Benchmark Data Shows 40% Decrease in Average Cost Per Lead
Before we get to how to lower lead acquisition costs, let’s define what a “lead” is. A lead is a prospect (company, organization or individual) that has indicated a positive interest in your products, services or thought leadership. This definition implies that they have raised their hand and identified a pain or issue they have, and have taken an action like agreeing to an appointment, or filling out a form, or handed you a business card.
A lead is not a “suspect” or someone that you’d like to do business with. They’re folks that have entered into the top of your sales funnel as a result of the marketing and business development work your firm has done.
You may be in for an unpleasant surprise if pinpoint how much your firm is spending on lead acquisition. In an era where measurement and metrics are critical, it’s time to take a cold, hard look at your marketing spend.
Let’s do a simple back of the napkin calculation: add up what you’re spending on marketing and divide by the number of leads in your sales funnel right now. It’s likely that the average cost will be hundreds of dollars.
Here are 10 powerful ways to reduce those costs:
1. Build a strong and aggressive cross-selling program
2. Optimize your website to get found first
- Get our whitepaper, “The Best Kept Secrets of Successful Websites” for more info.
4. Create lead generation offers using thought leadership, and publish its availability on-site and through your social media accounts
5. Commit to regular, consistent blogging as part of a get found first and lead conversion strategy
6. Engage in social media as it has few costs and huge upsides, especially LinkedIn
7. Automate a lead nurturing program so that lead acquisition doesn’t stop after the first touch
8. Measure everything, find out what works, and do it again
9. Think about new and creative ways to use traditional marketing activities – like giving presentations – for lead generation
10. Invest in marketing technology that will accommodate many of the points, above.
Just about all of these recommendations come under the heading of “inbound marketing”. In a nutshell, inbound marketing is the approach, processes and technologies for getting found first on line, converting site visitors to leads, and measuring (and continually readjusting) marketing strategies and tactics for demonstrable ROI.
Not sure what inbound marketing is all about? Get “The Partner’s Guide to Inbound Marketing” here.
In their 2012 State of Inbound Marketing Report, HubSpot presents findings that show that the average cost per lead for inbound marketing is about 60% of the cost for traditional or outbound marketing.
There are an ever growing number of professional services firms out there that “get it”. If your competitors are doing inbound marketing, and you aren’t, you’re not only a few beats behind the bar (that’s the guitar player in me speaking), you’re probably paying way too much to acquire new leads!