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(eM+C)—Whether you’re looking to acquire new customers or build your database, lead generation helps connect consumers with brands while offering the opportunity to expand your customer base and generate sales for your company.

Lead generation refers to driving traffic to your website or landing page using one or multiple acquisition channels, including email, display, social media, search and mobile advertising. Conversion rates from online leads are often better than cold contacts because the prospect is prequalified before you ever receive the lead.

Since lead generation is a cost-effective medium to acquire new customers, here are six steps to help you implement a successful lead generation program at your company:

Step 1: Establish a comprehensive plan that ties sales and marketing goals together. Then establish goals for your lead-generation campaign. While lead price should be a factor in measuring success, it shouldn’t be the sole metric. There should be a focus on the back-end return on investment. Since not all leads are created equally, attention should be given to quality over quantity.

Step 2: Identify the acquisition channels that best match your campaign’s core demographics and target audience. Since not all media channels will be a fit for every client, try working with a digital marketing agency or expert who can help you determine what channels will work best for your business.

Step 3: Maximize your campaign with an effective landing page. The job of a landing page is to convert interest into leads, so it’s important to make sure that your landing pages provide a clear answer to your consumers’ needs. A small increase in your landing page conversion rate generates more conversions for the same cost, so make sure that your messaging, imagery and form is maintained and speaks to your consumer.

Step 4: Implement and execute your campaign with relevant publisher placements. To guarantee successful results, work with partners who reach your target audience and provide you with quality placement.

Step 5: Track your campaign performance and analyze your lead results. Are all your leads coming from one specific publisher or acquisition channel? Are you receiving quality leads? Are there additional fields you’d like to add or remove from your form? It’s important to look at your leads in order to optimize your campaign for peak results.

Step 6: Based on the results from step five, continue to test and optimize your lead campaign to ensure optimal performance and results. Some methods include testing landing page elements such as headline copy, call-to-action copy, key product or service benefits, hero image, number of fields collected using A/B or multivariate testing, analyzing the conversion funnel process, and testing and expanding new partners and acquisition channels.

Dinesh Boaz is co-founder of Direct Agents, a company that provides customer service and customized digital marketing solutions for leading brand advertisers.