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  • How to Run Lead Generation Campaigns (+Ideas & Examples)

Businesses thrive when they have a steady stream of new customers coming in the door. That’s why brands report allocating more than half of their budgets to lead generation—they know how vital the exercise is to their long-term success.

Lead generation seeks to pull new leads into your orbit and keep them around until they become customers. While the concept is simple enough, it takes some effort to execute it properly.

Here, we’ll look at how to run an effective lead generation campaign, share specific tactics that work, and look at real-life examples from brands that are doing it right.


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What is a lead generation campaign?

To attract more customers, you need to promote your brand to new people. You should introduce what you do and encourage those people to develop relationships with you.

Lead generation campaigns seek to gather contact information from new people so that you can nurture those relationships, moving them down the marketing funnel until they are ready to make a purchase.

How does a lead generation campaign work?

All successful lead generation campaigns share a few key elements. Think of approaching your lead generation campaign like preparing for a fishing trip.

It starts with selecting the right bait. What lead magnet can you offer your audience to attract them to your lead generation campaign? Ensure it’s enticing enough to warrant asking for your audience’s contact information in exchange for it.

lead generation campaign - landing page from Earl's Plumbing.

Lead magnets can be anything valuable, including a free quote or service visit.

Next, you want to find the right spot. You wouldn’t row out to fish in a barren lake; you’d motor to a location where you’ve seen schools of fish before. The same logic applies when deciding where to launch your lead generation campaign. Think about where your ideal audience hangs out. That’s where you want to promote your lead magnet.

If things don’t work out at first, keep trying! No fisherman gave up after dropping his lure into the water one time. It can take hours to hook a fish, just like it can take multiple attempts to find the correct placement and approach for your lead generation strategy. Be willing to experiment with different tactics until you get the bites you want.

Finally, once you’ve got your leads on the hook, remember to reel them in! After they’ve shared their contact information, you can nurture those leads through email marketing, text messages, or even direct messages on social media. Stay in contact and continue to offer high-value content. That’s how you move leads down the funnel and convert them into customers.

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How to create a lead generation campaign

If you’re ready to launch your campaign, this framework can help you find success.

1. Define your audience

Who are you trying to reach with your lead generation campaign? The best marketing campaigns speak directly to their target audience. You can’t do that unless you’ve defined who that audience is!

lead generation campaign - target audience matrix.

Get specific about who you’re trying to attract. It’s not necessarily your brand’s entire prospective audience; it might be a smaller segment of your ideal customer base.

2. Establish your campaign goals

The best marketing campaigns are grounded in SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).

lead generation campaign - SMART goals graphic.

Set clear goals for your lead generation campaign before you start, and define how you’ll measure success at the end of your campaign.

3. Identify your channels and content

Once you’ve set your big-picture goals, you can start examining your tactics. How will you achieve your objectives?

Decide on the type of content you’d like to offer as part of your lead generation campaign. This is the valuable offer you’re making in exchange for your new leads’ contact information. It may be a webinar with your in-house expert, a whitepaper featuring proprietary research, or a discount code.

With the author and audience in mind, decide which marketing channels you’ll use to promote it. Will you email your subscribers? Post about it on social media? Run paid advertising?

lead generation campaign - graphic of marketing channels.

4. Create your assets

With your plan in hand, it’s time to create the assets you need to execute it.

Of course, you need to develop the lead magnet that’s anchoring your campaign. But you also need to create the promotional assets. If you’re emailing your subscribers to invite them to a webinar, then writing, designing, and testing the email is just as critical as crafting the webinar itself!

No matter what other specific assets you have as part of your lead generation campaign, all campaigns should have a custom landing page. This is where you’ll direct your audience to leave their contact information in exchange for your offer.

A custom landing page is critical because it keeps readers from getting distracted by other content on the page. When the only action they can take is to give you their contact information, they’re much more likely to do it.

5. Run your campaign

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’re ready to run your lead generation campaign. The campaign should be time-bound since you set a SMART goal at the beginning.

