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How to Improve Lead Quality: 27 Actionable Tips

For business leaders seeking proven ways to improve lead generation results.
How to Improve Lead Quality


If your lead generation efforts produce a good number of leads, but the leads aren’t right for your business, it’s time to shift focus from quantity to quality. 

Don’t get me wrong. Quantity, in most cases, is still a good thing. No matter how many leads you generate, though, you haven’t accomplished anything if the leads aren’t worth your time. 

In fact, poor-quality leads can harm your business in multiple ways. For example, bad leads can … 

  • Waste time and distract your sales team from better opportunities.
  • Create misalignment and frustration between marketing and sales teams.
  • Use up valuable digital advertising budgets on the wrong clicks and traffic.
  • Pull marketing strategies off-course through misinterpreted results.
  • Clutter your CRM platform with irrelevant contacts and data.

High-quality leads, on the other hand, reduce acquisition costs while improving close rates, customer lifetime value, and, of course, ROI. 

In other words, lead quality is critical to marketing, sales, and business success.

Fortunately, if you’re wondering how to improve lead quality for your business, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll highlight specific, actionable ways to improve the quality of your leads.


Poor lead quality is the #1 complaint from sales teams who receive inbound leads from marketing.
- The State of Lead Conversion in Marketing and Sales, Ascend2, August 2020

Defining a “Quality Lead”

The first step in improving lead quality is to define what constitutes a “quality lead” for your business. 

Every business uses different criteria to determine the quality of a potential lead. For sales leads, in particular, many companies use variations of the classic BANT Framework:

  • Budget: Does the lead have an available budget to purchase your product or service?
  • Authority: Does the lead have authority over the purchase decision? 
  • Need: Does the lead have a clear need for your product or service?
  • Timeframe: Is the lead looking to make a purchase now or in the near future?

Others use sophisticated sales lead scoring systems that combine BANT considerations with ideal customer profile (ICP) models, behavioral indicators, cost-benefit analysis, and other data. 

Make sure your marketing and sales teams are in complete alignment about your lead quality criteria.

Remember, though. Not every lead is a sales lead. An individual who visits your website, fills out a form, and downloads your latest white paper is a lead, but for a variety of reasons, they may not be ready to begin a sales process. 

These types of leads should be evaluated based on their potential to become high-quality sales leads. Different organizations use different systems and labels, but, often, contacts with the potential to turn into sales leads are categorized as marketing-qualified leads (MQLs). Once an MQL is ready to engage in a sales discussion, the lead is passed to the sales team and becomes a sales-qualified lead (SQL). As specific deal parameters take shape, these SQLs turn into sales opportunities and then, if all goes well, paying customers. 

Ultimately, you’ll need to create marketing and sales lead quality models that suit the nature of your business. These models should be based on historical data. They should also be analyzed and refined over time to ensure good opportunities aren’t missed or ignored.

Throughout everything, make sure your marketing and sales teams are in complete alignment about your lead quality criteria and store lead data in a shared platform (e.g., Hubspot, Salesforce, etc.). Without this shared version of the truth, inconsistencies will pop up, and your system will break down.

5 Additional Lead Qualification Frameworks

Not sure if the BANT Framework is right for your business? Explore these five alternative frameworks, which each take a slightly different approach to analyzing leads.


The CHAMP Framework focuses first on identifying a prospect’s challenges to show how a product or service can help the prospect overcome their issues.


Hubspot’s GPCTBA/C&I Framework was built to align with a modern inbound process in which prospects begin the sales process with a familiarity of a company’s products or services.


With the MEDDIC Framework, sales teams work to quantify the value of their solution to connect a purchase decision to a prospect’s desired business outcomes.


In the ANUM Framework, sales teams focus first on identifying the person with the primary authority to make a purchase decision in order to prioritize their efforts. 


The FAINT Framework prioritizes the financial capacity of the lead in order to avoid potential budget roadblocks for expensive or unplanned purchases.

Taking Action to Improve Lead Quality

Once you’ve defined what a “quality lead” is for your business, you can start honing your lead gen efforts to attract more of those types of contacts. Depending on your business’s situation, this work can potentially include updates to your brand and your entire marketing ecosystem. 

