Archive for the ‘Conversion Rates’ Category

Going for gold with Lead Generation

Monday, July 9th, 2012

The following article was written by Justin Rees for myintroducer. To read the original, click here

The Olympics are rapidly approaching and with the excitement comes the explosion of marketing activity.
It seems every branded product and company is jumping on the Olympic bandwagon finding the most tenuous links to connect themselves with the big event. So we thought if McDonalds can claim, “you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to eat like one” we too can find an association between the Olympics and lead generation!

The athlete

So let’s start with the athletes who are obviously the lead buyers in our Olympic analogy! Imagine two athletes both training for the 100m sprint. One athlete creates a training program, working hard in the gym and on the track everyday until the event. Each week his strength and speed improves continuously increasing his chance of success.

The other athlete has no race strategy and hardly trains. Who is going to win?
The athlete who follows up on their commitment with a series of planned activities or the one who has no strategy and dedication?

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Are new leads really better than old leads?

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

The following article was written by Justin Rees for myintroducer. To read the original, click here

The conventional wisdom is that real-time internet leads have the highest conversion rates and are therefore the most expensive while aged leads are significantly cheaper with lower performance.
With this in mind, should prospective lead buyers only consider real-time leads?

The first thing to point out is that both real-time and aged leads are generated through the exact same process, the difference lying in the time frame in which the lead is sold. Real-time leads are sold immediately after the consumer has filled out a form online whereas aged leads can be anything from a few hours old to weeks old.

It is also important to clarify that leads that do not find a buyer in real-time are not necessarily any less desirable in terms of their criteria.

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Speed is of essence when calling leads

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

The following article was written by Justin Rees for Mortgage Strategy. To read the original, click here.

Over the last few years I have written a lot of articles about lead generation, many of them containing advice for advisers on how to generate a better return on their spend.

The same things hold true for lead buyers who want to make a success out of lead generation in 2012 as they did when I joined the industry in 2007.

The fundamental issue now for lead buyers is still making contact with consumers. Many buyers don’t speak to enough of their leads to have a realistic chance of making a decent return on their investment.

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Lead Tips for 2012

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

The following article was written by Justin Rees for To read the original, click here.

Whether you are a lead generation veteran or newbie, the following tips should help get your lead generation campaigns off to a flying start in 2012, Justin Rees argues.

Contact Contact Contact

The most important thing to remember for any lead buyer is that all lead performance is a function of contact rates. Whether you buy the best leads or the worst leads if you don’t manage to get hold of enough consumers you won’t be able to make buying leads profitable. Best practice is to follow up each lead within minutes of lead receipt and then attempt contact at least four times per day at various times throughout the day for four days before you can categorically action a lead. And even those consumers that can’t be reached in the four day window should be contacted sporadically over the coming weeks and months which should yield incremental conversions over time.

Be Patient

The most successful lead buyers know that it can take weeks or even months to fully assess the performance of a lead buying campaign. This is especially relevant for mortgage leads buyers where the time to completion for each case will be a few weeks at best and in a significant number of cases, quite a lot longer.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend thousands of pounds and just wait. There are various indicators along the conversion funnel which will give you a good idea as to whether you are likely to make lead buying work. These include things like contact rates, percentage of “interested customers” etc.

Use your filters

Unlike many forms of marketing, buying leads allows you to be quite specific about the types of customers you want to target. For mortgage leads, most providers will allow you to filter by geography, loan value, credit grade and even maximum LTV.

However, don’t assume that every lead provider has exactly the same filters so make sure you find out exactly what is available to you. For example, one of the main drivers of conversions for mortgage business is the consumer LTV. Some lead providers allow you to set a maximum LTV while others set the maximum for you. Once caveat though is the more you filter, the less leads available which increases the price of the leads. It is always best to find a balance between lead price and the level of filtering you choose.

Start cheap

Whichever lead provider you work with, if you are coming to lead generation for the first time then try to make your initial budget stretch as far possible which will allow you to get used to working leads and to refine all your internal processes.

Even if you ultimately want to target remortgage customers, these leads can cost £30 or more per lead whereas mortgage purchase leads can be picked up for £5 or even less sometimes. It makes sense to try some of these cheaper leads first before moving onto the more expensive types and who knows, you might even generate some decent business in the meantime!

Software is key

Whether it’s for keeping a record of the progress of every lead, helping to manage the contact management process or effectively measuring the true performance of any lead buying campaign using dedicated software is vital for any lead buyer that wants to buy more than 10 leads per week. There are various online tools available that cost just a few pounds a month (much less than the cost of many leads) and it might just be the best investment you make.

Know the returns policy

Most reputable lead providers offer lead buyers a returns policy for things such as “wrong phone number”. However, every provider is different both in terms of what they offer refunds for and the processes in place to submit a lead for a refund.

Make sure you now the finer details of your lead provider’s returns policy as it can potentially save you a lot of money. When you are buying leads for £40+ in some categories such as life insurance leads, a few extra refunds each month can make the difference between an average campaign and a successful one.

