Top 3 Lead Generation Practices You Should Be Aware Of
I’m not ashamed.
Yes, I drive an old car. A really really old, 1990 brown 4 door Honda accord with over 290k miles.
… except mine is a lot more beat up.
Why do I drive this?
Simple: I’m quite scared of car salesmen. Especially the ones that sell used cars.
Sure, they act like they want to be your friend but they have an ulterior motive: “BUY BUY BUY”.
I’m sure they’re nice people and I know they have families to support… but hell, it’s my money, dammit.
But the problem with their tactic is.. I have NO idea what I’m getting myself into when I finally drive the car off the lot.
Of course, the car works fine for a couple of days..
Then, BAM.. car dies.. and of course, your “friend” car dealer says “no refunds”.
Ok, that’s not to say that ALL people in the car industry are shady.
Some are actually quite nice and genuine, and actually care about you as a customer.
So wouldn’t it be GREAT if you had a trustworthy car mechanic friend who can actually tell you what to look out for?
Well, allow me to be your “lead” mechanic and give you some things to look out for if you are buying leads.
If you are in an “expensive” industries like solar, higher education, financial service/products, or real estate AND you buy leads, here are some things you might want to be aware of (and ask your lead generation company).
1. Spam (Avoid At All Cost)
Avoid all spam (including the ones you get at the super market : it’s pure lard & animal by products).
The reason spammers spam is one and one reason only: it’s FREE traffic.
Yes, if your lead generation company spams, technically it’s not on you..
So at least, that’s the theory.
Now email spam guards are getting QUITE smart.
Not only do they know how to detect & quarantine spammy (i.e. unsolicited) emails, the spam detection bots will actually follow the links in the email… so they know who is actually involved in the email spam process.
If your company is linked somehow to that spam link (via link to your company’s site or any information that links to your company), you can potentially get your company reported with the SpamHaus, SpamCop, or numerous other international spam agencies that track and share information about spammers.
And if you have too many negative points with these organizations, ad networks (like Google, Bing, Yahoo) will take notice… then your company is pretty much dead on the internet.
Heed my caution: Never let your lead generation company do this. NEVER EVER EVER.
2. Co-Registration (Not Great, Be Cautious)
Ever see one of these on the web?
They’re usually prevalent on game and adult sites where the web visitor is “glued” to the screen.
These game sites need to make money and the advertiser is willing to pay for information on people who’s interested in his/her product or service.
But this is slightly different in that the user is “incentivized” to sign up for other types of services that might be of interest.
For example, if a visitor signs up for, say a hotel service in NYC, there’s ALSO a checkbox that asks if he/she’s also interested in tour guide service in NYC as well.
And usually, the checkbox is checked on his behalf.
IN other words, the user is “co-registering” for a service.
In majority of the industries where the sales closing occurs offline, this usually creates bad leads IF the lead was NOT the primary offer.
Why? Because the user’s intent to purchase is SO low.
The cost per lead from this type of lead generation is VERY LOW… for example, I’ve seen mortgage and solar leads go for as low as $3-$10 per lead.
If your lead was NOT the primary offer, do NOT buy these… you can buy 100’s and your conversion ratio is going to be very low, if not ZERO.
3. Incentivized Signup (Can Work, But You Must Track)
Have you ever seen people promoting “free XYZ giveway”?
Only catch? You gotta SIGN UP.
This is known as “incentivized” sign up because the user is given an incentive to sign up, even if the user may have ZERO intent to purchase.
Are these types of leads bad?
I would say, usually yes.. but it depends on
- how closely your lead’s demographic matches your existing customer base’ demographic (i.e. middle aged men are likely to behave like other middle aged men when it comes to making financial decisions like solar panels.)
- how STRONG your incentive is – If the perceived value of the incentive is really strong (like those pricey Apple products) where the financial value is just as strong as social value, sometimes it can help to not only get leads but also close the leads into a customer.
I’ve met customers who fell FLAT financially doing this… and some who made literally tens of millions of dollars.
The only difference between the two? The one that made money TRACKED everything.