Don’t let that intimidate you, though. Every action outlined in this guide will help to improve your lead generation performance. 

So, let’s get started!

Tips: Brand Foundation

1. Update Your Buyer Personas

To attract higher-quality leads, you need to understand the personas behind those contacts. If your marketing isn’t connecting with the right people, your buyer personas may be leading you astray. 

Consider these questions:

  • Who are your ideal buyers? 
  • What challenges do they face? 
  • What motivates them to take action? 
  • What role do they play in the buying process? 

Use this information to build new personas or update existing ones. If your business relies on a complex B2B sales process, make sure you also clarify how each persona fits into their buying committee.

Be careful about making assumptions in this process, though. Some businesses can update personas based on their collective knowledge. For others, it may be necessary to conduct research to fill in the gaps.

Personas should guide your strategy and content, so make sure they provide a solid foundation for your lead generation program.

2. Clarify Your Brand Positioning

How is your brand perceived by target audiences? Do they understand who your products or services are for, what their benefits are, and how they’re different from competitive offerings?

If you’re struggling to attract the right leads, it’s possible you have a brand disconnect. Your ideal buyers may not perceive your brand the way you intend. In fact, they may not realize your brand is right for them at all. 

In these situations, research can help identify the ways perceptions differ from intentions. Conduct stakeholder interviews and ask how others view your brand’s positioning. 

The insights may be humbling in some cases, but they will reveal specific aspects of your positioning that you’ll need to clarify. Once you do, your brand will resonate with your targeted buyers, and your lead quality will improve.

More From the Olive Experts

“The difference between low- and high-quality leads is understanding. Companies must be absolutely clear about who they serve, what they offer, and why they are unique. In other words, they need a well-strategized brand position. Being broad won’t attract more business. It only creates more work vetting leads.”

Dave Hruby
Dave Hruby
Brand Strategy and Senior Copywriter
Olive & Company

3. Apply Your Brand Consistently

In the modern digital world, a potential buyer rarely views a single ad, follows it to a landing page, and immediately becomes a high-quality sales lead. 

Each interaction provides an opportunity to either reinforce or undermine your brand and messaging.

That may sometimes happen for companies with short, easy sales cycles. For more complex sales or expensive purchases, however, buyers conduct significant research before contacting a company. In fact, studies have shown that B2B buyers are usually two-thirds of the way through their decision-making process before initiating contact. 

More research means more brand touchpoints. Potential buyers read blog articles and emails, sift through reviews, browse social media posts, click retargeting ads, etc. 

Each interaction provides an opportunity to either reinforce or undermine your brand and messaging. If you want to convert these researchers into high-quality leads, make sure you provide a consistent, elevated experience wherever they go.

Not sure where your brand may have gaps or inconsistencies that trip up your ideal leads? Audit your brand’s touchpoints to ensure they communicate the right message to the right people.

Tips: Marketing Strategy

4. Implement a Full-Journey Strategy

Does your marketing strategy connect with prospects throughout their journey? If not, you’re probably losing some of your best-quality leads without realizing it.

After all, there’s a reason they call it a buyer’s journey. It takes time. It includes multiple stages. Sometimes, things stall out or change direction. The buyers, themselves, have different motivations at various points along the way.

Your marketing needs to account for all of these things as potential buyers move from awareness to consideration to decision. 

That means you need to understand what your prospects are thinking and doing as they move between stages. 

  • What are their questions and concerns at each stage? 
  • What information do they need?
  • What might trip them up? 
  • What will drive them to take action?

Once you know the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to assemble a strategy that connects—and stays connected—in different ways at different times.

This full-journey approach will connect with committed, high-value prospects actively researching options. Just as importantly, it will help educate and nurture prospects, turning them into higher-quality leads. 

Buyer's Journey Funnel
The Truth About the Buyer’s Journey

Whether you choose to visualize the buyer’s journey as a funnel, a left-to-right sequence, or something else, remember that an actual journey is rarely linear. Prospects stop and restart their journey. They get sidetracked. They move backward. Your strategy must be flexible enough to maintain a connection with prospects in the real world.

5. Ask for Referrals, Testimonials, and Reviews

Leads referred by other customers typically have higher conversion rates, shorter sales cycles, and increased loyalty. In other words, they’re valuable.

