Imagine you’re lying on the couch after a long busy day, prepared to watch a movie or read a book and suddenly someone calls you on the phone to ask if you’re interested in car maintenance. How frustrated would you be at that moment? How frustrated your potential customers would be if you call them like that without knowing if they’re interested in your product or not?
Well, that’s why it’s important to qualify leads. This makes sure you don’t contact anyone who’s not interested in your products. But it sometimes can be quite challenging to generate leads. In fact, for 61% of marketers lead generation is the number one challenge. And what’s harder is to understand which ones of those leads are marketing qualified leads.
So, in this article, we’re going to find out how to get marketing qualified leads and increase the chances of them becoming future customers.
What is a Marketing Qualified Lead?
Let’s start with definitions. First, who are the leads?
Leads are people who have shown interest in your company’s products/services. They are your potential customers. The more of them you convert to the next stage of the sales funnel, the more opportunities you have to increase your sales.
People can show their interest in your business in many different ways. They may subscribe to your email newsletter, download your free e-books and other materials, attend your webinars, etc.
The key thing here is to remember that not all the leads are ready to go to the next stage of the sales pipeline. Some of them may be ready to buy from you the next day after subscribing to your newsletter, some of them may need months before they decide to buy.
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Difference Between Marketing Qualified Leads and Sales Qualified Leads
There are different types of marketing leads and we’ll talk about two of them.
Marketing qualified leads are the leads who have somehow engaged with your brand but are not ready to receive a sales call yet. These are generally people who have come to your landing page to download some free materials or take another action.
Sales qualified leads are the leads who have shown high interest in your company and are ready to become customers. For example, they may fill out a form to ask you a question or show in some other way that they want to directly communicate with you.
Qualified marketing leads need more nurturing, and more information about your products to pass to the next stage of the sales pipeline. If you try to offer a sale to them, the chances are you’d be rejected. You should be very careful with these leads so that they won’t lose interest in your brand.
Marketing Qualified Lead Generation Tactics
Now, the real question is how to get marketing qualified leads. Let’s view some useful tactics that will help you get these leads.
Extra Tip: Whether you’re an established brand or have launched recently, you need to develop certain criteria that would help you define your marketing qualified leads. Define what actions potential customers should take so that they would be qualified as marketing and sales leads. You can also decide how many leads you expect to generate in a certain period. This would make marketing and sales processes easier and more effective.
Also, at this stage, we assume that you already know who your customers are and you’ve created your buyer personas. Otherwise, you won’t be able to target the right audience to turn them into leads.
Leads for Network Marketing
Thanks to the Internet, generating leads for network marketing has become far easier than ever before. You don’t have to frustrate people with cold calls, you can simply find your potential customers on the Internet through social media and in many other ways and introduce them to your business. Let’s go through some of the ways to generate leads for network marketing.
Facebook is the largest social media network and your target audience or some of them will hang out there too. Also, Facebook has different types of ads that can be helpful to all businesses. In our case, the best way to generate leads is to use Facebook lead ads. Lead ads allow you to collect information from a user through a form.
When someone clicks on a lead ad on Facebook they’ll be prompted to fill in a form, and in the form, you can request any information that you deem important for the rest of the sales cycle. But remember that users won’t give you information about them just like that. You need to offer some quality lead magnets so that they agree to share personal information with you. Lead magnets are useful materials for users like e-books, white papers, checklists, tips, etc.
By offering useful material to people, people will more likely subscribe to your newsletter. So, define your target audience, create useful content for them and you’ll get some quality network marketing leads.
YouTube is another popular social media that can help you generate leads, especially when video content is becoming more and more popular all over the world. You can create informational videos and different how-to videos that help your audience to solve their problems.
If you create high-quality videos that your audience is interested in, you can get new leads in no time. Offer a guide, an e-book or some other kind of content during the video by asking for the email address or some other personal information from users.
Also, pay attention to the comments section. Users can comment about how much they like your content or products and it can give you valuable insights on what you can change to improve.
And don’t forget about other social media as well. Your audience may not use YouTube or Facebook actively, but they’ll definitely be active on some other social media.
A webinar is another good option for getting qualified leads. It’s also a good way to meet your potential customers and be able to speak to them. It can help you to better understand their needs and convert them to customers faster.
You can host different types of webinars like informational webinars, case studies, and product demos. What you need to do is to analyze your target audience and find out what topic would be interesting for them.
You can connect the list of webinar attendees with your CRM so that it would be easier for you to send them emails. It’s very important to remind the attendees about the webinar a day, or a few hours before. And also, you should send them emails after the webinar with brief information about what you discussed during the webinar.
