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There are universal challenges every company across every industry faces when we engage and qualify them as a potential client.  Usually these clients are seeking internet marketing because they want increased revenue and they believe increased lead volume will be the end all, cure all.  The story usually follow with the client experiencing record internet lead generation, but they walk away unhappy after only a period of time.  The internet marketing community (ourselves included) have seen this story play out over and over again.  What these types of clients assume is internet marketing by itself is the answer, when in reality it is internet marketing plus solid follow up systems.

When clients start to receive the influx of new leads their current follow up systems are usually not up to the increased strain.  As such the client is spending all this money internet marketing to fill their pipeline with leads, only to realize there’s a few cracks and leads aren’t getting followed up in a timely manner.   After a number of months the client is receiving record breaking leads, but their conversion process on the back end isn’t improving, and revenue stays the same.  The client in turn views the internet marketing budget as a misplaced waste of money, despite the historical data which shows they’ve been receiving record breaking lead volume.

What’s needed is balance between lead generation and follow up implementation.

Tip #1: Examine Your Follow Up System

As leads come in many business owners are tempted to let them wait till their current follow up system can catch up.  When this happens conversion rates can dramatically decrease, and the effectiveness of their marketing dollar diminishes.  The key to maximizing the marketing dollar is updating the business’ systems so follow up happens quickly.  Leads360 aggregated data across 3.5 million leads fro macross 400 different companies and industries to maximize follow up efforts for the purposes of converting leads into paying customers.  The results were not surprising, but the back end systems a business would need to implement these follow up practices could be challenging to implement, and hence the diminishing return on ad dollars spent.

Tip #2: Follow Up ASAP!

When a potential lead reaches out to your business how long does it take for your sales team to reach back to them?  Of all factors leading to conversion, the speed in which a lead is followed up after initially inquiring of your goods or services was of the most importance. In fact, leads that were followed up on within 1 minute of their initial reach out to your business had 391% increase in the likelihood of conversion.  The rest of the break down follows below:

  • 1 minute – 391% improvement
  • 2 minutes – 160% improvement
  • 3 minutes – 98% improvement
  • 30 minutes – 62% improvement
  • 1 hour – 36% improvement
  • 5 hours – 24% improvement
  • 24 hours – 17% improvement

Tip #3: Know How Many Follow Up Calls Are Worth Your Time

Just as important as the speed to the first follow up attempt, is the number of sequential attempts thereafter.  Of course you could keep calling, non-stop, till the person answers, but the impact on conversion would be predictably damaged.  Instead, a business will want to manage their resources wisely by optimizing the number of attempted follow up calls with the success of conversion.  As such 6 attempted call to initiate first contact seems to be the magic number.  Unsurprisingly, 93% of all converted leads are contacted by the 6th attempt or earlier.  Any efforts after the 6th attempt seems to minimally impact the overall conversion rate, and your time would be better spend elsewhere at that point.

  • 1st Call Attempt – 48% of converted leads are contacted on the 1st attempt
  • 2nd Call Attempt – 70% of converted leads are contacted on the 2nd attempt
  • 3rd Call Attempt – 81% of converted leads are contacted on the 3rd attempt
  • 4th Call Attempt – 86% of converted leads are contacted on the 4th attempt
  • 5th Call Attempt – 90% of converted leads are contacted on the 5th attempt
  • 6th Call Attempt – 93% of converted leads are contacted on the 6th attempt
  • 7th Call Attempt – 94% of converted leads are contacted on the 7th attempt
  • 8th Call Attempt – 96% of converted leads are contacted on the 8th attempt
  • 9th Call Attempt – 97% of converted leads are contacted on the 1st attempt

Tip #4: Build Your Follow Up Schedule

Just as important as the number of follow up calls is when you make those follow up calls.  The first follow up call attempt should be in the first minute as we discussed earlier, but when should the next attempts be made?  To start, the second follow up call should happen within the 30-60 minute window after the lead’s first reach out attempt.  This specific 30 minute window was found to have a higher conversion rate then any other half hour period after initial reach out from the lead.  The complete schedule of all 6 follow up calls are optimized for the highest rate of conversion.

  • 1st Call at 1 minute – 156% higher conversion
  • 2nd Call at 30-60 minutes – 58% higher conversion
  • 3rd Call at 1-2 hours – 25% higher conversion
  • 4th Call on Day 5 – 22% higher conversion
  • 5th Call on Day 14 – 23% higher conversion
  • 6th Call on Day 15 – 9% higher conversion

As you can see follow up matters a great deal, especially when 93% of all conversion happen by the 6th reach out attempt.  A business’ ability to implement solid follow up systems is crucial to maximizing their internet marketing dollar.  When a business spends money to increase leads, they also need to spend resources on improving their follow up systems.  Otherwise, they’re going to see their leads increase yet never answer the question, “Did my marketing dollar generate qualified leads?”