This shouldn’t be a surprise. When a customer refers someone to your business, they’re making an endorsement. These endorsements convey trust and credibility that help build connections and ease sales processes. 

Leads referred by other customers typically have higher conversion rates, shorter sales cycles, and increased loyalty.

Even though they lack the one-to-one connections inherent to referrals, customer reviews and testimonials also offer significant value in a lead generation process. When prospects see you’ve done successful work for another similar business, they’re more likely to convert into high-quality leads. 

If you’re looking to capitalize on these word-of-mouth connections, don’t be afraid to ask. 

While most B2C companies actively seek out customer referrals and reviews, B2B companies are sometimes more reluctant. This reluctance is understandable, given the complex nature of business relationships, but that doesn’t mean these opportunities should be ignored.

Think of your referral and review strategies as an extension of your marketing or customer experience programs. Approach each request thoughtfully. Consider the timing, make it personal and professional, keep it simple, and don’t forget to follow up with thank you messages. 

However you go about it, the sooner you start requesting referrals, testimonials, and reviews, the sooner you’ll be rewarded with more high-quality leads.

6. Embrace Continuous Improvement

As you work to hone the various elements of your marketing strategy, remember that it’s an ongoing effort. No matter how accurate your buyer personas, how well-crafted your website, or how focused your digital marketing efforts may be, there’s always room for improvement. 

Digital marketing provides teams with incredible amounts of data. While this data can sometimes be overwhelming, it also has the power to fuel continuous improvement efforts across the entire digital ecosystem

Even if your lead gen program is already performing at a high level, conversion rates, sales cycle length, average deal size, and customer lifetime value can all be improved. 

By analyzing performance and optimizing budgets, channel utilization, messaging, and more through iterative adjustments, marketing teams can steadily elevate the quality of leads being handed over to their sales team partners.

This kind of work requires discipline and commitment. The companies that embrace continuous improvement practices, though, reap the rewards of nimble execution, informed budget allocation, and steadily increasing ROI.

Tips: Website Strategy

7. Fix Your Landing Pages

Your website’s landing pages serve as focal points for lead-generation efforts. If they’re not properly optimized, though, they’ll fail to connect with the right audiences, and your traffic won’t convert into quality leads.

To improve landing page performance, start with the following:

  • Be sure your headlines and content are clear, compelling, and aligned with related ad copy. 
  • Highlight the benefits your ideal potential customers will find compelling. 
  • Address potential buyer fears in page content.
  • Focus on a single, strong call to action. 
  • Make your lead form prominent. 
  • Feature testimonials or other forms of social proof.

If your landing pages convert the wrong visitors into leads, look hard at your page content. Does your content make it clear who your target audience really is? Does it speak to their unique challenges and needs? 

If too many of the wrong people are filling out your lead forms, there’s something off with the story being told on your landing pages. Fix your story, and your lead quality will improve.

8. Use Forms to Qualify Leads

When properly structured, forms provide valuable data signals about lead quality. By asking for more contact and company details—through updates, additional fields, or progressive profiling—sales teams can quickly zero in on the best opportunities. 

When properly structured, forms provide valuable data signals about lead quality.

While these optimizations may not result in an actual increase in high-quality lead form submissions, they will help you identify good opportunities that may otherwise be overlooked or ignored. In other words, you’ll uncover more quality within your existing pool of leads.

If you’re a B2B business, in particular, require that users provide a valid business email address when they submit a form (unless you’re targeting individuals who, for whatever reason, may not have a connection to an established business entity). This single update will provide critical lead intelligence while cutting down on unqualified, unserious leads.

Your site’s form experience can also be modified in other ways to filter out unwanted leads. Using multi-step forms, double opt-ins, or even just form field options that require some level of self-qualification will help thin out the number of low-quality leads. 

Finally, if you’re struggling with spam leads, implement reCAPTCHA, email validation plug-ins like ClearOut.io, and other spam-blocking plug-ins like Zero Spam to reduce bot form submissions.

9. Be Specific With Your CTAs

Lead generation websites use calls to action (CTAs) to prompt users to the next step in their journey. They might invite users to subscribe to a newsletter, download a resource, request a demo, contact a sales representative, or a million other things. 

