Metrics & Chill Podcast

Increasing Inbound to MQL Conversion by 20 Percent

Learn how AJ Alonzo (Director of Marketing at demandDrive) improved their inbound lead to marketing qualified lead (MQL) percentage by over 20%.

Jeremiah Rizzo on October 5, 2022 (last modified on September 19, 2022) • 3 minute read

The metric: Inbound to MQL Conversion

Learn how AJ Alonzo (Director of Marketing at demandDrive) improved their inbound lead to marketing qualified lead (MQL) percentage by over 20%.

How They Improved It

1. He hosts a weekly meeting with sales to review conversion and lead health.

AJ hosts a weekly meeting with sales to get continual feedback on lead quality, and to learn how many marketing-driven leads are either becoming opportunities or leading to pipeline revenue.

This helps him:

  • make sure marketing and sales are rowing in the same direction
  • refine their ICP over time
  • understand which campaigns are most effective, in real time

For example:

Sales may share that prospective healthcare clients will be facing open enrollment in a few months, and need to scale their SDR team. So AJ might decide to run a special seasonal campaign to support sales efforts.

2. He made a big investment in building brand trust and awareness.

AJ’s goal is establishing demandDrive’s name in the outsourced sales space, growing awareness and trust through valuable content. This contributed to a 3x increase in overall inbound leads: people that have consumed their content, but haven’t said they’d like to learn more about the service/offering (yet). They’d learn about demandDrive, but weren’t ready to learn more.

3. Created a marketing automation system to nurture inbound leads, and help more of them convert to MQLs.

As inbound grew, AJ realized he had a big opportunity to keep these people engaged until they decided they wanted to learn more or might be a good fit for demandDrive. Since it was primarily valuable, organic content that grabbed the prospect’s attention in the first place, AJ served them up more of the same in the nurture phase.

This meant that most of the messaging they’d receive from demandDrive was just valuable content. If a prospect consumed a large amount of content (e.g. read blog posts dozens of times), or raised their hand and said they wanted to learn more, they’d be moved into the MQL stage.

4. He crafted more effective sales-driven emails by studying the most effective outbound messages.

Once in the “nurture” stage, prospects were mostly sent valuable content. But once in a while, they’d receive a more sales-oriented message. To make the sales-oriented messaging more impactful, AJ would find messaging that was resonating well in outbound campaigns, and adapt talking points to fit his needs in marketing.

5. He started manually evaluating lead quality, and handpicking the best leads to make sure they went to sales more quickly.

He’ll send those directly to sales because they look like companies that have had a lot of success with demandDrive in the past.

6. He started ungating most content.

AJ found that the gated content just didn’t perform better than any ungated content they’d release, so they’ve been moving to ungate just about everything. This likely contributed to the 3x increase in inbound leads they’ve seen.

7. He baked in more CTAs to talk to sales, or opt-in to the marketing automation system in content.

If a reader wanted to learn more, they could either opt in and join the nurture campaign (marketing automation), or get in touch directly with the sales team.


As a result, they grew Inbound Lead to MQL conversion from 40% to 60%, and MQL to SAO conversion from 52% to 73%. And in May 2022, they did more business (total new logos & revenue) than all of 2020 combined.

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