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 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?

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

    "" 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" 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 WillDL
    I am split testing that pop up starting very soon.
  • 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:

    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:

    I hope this information helps.

    Happy Lead Finding/Selling.

  • 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 WillDL
    Rank 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 kenmichaels
    I know that lead gen works, it's 1 model that I use. But, every market and business is different so it's not a one size fits all.

    For example… I agree with WillDL when he mentions listing a phone number if you're going to target a service business like plumbing. Usually people doing a search for a local plumber don't want to read a free report, receive an email or watch a video on a blog. They want to call someone right NOW and have someone answer the phone or they are going some place else. But you can do additional work with the plumber that includes setting up video's and help make them the go to expert in that area by branding.

    In other businesses I would disagree with WillDL that you shouldn't do a free report. Free reports can and do work with the right business and the right model.

    Your on the right track when your thinking about what will their potential client or customer be wanting when typing in their search.

    One mistake I made when starting out was just wanting to follow a simple path, then I tried to fit every business in to what I was offering. When I did that I might make a $500 sale and some times just $200 because the market was small and I needed to get someone renting the site. I would also charge a smaller monthly fee. The responses from my clients were usually luke warm after a couple of months and they didn't see the true value. When I changed my model and got away from the cookie cutter template. I started to treat every business different and tailor a more complete short term and long term SEO and marketing strategy for them I was able to add services and increase my value to that business.

    I still use the lead gen model and google places listing as a door opener, but from there I try and see what services does that business really need to get the full value of what I have to offer.

    Hope that sorta kinda helped,
  • Profile picture of the author fgrimes
    I like the idea of selling or renting the site, seems more lucrative in the long-term.
  • Profile picture of the author O0o0O
    Live chat during weekday business hours also increases conversions. Have your live chat button located in the top right corner along with your phone number, and your signup conversion rates will skyrocket.
  • Profile picture of the author patadeperro
    WillDl have explained some important points what nobody is explaining you is the marketing behind a lead generation website because you need to understand the following points:

    a) The industry you are going to be selling the leads. (Do they know what is a lead?, do they use them?)

    b) The purchase cycle (example: the purchase cycle on a home it is longer than with a plumber, there are unexpected purchases with zero purchase cycle example: cemeteries)

    c) and most important What key phrase you are going to be targeting, people are looking for solution to specific problem furthermore what problem is the one you are going to solve and how example: if somebody needs money you can solve the problem by creating extra income or by decreasing their debt.

    I have applied this method several times and I can tell you it works, but first you need to work more in your marketing and less on your SEO.

    From my perspective the BEST industry to work with this type of model is the FINANCIAL INDUSTRY why? because they already know what is a lead, so you dont have to work on the part of educating the client.

    Feel free to PM any doubts you may have I will be happy to help you.

  • Profile picture of the author Jimian
    I just build the site as pure lead-gen and either lease it to the owner or sell the leads..

    bestrhodeislandroofer dot com
    flooringkennesaw dot com (for my own brother who said this has done more
    than any other thing online he's tried)
  • Profile picture of the author mr2monster
    Yes, they work. Plain and simple.

    They're a little different from the "Free Report" type lead sites that IMers use to bribe people into giving their contact info.

    I work with several clients, and sometimes a type of business just isn't worth the effort in producing leads for. i.e a nail salon...

    I tend only to work with high profit companies that can afford to pay me well on a per lead basis.

    Most times these types of companies are longer transaction type of companies (i.e. loan modification, real estate, bankruptcy, etc) so you can get away with giving information for contact information.

    I also work with a dentist, and the "free report" for your contact info doesnt' really work in that niche... So we give a free cleaning away.

    I worked with a CPA for a while, and we gave a free consult away to help capture the lead...

    A lot of times, I position my lead sites as "applications" more than "get more information". For example, in the loan modification niche, I simply say "Apply Online" and collect a slew of information from the prospect (nothing like social security # or anything) and then on the thank you page just say "Thank you for applying, one of our representatives will contact you to discuss your preliminary qualification" or something like that.

    There are tons of ways to get someone to fill out a form... As a lead generator, you have to pick your clients well in order to make it "worth the trouble" for you to generate leads.

    Hope that helps.
  • Profile picture of the author jsherloc
    Also, brief related side-note to this thread topic: CHECK YOUR STATE LAWS AND INDUSTRY REGULATIONS regarding lead generation/performance marketing/getting commissions/testimonials/etc. Certain industries that work AMAZING for online lead generation are also sometimes the most regulated and "strict" industries with a lot of evolving "do's" and "don'ts" that are easy to miss.

    A lot of these regulations have to do with taking commissions and specific CPL business models, in some States/industries it gets a bit "grey-area". This is really only so for the some of the "higher-end" professions I've found though. Also, if you do encounter some "strictness", you can be flexible and opt for "monthly marketing payments" rather than percentage of sales and what not.

    Hope that helps,

    - Jim
  • Profile picture of the author mlcmartin
    I've had several such "lead gen" sites contact me and offer their services. But personally I don't believe in the idea of buying leads. I would gladly pay them a commission for signing up new clients for me but leads?? Honestly. It's not worth paying for.

    I've actually had one call me recently offering to sell me leads for $15 a piece. I offered him a $150 commission if he could sign up a good web development project for me and he declined.. oh well..
  • Profile picture of the author yougotmymoney

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