and marketing teams concentrate on the right people – ultimately improving conversion rates and optimizing resource allocation.

Get lead scoring right

Implement a lead scoring model to objectively evaluate and rank leads based on their fit and engagement level.

10 ways to improve your lead generation

As well as qualifying your leads, there are other ways you can improve your lead gen efforts:

1. Understand your target audience 

You can’t generate the right leads if you don’t know what the right lead looks like! That’s where defining your ideal customer profile (ICP) comes in. Sales and marketing teams collaborate to identify demographics, behaviors, and challenges facing potential customers. This insight guides subsequent strategies for attracting and engaging leads effectively.

2. Make them an offer they can’t refuse 

Valuable incentives encourage visitors to share their contact information. These offers could include ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, free trials, or exclusive content. And remember to keep it relevant – respond to  their  pain points and provide much-needed  solutions  to bag your desired leads.  .

3. Optimize landing pages.

Landing pages are  the entry point for potential leads. Optimize these pages with compelling copy, clear CTAs , and user-friendly forms and you’ll see conversions skyrocket.

4. Implement SEO strategies 

Snake your way into the top of the SERPs by optimizing your content and website structure for search. Thorough keyword research, on-page SEO tactics, and high-quality content creation drive high-intent  organic traffic and potential leads.

5. Create great content

It’s not enough to churn out mediocre content and hope for the best – you need to shoot sharp to hit the right target. Use intent, engagement, and behavioral data to create valuable, hyper-relevant content that makes its mark across channels. And don’t be afraid to try out different formats. Blogs, videos, podcasts – you never know what has the most impact until you try.
Our research report ‘Making your content count‘ reveals 6 proven practices for better-performing content, read it below.

Click to read The voice of the content marketer | Report (Gated Version)

6. Spread your message on social media 

Social platforms enable direct interaction with potential leads. Regularly sharing engaging content, participating in discussions, and running targeted ads help in building relationships and driving traffic to conversion-focused pages. Just make sure you’re spending time and budget on the right platforms – there’s no point funneling resources into irrelevant channels. 

7. Design impactful email marketing campaigns 

Tailored email campaigns nurture relationships and guide leads through the sales funnel. Email automation, segmentation, and relevant content delivery based on user behavior make your outreach more memorable. If you want more impressive email marketing results, think about investing in content personalization.

8. Analyze, learn, and refine as you go 

Continuous monitoring and analysis of lead generation efforts through tools such as Google Analytics, Turtl Analytics, or CRM systems provide insights into what is working best. This data-led approach allows for adjustments and optimizations for better lead gen performance.

9. Nurture and nudge leads 

Once leads are captured, the focus shifts to nurturing these prospects a (favorable) purchasing decision. Like we discusssed earlier, tailored follow-up communications, personalized content, and targeted offers based on their buyer journey stage help move leads closer to conversion.

10. Measure success and ROI with the right metrics. 

Track key performance indicators (lead generation KPIs) and lead generation pricing costs such as your conversion rates, cost per lead, and ROI. This allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your lead gen efforts so you can park what’s flopping, and do more of what’s flying! This data will also guide future strategies and resource allocation.

How does Turtl help with lead generation?

How to generate leads in Turtl

Turtl uses content engagement to unveil reader intent, helping guide your lead generation strategy to success. The Turtl format also keeps readers sticking around for 2x longer than webpages and 10x longer than PDFs – and longer read times result in more leads. By integrating Turtl with CRM, you can capture data, trigger marketing automation, and streamline lead scoring, nurture programs and follow-ups.

From our reader-optimized format to our in-content data capture capabilities, Turtl makes effective lead generation easy.

Turtl Analytics in action

Turtl Analytics Dashboard reveals in-depth insights to guide your content strategy, inform sales conversations, and close more deals. 

Our Analytics will help you know what content to create, and what parts are making an impact – which is crucial information for effective lead generation. In Turtl Docs, you can include lead capture forms on the back page or an Immerse level page. And when a reader fills it out, they’ll show as a sign-up on your Dashboard. The result? More targeted lead gen campaigns that attract higher quality leads.

In your Dashboard, you can also view reads by source, which tells you how readers are accessing your content. These insights shed light on your most effective lead generation channels e.g. email, social media, search engines.
And if you’re trying to reel in leads in specific areas, our reads by location data will be your best friend. On top of showing how you’re measuring up in target areas, this data t can even flag potentially overlooked locations that are generating quality leads!

Turtl Analytics dashboard

Our easy-to-navigate, easier-to-interpret Dashboard also features drop-down menus for quick filtering. For example, if you run a lead gen campaign targeting people on the West Coast over the last two weeks, you can use filters to get results instantly. You can set up weekly summary emails so these analytics arrive straight to your inbox.

