I’ve heard some of my manufacturing clients call their subscribers to free content leads. I’ve also read articles by other industrial marketers where they recommend using free content to generate new leads.
That is good advice and it is a proven tactic for inbound marketing. However, I do have a problem with classifying these new subscribers as leads.
IMO, these people have merely raised their hands to indicate some interest in your company, content and the free offer. They are prospects by my definition.
Let’s face it; you are going to get a few sign ups just because it is free. They found your content interesting and valuable but are not likely to become customers ever. Some of them may even be your competition.
Visitors who sign up to download your white papers, eBooks and other free content definitely grow your list of contacts but calling them leads without taking the next step is premature at best if not a costly mistake.