Do lead gen sites really generate leads for local businesses?

by 41 comments
I've been reading discussions on creating lead gen sites for local businesses that function like the lead gen sites in the IM world. These are basically a squeeze page with some sales message, maybe a video or some other content that is generic to the industry. The sole purpose is to generate leads for a business that you can either sell the leads or lease out the lead site.

Now, I've got dozens of lead gen sites for my information products so I know they work... in the IM world.

What I'm wondering is whether they really work in the local business world. And I don't mean whether some guru sells a product from the stage saying they work. I'd love to hear from people who actually have these sites that generate steady leads.

My question comes from my own perspective - if I want to hire a roofer, I'm going to search on Google for a roofer in my city and compare the ones I find, look at their reviews and such. But I'm not going to optin to a free reports about 10 tips on finding a roofer (and that's considering that I'm an info junkie). When I'm looking for a hair or nail salon, I want to find one that I can call right now and make an appointment, not get an ebook about great hair and nails...

You see where I'm going?

Notice, I'm not talking about a website for an actual business - I work with many local businesses, build sites for them and do SEO, PPC, GP and all kinds of marketing. I know THAT generates them business.

This question relates to purely squeeze page/optin style sites.

Anybody can share from actual experience?
#offline marketing #businesses #gen #generate #lead #leads #local #sites

  • Profile picture of the author jeffrey73
    I see precisely where you are going with that question. I've had exactly the same thought in my head for the past month now, trying to figure out how to get into the local lead generation game. And your thinking is directly on par with mine.

    I would love to see just 1 example of a system set in place, just to get an idea.
  • Profile picture of the author GrowConnect
    I used to be a Lead Gen agent. We called business establishments to send them an email regarding the services we offered. Some were hesitant but some were interested. It took a while before we got a few good response. But eventually the Lead Gen business stopped because of the very slow process. And perhaps the services we offered were too expensive compared to the competitors that's why we didn't get much clients. :-)
  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    I currently have lead gen sites and sell the leads to business on a CPL basis.
    However, it is not easy getting new clients, as they either don't get it, or don't want to pay for leads.
    If anyone has any ideas or has personal experience in getting clients to signup for this type of service I would be very interested.
  • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
    It's not easy to get done to be honest which is why so many try and fail. Not every niche works the same, some are better than others, and no I'm not going to tell you my golden ones, sorry.

    Here are some examples this is a niche that I charge $26 for the phone to ring.



    There were 740 calls generated during that time period. I'm sure you can do the math. Although the number ramped up quite a bit in the last two weeks due to SEO efforts.

    ************************************************** *****

    Here's another niche that is a pretty good producer. I charge $50 for the phone to ring in this niche, this is a typical day around 26 calls. Plus we get a handful of email leads generated that sadly I don't have pretty graphs on.



    ************************************************** ********

    Here's a different one. The bar on the left side is Organic SEO and the other bars are different PPC campaigns for the same client, they currently pay $16 per phone call. It costs me roughly $4 to get the phone to ring with PPC. Total of 305 calls generated in the month of February, about almost perfectly split SEO/PPC.



    ************************************************** ********

    So, yeah it works. The pain is finding reliable people who can handle the calls, and will answer them, and will do what they say they will do. You get the right person though and they will do whatever they must to pay you more money because the ROI is there.

    These are big cities that I play in, think 1.5 Million people or above. I think you have to have a certain call velocity to do lead gen. If you're not causing the phone to ring at least twice a day, you're probably better off just renting the site in my opinion. When the phone rings more you get a client who understands your value. They NOTICE that you're causing their business to increase. Harder to do when the calls are very sporadic. I've tried, very difficult.

    The nice thing is that many of these are fairly passive. I mean once you have a client signed up they never want to leave as long as the ROI is there. My lead gen sites look like their sites, not these crappy sites that are quite obviously not the owners sites. I'm sure you've seen them. If you saw my websites you'd hardly know it was a lead gen site you'd think it was a real companies website(and it is).

    HTH,

    Marcos

    P.S.- Sorry I know it's a little confusing to figure out what graphic goes with what description. I tried to separate it out by the astericks, but I just can't figure out how to make it look logical. Sorry.
  • Profile picture of the author WillDL
    GAH! Free reports? Don't do that!

