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Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Get more leads without any hard work

Get more leads without any hard work

You will probably agree with me that, generally speaking, if you get more customers your revenues will go up, and your business will be better off.

So what are the best ways to generate more leads for your business that you can convert into customers? There are plenty of options to choose from: Referral programs, joint ventures, direct mail, radio etc.

In recent years smart business operators have learned that one of the easiest and cheapest sources of leads is online. And a major benefits of online is the response time—it’s quick. On most media it takes weeks or even months before you start seeing the results. Online you can begin to see the results within hours of starting.

What’s even better about online is that you can track all aspects of what you do, number of ad impressions, clicks, conversions and more. And you can break it all down by geography, demographics and so on.

 

Generating online leads

First you need to determine what a lead is worth to you. And what is “a lead” online? It’s time for a few definitions:

* Lead—somebody who is potentially interested, eg a website visitor who has not taken action

* Prospect—somebody who is certainly interested, eg a website visitor who has opted in, left their name and email. It may be downloading your free report subscribing to your newsletter, it may be something else.

* Customer—somebody who has bought once

So, first we need to study your conversion. Let’s say you get 100 visitors to your site. Of those

- 1 buys your product right away

- 4 fill out your form and subscribe (and if available get your ‘freebie’).

Of those 4 who signed up, half will buy your product/service down the track, within the next 8 weeks (Assuming you send them emails to entice them to buy your stuff!). So, in simple terms a total of 3 people buy (1 right away, 2 down the track), which is the same as having a 3% conversion rate. Nothing too spectacular but reasonably common for a lot of sites.

Let’s assume you sell a widget and each sale brings you $250 in gross profit, so the 3 sales brings in $750.

So, given that it took 100 leads (visitors) to get the $750, the value per lead is $7.50. If you pay more then you lose money, if you pay less, you win…

Or, put another way… Say the way you bring those leads in is that you run some ads, like Google Ads, and you pay on average $1 for each click. Bringing those 100 visitors in would have cost you $100.

But given that spending $100 makes you $750 extra ($650 nett), your question is probably going to be: “How many times a day can I legally do this?”

Now, let’s imagine that you’re in a very very competitive market, and the cost of each click is now $5 (some niches cost a whole lot more than that). So you paid $500 to earn $750, still not too bad, but of course not as good as before.

 

Upgrade your offer

Here’s one important element that many website owners overlook. What if you increase the attractiveness of your bribe?

Given that you have little immediate control over the cost of your ads, what if you change your free offer… Let’s say you give something away that is so valuable, that 15 people sign up for your mailing list. They really want what you’re giving away.

Now you have 15 people on your mailing list. You can do two things:

Extend the cycle with which you’re selling to your list. You should expect your conversion falls, because you ‘enticed’ more people in, some of which were not core buyers. But let’s say you convert just 1/3 of those over a 6 month period.

That’s 5 customers over time, plus the one up front, or a total of 6 x $250 = $1,500 for the same campaign cost. What can you now afford to pay for each lead…?

Even better, what if you found somebody else who is interested in selling to your list, who shares a similar customer? So, say you create a JV with this person, and over the 6 months following you convert just 2 more customers. The product is similar ($250 per sale), but you only get half (it’s a JV, the owner of the product gets the other half…), so you earn an extra $250 for 2 more sales.

What is the lead now worth to you?

 

Why is this important?

Most CPC ads are sold on an auction system, the person with the highest bid gets their ads in the best position. Which means you get more clicks, which on many platforms mean your cost will fall (crazy isn’t it)?

So, by increasing your conversion you get the eyeballs, you get the name on your list (and not the competitor), and well… you make a lot more money.

What are the three best (and most popular) sources for leads?

1. Search engine PPC ads. Google or Yahoo are effective PPC ad networks.

2. Social Media ads: Facebook is by far the most prolific but if you’re selling to professionals you want to check out Linkedin as well.

3. There are of course free sources of traffic also. While they can be great sources, you need to be aware that…

 

The real cost of leads and traffic

Nothing is really free. You have to spend time (and often money) to build a large following on twitter, to put videos on YouTube or to build an effective SEO network of sites, blogs, backlinks and more. There are two core issues with ‘free’ traffic:

* You have much less control with ‘free’ traffic. Because Google ranking will fluctuate you don’t always know how much traffic you bring in. With PPC it’s much more like ‘turning on the tap’ and your leads will come in.

* It takes time. If I define a good campaign on Facebook, I will typically have it generating leads within 8 – 12 hours. If I start SEO and do it in a sustainable way, it may take weeks, if not months, to see the results in terms of traffic build–up.

Of the different options above, I’d recommend you pick one that will be your main way of generating leads, and once you have become proficient with that method, move on to the second method. Or if you choose one free and one paid, you can also build proficiency that way. However, spreading yourself too thin is not a great approach and will usually yield mediocre results.

Mike Boorn
Founder of TREPcoach

Have a question?
Email me direct at mike@trepcoach.com

Want to chat?
Connect on skype: TREPcoach

   

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