Steller conversion metrics on your channels may look great. However, a click-through rate (CTR) is something most paid media advertisers aim to achieve. However, if the majority of those users aren’t quality, then we are looking at nothing more than vanity metrics. This is why it is wise to develop a lead qualification strategy that will attract high-quality leads that are likely to convert. After all, a barrel full of low-quality leads that will likely not convert is next to useless.
This is where lead qualification comes into play. In this post, we’re going to cover the following:
- What lead qualification is and why it’s important.
- How to identify your lead qualification parameters.
- Four proven lead qualification strategies that flat out work.
Ready to learn more about lead qualification strategies? Awesome – let’s go!
What is Lead Qualification?
Lead qualification strategies are all about making sure that the leads you attract are those who are most likely to drive your business goals and develop into customers. Qualified traffic to your website is far more likely to take action and qualified leads are more likely to become customers. Lead qualification is critical for an effective lead generation process.
MQLs vs SQLs
If you operate in the B2B world, you’ve likely heard of marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and sales qualified leads (SQLs). Both MQLs and SQLs require different lead qualification strategies. MQLs are visitors who have expressed interest in your product or service but are not ready to buy just yet. These visitors are ready for additional marketing attention, such as nurturing campaigns that help move them down the sales funnel until they convert into customers.
On the other hand, you have SQLs, who are visitors who have shown interest in your product or service and are very likely to buy.
It’s also worth noting that some leads come in as SQLs, while others arrive as MQLs. With an effective lead qualification strategy, you can quickly develop and nurture your MQLs into SQLs in no time flat.
Why is a Lead Qualification Strategy Important?
It should go without saying, but you want your marketing efforts to attract qualified leads and you want your qualified leads to convert into customers. However, you need to keep in mind that lead qualification strategies typically involve a rather large budget. If you’re running paid ads and you have a high click-through rate (CTR), this means you have an appealing offer and/or superb copywriting skills. However, you need to ask yourself, is it appealing to your most viable customers?
If you’re racking up a ton of clicks, you may pay less per click. However, if you’re struggling with conversions, it doesn’t matter how many clicks you get. You’re not saving money, you’re actually wasting your valuable cash on unqualified traffic. This is why you need a rock-solid lead qualification strategy.
While your CTR and cost per click are important metrics to watch, your conversation rates are what dictate your ROI.
How to Identify Your Lead Qualification Strategy Parameters
Understanding your ideal customers and your target audience is critical for knowing what lead qualification looks like for your business. There are a number of lead qualification formulas that could apply to your business, but the most common one is BANT:
- Budget: can the prospect afford your products/services?
- Authority: are they the ultimate decision-maker for the purchase?
- Need: what is the need they’re hoping to alleviate? Does it align with those of your long-time customers?
- Urgency: how quickly do they need to meet this need?
Your landing page copy and the information you request in forms will help qualify your leads. However, this doesn’t solve the issue of paying for unqualified clicks in the first place. Next, we’ll discuss the four ways to qualify your clicks!
Lead Qualification Strategies
The following lead qualification strategies will enable you to improve your PPC lead quality before the user even gets to your landing page.
1.) Be Specific in Your Ad Copy
The best way to tell people whether, or not, they’re the type of customer you’re looking for is to be 100% transparent and straight-up tell them. That being said, it makes total sense to incorporate language into your ads that draw in your ideal customer segment. The same goes for the opposite, you want to use pointed language that will prevent unqualified users from clicking on your ad. In the PPC world, few things hurt your pride more than a dismal click-through rate. However, a high click-through rate means nothing if those leads never convert into customers.
2.) Use Price Extensions
The same concept applies to your ad extensions for paid search. If you have a more expensive product/service, make it painfully clear in your ad extensions. Doing so creates a buffer that will repel prospects with insufficient budgets. In short, call out the price or status of your product/service in your ad extensions. This strategy is essentially the same as “sticker shock.” If a user sees a higher price and they don’t have the necessary funding, they’re most likely not going to click on the ad. Reducing the number of clicks from “dead-end” leads will save you some serious ad spend both in the short and long term.
Remember, not everything has to be about the price. You can always promote the value that your product/service provides via your ad copy. When it’s all said and done, you’ll want to adjust your value messages so that they’re tailored for your ideal target audience. Lastly, it is critical to remember that not everyone will be interested in your product.
3.) Optimize Lead Forms for Quality, Not Volume
Both Google and Facebook have lead form type settings for their native lead forms. This provides marketers with the option to optimize for either more leads or more qualified leads. Naturally, the channels’ default selection is for volume. Both platforms encourage you to value quantity more than quality since it will make your PPC reporting look great. However, if you’ve tested lead forms in these two channels and received junk leads, you should seriously consider optimizing your settings to focus on better-quality leads.
4.) Add More Questions to Your Lead Forms
Most lead forms on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. start off asking users for the bare minimum, such as name and phone number. In most cases, the fields are auto-populated based on the user’s profile information. This can make the form wicked easy to fill out and submit. However, because it is so easy to complete, you may not actually be pre-qualifying users. On the upside, most channels that offer lead forms allow marketers to ask more questions or customize the questions.
Get More Out of Your Budget with Lead Qualification
Internal data from your CRM will always help you make better optimization decisions in terms of which users to focus on. But whether you have CRM information or not, you can still put in some effort with your ad copy and lead form settings to try and qualify users before they even enter your site. Yes, you may see less traffic and fewer conversions, but if you’re qualifying the right users, you will hopefully see better close rates and less churn.
To recap, here are the four lead qualification strategies that we covered:
- Use pre-qualifying ad copy.
- Add price extensions to your Search ads.
- Optimize lead forms for quality, not volume.
- Add more or custom questions to your lead forms.