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The Lead Generation Glossary: 100 Terms You Ought To Know
13th November 2017 Sharanya Manola
21 min read

Lead Generation Glossary: 100 Terms You Ought To Know

Lead generation and lead nurturing are crucial for a marketer. But there are many terms that even seasoned marketers often end up confused and exhausted. Hence, we thought of making things easier for all of you. Here is a glossary of 100 important terms that anyone who works in lead generation and leads nurturing ought to know.

Dig in!

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A

#1 A/B testing: A/B testing is done to test two or more versions of the same webpage to determine which version performs better. As a matter of fact, it helps to understand the effectiveness of changes in design or content of web pages by comparing the performance of multiple versions.

#2 AIDA: AIDA is an acronym for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. The AIDA model represents the cognitive stages an individual goes through in the buying process.

  • Awareness: It is to do with creating brand awareness and drawing the attention of people.
  • Interest: The next stage requires you to keep them interested in your products and services.
  • Desire: Herein you influence them from just liking you to wanting to buy from you.
  • Action: This phase is when the interested prospect after evaluating their affinity to your brand decides to buy a product.

#3 Application Programming Interface (API): API stands for a software-to-software interface that allows information to be passed from one system to another. By and large, in the context of lead generation, APIs can help you a lot if you want to transfer lead info between two tools or platforms.

#4 Assessment: It is a type of interactive content that uses the Q&A format to gather relevant information about a prospect. On the basis of user's inputs, a tailored result is created. Furthermore, the data collected can help marketers profile their leads and send content that matches their buyer's persona.

#5 Asset: It includes any kind of material aligned to a buyer’s journey and used to educate and engage the user. For instance, brochures, interactive content, webinars, videos, tutorials, guides, e-books, reports, infographics etc.

#6 Authority: Authority means how much influence you have on other people that they buy from you. For that matter, this authority can stem from how trustworthy and credible your brand is. Some ways you can make your authority visible is by publishing original research, testimonials, certifications, badges on your website.

#7 Awareness stageIn a buying cycle, this stage is where people identify their challenge or an opportunity they want to pursue. Furthermore, they also decide whether or not the goal or challenge should be a priority. In this regard, marketers aim to generate leads through lead magnets that are educational and create awareness.

B

#8 Blogging: It means maintaining a blog where one can post about a wide range of topics related to the industry they are a part of. It is a core component of inbound marketing strategy as it bumps up SEO, website traffic and also aids in lead generation.

#9 BOFU: Bottom of the funnel is the final stage in a buyer’s journey where they are evaluating who to buy the solution from. Usually, they need a gentle nudge through offers like free trials, free consultation, demo, discount to finally close the deal.

#10 Bounce rate: The percentage of visitors who land on a page of your website or a landing page without navigating further or clicking on anything. A high bounce rate generally results in poor conversion and is a reminder that you must rework your web pages. Conversely, a high bounce rate for your emails means that your list quality is getting low and it’s time to look into your list management practices.

#11 Buyer's persona: A buyer persona is a representation of the type of person who buys your products and services. When defining a buyer persona, you'll identify job titles, demographic factors and lifestyle attributes of your typical buyer. By creating good content targeted to your buyer persona, you'll attract website traffic that has a higher probability to buy your products and services.

C

#12 Cost of customer acquisition (CAC): It is the total amount of money spent on sales and marketing in order to convince a potential customer into buying a company’s products and services. It can be calculated by dividing all the sales and marketing expenses by the number of customers acquired.

#13 Calculator: A calculator presents complex data in a simple, basic format and is user-driven. Owing to its simplicity it is highly engaging and can be used to generate leads by asking users to exchange their contact information in order to see the results. Some examples are: EMI calculator, ROI calculator, risk calculator and cost calculator.

#14 Commitment and consistency: According to this principle of persuasion, once people commit to something they will honor it. Marketers use this principle to create content and copy that creates a commitment in the user’s mind and moves them towards conversion.

