The Sac HUG Blog

Thought leadership content concerning inbound marketing in the city of trees.

Contact ≠ Lead: The Immutable Law of Inbound Marketing

Posted by Logan Mayville

Nov 20, 2017 8:58:58 AM

Inbound marketing isn’t easy—it’s hard work.

You work hard understanding your customers needs (and potential customers!); you work hard doing keyword research; writing content, building landing pages and premium content offers; and configuring it all so you can track your marketing ROI.

And for what? So you can get that coveted email address.

And once you get that email address, sometimes you can get a little… overexcited.


So what's the first thing you should do when you get that email address:

  • Email that person to set up an appointment or free consultation?
  • Stalk her on LinkedIn?
  • Call her at home during Jeopardy!?


If you’re committed to inbound marketing and providing content that's valuable to your audience before you ask for it in return, you won’t hold a person who is simply researching a topic hostage by jumping the gun on the sales process. You have to nurture them along.

It all boils down to the simple, immutable law of inbound marketing:

Contact ≠ Lead.

A contact is an email address in your database, hopefully with some context as to how you obtained that email address.

A lead is an email address with activity context—somebody who has passed the research stage and wants to learn more about products, services, etc.

Is there a grey area between these two esoteric terms? Of course, but that’s not the point. The point is, if you’re approaching each email address you obtain stinking of ‘commission breath’ and product demonstrations, you're doing it wrong.

Nurturing that virgin email address into an actual lead - a person who’s ready and happy to talk with a sales rep - is what it’s all about. So… how do you do that?

Lead nurturing through email marketing is the most accessible (and least intrusive) channel for marketers to create warmer leads.

On that note, we'd like to remind you that we're hosting an event to help you learn how to be a better 'smarketer' using email!

Register for this free event to level up your email marketing for lead generation



Topics: Inbound Marketing, Sacramento HUG Events


We are the Sacramento HUG, a group of Inbound Marketers mastering the HubSpot platform.

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Alycia Deus 

Logan Mayville