Inbound Marketing 101: A Beginners Guide to Lead Generation

Does your current marketing annoy your potential customers? Does it shout “Listen to me, give me your money!”?

If your company is focusing solely on outbound “push” marketing methods like unrequested messages sent through direct mail, telemarketing, print advertising, radio or TV then you can answer “Yes” to both of those questions.

It’s time your business integrated outbound marketing with inbound marketing. Inbound, or push, marketing says to your potential customers, “We should get to know each other. Then you can buy from a trusted ‘friend’.”

Ready to learn how? Read on for an inbound marketing primer.

What is a Lead?

Before you can think about inbound lead generation, you must first understand what a lead is. Anybody who has indicated an interest in the product or service that your business is selling is considered a lead. These include people who:

  • Call you for information.
  • Respond to a survey.
  • Visit your store.
  • Submit their information on your lead capture form.

The Benefits of Inbound Lead Generation

Customers Reach Out To You

With inbound lead generation, you attract a steady stream of potential customers to your website with interesting content and build their interest in your products and services over time. By attracting people to your website with quality content, you are “getting them in the door.” When they are ready to do business down the line, you are one of their first choices because they have a relationship with your business.

Results are Measurable

Inbound marketing measurements reveal precisely how your prospects are engaging with you, how often they’re converted from website visitors to customers, and how much revenue each of your marketing channels are producing, down to the minute, penny, and click. Not to mention, you’ve just captured their name, title, company, and biggest unmet need from a landing page – information you can use to qualify, convert, and monetize that lead. Minnesota Business Magazine

The Ways in Which Leads Are Generated

Think of inbound lead generation as the hiring process. When a prospective employee fills out a job application, they are willing to share a huge amount of personal information in order to have a shot at getting the job.

The same idea is true for lead generation. When your prospective customer is interested in what you have to offer, they will share important information in return.

Lead nurturing starts by collecting contact information in exchange for something the visitor deems of value, but with little risk. Often, this entails some form of information or product trial intended to help solve the visitor’s problem. Jeff Bullas

CouponsSimple Opt In Form

If your business puts out a coupon on the Internet, people who find it valuable will likely share their name and email address to get it. That’s not much information, but it opens the door for you to continue the conversation through email and indicates this person has a direct interest in your product or service.


Unlike a coupon download, content consumption doesn’t indicate that the potential customer has a direct interest in your product or service (unless you only offer one thing). To understand their interest, you will need to collect additional information.

The goal is to collect enough information for the sales rep to understand whether a person is interested in your product or service, and whether they are a good fit. This can be done all at once, or over time.

Here on Groove Digital Marketing we collect:

Detailed Opt In Form

  • First & Last Name: used to personalize email communications
  • Company Name: Allow sales to research the prospective client and see how they might benefit from our services.
  • Primary Email: used to communicate through email marketing campaigns
  • Website URL: Allows sales to research the prospective client.
  • Best Describe Me: Allows us to customize our communications into different funnels.
    • Marketing Manager Who Needs a Boost
    • CEO/Owner Who Needs Sales
    • HubSpot Client Looking for Help
    • Other

Components of Successful Lead Generation

The lead generation process can be broken down into a few key components

  • Landing Page: the part of your website that the customer “lands” on in search of a product, service, or an answer to an important question. Once the visitor is on your landing page, you can collect information via a form.
  • Form: a component on your landing page that collects information in exchange for something in return.
  • Offer: This is your “something in return”. It must have enough value that it entices the visitor to fill it out.
  • Call to action (CTA): This can be an image, message, or some other type of element that calls the lead to take action.


Inbound lead generation is one of the most effective ways to take leads and turn them into customers. It’s a win-win for everyone – customers don’t feel like you’re being invasive, and your sales team has an easier time converting leads into sales.

What’s holding you back from getting started on inbound lead generation? Please share your comments below.