Lead Generation vs. E-Commerce
There are a handful of goal types when it comes to digital/online marketing. One of the most common is e-commerce. This is simply selling goods online. The transaction occurs on your own website and in some period of time, the customer will receive goods in return. We’re all very familiar with this. Amazon is the most common example when it comes to ecommerce. It is an enormous warehouse where goods are sold online.
Pay per click is a very common medium for e-commerce suppliers and marketers. The reason it is so popular is the ability to track revenue. You know exactly how much you’ve spent on ads and can determine exactly (or very close to exact) what you sold from those ads.
Lead generation is a little different in that you might not be directly selling on your website. Lead generation is very common for service-based industries. Let’s take a restaurant as an example. Today, many restaurants allow you to order online. This is pretty much e-commerce. However, a lot of restaurants may provide catering services or private parties. When it comes to these, lead generation is a much more common of customer interaction. Very few customer would order entire catering online or book and pay for a private party immediately. They typically want to talk to someone first.
Does It Work?
As we said earlier, yes it works. In fact you’ve likely been part of a lead generation program in the past. Most of the forms you fill on various websites are a component of lead gen. For example, you may have contacted different venues for your wedding. Or you may have submitted a contact form to ask a question before purchasing software or a service.
One of two things happened when you began your lead gen process. Either they obtained you as a lead via dumb luck (not ideal or trackable), or they had a carefully crafted lead gen program that funneled you into their database of leads.
I’ve personally worked with a number of companies from wedding venues to home builders that require lead gen programs. You simply can’t purchase either online. You have to talk to a salesperson or internal employee to get more info.
What’s Need for Lead Gen?
First and foremost, you need a quality landing page. To be honest, you should have multiple landing pages that you can test against each other. This will help you identify which one converts better. But if that seems like a daunting task, at the very least, create one good landing page.
A landing page is by far the most important piece of lead generation and is usually the most overlooked aspect. Many companies think that sending a person to their homepage is adequate enough. This is completely wrong and can drastically reduce the amount of people who convert into leads.
Let’s look at the restaurant private party example. A person searches for “private party venues”. They see your ad talking about “private party rooms available”. Great, there is some nice correlation there. Now, when they click on your ad, they go to your homepage. The correlation is lost. They see whatever is on your homepage like rotating banners, menus, and other random info. You are now requiring them to find your page detailing private parties. Sure, this might be in your main navigation but you’ve also given them the opportunity to deviate from the ideal funnel. They can click on your “About Us”, “Lunch Menu”, social media profiles and much more. You haven’t properly kept that user on track to get in touch about private parties.
Attention span is very limited on the internet. It is your job to keep them on the track you want them to take. That is why your ad should drive them to a landing page about private parties. This page can include detailed room info, menus, photos, testimonials, and maybe even pricing (though pricing can be a deterrent).
Pay Per Click Lead Generation
So how does this all tie into pay per click? Well, that is the ad the user saw that drove them to your beautifully crafted landing page.
Pay per click, especially search ppc from Google Search or Bing Search, is a great way to drive leads to your site. You are targeting them while they are in the search process. You can put constraints on your pay per click campaign to reach very relevant and quality prospects. And, you know how much it costs to get them into your site and eventually, convert into a lead. The process can seem daunting but it can be a huge boost to your lead gen efforts if done correctly.