When it comes to conversion reporting, customer acquisition, and even recruitment funnels, it all comes down to lead generation. Utilizing Digital Strategy there are a lot of ways to generate leads. You can run advertisements on Google Search or Display, Programmatic Display, Youtube Pre-roll, Bing Search, Twitter Ads, Facebook Ads or a thousand other paid options… You can use a manual engagement technique on platforms like LinkedIN or Instagram, or you could simply create content and hope that the reach and engagement drives more leads. SEO can be utilized to drive more organic search traffic through to your website. All of these options work, and in fact, they do work extremely well together.

What’s critical is that you have the ability to acquire leads on your website, and everything in your digital eco-system is sending qualified traffic through to your lead gen technology.

I define two different types of leads, Hard Leads and Soft Leads when it comes to all strategies to acquire people and enter them into a sales funnel.

Hard Leads

Hard leads are very highly qualified leads that come from someone who completely understands the service, products or “results” of engaging with your company in any particular fashion. These leads have been informed through all sorts of digital activations (communications) and are extremely close to converting.  You yourself are a “hard” lead if you go to Amazon, search for a product you’d like to purchase but then “Abandon cart” after adding the product to your cart but deciding not to pay. Amazon then retargets you across the internet putting that product in front of you for several days hoping you will convert and make the purchase. You are a hard lead. They worked hard to get you, you are well informed and the possibility of conversion is high.

Soft Leads

Soft leads is a pure numbers game. You want them to be as informed as possible, but for the most part, when you are working with soft leads you are aiming to get as many quality leads into an intake system as possible so that a sales system can take effect and begin the follow-up process.  Your soft leads may just be asking a question about your service or product, or simply inquiring to find out more information. These leads then get added to your sales system and you start providing as much value and information as possible. Generally the sales cycle for a soft lead is longer than a hard lead, but this can be an extremely well-designed conversion process. These leads typically aren’t completely “cold” and do have an understanding of your company and what you offer. They are just not quite at the decision-making point of the purchasing process.

In my experience, it’s best to execute digital marketing campaigns with a focus on both hard and soft leads. They are both qualified lead generation tactics and can be extremely effective.