Lead Generation Pay Per Click Campaigns

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) came up with yet another great question set titled “Lead Generation PPC Campaigns.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: What types of expectations do you set with lead gen clients at the beginning of a project?

  • They will need to design and test landing pages and contact forms to get optimal results. – David Szetela (@Szetela)
  • I first look at what their site is generating from other traffic sources. – Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
  • Leads are just that – leads. Leads /= sales. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • I set realistic conversion goals, both as what we define as a conversion and how we will be garnering them. – Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
  • Determine what a qualified lead is and the typical close rate. – Jonathan Levey (@jlevey)
  • The quality of the optimizations we make are directly dependent on how well we can track back end conversions. – Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
  • Average revenue derived from each lead. – Logical Media Group (@LogicalMediaGr)
  • Type of leads, target roi of lead, time a lead takes from inception to close, etc. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
  • I also put goals in line with the sales cycle. In other words, make sure client knows we may not see actual sales for months. – Matt Umbro
  • Usually to track phone results, sales desk needs to participate in tracking. – Peter Thistle (@PeterThistle)
  • Volume and lead quality can be conflicting goals. Also, they need to be tracking lead quality if they are not yet. – Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
  • Lead quality needs to be part of the conversation. Both sides have to work together to make sure the campaigns are successful. – Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
  • Understanding of lifetime value of the customer is important in lead gen. – Melissa Mackey
  • Number of leads goal and cpl goal. – Brett Stevens (@BrettStevens1)
  • Avg CPC * Expected CR = Cost Per Lead. CPL / Budget = Reasonable Expectations. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • And PPC can only get leads in the door. What they do with them after that is up to them, not us. – Melissa Mackey
  • Like most businesses I work with I need to understand the sales cycle and we need to work TOGETHER to truly succeed. – Bryant Garvin
  • Trying to set realistic expectations has to be key. – Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
  • There is almost always a need for a landing page testing convo. Gotta make it easy for users give up their info. – Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
  • I usually try to work them into having a good tracking system for leads internally, and low lead to call time. – Matt McKenna (@socceruci)
  • Micro-conversions can be great to better target or bid a remarketing list. – Tyson Kirksey (@tysonkirksey)

Q2: Do you track micro conversions, or onclick events (social media icon clicks, clicks on certain links)? Why or why not?

  • Sometimes. Depends on client and goals (and ability to get things tagged with conversion code). – Jeremy Brown
  • In some cases. Main conversion is lead, but nice to know stats on other factors. Separate conversions/metrics, though. – Mark Kennedy
    • Absolutely. A lead is just that, something that should LEAD to $. – Bryant Garvin
  • Clinets usually don’t consider microconversions to be valuable (tho they’re wrong). – David Szetela
  • Depends on the client, but yes – example is downloading a PDF with product specs showing interest. – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • Yes. This is a good way to measure interest if you are having trouble with the big fat conversion. – Heather Cooan
  • Micro conversions are only beneficial if they let you know someone is getting further into the funnel. I.E Click on FAQ etc. – Bryant Garvin
  • Most the clients I have worked with were too worried about true leads to worry about social media. That will evolve. – Stuart Draper (@Stu_Draper)
  • There comes a point when digging into all the micro compromises the macro. – Bryant Garvin
  • In some cases yes. Depends on the client and their understanding of lead gen as a whole. – Michelle Morgan
  • I track clicks of CTA buttons to analyze how people are getting to the page with the lead gen form. – Jonathan Levey
  • I track, yes, for my own use. Whether or not I report depends on client’s tolerance for talking about data. – Theresa Zook
  • Here’s where having a client who understands the full scope of PPC comes in handy (see our Client Persona chat a couple weeks ago). – Matt Umbro
  • Where it is really beneficial is CRO and landing page tweaking. – Bryant Garvin
  • Tracking clicks will show which materials (whitepapers, free trials, etc.) resonate most with users. – PPC Associates (@PPCAssociates)
  • Yes. Anything that can be analyzed for performance and affects the business… leads, shares, follows, sign-ups, sales, download. – James Svoboda
  • Must 1st establish clear patterns or actionable insights re: microconversion activity; otherwise can just be red herrings. – Tally Keller (@tallykeller)
  • Small social actions might not always be comprehensively reported on, but they are good for making a case for other optimizations. – Michelle Morgan
  • I’d like to see which clicks to social media icons result in that user following the company – that would be a nice PPC conversion! – Matt Umbro
  • If clients offer miniconversions, then very much so. If not, no need to waste both our times optimizing for it. – Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
    • Don’t necessarily need to optimize for it, but having the info is good to know. – Matt Umbro
      • Could be useful if & only if revenue can be driven from SM. If client isn’t effectively using it, icons = user distraction. – Doug Thomas
  • I track micro’s by event and main ones by goals but don’t report on micro’s as they are more for our reference than the client. – Niki Grant (@TheNikiGrant)
  • If the macro conversions are there no one has time for micro, if they aren’t there everyone has time for micro. – Peter Thistle

Q3: Will you take on lead gen clients who aren’t able to create/optimize landing pages?

