Crafting Better Lead Gen Campaigns

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

Q1: Do you help your clients define/determine what a lead is? Why or why not?

  • Not so much what a lead is as what a particular level of interaction is worth. – Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
  • If they wanted me to help generate leads, but didn’t know what a lead was… I’d be surprised. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • Clients usually know what a lead is. Their challenge is how to generate them using PPC. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • Yep. Clients don’t always know what types of leads can be tracked. Phone, email, etc. We pull back the curtain for them. We also help the identify good vs bad leads with location, content path and other analysis. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Depends on the client. I’ve found that less-techy SMBs often need guidance in identifying online lead goals. One example is walking through with clients what they value more. Phone call? Contact form submission? Dealer Request? – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • It’s at least a necessary discussion w/ the client. “What do you want to get out of this campaign?” Solidify goals from there. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Helping them to better understand the lead quality by source, yes. – Max Fink (@maxfink_SEM)
  • I think clients see leads as either contact us forms or direct sales – we need to help them look at the overall picture. – Matt Umbro
  • The only thing that matter to clients is money, so yes, we help them define what a lead/conversion/valuable action should be. Small & large clients have convoluted businesses and there is not a direct 1-1 sale, so defining a path & trackable stuff is a must. – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
  • About 1/2 the time. Often we need to get them to realize its not just the lead, but what comes after – i.e. actual results! – Heidi Smith (@heidinksmith)
  • Yes, especially SMBs they have a general notion of what they need, but we help them develop “what it looks like” from PPC. – Kurt Henninger (@KurtHenninger)
  • Half the time. SMBs tend to not have the greatest idea, whereas big accts usually have a better understanding of a good lead. – Erika Schmidt (@erikapdx)
  • Goals for a no-name company in a niche industry are going to be different for a company with lots of brand awareness. – Joe Martinez
  • There have to be parameters as to what a lead or conversion constitutes to ensure the budget is being well spent. – Juan Restrepo (@juanrrestrepo)

Q2: How active are you in the post-conversion strategy? Do you follow up with clients regarding leads? Why or why not?

  • It depends on the client. We often ask to see how the leads generated from ppc are going and get a better sense of lead quality. – Heidi Smith
  • Depends on the client. Usually not, unless they start complaining about lead quality, then we dig in. – Nate Knox
  • This is crucial for real bottom line success, but it’s harder than maybe it should be to execute. – Melissa Mackey
  • B2B sales cycles can last a very long time with recurring revenue and life time value being extremely important to calculate. – Max Fink
  • I try to be active, but this is 100% dependent upon client & their willingness to share data/act on leads, of course. – Kirk Williams
  • As active as possible. It helps your own business to show your clients how much actual money lead gen PPC is bringing in for them. – Joe Martinez
  • Depends. Some clients keep that internal, others we get to be involved. – James Svoboda
  • It depends on how good they are at marketing. If I’m better than them, then I want to be involved – if they’ll pay me to be. – Steve Gibson
  • Always follow up with clients regarding all campaign metrics. Especially leads/conversions work together to const optimise. – Roxana Hassel
  • I’ve found some clients think PPC leads should be easier to close, but they still take actual work, so the sales people complain. – Nate Knox
  • Some clients send salesforce data so we can better optimize for “opportunities” rather than early funnel leads. Others don’t. – Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
  • Often we have little control & have to rely on their sales team, system, etc. to get it done after we get them in the funnel. – Heidi Smith
  • Yes. If you’re not, you’re doing it wrong. Cost per lead is misleading as the cheapest leads are often times the worst quality. – Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
  • At times we do and with some clients. Some we follow through to revenue generated, others we get feedback on lead quality. – Kurt Henninger
    • Lead Quality is a factor that may trigger an increase in budget or simply the loss of a customer.Quality vs Quantity. – Juan Restrepo
  • Always follow up, strategies change and so does business intent. New services = new leads. – Juan Restrepo
  • This is a must! If you know the quality of your leads, you can allocate budgets accordingly. – Orlando Valencia (@OValencia_3)
    • Agreed. We ask for data and feedback when we can. Really depends on the client and their level of involvement overall. – Heidi Smith
  • Every client call I ask how about how the leads are doing – even if I get a don’t know every time. – Matt Umbro
  • Not so much right now, but we are moving towards incorporating CRMs w/ accts. We want to optimize based on the whole cycle. – Erika Schmidt
    • That’s a smart idea. I’d love to see more details from CRMs, & assist throughout the entire process. – Heidi Smith
  • I try to get full follow-up reporting as part of the engagement so they can understand LTV. – Max Fink
  • If you want the full value of PPC, then we need access to the whole cycle. Not just the acct and LPs. Sales data is important! – Erika Schmidt
  • I think a big part of this convo is the diff between post-lead tracking for SMBs & larger companies with budget for robust tools. – Kirk Williams
  • Important to follow up when major campaign changes, like turning on display traffic to check no big quality drop. – James Hume (@zerospin)

