What’s an Inbound Lead?

To better understand what an inbound lead is, let’s first look at what inbound lead generation is. 

Inbound lead generation is a powerful marketing strategy involving attracting prospects, called leads, to your brand. It’s the opposite of outbound lead generation, which involves reaching out to customers. 

The most significant difference between inbound lead generation and outbound lead generation is that inbound lead generation is permissive, meaning your prospects initiate the conversation. On the other hand, outbound lead generation is invasive, meaning you have to disrupt a user’s experience to get their attention.

For your inbound lead generation strategy to work, you must create valuable content that moves your ideal customer to interact with your brand. 

So, what is an inbound lead?

An inbound lead is a website visitor that interacts with your marketing assets or web pages and submits their contact information.

Effectively, any lead coming through your pipeline voluntarily is classified as an inbound lead. However, despite coming into your pipeline the same way, not all inbound leads are equal. There are 2 types of inbound leads you should expect to see moving through your buyer journey:

  • Marketing qualified leads (MQLs): These are inbound leads that have expressed interest in your content and your product offer but are not ready to buy.
  • Sales qualified leads (SQLs): SQLs are inbound leads that have passed the curiosity stage and are actively looking for a solution.

Knowing the difference between the 2 will help you get the best results out of your inbound lead generation strategy. As a result, you’ll be better able to convert MQLs into SQLs and SQLs into paying customers.

Why Generating Inbound Leads Should be a Part of Every B2B Growth Strategy

Generating inbound leads should be critical to every B2B growth strategy. Here are a few reasons why:

1. B2B Buyers are Researching Products

Research shows that when considering a purchase, the average B2B buyer typically spends only 17% of their time interacting with potential suppliers. The rest of the time is spent researching.

This makes inbound marketing an essential ingredient of your growth strategy since it mostly relies on creating content fore search.

If your growth strategy doesn’t involve inbound lead generation tactics, then being discovered by B2B researchers will be next to impossible.

2. Cost-effective with High ROI

One of the primary reasons to prioritize inbound marketing in your growth strategy is that it’s cost-effective. This is because most inbound campaigns, like SEO, are some of the most affordable B2B marketing strategies. 

In fact, research has shown that SEO is way cheaper than PPC, especially if you’re playing the long game. 

And because inbound marketing is more cost-effective, it generates a higher ROI.

3. Offers Exceptional Personalization Opportunities

With competition for attention becoming stiffer on search engines, personalization has become a critical component of winning marketing strategies. 

This is where inbound marketing comes to play.

Most inbound marketing strategies are designed with personalization in mind. Because of this, you can easily capture the right prospects at the right time and at the right stage of the customer journey. As a result, your campaigns will convert like gangbusters.

4. Improves Lead Quality & Win Rates

 Because of the powerful personalization, the leads you get from inbound marketing are of a higher quality. In fact, 60% of marketers cite inbound marketing as their top source of high-quality leads.

And by virtue of designing your strategy around your sales cycle (ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu) you can easily weed out prospects that aren’t a perfect fit.

A huge result of driving high-quality leads to your site is high conversion rates and, ultimately, better win rates.  It also results in shorter sales cycles, resulting in faster business growth.

3 Quick Tips For Generating More Inbound Leads

1. Have a Clear Call to Action

While inbound marketing content should not be aggressive or overly pushy, it is still important that each piece of content you create includes a clear call to action (CTA). A good CTA will encourage people to sign up for your email list and/or visit your website. CTAs can be an extremely useful way to get users to engage with your brand without being overly intrusive. Just make sure that you clearly convey the value consumers will receive from joining your email list, as they are unlikely to arbitrarily subscribe to your email list if they do not see a perceived benefit in doing so. 

Inbound lead generation should be a critical component of your company’s marketing strategy in order to maximize your website’s conversion rates and build/maintain your customer base.

2. Get Listed In Industry Specific Business Directories

Another excellent way to generate inbound leads is to get your brand listed in industry-specific SaaS business directories

FYI, SaaS business directories are online registries that list SaaS businesses in an index. The index is organized alphabetically by industry, location, or use case, among other factors. And the best part is that each business’s listing is linked to the company’s website.

The biggest advantages of getting listed on SaaS business directories include:

  • Greater visibility: This is because they are visited by your target audience. They are usually a go-to resource for B2B buyers shopping around for a SaaS solution.
  • Improved rankings: SaaS business directories are an excellent way of building relevant backlinks, resulting in higher domain authority (DA) and better rankings.
  • Social proof: Getting listed on SaaS directories is a great way of gaining visitors’ trust. It’s a powerful form of social proof.
  • Increased brand recognition and awareness: The more your target audience sees your brand on different platforms, the greater they become comfortable with it. This leads to an increase in trust, thereby boosting interaction with your brand. brand recognition. This alos 

All the benefits of listing your brand on SaaS business directories result in one main advantage: inbound leads. Users who discover your brand on these platforms are highly likely to visit your website and convert into paying leads. 

3. Co-Marketing

Co-marketing is another powerful strategy for generating inbound leads. Simply put, co-marketing is a marketing strategy that involves 2 or more businesses working together to promote each other’s services.

For this approach to work, the businesses involved must be complimentary. This means they must target the same audience but must not be in direct competition. Running campaigns with such businesses helps you leverage their audiences, thereby giving you greater reach.

Some simple examples of leveraging co-marketing include: 

  • Working with industry influencers or industry-relevant publications
  • Getting featured on industry-relevant podcasts, webinars, conferences
  • Guest post contributions or participating in roundup posts
  • Getting featured on partner pages

Another powerful way of leveraging co-marketing is creating blog posts based on the jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) framework. You can then include partner brands in these. Alternatively, you can publish “best off” articles that feature your co-marketing partners.

This type of marketing is an excellent method of generating inbound leads as most of the leads that come through this channel will be quality leads.

Jake is the Growth Manager at RevenueZen. He works with a number of entrepreneurial clients to help them tell their personal stories as it relates to their professional brands. He has three cats, loves bread, and is a pop singer under the name Jame Doe.