  • Yes, but you have to manage client expectations from the start and be honest about the limitations. – Niki Grant
  • Yes. There is usually quite a bit we can improve on the front-end. Always helpful to improve the back-end as well. – Jeremy Brown
  • Yes. We can do that. – James Svoboda
  • Yes…….if they are OK with me doing it for them (meaning they’ll pay me to do it). – Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
  • Yes, as a test. Once they see a month or so of traffic, they’ll want it to convert better and then listen to optimization tips. – Mark Kennedy
  • Yes, but surrounded by caveats. – Theresa Zook
  • No. Because creating/optimizing landing pages is essential to lead generation for PPC. – Jonathan Levey
  • Yes. Although with full disclosure of whatever website issues are there and how they will affect campaigns. – Timothy Jensen
  • Yes, but we are clear about the impact that will have. Tools like Optimizely can help get past these objections, tho. – Tyson Kirksey
  • Yes – but only if clear expectations are set as to what performance will be based off of. – Bryant Garvin
    • Agreed. Don’t want to set ourselves up for failure. – Matt Umbro
  • As long as they understand the trade offs without landing pages, yes. It’s all about setting expectations up front. – Andrew Miller (@AndrewCMiller)
  • Yes but only if something reasonably close to a landing page already exists. – Peter Thistle
  • Yes, as long as they know that poor landing pages will prevent improvement in many ways. – Michelle Morgan
  • Not able or not willing? Yes if not able (can work with that), no if not willing. Marketing will then get blamed for bad website. – Kirk Williams (@kecreate)
  • Often a client is not opposed to LPO, just ignorant about it’s impact or how to do it. – Tyson Kirksey
    • And often they’re opposed IMO. Telling someone their website is inadequate is like dissing their kids. – Theresa Zook
  • Yes with clear expectations that there will be a limit in terms of improved performance. Usually they end up finding a way. – Heather Cooan
  • If there is a client with limited LP optimization capabilities, usually try to provide them with as many options possible. – Michelle Morgan
  • Also give suggestions for optimisation in case the opportunity arises. – Niki Grant

Q4: How do you ensure clients are following up on leads? Do you believe “lead sharing” between client and specialist is necessary? Why or why not?

