Who's making money from using PPC to generate leads for their clients as their main business model?

14 replies
Hi,

I first came across this strategy whilst reading shoemoney's blog post on "making money with local affiliate marketing". If you haven't read it, you should Google it as it was a great post albeit an old one posted in 2008.

The concept basically involves calling up local businesses who sell high profit services/products and utilizing various PPC channels (adwords, facebook ads etc) to generate leads and being paid per lead or for each customer who signs up with your client.

My understanding is that you take the risk, pay for the PPC campaigns with your own budget and get paid for the results.

Also you are meant to offer a few weeks/a month worth of leads for free to show what you can do (an easy sell).

Can anybody offer any thoughts, experiences or any recent success stories with this strategy?

Thanks,
#business #clients #generate #leads #main #making #model #money #ppc
  • Profile picture of the author Sipboy3000
    The strategy is definitely doable and it's very scalable.

    The best part about this type of lead generation is that you are in complete control.

    I already do lead gen for businesses, but never focused strictly on local. I already do lots of consulting work where I get paid upfront for my services so I'm not quite at the point where I'm ready to walk away from that.

    My strategy if I ever decide to take this approach serious is this:

    1. Pick one vertical market. In the IM space, we call it a niche.

    2. Research the crap out of that market so I know exactly what the customers are looking for.

    3. Since I would start with PPC on the search network, I would do keyword research before building a site.

    4. Build a micro site around the keywords packed with relevant content.

    5. Build at least 3 landing page variations to start testing.

    6. Install all my tracking including a call tracking number. Phone call leads are waaay better quality than web form leads.

    7. Use a service like Info Free to build a list of leads starting with one local area. Call those leads and offer my lead generation service.

    8. Drive traffic and focus on optimizing the traffic for not only conversions, but also lead quality. (Hint: You can determine lead quality by listening to phone calls. Plenty of intel to tell you what you could do better as well as advice you can give your lead buyers on how to close better. The better your leads are for them, the more you can charge. Just sayin.)

    9. Once I've mastered the conversions and lead quality on the search network, I'd move to other traffic sources such as the display network with banners, Facebook, etc. Basically, I'd expand to as many traffic sources I could find to generate quality leads.

    10. Once I get to a point where I feel comfortable with my profit margin, expand to a new local market and use all the data and intel I've collected to rinse and repeat.

    Then I'd just keep expanding to scale as much as possible.

    I might have missed something, but that's my plan if I ever decide to do it.

    I know a someone that's doing over 2 million dollars a year with this method. Except he focuses on the education vertical. The approach is very similar though because I know his geo targeted campaigns are the ones that perform the best.

    Hope this little bit of insights helps.
    Signature

    Nothing here to see

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7594470].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author boatree
      Sipboy,

      Thanks for the detailed plan.

      What about if we significantly simply this and help a specific, lets say "real estate agent" in a busy suburb by utilizing PPC (google ad words and facebook geo targeted ads specifically) to generate sales leads for the business.

      As shoemoney suggests, you can negotiate how much the real estate agency will pay you for each lead (let's say an individual who registers their interest in listing their property or buying a property from the agency).

      To strengthen the influence of the campaigns, you will put together a hook with the advertisements i.e. receive a 10% discount if you book online, quote google or facebook as the code when calling the number or diverting them to a 1300 number so the leads are track-able.

      My understanding with this is, you are basically using paid traffic methods to drum up quick leads for the business. Ideally if you did this yourself it would be cheaper, but you could make this model more scalable and utilize a PPC from odesk to do this for you??

      What are your thoughts?

      Thanks,


      Originally Posted by Sipboy3000 View Post

      The strategy is definitely doable and it's very scalable.

      The best part about this type of lead generation is that you are in complete control.

      I already do lead gen for businesses, but never focused strictly on local. I already do lots of consulting work where I get paid upfront for my services so I'm not quite at the point where I'm ready to walk away from that.

