December 13, 2022
December 13, 2022

How to Generate Leads (2022)

Generating leads is one of the most crucial ways to garner interest in — and ultimately sales of — your business’s products and services. If this is your first time seeing the word “lead” in this context, the basic definition of a lead is: a prospective consumer who is interested in your business’s products or services and gives you their contact info.

Leads are typically obtained through some form of communication from your business. Whether it be a form, email, advertisement, or even a cold call, leads can be obtained in a wide variety of ways.

Before you get started with generating leads for your business, it is important to be mindful of three lead-specific acronyms: MQL, SQL and PQL.

  • MQL: Marketing Qualified Lead: A lead who has engaged with marketing from your business but has not yet received a sales call.

  • SQL: Sales Qualified Lead: A lead who has been qualified by your business – through a phone call or some other process – to schedule a sales call.

  • PQL: Product Qualified Lead: A lead who has used your product or service through a free trial and is likely to become a paying customer.

Here’s how lead generation works in three simple steps:

  1. A consumer discovers your business and becomes a lead by discovering your website, filling out a form in an ad, or some other way.

  2. The lead engages with one of your call to action (CTA) buttons that brings them to a form that they fill out.

  3. After the person submits the form, your business will obtain the information provided and decide how to engage with this lead to ultimately drive a sale (i.e., a conversion).

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through how to get leads, qualify them, and build a repeatable process. For your convenience, we’ve divided this post into 7 sections

Tips for setting up a lead generation form

Before acquiring leads, you’ll need a way to capture people’s information, if you don’t have italready. We recommend putting a lead form on your website. Some of the benefits of having a lead generation form on your website include:

  • Control over the look and feel of the form, as well as the entire form submission experience. For example, the message prospective customers see after they submit the form.

  • Access to new leads right away.

  • People who click through to your site to fill out a form tend to show a high level of interest in your business.

Creating your first lead form:

  • If you offer multiple products or services, consider adding a dropdown field to your form so people can select which product or service they’re interested in.

  • In your dropdown field, group products and services to differentiate your leads based on their category of interest.

  • Use as few fields as possible. The more fields people have to fill out, the more likely they’ll click away.

  • We make sure your lead form is mobile responsive, so it displays properly on all devices.

  • Offer people something in exchange for giving you their info, even if it’s a small discount or a free consultation.

  • We include one or two questions that will help you qualify leads later, such as “How soon do you need this?” or “What level of service are you interested in?”

Alternatively, Snapchat also offers a Lead Generation ad objective that allows you to include a lead form in your ad. This allows potential leads to submit their info to you without leaving the app. You can access and download your captured leads within the Campaign tab of Snapchat Ads Manager. Learn more about lead generation ads on Snapchat For Business.

A team of young people working together around a table

Ideas for generating leads

Get referrals

Referrals can be great for your business because the people referred to your business are likely already interested in it and have a much better chance to make a purchase. Consider doing the following to obtain even more referrals:

  • Ask current customers to provide leads and give them a reward for doing so, such as a discount coupon. You might also want to reward the new customer too, which can prompt them to not only take action but also become a referrer themselves.

  • If your business is relatively new, you can have employees make referrals and get rewards as a way to jumpstart the program.

  • If you don’t want to create the mechanics of the referral program yourself, you can search online for solutions that take care of that for you.

Create referral partnerships

Approach a couple of your best customers, or establish relationships with complementary businesses. For example, if you have a housecleaning business, you might consider working with local realtors and having them refer clients to you who need their homes cleaned before they put their homes for sale. Further, you may want to consider incentivizing via:

  • Offering partners a commission for each lead they send your way.

  • Making sure your referral partners clearly understand your business goals, and the specifics of the relationship are written out and agreed to by all parties.

If referral partnerships will play a significant part of your business leads, partner relationship management (PRM) software will be the best way to streamline and keep track of everything.

Demonstrate your expertise with content

  • Use a blog and/or social media channels to provide helpful advice to people in the form of written content, how-to videos, and so forth.

  • Make sure you include your contact info and/or a link to an online lead form so people have a way to get in touch with you if they’re interested in what you have to offer.

  • Try to approach blogs that are popular in your industry and see if you can write a guest post, or find relevant podcasts and ask them if you can appear on their show as a guest.


Most online ad platforms, including Snapchat, can help you generate leads via paid advertising campaigns. Before you get started with advertising across social media, Make sure you have a lead form on your website and send people to it from your ads. Generating leads on Snapchat is a great way to connect with a younger audience. Learn more about generating leads on Snapchat.

When advertising, create Lookalike Audiences

Most ad platforms, including Snapchat’s, allow you to create Lookalike Audiences from existing Custom Audiences. In general, these Lookalike Audiences will help your business find people who are similar to the source audience you provide.

For example, you can create a Customer List Audience by uploading a list of your best customers. Learn more about creating Customer List Audiences on Snapchat.

Then you can use the Customer List Audience as the source for a Lookalike Audience, which you can target in an ad to help you find new customers who are similar to your best ones. Learn more about creating Lookalike Audiences on Snapchat.

Offer a lead generation magnet

A lead generation magnet is a strategy that involves offering useful content to people in exchange for their contact information. This content could be something like an ebook or a template.

Host a giveaway

The opportunity to win free products or services can be a powerful incentive for people to give you their contact info. Use giveaways to drive engagement and obtain contact information.

