The word lead usually refers to ‘the one who is at the head, the protagonist.’ However, in Inbound Marketing (or permission marketing) ‘lead’ refers to a person or business who has shown interest in a brand or company by requesting information through a form, or by providing basic contact details (usually through a landing page, which enables the capturing of this information in exchange for some kind of offer.)
Another term for lead is potential client, and its enormous value lies precisely in that word: potential.
We start from the premise that our lead is intrinsically interested in our offer and therefore could become a buyer/user of a product or service. The key is therefore in the process of CONVERSION; in other words, turning the lead into an end client. Achieving this requires understanding what their needs are at every moment and offering them content that meets their expectations. A lead’s behaviour can change from one day to the next, but we have the advantage of being able to address the lead directly.
The ‘quality’ of a lead is measured according to how close he or she is to acquiring the product/service that we are offering. Our lead’s interest in us must grow slowly but surely.
In fact, in marketing jargon there are three kinds of lead:
- Cold lead: the potential client is in the initial phase; s/he is attracted but contact is minimal and s/he is still a long way away from purchase.
- Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL): the potential client is at a second stage in which s/he has shown interest on several occasions, but still doesn’t completely fit the profile of client.
- Sales Qualified Lead (SQL): the potential client shows a high level of interest, has interacted a fair amount with us (through social media, answering an email campaign, etc.), and is almost ready to buy. We just have to give him/her a last little push.
Taking care of our leads
It is obvious that leads are important; they offer an opportunity that should not be missed, and there are several channels we can use to achieve our objective: SMS Marketing, SMS SITE, EMAIL Marketing…
And by combining these different channels we can achieve even better results. Moreover, it is increasingly important to invest in customised campaigns (using the client’s name or phone number, wishing him/her a happy birthday, giving feedback according to his/her tastes, etc.), which can be done through both SMS and eMail. This will make sure our leads feel they are important.
And the fact is that it is essential to take care of our leads. Remember that many of them will talk about our company with third parties; our brand reputation depends on how we treat them, and we may even find they attract more potential clients.