A qualified lead is someone who meets the criteria for your target market. Unfortunately, most web forms don’t qualify leads at all.
You’ve seen the forms that ask for only a first name and email address; those forms capture more leads, but the results come at a price. The majority of your email list isn’t your target market.
The purpose of asking questions on a web form is to qualify your leads as they’re captured. This process is vital when you rely on leads to close a sale. You don’t want to waste your time trying to sell to someone who isn’t ready to buy.
In How to Narrow Your Target Market, Inc.com points out that even major retailers such as Amazon didn’t start out marketing everything to everyone. That future retail giant began selling only books and gradually expanded to a virtual marketplace for everything.
The problem with unqualified leads
A database of unqualified leads might not seem like a big deal. Does it matter that you have 5,000 unqualified leads on your email list?
It’s not like you have to type in their email addresses. They can unsubscribe if they aren’t interested, right? Yes, they can unsubscribe, but your numbers will be skewed, which will send you chasing the wrong solutions.
When your open rates, click-through rates, and conversions are low, you’ll wonder what you’re doing wrong. Reevaluating your lead-capturing process will be the last thing on your mind; you’re more likely to think the answer is to create better subject lines and hire a crack copywriter.
But that primarily works when you’re already reaching your target market.
Qualified leads are your best leverage
Effective lead capture entails filtering people out, not letting everybody in. The more criteria your leads have to meet to get on your list, the easier time you’ll have selling to them.
If you have 10,000 people on your list and only 10% are qualified, you’ll spend 90% of your energy marketing to people who mostly aren’t your target market. Flip that around and put filters in place to capture relevant leads, and selling becomes easier.
Use social media to capture leads
Millennials are changing how businesses operate in just about every market. Property rental is a big example. If you’re in the real estate market and buying, selling, or even renting, millennials are your current target audience, which probably means you have a lead-capturing challenge.
Real estate experts from Green Residential explain the current rental market in this way: “Millennials are your prime target audience. They’re the crowd of young adults, aged 18 to 35, who are still young and working on becoming established. As a whole, they’re more interested in renting than any other group of individuals, which makes them the primary focus when marketing your property.”
As a target, millennials don’t alter the basic principles of marketing, but they throw a wrench in traditional strategies such as direct mail marketing. Data from the Pew Research Center shows millennials spend more time online than any other group: engaging with social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.
So if you want to capture millennials, you’ve got to be active on social media. It’s easy to get your market to “like” your Facebook page, but getting them to engage isn’t so easy.
They’re busy watching videos, sharing music with their friends, and catching up on their newsfeed from the last 24 hours. Their attention is limited.
Rather than try to capture quality interactions with millennials on social media, take advantage of their impulsiveness and get them to sign up for your email list. Then communicate with them through your email marketing strategy instead.
Don’t be afraid to filter people out
An effective web form will capture leads that belong to your target market. Not everyone is in your target market, and that’s okay. You want to filter people out so you don’t waste time.
Ask questions that get people to identify their relationship to your target market as much as possible. With a good email marketing CRM, you can segment leads automatically according to their answers.
Segmenting your leads means separating those who are only curious from those who are ready to buy. With a segmented list, your open and click-through rates won’t be diluted by irrelevant leads.
So ask the right questions on your web forms and start capturing relevant leads today!