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Suspects, Prospects, and Leads - Oh MY!

Suspects, Prospects, and Leads - Oh MY!

When it comes to creating and executing successful marketing strategies, understanding your audience and their needs is half the battle. From there, you can sculpt the tone of the campaign toward your target audience. Regardless of whether you’re trying to market services or goods, the primary goal of any type of marketing is to persuade a potential customer toward a sale. There are a surprising amount of businesses that don’t use marketing groups to aim your marketing initiatives at the right target. Having a predetermined up-to-date contact list will help you go after and onboard the right clients, instead of throwing your marketing budget down the drain.

Who are my suspects?

A suspect is anyone who is on your company's radar. A suspect may not be a fit as a client or benefit from your services. They can be anyone who is in your database or maybe just follows your company on social media.

How should I market to them?

Marketing to suspects is about impressing information upon them. You probably don’t have the permission to email them, and even if you do, wasting too many resources on a low probable return isn’t a best practice. Instead, see if you can move suspects farther through your sales funnel through a direct mail campaign. Consider using promotions and information to reach those suspects who you can turn into a prospect, or better yet, a lead.

Who are my prospects?

A prospect is a company that has the potential be a client but has not yet shown definite interest in your services. Prospects are usually comprised of basic contact information such as email and mailing address. Unlike suspects (and depending on their place in the marketing funnel) you may have permission to email prospects.

How should I market to them?

Marketing to prospects is about educating. Creating a strategy aimed at your suspects may vary depending on whether you have the permission to email them. Email campaigns have a high ROI - because sending an email costs next to nothing. However, that’s only if you’re not hit with a spam violation. Otherwise, honing the messages of your direct mail campaign and driving them back to your blog, whitepapers, videos or other educational materials is a great way to nurture prospects.

Who are my leads?

A lead is a business that has demonstrated interest in your services, usually by submitting their contact information to begin a dialogue with a member of a sales team. They have reacted to your marketing and are looking for the next step. According to many B2B marketing studies, many businesses are 70%-90% sure they’re interested in a company's products and services before they reach this point in the marketing funnel.

How should I market to them?

For leads, you’re looking to have them acknowledge your authority and then take that next step: reaching out and engaging with you. You already know that they would probably benefit from whatever you’re offering and it’s time for them to make a move. For this, your marketing needs to speak to them. Prove to them that you’re the one they’ve been looking for and you can eliminate their pain points. Whitepapers and case studies are a very popular method of gathering lead information.

It’s important to note that many SMBs who are looking for technology assistance will contact a few businesses they are interested in - and 9 out of 10 of them will sign a managed service agreement with the first MSP to respond to their query. One of the ways that you can ensure that you're responding to sales inquiries in a prompt way is by implementing marketing automation to notify.


There are an infinite amount of ways that you can breakdown your pool of potential clients and market to them. It’s all about finding the best lead nurturing strategy for your MSP and then keeping up with it for the long run. Remember, B2B marketing isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. Need help vetting your list? We can help. Contact us today!

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