It’s also a good idea to co-host a webinar. You can partner up with another brand that has the same target audience as you and organize a webinar together. By doing this, you can attract the other brand’s audience and make them your leads.
Email Marketing Leads
Email marketing is one of the most efficient ways of lead generation. When people give their email addresses to you, it means that they are interested in your brand and products and by nurturing them with different types of email, you can turn them into customers.
Note that buying email leads is a bad practice and it’s not recommended. Sending emails to people, who haven’t given their addresses themselves, is similar to cold calls. Besides, you risk ending in the spam section, so they won’t even see your email. It’s better to think of ways how to persuade people to give you their addresses than spamming them.
And one of the best ways to do it is by offering them some quality lead magnets. It’s not necessary to use ads to get email marketing leads, you can do it through your social media posts, webinars, and of course through your website.
Your website is a great place to put some CTAs in your blog section, services/products page, and landing pages. It’s the first place people visit to get information about you so it’s very important to have a website with high-quality content, appealing design and the right CTAs.
Don’t forget that after getting the addresses of your email marketing leads, you need to send quality content to them so that they become your customers in the future. It could be some updates, exclusive content, VIP places for a webinar, etc.
The design of your newsletter is also crucial for your success. If you put your CTA in the wrong place or use bad fonts, your subscribers may not pay attention to them. Remember that your emails should:
- Be easy to read
- Have a simple yet appealing design
- Be written in simple, concise language and be clear to understand
- Have the CTA button stand out from the rest of the email
- Have catchy subject lines
Free Qualified Marketing Leads
As mentioned above, it’s not necessary to use paid ads or any other paid method to get qualified marketing leads. There are plenty of ways to do it without spending a lot of resources.
Content is a powerful tool to make people love your brand, find new customers and share your brand message across the world. This especially refers to your website content and blog. It’s one of the main ways people find you, so you have to have a professional website with great content so that people click on your CTAs to become leads.
Analyze your content, delete all the outdated posts, create new content consistently and don’t forget about the CTAs. People like reading about useful information that can help solve their problems. If you share quality content that is interesting for the audience, they will most likely become new leads for you.
Guest posting is another way to increase your brand exposure to a wider audience. There are many blogs and influential websites where you can post your content and get new leads. You need to do some research to find the ones in your industry.
You can also collaborate with brands to exchange articles for mutual benefit. Look for the brands and websites that are connected to your industry and have the same target audience. Guest posts show your industry authority and can work great especially if you operate in B2B.
Guest posting is also great for SEO, as your website will get more backlinks which can increase your domain authority.
You can also use social media to organically generate marketing-qualified leads. You just need to create relevant content for your audience and encourage them to open communication, ask questions to you and subscribe to your newsletter. Try to create interactive content, different Q&As, live events, and chats to communicate with your audience directly.
Another great idea would be to organize contests or offer giveaways to increase your reach. Offer some valuable prizes, which can be e-books or sample products or anything that would encourage people to participate in the contest.
You can also create quizzes, and surveys, which are excellent ways to get more information about your audience.
I’ve mentioned several times that your website is one of the main sources to get qualified leads, which means your SEO needs to be strong to drive more traffic to your website.
Try to target more long-tail keywords, which may have lower search volumes but can be more effective than the high volume keywords. The reason for that is that they are less competitive and more specific, meaning that it’s easier to match your content to the user’s intent. And if you can create content that perfectly matches their intent, you will more likely get more leads.
Also, remember that you need to encourage visitors to look for more content on your website and come back again. You have to have structured content with links to your other articles, and an easy-to-use website, so that users can freely navigate there. If you provide a great user experience, these users have a high chance to become your marketing qualified leads.
Whichever way you choose to generate marketing qualified leads remember that you need to understand your audience’s needs first. Research which type of content they are more interested in and offer them exactly what they are looking for. Only this way you can be sure to increase your reach and get more leads.
Also, remember to create specific criteria to qualify leads as marketing qualified leads. By doing so, it would be easier to measure the results.
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A marketing qualified lead is a potential customer who has shown interest in the brand and/or its products and matches certain criteria set by the marketing team. MQLs have interacted in some way with your brand but are not ready to make a purchase decision yet.
MQLs or marketing qualified leads have engaged in some way with the company but still need some nurturing to make a buying decision. They are in the middle of the sales funnel.
SQLs or sales-qualified leads have shown higher interest in the brand and are closer to making a buying decision. They are already at the bottom of the sales funnel.
A lead is a potential customer that has shown an interest in the brand and/or its products. They could be anyone who interacted with the brand. A qualified lead is someone who has taken some actions that shows their high interest to buy and matches certain criteria to be assessed as a qualified lead.