Lead Generation vs Lead Nurturing – What’s The Difference?

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Key Takeaways

Distinct Functions: Lead generation attracts potential customers, while lead nurturing builds relationships to convert them into paying customers.

Organizations spend significantly on lead generation, but the importance of lead nurturing is often overlooked, despite its equal importance. (Source: Demand Metric)

Effective lead generation is essential, but neglecting lead nurturing can lead to missed sales opportunities, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach.

Investing in lead nurturing yields tangible results, with potential increases in sales-ready leads and higher conversion rates.

Organizations must prioritize both lead generation and lead nurturing to maximize their marketing ROI and drive sustainable business growth in the competitive landscape.

Lead generation and lead nurturing are both crucial components of a successful sales and marketing strategy. While lead generation focuses on acquiring potential customers, lead nurturing plays an equally important role in converting those leads into actual sales. Despite the emphasis on lead generation, the significance of lead nurturing is often overlooked. Failure to properly nurture leads can result in a significant portion of marketing leads never translating into sales, with statistics showing that 79% of them remain unconverted. Therefore, it’s essential for organizations to understand and prioritize both lead generation and lead nurturing to maximize their business prospects and ensure a higher conversion rate.

What is a Lead

Difference between Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing

Lead generation and lead nurturing may appear to be the same in a lot of respects. However, they are two different functions and are largely dependent on each other. The below mentioned following pointers will help you understand the difference between both of them in detail:

Point of differenceLead GenerationLead Nurturing
NatureLead generation is the process of finding and attracting leads or potential customers who are interested in a product or service.Lead nurturing, on the other hand, is the process of building relationships and converting leads into customers. Lead nurturing is about converting these leads into paying customers and moving them through the sales funnel.
Stage of marketingLead generation and lead nurturing differ as they focus on different stages of the marketing funnel. Lead generation strives to attract as many potential customers as possible at the top, typically using broad strategies designed to reach a wide audience.Lead nurturing, on the other hand, focuses on the middle and bottom of the funnel with the aim of converting those leads into paying customers. This often involves more personalised tactics that speak directly to individual leads and address their individual needs and issues.
ProcessLead generation involves the use of various methods to collect information about potential customers, including name, email, and phone number. You can generate leads through many channels, including advertising, SEO, and social media.Lead nurturing is the process of developing relationships with qualified leads to guide them through the purchasing process.
This involves sending relevant and personalised content to prospects at different stages of their journey. Examples include educational articles, case studies, and product demos.
ReachLead generation involves various marketing strategies such as content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing to bring potential customers to a company’s website.Lead nurturing, however, involves targeted communication with a small number of qualified leads.
SuccessThe quality and quantity, as well as the rate at which these leads are converted into paying customers. All this will determine the success of lead generation.The success of lead nurturing, on the other hand, depends on the ability of the individuals and the organisation to build a relationship with the existing leads and customers and further retain them for the business. 
TargetingLead generation targets the persona and audience. The targeting is widespread to ensure that the word about the organisation is spread more and more. Lead nurturing, however, on other hand, is a much more targeted exercise that involves dealing with a very limited user base.
Personalisation is hence a key factor here. 
AutomationAutomation is not necessary for lead generation as all the channels of marketing are required to be involved here. Automation is an important part of lead nurturing. This is because lead nurturing can be a time-consuming task. Furthermore, timing is an important factor here.  
TestingLead generation requires constant updation, optimisation, and testing to ensure that the quality of the leads is improved. Lead nurturing, on the other hand, requires quality and consistency. Hence the need for testing and optimisation is much less than compared to lead generation. 

Importance of Lead Generation vs Lead Nurturing

Understanding the difference between lead generation and lead nurturing is essential for any successful marketing campaign, and a case example can help demonstrate why.

Take the example of a fashion brand looking to boost sales by reaching new customers. They launch an online advertising campaign in order to generate leads, offering discount codes in exchange for signing up for their email list. As expected, the campaign proves successful and the brand receives many new contacts.

