Lead Generation - A Beginner's Guide to the Marketing Benefits
Imagine walking into your office on Monday morning and finding ten hot sales leads flowing into your inbox. What a way to start business on a Monday, huh?
Lead generation is not a new form of driving new business, but it now has a new approach. Rather than sitting at a trade show table for hours on end, or setting up a display in hopes that targeted consumers will complete a form, you can have leads generated and sent to you using the technology of the internet.
How Does Lead Generation Work?
There are agencies that specialize in providing qualified leads to businesses. The process of lead generation is actually very easy. An agency develops a website or partnerships with several websites in which they promote and advertise your product or service. A consumer finds these directories or informational sites, and they can complete an online quote request form. This form is submitted to the agency. The buyer's information is verified and matched to the appropriate providers. These matched leads are then sent via email to the prospective providers with full contact information and purchasing requirements.
What Business Industries use Lead Generation?
Lead generation could work for just about any business, but most industries using this type of marketing include insurance agencies, education institutions, realtors, office suppliers, and furniture stores. Trends show that lead generation will continue to grow, especially for service-oriented businesses.
Why Use Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a win-win for both the buyer and seller. A buyer can request information from several businesses that offer the product or service that they are looking for and the seller is given the opportunity to pitch their product or service to someone who has given them permission. Conversion rates on leads that you receive often have a higher conversion success rate than cold contacts because the prospect is pre-qualified before you ever receive the lead.
Lead generation has become popular with businesses because it enables a business to:
- Determine pricing on a per lead basis
- Choose the product or service they wish to offer to prospects
- Select the geographical area that the business is interested in
- Control the number of leads a business wishes to receive per month (this assists with budgeting)
- Pay only for the leads that are received
How Much Does it Cost?
Lead generation can be extremely cost-effective. Leads range anywhere from $25 to $500. Price often depends on the measure of difficulty in getting the lead. The easier the lead is to get the lower the price seems to be.
Agencies that offer lead generation will often charge you a setup or maintenance fee. It can range between $200 to $1000 per year.
Is Lead Generation for You?
If your calendar is empty and you need business fast lead generation is a way that you can grow your business rather quickly. It's an easy way to increase your ROI and get more business on your books. Approach it just like you would any other advertising endeavor, set aside a reasonable budget to test it and see if it works for your business. The key to being successful in lead generation is to brush up on your sales and marketing skills so that the leads you receive convert at a high sales rate.
Do not try to approach this method of marketing without the ability to follow through and close the sale.
What's the Downfall of Lead Generation?
Lead generation is a great way to drum up business, but over the years there are lead agencies that have adopted unethical practices. When you purchase leads, you don't have control over how many providers that lead is sold to. You also don't know how accurate the information is. There are some lead agencies that will sell what we call "junk leads" or leads that contain false or inaccurate information. A lead is really only as good as the lead agency that you are purchasing it from. Leads can also get costly and if you are relying only on lead agencies to provide you leads this can hit your marketing budget hard.
Using a reputable lead agency to purchase leads is still a great way to grow your business, especially in the start-up phase, but don't neglect coming up with a strategy that will help in generating your own leads.