“How do I find good quality lead suppliers?” It’s one of the first questions new lead buyers ask, right? You know they must exist but where are they hanging out? How do you start that relationship? How do you separate the truly good ones from the ones who simply talk a good game?
Databowl Head of Marketing Daniel Hopewell asks CEO Simon Delaney how he used to find good suppliers when he previously ran one of biggest lead buying agencies in UK in the latest episode of the B2C Lead Gen Podcast. Spoiler: We don’t give you a black book full of names and addresses… but we do give you some of the tools to create your own.
Below is an article adapted from some of the key ideas discussed on the podcast. Links to full episode at bottom of the page.
So, a brand or lead buyer wants to identify a good source of leads. Where do they start?
Simon Delaney: It’s an interesting question purely because in 2011 I stared a lead gen agency called Mediabowl and we used to buy leads and sell them onto buyers. So it was our job to find high quality lead suppliers. When people ask me this question I think back to what we used to do.
STEP UP YOUR NETWORKING
It was a lot of networking. That would often just be attending shows and conferences where I thought lead suppliers might be. I’d find people I knew supplied leads and I’d go to shows to meet them and build that relationship. Obviously Covid has changed things in that regard so it may be that you do that over Zoom now, but the same principle applies. There will always be an element of networking required when it comes to finding good lead suppliers.
CHECK YOUR COMPETITION
The other thing I used to do was, if I thought someone else was buying leads and was connected to lead generators or suppliers who I didn’t know, I’d go onto their LinkedIn and work through their connections. That was a great way to identify new lead generators and suppliers.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Ultimately, when I sit and actually think what I used to do, it basically comes down to treating the lead buying process as your job. There is no secret sauce. It’s about putting in the hours. You need to find out where the best leads come from? Find out who the good lead generators are. What are their sites? I used to trawl through native ads looking at who the lead generators were. I used to trawl through anything social and find groups for lead generators and lead suppliers. I’d go through keywords. It’s pretty simple. If you’re buying life insurance leads and just look at the ads, look at the companies that have lead forms.
This is the funny thing. The answer is there in black and white, it just involves a bit of work. For me, the real question is “Are you willing to put in the work to find the high quality lead suppliers.” Alternatively you can just work for someone who does that for you.
At what point is it right to assess if a supplier is good or not? How long do you leave it?
Look, any supplier can be good or bad at any point. It’s like Schrödinger's cat or you know, the wave particle experiment. So you have to be mindful of this. But ultimately you do due diligence when working with people. This will be a document you send to new suppliers that asks a series of questions:
- Finds out how exactly they will generate the leads
- Ensure there is total transparency around the process
- Find out the traffic sources they use
- Check they will be compliant
- Check leads are collected with consent
- Check the site and assets to be used
Once you’re happy this all looks good you put aside a test budget of a figure you are potentially willing to lose and essentially check for yourself. Run a test campaign with them, put a Cap on the test, watch it like a hawk.