Getting a poor quality lead is kind of like unwrapping a jumper that’s three sizes too large on Christmas day. On the one hand, you don’t feel like you should complain. It was a gift, after all, and the family member that gave it is looking at you expectantly. On the other hand, you can’t really do anything with the jumper.
Your marketing leads need to be right for your business. You’ve got too much going on to entertain leads who won’t become customers.
So what do you do when your newest batch of leads all turn into dead ends?
What Makes A Lead Poor Quality?
There can be a variety of factors that will make a lead less than ideal for followup.
They might have converted to a lead on one of your offers, but once you made contact, it became clear that the solution they need is not what you offer. Perhaps their budget is too much of a restriction, or they aren’t the person to make the final decision on a purchase. Perhaps they’re taking too long to reach a final decision, or they’re asking too many of the wrong questions. They may not even be interested in following through to a purchase.
These qualities aren’t going to make aforementioned lead objectively bad, the same way that the absence of said qualities won’t make them objectively good. But if they’re very clearly going to be more trouble than they’re worth, you want to be able to identify them, and how they’re finding you.
Why Are Poor Quality Leads Finding You?
The reasons for poor quality leads finding your business are varied, but essentially boil down to one of two reasons.
You haven’t defined what an ideal lead (and subsequently ideal customer) looks like
If you’re just starting out with defining your ideal customer, you may find that some details will be fuzzier than others. Perhaps you haven’t defined what an ideal customer looks like yet (in which case, I’d thoroughly recommend checking out our free Buyer Persona template.) If you haven’t got a fully-formed idea of what your ideal buyer should look like, you’re probably defining them by what they’re not.
Reaching an end decision on a designed thing by process of elimination is tedious, frustrating, and a huge time sink. Save yourself the hassle by defining what your ideal lead should look like, and then invest your time and energy into the leads you gather who meet that definition.
The content you’re producing isn’t aimed at your ideal customers
This is where you need to care about the difference between your conversion rate and your traffic. It may be that you’re writing content that’s gathering loads of traffic, but if it’s not converting the right kinds of leads, then it’s just noise.
Don’t get me wrong - content that gains traffic is great. But you need to be bringing in the right kind of traffic if you want to also be bringing in the right kind of business. Check whether your content is actively answering the questions of your ideal customers, and if it’s providing tangible value to them. The research that you conducted to develop your buyer personas will help here - seek to understand the real questions of your real buyers, and then write content to them. Don’t just write what’s popular. Write what’s real, and useful. Write what will draw in your ideal leads and engage them.
You Still Need A Way To Qualify Your Leads
After you’ve checked the source of your content - your chief method of drawing in leads - you want to check your lead qualification method. Even when you’re producing high calibre, targeted content, you’ll still end up with leads who will never become customers.
To help refine your lead nurturing, consider defining a set of criteria that an ideal lead is going to meet and connect it to some marketing automation software, like HubSpot. If you convert a large number of leads each month, a little automation is going to do wonders for your lead nurturing program. When the lead exhibits behaviour that qualifies them as an good fit, your workflow will be able to progress them closer to a purchase.
The Wrap Up
Identifying good and poor quality leads comes back to the buyer persona, and checking whether the content you’re publishing is actively targeting the questions of your ideal buyers.
For best results, make sure you have a concrete idea of what your buyer looks like, and how they behave. Measure your incoming leads by this researched idea and focus your energy on those who best meet the criteria.
It’s also worth noting that while you might not end up selling to a poor-fit lead, it can be in your best interest to help them connect with someone who is more able to provide a solution. A large portion of success for online marketing is owed to customer reviews, so don’t discard leads if you can help it. Being able to help a lead, regardless of their fit, will build your rapport with them and the people they know, and could bring in more business for you later down the track.