Target Leads: How to Generate Business Leads in 2023, 5 Proven Ways [Ultimate Guide]

By: | December 8, 2021 | Tags: , , , , , , , , |
target leads

Are you looking to target leads for your business?

An effective lead generation system is an aspiration for every business owner. Stable customer inflow is what makes revenue predictable and manageable.

By reading this guide, you learn the definition of “lead generation.” You also discover why you should target leads, where to target them, and how to effectively target leads:

  • email marketing
  • social media
  • your own website

We’ll teach you what lead generation strategies are there and how to make these work.

Let’s dive in and discover how and where to target leads.

What is a Lead?

The Lead is a company or person that expresses interest in what you sell. The definition is simple and complex simultaneously.

Two key characteristics distinguish a lead from somebody ordinary:

  • Identification
  • Relevancy
  1. Identification

Name, email, mobile number, connection via social media – there should be at least some data to follow up.

  1. Relevancy

The lead’s quality shall be substantial enough for a conversion to happen. Relevancy is a stumbling block between Marketing and Sales – ones who nurture leads and those responsible for closing deals.

They are filtered based on specific criteria – into Marketing qualified leads (MQL) and Sales qualified leads (SQL):

  • MQLs are those acquired thanks to definite marketing actions, for example, lead gen campaigns or lead magnets.
  • SQLs are those ready to proceed with the sales team; their count is by far lower than MQLs.

What is Lead Generation and What’s Its importance?

The lead generation process is an activity of acquiring and nurturing leads to gain conversions and revenue.

This not only empowers selling, however – it brings strategically useful business insights: 

  • what needs and pains your clients face
  • how needs transforms over time
  • what communication channels are the most effective
  • what sales lead generators bring the most result
  • on what sales funnel’s stages customers tend to be stuck.

It is also a source of data for profiling an Ideal Customer or Buyer Persona.

4 Reasons You Should Start Generating Leads

  1. Better targeting

A thorough lead gen strategy implies all efforts consolidated to find qualified prospects. The company obtains an audience that is more likely to come up with purchases, hence.

Lead generation is much about personalization – creating custom audiences or mailing groups, according to clients’ distinguishing factors. Customized content or advertising is developed so that none receives “default” or purposeless messages. 

  1. Building brand awareness

Abiding success of lead gen efforts makes sales and marketing efforts to be synchronized sooner or later.

This, in turn, brings 2 perks: Any external communications are consistent and more channels are used to outreach. The latter may sometimes be on the stack of promoting and selling.

Think of the Sales Navigator from LinkedIn. On the one hand, it is CRM lead generation because it allows integration with CRM and exporting leads from LinkedIn, centralization of billing for contracts. But at the same time, it is a powerful tool for building an overall brand image – thanks to the content sharing and engagement tracking tools.

  1. Enhanced conversion ratio

Lead scoring system and CRM integration with marketing automation tools are 2 essentials for increasing conversions. This opens wide reporting opportunities. Just make sure all are set up correctly  – use assisting software like Salesforce, NetSuite, or HubSpot to target leads, and the revenue will come soon.

  1. Saved costs

Lead generation strategy cost-saving effect occurs from analytics. The implementation requires exact metrics to be calculated and monitored. ROI, cost per acquisition, time to conversion, on-page users’ engagement, the average time to close deals – these are a few of them. If the data is collected and processed consciously, it can be used for correct cost distribution or launching austerity.

Where to Target Leads

Main Channels of Lead Generation:

Lead generation, in a broad sense, includes both offline and online acquisition activities. Industry exhibitions or professional conferences shouldn’t be written off when it comes to B2B lead gen. However, the prevalence of digital instruments is hard to argue.

target leads

“Organizations’ marketing preferences for different channels”, Marketer Email Tracker 2019

Below are 3 most popular and effective channels of attracting leads through the Web:

  1. Email marketing

This is believed to bring the highest ROI, compared with other digital channels. Not a surprise that roughly 102.6 trillion emails are being sent annually. People tend to start the day by going through the “Inbox”, so mailing is a powerful tool to target leads in your audience.

And that’d be fine if recipients didn’t get, on average, 20-30 mails daily. Or – if the database you use consisted of a valid email address only. Your message, hence, can easily get lost in the information highway. But if you do succeed – every 1 dollar spent will bring you $42 back. That’s an impressive 4200% ROI value!