If you have a physical business location, try some offline ideas

Even if you don’t have a physical place where you do business, try attending conferences or other events and network with people who could be potential customers. Being present in your industry is key. You may also consider doing one of the following:

  • Host a party where people enter by filling out their contact info on a simple form.

  • Offer samples, such as a free consultation, a trial membership, or a discount on the first use of a service.

  • Host a group workshop. You could also try this online with video conferencing software.

  • Give people useful information that’s related to your business, so you can mention your products and services during the session; just try not to oversell your product.

  • Participate in community service projects.

Use email and social media to engage with people

  • Create a newsletter that you send out on a regular basis (monthly is good) to people who haven’t purchased from you yet or haven’t done so in a long time. Give people useful information and invite them to get in touch to learn more.

  • Stay active in your social media accounts and make sure you interact with people as much as possible, especially people who have questions.

Woman interacting with a couple charts on her laptop

Make sure your website is optimized for SEO

SEO (search engine optimization) will help drive people to your site’s lead form when they search on keywords that are relevant to your business.

If you have a blog, do research on the top keywords

Keywords specific to your industry are very important to include in your blog. For the most visibility, make sure keywords important to your industry are in your headlines and sprinkled throughout your content. Keep in mind that you should use these keywords with some discretion — the trick is not to overdo it, as search engines can penalize you for that.

Consider the following best practices for your blog:

  • Make sure you publish multiple blog posts each month, which can increase the amount of traffic your site gets.

  • Don’t forget to make sure you have a link to your lead form in all your blog posts, as well as in multiple spots on your website.

  • Use the appropriate H2, H3, and H4 subheads in your blog posts, which makes it easier for search engines to scan your content.

  • Cross-link your blog posts to other pages on your website, and include an external link or two. If you’ve built relationships with other blog owners, see if you can link back and forth.

Improve your website speed

Website speed can have an impact on your search engine rankings. Here are a few key ways to improve your overall website speed:

  • Fix broken links.

  • Delete spam comments, if you allow comments on your blog posts (if necessary, use a filter to stop spam comments from showing up).

  • Use a good website hosting service, or use one of the services that allows you to build and host a website with them.

  • Make sure your website is mobile responsive with this Mobile-Friendly Test tool. This will help make sure your website is rendering properly on mobile devices. Also have a look at Google’s Get started with mobile-friendliness page for more guidance on your mobile experience.

Ask people to review your products or services

Not only do good reviews of your products or services give your business that personal touch, search engines look positively on good reviews and will ultimately reward your business with even more visibility through search.

Create an FAQ on your website

Having a set of frequently asked questions and answers not only helps with SEO, it also allows you to resolve potential snags with customer satisfaction over the use of your products and services.

How to qualify leads and gauge their level of interest

Make sure you have a way to download your leads

Typically most businesses use some kind of CRM (customer relationship management) software to download leads. If you’re just getting started, you could also use a spreadsheet, but you’ll want to migrate to a more robust solution at some point.

Put a question in your form that will help you qualify leads

Questions in your lead generation form should help you qualify people later. Whether you ask a lead about their timeline for doing business with you or the level of service they want, you can use that information to determine which leads are ones you should act on now and which ones can be saved for later.

Contact new leads

Consider contacting new leads directly and judge their level of interest in what you’re offering.

Hire someone to contact leads

If you’re selling a product or service with a high price point, you may want to consider hiring someone to contact leads who are strong short-term prospects and screen them first. Their questions should be focused on:

  • What business or personal problem the lead wants to solve

  • Why they’re doing something about it now

  • Whether or not they have the budget allocated for the purchase

These will help your business focus on leads who are most likely to buy now.

How to score leads

Regardless of whether a lead ultimately makes a purchase or “converts,” you still want to assign your leads a score based on a spectrum of interest. This can be as simple as scoring one set of leads as “I want this now” and scoring another set of leads as “I’m barely interested.”

Ultimately, the system you create for scoring is up to you — it can be simple or complex — but make sure it’s applied consistently across all leads. Consider these tips below for scoring your leads:

  • Consider scoring someone higher if you know you’ve engaged with them on social media or somewhere else, or if they’ve redeemed a coupon.

  • Use your qualifier questions in the lead generation form to help with scoring. For example, if you asked a lead how soon they’ll be ready to make a purchase, you can score them based on their answers.

  • Follow up as quickly as you can with the leads who seem the most promising. You may want to tweak your system the next time you use it, if you find, for example, that the people who seemed very interested in your business really weren’t.

Man in a bicycle shop interacting with a spreadsheet on his laptop

Building a repeatable lead generation process

You want to develop a process that you can use repeatedly and refine over time. This will help improve your overall lead generation. To create a repeatable process, we recommend:

  1. Each time you gather leads, score them and take action to close sales; note what worked and what didn’t.

  2. Tweak your process each time to help refine it.

  3. Document your process and keep it up to date.

  4. Use your spreadsheet or CRM software daily and keep your data current

Two smiling women in a Snapchat Ads lead generation ad

Use Snapchat to get leads

Today Snapchat is being used by 9 out of 10 young people, so it’s a fantastic launching pad for your business to generate leads with people between the ages of 13 and 24. Learn how to set up the perfect lead generation campaign on Snapchat today with our lead generation guide.

Happy advertising!