Marketing Leads: What They Are And How to Gain Them
In the business world, almost everyone is concerned about getting more leads. Usually, marketing departments are responsible for generating leads and after that passing them to sales departments. So what are marketing leads? Let’s find out.
What are leads?
A lead is a person or organization that in some way is interested in a company's product or service. Let’s go through the definitions and their differences that you will definitely come across as a marketing specialist:
business lead. In other words, a potential customer. Not every lead equals a sale, but every sale is based on one. Getting new business leads is an important process for the company’s growth and stability;
Internet marketing leads or digital marketing leads are the inquiries you receive via calls-to-action (CTA), email marketing, social media, chatbots, landing pages, etc. A digital lead submits his/her inquiry and expects your reply. The probability of sale conversion at this stage is greater;
warm lead and cold lead. Cold Leads are the leads that are not yet aware that they need your product or service. They do not answer your calls, do not open your emails, and are definitely not ready to buy from you. Usually, sales people lose their time with such “contacts”. These, on the other hand, are contacts that occasionally show certain engagement. In our “Sales Emails” blog post, we showed in detail how to build cold emails so that your cold leads turn into clients.
When the leads have moved forward and in some way interact with your brand, they are called “prospects”. According to the marketing and sales funnel, prospects are defined as qualified leads, i.e they fit certain target criteria and move through the sales funnel stages to become a customer. Each phase of the sales funnel should take a prospect one step closer to closing a deal.
Different types of leads
Type 1. Service qualified lead
The type of lead that has reached the customer service representative and showed interest in buying your product. For example, they may want to upgrade their membership or are interested in the product’s features.
Type 2. Product qualified lead
The type of lead that knows your product and has an intent to become a paying customer. They might have used some products’ samples or tried an app trial version, but some concerns or additional questions do not allow them to buy the product immediately.
Type 3. Marketing qualified lead
This type shows interest in your product and is closer to becoming a customer than previous leads. For example, they voluntarily submit contact information, bookmark products, download cheat sheets, etc. Is marketing lead meaning a sale? Not quite, the MQLs are in the middle of the sales funnel and are considered a "warm lead", but they are still not ready to buy your product.
Type 4. Sales Qualified Lead
Undertake some actions in regard to your product. These leads have a problem or need and are going to fulfill it with the help of your company. The most valuable lead, it is at the bottom of the sales funnel and is called “hot lead”. The difference between a Marketing qualified lead and a Sales qualified lead is the degree of willingness to acquire your product/service. SQLs are transferred directly to the sales department since they are requesting quotes, seeking discounts, or asking for some additional calculations.
How to generate sales leads
Choose the right promotional tools
First of all, you need to decide how you are going to promote yourself. That will hugely depend on a budget and where your target audience is. You can promote your brand or product through posts and stories on social media, as well as through pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements.
Target your promotional efforts
To successfully promote your product, you have to know what needs, concerns, and expectations your target audience has. Update this data from time to time. Use this information when communicating with your audience on social media or other promotional channels, give your solutions based on research.
Create valuable content
Content is not about followers and likes, but about growing trust. If you are providing valuable and relevant content, giving useful up-to-date information, sharing expert thoughts, you will be beyond your competitors. Create advertisements that will lead people to your blog or YouTube channel. Showing in the videos how with the help of your product to deal with clients’ needs is another powerful way to generate new leads.
Use subscription forms
Subscription forms are important to use if you want to convert your website visitors into leads. Place the forms on your blog or website. In every video you make, constantly remind the audience to click the “subscribe” button. Ask your audience what they are most interested in and what content is the most relevant. Then subsequently your subscribers will turn into customers.
Please be advised that in order to reach out to your contacts who have subscribed to your newsletter, you are to get their written consent. You can do it in a subscription confirmation email.
And only when they give you their consent, you may send out your newsletters.
Create lead magnets
A lead magnet is a marketing tool that requires the contact information of a potential lead in exchange for something of value. In order for people to leave their contacts, we have to give them a piece of the exclusive information, something that is hard or impossible to find on the internet in free access. These bargains are usually in the form of cheat sheets, manuals, video guides, or free consultations.
Generate leads from your blog
When writing useful and relevant content, do not forget to promote your product or service. By describing any kind of problem, give the solution in the form of the link leading to a product. Constantly optimize and update the blog in order to gain the most of it.
Sometimes when a certain business goal is achieved, the lead generation is ceased or neglected. That is a huge mistake, we should never forget that our leads will never stay constant. As Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change”. Nourishing your leads, staying in touch with them, and finding new ways to attract more prospects is a neverending creative process.