You’ve likely heard the terms lead generation and lead acquisition. But what is the difference between lead acquisition and lead generation?
The main difference is, with lead generation, your business gathers all its leads from scratch. In lead acquisition, you obtain leads from an external source, meaning your business doesn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting.
This means you start with leads that are pre-cleaned, filtered, and confirmed. No dealing with forms completions containing invalid email addresses. It is far more cost-effective to buy leads or engagement data from a third party. You don’t have to go through the entire process of generating inbound leads, including creating the forms/content, filtering and cleaning brand new data, and then starting the nurture process.
In lead acquisition, you simply buy leads that match your specific targeting criteria. This makes them easier to nurture and eventually sell to.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH LEAD ACQUISITION DATA?
When you receive data from a lead acquisition provider, you have a series of tasks you must complete. They include:
1. Ensure your forms match. You should be able to provide the required fields when you get data from a provider, but you also need to check to see if the formatting of the data matches what is in your database. After all, look at how many ways you can write a date:
Realistically, that’s only a handful of ways you can write a date. Your data is the same way. You likely have conventions for company size, income, etc. If you don’t, you must develop a standardized method of handling data. This is the only way you’ll be able to analyze and use it correctly in marketing campaigns.
In some cases, you can check with your lead provider about getting data delivered using your own standardized naming conventions. But in other cases, you will have to build processes into your data onboarding procedure to ensure all incoming data matches the existing database.
2. Test for deliverability. Send out emails that test if the leads you received are all legitimate. Occasionally, a lead with a bad email address might slip through the cracks. When you start sending out content, make sure to remove email addresses that aren’t delivered.
3. Warm up your leads. Put leads into a marketing automation system or customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Leads that are a product of lead acquisition need to be nurtured and warmed just like organically generated ones. If you buy leads, you need to start sending them content that will start building a relationship with them. This is content that provides them with value.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF LEAD ACQUISITION DATA?
When you buy leads or engagement data from a provider, you get a larger audience of interested leads for a low price.
When you generate leads organically, it costs a lot for each lead. Never mind any actual money you spend on advertising, you must pay for all the time, energy, and effort that it takes to create the content to hook leads, then distribute it and hope that they come.
On top of that, not all leads will be qualified for purchase. Leads from lead acquisition are already guaranteed to be in your target audience because you set them up to be that way.
Reach a Wider Audience
Lead acquisition gives smaller companies a much wider reach than if they tried to reach the same group through organic means.
You get a massive pool of contacts that would have been harder to reach directly.
WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF LEAD ACQUISITION DATA?
Leads Will Be Cooler
Unlike leads that directly sign up for your mailing list, you’ll have to introduce yourself to your new leads. You need to ease them into familiarity with your brand.
Don’t lead with “I think we should schedule a call.”
Literally no one will want to schedule a call with a brand they’ve never even heard of. Start, as always, by providing them value. Give them stuff you know will help them/they are interested in by segmenting the new data appropriately.
It Can’t Be Your Only Source of Data
Lead acquisition data like engagement data is a great way to grow your database very quickly. But you must use it in conjunction with other forms of lead generation to have a decent balance in your database.
The blend of both customer acquisition data from a third-party and your own data from your lead generation efforts will be the most effective way to build a database that produces leads that make it all the way to the sale.
If you’re looking for data to start with, HIPB2B sells both leads and engagement data. Check it out.