How many leads do your campaigns leave behind?

Stephen Pratley goes through the strategies that brought the cost per lead on a recent campaign from over £20 to under £5

Transcript:

Hi. I'm Stephen Pratley and this is the Automatic Business Show.

In today's show, I want to talk to you about just how much money you're  leaving on the table with your lead generation campaigns. So a typical lead generation campaign that we see is taking traffic from paid search on Google AdWords or from LinkedIn, Twitter and in consumer markets quite often it's going to be from Facebook as well.

Most of the ones we see are, at worst case, driving traffic directly to a homepage, not a good idea, and we'll go into that in some other episodes.

The second one, people think they're doing better if they're driving traffic to a specific landing page and collecting contact details from that. Until now that's been one of the best options but the prices of clicks on Google and Facebook and other networks are going up and up as competition gets steeper and so we're having to fight much harder to get those leads and to convert them into sales.

So first of all you need to get yourself into the mindset of the customer and if they arrive on a page and it has a little bit of sales copy and then a request for you to call them, get a free quote, they know pretty much that they're going to get sold to when they do that.

Consumers are more sophisticated now. They know that things like free strategy calls are essentially sales calls and they want something else. They want to see a little bit more of you and decide whether they want to hand over their details and spend time on the phone with your sales guys before they actually give that detail up.

So our first tip is don't just go straight for the kill. Don't just go straight for the “give us your contact details” or “give us your telephone number”.

Try to find something that you can give them that will help them a little bit in their buying decision or help position yourself as being somebody who is more trustworthy, helpful, likable and acting in their interests than just somebody who wants to sell to them.

Now that's good practice in any landing page and you need to follow that up as well. So you need to have some emails in place that will follow that information up and then push them a little bit more gently towards buying from you. Because there's a relatively small number of customers who will go straight for that telephone number or straight for the callback form or straight to handing you their email address just cold.

Now a bigger part of this is how you're actually targeting those adverts.  If you're doing PPC, you're probably targeting on search key words which are becoming more expensive. If you're using things like LinkedIn and Facebook you've probably been targeting on some kind of interest type for that customer. So somebody has an interest in a business like yours. It might be a weight loss business, it might be a chiropractor business, it might be career advancement or some kind of consultancy.

There's a very wide range of information that Facebook has about its customers now. And you've probably been targeting on that.

Now we've run quite a lot of campaigns on Facebook in particular recently and those interest codes tend to be some of the worst performing sectors that we advertise on.

Now that's not saying that they're necessarily bad it just means that there are some better ways of doing it.

Now the first way is to take the people that have visited your website. Either people who have already paid for a click, you've already paid for a click on Facebook and they've come and seen your website and seen your offer. And invest in re-targeting those. So a big factor in whether somebody will deal with you or not is just their familiarity with your brand. And a lot of people click through, they might like the idea of what you have to offer but they don't yet trust you that you're the person to deliver it. So re-targeting helps get your company and your offer in front of this person repeatedly until they start to think oh well this is somebody who I've seen around a few times. So re-targeting based on people that actually click through on any advert and arrive on your website. And you can then show adverts, either on Google or on Facebook or even some other sites using banner ads. And there are some tools that we've used that will get you some quite wide coverage in that respect. And those will typically out-pull the people who have just clicked on your site once by several times over.

Three, four times the conversion rates is not unusual for that kind of data.

Now the second type of targeting that we use is to take your own data. So if you already have a customer base we can take that list, add that into Facebook (and actually Google is now releasing similar tools), and create an audience of people who have already bought, or people who have already signed up just for a lead but haven't bought yet. So we can target specifically them. Get people who haven't bought that particular product from you but who you do have some data for and target them.

Again those will outperform a general interest group on Facebook or Google by two three times over quite happily.

The last one is an interesting tool which Facebook does particularly well and because Facebook do it also it means you can run that on Instagram who Facebook also own. And that's a look-a-like audience.

So you upload your data into Facebook or they can see people who have clicked through to your site from previous ads. They will then go through that and understand the interest not just on one dimension that you're picking, so they're interested in weight loss for example but in all the other things that they're interested in. And they'll combine those together and find an audience of people who look very similar to them. And you can say how exact you want to match that audience.

So take a very precise one to start with and then ones that match a little bit less and a little bit less until you get down to just breaking even. Again those are very, very high performing audiences that Facebook has taken and put many, many more interests in to. Many more dimensions, many more behaviors. Things like other groups they clicked on, things that they've bought, their ages, their level of education, their level of income. All the different things that Google knows about you. Maybe doesn't know all of that about every single customer but it knows some of those about each person and it can build those audiences for you.

Now Facebook gets paid when those people click so it's in its interest to present those ads to the best audience and not to people who won't click on your ad so you're actually working in tandem with Facebook and you're both looking for the same end which is to get good results from your advertising so you carry on spending money with them.

Now we did this recently on a free event for students. It was a quite tightly targeted group of students looking for post graduate courses in London and we started off by targeting people who were of a certain age, who had an interest in post graduate studies, certain universities and so on. And our initial costs per lead was over £20 a lead which is not terrible but it's not as good as we knew we could get it to. And by applying each one of these different types of targeting towards the end of the campaign which was only a few short weeks, we'd driven that cost per lead down to less than £5 per person. And that's people turning up to a live event in London. So they're actually having to travel to it.

So if we can get those kind of results so reducing the cost down by four or five times just think what you might be able to do from building your email list which is a much easier sell than getting somebody to actually travel to an event.

Now take a look at the ads that you're running. Take a look at the kind of landing page you're doing and put yourself in your customers shoes and just see whether any of these techniques might actually mean that you're leaving some really big chunks of money on the table if you're just driving ads and expecting people to convert in one go. We can take campaigns which are performing OK, maybe break even or even at a small loss and by driving better targeting, a better designed and planned out landing page, a better offer and a better email follow up it can really drive much, much better results from these campaigns.

So jot some notes in the comments below. If you're doing any of these things. If you've had good results, bad results, I'd love to hear back and share people's experiences on this.

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