Let’s talk about the pros and cons of different lead generation methods.
First it may be a good idea to remind ourselves why we generate leads in the first place.
That’s obvious, isn’t it?
Well, if we care about our clients, we are looking for businesses and people who will ultimately benefit from what it is we have to offer.
In order for them to be recognised as a ‘lead’ they must first have expressed an interest in what it is we have to offer.
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So, how do we identify those interested parties? How do we generate leads?
Here’s a list of lead generation methods:
- Buying Lists (and calling them)
- Direct Mail/Email Campaigns
- Online Lead Generation
Let’s look at some pros and cons:
- Referrals: always a joy! As long as your referrer fully understands what you do and has made the right connection with your new lead.
- Networking: There are events, conferences, trade show, networking in the road. On the pro side face to face contact is invaluable. However, it can be busy at networking events and each person has their own agenda and lists of targets and an equal amount of limited time. Cost is the big factor here. The price of fuel has increased by 50% over the last few years. Trade shows cost etc What does that do to your cost per lead?
- Telemarketing: Telemarketing can be mixed in with networking and can help to form relationships prior to events to ensure you get more time with your targets by assessing interest before you meet. Yes, telemarketing can still produce results. However, think about the number of telemarketing calls you or your colleague’s field on a daily basis. How many times a week do you say to telemarketers “No thanks” and “Would you mind removing us from your list, please”?
- Advertising: A big shiny ad impresses many people. However, whether your ad is digital, tv or print it’s a NOISY marketplace. You need serious investment to stand out from the crowd. If you already stand out, then well done. However, how do you track the impact of your ad? How do you show which advert generated which lead?
- Buying Lists: On the plus side you have a massive list of people to get talking to who you know are interested, in general, in what it is you have to offer. On the cons side this data is static and degrades quickly and 25% of your list will be useless within a year, and you still have to employ telemarketing methods as your list data is unqualified.
- Email Campaigns: Email is, on a daily basis, a very important part of generating leads, but, remember, your email list degrades by 25% per year so you must continue to top this up your leads which means still having to employ other methods to identify your interested parties.
- Direct Mail: This can be effective, more in the B2C marketplace, but it’s costly and still requires lists.
- Online Lead Generation: On the pro side you have several channels to engage your prospects and qualify their interest in what it is you have to offer. On a lead per lead basis there is a significant low-cost advantage. You can also track individual people and companies and see exactly what they are most interested in. This helps you to provide them with even more of what they want. On the cons side you have to learn about and understand properly how online lead generation actually works and how to align it with your business goals. Otherwise, all you will have is some text and pr on the web, a website and a contacts form. This doesn’t work, and you will ultimately be wasting your time.
The business goals you plan to achieve will ultimately inform how you choose to generate your leads.
If you want to find out more about online lead generation, you can download this free guide here: