Any marketing strategy must be focused on meeting the objectives that each brand has established. Whether they are specific campaign objectives or the general objectives of the company, it is essential that each of your strategies and actions are aimed at achieving the goals.
“It is essential that each of your strategies and actions are aimed at achieving your goals.”
The lead qualification process will help you make more successful sales, spending less time in the process of converting a potential customer into a final buyer.
In this article we want to share with you all the relevant information about Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and how they are a key part of your marketing strategy.
MQL: What are they and how can you get more for your Digital Marketing strategy?
Marketing qualified leads (MQL) are those leads that have already passed some filters from the marketing team, have gone through the first levels of your sales funnel and are ready to be converted into customers.
The key to attracting more MQLs is segmentation: building a buyer persona , which is the representation of your ideal customer. This will be of great help when designing the actions that will attract those marketing qualified leads.
To carry out this process, it is essential to do market research that gives you demographic and psychosocial data about your audience. In this way you can have an information base on which you will develop your segmentation and your marketing strategies.
“The key to attracting more MQLs is segmentation: building a buyer persona , who is the representation of your ideal customer.”
MQLs in Content Marketing and Inbound Marketing
Although MQLs are already interested in your brand and you have provided them with information that nurtures their purchase intention, it is important to keep in mind that they have not yet decided to take the final step and have become a customer.
This is when your content marketing and your inbound marketing strategy must work hand in hand to lead them to that final decision. You should take care of them even after they have become buyers. The post sale is also part of the strategy.
As MQLs already know about you, you must write content with new or additional information for them, either through an email marketing campaign. You should also design a special offer for those who are already part of your database or share with them testimonials that give them security to make the purchase.
Why are MQLs important?
Although all leads are important, we must emphasize that MQLs have already advanced in your sales funnel and are closer to becoming a final buyer. This means that your number of sales will increase and you can get closer to your goals.
“Although all leads are important, once they become MQLs, it means that they have already advanced in your sales funnel and that they are already closer to becoming a final buyer.”
On the other hand, marketing qualified leads help you increase and maintain a database that is already more curated. This will allow you to offer them a product or service of interest to promote recurrence in your sales.
By designing effective strategies, you can get your MQLs to make more purchases with you. Likewise, through marketing qualified leads you get information and feedback on your processes during this stage of your sales funnel.
Finally, MQLs, being in the middle of the sales process, allow you to innovate or test with them more effective ways to convert them to SQL and into final buyers. They will also give you material to optimize your operations.
MQL vs LEADS What is the difference?
A lead is that user who saw something about your brand, was interested in knowing more or in obtaining some content and left you some means of personal contact. Once a person voluntarily gives you their information and you can have it in your database, it becomes a lead.
How can you do it? Through social networks, a web form, your online site, an ad on Google, a landing page, etc. Any means that allows you to obtain the information of a user will help you to get leads.
After you have a lead, start your process of nurturing it with information of interest and making it start moving through your marketing funnel . Once the lead passes your first filters successfully and shows that they can be a potential buyer, they then become a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL).
“After you have a lead, start your process of nurturing it with information of interest and make it start moving through your sales funnel.”
The main difference is the stage of the funnel where each one is.
Sales Funnel What is it?
The sales funnel is the process by which leads must advance to go from being an interested user to an end customer.
Usually, a sales funnel is made up of the following way:
For each of these stages you must have a content strategy that helps you maintain user interest. The objective is to encourage you to continue with your process until you reach the final goal, which is the sale.
It is also important that throughout the tour you monitor the results of each action you implement. So you can make, in a timely manner, the decisions that allow you to optimize your sales funnel.
Now, sales funnels also have three specific phases that we will talk about below.
Tofu, Mofu, Bofu and their relationship with MQLs
TOFU, MOFU and BOFU are the acronyms that represent the three phases of your funnel:
- Top of the funnel: it is the upper part, where the objective is to attract the largest number of users to start creating your database. In this phase, you usually don’t have much information about them, so the content is broader, more generalized.
- Middle of the funnel – This is the center of your sales funnel. Here you already know the user’s needs and you can establish specific actions for them according to the information you got while they were in the TOFU. In this phase the initial group will have been reduced and you will be able to work focused on less quantity, but more quality.
