B2C Lead Generation: A Beginner’s Guide

by Elisabeth Pester
Leadgeneration Learn about successful B2C lead generation your your business. With the most successful strategies you can win new customer and grow your business.
Company growth is one of the main goals for each business. Because only with sustainable development can you increase your market influence and sales. This way, you can realize new innovations and differentiate yourself from your competitors. But to achieve those gaols, it takes more than keeping your existing customer base. B2C lead generation and conversion is crucial to win new and loyal customers.
 
Online lead generation and customer acquisition are related to the company’s performance and sales development. So you must consider these marketing approaches for your growth strategy.
 
This article will help you to
  • Define customer acquisition and lead generation
  • Reach new target groups through online marketing
  • Set up the right marketing strategy to grow your revenues and business
  • Use relevant KPI’s to measure your strategic growth success

1. What is B2C Lead Generation and Customer Acquisition?

Lead generation is the acquisition of potential customers. It is an fundamental component in online marketing. Leads are generated by collecting data. This way, companies are able to transform generated B2C leads into actual customers.
 
You can describe a leads as potential customers who state their interest in a product or service. This interest is shown by providing personal data, such as email, name, phone number, etc.
Generated leads do have different quality levels. A qualified lead is could actually become a potential customer to you.
 
Qualified leads can differentiated between MQLs (Marketing Qualified Leads) and SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads). MQLs show interest in your company’s product / service. But, they do not show the willingness to buy like SQLs do. Sales Qualified Leads do have serious interest in your offer. By following along the customer journey, the can be handed over to Sales Team.
 
When it comes to winning new clients, customer needs are paramount. The right lead generation strategy aligned to your customer journey will help you to convert your leads.
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Takeaways:

  • Leads differ in quality. Qualified leads define people who express interest in products / services. They are considered  as SQLs (Sales Qualified Leads) when they show  willingness to buy.
  • Customer acquisition comprises several stages in the customer journey. Lead generation is making up a significant part of it.
  • To address potential new leads, you should use various touch points in your customer journey. Be active at different stages using a good combination of different strategies.

2. Finding the right strategy to acquire new customers

2.1 Email Marketing

Email marketing is an extremely effective way to promote high quality content, product information, discounts and offers. External databases from professional publishers make it possible to reach new target groups with relevant messages. Acquisition email marketing can establish a direct connection to the (potential) leads. One of the great advantages of email marketing is the ability to track consumer behavior by evaluating opening, clicking, and conversion rates. This method is also the most important conversion booster and the leading driver for ROI. Compared to other strategies, email marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to generate leads.
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The advantages at a glance:
  • Efficiency: Compared to other online marketing disciplines, email marketing has the best ROI. You can reach a large number of recipients with little effort in creating emails.
  • Highly Targeted: Email campaigns can be highly targeted. Personalized E-Mails can be sent to segmented audience groups and customers’ needs can be considered in accordance.
  • Optimized control options: Email marketing offers immediate and measurable results. Right after the send-out, you can evaluate the user behavior based on opening, click and conversion rates. Usually email campaigns can be measured already three days after send-out, as this period reflects average response period.
  • Enormous reach: The number of email users is increasing worldwide, and so are email lists. Using an  external and large-scale data base, can increase your reach and performance enormous. Consider GDPR-compliant databases when choosing a publisher for your campaigns.  
Useful free tools:
  • Mailchimp: Newsletter service that helps create, send, and manage newsletters.

2.2 Search engine marketing (SEM)

Search engine marketing (SEM) is essential for successful business lead generation. The customer journey is usually initiated with a specific need of the user. Companies can address this need to get the attention from potential customers and by offering the right solution. E-mails are an ideal tool for this. Users often recognize their problem on their own. In this case, search engines such as Google are the first point of contact for finding solutions and answers. For this reason, your search engine marketing should be set up accordingly. The active search of the user for products, services or companies should be used by your company. With suitable offers / links, you can generate new leads easily
 
The SEM includes both search engine optimization and search engine advertising:
 

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Taking into account various factors, such as certain keywords, relevant content or technical requirements, the organic ranking of your own website can be increased, and traffic can be positively influenced.
 

Search engine advertising (SEA) 

With search engine advertising, you can generate traffic by placing ads on search engine results pages. If you use SEA correctly, this type of “paid traffic” delivers particularly good conversion rates due to the pre-qualification. That’s why search engine advertising is part of the standard repertoire for online advertisers.
 
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The advantages at a glance:
  • Increase online visibility: This medium is the best way to reach a wide online audience.
  • Qualitative leads: Search engine marketing can address users based on their search intentions. By providing valuable information, you can generate qualitative leads.
  • Reliable costs control and measurement of results: With SEM you keep complete control over your daily, weekly or monthly budget and the online marketing campaigns can be set up independently from each other. Cookies can be used to understand and measure the results.
 
