Why Pay-Per-Lead Programs Don’t Always Get Results

February 28, 2018 Rieva Lesonsky

Does your business use a pay-per-lead program to generate business leads? While pay-per-lead programs may be tempting as a source of low-cost leads, they don't always work for every business. Here are some reasons why pay-per-lead programs may not be working for you — and why you need to start getting exclusive business leads instead.

Pay-per-lead programs don't always deliver the right types of business leads. Even if you are getting leads you know have interest in your industry, product or service, they won't be specifically tailored to your business’s particular needs the way exclusive leads are. Because they’re more generic, these leads will be harder to convert.

You’re sharing leads with the competition. The same company that's providing you with paid leads is undoubtedly selling leads to some of your competitors, too. That means you’re up against companies selling the same product or service, often in the same local area. This makes it much more challenging to turn leads into sales. To determine if such a pay-per-lead program is really delivering results, you'll need to track your conversion rate for these leads compared to your exclusive leads.

With pay-per-lead programs, speed is of the essence. When you're competing against other companies to win over the same leads, the sale often goes to the company that responds to the lead first. What happens if you're busy with another customer when a lead calls? According to one study, salespeople that responded to a lead within one hour were almost 7 times likelier to have a meaningful conversation with a decision-maker than those who waited over an hour. You may never recover from being just a little bit late to return that call.

Why you need exclusive leads

Exclusive business leads — those that you generate yourself — have a couple of advantages over pay-per lead programs. First, of course, they’re exclusive to your business, so you're not battling a bunch of competitors over them.

Second, exclusive leads are much more targeted than paid leads. When you generate your own leads, you can cultivate leads that precisely fit your target customer profile. The marketing experts at Lead Stream can help you generate this type of business lead by learning about the kinds of customers you want and developing a lead generation program targeted specifically to them. Leads that are more targeted are easier to convert to sales.

Of course, that doesn't mean exclusive leads guarantee easy sales. It's still important to contact exclusive leads quickly, before another competitor discovers them. Lead Stream makes sure you never miss a lead by notifying you when new leads come in so you can respond right away. Lead Stream even automates the process, setting up automated email campaigns to stay in touch with your leads and send them special offers.

You’ll also need to track your exclusive leads and monitor your performance metrics. When you use Lead Stream, you'll be able to see exactly how much money you're spending on leads, how well your leads are converting, and which lead generation tactics are most effective. Based on all that information, Lead Stream’s marketing experts continuously fine-tune your campaign to deliver better and better leads over time.

If you're focusing solely on paid leads, you could be selling your business short. Give Lead Stream a try, and you'll understand why generating exclusive leads needs to be part of every small business’s marketing strategy.

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