Chapter 1

What is Lead Generation?

In a nutshell, ​lead generation​ refers to the process of identifying potential customers for your business’s products or services.

If you’re a sales rep or a founder of a B2B company, you probably already have at least some experience generating leads.

But contrary to popular belief, lead generation isn’t just about cold-calling or ​sending out a bunch of emails​. It’s a complicated process that requires a diverse range of strategies to be effective.

In this article, we’ll run you through exactly what lead generation entails, and outline some of the lead generation tactics you can implement in 2021 that will skyrocket your revenue.

What Is A Lead

A lead is a prospective customer who has shown interest in the services or products provided by your company.

Their interest is expressed through sharing their contact information such as an email or a phone number.

Why Lead Generation Is Important

Lead generation is essential for both marketing and sales teams because it helps to:

  • Obtain new sales leads

  • Generate the right leads

While lead acquisition, by definition, involves using both inbound and outbound tactics to generate leads, most sales reps and marketers find more success with inbound strategies.

What Are MQLs And SQLs

MQL - Marketing qualified lead

SQL - Sales qualified lead

MQLs are prospects that the marketing team deems promising but not yet ready buy - they have shown interest or initiated contact, but there isn’t enough data to determine their level of interest.

These leads are handed over to the marketing team which then engages and nurtures them, providing relevant information and scoring the leads based on their response and actions.

When these leads are deemed to be potentially ready to purchase, they are handed over to the sales team and become SQLs.

SQLs area leads that whose interest level has been determined and are past the engagement phase. They’ve been analyzed by both the marketing and sales teams, and are now ready for the next stage of the process - the direct sales push.

Each lead should be analyzed by both the sales team and the marketing team to determine where each lead is in the buyer’s journey and how it should be approached.

Chapter 2

Lead Generation Channels

Not all lead generation is created equal. Let's discuss the differences between inbound vs outbound and specifically channels within these and how they stack up against each other!

Outbound VS Inbound Marketing

There are two main marketing lead generation channels:

  • Outbound marketing
  • Inbound marketing

If you’re not 100% clear on the difference between inbound and outbound, here’s a quick breakdown:

Essentially, outbound marketing interrupts your customer’s workflow, and “demands” their attention. By contrast, inbound marketing draws your customer into your funnel, and “earns” their attention.

the difference between the Inbound marketing and Interruption marketing

Now that we’ve figured out the main types of leads and identified the two main lead generation channels, we’re almost ready to jump into the best strategies for generating leads in 2021 and beyond.

But before we get started, let's have a quick overview of how lead generation changed over time so that we have a better understanding of the direction lead generation is heading in today.

Then And Now

Back in the day, lead generation techniques were pretty straightforward.

Marketers would typically do one of these things:

  • Run a TV commercial
  • Run an advertorial in a magazine, or
  • Buy an email list, and spam the list with promotional offers

Today, the landscape or lead generation has changed drastically.

The goal is no longer to hit your customers with as many ads as possible, but instead to increase your visibility so that your customers come to you.

So, what changed between then and now? The internet wave happened!

Before the internet became easily accessible, consumers experienced a great deal of information scarcity. The information that they consumed depended mostly by the big media companies that controlled print media and broadcast.

But when the internet (and Google) became a thing, information was suddenly abundant and easily accessible.

Fast forward to 2021, where consumers not only have information available at their fingertips, but are constantly bombarded by brands trying to market to them.

And this means that pressure is being applied at both ends: the average consumer’s attention span has shrunk, and they’ve also gotten more selective about what they pay attention to.

Just think about the last time you logged into Facebook, for example.

Did you read every single one of your friends’ status updates while you were scrolling through your newsfeed? Did you pay attention to every sponsored post that you saw?

Probably not.

The same thing applies to consumers, both B2B and B2C. People are so sick and tired of getting bombarded by ads everywhere they turn, they’re flat out ignoring them.

how consumers really interact with the online ads marketers are setting up

The same thing also applies to print advertising.

how consumers interact with the print ads

Most consumers say that they see print ads “too frequently”, and have learned to tune them out automatically.

So, here’s the bottom line:

Consumers are getting increasingly better at shutting out what they deem “noise”.

Bearing this in mind, simply using outbound techniques to “rent” attention from consumers just won’t cut it anymore - you’ll have to use inbound techniques to “own” your consumers’ attention instead.

