An increasing number of brands are starting to take Online Lead Generation (OLG) seriously and making it a central part of their online customer acquisition strategy and it’s not hard to see why. 

If you sell widgets and you can capture leads where the consumers are all interested in buying widgets then you can put a process in place to turn those interested customers into sales and therefore revenue. Simple right?

For many brands it is pretty simple but before you decide to allocate thousands of pounds to a lead gen campaign it pays to take a step back and ask yourself a few questions to work out whether OLG is right for your brand. 

What’s your product?

Products that are fairly generic where the consumer typically searches for the product or service rather than a specific brand are generally better for OLG campaigns.

For example, financial services products such as insurance, mortgages etc. are perfect lead generation products as the consumer is often in comparison mode and is looking for the best deal rather than the brand that provides it.

If the product can be purchased purely online then it can be much harder to generate leads as there is much less reason for a consumer to submit their information without an additional strong incentive, which in turn will have an effect on lead quality. For example, for products like TVs and other consumer electronics, consumers can research, compare and purchase online without any need for further contact from the brand.

How will you follow up the leads?

If you are looking to OLG to provide interested consumers to fuel an outbound call centre then again this will only work if the product or service you sell typically requires that the consumer has to come offline to speak to somebody before making a purchasing decision.

Again this type of execution works perfectly for financial services lead generation as there is a natural incentive for a consumer to submit their details as they will need to speak to somebody to discuss an often complex product. However, for campaigns designed to build a prospect database for further remarketing (typically via email) then there is a much broader scope to use lead generation to capture interested consumers. 

Who and where are your customers?

As a lead is further down the marketing funnel than other forms of marketing (i.e. the consumer has to submit their details compared to just clicking on an ad) then the more niche your product and the smaller your customer base the harder it is to generate leads.

For every 100 consumers that hit a landing page only a small percentage will submit their information and only a percentage of these will get through a lead providers validation rules leaving potentially only a handful of leads.

This means you need a large number of potential consumers to generate quality leads in any volume. For example, car insurance leads are fairly easy to generate as every consumer with a car needs car insurance and there are millions of consumers searching online for car insurance.

Leads can be generated for more niche products but it often depends on whether these customers can be targeted easily. For example there might be a few websites that are frequented by your exact target customer so if you can run lead gen campaigns on these sites then there are still opportunities to generate leads.

What is the value of a sale?

Ultimately the measure of success for any OLG campaign is ROI and very simply, the higher the revenue potential from a converted customer the more opportunities there are for lead generation.

If you generate 10,000 leads from a campaign and you only require 100 leads to convert into a sale to make the campaign a success then you are far more likely to have a successful campaign than if you need 500 leads to convert into business.