Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Economy Calls For Online Lead Generation

MediaPost Article 2/10/09

Economy Calls For Online Lead Generation
by Christopher Petix, 1 hour ago

In the current climate, budgets are definitely a top priority for marketers.
As a result, marketers must make the most of their spend--and they must account for every penny. Any marketing method they choose needs to be extremely targeted, measurable and result in high conversion rates.

This is where online marketing really excels. With offline marketing efforts, marketers often rely on estimates and educated guesses--for example, "an outdoor billboard was seen by around 10,000 people walking by every day and we presume half of them were women" or "last night's marketing event really created a big hype." However, with online marketing, marketers get all the hard facts: How many people saw the ad, how many times each person saw it, whether they reacted--clicked through on it--or whether they signed up for the newsletter, for example.

As a result of this measurability, many online marketing solutions are offered on a performance-based pricing model, which ensures that marketers are getting what they pay for. A company wants their target group to read a specific message--so it pays per-click and redirects the customer to a landing page containing that specific message, without using expensive billboards that people may or may not see.

However, the ultimate goal for marketers is increasing sales--and it is here where Online Lead Generation is the fastest and most sustainable of online marketing efforts. With traditional data houses, clients will usually pay for a bundle of leads--say 10 or 20 thousand. However, with OLG, clients can opt to pay on a cost-per-lead basis for new and unique leads--and if they have already obtained the lead from another source, they can reject that lead in favor of a new one, be it a telemarketing lead, a newsletter sign-up or a trial subscription for a product.

The leads can also be sent immediately after sign-up--which is what many marketers need in a climate where they cannot afford anything less than maximum return on their marketing spend. This flexibility means that OLG is very cost-effective, as marketing managers are only paying for the leads that they use.

With OLG, marketers are guaranteed to be getting new, fresh data and they don't have to worry about its relevance--it is guaranteed to be up to date. As the data is brand-new and unique to them, it won't have been sitting in a database for years while the person could have moved their house, changed telephone numbers or even changed their name. And due to the rigorous data-cleansing processes of Online Lead Generation, every lead is guaranteed to be fully contactable--there are no "dead leads," and all the contact details are fully checked.

Because of the higher quality of the data provided, there is also less of a waste margin, so companies can ask for less leads initially. They may get the same number of conversions from 5,000 leads collected via OLG as they would from a 10,000 lead bundle from a traditional data house.

The highly measurable nature of an Online Lead Generation campaign and its ability to suit any budget is what makes it attractive--especially in the current climate--and it also fits easily into a larger, complete marketing campaign by complementing other methods such as television, print and other online methods that are already within a company's marketing mix.

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