The other day I was Skyping with an IT friend of mine. He started a new business and knowing part of what I do for a living asked me a very compelling question. How do I get leads that convert and will not bankrupt me? Before I got a chance to answer he was already typing a new response, when it came through it made me smile and I chuckled. His next message, he had someone email him about leads that cost “pennies a day”, these were exclusive “fresh hot leads”. I said immediately…do it, try it out! I knew where he would be in 2 or 3 weeks, asking me the same questions. After after all we know what it takes to acquire leads. No I am not that mean, I could not let him crash and burn, so I answered simply; don’t give into all the marketing gimmicks, what he was experiencing was paid traffic whiplash. After a brief pause, he replied, huh?
Don’t get bamboozled
We see it all the time, so many solutions, so many choices constantly coming at you from all angles. Afterall your company needs to turn a profit and get new leads as fast as possible. That’s totally understandable but all the searching and research creates whiplash. Eventually all your searching and phone interviews with PPC management companies can leave you frazzled. What typically can happen is the boss says get it done or you the small business owner makes a snap decision. At this point anything sounds like it’s better than nothing and you need to get back to doing your job.
You have to be very careful, there are so many would be experts and companies practically begging you for your business. If they have a hard time getting your attention they will resort to their bag of marketing tricks. Normally these types of companies will deploy both methods. Including a regurgitated free report on getting tons of new visitors. A landing page filled with fake testimonials plus a pretty sounding guarantee, they know you will never use. Simply watch for the phrase “fresh hot leads” or similar language and run the other way.
Would someone please just make it happen already
So sparing him my typical state of the union length speech, I basically gave my IT buddy my humble assessment. “Don’t do it yourself unless you have a major amount of time to learn this craft of paid advertising”. If online paid marketing is a lifelong dream then go for it but for him, he really just wants someone to make it happen, it’s honest and can be said by most of us.
Well, if you need another hat to wear
So you really want to do it yourself? Then two of the biggest ways to start racking up potential prospects is to setup a Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) campaign and open a Facebook Ad account. Set a budget and live by that budget until you are closing deals and gaining new clients, then you can increase it.
The major problem in the beginning is you will not know your actual budget just yet, you need time to see how your lead pages convert, how you keywords perform and if your ad copy is compelling and relevant enough to be clicked on. Without doing a ton of analysis the closest you can get to a daily budget is what you can actually afford to spend day to day.
Yes I know it all sounds so romantic and simple…not! I don’t mean to sound like a smarty pants but without someone or an experienced company giving you insight into your account every step of the way, it will be daunting. You need to what you do best and that is running your company. It’s the actually advice I gave him, whether he goes with our account insights plan or another route for lead generation. My buddy now understands instead of trying to stress himself out learning a new craft, he would rather stick to helping his clients and creating the best product possible. Bravo my friend!
Pay Per Click for companies of all sizes & budgets
When starting out developing your PPC campaign you will want to follow a few tidbits that I have been kind enough to list below.
- Set your overall budget you are willing to spend per day
- Start with a smaller list of keywords
- Keep your ads relevant to your keywords
- Segment your ad groups for greater efficiency
- Find out the associated cost of each lead, this is important, really important!
Do you think it’s better that you pay out $10 a lead or that overall you made profit on those leads? Paying a lower cost per lead is all good and fine but do they close on the sales floor? These are interesting questions to think about. It’s great that your company made $25,000 in sales for the month from your PPC efforts but you spent $22,000 to get some of those leads closed. Does the math add up after paying to acquire the leads, the lights, payroll and other expenses. You probably will find your company is in the negative for this part of your marketing efforts. Don’t panic, just go at this from the standpoint of taking the next step and working to bring down your companies per lead acquisition cost. Eventually you have a well tuned paid strategy that is a major profit center for your company.
My point here is to remember the “true cost of lead generation” and not simply that you blindly generate leads within your budget.
Making it rain $100 bills like a player
If you don’t get the condentation of that statement, it means stop wasting your money, in PPC you can not simply look the part. If you can get help from someone that knows how to at least get you going in the right direction than do it. Setting up a PPC account is on the simpler side but managing a PPC account…not easy. You have to deal with unqualified leads, bad phone numbers, tire kickers and your competition that is just “checking you out”. On top of that you have to keep your account producing the types of results you need and keeping your lead cost in line with the budget you set. So no matter if you are a big or small company, you have the same issues, the large companies have an advantage. They have the fuel (aka cash) to go through enough PPC experts, qualified paid campaign managers and training course to finally get something worthwhile in place and start making a profit. If you don’t have the funds to hire out a full blown manager you will have to work harder but you can have the same success and start making a profit sooner.
Well deserved shameless plug
If you think lead generation is expensive & time consuming, including setting up landing pages, tracking and weekly/monthly reporting you would be 100% correct! The point I am trying to make here is you don’t always need a paid managed agency.
Lead Success has a plan called account insights. This plan provides your company with lead page development, critical reporting and valuable account insights. This equips your paid accounts manager or the CEO with information that is truly vital for improvements within your accounts. You can succeed in your lead generation campaigns just as fast if not faster without detaching from the process.
With our insights package practically anyone in your organization can take over the day to day of you pay per click accounts and get amazing results. It’s like getting on the job training, weekly audits and ppc consulting all in one, letting you profit without all the added stress.