A Quick E-Marketing 101 on Leads

    What are leads and what do they mean for your capacity to digitally market your products and services?

    What is a lead? 

    A leash. A person or thing that leads. The most important news story. A tip. A clue. The principal part in a play.


    All the above are accepted definitions of the word “lead” according to the online Oxford Learners Dictionary, but none of them are the exact definition that we are looking for!

    How is a lead defined in the digital marketing context? 

    In e-marketing, a lead is generated when an internet user completes all of the following three steps:

    1.     The user conducts a search on the internet

    2.     The user arrives at a specific webpage

    3.     The user fills out and submits an information request form with their contact information.


    Once the user completes the third and final step, we can call this a lead because the potential client has shown interest in the services that you are offering.


    We push sales efforts on leads because—as they have already expressed initial interest in the product or service offered—they have great potential for becoming clients.


    Campaigns run through Facebook ads, Google AdWords, and Bing Ads are all oriented towards the goal of finding leads. For example, any higher education provider that generates profit via student tuition will want to actively search for or attract leads because they could convert into potential students.


    Leads can be captured online through website pages; social media accounts such as Facebook or Instagram; and email.

    What is the difference between a prospect and a lead?

    All prospects are leads but not all leads become prospects.


    Is a lead responding to your emails and phone calls?  Great! This is the best indicator that a lead can convert into a prospect. A lead that has been spoken with on the phone; a user that responds to emails; and someone who asks questions or seeks more information, regarding your products or services, via a website’s chat option through social media are all leads that may likely turn into prospects.

    Not all leads have the same quality.

    How can we assess the quality of a lead and, therefore, the chances of a lead becoming a prospect?

    We must answer the following questions to determine a lead’s quality.

    How much does the lead know about the product or service that you offer?

    How many times has a lead visited your website?

    Has the lead expressed interest?

    Does the lead seem to accept the proposed cost?

    Is the lead using a competitor’s product or service?

    Would the lead like to receive a sales proposal?

    Why is it important to determine a lead’s quality?

    Resources, such as time and money, are limited so we must spend them wisely and push sales efforts on only the quality leads that are prospects.


    What is the next step after a lead becomes a prospect?

    Active follow-up! This means persistently making clear efforts to close the sale of your product or service with the prospect.


    Active follow-up is the key to the ultimate end goal of capturing leads and prospects: closing a sale of your product or service.