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AI in Lead Generation for Successful Marketing Strategies

March 14th, 2024 Michael Mayday

What is the role of AI in lead generation?

Artificial Intelligence tools can play a major role in modern lead generation strategies. And, since adaptability is one of AI’s key strengths, businesses can use the technology in diverse ways to achieve their goals.

How to maximize results across the campaign lifecycle with AI

This includes applying AI to optimize and partly automate core steps in the typical lead generation process, like lead scoring, nurturing and even data analysis. 

How is AI shaping and changing the way leads are generated

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AI is a critical technology for marketers, and the range of AI-powered specialist software that has emerged over the past few years offers practically limitless possibilities for businesses looking to improve marketing approaches. These are just some of the ways AI is shaping lead generation:

Data-driven lead identification

AI can easily interpret huge datasets, making it the perfect technology for a data-driven lead identification process.

By feeding an AI-powered data analysis tool audience data, and providing search parameters for it to work with, businesses can quickly identify the most relevant potential leads. They can then use that data to prioritize specific targets in their lead generation campaigns.

Personalization in lead engagement

Lead generation campaigns perform best when each lead is nurtured with a personalized approach that suits their needs and preferences. AI can make rolling out personalized lead generation campaigns at scale a more manageable task.

Businesses can use AI-powered tools to generate tailored content and messaging to engage leads or to create personalized content experiences that address and overcome specific concerns.

Predictive lead scoring

AI tools use machine learning technology to power a continuous self-learning mechanism. This means they improve over time, absorbing historical data to refine their performance.

This capability means that AI is increasingly useful to businesses as it’s used and reused across subsequent lead generation campaigns. Each time, the AI system will better identify lead targets likely to convert, helping businesses increase efficiency.

The benefits of AI for lead generation

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The case for using AI in lead generation campaigns is no better made than assessing what benefits it can unlock. Businesses that implement AI tools for their lead generation programs can expect benefits including:

Increased operational efficiency

AI can carry out diverse tasks, including data analysis and content creation, in a fraction of the time it would take a human. This means AI-powered software can be invaluable for businesses looking for ways to increase efficiency in their lead generation efforts.

Even in cases where AI tools need to be monitored or have their output checked for errors, using them significantly decreases the required human input. That frees up more time for lead generation teams to spend on other value-adding tasks, like lead nurturing.

Higher quality of leads

By using AI to analyze customer and audience data and identify the most relevant leads based on historical results, businesses can improve their average lead quality.

This means they can focus their efforts where they’ll have the greatest impact, effectively increasing return on investment by cutting down the time spent contacting, nurturing, and chasing poorly-suited leads.

Improved conversion rates

The effectiveness of a lead generation campaign can at least in part be measured by the conversion rate of new leads to customers. AI can help boost conversion rate by ensuring that leads are always contacted with a personalized approach, designed to suit their specific needs and preferences.

This means businesses can expect more success from lead generation campaigns, which in turn makes it easier to justify spending more on deploying them.

AI lead generation tools

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AI is being integrated into diverse lead generation tools at a growing rate as the technology develops in sophistication. Already, businesses are easily able to leverage a wide range of specific AI-powered platforms, including:

Chatbots for initial engagement

AI-powered chatbots, whether based on a website a social media platform,or in a live webinar, are perfectly suited to reinforcing lead generation campaigns by acting as an always-on point of contact for leads. They can provide value in many ways, from answering simple questions to pointing leads towards relevant brand content.

That means, from the point they’re first contacted until the point of conversion, leads are free to self-serve when they have questions or concerns. As a result, lead generation teams can spend less time nurturing leads and more time acquiring new ones.

AI-driven analytics tools

Commercial data analysis tools are increasingly integrating AI features to allow businesses to take advantage of AI-powered data analysis’s efficiency and accuracy.

These tools can help businesses get automatic insights about everything from historical sales data to the types of content that leads are interested in as they’re nurtured. These insights can then be fed into the lead generation process, driving improvements that result in increased conversions.

How to maximize results across the campaign lifecycle with AI

Lead nurturing automation

It often takes leads days, weeks, or even months to make their way through the awareness, consideration, and conversion stages of the buying journey. Businesses looking to nurture these leads to increase the chance they eventually convert can use AI to automate the process.

Specific AI tools can highlight when it’s best to contact leads, create custom messaging tailored to each lead’s specific preferences, and curate bespoke content funnels.

Best practices for integrating AI into your lead generation strategy

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Although it’s now more approachable than ever, AI is not a foolproof solution. There are plenty of things that can go wrong in the process of integrating it into your lead generation strategy, so make sure you’re following these important best practices to get the best results: 

Setting clear objectives

As in any marketing campaign, AI-assisted lead generation strategies perform best when the objectives are clearly laid out from the start. So, before you even start to think about integrating AI into your lead generation process, think about what you’re hoping to achieve.

You might hope to reduce lead generation costs, increase lead quality, or achieve something else entirely. Whatever your objective, you’ll be able to more effectively track your progress towards achieving it when you clearly define it beforehand.

Phased implementation

Although going all-in with AI from day one is tempting, it’s generally much more effective to ease into the technology. Start by implementing it in small ways – to generate or personalize lead outreach messaging, for example – and expand your usage from there.

Adopting a phased implementation plan will mean that you can monitor how each use of AI affects your overall lead generation success rate, while also allowing you to course-correct if things aren’t working how you expected.

Continuous monitoring and adjustment

AI technology is still relatively new, and there’s a chance your approach to implementing it won’t work the first time around. Accordingly, continuously monitor how the AI tools or strategies you implement are working towards your objectives over the long term.

Keeping a close eye on how your AI strategy is working will mean you catch any potential shortfalls or errors quicker, giving you the opportunity to correct them before they impact your lead generation results.

Harnessing the power of AI for transformative lead generation

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The potential AI for lead generation has, is nothing short of transformative. Businesses that get ahead of the pack and adapt their approach to lead generation using AI can benefit from significant increases in both efficiency and effectiveness, driving improved ROI.

Get started on your AI lead generation journey with ON24’s generative AI engine to get better insights from your data, more opportunities for personalized lead nurturing, and more.

How to maximize results across the campaign lifecycle with AI