News and views to improve the strength and vigor of all your direct response marketing activity.

Q: Is there such a thing as a “hard” or “soft” lead in a digital campaign? And if so what’s the difference? – Looking for Leads

A: Yes there is! At DMW, we feel both lead types have value. While we make a point of tracking both “hard” and “soft” leads, it’s important to keep the differences front of mind:

“It’s like visualizing an ice cream parlor where there are many flavor varieties, toppings, and options in a busy shopping center.” The “hard” leads in this scenario are people that have pretty much decided that they are going to eat ice cream — and are raising their hand for a sample. In direct response, these hard leads are raising their hands and requesting information or literature or asking for an appointment to be set up. They’re close to our end goal of ringing up a sale.

The “soft” leads are people looking for some kind of snack — and have stopped by. They’re just not entirely sure they want ice cream yet. They are still weighing their options — maybe a pretzel? Maybe a muffin? Or a “water ice” treat?

In the direct response world, these browsers are more “top of funnel” — exploring their options. Still, if they’re not ready to fully commit, perhaps we can get them to sign up for an email stream or download a checklist. We measure soft leads because they are a good indicator of how engaged individuals are with our brand — and with any luck, they’ll come back for a sample soon.

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