In the latest episode of the B2C Lead Generation Podcast we caught up with CEO of Lead Generation World, Michael Ferree, to have a quick and informal chat about lead gen. Specifically we wanted to try and delve into what the best practices are, how people are succeeding and also try and identify some of the mistakes people make too.
We get you answers to the following questions:
- How has lead generation changed in recent years?
- Are there any patterns you’ve seen with the brands that are succeeding in lead generation?
- What are the big mistakes lead generators make?
- How do you see the future of lead generation changing?
And a lot more.
Below are some of the key ideas discussed in our conversation, but be sure to check out the whole thing if you really want to deep dive into the B2C Lead Generation world.
You’ve been speaking to leading people in the lead generation space for a long time. What are some of the highlights of your time doing this? What are the things that have really stuck with you?
Michael Ferree: For me, I always get intrigued with the tech companies. Just hearing what they’re doing, the processes being implemented, and the conversion or the funnel. Hearing new strategies on communicating with prospects and consumers is always intriguing to me.
Are there any patterns that you’ve seen emerge amongst the brands that are doing really well out of lead gen?
The lead generation industry in the United States has gone through a number of different evolutions to be where it is now. I think there is opportunity in Europe and the UK to follow some of those trends and grow. Part of that, over the last ten years, was that there was no transparency or trust and best practices that were really promoted. And so now we have companies that provide an opportunity to identify a lead’s Born-On Date. This identifies exactly where and when the lead was created, what website, what time, all this sort of stuff, so it can be proven this a real, legitimate lead.
So that started around six years ago and that really opened the door to promoting good companies that were doing the “right thing.” That really helped boost lead quality.
And then it’s just the promotion of best practices. We have companies that buy thousands of leads a day and being able to contact them immediately - whether it’s through text messages or phone calls or whatever - calling it twice the first day, calling it one the third day, waiting a day, you know? These specific best practices have been perfect here by a lot of companies.
Now I see the lead generation industry as being relative mature. It understands how to identify good leads and it knows how to close those leads into sales.
It is interesting to watch that evolution and see companies become really successful with buying leads.
You speak about best practices, but let’s flip that. What are some of the worst practices you’ve seen? Tell us about the bad stuff in lead generation.
You know, boy, it’s all those things that you’ve heard unfortunately. Companies would use Bots to fill out forms. So they would take data, they would buy blocks of IP addresses so you can’t identify exactly where the bot is located, and they would go to these forms and have a bot that will out the form with the data that they purchased from a list or something like that, and it would look like it’s being filled out in real time.
There companies doing tool bar type spam, where they think they download a tool bar that goes on their browser but actually the tool bar changes everything you see on the site, so I can go to - let’s say a Bank of London site - and there is a link on there for a checking account that may lead you to another website, so people were basically stealing traffic from legitimate sources and pointing it in other directions.
Leads being over sold is an obvious ones. I think now the focus of the industry is “How do we ensure the consumer is having a good experience?” And not being called by numerous companies they didn’t expect. That is a problem that can be solved by limited the amount of times a lead is sold.
Now, the governments are getting involved with Privacy. Things like GDPR and TCPA that says you can’t sell information unless people have knowingly opted into it. If you do you’re gonna get a big fine.
One thing we always talk about is real time, but it works both ways. So, sending leads out to buyers, but also the buyers need to feed back results in real time.
100%. For a long time buyers didn’t want to share that information for fear or lead generators ripping them off and raising the price. “If you see how good I’m doing you’re just gonna raise the prices on the leads” you know? But at the end of the day - because I worked on the lead gen side as well, generating mortgage and insurance and solar leads - if I didn’t know how well certain sources are doing fro you I would be hard pressed to try and make it any better, you know?