Chapter 3

How To Generate Leads In 2021

The significant change in the way consumers perceive advertisements means that companies must adapt their lead generation tactics accordingly.

You need to be constantly testing and implementing new strategies to identify those that work for your company.

Don’t have time to read the whole guide right now?

No worries. Let me send you a copy so you can read it when it’s convenient for you. Just let me know where to send it (takes 5 seconds):

Let’s explore some of the most important aspects you must focus on below.

Have A Website

If you don’t have a website, it will be almost impossible to establish a strong presence online and attract targeted leads using organic traffic sources.

However, with a website, you can provide valuable information to your target audience through engaging content, and ensure that your prospects always have a reason to come back.

What’s more, a website makes it easier to personalize the experience of your visitors and ensure that they’re seeing information that’s the most relevant to them, depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey.

Make Contact Information Visible And Use a Contact Form

When developing your website, every decision needs to be made from the perspective of the leads that you want to attract.

You must make navigating your site as easy as possible, and an important part of that is showcasing your contact information in a prominent position that’s easy to see.

After all, attracting qualified leads to your site is an expensive and time-consuming process, so you can’t risk losing them because of something as minor as a poorly placed contact form.

And if you want to take it a step further, you could even consider incorporating a chatbot or live chat functionality into your site so that your leads can reach you using a method that’s the most convenient to them.

Use Opt-In Forms

Some of your visitors won’t be willing to leave their contact information on your site unless they’re getting something of value in return.

That’s why it’s essential to have an opt-in form for capturing leads and have an appealing incentive for leaving their email address.

The exact offer depends on your audience, but it must be something that they will find valuable such as a free trial or useful and actionable information that they can use.

Landing Pages and CTAs

A landing page is a crucial element of any successful lead generation strategy because it is the place where you capture the leads by collecting their contact information.

Landing Pages and CTAs

The quality of your landing page will largely decide the success of your lead generation campaigns, so you need to take as much time as necessary to develop and tweak it to maximize your conversion rate.

Your landing pages must have a simple and clear message that grabs attention, showcases the value of the offer, and gets the lead to take action.

Try to eliminate all information that is not essential or not relevant to your offer, as that will only serve as a distraction and lower the chances of success.

When developing your CTAs (call to actions), you must ensure that they are:

  • clear and understandable
  • compelling
  • well placed on your website to allow your visitors to contact you easily.

Email Marketing

Even if you can get a visitor to trust you with their email address in exchange for a free trial or a report, that doesn’t mean that he’ll automatically be interested in your product or even want to read your emails.

So, it’s just as important to create an email marketing campaign that compels readers to open your emails and read them.

Your email sequences should provide relevant information and nurture prospects, guiding them towards the decision to buy your product.

Check out: Email marketing best practices to succeed in 2021


One way to maximize each dollar that you spend on attracting new leads is to use retargeting campaigns.

Basically, that means that you should not give up on a lead simply because he bounced from your website during his first visit.

After all, he did show enough interest to click through in the first place, so if you could re-engage him again with a slightly different message or a special offer, you might see much better results.


A blog is an essential part of a comprehensive lead generation strategy because it plays a role in many different marketing approaches.

If you develop a blog that’s full of valuable content, you can not only attain direct leads through SEO and other organic traffic sources but also position your company as an authority in your field, building trust with your audience and making it easier to convert leads into customers.

What’s more, as you create valuable and engaging content that’s relevant to your prospects, you will over time develop a valuable knowledge base that will get linked to by relevant websites and help you new segments of your audience.

Clients’ Referals

Clients’ Referals

No matter how effective your lead generation strategies are, word of mouth will always be one of the best ways to grow your business.

If you can provide an excellent service for your customers consistently, they will be much more likely to recommend you to their friends and colleagues, and that endorsement will make the task of converting those leads much easier.

Since referrals are so valuable, you should actively seek them out and should even consider incentivizing it for your current customers by offering referral bonus for every person that they are able to bring you.

Chapter 4

Lead Generation Challenges

Now that you’re up to speed on what is lead generation marketing and the best ways to generate leads in 2021, let’s take a look at some of the biggest challenges that marketers face and how to overcome them.

Top on the list is… coming up with an offer that gets the attention of potential leads.

coming up with an offer that gets the attention of potential leads

Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter how charismatic your sales reps are, or how amazing their product knowledge is.

