Lead Tips for 2012


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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