How many MQLs are too many MQLs?

MQLs are cool. I want all the Marketing Qualified Leads I can get, and then some.

I know this sounds like sacrilege to many… If it does, it’s because they either
– have the wrong definition of what an MQL is or
– have the wrong process of dealing with MQLs
…or both. 

Otherwise, they’d want many MQLs too.

Andrei Zinkevich defined an MQL as a lead that fills 3 criteria:
1. fits your ideal customer profile
2. is actively consuming your bottom-of-funnel content
3. …and isn’t ready to buy (if they were, they’d book a call/demo)

The MQL is the stage that precedes a more buyer-ready stage. Defined the way it is above, it’s a good indicator or leading metric for how marketing is doing its job in both demand generation and demand capture. 

Even if you have the right definition, knowing what to do (and what not to do) with the marketing qualified leads is key. 

Most importantly: MQLs are NOT to be passed on to sales. 

Nobody should try to massage an unready account into a sales conversation.

It’s marketing’s job to prime these leads, so that they become ripe for sales engagement. 

So, what should marketing do with MQLs… so that they warm up and become sales-ready? 

There are many options, but three things that work well now are:

1. send them case studies specific to their situation
2. invite them to events (webbies, training, live events)
3. weekly newsletters: a highly underestimated medium that’s great for nurturing if the content is right and if it’s not promotional.

Speaking of newsletters, podcasts or educational media are also great assets to have at hand.

The TLDR of what to do with MQLs:

If they consume your content on a regular basis, you’ll get dozens of micro-commitments, build affinity and build the magic triage of know-like-trust.

The winner is often the vendor who can get the buyer to consume more of their content than the competitors.

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