However, the brand quickly understands that simply generating leads is not enough to spur sales. Many of these new leads aren’t yet ready to make a purchase and require further education and nurturing before they will convert into customers.

Lead nurturing can help with this. In the case of fashion brands, lead nurturing may include sending regular emails with styling tips and outfit inspiration, showcasing new products, and offering exclusive discounts to encourage purchases.

By understanding the distinction between lead generation and lead nurturing, fashion brands can craft a more effective marketing plan. Lead generation helps bring in new prospects while lead nurturing converts them into customers over time. Without an effective lead nurturing program, brands may experience low conversion rates from their initial lead generation campaign.

Finally, the fashion brand case study illustrates the significance of understanding lead generation and nurturing. By focusing on both aspects of their marketing funnel, brands can generate leads, and nurture them over time to drive conversions and boost sales.

Now that you have understood the difference between lead generation and lead nurturing, the following sections will help you to understand the concept more in depth.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is the process of attracting prospective customers who have shown an interest in your brand or company.

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This is done through the combination of various marketing strategies. Through lead generation activities, the objective is to attract users and convert them into clients.

How to do lead generation for my business?

To attract new consumers, businesses must engage in a process known as lead generation.

For this, a combination of inbound and outbound marketing strategies is required. Both of these have their own advantages and drawbacks. It is essential that a business invests in both of them for sustainable lead generation activity.

Inbound Marketing :

This is done with the help of techniques like capturing information through a lead form. Through inbound marketing, you come to know about the requirements of your user. This then allows you to offer services or solutions based on their needs.

A lot of marketing techniques are used for ensuring a successful inbound marketing effort. These include content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), and all others.

One benefit of employing inbound marketing strategies is that their efficacy can be monitored in real-time. Basis on this you can understand the effectiveness of your marketing campaign and make necessary changes.

Outbound Marketing :

Outbound marketing is a form of marketing in which the needs of the audience is determined through outreach efforts.

Before devoting a significant portion of your resources to outbound marketing, it is essential to have a solid understanding of your target demographic. This is because outbound marketing has the potential to be intrusive.

It’s possible to conduct outbound marketing in various ways, such as by advertising in broadcast and print media, making cold calls, or even engaging in direct marketing in person. Outbound marketing’s drawbacks include its inability to be measured. Furthermore, there is a possibility of high costs associated with its implementation and a poor return on investment (ROI).

Lead Generation Tactics

Content Marketing

To attract your ideal clientele, your company should use content marketing by publishing useful articles, videos, infographics, and other media on its website, blog, and social media pages.

The information here is crafted specifically for the needs of your target audience. It is also search engine optimized (SEO), making it simple for potential customers to find via a web search.

Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is an effective way to reach a new audience, much like social media marketing. Users may see ads placed by your company on Facebook (FB) at random while they are perusing their news feeds.

They may go to Instagram, where you may show them yet another ad, reviving their interest in your company while also reminding them of what you offer.

Search Engine Optimization

Among the many inbound marketing strategies, SEO is a potent tool for bringing in new potential customers. 

It’s a form of digital advertising that improves your website’s visibility in major search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. 

It will boost awareness of your company and its products in search engine results.

Social Media Marketing

This strategy aims to increase brand awareness and customer engagement via the company’s social media accounts. You can start a relationship with potential customers and spread information about your brand by posting content that interests them and responding to comments they leave on your accounts.

Email Marketing

Simply put, email marketing is sending emails to prospective customers. However, this is more than simply electronic mail. It’s things like articles, discounts, and new versions of a product. 

As emails can be quickly adapted to suit different audiences, this is a fantastic method for communicating with smaller subsets of individuals about certain topics.

What is a Lead Nurturing?