Whatever the specific action may be, CTAs provide a valuable opportunity to communicate with potential leads. 

Through these communications, businesses can clarify their offers to make sure the right people take the right action. CTAs can also set expectations or provide additional context to filter out users who aren’t a good fit. 

If your website generates many low-quality leads, review your site CTAs. Think about how different users might perceive your CTA messages. 

  • Are they clear and descriptive enough? 
  • Do they speak directly to your target audiences?
  • Are they too broad? 

Website CTAs provide a perfect opportunity for A/B testing, so experiment with variations until they resonate with the right people.

More From the Olive Experts

“Deciding what CTAs to use on your website can go wrong quickly. The moment you start thinking about your business objectives over your users’ goals, you’ve lost. Start by understanding what your ideal prospects are trying to accomplish, then craft CTAs to help them achieve those goals.”

Tessa Gedatus
Director of User Experience and Strategy
Olive & Company

Tips: Digital Advertising

10. Narrow Your Targeting 

If your digital ad campaigns drive low-quality leads, your targeting may be too broad or simply off the mark. 

To improve the quality of campaign leads, dial in your targeting for every variable (e.g., keywords, geographic locations, demographics, job titles, accounts, buying stage, etc.). This is an area where your buyer persona work will be helpful.

For paid search campaigns, in particular, identify and remove the keywords that drive poor-quality clicks and leads. 

On some ad platforms, you can also use lookalike audiences to zero in on individuals who match your ideal client profile. Different platforms will have different source list requirements, but with enough data, lookalike audiences can be a powerful lead-quality booster.

In some cases, these targeting adjustments may increase your cost per click (CPC) and reduce your overall inbound traffic. Remember, though, your goal is to generate high-quality leads. If clicks and visits aren’t resulting in the right leads, they’re wasting your time and budget.

11. Clarify Ad Copy

Although it won’t prevent all low-quality leads from getting through, reworking ad copy to include more information about your offering and your ideal customers can help some users self-qualify. This means fewer wasted clicks and bad leads. 

This is especially true for paid search campaigns where you have multiple ad extensions to work with, including specific call-outs, site links, locations, and even promotions. Each extension can add more context for your users, so those who click should be better informed and a better fit. 

Obviously, you’ll still want your ads to be compelling, though. Test variations of your ad copy to see which generates the right balance of click-through rate and quality leads. 

Also, remember this isn’t about preventing people from clicking your ads. This is about focusing your ad messaging so only the right people will want to click your ads. 

Finally, ensure the message you share in your ads continues on your landing pages. If your ads are working hard to connect with the right people, don’t let your landing pages get in the way of quality conversions.

12. Retarget Valuable Prospects

The best prospects aren’t always ready to buy when they visit your website. Sometimes, they just click a link they find on social media. Or, maybe they found your blog article through a Google search. 

Whatever the case may be, you can’t expect every first-time website visitor to be sales-lead-ready. In reality, very few will be at that point in their journey. Even fewer will be high-quality-sales-lead-ready.

The best prospects aren’t always ready to buy when they visit your website.

Yes, you can always hope they’ll subscribe to your blog or download a white paper. Even if you don’t have their email address, though, you can still stay connected by using retargeting ads (sometimes referred to as remarketing ads). 

Retargeting enables you to serve ads to individuals once they’ve visited your website. Even better, you can tailor these campaigns to a user’s past engagement, actions, and, in some cases, buyer journey stage. 

Ultimately, these ads—which can be run through Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, and many other ad platforms—give marketers the power to nurture website visitors over time. As they become more aware of your brand and more educated about your products or services, they become more valuable when they’re finally ready to begin a sales process.

Tips: Content Marketing

13. Create Hyper-Targeted Content

It’s no secret that good content is crucial for lead generation success. It attracts traffic and provides useful insights at every stage of the buyer’s journey. If your content doesn’t speak to your buyer personas, though, you shouldn’t expect it to produce relevant, high-quality leads. 

What challenges do your personas face? Which tasks are they trying to complete? What questions come up during the sales process? 