Related Reading: Reviews of mail list providers

  1. Social media

SMM trio – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – stands close behind emails in terms of efficiency. People spend 2.5 hours daily – on feed, videos, and chats. This fact makes networks cool for reaching out to target leads from your existing customers, but what’s even more important – building your leads’ database from scratch. If you’re not sure whether to use social media or not, think of these arguments:

  • people tend to trust influencers or inner circle, and SMM brings opportunities to get referrals
  • if you don’t have an account within any of the most popular social platforms, in the Gen Z eyes you, probably, don’t exist at all
  • if competitors from the niche actively use SMM, and you don’t, it’s a matter of time when they’ll grab your market share
  • social networks allow targeting super-specific audiences, thanks to hashtag search.
  1. Website optimization

Do not neglect organic search traffic. This will continue bringing leads when you pause all ads’ spendings. Of course, it takes time to rank for high-volume keywords. Nevertheless, start with what you can – a couple of SEO-optimized landing pages, helpful content, and a few backlinks. 

Phone calls, text SMS, messengers, and chatbots – these might also be the case when looking for proper outreach channels. Regardless of the exact ones you choose, be sure not to put all eggs in the same basket. Find the optimal combination and go ahead.

How to Target Leads

Lead generation strategies

Like any strategy, lead generation requires plans and people. You shall carry on a team, a budget, and a strategic roadmap of particular actions. To assist you, we’ve collected what’s considered a “gold standard” – best practices of lead gen activities.

Lead magnet strategy

How to target leads with a lead magnet:

What is a lead magnet?

Lead Magnet is a piece of value you offer in exchange for the client’s information.  The value can be either tangible or intangible:

  • tangible lead magnets – printable discount codes, vouchers, white papers
  • intangible lead magnets – free access, consultancy, professional advice, video training.
target leads

“Downloadable emails’ templates from”

Although the strategy is quite straightforward, double-check whether lead magnets are:

  • specific – customers should clearly understand the bounty they’ll get
  • one-big-thing – don’t promise a fortune, focus on something single yet valuable
  • realistic – there is nothing worse for reputation than misleading future clients
  • fast – don’t make the process of obtaining the “prize” too long-lasting
  • relations-oriented – show your awareness and inclusion into customer’s current needs.

Email outreach strategy

How to target leads with email:

Email outreach includes 3 areas for consideration:

  1. Quality of the emails’ database

One important note…

No matter what e-addresses you plan to use: If they didn’t pass through the double opt-in verification, you shouldn’t add them to the regular mailing list. Otherwise, it’s considered a fierce violation of GDPR rules.

Use an email validator to keep your database up-to-date, for example, ZeroBounce, eSputnik, Snovio, Sendpulse, or others. These allow getting rid of freemail and catch-all emails, as far as misspelled ones.

  1. Automation software

Buy a program that’ll schedule, send and optimize email campaigns for you. Mailing by hand is simply not economically profitable. Email marketing software allows developing trigger campaigns, personalizing newsletters, planning the sequence of messages over time, and – see analytics. 

  1. Content

Emails’ content should not be taken lightly. First, make sure to avoid spam trigger words. Then think of how to stand out from the crowd in your leads’ Inbox. You need to work out that catchy subject line, for after all 47% of recipients open emails on it alone.

Beyond the content value, make sure your message looks truthful, in general:

  • a subject line must correlate with the inner message
  • ad emails shall be market respectively
  • include the “Unsubscribe” option.

LinkedIn strategy

How to target leads with LinkedIn

If you have an account on Business LinkedIn, try Lead Gen Forms. Their feature is pre-filling the form with the user’s profile data so that it’s convenient for him or her to share information with you.

To start the campaign, you’ll need to add a call to action, for example, a “Signup” button –  to either sponsored content or message ads.

target leads

“Add call to actions to gather leads’ contact data in LinkedIn”, source

Access the collected user’s data and track the performance via built-in reporting tools. Or – integrate the Campaign Manager with your CRM lead generation or marketing automation tools.

Related: Here is information about the LinkedIn homepage.

Referral strategy

How to target leads with referrals:

Referrals help to grow the audience of potential clients, the only trouble is to get them.

You can establish referral lead gen strategy either in-house or via referral program software:

  • in-house approach: use emails and/or social media and encourage existing subscribers to promote your brand; add incentives: cash bonuses, promo codes, extra discounts, gifts – for bringing or sharing a post. 
  • automation: software, like Amplifinity, is good for putting referrals’ on the scale due to powerful integrative facilities and other helpful tools: premade templates, branded URLs, and Single Sign-On.

