Sales Lead: A Misunderstood Marketing Term

When you ask a company leader how its website is doing, he/she may say, “Great, it’s generating hundreds of leads.”

But is it?

Sales Leads Versus Conversions

There’s an important distinction to be made in online marketing between sales leads and conversions.

  • A conversion is a completed action — a phone call or form submission — that was prompted by an Internet marketing campaign (SEO, PPC, email, etc.).
  • A sales lead is a phone or form conversion that conveys interest in buying one of your products or services.

Not all conversions are sales leads. In fact, our analysis of more than 1 million conversions reveals that about half of all conversions are something other than leads! The “other” category includes spam, vendor solicitations, incomplete forms and customer service inquiries.

Hundreds of Leads or Hundreds of Conversions?

The important distinction between conversions and leads is not always recognized. Google Analytics and phone tracking systems are good at counting conversions, but not so good at making qualitative distinctions among them. This is why we validate leads for our client Internet marketing campaigns. Without identifying the actual sales leads, a company can’t tell precisely how many leads its marketing campaign is generating.

Not sure you’re getting the right return on your Internet marketing investment? Please contact us now — we can help you figure it out.

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