A B2B Service Provider Walks Into My Office…

He sits down at my desk and says.

Jim, I sell online marketing services and I want leads for my business and I’m willing to spend up to $10k a month for those highly-qualified targeted leads. I can’t afford to do Google PPC because the costs of bids on the top phrases are too high for me to pay to be profitable. I have a good reputation so I’m not going to buy lists or spam. I was considering starting an affiliate program, but I am told that takes a lot of time and work to find good affiliates to promote my services.

What do I do Jim? How do I get good leads, fast?

This is no scenario. This really happened to me the other day. And I found myself sitting there without a real solid answer.

If he can’t do ppc because of the competitiveness/cost of the keyphrases, and he can’t get a streamlined, well managed, recruited and producing affiliate program up and running in 30 days, what does he do?

So I asked around to my contacts in this industry. Most did not have a real answer besides “go buy targeted distribution in b2b email lists with marketing directors”. So it’s not just me at least.

Can you solve this problem? What’s a b2b player to do when it comes to lead generation?

About Jim Kukral

You can find Jim on Twitter: @JimKukral.

  • http://www.ontarget-media.com Manoj

    If he has a budget of $10K per month, he should be able to use niche trade media. Most good publishers offer opt-in list rentals/ advertising in their newsletters. Get editorial coverage in those publications by contributing articles….and invest part of that money in long-term SEO.

  • http://unsubcentral.com John Engler

    Jim, I’d really need to know more about your friend’s business before I could answer really well but here are a few ideas:

    1. Has he called his clients and asked them for 5 people he should call that might need his services? If each of his clients could even just name one or two, he’d grow his business by 100% or 200% just buy focusing on those leads…

    2. Does he have “partnerships” with complimentary service providers that can send leads his way, and vice-versa?

    3. He could offer a webinar on a topic in his space, and use someone like KnowledgeStorm to promote it, get leads signed up, and deliver it… usually a very good way to get leads.

    4. How about offering a bunch of free white papers on his website, that you have to “register as a lead” to get?

    Just some ideas… contact me directly if you want more help.

  • http://www.Paulsonmanagementgroup.com Heather Paulson

    If I knew the form conversion rate, his Cost per lead aquisition value and his lead close rate, and what the AVG CPC was for ppc I could project better against re-structuring the channel and or choosing the most appropriate source for lead purchasing. (Send me the info)

    He says PPC is too expensive however I would try it again,I never overlook a channel especially PPC because someone else could not make it work.

    1. Highly sub segment the keywords into tight ad groups in the auction based systems. Ensure root terms per group are applied as static text (not {Keyword} includes} in the ad copy.

    2. Ensure proper keyword match techniques and day parting schedules are applied to focus ad placement.

    2. Create a highly effective landing page with all optimized quality bot algo tricks put in place for a high quality score.

    3. Use negative qualifiers in ad copy to highly target each click

    4. Use ghosting maneuvers in paid search ad placement to flank competitor ad offers and beat them (Ghost means follow or shadow their ads)

    5. Stay in 3rd or 4th position in Yahoo he will get a second ad at the bottom of Yahoo in these positions and the majority of the PPC traffic in Yahoo clicks on the bottom ads (They are too lazy to scroll back to the top). (Make your competitors spend more on top)

    6. Client should offer a white paper based on consumer search query so if they are searching for “email marketing” his email marketing landing page or site page should pull up with an Email marketing white paper with a short lead form.

    Any of the lead gen deals I have been a part of their number 1 acquisition source is still PPC. I would try it again..

    Or he could crunch the numbers and work with a company like LeadPile.com and purchase leads at a lower CPA then any of the channels.

    Hope that helps

  • Patrick Grady

    I’m with Heather, the PPC should work, likely needs some new eyeballs. Get some expertise on it. Running a very tight campaign is something most others can’t do either – those that do, are there. Generally speaking, their margins and conversion rates aren’t markedly different than anyone else’s, they’re just much more efficient in running their PPC.

  • http://www.gordonchoi.com Gordon Choi

    I agree PPC would usually work if you can structure some tight campaigns and ad groups. After that you need an experienced person to manage and optimize continuously. If PPC eventually works out too expensive, mostly due to the very high CPC, as I have also experienced before, then that’s time to consider other channels such as a combination of SEO, whitepapers and webinars.