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What’s the Difference Between a Lead and an Inquiry?

In a recent poll we asked camp owners, marketers and directors to share their most significant marketing challenge. “Not enough new leads” was the overwhelming response. 

Here’s the results of the poll (with answers indicated as a percentage of overall response rates):

Question: What is your camp’s biggest marketing challenge?


  • Not enough new leads (41%) 
  • Not enough word of mouth referrals (17%) 
  • Camper retention rate too low (17%) 
  • Marketing Budget too low (17%) 
  • Other (5%) 

As you can see, “Not enough new leads” got 41% of the responses. The next CLOSEST was 17%. It was a landslide.

Now let me make one comment about the second answer, “Not enough word of mouth referrals” which got 17%.

The fact is, getting word of mouth referrals is your best source of new leads. That means getting new leads and word of mouth referrals are the same thing, or in other words, if you got more word of mouth referrals you’d have enough new leads and vice versa.

Accordingly, since these two things are the same, I’m gonna add that 17% percent on top of the 41% and say 58% percent of those who participated in this poll feel like their marketing program is hindered by not getting enough new leads.

I’m going to spend some time in the future giving you lead generation ideas. Did you know you can double or even triple your camp enrollment in just one year with new leads and referrals? That’s a fact, not my opinion, and I will show you how. You will need to attend one of my upcoming marketing workshops in mid-winter/early spring to get the full benefit and understanding. I will share more information about this soon. But first let’s agree on something.

First and foremost, we need to identify exactly what a “lead” is. Is an inquiry a lead? Some would say so. But I would say not really. An inquiry is an inquiry and a lead is a lead.

Leads are better than inquiries because leads are qualified referrals, whereas an inquiry could just be anyone with no intention of signing up for your program

By “qualified referral,” I am talking about:

  • Families who are truly interested in your program 
  • Have children that match you ideal camper profile 
  • Have the financial capacity to pay for your program; and are
  • Practically pre-sold on your camp because their friends prompted them to reach out to you

Leads like this are easier to close, shorten your sales cycle, and eliminate your competition. THAT’s a qualified lead or referral.

What’s an inquiry? And inquiry is when someone fills out your online inquiry form. Now don’t get me wrong because this is important. But it’s only an inquiry, not necessarily a qualified lead or referral. A spammer could fill out that form, for goodness sake. On the other hand, qualified leads and referrals are practically preregistered campers in your back pocket; the only thing left for them to do is complete your registration form and boom, they’re active campers.

I’ll show you how to get tons of referrals soon here on this site and at our live seminar. Happy Holiday!

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