By Aaron Wittersheim. Scroll down to see slide show.
When it comes to online marketing, leads, not inquiries, should always be at the top of your priority list. A focus on inquiries, which is what most businesses do, will cause you to waste money on unproductive Internet marketing campaigns.
According to a lead validation study conducted by Straight North, a local Charlotte SEO company, about half of a company’s website inquiries aren’t sales leads. Non-sales conversions consist of things like sales solicitations, phone misdials, spam form submissions or forms submissions that don’t include proper contact information.
Key data points include:
Over the last 18 months, we collected and analyzed more than 373,000 inquiries, consisting of more than 135,000 form submissions, and more than 237,000 phone calls totaling over 1 million minutes. These inquiries analyzed consists of a variety of our clients that range from small law firms, small healthcare companies and large IT companies. Of these 373,000 inquiries, only 23,000 were not validated, leaving 350,000 inquiries that went through the entire process. Of these 350,000 inquiries, over 178,000 were sales leads — about half.
If you’re judging the success of your lead generation campaign on inquiries, your campaign’s results may be greatly overstated. This means your cost per lead and ROI calculations are based on inaccurate — and probably grossly inaccurate — data.
Through lead validation, a process that separates sales leads from non-sales conversions, you will base the evaluation of your campaigns on reliable data. And, if you track leads properly, you will know the marketing source of each validated lead, allowing you to invest in campaigns that deliver the most leads rather than the most conversions.
For important information on lead validation, check out the presentation below:
Aaron Wittersheim is Chief Operating Officer at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency in Downers Grove, IL, specializing in lead generation for middle market and large organizations. He is an accomplished entrepreneur with more than 20 years of business and technology experience.