Let’s face it: You know that “Lead Generation” is the single most important thing that you arrive at when you boil marketing down to its roots. As soon as you realize this, the real question you face is,“How much is it going to cost to get a single lead?”
It’s a pretty logical question. No matter the type of lead that you want (whether they are sales leads, business leads or b2b contact leads), the basic building block you first want to know about is your cost per lead (CPL), and with pay-per-click advertising (PPC) fluctuating all over the place, it can get pretty difficult to find out the true cost of a single lead. Everything being equal, it’s important to understand your true CPL, so you can focus on generating the highest converting leads for the lowest cost.
There are three main ways of attracting leads into your sales funnels: either you start PPC advertising with Google Adwords, or you start using Customer Relationship Management tools, or you do it the good old-fashioned way by mailing out letters, postcards and then cold calling your prospects on the phone (aka “dialing for dollars”).
Let’s look at pay-per-click advertisements for a moment. They are the most common, most popular and probably the most expensive way to go about collecting leads for your business. With an average CPL between 15 and 20 percent higher than the CPLs for other methods, PPC requires you to have deep pockets and the patience to wait the slow months out and evolve your ad campaigns at the same time.
You will need to know your way around Google Adwords to make sure your ads are showing up at the top and are competing well in the hyper-competitive Google ad market. With keywords which are auctioned at well over $5 for just the tiniest hope of getting a click – there is no way to figure a safe ROI on your advertising attempts.
Coming to CRM tools like Infusionsoft, Sales Force and Zoho , the main problem lies in the fact that you will have to pay heavy upfront fees to use these tools, and systems like these are designed for enterprise-level sales teams, not the typical small- or mediium-sized business (SMB).
CRMs do offer a rich set of features that can help your business meet a fast rate of growth. A good landing page, linked to a good campaign in Infusionsoft (IS) can help you nurture leads and convert them at a favorable rate. For example, if you generate 1,000 leads in a month due to landing pages created within IS and linked to well-built campaigns, your CPL would be around $2.63, assuming you have the $380/month package. Unfortunately, you still need to generate the leads that go to the landing page.
But there is another, completely free way to go about your lead generation. A new suite of tools is emerging that takes full advantage of social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and — especially — LinkedIn.
What’s unique about the LinkedIn platform is that it is set up specifically to facilitate relationship development. So if you’re going to be investing time, money and effort into a lead gen system, you owe it to yourself to learn more about how these options can support you.
You can start by going to this free 3 part video course on lead generation here. In it, Cory Michael Sanchez, Ira Rosen and Don Osborne talk about the best ways to do lead gen using a mixture of paid advertising, CRM platforms and social media advertising.
Happy lead hunting!