Lead Generation Statistics
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Lead Generation Statistics

Last updated: 27.10.2021
Author: Ana

When it comes to growth, lead generation is the bread and butter of a business. Challenges in lead generation strategies are now centered on standing out in the crowded marketplace and reaching out to the right customer. Experts forecast that personal touch and automated technologies will define the future of the industry. The following lead generation statistics demonstrate general marketing strategies, common objectives for the upcoming years, and performance measurement.

Lead Generation Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • Generating leads is ranked as the biggest growth-related challenge.(Forbes)
  • The US digital lead generation market size is $3.05 billion. (Statista)
  • Companies excelling in lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads. (Marketo)
  • Only 20% of leads are followed up. (Marketing Donut)
  • 40% of marketers think their lead generation tools are outdated. (Forbes)
  • Focusing on lead quality rather than quantity is a top priority for marketers. (Demand Gen)
  • Personalized lead nurturing can increase conversion rates by 63%. (BrightTALK)
  • 89% of marketers rank emails as their primary lead generation source. (Lyfe Marketing)

General Lead Generation Stats & Facts

1. 58% of marketers said their biggest growth-related challenge is generating leads.

Lead generation is crucial for growth, so seeing more than half of marketers struggling with it is troubling. Research shows that the main reason holding marketers back is the lack of appropriate lead generation techniques. What is at hand is either too outdated for today’s standards or not sophisticated enough to lure customers into the already cramped virtual market.

(Forbes)

2. The US digital lead generation ad spend should reach $3.05 billion in 2021.

Lead generation industry stats forecast steady growth, with the figure expected to reach nearly $3.25 billion by the end of 2023. The main growth drivers in the lead generation industry include rising competitiveness in the marketplace, buyers getting more tech-savvy, and the incorporation of artificial intelligence and other digital tools into the lead generation process.

(Statista)

3. Outsourced B2B lead generation gives 43% better results than in-house lead generation.

While it sounds cost-conscious to form an in-house lead generation team, outsourcing work to lead generation companies is proven to be far more productive. For a multifaceted campaign, lead generation channels require individual strategies — lead generation for real estate, for example, is bound to be different from lead generation for insurance agents. Creating an in-house team filled with experts in the area is likely to cost way more than hiring an out-of-house expert.

(CustomerThink)

4. Lead generation statistics rank focusing on lead quality over quantity as the top priority for marketers.

This is naturally coupled with improving conversion rates and campaign performance. Marketers shift their focus to boosting pipeline performance and result-driven approaches. To support these objectives, they plan to invest more in lead generation methods involving increased segmentation, such as account-based marketing and the use of intent and signal data.

(Demand Gen)

5. Only 28% of sales leaders said they are using automation for lead scoring.

Considering the lead flow each channel produces, this number is significantly low. Automated lead generation processes usually help eliminate repetitive tasks and deliver higher precision. Unfortunately, most marketers struggle to train employees to use technology better and find and integrate the right tools.

(HubSpot)

6. By using AI, Harley-Davidson increased its NY sales leads by 2,930%.

Lead generation statistics of Harley-Davidson’s branch office skyrocketed after introducing Albert, an AI-driven lead generation platform. Albert was set to work by learning the characteristics of the store’s customers. It operated across digital platforms to measure and then autonomously optimize the outcomes of marketing campaigns. After Asaf Jacobi, a dealership manager in New York, started using the technology, they began to generate 40 qualified leads per day, up from just one lead.

(Harvard Business Review)

7. The top two metrics used by B2B companies to measure success against are opportunities generated and revenue generated.

B2B lead generation statistics record a shift towards true pipeline conversion overactivity when measuring success. 49% of marketers set opportunity generated and revenue generated as their primary KPIs, surpassing MQL/SALs and total leads — 42% and 39%, respectively.

(Demand Gen)

8. The average search conversion rate on Google Ads is 4.40%.

This rate is the average of all verticals measured. According to Google search statistics, the vehicles industry has the highest conversion rate at 7.98%, while apparel has the lowest at 2.77%. These statistics further show that the conversion rate through lead gen marketing widely differs based on the product or service offered.

