Lead generation is a key marketing strategy that every business should have. However, lead generation is not only applicable to a business but to every type of organization that deals with an end goal of gathering leads. Non-profit organizations can also benefit from using lead generation strategies. Leads are generated from various forms of marketing, which can either be paid or non-paid sources.
Lead generation is a procedure that works on attracting, gaining, and converting potential leads into a possible loyal audience or devoted customers. Lead generators can include blog posts, online content, e-books, and freebies. It is a process that every type of institution or organization can benefit from. Non-profit organizations can highly benefit in the right lead generation plan. Before going deeper into how lead generation can help non-profit organizations gain more donors or supporters, it is important to understand the definitions and the systems that define lead generation.
What is a lead?
A lead is any stranger or person that shows interest in a brand’s service or product. The interest shown can be an engagement on social media, a visit on the website, sign up for an email, or sending an inquiry. Leads get more information from the organization by first interacting on their content or their advertisement. Basically, a lead opens up a communication path for the business to nurture them and convert them to the next stage of the funnel.
An example of this open communication is when a person goes on Facebook. The algorithm detected that the person went to a website for a gym membership. Two days later, she opens her Facebook and sees an ad for a gym membership. She likes the post, shares it with her friends, and signs up to get email updates on discounted membership fees. A day later, she receives an email from the gym about their services and their coupons. The email was sent to the person because she opened up the communication path by interacting with the brand.
The same can be applied on a person visiting a food recipe website which she found through search engines. The website has a high ranking due to search engine optimization or SEO. A prompt pops-up asking the visitor to give her email information so she can receive free recipes. The website sends her emails with food recipes as a result.
Lead generation is less intrusive than a person who suddenly received a call from someone he or she does not know. Businesses or organizations can also nurture the lead since they can customize their content to address a lead’s existing predicaments. They no longer have to exert more effort on a blanket marketing approach and contact strangers who might not be interested in any of their products or services.
A lead is only a part of a bigger consumer life-cycle. The cycle transitions from a simple visitor to a paying customer. Every lead is different in their own right. There are different kinds of leads, depending on where they qualify in the marketing funnel and consumer life-cycle status they are in.
What are the two types of leads?
A marketing lead is a type of lead that is brand-specific. It can generate a unique offering from the advertiser. Marketing leads are sold once. It is important to be transparent in gaining marketing leads which is why marketing lead campaigns need to be optimized by mapping where the leads came from.
This type of lead is based on a demography which involves age and income. This type of lead is later sold to other advertisers. Sales leads will later receive phone calls from a brand’s sales team. Sales leads are often seen in industries related to finance and insurance.
What is lead qualification status?
The lead qualification status is a procedure that determines if the prospect will fit the brand’s customer profile and has a higher probability of becoming a customer. Not all leads are created equal. Some leads might already be ready to buy while others are simply interested about the product or service. To properly illustrate the different lead qualification status, there will be a scenario provided. Below are the four types of a lead qualified status:
Marketing Qualified Leads
The marketing qualified leads are people who engaged the marketing team’s approach but are not yet ready to go through the sales procedure. An example of a person in the MQL status is when a person simply filled out a landing page with his email address. Basically, this lead status has people who expressed interest in the product or service by giving up their contact information but have not interacted with the sales team yet.
Sales Qualified Leads
The sales qualified leads are people who have taken certain actions that indicated their interest into converting into a paying customer. A person in the SQL status is someone who fills out the contact information form on a brand’s website inquiring about the product or service.
Product Qualified Leads
A product qualified lead is a person who already tried the product and showed actions indicating that they are interested in becoming a paying consumer. This lead qualification status is often found on businesses that offer a limited version or free trial opportunities. A PQL signs up for a five-day trial and when he or she likes the product can become a paying customer.
Service Qualified Leads
A service qualified lead differentiates itself from the marketing, sales, and product qualified leads as the people in this status directly emphasized that they will be paying customers. A scenario for a service qualified lead involves a person who messages the customer service stating that they want to buy a subscription package and needs information on the payment details. The customer service personnel will send the customer to a representative that discusses the details of the package and its cost.
How can non-profit organizations utilize lead generation strategies in their marketing efforts?
With all the basics of lead generation dealt with, it is time to discuss how non-profit organizations can benefit from it. A non-profit organization is an entity that operates not for profit purposes. It is an organization that is devoted to advocacy of a specific social cause. Nonprofits can use lead generation strategies to gain loyal donors and supporters.
Create Creative Quality Content
Nonprofits can create videos, articles, or any content form where it can convey the story and the advocacy of their organization. If the non-profit is about an animal rescue initiative then they can create videos showing their rescue efforts of the animals and telling the background story of the animal being rescued. If the organization is about helping poor children go to school, the organization can produce a mini documentary telling the story related to one of their benefactors.
Organize Online Events
To get the word out, non-profit organizations can organize online events to get more people interested in the brand. An example of an online event is doing a contest and providing a prize. If the non-profit is about providing a music scholarship to aspiring musicians, the contest can be related to composing a song using their choice of instruments and uploading it on social media while tagging the organization’s social media pages. They can also require signing up to their email subscription. The prize can be a guitar or an electric piano set.
Lead generation is a powerful marketing strategy. When done right, it can help increase revenues for businesses and attract donors for nonprofits. It is essential to understand the market and the leads’ behavior to be able to customize a marketing strategy aligned to meet their needs.