MQL in Marketing, stands for Marketing Qualified Lead, is a lead that shows a higher likelihood of becoming a paying customer in the future. These leads have been vetted in some capacity by the marketing team.
MQL in Marketing
Marketing qualified leads are the leads that have the highest chance of conversion. Learn how to optimize your marketing funnel to generate more MQLs.
When does a visitor on your website turn into a qualified lead?
We all know that not everyone who visits your website will end up buying your product. They could be a student learning about a topic you wrote about on your blog, a candidate applying for a job, or someone who is just browsing.
MQLs are supposed to define the point when a person goes from just learning about your company to establishing clear intent that they are interested in your product or service.
However, the reality is that the criteria for an MQL is nuanced. It can vary based on your company and average sales cycle.
What is the Difference between MQLs and SQLs?
Whereas an MQL is vetted, a sales qualified lead (or SQL for short) demonstrates they are not only interested in becoming a customer but are also a good fit for your product or service.
In B2B sales teams with a high lead volume, this is usually when sales steps in and jumps on 1:1 demo and sales calls.
Related: 9 Tried and Tested Ways a Sales Analysis Can Help You Generate More Revenue
How to Identify an MQL?
According to our survey, over 89% of marketers have clearly defined MQL criteria.
Does Your Team Have Clearly Defined Criteria for MQLs?
Most of these teams will have some form of lead scoring in action. For example, someone who reads 4 blog posts and then comes back to your website 2 days later to view 3 case studies and see your pricing page will be weighted higher than someone who reads one blog post and then leaves your site.
However, the actual criteria for what is an MQL can vary widely between companies.
In fact, the biggest debate is around whether or not to gate content. On the one hand, it is an easier way to measure MQLs.
Joey Campbell of Sundae says, “Marketing Qualified Leads are the best types of leads to ensure that you end with a conversion. One tip to gain MQLs is through gated content. Whether you have a whitepaper or an eBook that will be beneficial to your readers, gate that content with a request for an email address. This creates a great MQL to pass on to your email marketing team.”
On the other hand, just because someone downloads an ebook doesn’t mean they are going to become a customer at any point in the future.
For example, Trinity Nguyen of UserGems says, “This is probably unusual, but we don’t gate our content and therefore only measure demo requests as MQL.
We generate demo requests through a tightly-orchestrated account-based marketing & sales program. Both sales and marketing align on a list of target accounts (based on the Ideal Customer Profile ICP) every quarter, then orchestrate the execution: running targeted ads and offering personalized digital experience (marketing) while simultaneously prospecting and multi-threading those accounts thoroughly (sales).”
Regardless of where you stand on the gated content debate, the average percentage of leads that become marketing qualified is around 35%.
15 Tips for Driving More Marketing Qualified Leads
Here are 15 tips to help you generate more qualified leads:
1) Segment your leads.
2) Define clear MQL criteria.
3) Create different content based on where people are at in the funnel.
4) Nurture your leads.
5) Offer something of value.
6) Create content that solves your ideal customer’s problems.
7) Set up multiple touch points.
8) Tell people what action you want them to take next.