I was recently invited to speak on a panel about lead generation which covered everything from the state of the current market, the issues faced by lead buyers and sellers and a sneak peak into what the future holds for the fledgling UK industry.

As part of the panel we were tasked to come up with a series of lead generation tips for the audience and myself, Andy Purbrick from Dennis Publishing and Sean Sewell from Performance Horizon Group put our heads together to come up with a top 20.

Last week we covered the first 10 lead generation tips, and this week we bring you tips 11 to 20.

11. Follow up as soon as possible

In the world of online lead generation it is minutes that make the difference and not hours!

A study in the US by InsideSales.com found that the odds of contacting a lead increase by 100 times if attempted within five minutes versus 30 minutes. And the odds of qualifying a lead increase by 21 times if attempted within five minutes versus 30 minutes. 

Moral of the story: the quicker the response, the better the lead performance.

12. Tracking of leads to conversion

The receipt of leads is never the objective of an OLG campaign. Ultimately, it’s all about conversion whether that’s today, tomorrow or two years into the future.

What this means is that you need to have the software to measure the entire journey from lead to sale no matter how long it takes and no matter how many steps involved in the process. If you can’t track leads from all the way to conversion then you are potentially wasting your money.

13. Measure results over an adequate time period

It's not just about having the software, but making sure you are looking at the correct time period by which to measure the results of a campaign.

Even a high value finance campaign where leads are processed in a call centre and the majority of sales will happen in the first few days of lead receipt there are still incremental sales to be gained over time so the same campaign measured over different time frames can give you a very different outcome.

Week one might break even but by week five you may be into profit.

14. Nurture leads for incremental sales

While it is absolutely imperative to follow up every lead within minutes there is plenty of value to be extracted over time from lead nurturing techniques to manage your prospect list.

Remember, the consumer might be at various stages of the buying cycle when they fill in the lead form so, even if they are interested when you first make contact, they might not be in a position right now to hand over their credit card details.

This is especially true for certain products, for example mortgages, where you rely on so many more factors than just the consumer’s purchase intent. If you can nurture leads over time then your campaigns will be much more successful.

15. Have a solid campaign objective

Just like any marketing campaign, you need a clear objective before you start spending any money.

Without objectives you have nothing to aim at and no way to benchmark success. Also, communicate these objectives to your lead suppliers as they will be able to give you a realistic idea of whether the objectives are reasonable.

This will allow you to fine tune your campaign in advance rather than after the leads have been delivered when you have no way to affect the outcome of the campaign.

16. Lead = multiple opportunities

Every lead should be seen as multiple revenue opportunities whether it’s cross-selling into multiple products, repeat sales or further monetisation opportunities in the future.

All revenue generated from each lead either directly or indirectly should be measured and attributed back to the original source.

It might be that two campaigns perform the same on a like-for-like basis but if one campaign offers far more additional revenue opportunities this might be the one to allocate more budget to.

17. Allocate an appropriate budget

Lead generation is a numbers game but you need to make sure you have a large enough sample to see those numbers play out.

If a campaign has a CPL of £50 then you need to make sure your budget is large enough to get a big enough sample of leads or other variables will have a greater weight in the outcome of the campaign and you won’t get a true reflection of lead performance.

18. Make sure that the method of data capture is appropriate for the campaign

If you are looking to collect high value finance leads to put through a call centre then don’t buy incentivised co-registration leads. However, if you are looking to build a prospect list as quickly as possible at low cost then perhaps you would want to consider incentivised traffic. 

Each campaign should be judged on its own merits and the objectives of the campaign should shape everything from your budget to the method of origination.

19. Cheaper leads aren't always better

It is human nature to want more of something so naturally a lead buyer with a fixed budget confronted with the option of buying thousands of leads or hundreds of leads will more often than not opt for the cheaper leads because they get more of them.

However, lead buyers should not be fooled by lead price. To generate good quality leads can be quite expensive so if the supplier gets a fair payout for their efforts they can spend the budget on premium inventory and generate better quality leads.

20. Volume is not an objective

I often get emails from advertisers and agencies with briefs for lead generation campaigns along the following lines “We need 1,000 leads for ‘x’, can you deliver?”.  

All leads are not created equally and 1,000 leads from one supplier might be totally different in origination method and quality to another. It is better to get one lead that converts into a sale than 1m leads that don’t generate any revenue!

Justin Rees

Published 2 November, 2011 by Justin Rees

Justin Rees is founder of Talking Customers and Cofounder of Currently.

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Comments (3)


Chris Corney

Some excellent points here, I'd be interested to hear more around point 16 and accurate revenue attribution, this has been a sticking point for a number of the clients I have worked with.

almost 7 years ago



Interesting list. The last 3 together particulalry interested me. There are far too many companies hawking their leads outside of the market for which they were initially generated.

almost 7 years ago


Peter Johnston

A comprehensive review of how things used to be done. But now a sales appointment is no longer the start of the buying process, the methodology is quite different.

If you're stuck in an old-fashioned organisation and cannot change the way you do things this may minimise your losses to more effective organisations, but if you actually want to set up an effective prospecting system you need to look elsewhere.

almost 7 years ago

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