      My strategy if I ever decide to take this approach serious is this:

      1. Pick one vertical market. In the IM space, we call it a niche.

      2. Research the crap out of that market so I know exactly what the customers are looking for.

      3. Since I would start with PPC on the search network, I would do keyword research before building a site.

      4. Build a micro site around the keywords packed with relevant content.

      5. Build at least 3 landing page variations to start testing.

      6. Install all my tracking including a call tracking number. Phone call leads are waaay better quality than web form leads.

      7. Use a service like Info Free to build a list of leads starting with one local area. Call those leads and offer my lead generation service.

      8. Drive traffic and focus on optimizing the traffic for not only conversions, but also lead quality. (Hint: You can determine lead quality by listening to phone calls. Plenty of intel to tell you what you could do better as well as advice you can give your lead buyers on how to close better. The better your leads are for them, the more you can charge. Just sayin.)

      9. Once I've mastered the conversions and lead quality on the search network, I'd move to other traffic sources such as the display network with banners, Facebook, etc. Basically, I'd expand to as many traffic sources I could find to generate quality leads.

      10. Once I get to a point where I feel comfortable with my profit margin, expand to a new local market and use all the data and intel I've collected to rinse and repeat.

      Then I'd just keep expanding to scale as much as possible.

      I might have missed something, but that's my plan if I ever decide to do it.

      I know a someone that's doing over 2 million dollars a year with this method. Except he focuses on the education vertical. The approach is very similar though because I know his geo targeted campaigns are the ones that perform the best.

      Hope this little bit of insights helps.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7594767].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Sipboy3000
        Originally Posted by boatree View Post

        Sipboy,

        Thanks for the detailed plan.

        What about if we significantly simply this and help a specific, lets say "real estate agent" in a busy suburb by utilizing PPC (google ad words and facebook geo targeted ads specifically) to generate sales leads for the business.

        As shoemoney suggests, you can negotiate how much the real estate agency will pay you for each lead (let's say an individual who registers their interest in listing their property or buying a property from the agency).

        To strengthen the influence of the campaigns, you will put together a hook with the advertisements i.e. receive a 10% discount if you book online, quote google or facebook as the code when calling the number or diverting them to a 1300 number so the leads are track-able.

        My understanding with this is, you are basically using paid traffic methods to drum up quick leads for the business. Ideally if you did this yourself it would be cheaper, but you could make this model more scalable and utilize a PPC from odesk to do this for you??

        What are your thoughts?

        Thanks,
        Honestly, I'd never run a business like this using someone from oDesk. Mainly because I know the quality I want because I've mastered the skillset. So for me personally, I'd scale with in house staff for whom I would personally train.

        Andrew makes an excellent point above. I agree that most business owners don't fully respect your time and skills if they have not paid you a substantial amount of money already. This is one of the reasons I haven't pursued this business model yet. I already get paid very well upfront and the clients I work with tend to respect me a lot more because of the investment they've made.

        From a simplification standpoint, it wouldn't make sense for me to pursue it if I couldn't scale this business to match or exceed my current business.

        Yes, you could simplify it by starting with only one or two traffic sources. But for me it's more about being able to generate the highest quality leads at a price that you can make a profit.

        So I'd always be testing different traffic sources and traffic methods even non ppc stuff to generate leads because whenever you get the same quality lead at a lower price that money goes directly to your bottom line. When you're doing volume, even pennies can make a huge impact.

        In the end, all business owners want is good quality leads that can make a positive ROI and generate some business. If you can do that effectively, there's no shortage of people who will take them off your hands.

        It's like selling money at a discount.

        As I stated earlier, I already sort of do this anyway. But for now I like getting paid upfront because is lowers my risk by transferring some of it to my clients.
        Signature

        Nothing here to see

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7601376].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author snirbitton
      Loved this post!
      Signature

      Grab 8 free online resources other people pay for

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7610207].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MarketingJessie
    Local lead marketing is on a prepaid basis. You get the clients and they pay you upfront for your services.

    But if you are not into the business and you are new to it than its a hard sale for you. But if you start off and you own the micro sites like SIPBOY said and you are driving leads to customers than its an EASY sale. You can work off a per lead basis and as soon as they decide they dont want to buy no more than you can easily go to someone else in the market.