Q3: Let’s look at an example scenario. Let’s say the keyword “network management” is bringing in many conversions, but very few are turning into legitimate opportunities for the client. What steps do you take to remedy the issue?

  • Landing Page and Content Testing would usually be next in order to help understand what that audience really wants. – James Svoboda
  • Dedicated remarketing list and RLSA campaign and take it from there. – Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
  • Search query report, check for terms suggesting wrong type of customers the old B2B B2C issue, then add negatives. Same with ad copy, am I pre qualifying the customer before the click. – James Hume
  • Look at offer/LP: Is it accurate? Find out from contact forms/convos: Why are the non-converting leads coming then? Start there. – Kirk Williams
  • Long tail mining and, if necessary, switching to other more profitable keywords. – Gianpaolo Lorusso (@Gianps)
  • Keyword and Copy analysis is one of the better ways to go, make sure the message is clear in your ads and on your landing page. – Lawrence Jones (@HomeOfJones)
  • Track form fields in Analytics using Tag Manager. Then create a custom report in GA to associate Event Label w/ Keyword. – Joe Martinez
  • I generally first make sure I have more specific keywords and then get aggressive with negatives. – Matt Umbro
  • Other questions to ask, “Are similar keywords bringing in sales?”. Is lead magnet very different to sales-generating magnets? – Steve Gibson
  • Check data & settings, discuss w/ client, identify where the issues are, remove the kw in some cases, otherwise fix SF issues. – Max Fink
  • There’s got to be reason those people are filling out the form. Find out what they’re interested in. – Kirk Williams
    • I find that they think you offer a broader service than you actually do. For example, maybe you only offer a network management guide, but “network management” can match to solution, tool, etc. – Matt Umbro
      • Agree! Find those out from client forms & SQR. If so, pull those KW modifiers into new AGs & exclude from others. – Kirk Williams
  • If conversion rate is low for a particular keyword, you may want to look into reallocating budget to better performing keywords. – Juan Restrepo
  • If mostly spam contacts, use basic Adwords skills: device? geo? SQR? investigate these well before contacting client. – Kirk Williams
  • B2B requires serious pre-qualification in ad copy and the landing page. If you’re getting paid per lead conflict of interest. – Tyson Drake (@tysondrake)
  • You can then go back to see the $$ amount of the actual closed leads from that keyword to determine worth. – Joe Martinez
  • The client’s definition (LP content) of the keyword isn’t up-to-date. Maybe the market has moved on to specifics. – Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
  • Once you figure out why they aren’t turning into sales then take action. Why unqualified? Low budget? Not relevant to biz? – Luke Alley
  • You also don’t know how bad the sales team on the other side is.What systems to the have in palce to qualify their leads. – Tyson Drake
  • 1st evaluate the sales team & learn the pain points. Is the prob the sales team or the keyword? Test fixes. Evaluate. Optimize. – Erika Schmidt
  • There are lots of ways to qualify leads better through ad copy, adding fields to form, putting minimum price etc. – Luke Alley
  • I’m always weary of the broad keywords that are converting well – that’s why I’m so insistent on finding if they are legit. – Matt Umbro
  • There are tradeoffs to qualifying leads better: lower CTR, lower conv. rate. Have to have that convo with client so they understand. – Luke Alley
  • If you’re clever, you can get forms to submit keyword, landing page, path & similar data with contact info. Makes it easier to associate lead data with campaign. – James Svoboda
  • Sometimes, clients go purposefully broad to attract leads, even though they can’t match specific reqs. – Rohan Ayyar