- Bottom of the funnel: it is the final step to complete a sales cycle. For this phase, you should only have users who have passed the two previous filters and are 90% determined to make their purchase.
Probably at this time you have already had more than one contact with them, even through different means such as a phone call or a face-to-face visit. This will depend on each brand.
How to define the criteria of your MQLs
To define how you are going to evaluate, score or establish the progress of your leads through your sales funnel, there are different criteria.
Lead scoring is a technique that will allow you to rate, rank or classify leads based on their closeness to your buyer persona. This will help you create specific and personalized content that will result in an effective sale.
” Lead scoring (qualification of leads) is a technique that will allow you to score, rank or classify leads based on their closeness to your buyer persona .”
You can use lead scoring with any database you have. It is not a technique only used within a sales funnel.
When you are in your lead scoring process it is important that you take into account the following factors:
- Closeness of the lead with your buyer persona.
- Brand awareness.
- Phase of the purchase process.
- Interactions in different media.
You can also qualify your leads according to their profile, taking into account aspects such as:
- Geographic location.
- Shopping habits.
- Age and gender.
This will depend on your goals and your strategies. The selection technique must be adapted to your brand and your buyer persona.
In this criterion, as its name indicates, the score or classification of the leads will be according to their behavior , for example:
- Show interest in the brand.
- Visit your blog and interact.
- Request information through your landing pages.
- Your content is downloaded.
- Share your data with the brand.
- Clicks on different links on your website.
All these aspects are relevant when classifying the user and establishing the specific content for him.
How to increase your number of MQLs
Now that we are clear about what MQLs are, how to get them, nurture them, classify them and keep them moving through our sales funnel, we can talk about how to grow your number of marketing qualified leads.
As we mentioned before, the logical thing is that between the step from being leads to being MQLs, some remain on the road. However, the greater the number of those who advance, the greater your chances of selling.
That is why we will now define some techniques or tools so that you can make this process more and more effective.
Landing and Thank You Pages
The landing and thank you pages, landing and thank you pages in Spanish, are perhaps the most common ways in which all brands get their leads.
Landing pages are precisely created with the function of obtaining user data and being able to add it to your database. The reader reaches the landing page through a call to action or call to action. Content of interest is usually offered in exchange for your data.
For example, the visitor comes to your blog, you offer him a template or an ebook, expanding the content for which he came to you for free. But to obtain it you must leave your email and thus receive the material.
This is a win-win transaction, the user receives the information they want and the brand receives the contact to generate a new lead.
The thank you page would be the next step. Once the user has reached your landing page and completed the form or left their email, they should go directly to your thank you page. First to thank their action and second, here you can offer more additional content in exchange for more information.
This process can help you lead that visitor straight to being an MQL, for example.
Lead Nurturing for MQL
With this technique you will nurture and mature your leads. This process should occur from the moment the visitor enters your sales funnel until they leave it.
With lead nurturing it is important that you get as much information as possible about the lead. You will also offer as much knowledge as possible about your brand, so that it enters the purchase process.
Check box or invitation to receive more information
Checkboxes is another tool that allows you to obtain information from interested users. In this way you can offer very specific content and give the reader the option to say if they really are interested in receiving it.
If so, the user will leave their email in the checkbox and will be able to receive more information. In this way you will be able to know about what other topics, too, they want to receive information.
Links in the Blog
Within your blog you can also place forms, checkboxes, direct links with call to action, pop-ups and different resources that allow you to obtain user data through the exchange of valuable information for them.
As you will see, there are many resources. Choosing the ideals for your brand will depend on your goals and your target audience.
How to go from MQL to SQL?
SQL or sales qualified leads are those users who have already gone through practically your entire sales funnel and are one step away from making their purchase. These have already been evaluated by the marketing area and they have approved all your phases.
The best way to go from MQL to SQL is with lead nurturing. You can offer not only content but a free trial, a specific offer or special discounts that end up encouraging them to make the purchase.
Last but not least, we remind you that adding value to your users is key to achieving loyalty and generating interactions that help your brand grow and meet your goals.
To close this article, we invite you to read more about how to attract those MQLs that help your marketing strategy so much on a professional platform like LinkedIn. This is an excellent medium for your strategy, especially if you are focused on B2B.