Every successful business needs a constant cycle of customers, and as the quote goes, “The man who stops advertising to save money is like the man who stops the clock to save time.” However, online lead generation is the combination of saving money and time.
Businesses used to buy leads from salesmen who set up a booth at a trade show, auctioning off some prize if you filled out a raffle ticket. Imagine, hours and hours spent for a hundred or so contacts. What used to be done in hours can now be done in minutes, and instead of hundreds, it’s now a thousand leads or more per day. Still, online lead generation is quite elusive, and there are those companies who claim to have original formulas. There are some basics that can guide any business to yield more quality leads, yet you first have to understand more about this technology to really grasp its benefits.
One thing that many businesses commonly mistake lead generation for is spam. While spammers may use email spam for lead generation, it’s not an accurate way to produce any quality results. True online lead generation simply generates an interest into a business’ product or services over the Internet. Basically, you place a form on a webpage with prospective consumer interests, potential customer enters contact information to signify interest, and you get a lead. Then, the lead helps to build an e-newsletter list, reward program database, loyalty program, or other list. Simply put, if you want someone to join your club, you need to reach the right markets, and that’s where online lead generation truly works.
Of course, how you format the form, where you place the form and the type of language on the form are the important parts to successful lead generation. In general, customers enjoy a unique display on websites and can spot Google ads and keyword text from a mile away. Lead generators have to be careful of a high bounce rate, which means that target individuals are loading the page, then immediately leaving, usually because a website appeared fake, uninteresting or simply “shady”. The best sites for lead generation simply appear as community organizations and offer the most information possible without blatantly advertising products. In this form, it is more about an interesting logo, page layout, keyword links and unique text—meaning that you actually say something instead of repeating a keyword over and over.
There are two types of advertising in online lead generation. CPL advertising, where advertisers pay for an interested lead containing the individual’s contact information, is best for brand marketing and advertisers looking to create an interest with a newsletter, e-mail list, community site or reward program. The second type is CPA advertising, sometimes called affiliate marketing, where the advertiser pays for a sale that already has the credit card transaction. CPA focuses on customers wanting and buying the product precisely in the moment. This is where online lead generation gets very technical and has to create the right form for the right advertiser. In most cases, CPL advertising generates more leads. With a constant bombardment of online ads, experts have to be much more thoughtful and technical with lead generation technology.
In today’s advertising marketplace, lead generation is a multi-billion dollar enterprise with multiple large companies that trade on public markets, such as Zillow, QuinStreet and Bankrate. There are also possibly thousands of smaller players. Both types of companies meet up annually at LeadsCon, the largest conference for lead generation. In just a few short years, LeadsCon went from 500 attendants to 5,000. Clearly, as the technology grows behind consumer marketing, so does online lead generation.