Q4: Has anyone actually been able to calculate a dollar figure return and associated ROI on a lead gen PPC campaign? How so? As a follow up to Q4, ultimately, that’s why lead gen companies do PPC, but rarely have I heard of someone calculating actual ROI.

  • Of course. How? Track and measure. – Steve Gibson
  • Yes, to an extent. Shared doc w/ client tracking revenue from visits that were tracked as coming from PPC (form or phone call). – Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
  • It can be done IF you have access to lead-to-sales data. And the form and phone leads are marked. Phone tracking helps with this. – Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
    • It just amazes me that higher ROI/revenue is the ultimate goal of generating leads, but it’s rarely determined. – Matt Umbro
    • Absolutely…phone tracking is crucial for proper attribution. Have clients where 50%+ leads come from phone. – Timothy Jensen
  • That’s the heart of a leadgen campaign. If you’re not doing it your engagement is flawed, IMHO. – Max Fink
  • Main problem is getting cooperation from clients: too often clients want to prove ROI but aren’t willing to give you the data. – Timothy Jensen
  • Sometimes actually easier to for SMBs since size of campaign and leads are more managable. They know/remember every lead. – Mark Kennedy
  • Very difficult. You need a powerful CRM tool heavily used by client’s staff or… a very small business! – Gianpaolo Lorusso
  • Trick is to tie the lead generation activity to a login. Generate uniqueId from login to track that user and see if convert. Its because it is hard to get a unique ID on a user once they become a lead. Needs custom coding. – Mark Hansen (@markdhansen)
  • True ROI calculating involves the integration of several databases which is why I don’t think I don’t think its done too much. – Brennan Brooks (@brennanbrooks)
  • Lead Gen ROI is possible, tracking is key, knowing the lead revenue and not being supper long sales cycle. – James Hume
  • Tracking ROI is possible if you have all the lead/sales data. Setting this up is hard, which is why lead ROI is rarely tracked. – Erika Schmidt

Q5: What advice would you give advertisers who are running lead gen campaigns on various social outlets (Facebook, Twitter, etc)?

  • Have other goals and assets then just leads for social paid ads. Whitepapers, resources, etc. – Mark Kennedy
  • Don’t think of Social as lead gen, think of it as providing info to your respected audience. They’ll engagte with it more than. – James Svoboda
    • Agreed! Less effective for immediate sell, solid for building branding, pushing signup for resources, etc. – Timothy Jensen
  • Set expectations that social will involve much testing before we get in a groove. – Matt Umbro
  • Make sure all your conversion tracking pixels are implemented correctly. – Tyson Drake
  • Disruptive forms of ads like social ads require micro-conversions in order to get an effective CPA. Build a list! – Brennan Brooks
  • Clearly define your target market, and calculate your allowable cost per lead. – Steve Gibson
  • Make sure to set up tracking through GA! – Orlando Valencia
  • Track leads from each mktg channel/response channel completely through cradle-to-grave so you can evaluate ROI of Initial touch. – Max Fink
  • Trace everything with extra tracking parameters in your analytics. – Gianpaolo Lorusso
  • Not all leads created equally, don’t expect search engine quality, so don’t over bid. – James Hume
  • Don’t mistake Likes for true interests. – Rohan Ayyar
  • Social is for awareness and engagement/audience building. Can lead to lead gen but not usually a direct driver. – Melissa Mackey
  • A/B testing is critical to getting good results just like with search engine PPC. You can’t just set PPC up & expect it to work. – Erika Schmidt

Q6: Do you believe the ability to create and optimize PPC landing pages is a requirement for bringing on a lead gen client? Why? And the ability can come from either the client or vendor.