    You will fail with free reports. The trick for lead gen is to target prospects trying to address an urgent need.

    Don't target "business+area" searches or domains target "urgent need+area" Be the first results for "My toilet exploded" "back pain" or "water damage"

    Which is a better lead for an plumbing company?

    "AnytownPlumber.net" gives away free report for email submit. You send the e-mail address of people who wanted the report.

    "AnytownBustedPipe.com" phone number prominently in the top right corner. Tells you exactly what to do to limit water damage to your home, furniture and electronics before we get there. Then guarantee arrival within 2 hours (I worked with a plumber who had that guarantee already) Follow that with a full contact form. Name Address, phone number, type of problem, extent of damage.

    You send the completed form to them.

    It is marginally harder to rank busted pipe than plumber, but it creates infinitely more qualified leads.

    As for selling your service... Don't, it is a downsell.

    When you target an industry, create your gen sites. Start sending the business to the prospects you want to target. Brand the bottom of each site with "powered by Yourbrand.com" just like web designers and word press do. Now go pitch your full services to your prospects. Use your sites as proof and "I'm already sending you clients" for your foot in the door. It is a good one.

    Your intent is to sell your full package. Lead gen and site rental is an a la carte fallback if they can't afford your rates. They get a great deal, you get set and forget income as well as a hot prospect to try and upsell to a full client as you make them money.

    I would never, ever in a bajillion years start a business that focused on lead gen or rental sites as its core.* I think that was lost in my post i the other "how to sell this thread". I was trying to answer his specific question, not comment on the viability of the market.

    *Not entirely true. Before going in house my lead gen/site rental was conducted under a separate DBA name, to protect my brand. I did no advertising other than offering a la carte service through my cheapo brand (yes, I called it that to prospects) to people I couldn't close for full services.
  • Profile picture of the author akazo
    Originally Posted by StrategicMarketingTN View Post


    My question comes from my own perspective - if I want to hire a roofer, I'm going to search on Google for a roofer in my city and compare the ones I find, look at their reviews and such. But I'm not going to optin to a free reports about 10 tips on finding a roofer (and that's considering that I'm an info junkie). When I'm looking for a hair or nail salon, I want to find one that I can call right now and make an appointment, not get an ebook about great hair and nails...
    Exactly! This is not the way to go, but the model of building a site, ranking it, and putting a Google Voice number (or whatever) that is forwarded to a business that is willing to pay for the leads is profitable.

    As was mentioned, the problem is getting people to see the benefit. It's amazing that people just don't "get" it. It's typically a pretty hard sell even when you have a proven track record, except when working off a referral.
  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    Lexington Law went from 4% website orders to 45% paid client when they added their phone
    number, in bold, at top right hand corner.

    They also added a pop up window at the one minute mark to have a person on the phone answer their questions.

    They knew they had great conversions with their phone people so they made it their priority to have people phone in on a 1800 number.

    The website does have lots of information on it.

    That lead generation method feeds a pay roll of 700 people.

    Best,
    Ewen
  • Profile picture of the author WillDL
    I am split testing that pop up starting very soon.
  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    Originally Posted by akazo View Post

    Exactly! This is not the way to go, but the model of building a site, ranking it, and putting a Google Voice number (or whatever) that is forwarded to a business that is willing to pay for the leads is profitable.

    As was mentioned, the problem is getting people to see the benefit. It's amazing that people just don't "get" it. It's typically a pretty hard sell even when you have a proven track record, except when working off a referral.
    I agree, and that is my experience. I currently have 2 happy clients who have both written great testimonials about my service and how it has helped increase their business. They are both also willing to accept phone calls and talk to any of my potential new clients in reference to my service.
    But, I still can't get new potentials interested. They just don't get it?