  • We try to get copied on follow up reports if possible. – Melissa Mackey
  • Usually asking the client about the quality of leads you’re attracting can act as a prompt. – Niki Grant
  • I don’t. SEP. I make it clear to them–I drive leads. Whether or not they choose to pick up the phone is out of my control. – Theresa Zook
  • Yes. But don’t take the responsibility. – Bart Schuijt (@BartSchuijt)
  • That’s not our call but we do ask about lead quality for opts. – Heather Cooan
  • When possible, we get copied on lead forms to judge quality. Then follow up on the success rate. Not always possible, though. – Mark Kennedy
  • We make sure they are recieving them. It’s up to them to follow up. Not usually a big deal though. – James Svoboda
  • Try to communicate about lead quality as much as possible, but in the end, it’s up to the client how much they share. – Michelle Morgan
  • Lead sharing isn’t necessary, but it really helps, esp. when the close % isn’t what you think it should be. – Melissa Mackey
  • Often the client contact is a Marketing person who doesn’t have enough contact with Sales anyway! – David Szetela
  • This is hard. If business isn’t motivated enough to make money I can’t make them. – Bryant Garvin
  • Important to know general trends and quality to ensure we’re hitting the right targets. Also helps in persona id’s. – Heather Cooan
  • I prefer to know the details of leads as it helps us to optimise accordingly. – Niki Grant
  • The sales department is expected to follow-up on each lead within 24 hours and determine quality within a week. – Jonathan Levey
  • Extremely helpful – using the right tools with access to CRM/lead form data helps us see whole picture. – Timothy Jensen
  • We try to get as much info as possible about leads converting to sales as well as lead qual. More data is better! – Jeremy Brown
  • Absolutely, customer comments in leads are incredibly helpful and enlightening for marketing optimization. – Kirk Williams
  • Don’t need to see all the leads but know general follow-up and conversion numbers are good. SalesForce Reports etc. – Bryant Garvin
  • Not necessary for all but crucial for low-volume campaigns. – Doug Thomas
  • The biggest challenge I’ve seen with this is knowing where in the PPC account the good leads came from. Not many places have a lead system that tracks from click, to lead, to lead conversion. – Michelle Morgan
  • Yes, because “lead sharing” is necessary in order to “close the loop”. – Jonathan Levey
  • Yes, if client is willing to share it helps. Most often access to their CRM. – Steven Kent (@stevekent21)
  • Even if client is only sharing job title and company, you can make sure leads are coming from the right places. – Matt Umbro
  • Sometimes lead conversion boils down to 1 of the most basic marketing principles: Client’s price isn’t right. – Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
  • Especially good for LinkedIn campaigns to know which industry job title performs the best etc. – Niki Grant
  • Too often had client quietly implement inital suggestions w/out giving me the chance to explain all. – Theresa Zook
  • Other than CRM, this can be quite a challenge to implement. Most of the time you’ll have to ask if leads are matching up. – Gil Hong (@ghong_af)
  • When possible, we get copied on lead forms to judge quality. Then follow up on the success rate. Not always possible, though. – Mark Kennedy
  • Lead sharing is definitely necessary to allow us to quantify our efforts and let us know what’s working best on our end. – Logical Media Group
  • Depends on the scale and volume of the campaign and amount of leads. Smaller volume client usually need specific verification. – Gil Hong
  • Used to work in-house & got full copies of all written leads. Loved the data insight it gave me. – Theresa Zook
  • I have 1 client who creates a unique campaign in their CRM for every kw! It’s a beating, but they are able to tie sales 2 clicks. – Tyson Kirksey

Q5: What are some of your remarketing strategies for lead gen clients?

  • Stating or implying “newness” – like “New Whitepaper” – David Szetela
  • Segmentation here is key! – Bryant Garvin
  • Segmentation and special offers. – Steven Kent
  • The possibilities are nearly endless. Encourage them to take the next step, offer a new asset, newsletter signups. – Melissa Mackey
  • Remarket whitepapers, case studies, other services, social media profiles. Let em know you are more than a web form. – James Svoboda
  • Rmktg becomes tool for increased engagement rather than further sales. More interaction/value from site helps increase sales. – Michelle Morgan
  • Being as relevant as possible with ads while still having enough traffic to meet the audience cap. – Gil Hong
  • Say how easy it is to enquire/how quickly they’ll be contacted. Target users through GA RM who have been on the site for 1 min+. – Niki Grant
  • Longer retargeting windows for B2B. Many B2B companies have longer sales cycles and you want to stay top of mind. – Jeremy Brown
  • Custom combinations! For example, try to get someone who contacted to complete a membership registration. – Logical Media Group
  • Low volume campaigns make retargeting more difficult in many lead gen accounts. Since segmentation is so important. – Heather Cooan
  • Remarketing is our way of following up on leads. – Bryant Garvin
  • Create a stunning ad that really drives the point, ie: sealed fortress for network security company. – Matt Umbro
  • By using GA remarketing, you can make sure you’re targeting users with good onsite stats who are def interested – not bouncers! – Niki Grant
  • More so than in ecomm, remarketing ads for lead gen clients really need to boom. – Matt Umbro
  • Display Ads on GDN and FBX retargeting ads. – Jonathan Levey
  • You can get crazy with remarketing creative, even for B2B. Gets attention. – Melissa Mackey
  • If someone downloaded a whitepaper, may be good to remarket with an offer of a free demo…get them further down the funnel. – Matt Umbro
    • Absolutely agree! Especially in B2B the long sales process means continue to connect and stoke the fire. – Bryant Garvin
  • This is where having multiple content pieces/offers (i.e. whitepapers) comes into play. Continue to bait them. – Bryant Garvin
  • Segmenting as much as possible – what pages/services they’ve looked at, whether or not they’ve completed a goal. – Timothy Jensen
  • I’ve started figuring out how to get more sophisticated w/ the lists: I created a list: “those who visited xURL but not yURL” – Eric Bryant
  • We’ve used vampires, superheroes, crazy animation… the list goes on. It really works. – Melissa Mackey
  • Obvious remarketing messages (fancy seeing you again, are you ready to …. yet). – Niki Grant
  • Also serving video ads through remarketing! – Timothy Jensen

Q6: Which metric do you believe is the least important in lead gen campaigns (this metric can be from Analytics as well)? Why?

