A lead is a user who has delivered their personal data to a company through a web form or some other method of capturing information. As a result of this action, the user becomes part of the organization’s database with a score according to their level of interest in a specific product or service.
A lead is different from a visitor. The first corresponds to a potential customer who has already started their interaction with a brand by providing their personal information; the other is simply an unknown user who has entered a business website without taking any specific action.
What is a lead for?
Leads are used to consolidate a sale. It all starts with their qualification according to their level of interest or segment and then becomes part of an educational process called lead nurturing. This nurturing process is necessary to raise the lead’s interest in buying or hiring a product or service.
The more leads are generated, the greater the chances of converting them into new customers. However, in the case of inbound marketing, quality must prevail over quantity.
In other words, large amounts of leads who have no idea what a brand is and what it offers will hardly be able to make a purchase, making the actions to convert them end up being a complete waste of time.
There are three types of leads that are divided according to the purchase phase in which they are. This buying process is best exemplified by a conversion funnel, which in turn is divided into three parts:
- Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
- Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
- Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)
The lead will pass through each of these levels until it becomes a new customer.
It corresponds to a contact that is in an early phase of a buying cycle. Which in technical terms of inbound marketing we know as TOFU. It is a cold lead that is not yet ready to buy, so it is necessary to take different actions to help it move through the conversion funnel.
2. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)
It is a contact that has already been identified as part of the target audience of a brand through different actions and that has a better chance of making a purchase.
This lead is in the middle of our conversion funnel known as MOFU. At this stage, the contact is clear about their true need and is considering the possible solution. This is where our actions should focus on being chosen as that solution.
3. Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)
It is a type of contact that reached the end of the conversion funnel (BOFU) and has a high enough score to make a purchase of a product or service. The qualified sales contact has already made the decision to cover their need with the chosen brand and to close the sale it will be necessary to offer them direct offers ranging from free demos to discounts.
What to do after capturing a lead?
The attraction and acquisition of leads is the beginning of our sales process. It is necessary to carry out certain concrete actions to complete it and generate new clients.
The first thing you should know once you have captured a lead is to know at what stage of the purchase cycle it is in order to better segment it. In that sense, you need to ask yourself three things:
- Which buyer persona of the brand does it belong to?
- What web resources have they downloaded?
- What actions did they take on the web?
The answers to these approaches will allow you to know what the needs of each lead are and then design the best strategy and offer them quality information focused on solving their problems.
You can rely on the following two techniques to develop that user-centric approach:
Lead Nurturing is a technique that is based on the creation of value and lasting relationships with users. Its main objective is to help them advance through the different stages of their buyer journey.
This progress is achieved with the delivery of adequate content according to your buyer persona and at the right time (purchase process). In general, these actions are done through email chains, although that is already part of the past due to the multi-channel dissemination of content.
We can know the degree of interest of a lead for a product or service through a rating that ranges from cold for those contacts who have little or no interest and hot for those who do.
This scoring can also be designed in percentage for greater precision and control by the brand. Similarly, it is about establishing a lead scoring system effective enough to know how to prioritize and differentiate the interest levels of each user and thus increase the possibility of conversion to new customers.
Lead scoring also allows you to establish how much a certain lead fits into the profile of the brand’s ideal customer.
It is important that you are clear that these two techniques cannot be implemented if you do not have a marketing automation tool with which you can measure and control your actions.
Methods to capture leads:
Lead capture is a true art in inbound marketing. All that organic traffic that your website is generating can be used to increase the capture of leads and here are some methods that can help you:
This is the most common way to capture leads from a web page . You can place web forms at different points such as at the end of each blog or on certain pages such as products or services.
Landing pages are one of the most used methods for capturing leads. They are common in online payment campaigns and their only purpose is the simple capture of information from the contacts who visit it. Within the landing page, there is a web form.
Social media campaigns
Campaigns on social networks can also help you generate new leads. For example, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram have established forms for capturing contacts.
A lead generation strategy through social networks can be much more effective than the one carried out conventionally from Google Ads to a landing page.