This week we’re flipping it. To find out how to buy better leads we recruit the help of a fantastic lead seller and get you the inside track. Ryan Berry of Cornerhouse Media was kind enough to give us his secrets, telling us the channels and types of leads you should be focusing on in 2022, how your strategy may need to change depending on your level of experience, and explaining why Randomness is a huge deal when it comes to buying leads.
Whether you’re brand new to lead buying or you’ve been doing it for years, you’ll still find absolutely tons of value from the insights Ryan shares with us.
This article was adapted from the latest episode of the B2C Lead Gen Podcast, but be sure to check out the full episode as there is a loads of extra stuff in there! You can find all links at the bottom of page.
Ryan, to kick us off, can you explain the differences in how people should approach buying leads depending on their experience?
Ryan Berry: Yes, absolutely. So, it’s probably easier initially to talk about buyers who are experienced with buying leads. They know what to expect. They know what can go wrong, and that is very important.
I find that buyers who are completely new to buying leads absolutely do not know what to expect. There’s no problem with that but it does mean they’re going to need a little bit more of an on-boarding process to help train them and help them understand.
So to give you an example, about two weeks ago I had a phone call from a prospective lead buyer. They’d never done that before. And I could see their expectation was that every single lead would be a successful lead. To them I think success was being able to Quote them for the product they were wanting to look at. But, we know, with more experience, that is never going to happen. So sitting down with the buyer and really making them understand what is a realistic approach for buying leads is an important first step.
With the more experienced buyers you can get definitely get things working a lot more quickly because they will already know what their average success looks like, having previous data for Conversion Rates, Contact Rates, Sale Rates etc. They can measure out performance against other companies they buy leads from.
There is another thing that is really helpful when working with experienced buyers; they will already know exactly what their average consumer looks like. This could mean background, could be age, could be the motivation for wanting a particular product or service.
Let’s just push that idea of “success” a little further as it can be a vague term, right? How do you measure success in lead buying?
It’s a great point. You are absolutely right, how do you talk about “success” when every single buyer will have their own definition? We have one buyer, for example, where a direct profit on leads - if you basically say cost of leads and then the income that they get over 12 months - they can actually take a loss on those leads as they know that a profit will come in the future through upsells and various other aspects.
With other buyers, they effectively need to see a direct return on those leads within say, one month. So it becomes about sitting down and defining clearly what individual buyers need to see.
The Vanity Metric side of things can be frustrating, but at the same time it can be helpful. So, we’re looking at Contact Rate, Quote Rate, for example, and both of those can perhaps be a good indication of what Sales Rate will be.
We often find that the discussion with a lead buyer about what success looks like makes them realise that perhaps they haven’t yet thought about that in enough detail. So we then need to help them look at the basic maths.
At the time of this convo - Jan, ’22 - what would you say are some of the good channels that lead buyers need to be exploring?
You know what, it’s about getting a good feeling from someone you can buy leads from. I think the Channel Focus is almost the single topic that I hear frequently from buyers who are only focused on this - and of course the cost as well - but it tends to be channel, channel, channel, every single time. It’s always “Hey are your leads native? Are they social? Are they search?” And sometimes not wanting to hear any more detail about them, just wanting to know the channel. My opinion, and the opinion of Cornerhouse Media, on this is, the channel is far less important than the buyers understand. It’s more about the customer experience and the brand.
We all look at this idea of, if it’s a single channel the performance must be intrinsically linked to that, so if it’s a native lead it will convert at X, if it’s a search lead it will convert at Y, rather than, are all of these channels talking to each other as one? We look at our personal lives - and this is the bit that drives me crazy - but for me if we see an ad outdoors on a taxi or a bus, or hear a radio ad, but later you see a YouTube ad or a Facebook ad and you finally click to convert on a search ad, we know from a tracking point of view the search ad is very likely to get the credit for that, however, your journey and your awareness of that brand has come from all of those different sources. That may happen over two days, it may happen over two months, it may happen over a very long period of time. So for me, as a lead buyer, I’d look at a seller and ask “What is the consumer journey here? What is the experience going to look like? Is that lead coming from a full marketing campaign across many different channels? And will it come from a brand?”
To me, this is the only future of lead generation, it has to go down a branded route.