For every article, webinar, video, or other piece of content you create, think about how your ideal buyers will react: 

  • Will they care? 
  • Will it answer their unique questions? 
  • Will it help them do their job? 
  • Will it motivate and inspire them to take action? 

If you answer “No” to any of these questions, rethink your strategy. 

You should also rethink your strategy if you’re focusing too much on potential search volume as a key metric. Yes, you can generate traffic with high-volume keywords, but is it the right traffic? Is the traffic converting? Are the conversions high-quality leads?

The more you push yourself to evaluate your content through a buyer persona filter, the more your content will produce the right leads.

14. Provide Relevant Proof

Prospective buyers want to see themselves represented in your content. They want to know that you’ve provided the products or services they need to someone with similar needs. Whatever their goals may be, they want proof that you’ve helped someone achieve that vision.

If your website lacks success stories or includes outdated case studies that don’t represent your ideal customer relationship, you’re undermining your ability to attract the right leads. 

Go back, again, to your buyer personas:

  • What are your ideal buyers trying to accomplish? 
  • What challenges are they looking to overcome? 
  • What outcomes matter to them? 

Pull together case studies, success stories, and testimonials that speak to those specific questions. Highlight them on your website and landing pages. And, if, for some reason, you’re unable to identify customers by name, find a way to anonymize the story. 

Believe it or not, most B2B buyers understand the political dynamics of mentioning clients on websites, and they won’t hold it against you if you need to remove identifiable company information. It may not be perfect, but it’s better than nothing.

If you want better leads, tell the stories that reflect your ideal customer’s situation and goals. 

15. Distribute Through Paid Social

Generative AI platforms like ChatGPT make it easy to create content. Creating good content, though, is still hard (at least for now). Unfortunately, the amount of effort required to develop content often contributes to a lack of energy put into distribution. 

Few platforms provide the precise B2B targeting found in LinkedIn, and that precision can be a powerful tool to connect your content to quality leads.

If you’re looking for higher-quality leads, though, don’t fall into this trap. 

Organic traffic is still valuable, but it’s also unpredictable. Rankings fluctuate on a continual basis, and if your rankings drop, so will your traffic. 

By using paid social and other distribution channels, though, marketers can ensure that their content still gets in front of the right people. 

LinkedIn, in particular, provides B2B marketers with powerful targeting options. Want to get your latest blog post in front of potential buyers in your specific market? Allocate budget to boost the post on LinkedIn and select the location, industry, job functions, titles, and more for your prospective buyers. 

To make sure your content only reaches the right people, you can also exclude audiences using the same criteria.

Before anyone objects based on the idea that LinkedIn clicks are too expensive, remember what we’re after: quality leads. Few platforms provide the precise B2B targeting found in LinkedIn, and that precision can be a powerful tool to connect your content to quality leads.

Tips: Social Media Marketing

16. Focus, Focus, Focus

As with content marketing, social media marketing requires focus if you want to use it to generate quality leads.

We understand there’s always a temptation to chase the newest thing or to try to be everywhere, all at once, on social. We get excited about the latest trends, as well. Unfortunately, few marketing teams have the bandwidth to chase every new social media opportunity. Especially when new apps seem to pop up on a weekly basis.

So, ask yourself: 

  • What are we trying to accomplish on social media?
  • Who are our targeted audiences on social media? 
  • What matters to them? 
  • Which channels do they prefer? 
  • What content do they like to consume? 

Use the answers to these questions to focus your social media strategy and streamline your efforts. 

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t test new channels or forms of content. It just means you should spend your time on the things that will resonate with the right audiences. 

The more you know about your ideal leads and tailor your social strategy to their behaviors, the more lead generation value you’ll get from your social channels.

More From the Olive Experts

“By tailoring your social strategy to the unique needs of your target audience, you’ll connect with people who are genuinely interested in what your business has to offer. Because of the social nature of their connection to your brand, these individuals are more likely to turn into customers and brand advocates. A focused social strategy will also help streamline your sales process by educating prospects and providing useful insights back to your sales team.”

Whitney Nelsen
Whitney Nelsen
Digital Marketing Strategist
Olive & Company

17. Promote Your Social Accounts

According to SocialInsider.io, the average reach rate for organic (i.e., non-paid) social media posts on Instagram in 2022 was 9.34%. On Facebook, it was only 4.32%. The average reach rate for LinkedIn posts in November of 2023, according to SocialStatus.io, was just 2.39%. 