Be precise in what you offer, do not make getting rewards too complicated, act in line with GDPR and social networks guidelines, like YouTube’s contest policies – and followers aka clients won’t be far behind.

PPC strategy

How to target leads with Pay Per Click:

To set up a PPC campaign, you need to have the environment, tune tracking, and segment the audience. And the budget, of course.

Probably, the most popular PPC medium is Google Ads, however, Microsoft and Bing Ads are progressively developed in parallel. 

Regardless of the tool you choose, the PPC campaign’s logic is pretty much the same:

  • choose keywords you want the ad to be shown for
  • set up bids’ limits
  • decide over audiences: define a location, gender, language, and interests
  • add UTM tracking codes to URLs
  • set up conversion tracking on your landing pages, if relevant.

You can also launch PPC campaigns on social networks, like Facebook or Instagram, or – do this in Apple Search Ads. Approach it smart – conduct A/B testing to see how different ad copies, images or offers work out.

What Is A Lead Generation Funnel?

A Lead Generation Funnel shows how exactly a customer progresses towards making a purchase. Single lead’s journey is divided into stages or steps – each characterized by an inherent attitude to what you offer.

Recognizable V-shape is used for a reason: The number of leads going to the next funnel’s level decreases as they get closer to the deal.

The Stages Of A Lead Generation Funnel

There are 2 parts of the lead gen funnel’s layout, with regards to the involvement in the purchase:

  • Top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) – a customer is attracted and nurtured
  • Bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) – he or she does the purchase and becomes a company’s loyal client.

The number of exact stages within TOFU and BOFU varies, depending on the organization’s selling cycle.

In most cases, the lead gen funnel consists of 4 coherent stages:

  1. Awareness

Top-of-the-funnel consists of all leads your marketing team outreached to through content, videos, advertising, SEO, PPC, or a combination of these. There’s neither commitment nor attempt to buy – customers just get to know the company or the brand.

  1. Consideration

At this point, an interest in what your company sells is formed. Leads consider advantages and disadvantages and compare with similar offers on the market. Ideally, this stage ends up with the customer’s desire to buy, otherwise, the lead drops off or comes to the pending stage.

  1. Conversion

Probably, the most important step of the funnel. Conversions are what bring revenue and profit. Product or service benefits, as well as the deal’s terms at this point, shall be clear to all participants.

  1. Retention

A desirable finale of the funnel – to get loyal customers and brand advocates. Client retention is extremely important: a tiny increase of this metric boosts profits by up to 95%.

Target Leads: Frequently Asked Questions

What is targeted lead generation?

When you market to your email list, your social media followers, and your website visitors, you are marketing to targeted leads. Since this audience is already interested in your products or services, your lead generation is targeted at people in your niche.

What are the two types of leads in the lead generation market?

The two types of leads are people who just entered your funnel and started to express interest and people at the bottom of your funnel who are making a purchase.

Wrapping Up: How to Target Leads

Every company’s lead generation strategy is unique. There is no winning pattern to recommend to everyone. Explore your customers’ journeys, multiply that knowledge by strategic tools you can afford – and make a step forward towards building what’ll work the best for your business.

Readers, please share so businesses discover this guide.

I look forward to your views in the comments section. Do you know additional methods to target leads?

Author: Tamara Zhostka, еditor from

This post was made possible by the support of our readers.

  1. Rachel

    Thank you , once again, Janice for sharing such helpful information. You have a way of writing or finding articles from others that are so helpful – kudos! I always look forward to the next email newsletter from you with anticipation. I have been blogging for years but didn’t really understand half the stuff involved (like this article) until I connected with you. Thank you!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Rachel,
      How great to hear from you. I appreciate that you have been a loyal reader of mine for years.
      Thank you so much for your compliments on my writing style and my choice of guest authors.
      I am glad you found the information about generating target leads helpful.
      Happiness in the new year!

  2. Ansh S

    It is true that targeting leads properly is absolutely necessary for every type of business, it is only through this that they can finally get a return on the efforts that are made into creating the product/service. I myself target leads through email outreach, I’m into the B2B sector so email makes the most sense to me. What I do is just get my prospects’ contact information through LinkedIn using Aeroleads, this tool has an in-built email verifier so I do not have to put extra effort into verifying the emails. Moreover, using search filters and the tool’s own selection function makes sure that only relevant and convertible leads are being selected and passed as sales intelligence.
    Ever since I started doing my prospecting like this, the number of sales conversions has grown exponentially and everyone should try out different prospecting/lead targeting methods and see what works best for them.

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