5 Disturbing But Avoidable Causes of Expensive Online Leads

For business development, lead generation is key. And online leads are a great choice, whether you’re just trying to grow your newsletter of consumers to market to (B2C), or you’re selling directly to businesses (B2B).

A few facts for you:

  • 85% of B2B marketers say lead generation is their most important content marketing goal 
  • According to MarketingProfs, Inside Sales (which includes cold outbound email) is one of the most effective sources of new leads.
  • Facebook ads, Google ads, and SEO are great ways to grow B2C newsletter lists.
  • Email marketing is the most common form of B2B lead generation.
  • 53% of marketers say 50% or more of their budget is allocated to lead generation. (Source: BrightTALK)

But back to the cost of these leads.

Everybody wants high quality leads that convert to new business AND they want those leads to be cheap.

But as the saying goes, you can have two of the following: fast, cheap, and good.

  • If you want cheap good leads, you’re not going to get them fast! For example, SEO typically takes a lot of time, content creation and often hustle to create those great rankings, and time is money, so is that truly inexpensive?
  • If you want good leads fast, it’s gonna cost you some money. That’s typically going to come from advertising, outbound email, and outbound sales. Someone has to run those ads, pay for them, write those emails, send them, maintain deliverability, make those phone calls, and so on.

So, how can you lower your lead gen costs and keep the quality of the leads high?

Well let’s take a look at some of the top causes of high lead gen costs:

1. Using a High-Cost Traffic Source

If the traffic to your website is expensive, there’s a good chance your leads will be, too. But it’s a balance. If you’re paying for a high quality visitor, maybe they’ll convert at a higher rate, and your lead cost will be manageable.

What lead sources are most expensive?

  • Pay per lead services can be dicey. If you aren’t getting exclusive access to these leads, a bunch of other providers may also be bugging them, so you’re really paying for a lead opportunity, not an exclusive lead. The rest of the sources below will give you your own exclusive leads.
  • Advertising agencies charge fees that range up to 20% of your monthly ad spend, and can run anywhere from $1,500 – $10,000 or more per month, in addition to your ad spend.
    • LinkedIn ads can cost $5-7 per click at a minimum. If you’re not spending $10k per month to get their LinkedIn’s preferred ads (likely the ones you remember seeing), the self-serve ads aren’t highly visible (you probably haven’t seen them), and you may not get much traffic volume. The time you spend on these can be wasted, and that’s also expensive.
    • Google ads in certain niches like Insurance can be $20-30 or more per click. To run these, you have to have really on-target ad copy, and high-converted landing pages.
    • Facebook ads are much lower cost per clicks, at $0.50 – $3.00, and if your targeting is good, your cost per lead can be great. You have to have smart, experienced people doing your targeting, ad copy, and landing pages if you want your lead costs to be good. Cost per lead can range from $5.00 – $1.00 depending on the niche and other variables.
  • Outbound call services may charge you $2-4k per month and cost you $1.25 – $5.00 per contact you have them call, and the ultimate cost per lead can be $50 – 200.
  • Outbound email services may charge a similar amount for all-in full-service, or you can buy lists from one group and have another group do your email writing and sending.

2. Getting Irrelevant Traffic From an Unqualified Traffic Source

If you’re not targeting the right people or the right keywords, you’ll either get ignored or you’ll get the wrong people clicking your ads.

  • It’s expensive to spend money on inexperienced people to run ads who target the wrong people, because they’re wasting your time and money while you don’t get good leads.
  • It’s expensive to spend money on inexperienced people selecting the wrong people to email or call who are the wrong people, and won’t make good customers. The people doing your targeting need to know what you consider a marketing-qualified-lead and a sales-qualified lead so that all their targeting and creative increases your lead quality and response.
  • It’s expensive to run a lead gen strategy on platforms chosen by someone without lead gen experience, for all the same reasons- it won’t work, and it’ll waste time and money.

A successful lead gen campaign begins with a smart strategy designed by someone who understands your goals, your offering and your target customer, and has experience with modern lead generation.

3. Prospects aren’t warmed up sufficiently

Every successful lead gen strategy is multi-touch. Even cold outbound strategies use warm-up tactics.

4. website converts at below average rates

5. lame, boring, uninteresting content (ad level, website level)