Alex Bider is the CEO and Senior Internet Marketing Consultant at 2Marketing.com.
Many B2B and B2C enterprises live and breathe based on the volume and quality of their leads. In case you’re not familiar with the term, a lead is a person or business that has expressed interest in your product or service on some level. A lead can range from someone who joins your email or messenger list to someone who submits an application for a free consultation. The key is that they have shared their contact information with an expectation that you will follow up.
Two of the most common approaches to lead generation are pay-per-click (PPC) and pay-per-lead (PPL). Let’s break down each of those terms.
What Is Pay-Per-Click?
PPC is a type of advertising in which the buyer pays based on the number of clicks their ad receives. Popular platforms for PPC ads include Facebook ads, Google ads and others. It’s worth noting that in many cases advertisers also pay per impression, meaning you still pay if your ad isn’t optimized enough to get clicks.
Many business owners choose to run their own PPC campaigns, at least at first. It’s pretty inexpensive to take a Facebook ads course and start running traffic to your website. However, there are a lot of moving parts in the average pay-per-click campaign. You have to:
MORE FOR YOU
• Make sure your website is compliant with the ad platform.
• Optimize your website for speed and conversions.
• Write copy for ads, landing pages, thank-you pages and autoresponders.
• Source images and design ad creatives.
• Create highly optimized ad campaigns.
• Follow up with leads after they opt in.
If doing all that seems like a fun challenge, then PPC might be a good option for you. On the other hand, if you’re wondering whether you can just focus on following up with the leads, the answer is yes. That’s pay-per-lead.
What Is Pay-Per-Lead?
PPL is an advertising service provided by ad and marketing agencies. In a pay-per-lead campaign, the agency is responsible for everything up to (and sometimes even including) the initial follow up.
When done right, PPL creates a win-win scenario. From the agency’s perspective, this service can be an easy sell to business owners who have wasted money running their own PPC or who have no desire to try their hand at advertising. It can also be better for retaining clients.
From the business owner’s perspective, a PPL model gives them access to all of the agency’s skills and experience. In my experience, a great majority of local service websites are not well optimized for lead generation. However, a good marketing agency will either fix that before the ads begin or build a separate, highly optimized funnel.
What Separates PPC From PPL?
The key difference between running your own PPC and going with PPL is the skill set required. If you feel comfortable managing a full digital marketing stack, PPC may make sense. But for other business owners, PPL will likely be more economical even if it seems to have a higher cost up front.
A common mistake is comparing ad costs to pay-per-lead costs. There is a lot more that goes into running pay-per-click advertising than just the cost of the ads. If you want to come anywhere close to the efficiency of a PPL campaign, I recommend you consider hiring experts to help with each working part of your funnel.
Put another way, PPL is like leasing a car; it’s completely pay-as-you-go. PPC is more like building a car from scratch — you need to have all the parts and all the skills to put them together.
What Is A Good Cost Per Lead?
A “good” cost per lead varies depending on the industry and method used, as well as the expected quality of the lead. A lead who provides just their email address will typically cost less than one that provides name, email, business name and phone number.
How To Choose The Best Model For Your Business
The only real way to make an informed decision is to test for yourself. If you don’t have the time or expertise to try your own PPC, you may want to go straight to PPL. However, if you have the basics required to run your own ads, you can learn a lot from even a few campaigns. It will give you a starting point for what a lead costs and it will give you an understanding of how ad campaigns work.
Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?
Go to Source
Author: Alex Bider, Forbes Councils Member