So, when a brand published a post on LinkedIn, only 2.39% of that brand’s followers saw the content. Even fewer engaged with it.

That’s already a small number, but it gets even smaller when you consider what percentage of your current brand followers are high-quality sales prospects.

Social media marketing can be used to attract and nurture quality leads. But, to connect with more of those leads, you need to increase your available audience.

There are many ways to boost your audience size, but the most direct is through targeted follower campaigns. To be clear, this is not the same thing as “buying followers.” Like other paid social advertising campaigns, follower campaigns provide precise targeting options that enable marketers to promote their accounts to individuals who fit their high-quality lead profile. 

As your audience grows with more individuals that match your ideal customer profile, you’ll be able to improve the quality of leads originating from your social channels.

18. Engage With Prospective Leads

Social media is a good way to share your content and thinking, but it’s called social media for a reason. It’s meant to foster interaction.

If you know who your prospective, high-quality leads are, and you know what social channels they prefer, don’t be afraid to engage with them. Share their content. Participate in their groups. Respond to their comments and questions. In general, just seek out opportunities to be a helpful, trusted resource (without getting annoying).

If you know who your prospective, high-quality leads are, and you know what social channels they prefer, don’t be afraid to engage with them.

In some ways, these social media activities share similarities to things like ad retargeting and email nurture campaigns. They introduce your brand and help it stay top of mind for prospects who may not be ready for a sales process. They also shape perceptions about you and your business along the way. 

These interactions also help you develop a stronger sense of your prospective customer’s needs and challenges, which helps focus future sales efforts. 

Ultimately, this work is about building relationships. Not all of these relationships will turn into leads. The leads that do emerge from these efforts, however, will be of a much higher quality because of the foundation your social engagement built.

Not convinced? One of our longest-tenured clients originated from a few small social media interactions several years ago. Eventually, when that client had a specific marketing need for which they needed help, they thought of us. One project led to a partnership that continues to grow today.

Tips: Email Marketing

19. Clean Up Your Lists

This one’s pretty simple. If you’re unhappy with the quality of leads coming from your email marketing campaigns, take a look at your lists. 

If the individuals included in your email lists don’t represent your ideal prospects, you shouldn’t be surprised by a lack of higher-quality leads.

To start, you should clean your lists by removing inactive subscribers, invalid addresses, and duplicate contacts. These basic list hygiene tasks will help improve deliverability and engagement while reducing spam complaints and send costs. 

If you really want to increase lead quality, in particular, though, review your contacts and remove those that don’t fit your definition of a potential quality lead. Then, segment the remaining contacts based on their behaviors, demographics, roles, industries, and any other criteria relevant to your business. 

According to Constant Contact, segmented campaigns drive 30% more email opens and 50% more click-throughs than non-segmented campaigns. Why? It’s all about focus. 

Once your campaigns target the right people with messages and offers that connect with their needs and challenges, your lead quality will improve.

20. Nurture Leads Through Email

Leads evolve. Marketing leads turn into sales leads. In some cases, unqualified sales leads turn into premium opportunities. 

This makes sense if we refer back to the BANT framework we discussed previously. Maybe a lead didn’t have enough budget when they first made contact. Maybe they didn’t have adequate control over the purchase decision. Perhaps a clear need had not yet come into focus, or the contact wasn’t ready to take action.

Companies that excel at nurturing leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. 

Whatever the original situation may have been, all of those variables can change over time. Budgets expand. People get promoted. Other factors shine a light on specific needs and compel action. 

Using email nurture campaigns, marketers can re-engage with leads who’ve gone cold. Or, they can build relationships and maintain engagement with leads who may not yet be categorized as high-quality. 

These campaigns also help educate prospects while guiding them through aspects of the buyer’s journey. And, because these campaigns are typically automated, much of this valuable work gets done without requiring a significant sales team effort.

By implementing these nurture campaigns and using lead scoring to track a lead’s evolution, marketers have the power to convert existing leads into high-quality sales leads. It doesn’t happen overnight, but with the right campaigns and systems in place, it does happen.