What is a Lead Nurturing

The next stage, known as “Lead Nurturing,” deals with converting the leads created through lead generation. This entails contacting the leads you’ve created and building relationships with them. Establishing strong connections with the people who could become your clients is essential to your success. Furthermore, lead nurturing is also important for keeping your existing clients satisfied. Lead nurturing is hence one of the important ways of client retention which can be a more difficult task than bringing a new lead into the system!

The following are some of the many advantages of lead nurturing:

Build a name for yourself as a leader in your field that people can trust

With lead nurturing, you can respond to your client’s queries and establish yourself as a thought leader. This will help you in gaining trust and credibility in the market. The more trust you develop, the more you become renowned as a subject matter expert and an industry leader.

Take feedback from your clients

 Easily obtain feedback

Through various inbound marketing channels, you can distribute surveys to leads and customers. This will help you gain insight into the quality of your existing products and services.

Identify needs

Understanding your audience’s wants and needs will be easier if you talk to them. You may learn whether your target market is missing a product or service

Through your inbound marketing channels, you can send surveys to leads and customers. This will give you insight into the quality of your current products and services.

Lead Nurturing Tactics


Contacts with potential customers should be handled with care and consideration. Use the prospect’s name or location to personalise your communications. This will help you become more relevant to their market. It is their industry and intended uses. Customers on the fence about buying from your company can be persuaded to buy. They will be swayed when they feel you’ve heard them and care about them.

Content Creation

By learning more about your leads, you can better address their concerns. Using this knowledge, you can create content that specifically addresses these needs. Leads will appreciate you sharing ideas and tips if you include links to this content in your communications.

Social Media Outreach

The best way to nurture leads is to watch social media for mentions of your brand. Then, respond appropriately. If you meet a customer who needs guidance on buying your products, you have two options: You can give them info about your business and its benefits. Or, you can contact them personally.


Use your marketing tools. These include email campaigns and automated workflows. Use them to spread the word. Use them to share news about your business, brand, products, and other relevant info.

Telling potential customers about your company and its offerings helps them. It helps them decide if your product is the best choice for their needs. They’ll thank you for your information. They may refer their coworkers to your business for the same reasons.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Use a multi-channel marketing approach. You can reach your audience with a mix of marketing techniques. For instance, you can make a lively social media presence. You can also reach out to your leads with an email campaign. This will help you build good relationships with your audience. It will give them a chance to remember your brand. 

Lead Generation vs Lead Nurturing: Which is better?

Both finding leads and nurturing them are vital. They are key to a successful marketing strategy. Getting new potential customers requires lead generation. But, to move leads through the sales funnel, you need lead nurturing. It’s vital for building relationships. A good marketing strategy must balance both. It keeps new leads coming and turns them into paying customers.


The generation of leads is an important first step, but it’s just half the battle. Leads need to be engaged with and nurtured to maximize the possibility of making a sale. This needs a specialized sales team. Also, it needs a lead nurturing plan. Balancing lead generation and lead nurturing will help you. It will increase the percentage of leads that become customers. This will boost your business’s success.

Add lead generation and lead nurturing to your marketing strategy. They can help you attract potential customers. You can also build strong relationships with them. This will make them loyal, paying customers.

What is the difference between lead generation and lead nurturing?

Lead generation is the process of attracting and converting prospects into potential customers. Lead nurturing, on the other hand, is the process of building a relationship with those potential customers and providing them with valuable information and resources to help move them further along the sales funnel.

What is lead generation and nurturing strategy?

A lead generation and nurturing strategy involves identifying and targeting potential customers, capturing their contact information through various methods, and nurturing those leads through a series of touchpoints to build a relationship and encourage them to take action, such as making a purchase. This can involve tactics such as content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and personalized messaging.

What are the two types of lead generation?

The two types of lead generation are:
1. Inbound lead generation: where potential customers find your brand through their own research and discovery, such as through search engines, social media, or content marketing.
2. Outbound lead generation: where a brand actively reaches out to potential customers through targeted advertising, cold calling, or email marketing campaigns.

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