  • Most defintiely, at least some access. Need to get CTA’s, phone number, on pages and eliminate any uneeded content. – Mark Kennedy
  • To me, that’s like asking whether CRO has any impact on conversion rates. – Steve Gibson
  • Yes, why: could you be convinced in 90 characters to hand over personal details? – James Hume
  • Yes. Because science. And I’ve done it without and those campaigns tend to wafflle in performance. – James Svoboda
  • Having an eye for conversion optimization is the other half of the battle. You have to be a savvy media buyer, and CRO expert. – Brennan Brooks
  • It’s a must for long term success. Have taken clients w/o this but they usually eventually sign on for it b/c it’s so crucial. – Melissa Mackey
  • My theory is that if you can’t have some control over landing page creation/optimization, as a vendor you hurt your reputation. – Matt Umbro
  • Yes. The more control you have over the conversion funnel, the better. It impacts your performance. – Tyson Drake
  • It is extremely important to optimizing lead gen. It is a key part of our PPC strategy for all clients. Without it means a definite disadvantage – for us, for the client, and for ROI, lead volume, lead quality, etc. – Heidi Smith
  • Yes, CRO needs to be seen as essential to PPC. It is still on the “get” (our) end and not the “got” (client’s) end. – Kirk Williams
  • Not being able to influence LPs puts you as a vendor at a disadvantage that will not allow for sustained success. – Matt Umbro
  • Yes landing page optimization is crucial to good lead gen, there are so many factors to test & improve upon. – Catherine Kellogg (@CatKellogg)
  • Absolutely…client needs to understand the best PPC campaign can only be as effective as the page(s) you’re pointing to. – Timothy Jensen
  • It isn’t a requirement, but it is helpful. – Richard Fergie
  • Ideally, yes. But you should at least have a thorough understanding of LPO best practices. LPs make all the difference. – Orlando Valencia
  • Absolutely. A service is a product too. A lead is a customer too. Whether the client realizes that or not. – Rohan Ayyar
  • It’s not a requirement for my agency, but I wish it were. We give advice, clients don’t follow it, results suffer. – Amy Hebdon
  • It depends on what you try to sell. Complex products/services require structured sites or Godzilla landing pages. – Gianpaolo Lorusso
  • If the client wants good results, then YES! LPs are half the battle when it comes to getting a lead. – Erika Schmidt
  • I run all of my clients on a pay-per-performance agreement, so CRO is essential to our bottom line. – Brennan Brooks
  • I have found the SMBs I sell to are generally excited about LP/CRO help, esp when they learn how essential it is to their success. – Kirk Williams

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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)
• Amy Hebdon (@amyppc)
• Brennan Brooks (@brennanbrooks)
• Catherine Kellogg (@CatKellogg)
• Erika Schmidt (@erikapdx)
• Gianpaolo Lorusso (@Gianps)
• Heidi Smith (@heidinksmith)
• James Hume (@zerospin)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• Juan Restrepo (@juanrrestrepo)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Kurt Henninger (@KurtHenninger)
• Lawrence Jones (@HomeOfJones)
• Luke Alley (@LukeAlley)
• Mark Hansen (@markdhansen)
• Mark Kennedy (@markkennedysem)
• Max Fink (@maxfink_SEM)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Orlando Valencia (@OValencia_3)
• Richard Fergie (@RichardFergie)
• Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
• Roxana Hassel (@RoxanaHassel)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
• Timothy Jensen (@timothyjjensen)
• Tyson Drake (@tysondrake)

Crafting Better Streamcaps

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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