You may think you know how many sales leads your lead generation website is creating, but do you really? If you’re pointing to your Google Analytics conversion numbers and thinking that paints an accurate picture of how well your site is creating sales leads, think again. The actual numbers may be entirely different. This misinformation can hurt your marketing campaign. Identifying which conversions from your site are actual sales leads and which ones aren’t, can give you a much clearer picture of how effective your site is. If you’re not including lead validation as part of your internet marketing campaign, you don’t know anything about where your customers are coming from or who they are.
Here at Straight North, we’ve combed through more than 350,000 website conversions and found something that Internet marketers should take to heart. Nearly half of the time, website conversions are not true sales leads. These conversions turn out to be job applications, incomplete form submissions or customer service inquiries. These items have almost no chance of becoming sales. Yet many Internet marketers aren’t separating them from their actual sales leads because Google Analytics only provides raw conversion numbers. This might not seem like a big deal, but the lack of that crucial distinction can spell trouble for internet marketers because they’re missing information they need.
For example, consider a theoretical lead generation website with two sources for conversions. Source A generates 100 conversions each month, while Source B generates 50.
Looking at the raw conversion numbers supplied by Google, an Internet marketer might assume that Source A is far more successful at driving sales leads than Source B. When optimizing the website, more attention would be paid to Source A. However, those conversions have not been put through the lead validation process, which means the marketer is working with incomplete information.
By putting those conversions through the lead validation process, the marketer gains an additional level of information. That additional level of information might tell the marketer that out of Source A’s 100 conversions, 25 of them turned out to be actual sales leads, but Source B generated 40 true sales leads out of its 50 conversions.
Although Source A was better at pulling in conversions overall, most of those conversions may have been just looking for customer service help, whereas Source B has the better return on investment when it comes to creating interactions with visitors that lead to real revenue. Armed with that information about how many real sales leads it has and where they came from, the marketer can go back and focus on Source B or fine-tune Source A to generate more sales leads.
The lead validation process analyzes every form submission and phone call that comes through your lead generation website. Although this can be time consuming, our research shows that it can be an extremely valuable and crucial component of the lead gen process.
Once your marketing team has validated leads, these potential customers are now primed for the sales team. Earlier, I spoke to the importance of knowing where your customers are coming from and who they are. Providing a complete snapshot of them can make all the difference. There are business intelligence systems out there that can help you to really know not only who your leads are, but what their needs are, what their industry looks like, how their competitors are doing, where they are lacking and what they can improve upon, among other things. You can pull data on your leads using digital and technology signals, and tools like BuzzBoard offer detailed profiles, as well as industry and consumer insights that help drive the sale. When leads are validated and you have relevant data-driven information at your fingertips, you can have meaningful conversations with the prospects that matter.
– Aaron Wittersheim, Chief Operating Officer, Straight North
Aaron’s focus at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency in Chicago, is on internet marketing, website services, and technology.
- Aaron Wittersheim