#15 Content management system: It is a tool that can be used to design, manage and publish a website. It allows multiples users to collaborate and create digital content which can be optimised for search engine too. Popular example of CMS are WordPress, Magento, Drupal and Joomla.

#16 Case study: Case study is a customer’s story that explains the details of a problem they were facing, how they tackled this problem and finally, the results they got. It is a popular content format as it allows marketers to showcase their products and services through a real-life problem.

#17 Chat: A live chat feature provides a real-time, faster resolution of queries which results in better user experience and also helps in lead generation. Besides, it helps understand the behavior of a visitor and pain points, if any, instantaneously.

#18 Cheat sheet: A cheat sheet is similar to a checklist except it gives guidelines to users to perform a task. These are usually very actionable and high-value and so make for an excellent lead generation and engagement tool.

#19 Checklist: A checklist is an extremely easy-to-make lead magnet wherein the steps required to perform a complex task is presented in a condensed format. Companies like HubSpot use lots of checklists to engage and convert their traffic into leads.

#20 Consultation (free): A consultation is whereby you give a session to prospects to understand their pain points and then propose how your product/service can fix them. It also serves as a great way to push your prospects into the final buying stage.

#21 Conversion rate: It is the percentage of people who complete a desired action. For example, if 100 people arrive on a landing page and 10 people fill out the form, the landing page has a 10% conversion rate.

#22 Conversion rate optimization: CRO is a process of improving conversions on site or landing pages by conducting A/B tests or deploying optimizing techniques.

#23 Conversion path: A conversion path a description of the steps taken by a user of a website towards a conversion. It starts from when the user arrives on the website and ends at conversion.

#24 Cost per lead: CPL is the amount it costs to acquire a lead.

#25 Cross-platform marketing automation: It’s the ability of emails to display properly across multiple platforms like mobile devices, tablets and desktops.

#26 CTA: Call-to-action or CTA refers to a button or a link that literally ‘calls out’ or prompts the user to take an ‘action’. In fact, a good CTA is one that clearly states the value proposition so that users know what’s in it for them. For example, “Download this ebook to know the secret formula!”

#27 CTR: Click-through rate is that percentage of people that have clicked on your ad or your post. The formula is total number of clicks divided by total number of times the link was viewed. For example: 1click/100 views = .01% CTR

#28 Customer: A prospect who buys your product is the customer.

D

#29 Design: Design - which includes color, font, visual impact - is critical to generating leads. In fact, it is what makes web pages, emails and ads visually exciting. Besides, it also gives a page a logical flow otherwise the users may not understand what exactly is going on it.

#30 Drip marketing campaigns: They are an automated set of emails that are sent out over a specific period of time. The purpose is to engage with leads and push them onto the next stages of the purchase funnel. For example, if someone has registered for a product webinar, but haven’t yet pulled the purchase trigger, you may want to send them a case study which will act as a social proof and perhaps elicit a purchase or a sales query.

E

#31 Ebook: An ebook is a lead magnet which provides comprehensive information on a specific topic or list of topics. It is a useful method to build thought leadership as well as generate and nurture leads.

#32 Email bounce rate: It is a small percentage of sent messages or emails. These messages were not delivered to a recipient’s inbox ergo bounced. A high bounce rate indicates an out-of-date list with invalid or not-in-use email addresses.

#33 Email marketing: It is component of digital marketing. Here emails are sent to subscribers, leads and customers to engage with, promote or upsell a company’s products and services.

#34 Email validation: There exist a range of tools that can be embedded on a landing page to verify if an email address as valid or not. They measure the legitimacy of an email address with the help of a combination of algorithms because it is critical in order to collect valid data and create a clean email list to which emails are sent.

#35 Evaluation stage: The stage of buying cycle wherein leads are aware that your products and services fulfill their criteria, and that they are trying to evaluate why they should choose you over others. 

F

#36 Facebook: It is a social networking site where marketers can do targeted advertising to create brand awareness, attract new leads by bringing them to a landing page.

#37 FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out is one of the principles of persuasion used by marketers to boost conversions. Essentially, it means creating an anticipation around your content/offer/product so that people fear that they will miss something amazing if they don’t get access to it.

