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What Is a Lead?

When we set-up, maintain and optimize search and display campaigns for our clients, there is one metric that we focus on:  Cost Per Lead. Everything else, your click-through rate, quality score, impressions, clicks, pretty much every other metric in our report helps us analyze the best way to improve the Cost Per Lead.

But What Is A Lead?

What exactly is a lead? Here is a sampling of answers given at a recent conference of home service business owners when they were asked: “What is a Lead?”

  • A phone call from a potential customer
  • A phone call that results in an appointment
  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Sign up for a free consultation
  • Form filled out to schedule a house call
  • A potential customer who agrees to an estimate
  • A signed contract
  • A sale
  • What everyone wanted in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Obviously, there’s a lot of different definitions for what a lead is. At it’s most basic level a lead is anyone who has shown any level of interest in your service or product. In sales speak, it would be anyone who is not a cold call.

Do Not Confuse Leads With Customers

If you hire an agency to run your online marketing campaigns, you generally want a strong return on your investment or an increase in customers. It is not, however, entirely your agency’s responsibility to make all those customers appear.  It is up to them to deliver the leads. It’s up to you to convert those leads into paying customers. Pre-internet, we would say delivering leads is like delivering people into your car showroom. It’s up to you to actually sell the car.

How Digital Caffeine Defines a Lead in Paid Search

We write ads and build landing pages with one goal in mind, to turn them into a lead that we can track. The last part is key. We can only know what’s working if we can actually track where the lead came from.

Here are three definitions that will cover the what the vast majority of paid search leads are:

  • A phone call that lasts over 30 seconds (so you know it’s not a wrong #)
  • Someone who fill out a form for more information/an appointment
  • An email to you that’s not spam

We Deliver Leads, You Turn Them Into Customers

Our most successful clients have a full process in place to follow-up and nurture leads to turn them into customers. They are making changes to their process, working with their call center or receptionists to build a script and library of material to turn these leads into customers. They are listening in on phone call recordings to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly and work on how to improve the conversion rate of leads to customers.

This entire process works best when there is a collaboration and partnership between everyone involved in the chain. From when a potential customer first sees your ad to when they visit your landing page, call you, book a free consultation, and ultimately sign on the dotted line. Improving any of those interactions just one or two percent can have a big impact on your bottom line.

Note that we are only talking about leads here, not sales on your website. Many search campaigns are designed to drive sales on an eCommerce website, those are not leads, those are sales/customers.

If you’re interested in building a partnership to drive more leads to your business and growing your customer base, contact us for a free 30-minute chat and we can discuss over your favorite caffeinated beverage.

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