(WordStream)

9. Tuesdays and Thursdays enjoy the highest email open rates.

Lead generation statistics for B2C businesses prove that people think some days are simply better to become customers. It can be beneficial to get the timing right when sending out call-to-action buttons. When it comes to the best time to send an email, email marketing statistics show that emails sent at 12 AM have the highest click-through rates.

(OptinMonster)

10. Over 70% of initial prospects are not in a buying mode when they first interact with your company.

They should not be tossed into the rejected pile directly, though, as contacting the prospects within the first hour of their engagement makes it much likely they will end up in your pipeline. Yet, this remains a common challenge among marketers – only 35% of teams contact their leads within the first hour.

(MarketingSherpa)

11. Lead generation facts show that only 20% of leads are followed up.

That means businesses miss out on 80% of opportunities because they lack proactive lead generation strategies. And buyers want a proactive approach, with 60% of them saying no four times before saying yes. This is coupled with the fact that 63% of people requesting information about a company will not buy from them within the first three months, and a further 20% require at least a year until they make their first purchase.

(Marketing Donut)

12. Companies that are good at lead nurturing generate 50% more leads that are sales-ready and at a 33% lower cost.

Follow-up and lead nurturing statistics show that a successful lead generation process that includes nurturing will likely bring a higher ROI. Not only because it prepares leads to be sales-ready but also in terms of buying volume. Lead generation facts point to a 47% higher likelihood of a purchase by nurtured leads in comparison to non-nurtured ones.

(Marketo)

13. Personalized nurturing can boost engagement and conversion by 57% and 63%, respectively.

The demand for personalization has been growing significantly among customers, climbing the priority ladder of marketers for quite some time. This is true for B2C and B2B lead generation. 80% of B2B buyers want real-time interactions when communicating with companies, as lead generation statistics show. Real-time messaging allows companies to provide a personalized experience to buyers by identifying their needs and simplifying their buying experience.

(BrightTALK, Convince and Convert)

Lead Generation Channels

14. Only 26% of social media marketers were somewhat satisfied with the lead quality generated from social media platforms.

Most respondents fell into either neutral (30%) or somewhat dissatisfied (27%) categories. Another report, meanwhile, recorded a higher percentage of marketers, i.e., 69%, saying their social media efforts generated more leads in 2021, compared to 67% in 2020, lead generation statistics show. More marketers (88%) noticed higher visibility and brand awareness, while 60% increased sales through social media.

(Social Media Today, tractionwise)

15. 77% of marketers with more than five years of experience said social media efficiently generates leads.

This rate is 45% for social media marketers with less than 12 months of experience, according to lead generation stats. This applies to other campaign performance metrics, including sales improvement, growing business partnerships, and increasing exposure. These stats prove that, as time goes by, marketers become more competent in the channels they work with.

(tractionwise)

16. 89% of marketers rely primarily on email lead generation.

Experts, however, flag a decrease in revenue and conversion rates generated through emails after the outbreak of COVID-19, according to email lead generation stats. With lockdowns happening worldwide, customers’ inboxes are overflowing with webinar invitations, offer announcements, and product recommendations.

(Lyfe Marketing)

17. Message personalization is the number one technique used by marketers to increase email performance.

To stand out among competitors, marketers incorporate personalization into their lead generation techniques. Its effects on ROI cannot be ignored either, as segmented campaigns proved to drive a 760% increase in revenue. Many experts believe that the personal touch will be an indispensable element of marketing campaigns in the future. With the rise of technologies like AI and machine learning, the scope of personalization is getting wider.

(Campaign Monitor)

18. For every dollar you spend, you’ll generate three times more leads with content marketing than with traditional marketing.

Lead generation statistics demonstrate a shift towards inbound marketing techniques, and in this case, content marketing. When learning about a company, 70% of customers prefer doing so through articles rather than adverts, and 60% like reading relevant content from brands. Similar numbers apply to B2B companies. According to Forbes, 60% of B2B decision-makers say content provided by other companies helps them make smarter business decisions.

