CoatingsPro Magazine

MAY 2017

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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24 MAY 2017 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Marketing Savvy C onstruction companies can vastly improve online sales lead generation by adding lead validation to their marketing process. Lead validation involves reading website form submissions and listen- ing to recordings of phone inquiries to separate actual sales leads from non-lead conversions. On average, about half of all website conversions are something other than leads. A conversion happens when a visitor to your website takes action rather than simply visiting the site and then navigating away from it, and a lead is one of those conversions intending to do business with your company. Conversions in the "other" category include misdials, spam, sales solicita- tions, customer service inquiries, and inquiries for products/services that your company does not sell. Clearly, those other conversions shouldn't be consid- ered potential customers. For construction companies, the percentage of non-lead conversions may be much higher. If your company is engaged in highly specialized services, serves a very specific geographic market, or serves a very narrow customer segment, it is likely to receive a high proportion of inquiries that don't fit into the leads category. In far too many cases, construction companies count any and all visitors to their websites as potential sales leads, but this creates a dangerously incom- plete picture of how effective their Internet marketing campaigns are. Without validation, companies cannot tell which marketing channels are producing leads — they only see which ones are producing conversions. With hazy conversion data, it becomes easy to overemphasize channels not producing leads, and underemphasize ones that produce lots of leads. Companies may wind up sinking considerable resources into channels that are delivering high numbers of conversions but very few actual sales leads, while channels that have a much higher rate of leads are perceived incorrectly as not delivering. How Lead Validation Improves Lead Generation If your business is running Internet marketing campaigns — search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, email market- ing, and/or display advertising, for example — your campaign managers evaluate conversion data to run tests and decide how to tweak campaigns to improve lead production. However, because conversions include leads and non-leads, conversion data alone, without isolating actual leads, causes campaign managers to make faulty decisions. Here is a hypotheti- cal example. Suppose a PPC produced these results in a given month: • Keyword A: 40 conversions • Keyword B: 20 conversions Seeing this data, which seems to show that Keyword A made twice as many conversions as Keyword B, the campaign manager would probably put more emphasis on Keyword A. He or she would probably allocate more of the budget to that keyword, and perhaps focus his or her attention more on what were perceived to be the busiest days of the week and/or hours of the day, based on the raw conversion data. But is Keyword A really as effective as it seems based on that raw conversion data? Let's further suppose the campaign adds lead validation to the process, and the campaign manager instead sees these results: • Keyword A: 12 sales leads • Keyword B: 18 sales leads Looks a lot different, doesn't it? With lead validation, the campaign manager sees that Keyword B produces both a higher number of leads than Keyword A and a much higher percent- age of leads to conversions. (Keyword B's 18 leads from 20 conversions is 90 percent, versus Keyword A's 12 out of 40, which is 30 percent.) Without a doubt, the campaign manager will put more emphasis where it belongs — on Keyword B. W hen you consider that decisions of this type are made on a daily basis for a well-managed Internet market- ing campaign, you can see how great an impact lead validation has on the continual improvement of lead generation. Lead validation creates a crucial filter on data that an unfortu- nate number of Internet marketing campaigns simply don't have, and the impact can be much more devastating to a company than simply missing out on a few extra opportunities for sales. W hy would Keyword B produce so many more leads than Keyword A, even though Keyword A produces twice as many conversions? Good question, and one that could mean the difference between a successful Internet market- ing campaign and an unsuccessful one. ere are many possible explanations, including: • Keyword A is very high-volume, but very general; users who click on the By Aaron Wittersheim, COO at Straight North Cement More Deals With Online Lead Validation

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