If they’re pushing a product or solution that isn’t relevant or attractive to your leads, then they have zero chance of closing that sale.

Bearing this in mind, make sure you know your target audience like the back of your hand.

Coming Up With The Right Offer

Yes, you probably understand the basic demographics of the folks you’re looking to target, including their…

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Position / title
  • Geographical location

But that’s not enough.

You should also do a deep-dive on your target customers, and learn about their:

  • Day-to-day tasks
  • Work-related goals
  • Work-related challenges
  • KPIs and metrics
  • Publications and media consumed

In particular, the one area that you’ll want to focus on is your customer’s goals.

Many marketers tend to assume that a customer’s goals overlap with their company’s sales goals, but your customer might have one or more secondary goals that they want to achieve as well.

customer might have one or more secondary goals

Say Company X has a revenue target of $2,000,000, and the Marketing Director that you’re speaking to is responsible for generating 500 leads to hit this target.

So, his primary goal is getting those leads in - there’s no doubt about that.

But once you get to know them better, they might also tell you that they’re having issues with justifying their marketing spend to the CFO, which makes it hard for them to embark on new campaigns and initiatives.

Bingo - you’ve just realized that their secondary goal is to find a way to calculate and report the ROI of their campaigns more effectively.

So work on knowing your target audience inside-out, then use this knowledge to craft an offer that’s relevant and attractive to them.

Having Enough People To Generate Leads

Here’s the second most commonly encountered lead generation challenge:

Having enough people to generate leads.

If you’re facing this problem, the solution is simple:

Stop generating leads manually, and start automating the process instead.

Here are some lead generation tools that can help increase your productivity:

  • AeroLeads
  • Albacross
  • Buffer
  • LeadBoxer
  • Marketo
  • HubSpot
  • Hoot Suite

With these tools, you can generate more qualified leads and increase your sales.

Think about it: if you rely on manual methods for generating leads, the number of leads you get each month is limited by your headcount.

Assuming you’re doing fine when it comes to cash flow, then a possible solution is to scale your team and hire more sales reps.

But how fast can you grow? You’re limited by so many factors, including your physical office space, as well as the speed at which your HR can hire and onboard new team members.

Measuring sales productivity metrics like average email response time with a tool like EmailAnalytics boosts productivity of your sales team so you can get more out of your current sales team without hiring more salespeople.

how fast can you grow?

Measuring Success Of Lead Generation Efforts

Finally, the third most common challenge that marketers face is measuring the success of their lead gen efforts.

As management expert Peter Drucker says, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.

With the help of tangible performance metrics, it becomes much easier to analyze the progress of your lead generation efforts as well make informed decisions on the areas to focus on.

Let’s explore some of the most important metrics you should focus on below.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR tells you how compelling your Call to Action is.

It also outlines how effectively you are moving your customers along your funnel.

The formula to measure CTR is:

CTR = Total Number of Sales / Total Number of Visitors * 100

Wherever you have a CTA button present, you should be measuring its CTR.
This applies to not just websites and landing pages, but also PPC ads and email campaigns.

Conversion Rate

Your conversion rate tells you how many of your visitors are performing an action such as filling out a form, or making a purchase.
Here’s the formula to measure conversion rate:

Conversion Rate = Total Number of Sales/ Number of unique visitors *100

For B2B marketers, here are the most relevant conversion rates:

  • Visitors to lead
  • Leads to opportunity (an “opportunity” refers to a lead who’s passed on to the sales team)
  • Opportunity to close

If you need to work on increasing your website’s conversion rate, check out this article by MixBloom.

Time To Conversion

This tells you how long it takes to turn a visitor into a verified lead.

If you’re selling a more expensive high-end product or software, a prospective buyer might spend more time trawling through your website before they convert into a lead.

Assuming you have a complex verification or qualification process, this might also lengthen your time to conversion (specifically from visitor to lead).

Here’s the formula for time to conversion:

Total Time Spent by All Visitors / Total Number of Leads

By tracking your time to conversion, you’ll be able to predict your sales cycle length more accurately.

This will help you forecast the number of leads you need to generate and have in the pipeline each month, in order to hit your revenue target at the end of the year.

Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Mile (CPM)

If you’re running any digital campaigns (Facebook ads and Google ads), you’ll have to keep an eye on your relevant costs as well.

If you’re paying for each click that you get, then that’s CPC. If you’re paying per mile (one thousand impressions), then that’s CPM.