Try some of your own online marketing

The most successful lead buyers are often the ones that have tried to generate leads themselves first before coming to a lead generation specialist. Any lead buyer that has spent money on marketing on Google or any other type of online marketing will know how hard it is to generate quality leads and how expensive it can be. It is particularly hard for categories such as mortgages where only a small percentage of mortgage customers are of any value due to the tight lending criteria. For any adviser looking to generate more than a few mortgage leads a week, a lead aggregator is often the only option.

One lead equals multiple opportunities

Don’t rely on just one revenue opportunity per lead. The most successful lead buyers plan to sell into multiple verticals. For example, if you just buy mortgage leads to sell mortgages you will be severely limiting yourself whereas if you sell life insurance to a significant proportion of your mortgage clients acquired through lead purchasing then your return will be much greater. The important thing is to track all revenues generated to the source of the business so if the mortgage customer that you sold life insurance to initially came from a lead then the revenue from the life policy should be included when calculating the performance of the lead buying campaign.

Focus on ROI above all else

Ultimately the only measure of success for a lead generation campaign – just like any marketing activity – is return on investment (ROI). Contact rates and conversion rates are important but the most successful campaign is one that generates the most revenue from spend.

When calculating ROI remember to include all external costs as well such as time to process leads etc. If you are spending hours of your own time just trying to get hold of every consumer then this should certainly have a bearing on what the true ROI is from the campaign.

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20 lead generation tips: part one

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

The following article was written by Justin Rees for Econsultancy. To read the original, click here.

In the latest IAB/PwC adspend study, online lead generation registered an impressive 20% growth rate over the year which shows the continuing interest in lead generation.

However, while spend is certainly increasing, there is still a lack of understanding about the industry.

The title of this post could have been 100 lead generation tips, but with the help of a few other lead generation experts I have managed to narrow the list down to the top 20 most important.

At a recent online marketing event, I was lucky enough to be invited to speak on a panel about lead generation which covered everything from the state of the current market, the issues faced by lead buyers and sellers and a sneak peak into what the future holds for the fledgling UK industry.

As part of the panel we were tasked to come up with a series of lead generation tips for the audience and myself, Andy Purbrick from Dennis Publishing and Sean Sewell from Performance Horizon Group put our heads together to come up with a top 20.

1. Validate as many data fields as possible in real-time

The more accurate the lead data, the higher the contact and conversion rates. There are lots of available technologies that allow you to improve the accuracy of data such as checking consumer phone numbers in real-time, validating post codes and verifying email addresses are genuine.

2. Understand the consumer journey

If you know how the consumer “becomes a lead” you can refine your follow up processes to increase return on investment. This is especially relevant for call centre follow ups where agents are paid by the hour.

For example, if the consumer is expecting a free quote for an insurance product then this needs to be factored into the scripting of the call.

3. Test and optimise

Rome wasn’t built in a day and nor are lead generation campaigns. Just like any marketing spend, there is always room for improvement and it takes time to maximise the ROI potential of any campaign.

This means you need to do lots of testing and optimisation.

4. Understand the value of your leads
Every lead has value but depending on the marketing messaging and origination method there can be significant variation between leads for the same campaign. There is a place for leads at different ends of the value scale but you need to know which is which in order to optimise your spend.

5. Have a relevant conversion strategy

It might seem like an obvious point but I am always surprised by how many times companies get this wrong. If you tell the consumer you are going to call them then make sure you call them.

If you don’t, then not only will the campaign not perform well, it can give your brand a bad name.

6. Don’t over-incentivise

There is nothing inherently wrong with an incentive but you need to find the balance between the consumer just wanting the incentive versus wanting to engage with your brand.

For example, if you are running a lead generation campaign to get subscriptions to a magazine, then giving away a free subscription of the magazine is fine but if you offer a free iPad giveaway then you will probably just get people that want to win an iPad.

7. Clear opt-in and privacy policy

This is important not just for regulatory reasons but also for lead quality as well. Ultimately, if the consumer doesn’t know what they are signing up for (or signing up at all) then they won’t be responsive to any further communications which will impact on the performance of the campaign.

 8. Don’t make the consumer jump through too many hoops

Naturally you want to know as much information as possible about each consumer but you get to a point where every extra field of data you capture or information you present to the consumer before they reach the lead form reduces lead volumes and doesn’t improve quality.

The amount of data you want to capture is something to test and optimise over the life of the campaign.

9. Leave your preconceptions at the door

Quite simply, the best lead generation campaigns are the ones that work. If the campaign looks ugly then it doesn’t necessarily mean it will generate poor leads and if the creative execution looks amazing it might not generate any leads at all!

The point is that only once the campaign is live can you tell whether it performs or not, so leave your preconceptions at the door and let the data do the talking.

10. Dedupe your leads

Why would you pay for the same lead twice? It is a waste of time and money. Luckily there are a handful of lead platforms that enable you to dedupe your lead supply in real-time so you only ever pay for each lead once. When leads can cost as much as £50 per lead in some verticals, even with a small duplication rate the potential savings are substantial.

Keep a look out for tips 11 -20…

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