    Local lead gen is a great way to make a lot of money and utilize your PPC skills. Not everyone knows how to do what we do....

    Take advantage!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7594984].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Andy Lemos
    Is some the strategies from 2008 outdated? Just curious
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7595834].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author redcell1
    Originally Posted by boatree View Post

    Hi,

    I first came across this strategy whilst reading shoemoney's blog post on "making money with local affiliate marketing". If you haven't read it, you should Google it as it was a great post albeit an old one posted in 2008.

    The concept basically involves calling up local businesses who sell high profit services/products and utilizing various PPC channels (adwords, facebook ads etc) to generate leads and being paid per lead or for each customer who signs up with your client.

    My understanding is that you take the risk, pay for the PPC campaigns with your own budget and get paid for the results.

    Also you are meant to offer a few weeks/a month worth of leads for free to show what you can do (an easy sell).

    Can anybody offer any thoughts, experiences or any recent success stories with this strategy?

    Thanks,
    This only works if your selling leads to companies that know how to close and have the money today to pay you for the leads that you send.

    If you already have a client in a field, then you know what converts and can sell to prospects in a different city/county. If you are just picking random niches from the sky expect to spend money on "test data" and realize that this model only works for people who know how to manage PPC campaigns.
    Signature

    Just here to see the shenanigans.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7595954].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
      There certainly are people making great money doing
      various kinds of PPC campaigns for brick and mortar
      businesses.

      And many charge a substantial upfront fee, an ongoing
      fee AND an extra fee based on performance.

      That's probably the ideal situation.


      One thing you should always keep in mind is that if a
      client hasn't paid you a substantial amount of money
      in the past then they're probably not going to respect
      your time and your skills.

      Charging upfront forces a client to establish in their
      mind the potential profit value you can bring them.

      Even if you're selling leads there's no rule that says you
      can't charge clients a nice upfront fee for the right to
      do business with you (you might even let them take
      some of that value back in leads over the first month
      or two.

      Think about what I just said in that paragraph.

      If you have an objection to that idea then chances are
      in your mind you're scared of charging clients substantial
      fees and that will be a key factor holding you back until
      you deal with it.

      Over the years I've learned from my own experience and
      from working with many other consultants that the clients
      who are the most problematic are those who have paid
      you little or nothing upfront and the clients who are
      usually a pleasure to deal with are those who've paid
      substantial fees upfront.


      If you want to sell leads and go to all that trouble to get those
      leads coming in that's GREAT.

      Remember that YOU have the choice of who you deal with
      and make your clients pay for the right to do business with
      you. Remember that you can just go down the street to
      another business with your leads.

      Put yourself in a situation where you're winning big as soon
      as a client hires you.

      At least that's my opinion on this business model.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7597374].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    This is essentially how I got started making good money for myself. However, I did not use PPC. I don't see anything wrong with PPC (thats a lie), but I do not view it as a long term plan for any business. Or maybe its just the niche I'm in.

    In the niche I'm in, people pay around $200 just to get 1 appointment set. That job might not even sell, or it may sell for a low amount. So you can spend around $400-500 just to get 1 decent size job sold.

    Although that still works in my niche as a business model, it sucks. The ROI is terrible.
    Thats why I took a different route.

    I figured for $500, I can rank 100 videos on youtube for 100 different keywords.
    Or I could pay a CL autoposter and get hundreds of ads posted in my area every week (which has a much better ROI than google adwords).

    Or I could outsource some SEO on my website for some less competitive keywords.

    Or I could start building citations for my google places and getting reviews.

    There were so many other things I realized I could do, that would provide a much better ROI if they were done properly. The problem is, its a lot of work for most people. I only have about 30 youtube videos up, but it took about 2-3 hours to make each one. This took me many months to accomplish. I didn't outsource anything but the ranking of the videos. All the content I did myself.

    The CL ads I wrote and tested all of them myself. And it was A LOT of ads. THEN I outsourced the posting process.

    I always did SEO myself when another company was also doing SEO for the site. I'd just target different keywords than the ones I gave them.

