What is a Marketing Qualified Lead?
A Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) has shown some form of interest in your business, either by responding to marketing activities or by meeting the company's criteria for which leads are typically more likely to become a customer, rather than other leads.
Often, an MQL is a lead who has consciously engaged with your business by, for example, performing actions such as; volunteering to fill in contact details, downloading your material or repeatedly visiting your website.
It's safe to say that these leads are curious and considering buying something from you, but they haven't quite made the big step yet where they're ready to talk to a sales team. However, they are more likely to be receptive to a sales pitch than other leads. If you're considering your own buying journey, it's probably rare that you'll choose to fill out a contact form unless you're interested in a product or service.
Examples of MQL actions:
- Download a free e-book or guide
- Use of software demos
- Filling in the contact form
- Subscribe to a newsletter or other list
- Added products to a wish list
- Added items to a shopping cart
- Repeatedly visited your website
- Visitors who have spent a lot of time on your website
- Clicked on one of your ad
- Contacted you to request more information
These examples are some of the most common actions, but the list is not exhaustive. The best way to find out if a lead is an MQL is by obtaining other information on the lead. Whether a lead is an MQL can be assessed based on lead scoring, demographics, etc. However, it is a good start to look at the leads that are interesting and delete those that are unlikely to ever make a purchase.
What happens to an MQL?
An MQL, as mentioned earlier, has taken the first steps towards becoming an actual customer and is ready to receive further information from you. From a more general perspective, Marketing Qualified Leads become Sales Qualified Leads (SQL) and then to customers.
A Marketing Qualified Lead is not
An MQL is not just a lead, but also not a guaranteed customer - you should therefore neither overestimate nor underestimate a lead. Marketing Qualified Leads are only those who have indicated a bit of interest or engaged with your business and who may be open to more. If a lead has gone beyond simply showing interest, they can no longer be defined as an MQL but instead become a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL).