If you’re a B2B organization, chances are you receive unsolicited emails almost weekly from people who say they have thousands of “high-quality leads” at the ready. For only a few hundred dollars, their names, emails, and phone numbers will be all yours to nurture however you see fit.
It may seem worth the investment if you consider the revenue one or two life-long customers can bring to your business, but there are hidden costs to this all-too-familiar pay-per-performance strategy. Buying leads isn’t wrong. In fact, there are plenty of reputable companies that will sell you leads. Still, buying leads…or links, blogs, and SEO…will never yield the results you want, whether it’s online performance or offline profit. Why? Because it puts additional strain on your sales team and creates a false sense of stability that robs you from truly getting to know your customers.
When buying leads, you’re essentially starting fresh. These leads have zero knowledge of your organization. They’re not just cold, they’re ice cold.
It takes around three to six months to convert a lead into a customer, and that’s if a lead comes to you via a webform, a phone call, or an email. These leads who find your organization online are warm. They generally know something about your business. They have done their research and have even started to develop some trust in you. Our own recording metrics show that most leads visit our site at least two times before even engaging with us.
If so much work goes into converting a warm lead, why invest your scarce resources into leads who know nothing about you and who have no reason to trust you? Instead, use this energy to focus on the leads who come to you.
- Segment them into various email campaigns based on the services they’re interested in. Keep your business top-of-mind by sending them newsletters, research, or other useful content.
- Enroll them in autoresponders that will check up on them regularly. Digital marketing is all about hitting the right person at the right time.
- Don’t forget to include them in holiday greetings or other “unexpected” campaigns.
- Don’t just sell, sell, sell. Being a digital marketer is also about being a subject matter expert. Earn their trust by highlighting your experience.
We’ve seen time again organizations buying leads, content, and SEO strategies, and then wondering why they aren’t making sales or seeing their content at the top of the SERP. It’s because they’re purchasing a one-size-fits-all solution. We say the same thing when it comes to software development: one-size never fits all.
You should never take your marketing strategy out of your control by outsourcing it to a pay-per-performance organization. They’ll never understand the needs of your customers, your organization, or your industry. It doesn’t matter if you’re a dentist in California. They’ll use the same strategy for you as they would for a car salesman in Maine.
(Note that a pay-per-performance agency is not the same as a pay-per-click or PPC agency who can help with your Google Ads strategy. Here at KDG, we help many organizations with their paid search outreach with successful results.)
Instead, take the time to create your own marketing plan. Find what will work best for you. Who should you target? Where are they? How often should you reach out?
- Do your leads respond better to emails? Or direct mail?
- Would a weekly blog help answer customer questions?
- Would local press releases help build a local client base?
- How often should your website be updated?
- Should keywords be location-based?
- Is paying for ads worth the investment? Where should these ads run? How often?
For some clients, one method works better than another. For others, all of the above work. We believe in a multi-channel method ourselves. Whatever you decide, don’t create a false sense of stability by letting others make this decision for you.
At KDG, our digital marketing team is not a pay-per-performance team. We won’t sell you leads or promise you ghostwritten backlinks on obscure websites. Instead, think of us as your strategic partners who will work with you to better understand your customers, engage with them, and create the content they want to see.
When it comes to digital marketing, our SEO consultants have partnered with clients in healthcare, education, insurance, retail, and more. We understand that real success is achieved when traffic, leads, and sales come to you organically. So before you buy that next list of leads, contact our team. We’ll show you how to make the most of what you already have at your disposal in a way that’s uniquely your own.