    Google places I did all by myself, and building those citations sucked (I'm doing it for a new site right now and hate it).

    The point is though, once this is setup it generates more leads for a better ROI. Its a true sales funnel and the foundation that all businesses need most. When PPC stops, business stops. But how exactly does google places stop? Or traffic coming from youtube videos? Or specific keywords from your site on page 1 of google? Between google places and youtube alone, I don't touch a thing, and traffic always comes in.

    For the amount of traffic I get from youtube in 1 day, I'd have to spend $1000 a day on PPC. Which is ridiculous. I'm sorry, but I just do not like PPC at all. Thats the worst ROI I can think of. I spent $150 on those videos, and lots of time (which YES, is worth money) but the ROI from youtube destroys adwords. I haven't touched many of those videos in months, and continue to get traffic.

    BTW, I'm not saying don't use PPC. But as a foundation for a business, I strongly recommend against it. Or maybe I just suck at PPC that badly. I couldn't honestly tell you. All I know is everything else has worked for me just fine, everything but PPC.

    -Red
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7601576].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author LasseKohau
    I never charge upfront. I invoice pr lead.


    I segment my clients througholy, they pick me and I pick them.


    The prospecting proces of getting into a business relationsship works two ways. The prospecting phase, getting to the closing - is a much longer proces than the closing itself and much more difficult, due to the unknown factors in the new relation.


    A lot of business people forget to prequalify their clients - and bump into unnes.issues, like lack of payment and questioning the quality of the leads (if thet cant convert them)


    Our job ad lead gens is to provide the leads, not convert them.


    As a rule of thumb - I indicate the pricepoint of the lead, by having the ppc cost added times 15 or 20 - this will give you an estimated price range to negotioate from.

    EX; Dentists, costs 5 dollars in phily - I sell them for around 75 to 100 D.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7602683].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Simon James
      Originally Posted by LasseKohau View Post

      As a rule of thumb - I indicate the pricepoint of the lead, by having the ppc cost added times 15 or 20 - this will give you an estimated price range to negotioate from.

      EX; Dentists, costs 5 dollars in phily - I sell them for around 75 to 100 D.
      Jeez! I was going to go with 3-4 x 'Est Top Page Bid'. Looks like I might have to reconsider my pricing structure.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7649948].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
        Originally Posted by Simon James View Post

        Jeez! I was going to go with 3-4 x 'Est Top Page Bid'. Looks like I might have to reconsider my pricing structure.
        You'd be in debt quick smart.

        Not every click you get converts. Maybe 3 in 10 will convert. So say you need about 3-4 clicks to get a conversion. That's already 3-4x est. top page bid = you're in trouble because you're not making profit.

        Not even looking at it, I would say 9-10x the max. est. CPC is a good start. Assuming your website converts decently. If it doesn't, you might still find yourself in trouble.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8027238].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Maxwell Stinson
    I think that your method of acquiring leads for your client's may just run you dry the more the demands get higher.

    You have no assurance that you will be able to generate leads for your clients since you are relying on a PPC model. You'll be paying for your own campaigns, and what if your client's aren't happy with the leads you provide?

    Also, how would you qualify the leads you generate for your clients? I don't think a PPC campaign allows you to pre-qualify your prospects before you hand them off to your clients.
    Signature
    B2B telemarketing: lead generation & appointment setting -- that's my game! Click here to learn more.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7603711].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author LasseKohau
      PPC is an outstanding tool for setting up a lead platform to build from.

      I have never had any issues of dryness or lead quality for my clients, using mainly PPC.

      On the basis of your chosen niche, you could make "add ons" for more leads to get through, like facebook pages, CL posts, youtube videoes, press releases, researches articles and telemarketing.


      I wont reveal my exact lead gen business model, prequalifiying processes, sales methods and so on - but start with PPC and learn from mastersprograms, like the ones offered by Peter Maxwell.

      The market is still big and there is still small competetion, if you pick a fairly big city and not choose dentist or plumber niches.

      rgs, Lasse
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7604974].message }}

Trending Topics