4 easy lead qualification strategies for better clicks and conversions

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The accumulation of conversion metrics on your channels might seem interesting. Having a click-through rate is a goal that most paid media advertisers work towards. But if the majority of those users aren’t quality, then we’re looking at vanity metrics.

I like to tell a lot of my clients that I’d rather have fewer leads that are likely to convert than waste a bunch of ad spend on users who don’t match their goals.

I could not resist.

And that’s where the lead qualification comes in. In this article, I’ll cover:

  • What is lead qualification and why it matters.
  • How to identify your lead qualification parameters.
  • Four lead qualification strategies that I use with my clients.

Read on to find out how to get leads who will convert into customers and customers who will stay with you longer.

What is lead qualification?

Lead Qualifications to ensure that the leads you attract through your ads and other marketing assets are the ones that are most likely to drive your business goals. Qualified traffic to your website is more likely to act there, and qualified leads are more likely to become customers. Qualifying leads is essential for an effective lead generation process.

MQL vs SQL

In the B2B world, you might have heard of Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) and Sales Qualified Leads (SQL). MQLs are those who have shown interest in your product or service, but are probably not ready to buy yet, which makes them qualified for, finally, more marketing, that is, nurturing campaigns to get them. go down the funnel where they can move from prospects to customers.

SQLs are those who have shown interest in your product or service and are very likely to buy.

lead qualification illustration

Some leads come in as SQL, while others start as MQL, and with effective lead management and nurturing, become SQL.

Why is lead qualification important?

Obviously you want qualified leads from your marketing efforts, you want to get more customers. But there is also a financial side. If you run paid ads and have a high click-through rate, that means you have a compelling offer and / or great copywriting. But is it attractive to your most likely customers?

If you’re getting tons of clicks you might be paying less per click, but if you’re not getting conversions what’s the point? You’re not really saving money, you’re wasting spending on unqualified traffic.

Speaking of unnecessary spending, find out where yours stand with our free Google Ads performance review tool!

So while click-through rate and cost-per-click are important, your conversion rates are at the heart of your ROI, and at the heart of conversions is qualifying prospects.

How to identify your lead qualification parameters

Knowing your ideal customers and target audience is essential to knowing what lead qualification looks like for your business. There are also a number of lead qualification formulas that could apply to your business, but the most basic is BANT:

BANT formula lead qualification

Image source

  • Budget: Can the prospect afford your products / services
  • Authority: Are they the ultimate decision maker for the purchase?
  • Need: What need are they looking to alleviate? Does it align with those of your long-time clients?
  • Emergency: How much do they need this need to be met?

The copy of your landing page and the information you request in your forms will help qualify your leads, but that doesn’t solve the problem of paying for unqualified clicks in the first place. In this next section, we’ll cover four ways to qualify your clicks.

Lead qualification strategies

These strategies allow you to improve the quality of your PPC leads before the user even hits your landing page.

1. Be specific in your advertising copy

The easiest way to tell people that they are not the customer you are looking for is to tell them directly. It makes perfect sense to use certain terms in your ads and prevent unqualified users from clicking on your ad. I know in the PPC world it’s hard to see a lower click-through rate. But click-through rates mean nothing if those prospects never turn into customers.

For example, I had a client who had a CRM product for startups and small businesses. While of course they targeted keywords like “small business crm”, they also targeted a lot of generic CRM keywords that don’t mention “small business”. In these ad groups, we’ve made sure to pre-qualify our prospects with ad copy that only targets small business owners.

lead qualification strategy: google ad title prequalification

With qualifying ad copy, you may be able to target broader keywords without wasting too much spending on unqualified clicks.

We informed the researchers that if they were working for a company with more than 50 people, our CRM was not suitable for them. Yes, our CTR in these ad groups has decreased. But our lead quality has increased. And since our CTR has gone down, so have our costs. With lower costs and a higher conversion rate, our Cost / Conv. the numbers have dropped significantly. This is the most important measure for us. And when the quality improves with a lower cost / conv, the lower CTR didn’t hurt us at all.

And if you were confused by all this metrics talk, check out our Ultimate Guide to PPC Metrics and it will all make sense!

2. Use price extensions

The same mindset can be applied to your paid search ad extensions. If you have a more expensive product, you probably only want to reach those users who have the cash. Indicate the price or status of your product in your ad extensions.

lead qualification strategy: price extensions

Good ‘ole shock sticker. If a user sees higher prices and has no money, they likely won’t click on the ad. I’m now saving my ad budget for the right user later. It doesn’t all have to be price, either. Maybe you are adjusting your valuable posts to suit the right user. Make it all fit for the perfect audience you want to reach; not everyone who may be interested in your product.

3. Optimize lead forms for quality, not volume

Google and Facebook both have form type settings for their lead forms. This gives advertisers the ability to optimize for either more leads or more qualified tracks. Of course, the default channel selection will be for more volume. They will encourage you to get more leads which will make your PPC reports look great. But if you’ve tested lead forms in both of these channels and received unwanted leads, consider changing your optimization settings to focus on higher quality.

Here’s the Google Ads lead form extension option:

prospect qualification strategy: optimization of ad forms for google prospects

And here’s the Facebook lead ads form type option:

lead qualification strategy: optimization of ad forms for facebook leads

You can see that Google is trying to scare us a little. He warns that you can get fewer leads for a higher cost per lead (which is true). But I’m always willing to pay more for more qualified leads that are easier to close for my clients’ sales teams. Feel free to create two different forms, one focused on volume and the other on quality, to see which ones actually drive a more qualified user.

4. Add more questions to your lead forms

Numerous forms for prospects on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Quora, etc. start by asking users for the bare minimum like name and phone number. In most cases, the fields are populated automatically based on the user’s profile information. This can make the form easy to fill out and submit, but because it’s so easy, you might not be pre-qualified users.

The good news is that most channels that offer lead forms allow advertisers to ask more questions or customize the questions. Here are some examples:

Custom questions from the LinkedIn lead form

You can create custom questions in your LinkedIn advertising lead forms to ask users for more information. This will make them work a bit harder, but if they’re willing to spend a bit more time giving you more information, they might be more interested in your product. Plus, you can ask questions that scare off unqualified users and that’s good too.

lead qualification strategy: personalized questions about linkedin leads announcements

Personalized questions about Facebook lead ads

Just like LinkedIn, you can create custom questions for Facebook lead ad forms. You can ask the user to enter a response, choose from a list of options, or even create a conditional response set based on an uploaded CSV file.

prospect qualification strategy: personalized questions about advertisements for facebook prospects

Additional questions about the main Google ad

Google also has additional questions, but you can’t customize them. Instead, you have a list of question options broken down by specific industry or category. You can add multiple qualifying questions to your lead forms to get more information from your users. Many of these are multiple choice, so if a user doesn’t see the option that describes them in their questions, they likely won’t complete the form.

lead qualification strategy: personalized questions about google lead ads

Make the most of your budget with lead qualification

Internal data from your CRM will always help you make better optimization decisions to focus on the right user. But whether or not you have CRM information, you can still go to an effort with your ad copy and lead form settings to try and qualify the user before they even visit your website. You can see less traffic and fewer conversions. But if you qualify the right users, you will hopefully get better close rates and less churn. To recap, here are the strategies:

  1. Use pre-qualified advertising copy.
  2. Add price extensions to your listings on the Search Network.
  3. Optimize lead forms for quality, not volume.
  4. Add additional or personalized questions to your lead forms.


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