If you keep seeing the terms lead generating and lead capturing a lot, then this post is for you. While they sound similar, these two terms are not interchangeable.
Most web designers claim lead generation as their top “feature”. While it may be the main objective of your website, it is not necessarily a feature but rather a continuous task. Lead Capture, on the other hand, is the final part of the lead generation process.
Lead Generation – A Continuous Process
Lead generation is the process of bringing traffic to your website and converting them into leads.
Websites can’t be “lead generating” by themselves. Along with a well-designed website, you will need to engage in online marketing activities in order to bring users to your website.
The AIDA Model describes the lead generating process as having 4 Components:
Attention > Interest > Desire > Action
The attention phase is where you interact with potential visitors on social media or other platforms in order to get them to check your website out. This can include posts or ads.
Once visitors click on your post or ad, they land on your content and will start reading it. If they like your content, they will start developing an interest in your brand and service. As they build more interest, they will; subscribe to your blog, follow you on social media, and keep coming back.
Some of your interested visitors will like your service and build desire. During this phase, they will spend more time checking out your service pages and looking at reviews.
This is where the lead capture happens.
If the interested visitors like what they see on your product pages and like the reviews and the way you handle complaints, they will take action and convert from visitors into leads. They do so by either submitting a form, contacting you through live chat or by calling you. For an E-Commerce website, we would be looking at a sale.
Lead Capture is the action that happens on the website. This process, also known as a conversion, turns (or converts) visitors into leads.
Lead Capture can happen in several ways:
Lead Capture Forms
This is the simplest form of lead capture: You present the service, the user then registers interest in your product or service by submitting a form that collects personal information.
For example, you would use this on a real estate listing. If a user is interested in viewing the property, they can type in their information on a contact form conveniently located on the listing page.
The leads generated here are highly interested and can be directly contacted.
Squeeze pages or Gated content, presents some sort of premium content, for which the user has to submit their information in order to acquire it. Examples of this premium content can be; whitepapers, tools, software demos etc.
Here’s an example
The leads generated here are not as interested and are best suited for a newsletter subscription. Later on, as they keep interacting with your content you may contact them.
Over the Phone
Some visitors may want a faster reply and will pick up the phone and call you directly. It is then the salesperson’s job to collect all their relevant information.
Despite clever contact forms and squeeze pages, there will be a select few who will just prefer to email you. This too counts as a conversion.
For e-commerce websites, visitors convert directly into customers. This, of course, depends on how expensive the items are being sold for.
A lead generating website will usually feature conversion forms, a blog, advanced analytical tools, a lead management system, and a very tight social media integration.
But just as a Ferrari without a driver; a lead generating website on its own, without anyone working on creating new content and maintaining it, will not get too far.