A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) is a leader who, based on marketing activities, has expressed interest in what a company has to offer or is otherwise more likely to become a customer than other leads. 

An MQL is typically a lead who has freely connected with your business by entering contact information, opting into a program, adding e-commerce items to a shopping cart, downloading materials, or visiting a website multiple times. These are promising leads who are interested in learning more about you but haven’t yet taken the next step into a sales conversation. They are, nonetheless, more receptive to a sales proposal than a typical lead.

If you think about your personal buying process, you’re unlikely to give up your genuine email address unless you’re ready to start a dialogue. An MQL has been determined to be interested in your products and/or services, and you may be able to provide a solution to their problem. 

An MQL has taken the initial steps toward becoming a customer and is ready for further communication. In a nutshell, Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) become Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), who subsequently become customers.

What exactly is a Marketing Qualified Lead and what does one do with one?

Marketing Expertise Leads have expressed an interest in purchasing. They’re receptive to the prospect of a sale and have made the first step in engaging with your company without making a purchase. While marketing initiatives can generate leads, it is the behavior of those leads that prompt marketers to classify them as MQLs. They initiate some type of contact activity to learn more about what you have to offer.

Marketing Qualified Lead actions include:

  • Downloading a free ebook or a trial version of the software
  • Using software demonstrations
  • completing online forms
  • Linking your email address to a newsletter or email lists
  • Adding products to a wishlist or favorited items
  • Putting things in the shopping cart
  • Returning to your site or spending a significant amount of time there
  • Finding your website via clicking on an advertisement
  • I’m contacting you to inquire about additional information.

These are some of the most common activities, but they are not intended to be exhaustive. A number of additional factors, such as lead scoring, analytics, product delivery, and demographics, go into determining what is and isn’t a qualified lead for your organization. But it’s a start toward recognizing sales-ready prospects and eliminating those who aren’t likely to be receptive.

Determine data on behavioral qualification

People leave digital footprints that reveal what they’re interested in and, in certain cases, how severe their problem is. You’ll design criteria for which actions qualify a lead to speak with sales by observing buyer behavior. 

Downloading specific white papers or attending specific webinars, for example, maybe actions made by leads who go on to buy in the past. People who spend a significant amount of time on a pricing page and return to it numerous times within a day or two may be demonstrating a sense of urgency.

A marketing-qualified lead (MQL) is a webpage visitor whose degree of interaction suggests he’ll become a client.

The visitor must have shown interest in the website’s content in order to become an MQL. For example, the visitor might have filled out an online form, accessed content, signed up for a newsletter, or virtually placed products in a shopping cart. A lead score is assigned to each sort of interaction, a number that sales and marketing managers can use to evaluate where the visitor is in the purchase cycle.

A prospective customer with a higher score is more likely to buy. Marketers utilize lead scoring points to depict a customer’s buyer’s journey.

Consumption of top-of-funnel content, such as that targeted at users in the research or education stages, yields lower point values. Material that is used in the later phases of the purchase process, such as middle or bottom-of-funnel content, receives higher point values. Negative scores are possible to assign. Visits to the “Careers” or “Job Openings” pages, for example, suggest that the visitor is a job seeker rather than a potential consumer. Visits to specific pages may result in negative points, lowering prospects’ MQL status.

Marketers setpoint values using marketing automation software. Based on the scoring system, the software then keeps lead scores for all leaders.

When setting lead scoring point values and regulations, marketers should consult with sales colleagues to ensure that sales and marketing are on the same page. Customers’ activities prior to making a purchase choice will be well-understood by sales experts. As a result, sales can provide useful feedback on the relative point values for each action.

In addition, before making a purchase, marketers can interview customers to learn about their experience with the company’s website and content assets. Understanding the customer journey can aid marketers in fine-tuning the lead scoring method that is used to calculate MQLs.

It is normally the marketing department’s role to nurture the lead if the potential consumer is still early in the buying cycle.

How to Assess Fit

“When a company confirms a lead is a good fit and displays return interest by marketing to them, that lead becomes an MQL,” we explained above.

To make the most of the MQL stage, you must first determine which types of interactions require the greatest attention from your marketing team. You should target high-fit folks who will get the most out of your product and bring the best customer lifetime value to your firm.

Of course, figuring out which people or contacts are the ideal fit isn’t always easy. For starters, the process varies depending on whether you work for a B2B or B2C business.

Conclusion:

Contacts must first convert on an offer and become leads before moving on to the MQL stage. Inbound marketing has shown to be the most effective method for generating high-quality leads.

The beauty of inbound marketing is that if you do it well and deliver value to your contacts at every stage of the customer lifecycle, you’ll not only get a lot of leads and MQLs, but you’ll also end up satisfied customers and brand evangelists down the road.

Check out the Aiozium guide to learn more about how to deliver value to your contacts at each stage of the customer lifecycle and how to use inbound marketing to grow your business.