E-consultancy’s recently published online lead generation report shows that natural search, email marketing and paid search are still the most commonly used methods for generating online leads.

However, PPC claims the larger proportion of the budget, even though natural search is seen as the most effective method for lead generation.

Given that search engine optimisation provides the most perceived value for money, why aren't more marketers investing in natural search over and above other methods?

This year's Online Lead Generation (B2C) Report, produced by E-consultancy in association with Clash-Media, is based on a survey of 600 digital marketers carried out in May 2008.

Highlights from the report’s findings include:

  • Natural search (79%), email marketing - in-house lists (75%) and paid search (71%) are the most commonly used online methods for lead generation.
  • More than half of company respondents (52%) said that natural search was “very effective". Just under half (48%) said that paid search (PPC) was very effective.
  • A greater proportion of lead generation budget is being spent on online (on average, 53%) than offline (44%).
  • PPC is getting a bigger proportion of online lead generation budgets (33%), even though natural search is perceived to be better value for money.
  • SEO now only gets 15% of the budget compared to 18% last year.

It is clear from the report that online lead generation is becoming more important to businesses. Despite this, just over half of company respondents feel that their company isn't exploiting this type of marketing as effectively as they could be, illustrating that online lead generation delivers results but could be used better.

The report found that a greater proportion of the online lead generation budget is attributed to PPC, despite SEO being seen as providing the best value for money.

The report provides good news for SEOs and email marketers, clearly demonstrating that natural search and email marketing typically provide better value than other channels or techniques for digital marketing such as PPC, display advertising and viral marketing.

However, given that the perceived effectiveness of SEO doesn't correlate with the budget for online lead generation, perhaps SEOs need to do a better job of persuading companies to buy their services.

For more information, including trends, charts and the latest statistics, check out E-consultancy's Online Lead Generation (B2C) Report 2008.

Aliya Zaidi

Published 26 June, 2008 by Aliya Zaidi

Aliya Zaidi is Research Manager at Econsultancy. Follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn or Google+.

50 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (3)


Business Website Builders

Their is definite longterm advantages to having your web site business appear in the natural listing.

For one a visitor feel that they have accomplished something when they have found your service or product through their own efforts, as apposed to clicking on the sponsored results links.

Appearing in natural results for your business requires good seo, content delivery and in pointing links to make it to the desired page 1 listings, which does take time to achieve.

PPC can work out costly for the client if not managed properly, but is a great way to generate leads fast, but once you stop paying the leads stop coming, so it's a good idea to have the best of both worlds by incorporating both strategies for your website.

about 10 years ago


Simply Clicks

Looks a good report. I picked up the link from "Around the net in search marketing". There's definitely an asymmetric spend between organic and paid. I find client after client that seems far happier to spend (and sometimes waste) thousands on Google Adwords rather than divert a small proportion of their budget to SEO. This in spite of clear evidence that just a small investment in SEO can yield large savings.

about 10 years ago



SEO has come a long way in the last 10 years. Natural results can take a long time before you see the payoffs. I started natural SEO for a number of sites where it took over a year to see the payoff but once you're there having a site dominate the top 10 natural listings is a great feeling :)

I've been SEO'ing since 1998 and the best advice I can give is design for the visitor and not the SE because SE's are too good at detecting SEO techniques and once you're found out you’re banned. It just isn't worth it.

about 10 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.