January 6, 2023

What is a lead source?

what is a lead source

Learn the basics of lead source marketing and understand why it is important for your company

The ultimate goal of every company, no matter where they are from, what industry they belong to, or their number of employees, is to make a profit. It is also known that to achieve this you need customers willing to buy the products or services you offer. But have you ever wondered how your customers reached your company? It might sound like a simple question, but the answers you can find if you start digging deep enough can significantly impact your overall results. This article will teach you what a lead source is and how your business can benefit from this information.   

Defining the lead source

The first thing we need to do before we can dive into the concepts is to answer the million-dollar question: what is a lead source? Simply put, we can define a lead source as the channel where your lead discovered your company in the first place. There are plenty of lead source examples, either online or offline, but more on that later. 

In other words, the lead source is the first point of contact between your company and your potential customers. Let’s say you are a florist, and someone calls you out of the blue asking about your newest flowers of the season. In that case, the lead source would be the telephone call itself. Now imagine that you post an offer on bouquets on your social media. If a potential customer reaches you from there, then the social media post would be your lead source.

Lead source types

Now that we have the definition clear, let’s start talking about the different lead source types. As you can imagine, there are many examples, but for the sake of this article, we decided to divide them into two groups: online and offline lead sources.

Online lead sources

We can define online lead sources as the online channels that your lead used to reach your company. Some of the most common online lead sources are:

  • Email marketing campaigns: Whether they are special promotions, newsletters, or informative communications, these campaigns are a very useful lead source. Not only that, but they can also help you retain customers who stopped buying your products or services and return them to the sales funnel.    
  • Social media posts: Anyone who visualizes your content can learn about your business and become a customer, so pay special attention to this channel to generate new leads and build a loyal community of people who share similar interests related to what you offer.
  • Blog articles: This lead source can guarantee that the potential customers who reach your company belong to your target audience. Think about it. They came to your website after reading an article from a blog, meaning they at least share similar interests.
  • Pay-per-click ads: Though it requires investing some money, PPC advertising is one of the most effective and powerful lead sources and will help your company attract a lot of new potential customers.
  • Search engines: This channel is composed of leads who found your business through search results. A good SEO strategy in this channel is the key to getting better results.  

Offline lead sources

On the other hand, offline lead sources can be defined as the traditional channels that your lead used to discover your company. Some of the most common offline lead sources are:

  • Cold calls: These are the calls that your company receives out of the blue from potential customers interested in what you offer.
  • Direct mail: Even though electronic email is way more popular nowadays, letters or postcards from traditional mail advertising products or services are still a lead source. 
  • Traditional advertising: From tv or radio ads to newspapers, magazines, or even those giant billboards you can see on the street on your way back home, these are all sources that can bring potential customers to your business.
  • Events: In-person events are helpful for networking and can also provide leads to your company. Our tip is to get your company a spot in your industry’s next seminar since you may likely have a prospect waiting for you.   
  • Referrals: Although you may reach someone who is not interested in your business, that person may have a friend, a sibling, or even an associate that might be. Never underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. 

Lead source tracking

After learning about the different lead source types, the next step is to dive into the concept of lead source tracking. Tracking your sources is essential to improve your lead generation process. Why? The answer is simple: by understanding where your potential customers are coming from, you can allocate your marketing budget to more effective and profitable channels. 

It is always recommended to rely on a customer relationship management (CRM) software to track your lead sources. CRMs can be used as a database to save all your valuable information and allow you to assign tags and labels to keep your leads and data organized. Without a CRM, the whole tracking and managing process gets way harder than it should be.

Another important thing to consider is to be as granular as possible when listing your lead sources. What do we mean by this? To provide as much detail as possible; so instead of just naming a lead source as “Social Media” or “PPC Ad,” you should add subcategories. From which social media did your new lead come? Instagram? Facebook? Tik Tok? The more details you provide, the better. Trust us; your sales team will thank you.

Last but not least, a good tip for tracking your leads is to connect that process with your lead-scoring strategy. When you understand which are your best lead sources, you should give those leads a higher score. This will allow you to efficiently spend your media budget on the channels that bring you the highest quality leads.   

Why are lead sources important?

If you are still here with us, you’ve learned what a lead source is , the different lead source types, and a thing or two about lead source tracking. But before we wrap things up, let’s take a final moment to talk about the importance of lead sources for your business.

By identifying where your best leads are coming from, you can gain valuable insights about your most efficient channels, improve your overall customer experience, focus on the right lead sources, and deliver more personalized content for your audience. This data also impacts your ROI because when you know which lead sources are more valuable for your company, you can focus your money and efforts on them instead of others that won’t bring you any leads. 

Relying on call tracking and lead management solutions such as Dastia can help you identify the lead source of every call you receive and allow you to stop the guessing game and replace it with valuable insights. Besides this, Dastia can tell you which channels bring in the more qualified leads while also allowing you to gain valuable insights about your prospects.  

It’s simple, the more you know about your lead sources, the better experience you will provide to your potential customers, and by focusing on your best quality leads, you will spend your budget more efficiently. So stop wasting time and try Dastia today!

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