Lead Marketing: from contact to paying customer

Lead marketing is a widely used technique in digital marketing to convert more potential customers (your contacts) into paying customers and generate business. A lead is a person within a company whom you suspect might be interested in your product and/or service but has not yet made a purchase. Converting these ‘leads’ into paying customers is done through lead generation, a technique where you attract interesting individuals to your website, for example, with the goal of having them leave their details so you can see what they click on and thus show interest, and ultimately turning each lead into a paying customer by offering the right product or service.

Types of leads

Cold lead

A person who is not familiar with your company, product, or service and has not yet shown any interest but is looking for something you can provide an answer to. The likelihood of making a purchase is low at this point because there is no contact and therefore no trust (cold contact). Initially, you want to introduce this person to your offer and gradually build trust.

Hot lead

This lead already knows (somewhat) about your company and your products or services but has not yet shown specific interest. A warm contact, but still no signs of purchase intent.

Marketing Qualified Lead

A Marketing Qualified Lead is a potential new customer who shows concrete interest in your products and/or services. We further follow up with this person from a marketing perspective because they are close to the next step, namely making a purchase.

Sales Qualified Lead

A Sales Qualified Lead is convinced that your product and/or service provides the solution to their problem. This lead is on the verge of making a decision about a product or service you offer and may be considering various options. Therefore, you will provide the lead with enough reasons to choose your company and eliminate any last doubts about the purchase.


Lead generration

As a company, it’s important to create a ‘buyer persona’ to know who your ideal customer is and who you want to reach. Even if you want to reach a very broad audience, it’s still important to categorize and classify your target audience. This is done by creating descriptions of different customer profiles. A customer profile generally consists of: who this customer is (sociodemographic data, for example), what role he/she has within a company, and how my product and/or service can provide a solution to his/her problem. Once you have this information, you know who you want to reach, potentially in what order or with what customized messages, and which leads you want to convert into customers first. As described earlier, it’s important to work step by step based on the type of lead. With cold contacts, you first need to get on their radar and gain their trust by using social media, for example. Through social media, you can attract them to your website. Once they are on your website, you can gather data about these casual visitors and ask them to leave their details (such as an email address) through lead magnets (incentives or stimuli). Lead magnets work exceptionally well. You would be surprised how many people/visitors to your website are willing to provide information about themselves in exchange for something. A commonly used technique is “Sign up for our newsletter,” where the visitor must already provide their email address to receive the newsletter. Of course, the content of the newsletter must be promising, but in the meantime, you know what this person finds interesting, and you have direct access to their inbox.


After converting the casual visitor into a lead, it’s important to engage in lead nurturing (think of it as ‘spoiling’ this person with information or a specific offer). Just because someone is a lead doesn’t mean they will necessarily become a customer. With lead nurturing, you want to achieve the highest possible conversion from lead to customer. This is done by providing new information or insights to these leads, gaining their trust, and ultimately guiding them towards making a decision. In lead generation, it’s also important to engage in lead scoring to understand where the leads are in the process and how relevant they are/remain to your business. This is important because otherwise, it can be too broad (and costly) to continue investing in all leads. Lead scoring is used to classify leads and assign priority based on their value to your sales process. This allows you to focus more energy on the group of leads with the most potential for purchase, thereby better managing acquisition costs.

Once again, the benefits of Lead Marketing

Reaching potential customers

Through your website, you can reach potential customers whom you might not otherwise be able to approach. By encouraging them to take action on your website or via social media, you have the opportunity to establish contact with them and gather information about them. This allows you to provide them with tailored information and pique their interest in your company, product, or service.

Higher conversion rate

By implementing lead scoring, you can assign scores to leads when they meet certain criteria. This allows you to easily distinguish which leads are most likely to convert into purchases.

Generating cheap leads

You don’t have to spend much to generate leads. This can be done by setting up a social media campaign, for example. Also, ensure a simple landing page on your website so visitors can easily leave their details.


Quinten Hebbelynck

Quinten Hebbelynck

Co-Founder & CCO | Lead On Performance Marketing
Digital Marketing Consultant building a bridge between digital & data

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