Why is this so valuable? According to Marketo, companies that excel at nurturing leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. 

21. Reinforce With Advertising

Let’s face it. We still get a lot of email. Even with the proliferation of instant messaging tools and in-platform social media discussions, email remains a dominant part of our digital lives.

As a result, email marketing messages sometimes struggle to get attention in the cluttered inboxes of prospective, high-value leads. 

So, what can marketers do to elevate their email campaigns over the rest? They can start by working to increase brand recognition. 

According to a 2021 report from the UK Data and Marketing Association, brand recognition was the single most important factor determining email open rates. 68% of recipients opened an email message just because they recognized the brand. 

Building brand recognition isn’t easy, but one way to start building it is through advertising. Don’t panic, though. It’s okay if you don’t have the budget for a Super Bowl ad just yet.

Running display or social media advertising campaigns targeting the same audience profiles from your email list can start to establish recognition and help your email messages stand out. An improved open rate will lead to an increased conversion rate and, assuming you’ve done the work to clean up your lists, more quality leads. 

Tips: Marketing Technology

22. Identify Valuable Lurkers

As we mentioned earlier, many prospects spend a lot of time researching brands before making a sales inquiry. These users may visit your site, read your content, browse reviews, and more without ever filling out a form or sharing their contact information.

In some cases, website lurkers may represent your highest-quality sales leads without you knowing they even exist.

That doesn’t have to be the case, however.

Marketing tools like Hubspot, Leadfeeder, and RollWorks give businesses the ability to identify website visitor IP addresses. While they can’t provide an individual contact name associated with a visit, they can often identify the name of a visitor’s company. 

Other platforms, like SimplyIntel, take this a step further to identify site visitors with individual contact information.

All of this data provides valuable sales intelligence, which can be used to identify new, high-quality leads or focus ongoing sales efforts.

23. Implement Click-Fraud Protection

According to a study by Cheq, roughly 14% of all paid search traffic comes from fraudulent sources. Additionally, research from Lunio has estimated that 36% of display ad traffic is fraudulent. This bad traffic cost advertisers an estimated $61 billion dollars in 2022.

If you’re currently running Google Ads campaigns, some of that $61 billion probably came out of your budget.

Bad traffic cost advertisers an estimated $61 billion dollars in 2022.

Unfortunately, the click-fraud problems don’t stop with wasted ad spend. Many fraudulent clicks also result in phony form submissions. Some of these fake submissions are easy to identify, but others have become more sophisticated and harder to detect.

All of this leads to marketers and sales teams wasting time and money sifting through the lowest of low-quality leads.

To prevent these issues from cutting into your budgets and performance, implement a click-fraud protection platform. These platforms—like ClickCease, ClickGuard, Lunio, and many others—analyze, report, and block traffic from fraudulent sources so you avoid wasting your advertising budget and your time.

More From the Olive Experts

“While Google Ads has some built-in click-fraud detection, using a third-party service like ClickCease helps provide an extra layer of defense at minimal cost. Using these tools to reduce low-quality traffic frees up budget for higher-quality clicks, which lead to higher-quality prospects. Plus, better clicks provide better data to train the platform’s AI, and a smarter AI leads to better campaign results.”

Robert Graves
Robert Graves
Digital Marketing Strategist
Olive & Company

24. Use Progressive Profiling and Lead Scoring

In some cases, leads may come in through a website, but there isn’t enough information to properly evaluate lead quality. This is particularly true with marketing leads. Do they fit the profile you’re looking for? Are they likely to evolve into a quality sales lead? Based purely on an initial form submission, it can be hard to know.

That’s where progressive profiling and lead scoring come into play. With marketing platforms like Hubspot, marketers can set up forms using progressive fields that update with each new submission from an individual contact. Using these forms, marketers can gather more and more information without overwhelming a contact with one lengthy, obnoxious form. 

This data can then be used to flesh out a more comprehensive profile of the lead, which can contribute to ongoing lead scoring. 

These same platforms can be used to build automated lead-scoring systems that identify your highest-quality leads. 

Be aware, though. Lead scoring systems should be built based on your company’s unique lead quality criteria. Don’t rely on out-of-the-box scoring models, and don’t set it and forget it.