Here are the respective formulas:

CPC = Advertising Cost / Clicks

CPM = Cost / (Impressions/1000)

All things being equal, the lower your CPC and CPM, the better.

But if one of your campaigns consistently generates leads that go on to convert into customers with high Customer Lifetime Values (CLVs), then that’s a different story.

Since you’re getting more revenue out of these leads, it’s perfectly fine to continue acquiring them even if they have a higher CPC or CPM.

Cost Per Lead

CPC and CPM aside, you should also be tracking your Cost Per Lead.

This is the average amount you spend acquiring a lead, with the formula being:

Money Spent on Capturing Leads / Total Number of Leads Captured

Many marketers simply equate the amount they spend on capturing leads to variable costs (such as their Facebook Ads budget), but there are other costs to factor in as well.

In particular, you’ll want to add in your one-time costs (costs spent on creating marketing collaterals such as ebook and white papers), as well as recurring costs (such as costs spent on marketing platforms or tools).


Last but not least, we have ROI, which is basically the most important metric there is.
Here’s how you calculate ROI:

ROI (%) = Return (Profit) - Investment (Expense) / Investment (Expense) X 100


ROI (%) = Net Return / Investment (Expense) x 100

All campaigns with a positive ROI are profitable for your company, and those with a negative ROI are unprofitable.

Bearing this in mind, you want to constantly fine-tune your lead gen efforts, and invest more time and money into the strategies with highest ROI.

That said, do note that some strategies require a longer timeframe to implement. As such, you might not see positive ROI right off the bat.

Chapter 5

Lead Generation Trends In 2021

Although the concept of lead generation has been around for quite some time now, lead generation methods and strategies are constantly evolving and getting more advanced.

Don’t want to fall behind?

Take a look at these lead generation trends, and consider how you might apply them to your business:


Take it from us: chatbots are crazy useful.

Media platforms use them to serve their readers daily news reports.

eCommerce stores use them to provide product recommendations for customers.

And marketers can now use them as lead generators!

Say you have a chatbot on your website. This bot can…

  • Ask your visitors what they’re interested in, and direct them to the relevant section of your website
  • Ask your visitors if they’d like a trial or product demo
  • Ask your visitors what stage of their Buyer’s Journey they’re at (whether they’re still researching options, or if they’re ready to make a purchase)
  • Recommend your visitor a product or pricing plan based on their needs

In terms of possibilities, the sky’s the limit.

At this point, you might be wondering:

Why would I choose a chatbot instead of a live chat function on my site?

After all, application-wise, they’re more or less the same.

But the difference lies in the execution:

Chatbots are faster, and they can reply to multiple people at the same time without breaking a sweat. They’re a lot more cost-effective, too.

Some companies like to install chatbots on their Facebook pages as well.

If a new lead is checking out your Facebook page and decides to message you, your chatbot can answer their question, and go on to give them more materials, direct them to your website, or prospect them.

Here’s where things get interesting:

Say you have a lead who’s signed up for a free trial, but didn’t convert into a paying user.

Your Facebook chatbot can reach out to them and offer to extend their trial, or offer them a promo code for 10% off.

Sure, you could email your lead with the same offer instead, but consider this:

Facebook Messenger messages have a 286% higher open rate and a 768% higher click-through rate as compared to emails.

With numbers like that, who wouldn’t jump on the chatbot wagon?

Now, marketers and business owners who aren’t techies might feel intimidated at the thought of working with chatbots…

…but the truth is that you don’t need any technical expertise to build your own chatbots.

Just use these free tools to create a chatbot without any coding. While you’re at it, check out this case study of a SaaS company that used a chatbot to grow their lead conversion by 4x.

Video Marketing

Video Marketing

People are consuming more video content than ever before.

And that’s great news for your company as well - video content can be incredibly effective when you need to provide your customers with an explanation or a demo for your product.

It is much easier to watch how to use the product and its features rather than reading about it.

What’s more, human beings are social people, so having a real person take the client’s through the features builds trust and confidence in your company.

So, how can you boost your lead generation efforts using video marketing?

Adding CTAs to your videos.

This will direct the viewers back to your landing page

Email gates

These require the user to input their email before accessing the video.

require the user to input their email

Although it will create a barrier for entering your content, the committed viewers won’t mind submitting their emails.

committed viewers won’t mind submitting their emails

Lead Generation Software

The best and most effective lead generation software solutions are not necessarily those that are the most expensive.

