Related terms


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A lead is a person interested in a company or its product. In the sales funnel, they are in the second stage, no longer anonymous visitors because they have provided some contact information through a web form or a dedicated landing page.

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Types of Leads

Leads can be generated from various sources, such as a lead magnet on social media, a search engine ad, or even offline methods. Typically, their information is collected through a form on a landing page, and once the contact is added to the database, they are considered potential customers with varying degrees of readiness to make a purchase.

There are two types of leads distinguished by their position in the funnel:

  • MQL (Marketing Qualified Lead): These leads have interacted with the company's content or have exchanged several email messages, asking questions because they are considering purchasing the product or comparing it with the competition.
  • SQL (Sales Qualified Lead): These leads are more convinced, located at the bottom of the funnel, and may have already done a demo, tested the service with a sample, or spoken with a sales representative.

For instance, a newsletter subscriber is not necessarily a lead because they may not be considering purchasing or contracting from the company and may only find the content shared through this channel interesting. Email marketing can aim to convert these subscribers into leads to move them through the funnel until they become customers.

What is Lead Scoring?

This technique is used to identify the level of a lead's interest in making a purchase. The scoring scale ranges from low to high, but depending on the business model, different criteria can be established, such as whether the person is the right one to make the purchasing decision or if they have a budget allocated.

Points are awarded for each interaction the lead has with the company, and these points accumulate until they reach the "very interested" level. For example: if they visit a web page, fill out a form, follow the company on social media, download an eBook, attend an event, and so on. Email marketing automation is a tool for nurturing leads with content (lead nurturing) to increase their interest.

Some subscribers will be cold leads because they are still far from becoming MQLs and may not have done any research yet. The hottest or SQL leads will likely receive the newsletter but also much more information because they will already be within another sequence of automated emails.