What is Lead Generation?

This term is commonly used to refer to the general process of acquiring the contact information of potential clients.

Many companies will engage in lead generation practices in order to identify potential new customers for their products and services. However, there is also a popular Web monetization strategy that involves collecting contact information (i.e., generating leads) and then selling them to other companies to whom these leads would be valuable.

Companies generally have multiple Web-based sources of potential new customers, including:

  1. Organic search traffic
  2. Paid search engine marketing
  3. Paid display advertising
  4. Purchased leads

An insurance company, for example, may use all of these techniques to find new customers. In many verticals, purchasing relevant and qualified leads from sites who are experts in capturing them will result in the highest ROI.

It’s worth noting that many leads generated online relate to products and services that are not Web-based. In fact, many of the most profitable lead generation niches revolve around traditional businesses such as car insurance, legal services, and senior care (there are some notable exceptions, such as online dating). Though these are more tangible products sold through traditional channels, many interested shoppers now research the different options online.

Monetizing via Lead Generation

This monetization strategy generally involves:

  1. Publishing a site in a targeted, high value niche;
  2. Implementing a lead capture widget to collect contact information from your visitors;
  3. Selling any leads collected either to a lead aggregator or a company interested in selling to that individual.

Lead generation can occur in a number of verticals, through there are a handful of niches where this practice is particularly common (the Guide to Lead Generation in the Resources section below has more information on the most popular lead gen areas).

Lead Gen In Action

Sites that monetize primarily through lead generation strategies are often subtle in their attempts to capture contact information, primarily because many visitors aren’t entirely comfortable with their information being bought and sold.

The “capture” part of the lead gen process is often disguised as a simple form to receive more information or unlock additional functionality:

Example of Site Monetizing through Lead Gen

Lead Generation Models

Many of the suggestions for building a successful lead generation business focus on maximizing the capture of information from visitors once they are on a site. However, the first step in this process obviously involves building a site that will attract visitors interested in a specific topic. Many lead generation sites rely on paid search engine marketing to drive traffic, attempting to devise a system that sees them generating more revenue from each visitor than they pay to acquire.

Many successful lead generation sites are built around databases of information that attract consumers interested in a particular product or service. For example, LoopNet.com is built around a database of real estate available for rental or purchase:

Example of Monetizing via Lead Generation

The above screenshot captures only the database side of this site. When users zero in on a specific property, they are exposed to a lead generation widget that will pass along a message and contact information (such as email address and phone number) to a specific broker or landlord.

Lead Generation Tactics For Media Publishers

Many media publishers are struggling to generate high-quality leads. Here are some tactics you can try to generate more qualified leads.

  • Content creation specifically to drive leads

As a media publisher, content is business. However, it’s only for content that is written with a purpose. And the purpose is to inform, engage, and instill an action to the visitors.

  • Update and re-create the good content

If you have created a fantastic piece of content, you can update or re-create it. Whether it’s a presentation, e-book, how-to guide, you can turn it into a blog so it will be your new lead generation tool. 

  • Implement the right technology to help with your inbound quest

Finding out how each your database contacts interacts with your website specifically is valuable. Once you close that loop with a comprehensive marketing automation tool, you can truly begin to get an understanding of who your leads are and how best to talk to them


What is lead generation?

Lead generation is commonly used to refer to the general process of acquiring the contact information of potential clients

What business industries are best for lead generation?

Almost every business can run a lead generation strategy, especially to the industries where their customers need time to think before buying, or the purchase process doesn’t  happen in an instant

Why is lead generation important?

Lead generation becomes very important especially because it enables your business and your business website to create enormous traffics and this leads to more sales and higher conversion rates