In fact, with so many tools available today, it can be tough to determine which one is best suited for your business.

Therefore, in this section, we are going to discuss one of the best software tool on the market that has a proven track record and a long list of endorsements from happy clients:


In a nutshell, Albacross helps you generate leads from your site’s visitors.

How does it work?

First, you’ll need to create an account.

Next, paste Albacross’s tracking script to your website to start tracking data about your website visitors.

paste Albacross’s tracking script to your website

Then sit back, and wait for Albacross to do its magic. You’ll get regular reports in your inbox about your website’s visitors and how they’re interacting with your site.

Once you’ve determined who you want to reach out to, simply obtain their contact information (provided by Albacross), and have your sales team get in touch.

simply obtain their contact information

Looks great, huh?

To sum up, Albacross’ features are listed below:

  • Unlimited visitors and companies
  • Unlimited users
  • Revenue, profit & contact information
  • Visit details page by page
  • UTM source of the traffic
  • Advanced filtering & tagging
  • Zapier integration
  • Multiple domain tracking

To supercharge your lead gen efforts and productivity with Albacross, click here and sign up for an account today!

Increased Segmentation and Personalization

Segmentation is where you subdivide your contacts into groups with similar characteristics, interests, and needs.

It’s effective in all areas of marketing and plays a crucial role in a sales funnel.

For effective segmentation, you need to have more in-depth knowledge of the following:

The composition of the Target Markets

You need to have a clear understanding of your target market, the names of the targeted companies, as well as the titles and actual names of the decision makers.

Specific Issues facing the targeted audiences

You need to be knowledgeable on your target audience’s industries, the business processes and the specific business issues faced both at the organizational and individual levels.

With this knowledge, it is easy to create relevant content that will capture their attention.

On the other end, personalization is also an essential element in lead generation.

To be effective, it must involve a genuine interest in your target audience - you need to get familiar and understand their problems on a personal level.

This will help you develop content stories that attract their interest and are able to inform and educate them.

Delivering this content on the right platforms is equally as important - you need to know the channels which your audience are frequenting and when is the best time to reach them.

Finally, personalized emails are another aspect you should aim to incorporate. Emails targeted to an individual or a specific group increases the click rates as well as the conversion rates.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing

B2C companies have largely implemented influencer marketing but today, more and more B2B companies are incorporating it as well.

That’s because influencer marketing can help reach a huge audience of targeted prospects quicker than just about any other method.

After all, today it’s not enough to have a great product, as you need to be able to position your company correctly and have access to the people that would be interested in what you have to offer.

And that’s where influencer marketing can be so effective.

It allows you to borrow someone’s massive audience and get them to promote your brand. By getting your message out in front of thousands of followers, you can gain a huge influx of leads in a matter of hours, given that you can develop a message that they respond to.

Now, you may be thinking that you probably can’t afford the A-list influencers with millions of followers. But while that may be true, you don’t have to.

Even if an influencer only has a few thousand followers, you can achieve incredible results, as long as that audience is engaged and relevant to the product or service that you want to promote.

Learn More On The Topic

Chapter 6

A Final Word On Lead Generation

By now, you probably have a much better understanding of what is lead generation, how lead generation works, as well as what are some of the best lead generation techniques that work in 2021.

So now, it’s time to get started on implementing those strategies in your company.

As a beginner, you can start with the basic steps such as creating a website, publishing relevant content, including contact information on the website, and utilizing opt-ins.

For advanced users, lead generation marketing trends such as partnering with influencers, segmentation & personalization, lead generation software, video marketing, and chatbots are the way to go in 2021.

Having invested in all these, you also need to have a secret weapon that will help you turn visitors to leads more effectively than ever before.

And the only tool that can help you with that is Albacross.

After all, if someone makes their way to your site, that means they have at least some interest in your product or service, so don’t let these website visitors (and potential leads) churn or bounce from your page.

You can use Albacross as a solo tool to get maximum results with the least amount of time/money invested.

Better still, you can also use it with any other lead generation method to enhance its efficiency.

Most importantly, use it to capture the information of your site’s visitors so that you can convert them into paying customers!

Try Albacross


Marcus Svensson

Head of Growth

Marcus Svensson is responsible for the Growth of Albacross with previous experience as a founder and background in Mathematics.