This article has been adapted from a talk called “The Art Of Lead Buying” as part of the Lead Generation World Virtual Conference - London 2021 by Databowl CEO Simon Delaney. You can find links to the initial talk at the bottom of the article.
This article is designed to give lead buyers key insights and tips to take control of their lead buying. Through the application of these 6 foundational pieces any lead buyer can achieve complete control, clarity, and confidence when buying leads. The end result should be any lead buyer is able to maximise the value of each and every single lead and make every lead count.
Simply put, follow these 6 steps and see:
- Fewer bad leads
- Higher quality leads coming in
- Higher conversion rates on the leads you buy
- A totally transparent and efficient lead buying process
1 - UTILISE THE POWER OF THE BRAND
Brand is the number one profit multiplier
A lot of people in lead generation miss the fact that having a brand (or buying leads for a big brand) is the number one way to improve ROI on advertising spend.
Utilising the power of a big or well known brand is by far the simplest and most effective way of improving your performance when buying leads.
If you are buying leads on behalf of a brand be sure to use that brand as part of your lead generation mechanism, or work in partnership with lead generators to enable them to maximise their results on your behalf.
You should also be sure to use the whole lead generation process as an opportunity to build and strengthen your brand.
Lead Generation and Lead Buying involves a huge amount of brand awareness so be sure to get the most out of this brand awareness program that you are effectively running.
Create Your Own Brand
If you don’t have a big brand to utilise then you can think about creating your own brand as part the lead gen mechanism, allowing you to build a stronger direct relationship with prospects. There are 3 key things to consider when doing this.
- What is your positioning and who are you aiming at?
- How does your messaging resonate with them?
- What are you doing differently to stand out?
Many lead generators use the same tried and tired looking templates that offer no strong positioning and branding. There is a huge opportunity to build your own brand and stand out from the crowd.
2 - CONNECT WITH REAL PEOPLE
Almost 35% of all leads generated can be instantly struck off as wasted because they are either fraudulent, invalid, or unsuitable.
This is a huge problem within lead generation but it can be solved by simply ensuring the correct measures are in place to safeguard against this when buying leads. The end result will simply be you are connecting with real and suitable people.
What are the measures you can run to ensure you connect with real people when buying leads?
- Use real time suppression files
- Ensure validation on form collection of key details
- Validate leads when you receive them
- Use Condition Sets on the back end
- Apply de-duplication
- Use Double Opt-In emails/SMS
- Understand the biggest problem is bots and click farms (and you need specialist tech to help prevent against this)
To understand these in more depth be sure to check out the podcast at the bottom of the page. Or to learn more about Validation in general check out the article How Much Is Lead Fraud Costing You?
3 - PREPARE SALES
The third foundational point for perfecting your lead buying is preparing Sales to ensure they are fully equipped to maximise their potential and make every lead count.
It is well known that leads need to be contacted as quickly as possible to increase conversion rates, as illustrated in the following data.
There is not much new here. Clearly, the faster a lead is contacted the better. But what can you do as lead buyer to ensure the sales team are acting upon this and it’s actually happening?
5 SIMPLE WAYS TO GET SALES ACTING FASTER
- Ring them, shout at them, make sure they are doing it. Do not give up until they are! Yes, this is simple, but it needs to be said and done.
- Present a calendar link to leads allowing them to choose a time to contact them. This can relieve stress from sales team and can help ensure you are putting a prospect’s needs first.
- Create your own mini pre-sales team where leads are further qualified and a time is scheduled in for the agent. It gives you the power and control you may need.
- Use 2-way SMS messaging. This is a great way to get the leads engaged in the golden five minutes and typically has amazing conversion / response rates.
- Ditch the end buyer. This is one for the agencies and lead generators, but end buyers need to be aware it happens! Trust works both ways in a relationship, so if leads aren’t be contacted quickly enough this is often the end result.
BUILD A SALES PACK
Let’s assume your lead distribution set-up is a smooth and seamless operation and leads are being contacted in real-time, like clockwork? Great right?
Well, only if the sales team are fully prepared to make the sale.
They need to do know absolutely everything about the journey of the lead to ensure they are not flying in the dark. The good news is you can help them.
Prepare a sales pack so the agent knows everything they need to know to be able to make a sales.
- What advert the lead first clicked
- What messaging was used?
- What was the landing page?
- What was the actual offer?
- What is the tone of voice they should use?
- What questions might be asked?
- What answers should they have ready?
You can even write them a script if you think that would be of value, just make sure that are prepared. Again, by creating this sales pack you have the opportunity to take control!
4 - SEND UPDATES BACK TO THE LEAD GENERATOR
Something that is becoming a really big and interesting point in lead generation at the moment is the need for lead buyers and sales teams to send updates back to the lead generation process. This type of transparency and feedback can be hugely important to increasing performance and results.
Why do you need to send updates back?
This is simply a matter of reacting to data and refining the lead generation process to improve performance. It is ultimately a very simple idea and can be massively beneficial, allowing all involved to have control and clarity. Yet it is not standard practice because there are still issues of mistrust between the lead generator and the lead buyer (that works both ways). To cut through this in simple terms:
- Always feedback sales to channels where that helps you (and helps the lead generation process improve)
- This information needs to be fed back in real time
- If you don’t trust your sources just don’t work with them
In lead generation, transparency and trust are always vitally important. Without transparency and trust you lose control, clarity, and confidence in the lead buying process.
5 - PURSUE NON-CONVERSIONS
One great way to boost performance and gain control of the process when buying leads is simply to ensure you also pursue non-conversions.
At the point where leads have been sent into a sales function and a sale hasn’t been made there is then the opportunity to nurture those leads to the point where a sale is eventually made. Again, this sounds simple, but it is something that often gets lost in transactional, short-term mindset a lot of lead buyers buy into.
In fact, to have full control over your lead buying, you should recognise the opportunity to build a long term relationship with those leads and make every lead count, if not instantly then eventually.
3 Things To Consider When Pursuing Non-conversions
- Don’t simply hunt sales. Aim to offer value to these leads.
- If you help the user they will trust you and this is the start of a relationship.
- This is also a huge opportunity to build your brand and brand awareness. Use it!
A lot of lead buyers tend to funnel non-conversions into a database and maybe send out occasional emails that get lost. This is a huge missed opportunity and will likely have little impact on performance. Instead, by offering value and building a long term relationship you will see far better results in the long run and also strengthen your brand.
6 - ENSURE CONSENT
When buying leads compliance and transparent consent is the biggest issue you will face and need to ensure the control of.
The good news is you can deal with it quite easily providing you can record and take the following measures on every single lead you purchase:
- The exact source of every single lead
- Sign off every source and the ads they run
- Get the time / date of opt-in
- Get the contact channel opt-in
- Track keywords (if available)
Finally, as well as ensuring you have access to the above, be sure to leave no stone unturned in your process. By ensuring transparent consent in every part of the lead generation mechanism - and by running all of the foundational steps listed above - you can take control over the lead buying process.