When companies contacted Blue Corona for online marketing services in our early days, we were usually the first web marketing partner they worked with. Nowadays, most businesses who come to us have already cycled through one, two, sometimes up to FIVE vendors before signing on with us.
When these companies come to us, their dissatisfaction with previous vendors isn’t usually with lead flow, but rather, with their cost per lead. Absolutely everyone, their mother, and their CFO wants a lower cost per lead.
So maybe I’m silly for sharing this, but our secret formula for getting our clients a lower cost per lead is hardly a formula at all.
To achieve the optimal cost per lead, you need:
1) AdWords experience – Google AdWords is a self-service platform. You don’t need to hire a professional PPC company to set up and manage your PPC campaign. However, most small business owners lack the time, expertise, and tools required to maximize ROI. Trust me—if you don’t have any AdWords management experience, you’re probably not going to be able to achieve a low cost per lead.
2) An understanding of the company’s sales funnel – This is where I think other online marketing companies really miss the boat on achieving a low cost per lead. If you don’t understand a company’s business model, it’s going to be impossible to know what they should be paying per click and per lead. All of our PPC specialists work with an account manager to learn our clients’ full sales funnel, including their visit-to-lead ratio, lead-to-sale ratio, and profit margins for each product and service sold.
3) Ideally, an understanding of the company’s industry – So this is totally optional, but we’ve found since we specialize in a few core home service industries (HVAC, plumbing, electrical, fire protection, remodeling, garage doors, insulation…just to name a few), we are better able to serve clients in these industries. With a good grasp of seasonality, well-performing keywords, and more, we’re able to score big over and over again for these clients. Let’s just say it definitely won’t hurt you to find a company who knows your industry well if you’re looking for the lowest cost per click possible.
Elaborating on the Sales Funnel
So the problem most companies have with using their sales funnel to better manage their PPC campaigns is that they just don’t even know a lot of their most important business metrics (when it comes to marketing their company online). For example, most business owners are clueless when it comes to their visit-to-lead conversion rate. And when they estimate their lead-to-sale conversion rate, they tend to estimate it higher than it actually is.
It may be a little bit of extra work to figure out these metrics on the front end, but it’s the only way to manage PPC bids in a logical and cost-efficient manner. Otherwise, you’re managing the campaigns blindly.
The PPC management sales funnel
What the client is willing to pay per sale
The client’s lead-to-sale conversion rate*
What the client is willing to pay per lead
Optimal click-to-lead conversion rate
Optimal max cost-per-click
*Figuring Out Your REAL Lead-to-Sale Conversion Rate
Remember how I said most companies estimate their lead-to-sale conversion rate to be higher than it actually is? We can determine this number accurately by tracking, recording, and tagging all of our clients’ calls. This way, we know how many of the phone calls are actually leads, and we also know how many of those leads turn into sales (or in the case of most of our contractors, booked appointments).
Reducing Your Cost Per Lead
Once we’ve got a good picture of what a company’s sales funnel looks like and we’ve figured out the optimal visit-to-lead conversion rate and max cost per click, our team will implement strategies to:
1) Lower the cost per click – this is typically achieved by improving ad relevancy and Quality Score.
2) Improve the click-through-rate – one way to do this is by testing out different calls-to-action.
See how we were able to reduce a plumbing, HVAC, and electrical contractor’s cost per lead by 62%(!) using the strategies detailed above.
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About The Author: Lexie serves as Blue Corona's Content Marketing Manager. She's also the author of our soon-to-be famous, and someday to be written white paper, "Horse Hat SEO: Giddy-Up Your Google Rankings."
View more blogs by Lexie Bond
“I used to get a couple form submissions a year—and it was all spam. Now, we’re getting leads—and they’re qualified! You can find an SEO company anywhere. With Blue Corona, you get an account rep that’s there for you. I know there’s somebody looking out for our website and helping us grow. ”