It’s a big moment in the development of a viable business – that time that lead stage generation starts to bear fruit. You’re seeing increased traffic, and it’s paying off in email addresses and new subscribers.

Not all leads are created equal. When it comes to buying your product, it’s a journey that potential customers have to undertake, from knowing nothing about your brand to taking the leap into a purchase. And there are many places in between.

These places are what experienced digital marketers are increasingly referring to lead stages. The lead stages, together, are known as the lead lifecycle. By demarcating these stages you can hyper-target your content to create a tailor-made journey. This journey takes your leads and turns them into customers. Let’s take a look at the lead cycles, and how you can use them to increase sales.

Subscriber

The first lead stage in the lead lifecycle is the subscriber. This is the individual who has (tentatively no doubt) signed up for emails. They’ve crossed the threshold. A classic marketing mistake is to skip the next lead stages and try to hurry the subscriber. This alienates leads, and loses you sales. 

Nurturing a relationship with a subscriber takes care and caution. One or two email offers, and a regular but infrequent newsletter is a great way to keep their attention. The intention for the subscriber is to channel them to the next lead stage, ever closer to making a sale.

Lead

“In terms of the lead lifecycle, it’s better not to think of a subscriber as a lead. At this stage, their interest is too transient to be considered a concrete lead,” says David Enyeart, a lead expert at BoomEssays and State Of Writing. He believes that “once a subscriber shows a little more interest in your product, they move through the lead lifecycle.”

A subscriber can be considered a lead when their level of interest has gone beyond an email address. Perhaps they’ve been tempted by an ebook or other offer on your website and taken an active interest in your content. Sometimes they might just be following your brand.

Marketing Qualified Lead

A marketing qualified lead, or MQL, is a lead that has identified themselves as having a committed interest in your products or services. You can track how leads become marketing qualified by gauging their interest in terms of views. They might have eight visits to your website in one week – or if a product was added to a cart before being discarded.

MQLs are close to the bottom of the sales funnel, and can be targeted with specific marketing materials to bring them closer to a sale. Buying guides and product demos can take them to the next stage.

Sales Qualified Lead

Sales Qualified Leads, or SQLs, are prepped and ready for your sales team to engage with them. In the absence of a clear lead lifecycle, your sales and marketing teams are likely to be in conflict about who’s ready for a sale. Having these teams working efficiently together will maximize your sales overall.

SQLs can be tackled by the sales team with tailored content and a personal touch. At this stage, that might be all it takes.

Opportunity

In business, you should never miss an opportunity. When a prospect becomes ready to buy, they’re at the opportunity stage of the lead lifecycle. Your sales team should be on hand to convert this opportunity into a sale.

At the opportunity stage, customers will know your price points and the ins and outs of your products. They’ll have read customer testimonials. The only thing left to do is give them the final nudge.

Customer!

At last, you have converted your lead into a customer. In the language of the journey, we’re home. Of course, the sales journey doesn’t really end here. “The customer is at a valuable stage in the lead cycle,” points out Marcia J. Sons, a tech writer at OXessays and Essayroo: “nurture and delight your customers and they’ll keep coming back for more.”

The lead lifecycle, and the individual lead stages therein, let you better understand how to turn prospects and leads into paying customers. By curating content to individuals’ locations on the lead lifecycle you can bring them through the marketing funnel. The journey leads back home.

Katherine Rundell is a lead writer at Ukwritings.com and Academic Writing Services . She is a digital marketing strategist and a keen innovator of marketing methods. When time allows, Katherine loves to climb mountains, she recently returned from peak-bagging in Nepal. She is also a proofreader at Paper Fellows. Katherine loves to climb mountains, she recently returned from peak-bagging in Nepal. She is also a proofreader at Paper Fellows.