Whether you’ve decided to run it for a few weeks or months, stick to the plan and see it through to the finish line.

6. Assess your results

Your campaign may be over, but you still have more work to do! The great thing about digital marketing is that each effort yields dozens of data points.

You can see how many people opened your promotional email and which readers clicked through to your landing page. You can gauge impressions and clicks on each social post or paid ad.

lead generation campaign - dashboard showing ad results.

All of this information can help you assess the effectiveness of your campaign. Did you hit your SMART goals? Which channels were most effective? Where did you fall short? And how can you improve next time?

7. Continue nurturing your leads

Even though your campaign has ended, the relationship with the leads you’ve just met is only beginning.

Now, it’s up to you to nurture your new leads. Continue to engage them regularly through your marketing channels. Help them get to know, like, and trust your brand. As you build your relationship, you’ll move them through the marketing funnel and closer to their first purchase.

Ideas for lead generation campaign magnets

Your campaign’s strategic approach and SMART goals will be highly individual and specific to your business needs. However, all brands can use common lead generation tactics in their broader strategy.

Let’s start with the types of offers you can use as your lead magnet. Remember, you’re getting something valuable from your prospect—their content information. Your offer needs to match or exceed that value. That could be a valuable educational ebook or a significant product discount.

lead generation campaign - lead generation popup.

Some examples of a high-value lead magnet could be:

  • Webinar
  • Newsletter
  • White paper
  • eBook
  • Case study
  • Proprietary research
  • Industry survey or data
  • Checklist
  • Interactive tool, calculator, or quiz
  • Trial subscription

To get the word out about your offer, you have a variety of marketing channels to explore. They include:

Examples of lead generation campaigns in action

If you’re wondering what a lead generation campaign looks like in the wild, we’ve got you covered! Here are some examples to help inspire you.

Car dealership encouraging test drives

A search for “Toyota dealership near me” led to a sponsored Google result at the top of the page.

lead generation campaign - car dealership lead gen ad.

When you click the top link, you are taken to a lead generation website, where you can sign up for a test drive.

This is a fitting CTA for this particular search query because searching for a dealership shows a higher level of purchase intent. If you searched for “best Toyota SUVs,” that might indicate you were in the earlier stages of consideration—you’re just doing preliminary research.

However, looking for a dealership near you suggests that you’ve decided a Toyota is on your shortlist and you’d like to see the car in real life. A CTA to book a test drive and a lead capture form to schedule it are appropriate for this search query.

lead generation campaign - car dealership lead gen landing page.

Simple landing page with a discount offer

An Instagram ad for Skin Laundry shows a woman with gorgeous, poreless skin being pampered before her laser facial.

lead generation campaign -social media post showing woman getting skin treatment.

When you click the “learn more” banner, you’re taken to a landing page with an offer for a discounted service. While the facial is usually $275, Skin Laundry is offering it to you for $75.

Below this simple and enticing offer is a CTA button where you can book your appointment.

lead generation campaign - Landing page for Skin Laundry.

Test prep free trial offer

If you don’t want to create a new piece of content to serve as a lead magnet, you can also offer a free trial of your service to generate new leads.

That’s the approach this test prep company takes. A search for “how to study for the SATs” led to this landing page. As you can see, it has two CTA buttons: “Buy Now” and “Free Trial.”

lead generation campaign - Uworld's lead gen landing page.

The first CTA makes it easy for people who already know they want to buy. But those new to this company or on the fence about test prep can sign up for the trial.

When they do, UWorld will get access to their contact information and can nurture those leads throughout the trial period and beyond.

Finding success with your lead generation campaign

As with most other marketing campaigns, your lead generation efforts are most likely to succeed when you invest the proper time, attention, and planning.

Launching a lead generation campaign with a solid underlying strategy and comprehensive tactical roadmap will set you on the right path and help your business continue to flourish. As you consider the right strategy, contact us, and we’ll show you how we can help make your lead generation campaigns more cost-effective, efficient, and profitable.

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