Lead generation is how online companies generate interest or inquiries into their products or services. From a marketing standpoint, lead generation is the process of making contact with consumers in order to direct them or solicit a sale. While there are no wrong ways to generate leads, there are proven methods that deliver better results.

The Lead Generation Process
The lead generation process actually has four separate elements. First, landing pages are a web pages that are specially designed to catch the online consumer’s attention. They must be creative, persuasive and well-designed. Second, most landing pages use fillable forms that collect information in exchange for the third element, the offer. For example, an online school would require the user to fill out their basic personal information in order to learn more about the school and receive an exclusive offer. On the other hand, the form may simply ask for the users’ name and email address in order to register an account. The third element is the enticing offer that promises something of value in exchange for the submission of personal information. For instance, the most common offers include a free e-book, newsletter, information kit or exclusive content. Fourth, there is a call-to-action (CTA) that encourages the website visitor to take some sort of action.

How to Optimize a Landing Page
One of the best ways to optimize a landing page is through offering videos. This is especially beneficial because the majority of people are visual learners and respond better to pictures or videos. Next, landing pages that promise not to share users’ email accounts or send them spam will drastically reduce leads. Be sure to design the landing page so the call to action in in a conspicuous place. Online users shouldn’t have to squint or search for a call to action button or link. Keep in mind that offering users more choices actually creates more confusion. Instead, simply have one single call to action. If possible, streamline the process so that users can quickly access their offer, such as only requiring an email address in order to view video content.

How are Lead Prices Calculated?
Online advertising companies use three pricing models to calculate the cost of a lead. First, the cost per thousand model (CPM) uses pricing matrixes that charge advertisers for each consumer “impression.” That is, the aggregate number of times that consumers view the online ad. In fact, display advertising typically uses the CPM pricing models. However, the primary problem with this type of advertising is that advertisers are charged full price even if the target consumer does not view or click on the ad. The second type of pricing model is referred to as cost per click (CPC). This type of pricing model is unlike the CPM model because advertisers are only charged when the consumer clicks on the target ad. Nevertheless, because of increasing competition, search keywords are very expensive. The third type of pricing model is referred to as cost per action (CPA) advertising. This model is more efficient than the first two because it only charges for actual leads.

Overall, generating leads is one of the most important ways that online companies will attract customers. In order to improve the lead generation process, website owners should understand the lead generation process and how to optimize a landing page.