G

#38 Gated content:  Offer this and get lead data in exchange. Typically examples include, downloadable content like whitepapers, ebooks, case studies, guides, reports, but can also be non-downloadable like free consultations, product demos, free trials etc.

#39 Guides: Similar to ebooks, guides are a lengthier lead magnet to create. They work as an exceptional lead nurturing magnet. They are educational in nature and can nudge prospects further in the purchase funnel.

H

#40 Hard bounce: It means the email bounced back to the sender. The recipient’s mail server didn't accept it.

#41 Headline: Landing pages and blogs must have headlines that are engaging. Moreover, these headlines should be relevant to the content on the page. Otherwise, they may not take the action (filling out the lead form) or read/share your content with others.

I

#42 Inbound marketing: Inbound marketing focuses on attracting customer attention through content like blogs, social media platforms, and search engines. It is based on pull strategy used by marketers to create brand awareness. The purpose is to get people to enter the marketing funnel by their own choice.

#43 Interactive content: Content and tools like calculators, quizzes, online surveys and assessments that provide an interactive, two-way communication are called interactive content. They help in lead generation and convert better than passive content. Besides, it helps marketers educate, profile and nurture leads once they are in the marketing funnel.

Pro Tip: Learn How Many More Leads Will You Get Through Interactive Content

#44 Interactive whitepaper: A static piece of content transformed using interactive elements like visuals, animations, and questions is called interactive whitepaper. As a matter of fact, users love it because it provides an experience and isn't one that is to be passively consumer. For this reason, it makes for an excellent MOFU or BOFU stage lead magnet.

K

#45 Keywords: A targeted search phrase that internet users type in a search engine. Optimize blogs and websites for your search engine.  They should have a combination of short-tail and long-tail keywords that people search for. This will improve traffic and so improve chances of generating leads.

#46 KPI or key performance indicators: In marketing terms, KPIs help marketers keep track of performance. It helps to find whether their marketing efforts are paying off. They evaluate their performance against standard metrics such as customer acquisition cost, customer conversion ratio, landing page conversion rate etc.

L

#47 Landing page: Landing page is a web page that has one goal - pushing people to take a certain action. Usually, it contains a lead capture form or a clickthrough button which helps marketers capture visitor information.  Email campaigns and SEM campaigns are landing page linked.

#48 Lead: Any person who shares his/her contact information is called a lead. The lead can be generated through ebooks, whitepapers, quizzes, calculators, blog posts, website etc. They are a potential sales opportunity.

#49 Lead capture form: Lead capture form is a critical element of a marketing campaign. This is what visitors fill to give their contact information and gain something in return. For this reason, marketers should A/B test the lead form fields and design. Reason? It has direct impact on its completion rate.

#50 Lead magnet: An irresistible offer that helps convert visitors to leads. In exchange they provide contact info. This is  a lead magnet. For example,  interactive content like quizzes, calculators, assessments, reports, guides, cheat sheets, checklists, webinars etc.

#51 Lead management: It is the process of tracking and managing leads right from the first stage of them entering the marketing funnel.  

#52 Lead segmentation: The process of grouping leads based on common characteristics like website behavior, geographical location, and demographics.

#53 Lead scoring: Lead scoring refers to the technique of assigning a score to a lead based on various attributes like demography or behavior on the website. For example, if a lead downloads an ebook you might give them a score of 10. Similarly, if they ask for a demonstration you score them 40. 

#54 Lead to customer conversion ratio: It is calculated by dividing the total number of customers by the total number of leads.

#55 Lead quality: Lead quality (whether high or low) confirms how likely they are to convert from a visitor to a customer. A high-quality lead, for instance, is one that matches any company’s buyer persona.

#56 Lifetime value of customer:  LTV refers to the projected revenue that a customer will generate during their lifetime.One of the best ways to improve LTV is by focusing on customer satisfaction which will eventually result in improved retention. 