  • Bounce rate & ATOS. If your lead form is on your LP you will have a low ATOS & high bounce rate, but it doesn’t matter. – Melissa Mackey
  • Exit rates on the ‘Contact Us’ page! – Niki Grant
  • You could argue bounce rate isn’t huge if using a landing page. – Mark Kennedy
  • CTR – often B2B click prices are high, so it’s necessary to do some qualification w/ad copy to filter out unqualified searchers. – David Szetela
  • Bounce rate and quality score…both generally suck in lead gen campaigns. – Matt Umbro
  • Percentage of new visits. – James Svoboda
  • Pages per visit, as a low number can sometimes mean an easy-to-navigate site and easily found content/lead gen page. – Niki Grant
  • Quality Score, because so many of our ads are targeting competitor brand keywords. – Jonathan Levey
  • Definitely quality score, A keyword with a QS of 4 could be your best performing keyword. – Logical Media Group
  • Assisted conversions. – Bryant Garvin
    • Something to be said for multi-channel attribution though! – Heather Cooan
  • Least important? If its not important, its not a saved column on my UI. But I’d agree with %of new visits being least important. – Gil Hong
  • Page-level metrics probably not the least important, but can be VERY deceiving. Is 80% bounce rate good if leads are calling? – Doug Thomas
    • Yeah if 80% bounce rate means around 20% conversion rate, that’s not bad. – Timothy Jensen
  • Competitor names work well in lead-gen. – Mark Kennedy
  • As an aside, whether the campaign is ecomm or lead gen, I’m not a huge van of view-through-conversions. – Matt Umbro
  • Truthfully, I don’t even know if view-through’s are accurate. I’ve seen some inflated numbers. – Mark Kennedy
  • VTC = BS. – Melissa Mackey
    • The only people who report VTCs are those who need to fluff their numbers. Like Display only agencies. – Bryant Garvin

Q7: How does user intent differ between the user searching for an actual product vs. the user searching for a professional service?

  • It can differ a lot depending on the kw! For car dealers, a search on their brand may be for new, used, service, or parts! – Gil Hong
  • Phone calls will be higher, Customer will get multiple quotes, longer sales cycles. – Mark Kennedy
  • More browsing on service as it’s more difficult to identify what you’ll get for your money & more difficult to compare prices. – Niki Grant
  • Much different intent, but not always easily filtered for through keywords. Ad copy becomes more important. – Michelle Morgan
  • Product search is easier b/c people search for the product. Service KWs are all over the place: features, benefits, etc. – Melissa Mackey
  • Not always a clear funnel. – Heather Cooan
  • Often products are tangible & easier to comprehend. Makes easier to buy based on options & price. More to consider with Service. – James Svoboda
  • Product is more ‘there & then’ search than service which can be considered (especially for B2B) months in advance of converting. – Niki Grant
  • Neither are as serious about spending money TODAY as the client & I would like? – Theresa Zook
  • Trust, competency, and credibility tend to be very important for services. Less so for products. – Jeremy Brown


More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Andrew Miller (@AndrewCMiller)
• Bart Schuijt (@BartSchuijt)
• Brett Stevens (@BrettStevens1)
• Bryant Garvin (@BryantGarvin)
• David Szetela (@Szetela)
• Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
• Eric Bryant (@GnosisArts)
• Gil Hong (@ghong_af)
• Heather Cooan (@HeatherCooan)
• Jeremy Brown (@JBGuru)
• Jonathan Levey (@jlevey)
• Kirk Williams (@kecreate)
• Logical Media Group (@LogicalMediaGr)
• Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
• Matt McKenna (@socceruci)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michelle Morgan (@michellemsem)
• Niki Grant (@TheNikiGrant)
• Peter Thistle (@PeterThistle)
• PPC Associates (@PPCAssociates)
• Steve Cameron (@adventcom)
• Steven Kent (@stevekent21)
• Stuart Draper (@Stu_Draper)
• Tally Keller (@tallykeller)
• Theresa Zook (@I_Marketer)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
• Tyson Kirksey (@tysonkirksey)

Lead Streamcap Generator

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; WebRanking SEM Manager in Minneapolis, Minnesota, #PPCChat Streamcap Grabber, SEO Blog Author. Connect with me @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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