Useful free tools:
  • Google Search Console: Measures the search traffic of your website and provides solutions for optimization.
  • Google Analytics: Tracking tool that analyzes your website traffic. gives suggestions for improvement.
 

2.3 Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing is a great method for brand awareness as part of the marketing funnel. A qualitative and well thought-out content can build and strengthen your company image. If you use this channel correctly, you can establish engaging communication with your customers and followers. This allows you to get to know your own target group and their needs even better. Social media comprises several channels such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, etc. A target group analysis helps you to be active on the right channels.
 
There are also organic and paid options for social media. While the organic reach should be used to build up loyal followers, the paid version offers the opportunity to share content with a larger audience.
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The advantages at a glance:
  • Wide reach: Nowadays, social media is part of everyday life for many people and every generation. As a company it is important to choose the right social media channel in accordance to active users and your target audience.
  • Qualified targeting: Tailored content can be shared with potential customers of your niche.
  • Customer loyalty: If you use the medium correctly, you can build a familiar and personal relationship with users.
  • Particularly suitable for brand awareness and customer loyalty.
 
Useful free tools:
  • Later: Content planning tool for Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest
  • Canva: Tool for the design process for professional graphics / templates / posts

2.4 Content Marketing

Content marketing is an effective method for lead generation for all types of companies. Through exciting and relevant content, you can win the attention of your audience and you can redirect them to your website/landing page. Content marketing is also a good way to build trust with customers by sharing helpful free resources.
 
But how can you use content to generate leads?
 
Created content can be shared in the form of blogs, eBooks, videos, white papers, podcasts etc. In exchange with personal information such as emails addresses, the user gets access to the content. This strategy is therefore an important part of lead generation marketing and new customer acquisition. Relevant content can also be shared across different media channels. A blog post can also be shared as a newsletter or as a social media post. If you use content and its added value, website traffic can be increased.
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The advantages at a glance:
  • Sustainability: Content marketing does focus on value and sustainability. Helpful content builds trust with the readers / listeners, which turns leads into long-term customers.
  • Various distribution options: Self-created content can be shared in different forms on different channels. In addition, old content can be revisited and quickly updated to current and relevant content. For example, an old blog post can be updated and shared on the blog, in the newsletter or as an infographic on social media.
  • Information hub: If you maintain your website as a source of information for the content you have created, the average session duration per user will increase. If you also work with internal and external links to high-quality sources, the method will have a positive impact on your organic search engine ranking.

3. Lessons to Improve Your Customer Acquisition Strategy

  • Know your audience: Knowing your audience is fundamental for a successful marketing strategy. Based on this, you should determine the channels for your customer acquisition strategy and create campaigns that meet the needs of potential new customers.
  • Set clear goals: Only with predefined goals you can include a meaningful call-to-action in your campaigns. Your CTA is extremely important in guiding people to the conversion step. Test different CTA options and find out which option is best to drive your conversion rate.
  • Building engagement: As already mentioned, the customer journey consists of several steps. Before users becomes customers, they need to get to know the brand and build trust. In order to successfully accompany the customer on this way, it is important to know the problems and weaknesses and to offer solutions. Authenticity is also important as well as a consistent cross- media marketing strategy that presents the same image of your company on all channels.
  • Include partnerships: Partnerships with strategic alliances open up new target groups and gain additional resources. Through so-called «co-marketing», two or more companies are running a campaign in order to benefit from each other’s brand awareness and reach.

4. Relevant KPI’s to Measure Your B2C Lead Generation Success

To measure the success of a lead management project, it is important to track and analyse certain KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). How many leads could be generated? What are the costs of generating leads? Lead generation campaigns can be evaluated and optimized based on specific KPI’s.
 
Return on Investment (ROI)
 
The ROI relates to the relationship between advertising costs and the profit made. It is calculated as followed:

Cost per Lead (CPL)

Cost per lead describes a billing model in online marketing. While other payment models are based on the billing of, for example, simple clicks on an advertising banner, this approach pays for each generated lead and thus for every contact who is interested in the advertiser’s products or services.

Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)

The cost of acquiring customers can be calculated by dividing the marketing costs associated with a particular campaign by the number of customers won from that campaign.

5. Conclusion

We hope that this article has given you a good understanding of B2C lead generation. When choosing your methods, it is important to align them with your business model and your target audience.
Combining different strategies will help you to optimize your lead generation process. For example, social media marketing is ideal for promoting SEO-optimized content containing a CTA for subscribing to a newsletter.
 
With clever inbound marketing campaigns, you can promote relevant content across different channels. This will help you to win qualified leads and convert them into loyal customers. It is important to have a close cooperation between the Marketing and Sales team. This way, you can define and generate good and qualified leads. You should constantly track and optimize the individual stages of your lead generation process. Thus, you can improve the quality of your leads and drive your sales.

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