Lead scoring should be analyzed and updated regularly to make sure the right leads are advancing through your sales funnel.

While progressive profiling and lead scoring won’t change the leads entering your database, they will help you better evaluate those leads. That evaluation may reveal that some of your leads are of higher quality than you originally thought.

Tips: Marketing Analytics

25. Identify Your Highest-Quality Channels

Where do your highest-quality leads come from? Paid search ads? LinkedIn? Email? 

You already have a potential shortcut to improving lead quality if you know the answer to this question. If your best quality leads come from organic search, increase your investment in content and SEO. Is LinkedIn or some other social media channel generating your best leads? Double down on your social strategy. 

If you want a more meaningful picture of channel performance, connect your lead numbers with real business outcomes.

If you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s time to find out. 

Dig into your analytics and lead data. It’s important to understand which channels drive the most leads but remember, quantity can be deceiving. 

If you want a more meaningful picture of channel performance, connect your lead numbers with real business outcomes. If your paid search campaigns generate a ton of leads, but none of those leads turn into revenue, you probably need to rethink your paid search strategy. 

Before you narrow your focus down to a single, high-performing channel, though, please remember one thing. Just because a marketing channel isn’t generating high-quality leads doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad fit for your business. 

The real issue may be with execution rather than the channel itself. Try implementing the tips we’ve reviewed in this guide before abandoning any channels.

26. Use UTM Parameters

To add more clarity to your lead performance analytics, use Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) parameters. UTM parameters are tags used by marketers to create campaign URLs. These URLs pass campaign-specific information through to Google Analytics, which gives marketers more detailed insights about the origins of website traffic.

While UTM parameters may sound technical and complicated, they’re easy to set up. And, when used consistently, they provide the kind of detail marketers really need to improve campaign performance and lead quality. 

For example, using UTMs, marketers can identify the channel source of their highest-quality leads, but they can also identify a specific campaign and a specific touchpoint variation (e.g., ad #1 versus ad #2). 

All of these insights help improve lead quality by connecting campaign details to lead performance. Which campaigns generated the best results? Within those campaigns, which touchpoints or ad variations produced the highest-quality leads?

Armed with these insights, marketers can refine future campaigns based on the channels, messaging, and creative that generated the best results. Each campaign will strengthen the next, and your lead quality will continuously improve.

27. Review Individual Leads

While the marketing automation era has been beneficial to most marketers, there is one downside. In some cases, the power and efficiency of these modern tools result in an over-reliance on automated processes.

This is particularly true with lead data. A website visitor fills out a form, which gets submitted to a CRM and initiates automated workflows for lead scoring, nurturing, and more. 

All of that is incredibly helpful to marketers and sales teams, but it does open up the possibility that quality leads may be missed or misunderstood.

No matter how well-designed your automation system may be, make sure you have some level of human oversight in place. Review individual leads, monitor the system for issues, and conduct periodic lead-scoring reviews to ensure that high-quality leads aren’t slipping through the cracks. 

In other words, don’t be afraid to dig into the data to make sure your automation system supports your lead generation and management goals.

“Marketing’s job is never done. It’s about perpetual motion. We must continue to innovate every day.”
- Beth Comstock, Author, Business Leader, Former CMO & Vice Chair, GE

Improve Lead Quality to Elevate Business Outcomes

Ultimately, if you want to improve lead quality, you need to develop a deep understanding of your ideal customers, focus every touchpoint on their needs, and find ways to connect with these targeted audiences. This is true for inbound marketing and every other aspect of demand generation.

Learn their habits and preferences. Answer their questions. Provide them with the insights and information they need. And, communicate your value proposition in a clear, concise, and consistent way.

If all of these things seem like basic marketing principles, they are. As we’ve shown in this article, though, there are many layers to the successful, ongoing execution of these principles. 

You don’t need to do everything included in this guide all at once, but, the sooner you start working through these tips, the sooner your marketing will generate higher-quality leads and successful business outcomes.

Need Help?

If your business is wasting time, money, and resources on poor-quality leads, we can help. At Olive & Company, we have deep expertise across all of the brand, web, and marketing areas covered in this guide. Contact us today to learn how we’ve helped our clients increase lead volume and quality.