Turtl Analytics tells you

  • How many people opened your content

  • If they stayed on the page or bounced straight off

  • How many of them went deep into the content

  • What the average read time was

  • What part of the content they engaged with most

  • What content changes need to be made

  • Who filled out your lead capture form

Turtl’s Reader Dashboard

Reader Dashboard for any of your ‘Known Readers’ will help you to see their individual reading experience. Known Readers show up when certain actions have happened which allow Turtl to determine who the reader is. 

  • They signed up in the story
  • They followed a lead capture  URL
  • They entered a username and password to access your content
  • They’ve filled out a custom form
  • You’ve integrated Turtl with your CRM

Our Reader Dashboard is extremely helpful in understanding how individuals are consuming your content – and they play a pivotal role in the lead scoring process. Don’t forget to gate content where you can to increase your Known Readers.


Use Turtl to set your sales agenda

Turtl Dashboard data will help you to better understand the prospects you’re reaching out to, the content that is the most relevant to them, and what they find most interesting.

Imagine the results you’d get if you could create different offers based on what your lead’s most interested in, and where they’re at in the buying cycle! These metrics will also help steer your lead gen content strategy, helping marketers decide what to write about next.

With these insights, your sales team can phone a prospect and already know what feature they’re going to showcase the most, or the topic to address first based on their content interaction data. Is it the pricing page? Could they have concerns about cost? Or is it the customer support page? If you’re a SaaS business, could they be concerned about successfully implementing your software in-house? Whatever it may be, your team will be armed with all the right answers. 

Level up your lead gen with automation 

With Turtl’s integration capabilities, reader activity can be fed directly from your Docs into your tech stack to streamline customer journeys and score leads. Set up in-content events that, when they’re triggered, will automate workflows. For example, the reader can be entered into an email nurture campaign that corresponds to specific triggers e.g. content about customer support, pricing, or specific products/services. It’s like serving up a prospect’s favorite dish at a restaurant before they’ve ordered. All they’ve done is read the menu.

How Frost & Sullivan generated 60% more leads with Turtl

Frost & Sullivan used Turtl to reimagine lead generation content for their business – and the results were seriously mindblowing. With their new approach, global lead generation lifted by 60%. Curious about how they did it? Check out their story ⬇️

Click to read Frost & Sullivan + Turtl | Case Study

Lead generation trends

What lies ahead for lead gen? More of what works? Or new lead generation tools on the block that are worth embracing before your competitors do?

AI-fueled personalization

The integration of AI-powered tools enables hyper-personalization in lead generation. AI algorithms analyze customer data to create highly tailored content and experiences, enhancing engagement and conversion rates.

Interactive content

Interactive elements in content experiences – like quizzes, polls, and calculators – are gaining traction. They captivate and engage audiences, boosting user experience and ultimately lead capture.

Video content

Now more than ever, video is a lead gen lifeline. Short-form videos, live streams and interactive video experiences effectively capture attention and drive engagement, leading to higher conversion rates.

Voice search optimization

With the rise of voice-activated devices, optimizing content for voice search attracts leads through more conversational and long-tail keyword strategies.

Chatbots and conversational marketing tools

This type of tech offers real-time engagement by answering queries, guiding visitors, and collecting lead information.

Privacy and data compliance

Stricter data regulations and growing privacy concerns necessitate transparent and compliant data collection practices. Prioritizing data security and obtaining explicit consent is crucial in building trust with potential leads.

Omnichannel marketing

Seamless integration across multiple channels, from social media to email and offline events, ensures a cohesive and consistent customer experience, facilitating lead generation across diverse platforms.

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Ready to ditch lacklustre lead gen content?

Create content that gets attention, gives data, and generates leads

Turtl takeaway

Lead generation can be a difficult landscape to navigate – but with smart strategies, the right tech, and plenty of data, you can make it to lead gen legend status. Just don’t be discouraged if your lead generation has a slow start. See it as an opportunity to understand what isn’t working, helping you save time by focusing on content that works.

Once you’re up and running, make sure to keep up lead gen momentum or your sales pipeline will run dry.
Keep developing and promoting compelling offers, landing pages, and lead capture forms to drive lead data capture. Feed that pipeline!

Tools like Turtl Analytics help with continuous content testing and refinement that improve your inbound lead generation process, enhance lead quality and boost revenue. They’re also the agenda-setters for your marketing content and sales conversations – their insights help you design messaging that resonates with potential leads. Don’t forget, relevance results in conversions.


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