Make lead buying more effective

Best Advice

The difference between an average lead generation campaign and a successful one can come down to small margins. While it takes time to perfect a strategy to maximise your conversion rates and ROI from buying leads, there are a few simple things you can do now to get ahead.

Out of hours
The internet is a 24 hours per day, seven days per week business and when it comes to financial services things are no different. The fact is that if you only take leads from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, not only are you missing out on a large section of your potential customers, you will also end up paying a premium for the leads you do purchase.

If you buy mortgage leads for example, and you have specific filters in place such as post codes, and a low maximum LTV there are only ever going to be a finite number of consumers that meet your criteria submitting their details online to receive advice. If you only purchase leads between 9am and 5pm that’s just eight hours out of a possible 24 hours when people are filling in forms. Looking at the statistics and how consumers use the internet there are genuine enquiries being generated at all times of the day. From the night worker that fills in a form at 6am when they come off their shift to the doctor who doesn’t have time to use the internet for personal use during the day so submits their inquiry at 8.30pm after they come home from work. 

Despite what many lead buyers think, there is no evidence to show that leads purchased outside of standard office hours perform any worse and in fact there are many lead buyers that swear by taking out of hours leads only. So leave your order on 24 hours per day to take advantage of these consumers. There is also less demand for these leads at these times so you might pick up leads for a few pounds less which over the course of a month can be a substantial saving.

In addition to this, the same principle applies to weekend leads; only the potential savings for lead buyers are even larger. People are increasingly going online looking for advice on the weekend and they have more time at their disposal compared to during the week so can spend longer researching their options before they submit their details to be contacted. This often means that as a lead buyer you can get a different type of customer on the weekend compared to the week.

Know the rules
Don’t just assume that all lead providers are the same and the only difference between each one is lead price and performance. While there is at least some overlap between the majority of reputable leads provider, there are often differences that can be crucial for the success of the lead buyer.

Many lead buyers assume for example that all lead providers offer the same filtering options for each lead product but this is not the case. Taking mortgage leads as an example, some lead providers set a maximum LTV of leads that they sell on to buyers and there is no way of controlling what you get while others let you explicitly select a maximum LTV for the leads that you purchase. In the current mortgage market, the mix of LTVs in your lead supply can often be the difference between success and failure.

Another important difference between lead providers is their refund policies. While most providers do have some kind of refund policy, each one may have a slightly different set of rules on things like how to leave feedback, which feedback codes make a lead eligible for review and how many attempts are made to verify the buyer’s feedback. For example, some lead providers give you five days to leave feedback while others allow more time.

When leads can cost £30+ in some verticals, you can potentially lose a lot of money if you don’t know the subtleties of the refund policy. Making sure you know the finer points of each provider’s refund policy is especially important if you work with multiple lead providers at any given time.

Be Prepared to hear “No”
It is best practice (as well as a requirement in the financial services industry) to obtain the consumers express consent to be contacted but no lead buyer should be under any illusion that using lead generation to generate new business is easy. As one lead buyer elegantly put it, “when buying leads, you have to kiss a lot of frogs”.

For most lead products, such as mortgage and protection consumers have to fill in up to thirty fields of information to become a lead, so why is it so often such an uphill struggle for lead buyers? The answer to this question is easier to determine if we have a quick look at the “types” of people who might fill in a form online and become a lead.

When you receive a lead, while the consumer will have given their express consent to be contacted they could be at any stage of the purchasing cycle – from somebody that has literally just decided on that day to enquire about their remortgage options to somebody that is waiting by the phone with their credit card in hand ready to take out a new life insurance policy.

The fact is that lead buyers need to be prepared to be able to deal with all these types of enquiry and have the processes in place to follow up with the ones that require more nurturing but also have ready some prepared lines for those consumers that “only wanted a quote”.

It can certainly be demoralising at times when you are paying for leads and you are having conversation after conversation with consumers that you know are unlikely to convert in the near future but persistence is key. There are lead buyers out there that spend tens of thousands of pounds each month on leads and do no other marketing and this is only because in the long run they are making a healthy return on investment from lead generation. 


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