The more you know about your buyer personalities, leads, and customers, the easier it is to effectively target them. This includes identifying the channels and platforms they spend their time on and understanding their needs and challenges.
It also means knowing how your leads are finding your business – how and in what ways they get to your business. This is known as a lead source.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the definition of a lead source, why lead sources are so important, common types, and best practices for managing and tracking them.
What is a lead source?
A lead source is how a lead finds out about your company. This is often the reason someone visits your website and / or first learns about your product or service. For example, a lead source can be the method by which someone found your business, researched, visited your website, or made a purchase.
Why are lead sources important?
By understanding and identifying lead sources, you can gain context about why and how your target audiences are finding you. That way, you can improve the customer experience and the buyer’s journey through targeted content, communication, interactions, and more.
This will help you determine which lead sources are most valuable to your business so that you can deepen them and measure your success in attracting and converting leads over time.
Also, knowing which lead sources bring in the most qualified leads can help you focus your resources where they matter most and where you get the greatest ROI.
Identifying and understanding your lead sources is also an important part of lead management, the process by which you manage or nurture your leads until they decide to convert.
These are all the details you need to improve the buyer’s journey, effectively target your unique audience, and shorten the sales cycle.
Types of lead sources
There are different types of lead sources. Here are some common examples.
- Email Marketing (Email Campaigns)
- Organic search (lead sources from search engine results page / SERP)
- Paid ads (PPC, display ads)
- Social media
- Direct mail
- Referrals or word of mouth
- Gated / premium content offers
- Blog article
- Events (in person or virtual)
- Backlinks (Link from one page on one website to another – if another website links to your website you have a backlink from them)
- Traditional advertising (billboards, TV, radio)
Lead Sources Best Practices
- Identify and track your lead sources.
- Determine which sources bring in the most qualified leads.
- Then determine which of these sources are converting the most leads into customers.
- Experiment with different channels to get more qualified leads.
- Measure and analyze the success of your lead sources.
Next, let’s talk about a handful of best practices when it comes to your lead sources. You should keep this in mind as you identify, analyze, and improve your lead sources.
1. Identify and track your lead sources.
If you want to identify, track, and measure your lead sources, you are likely using a lead tracking tool. These tools are often part of your CRM, marketing software, or sales software.
Lead Source Tools
Here are some examples of powerful tools that can help you track lead sources.
HubSpot is a All-in-one CRM platform to scale businesses with powerful marketing, sales, service and operations software and tools. There are several ways to use HubSpot to collect, track, manage, and measure leads and lead sources.
For example with HubSpot CRM lead management and tracking softwareAll contact records for your leads are automatically logged. This includes all of your interactions and communications with these leads, as well as all related sales activities – this provides information on how, where and when interactions with leads took place.
Pro tip: Use HubSpot’s lead management and tracking software to automate and view contact records, view lead and contact communication history, and manage your leads from one central location.
With HubSpots Marketing Hub, Your Lead capture and tracking software focuses more on leads and lead management within the marketing organization so leads and lead data are readily available to the sales team.
This tool allows you to keep track of your lead’s email openings, content downloads, page visits, social media interactions, and more so you can easily track lead source data. Plus, you can organize all of your lead and contact information and interactions in a single database. You can segment your leads and rate them based on their qualifications.
Pro tip: Use HubSpot’s lead capture and tracking software to organize contact information and interactions, segment leads, and rate those leads from a single and integrated database.
MoData is a sales analytics and sales acceleration tool with pipeline reporting capabilities Lead source tracking functions.
Pair this tool with your HubSpot CRM (via integration) Compare your lead sources as well as your sales reps so your data and team members are aligned and a central source of truth. View, send, and share out-of-the-box reports and easily customize pipeline dashboards.
CallRail is a call tracking and marketing analysis platform Reporting for lead assignment by source. This feature uses multi-touch mapping to provide you with reports for each lead source and type of interaction that interests your team in CallRail at every stage of the buyer’s journey.
View all of the lead sources that you are tracking in the tool. Your top five lead sources are shown on a chart with more details about your other sources below. You can view raw leads versus qualified leads, and filter by company, timeframe, and reporting model.
2. Determine which sources bring in the most qualified leads.
After identifying your lead sources, determine which of these sources will deliver the most qualified leads for your business.
Again a tool like HubSpot can help with this – it helps track your leads and the sources they came from, and then segment those leads based on an assigned lead score (which tells you how qualified they are).
In fact, HubSpot will automatically rate your leads based on the criteria you choose (based on behavior or characteristics). Not only is this helpful for your marketing team, but it also helps sales reps prioritize their lead tracking.
3. Then determine which of these sources are converting the most leads into customers.
Once you’ve identified which sources are bringing in the most qualified leads, identify the source that is converting the most leads into customers.
In other words, which lead source do the most customers come from? Maybe it’s the source you see the most qualified leads from, but maybe not. So take some time to determine which lead sources have the most new customers.
4. Experiment with different channels to get more qualified leads.
Just because you know which channels and sources are currently bringing in the most qualified leads and where the most conversions are currently coming from doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax. As your business grows, so does your audience – and those evolving audiences may not spend time exactly where your original audience did.
Experiment with different channels to see how many qualified leads and conversions you can bring in. You can use this experiment to uncover your most valuable source of leads.
5. Measure and analyze the success of your lead sources.
Measure the success of your lead sources over time. This is something you will already be doing in the previous steps (e.g., rating leads, identifying the most effective lead sources, etc.), but it is also important to spend time here. This way you can make sure that you are focusing your resources in the right places.
The data from your lead source analysis will also help you to more effectively address, reach and resonate with your target group on the channels they like to use and the touchpoints with which they prefer to interact convert them. Remember, this part of the Lead Source Management process should still be ongoing.
Tap your lead sources to improve the buyer’s journey
Start by identifying your lead sources to enhance the buyer’s journey with tailored content, interactions, and communications through the channels and sources your audience prefers. Remember, the more you know about your target audience, leads, and customers, the more effectively you can target and reach them.