(Demand Metric, WebFX)

19. 75% of marketers used content marketing to generate leads in 2020.

Content marketing statistics show the figure was 68% in 2018 and 70% in 2019. Although its popularity for lead generation marketing is rising, fewer marketers utilized content marketing for lead nurturing this year than last year — 60% and 68%, respectively. Lead generation stats further point to a striking amount of top-performing marketers (73%) that used content marketing for lead nurturing in 2020. The share of the least successful marketers that did the same is significantly lower at 38%.

(Content Marketing Institute)

20. 70% of marketers generate their B2B leads from LinkedIn.

Facebook no longer has the lead among the most utilized channels for B2B and B2C businesses, LinkedIn lead generation stats confirm. The social media giant ranks second, right after LinkedIn that has become the top lead generation network for 70% of social media marketers. Having a business context, professional data, and in-depth analytical tools all make LinkedIn a favorable lead generation marketing channel.

(LinkedIn)

21. Webinars are one of the most common methods for lead generation, with a 44% adoption rate.

With in-person events and trade shows off the table, for the time being, webinars gained popularity, with 94% of them being on-demand. According to webinar lead generation statistics, webinars have been especially popular among B2B businesses, turning up to 40% of webinar attendees into qualified leads. Companies quickly seized the opportunity, with the number of US businesses that offer webinars growing by 36% between February and March 2020. Yet, stats demonstrate a failure when it comes to actual conversion. Only 3% of the warmed leads convert into buying customers.

(Demio, Statista)

22. Only 4% of marketing managers find receiving telemarketing calls annoying.

While outbound lead generation is losing its appeal in the consumer world, telemarketing is still effective among B2B businesses. Professionals are more likely to listen to telemarketers as they might pick up something new about the industry. Lead generation stats further show 90% of marketing managers believe this type of marketing is effective or very effective.

(Business 2 Community)

Lead Generation Marketing Challenges

23. 40% of marketers defined their lead generation tools as “outdated.”

To this day, 59% of marketers said they still rely on spreadsheets to track how they are marketing to their leads, and 33% are cold calling to sell leads. One of the greatest challenges marketers face is finding the perfect lead generation software and designing the state-of-the-art campaign, lead generation facts confirm.

(Forbes)

24. Only 35% of social media marketers said they were able to measure their organic activities in 2020.

This number is down from 44% last year. Understanding the success of a marketing campaign is crucial for deciding on marketing budget allocation, and marketers are frequently under pressure to explain if the investments are paying off. Paid ads have always been easier to keep track of, yet measuring ROI for organic activity has been plaguing marketers for a very long time.

(MarketingCharts)

25. Lead generation statistics show that the industry received a blow with the introduction of GDPR.

General Data Protection Regulation, the cybersecurity law active in the EU and EEA countries, significantly reduced lead databases of businesses, pushing them to rethink their lead generation methods. 44% of company decision-makers stated that regulations introduced in May 2018 made it extremely difficult to capture and market to new leads.

(Forbes)

Wrap-Up

While the sheer volume of reach mattered the most in the past, the focus is now on precise targeting and turning leads into buyers. Alongside segmentation and quality-related challenges, marketers are also troubled with measuring the success of their campaigns and finding the most effective technology. Many marketers turn to AI and embrace personalization to address these problems. Lead generation statistics also point to companies that turned the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity and are now looking for ways to make the most of it.

Sources: Forbes, Statista, CustomerThink, Demand Gen, HubSpot, Harvard Business Review, WordStream, OptinMonsterMarketingSherpa, Marketing Donut, Marketo, BrightTALK, Convince and Convert, Social Media Today, tractionwise, Lyfe Marketing, Campaign Monitor, Campaign Monitor, Demand Metric, WebFX, Content Marketing Institute, LinkedIn, Demio, Statista, Business 2 Community, MarketingCharts.