#57 Liking: Liking is based on the fact that you can exercise influence over people if they like you. As a company, you can improve your likeability in a number of ways. For example, you can use interactive content, emails and messages that creates a two-way dialogue. It will ensure you are liked by your prospect because you are engaging them.

#58 LinkedIn: A social networking site, LinkedIn, is as popular among job seekers as with employers and those who want to grow their professional network. In fact, it has about 400+ million users which also means there is a huge opportunity to generate leads for businesses who sell products and services, especially B2B.

#59 Loss aversion: Loss aversion is a principle of persuasion based on the idea that most people have a tendency to avoid situations that could result in a loss. In fact, because our aversion to loss is so strong that marketers use it to influence their prospect's purchase in their favor.

M

#60 Marketing automation: Marketing automation refers to using a software that automates marketing tasks. These tasks include repetitive actions like sending out emails, social media posts and other actions on the website. Many marketing automation platforms have a robust analytics component. This tracks behavior on the website and personalizes the communication based on that.

#61 Marketing funnel: It is a model that represents a customer’s journey from awareness to purchase a product or service. Right at the top of the funnel, there will be a lot of visitors and leads. Gradually, the number decreases with each passing stage. Only the interested and engaged leads at the end who turn into customers.

#62 Marketing segmentation: It is the process of dividing a market of potential customers into groups, or segments.  In reality, the segments created are of consumers who respond similarly to marketing strategies. Furthermore, they also share traits such as similar interests, needs, or locations.

#63 Mobile optimization: Designing and optimizing a website, blog or landing pages.  This will make it easy to navigate from a mobile device. 

#64 MOFU: Middle of the sales funnel or MOFU is the stage when the buyer is aware of the problem. He/she is now looking for the best solution.

#65 Marketing qualified lead: MQLs are those people who have expressed interest in your product. These are people progressing down the funnel, but are not yet sales-ready.

P

#66 Pay-per-click: PPC campaigns is a paid marketing effort wherein traffic is diverted to a website or a landing page. The website owner pays the publisher a certain amount of money every time the ad is clicked by a visitor.

#67 Personalized emails: Personalized emails is a technique to improve the performance of email marketing campaigns. Primarily, they are known to bump up conversion rate up to six times more than non-personalised emails.

#68 Product email: It is an educational email regarding your product. Such emails are usually a part of lead nurturing campaigns.  These are relevant only to leads who are engaging with your product.

#69 Prospect: A prospect is a potential customer who has submitted their contact data to receive more information from you. They are preparing themselves to make a decision and are engaging with you. Essentially, they are sales-ready leads and closer to an outcome.

#70 Prospect analysis: Prospect analysis entails analyzing prospects' demographics and behavior to judge conversion likelihood.

#71 Purchase stage: The stage where some leads from the top of the funnel are now ready to purchase. In general, it is those people who have researched well enough and have finally decided on choosing you as their solution provider.

Q

#72 Quiz: A quiz is an interactive content-type. Overall, it is based on instant gratification principle, a quiz is a type interactive-content which is quite engaging and shareable. For that reason, a quiz makes for an effective lead magnet.

R

#73 Reciprocity: Reciprocity is based on the principle of returning a favor. As a result, it works brilliantly on a landing page wherein you return a favor for a favor. Obviously, as a marketer, make sure that the giveaway is not refusable and be of utility to your audience.

#74 Report: A report is a collection of facts, figures, and data after extensive research. Given the fact that it is comprehensive, it works particularly well as a B2B lead magnet.

#75 Responsive design: It refers to the design of a website that responds to any device size and orientation. In simple words, it adapts to various screen sizes, maintains uniformity and providing a smooth user experience.

#76 ROI: Return of investment is a performance metric which evaluates the profitability of an investment. The formula to calculate ROI = ( investment return -  investment made / Investment).

#77 Revenue performance management: It is an approach that marketers use to analyze and identify what’s boosting or hurting revenue generation. Furthermore, once you keep track, it can help increase sales and marketing alignment by continuing to focus on revenue metrics like CPL.

