At some point, everyone is a newbie.  There’s really no way around it.

If that point for you is now, here at First Impression we’d love to illuminate just a few of the darker corners to online lead generation, and hopefully help you avoid any costly missteps on your path to higher rates of customer acquisition.

 

You’re Buying the Cheapest Leads You Can Find

 

You’re new, like I said earlier, and I completely understand why you’d want to spend as little on a lead as possible…but think about this:

You’re new.  Do you really believe you just happened to stumble upon a great deal that your competitors simply passed up?

I don’t.  

If you want to get an idea on what prices you can expect to pay for lead generation, a great place to start is the Google Keyword Planner.  If the CPC range in GKP is 5 dollars, why would anyone sell you a fully fledge lead for 2 bucks?  The only way that makes sense is if there are things you don’t know:

  • The Leads are aged
  • The leads are scam
  • The leads are someone your competitor failed to convert
  • The lead has been sold to 20 different people

 

 

You Don’t Understand The Difference Between Shared and Exclusive Leads

 

This one is pretty simple to understand.  A Lead Seller can specify if a lead if shared or exclusive.  Typically, you’ll pay more for an exclusive lead than you would a shared lead, so you’ll need to figure out which kind of lead works better for your product or service. 

In general, we’d recommend starting with exclusive leads. While it may cost you more—if you follow the rest of the advice in here, you should be able to better refine your sales pitch before moving on to a more difficult prospect like you’d find in a shared lead.

 

You Didn’t Check a Sites Traffic Sources

 

There are several free tools out there to help you get an idea of where a site gets their traffic (and I’ll be honest…they are not perfect.) Internally—we have found that a mixture of SEMrush and SimilarWeb provides us with a fairly strong high level view of a website and their traffic sources. 

Really what we use this for is to see if a website passes the general “sniff” test.  If a site claims they get 90% of their traffic from organic search and I’ve never seen then in a SERP, I may jump into SEMrush and see if the numbers jive (and they don’t more often than they do).   However, if they say “we have 50% organic traffic” and SimilarWeb tells me 30%, then I just split the difference and assume the reality is 40%.  This has always worked well for me. 

 

You Aren’t Contacting Your Leads Fast Enough

I can’t tell you how frustrating this can be for a lead seller.  A new buyer comes back in a huff and says “This lead wasn’t any good”.  We jump into LeadPath and look at the lead, the validation, and then I’ll ask “So the lead came in on Monday, right?” 

“Yeah!”

“Okay, and when did you call them?”

“Well...uh we were really busy.  We didn’t get to the call until Thursday”

Every lead seller has heard this story many times.  In general, we tell our partners to try to call the lead within a few hours.  Some of our partners call within a few minutes.  

 

Your Test Budget is Either Too Small or You Don’t Have One At All

Alright, you’re ready. 

It’s time to really scale up your customer acquisition methods and you need to do so fast. 

You jump online. You google “lead generation” and you call the first company that says they can help you.  If you know to set a test budget you may say 100 leads --  but if you’re average close rate is only 1-2%, can you really judge the validity of a partner from their ability to generate 1 or 2 sales? 

Absolutely not.

On the flip side, you’ve been wowed by a presentation and you give them a full budget right off the bat without making them prove themselves with a reasonable test budget. 

 

Look, there are a ton of ways your online lead gen campaign could go poorly but with a bit of education and the right partners, there is no reason you shouldn't be wildly successful.  

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