    I'm not targeting pizza shops here, I'm targeting high end markets, like cosmetic surgeons, lawyers, etc.
  • Profile picture of the author JMB Marketing Group
    If you want to know how to do lead generation, then I suggest you check out this WSO:

    http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...ine-niche.html

    He will tell you which niches are the gold nuggets, how to get leads by setting up a lead generation site/squeeze page (he also provides you with software that directs the leads to your client's email account), how to price the leads, and how to sell the leads. He also tells you how to get out of dealing with your clients (if and when you decide to bow out of the lead generation business) without leaving your client(s) high and dry.

    It's worth the price to check out. I look at it as an investment in your business.

    Another resource, which is FREE, where you can find lead generation information is from Michael Senoff. His site is: Hardtofindseminars.com.

    I hope this information helps.

    Happy Lead Finding/Selling.

    JMB
  • Profile picture of the author Huskerdarren
    With your experience, I think you should test it, especially in a highly competitive market where a lead is worth money. I would get the Google voice number as mentioned for tracking purposes/proof.

    Instead of a free report, I would offer something video based and educational in nature. I'd probably do Mike Koenigs 10x10x4 method to get my 'leads' to know, like and trust me from the comfort of their office chair.

    For example, where I live there are at least 3 lasik doctors that advertise like CRAZY on radio and on many formats of it. There are also 3 RV dealerships that do the same. On one of them, I think I"ve heard his commercials on at least 10 stations. They are relentless in their marketing. Should he be growing a list and then emailing video links showing off his new RV's in stock and cool accessories? ABSOLUTELY. I am quite sure he'd pay $50 a lead for a vehicle that goes for $200,000 and UP.

    A friend of mine told me he'd pay me $50 a lead. He's in the construction services. Pay per click was not worth it to him. I think he gets $1000 for a job, so $50 is a small price to pay.

    To the guy with the graphs in his posts. He knows which businesses will accept this business model and which won't. That matters. The method works, we just have to crack the code.
  • Profile picture of the author JMB Marketing Group
    Originally Posted by Huskerdarren View Post

    With your experience, I think you should test it, especially in a highly competitive market where a lead is worth money. I would get the Google voice number as mentioned for tracking purposes/proof.

    Instead of a free report, I would offer something video based and educational in nature. I'd probably do Mike Koenigs 10x10x4 method to get my 'leads' to know, like and trust me from the comfort of their office chair.

    For example, where I live there are at least 3 lasik doctors that advertise like CRAZY on radio and on many formats of it. There are also 3 RV dealerships that do the same. On one of them, I think I"ve heard his commercials on at least 10 stations. They are relentless in their marketing. Should he be growing a list and then emailing video links showing off his new RV's in stock and cool accessories? ABSOLUTELY. I am quite sure he'd pay $50 a lead for a vehicle that goes for $200,000 and UP.

    A friend of mine told me he'd pay me $50 a lead. He's in the construction services. Pay per click was not worth it to him. I think he gets $1000 for a job, so $50 is a small price to pay.

    To the guy with the graphs in his posts. He knows which businesses will accept this business model and which won't. That matters. The method works, we just have to crack the code.
    Welcome to the WF Huskerdarren,

    However, it is POLITE, here in THIS FORUM, to mention the person's name who made the helpful post, which was: MRomeo09, rather than saying "To the guy with the graphs in his posts"!

    It's a small thing, but an honourable mention at the same time. Just saying.

    Anyway, thanks for posting. You've provided some positive and valuable information.

    Cheers,

    JMB

    P.S. When you have more posts under belt, you can also hit the THANKS button as well. I have no doubt that you will be providing more informative and useful posts here in the near future. Therefore, I know that I will be looking out for more of these posts from you!
  • Profile picture of the author IrisEyes
    This post helps! Thanks
  • Profile picture of the author StrategicMarketingTN
    Originally Posted by WillDL View Post


    "AnytownPlumber.net" gives away free report for email submit. You send the e-mail address of people who wanted the report.

    "AnytownBustedPipe.com" phone number prominently in the top right corner. Tells you exactly what to do to limit water damage to your home, furniture and electronics before we get there. Then guarantee arrival within 2 hours (I worked with a plumber who had that guarantee already) Follow that with a full contact form. Name Address, phone number, type of problem, extent of damage.
    See, that's another point I'm wondering about. In the IM world, that makes a lot of sense. However, in the local business world, if you look at GK tool "New York Plumbers" - 6,600 local searches, but "New York Busted Pipe" - nothing. I'm not saying that some people won't type that in, but wouldn't most just try to find a plumber in their city when they have a busted pipe or clogged toilet? I'm just trying to get in the head of potential client for that service by thinking what would I do.