S

#78 Sales and marketing alignment: It is an organization's approach whereby sales and marketing work  together and not in silos. Arguably, this results in better coordination and high conversions. Furthermore, it proves that sales is not just the responsibility of one team but the entire organization.

#79 Sales funnel: A sales funnel refers to a set of steps that are designed to guide visitors to make buying decisions. The funnel is broader at the top and keeps getting narrower which is also the last stage in the funnel. Educational content at every stage helps decision making.

#80 Sales qualified lead: SQL is a lead that is worthy of making a direct contact with by the sales team. They are people who are ready to buy.

#81 Scarcity: According to the principle of scarcity, people value a product or service more if you tell them they are missing out on a huge opportunity. Presumably, this FOMO forces people to buy stuff impulsively. For example, a coupon code that expires within a few hours will have a greater appeal than one which can be used over the next 2 years.  

#82 SEO: Search Engine Optimization is a means of improving a website’s visibility on search engine results.

#83 Social media: Social media is an excellent platform to reach your audience, generate leads and also to stay in touch with your prospects and keep them updated about your products and services. Word of mouth on social media increases brand awareness as well.

#84 Social proof: It is a psychological principle in which people tend to follow what the majority is doing around them. In essence, marketers use social proof as a tactic to increase conversion in a number of ways.  These include customer testimonials, media mentions, social share counter, certifications, case studies, subscriber count, ratings and reviews, real-time stats etc.

#85 Soft bounce: Soft bounce is an email message that does reach the recipient's mail servers but bounces back undelivered either because the recipient's inbox was full or the server was unavailable.

#86 Subject line:  Subject line of email campaigns should be compelling and prompt recipients to click on it and see what it entails. Ideally, the subject line and content should match.

T

#87 Targeted content: Targeted content is content that is created keeping in mind the buyer’s persona. It is the best way to engage and nurture a lead. It shows that you understand their needs and pain points.

#88 TOFU: Top of the funnel refers to the top-most stage of a sales funnel. In fact, it comprises of people who are trying to identify a problem and are looking for information about it. At this stage, the job of a marketer is to educate these people about the solutions available without exclusively pitching their own products and services.

#89 Twitter: It is a social media platform that allows businesses to share messages and engage with their audience.

U

#90 Unsubscribe rate: It is the percentage of recipients who click on the ‘unsubscribe’ option at the end of an email you send to them. Ideally, it should be less than 1%.

#91 User: A user is a person who is a step away from being a customer. He/she is someone who uses a product without actually paying. Finally, once they start paying, they turn into a customer.

#92 User experience: Overall experience of a visitor on an app, a web page or a landing page.

V

#93 Value proposition: By and large, he value proposition of your business refers to the unique value you provide which makes you irresistible to your target audience. In addition, it also helps you differentiate yourself from the competitors.

#94 Viral content: Any piece of content that gains immense popularity on the internet and shared by people in huge numbers is called viral content. As a matter of fact, creating viral content can result in huge brand awareness. As a consequence it can help generate valuable leads and business. For example, BuzzFeed quizzes have all the elements of viral content.

#95 Visitor: A visitor is a person who lands on your website. Above all, it is this visitor that can increase your page views and engage with your brand. If your content isn't immersive then it will reflect on your website's bounce rate.

W

#96 Webinar: Webinars are highly effective in lead generation. Since they are educational they have a high perceived value. Moreover, as compared to ebooks, guides, blog posts etc webinars can nurture leads and push them further into the funnel.

#97 WordPress: It is a Content Management System (CMS) used by the majority of websites around the world.

#98 Workflow: In sales and marketing terms, a workflow is essentially a series of triggers and actions that facilitate the movement of a lead or prospect from one stage of the buying cycle to another.

Y

#99 YouTube:  So, YouTube is a video-sharing site where users can view, upload and share videos.  It is highly interactive platform, hence more and more organizations have begun to using this platform.

Z

#100 Zeit: Caught you! That’s a German word for time! Yes, it’s now time you brush-up with these terms. It will mark a start to your journey to becoming a successful lead gen and inbound marketer!

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