Leads and Prospects
Leads and prospects can seem interchangeable, especially for low-consideration products or common items like snacks and pens. On the other hand, differentiating the two is crucial for high-consideration products and services. These are offerings which take time and extensive research before customers convert. Examples of these include purchasing laptops, enrolling in universities, or signing up for eLearning courses.
There are plenty of definitions for these two but they all have a common thread on what is considered a lead versus a prospect. Marketo provides an excellent definition of both:
Lead: Someone who may be interested in a product or service that you provide
Prospects: Leads which have already been vetted or qualified
“Vetted” or “qualified” means that the audience has already had relevant interaction with your business which can be a sign of interest and movement along the sales funnel.
However, not all prospects are made equal. The more engaged and aligned prospects are with your business, the higher the chances of their conversion. Hubspot has identified key features of high-quality prospects and we have summarized them for you below:
High quality prospects:
- Match your customer persona
- Have pain points that you can tackle and address
- Display high levels of engagement from touchpoints such as your website and social media
Low quality prospects:
- Do not match your customer persona
- Have pain points that cannot be resolved with your service
- Show little to no interaction with your engagement campaigns
Acquiring High-Level Prospects
The quality of your leads and prospects are dependent on the strategies you put into place when acquiring them. With paid social, you can customize and control the demographics and interests of the people who will see your ads. This ensures that the money you spend is directed toward audiences that fit your customer profile, have shown interest in your brand, or are already finding the right institution, course, or program for them. Check out our article on paid social for more information on this.
With Google Ads, on the other hand, the platform has a feature called dynamic prospecting which matches one of your product ads to a user based on their buying intent and relevant information–at the most optimal time. Google uses machine learning to pinpoint the exact details of this process that will yield the best results. As more ads are run, the system becomes more familiar with the types of audiences that click and engage, enabling improvement on the accuracy of who the ads are shown to.
Prospecting campaigns typically go hand-in-hand with remarketing because not everyone is ready to buy or subscribe at any moment, especially for high-consideration products and services.
The more present you are within different platforms and mediums, the greater chances there are for brand recognition and engagement, which puts your business one step closer to forming meaningful and lasting connections with potential customers.
Prioritize higher quality prospects. Some leads and prospects will respond more enthusiastically to your marketing efforts than others. Make sure you implement strategies that respond to your target audience’s needs and concerns to ensure higher conversions.
Personalize efforts. Just like with most marketing strategies in the digital world, tailored content can be a launching pad for stronger relationships with prospects, unlike using generic branding that doesn’t create or establish relevant messaging.
Make “helping your prospects” as the goal. By focusing on your prospects’ challenges instead of making a sale, your business will be more memorable because you address their needs first above anything else.
The final goal of prospecting is to drive these prospects towards converting. This is no easy feat as many will drop out the further you get into the funnel. This is why it’s important to have the proper tools and strategies to get you closer to these individuals.