    Originally Posted by WillDL View Post

    I would never, ever in a bajillion years start a business that focused on lead gen or rental sites as its core.*
    This is a very important point. The reason being is that there are many WSOs sold on how EASY it is to put up a quick 1 page lead gen site and that the local owners are going to fight for it. I have no problem ranking a site on #1 on Google for any of my local area (city of 600K) but I just don't want to put in the work if it's going to be impossible to rent it out or sell the leads.

    I like your idea about using it as an front end to sell additional services - I was thinking about the same lines - offer them a custom program and throw this site in or if they can't afford the bigger package, just sell the leads.
  • Profile picture of the author StrategicMarketingTN
    Hey Marcos, thanks for that detailed info.

    Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

    It's not easy to get done to be honest which is why so many try and fail. Not every niche works the same, some are better than others, and no I'm not going to tell you my golden ones, sorry.
    Do you care to share the ones that do not work? Everybody is referring to plastic surgeons and lawyers... They must be bombarded by these types of offers...

    Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

    So, yeah it works. The pain is finding reliable people who can handle the calls, and will answer them, and will do what they say they will do. You get the right person though and they will do whatever they must to pay you more money because the ROI is there.
    So are you doing the phone answering on your end (by hiring somebody or outsourcing to a call center) or are the phone calls going to the actual business?

    Originally Posted by MRomeo09 View Post

    My lead gen sites look like their sites, not these crappy sites that are quite obviously not the owners sites. I'm sure you've seen them. If you saw my websites you'd hardly know it was a lead gen site you'd think it was a real companies website(and it is).
    This is exactly what I thought about doing - building a regular business website for that niche and when I get a client to pay for the leads or rent the site, place their info on it as if it's their website. Is that how you do it?

    Thanks a bunch.

    Katerina
  • Profile picture of the author WillDL
    Rank newyorkbustedpipe.com for " new york plumbers". I was trying to tell you to go for a domain name that is a match to the need, not a match to the search term. It isn't that much harder to do, and creates more qualified leads. People going to busted pipe, probably have a busted pipe. If they click on your site it will solve their problem quickly and conveniently.

    Please ignore most of the overhyped bs about lead gen. I ignore of two dozen different lead brokers a week at work. It isn't easy to sell on its own. It is a much easier down sell once you've established your credentials.
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
    Originally Posted by WillDL View Post

    It isn't easy to sell on its own.
    Then you're doing it wrong.

    With my methods, I'm able to close about 80% of businesses I contact.
  • Profile picture of the author WillDL
    Originally Posted by mgtarheels View Post

    Then you're doing it wrong.

    With my methods, I'm able to close about 80% of businesses I contact.
    Then keep on rocking it, and maybe share with everyone else.

    Everybody has different styles, and I freely admit I am not the best salesman.
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Grant
    Originally Posted by WillDL View Post

    Then keep on rocking it, and maybe share with everyone else.

    Everybody has different styles, and I freely admit I am not the best salesman.
    I've several methods, pending on the business and what info I can gather about the owner.

    Sometimes I'll tell them to expect an influx of calls and I'll call in a week to gauge their reaction. I'll be using SEO, G PPC, and Facebook PPC to drive leads. If it's a huge client, I'll even do a direct mail campaign, but it also depends on the niche.

    Sometimes I won't tell them at all. They'll just be confused as to why they're getting so many calls until I call them and tell them why.

    Direct mail certainly works getting past the gate keeper.

    There's no limits, really.
  • Profile picture of the author WildGale
    If you have actual hot leads, they shouldn't be able to sell, but they won't sell by themselves either. I see a lot of sites set up obviously for leasing, with pretty weak lead-capture systems in place, and a note that says "this space is for lease for one business exclusively." I wonder in those cases if the consultant is simply taking a "if you build it, they will come" approach. That approach can't be all that lucrative.

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