It seems that every prospective client we talk to lately is buying lead lists to fuel their business. Many, many B2B industries are guilty of this, but real estate and construction seem to be repeat offenders.
It's not that there's anything morally wrong with buying lists -- It's that there is a much better way! And it makes us so disappointed to see a company spending so much money per lead.
If you've used these lists for a long time, I know it can be scary to let go. But I'm going to tell you about a way that you can get more qualified leads without spending thousands on lists.
Why Lead Lists Aren't Cost Effective
Here is the problem with using lead lists to do your marketing: You are betting that a good portion of this list of 15,000 emails and phone numbers of people who know nothing about your brand are going to buy your services or products.
Also known as the shotgun approach
But you're a stranger. Those people on that list have no idea who you are.
Let's look at it this way: Would you buy from someone who just walked up to you on the street out of nowhere? Probably not. In fact, you'd probably avert your eyes and speed up your step.
Even if the offer is totally relevant to you, you probably wouldn't give them a second thought.
Relationships Always Come First
And that's normal. Human beings are social animals. We rely on relationships to survive -- and that's no different in business. We buy from people we feel we know and trust.
Those people getting cold calls or email blasts from you don't know you, and it's very unlikely they're going to buy from you.
“The difference between the best- and worst-performing lists was almost $600 per lead.” – Brian Carroll
And that's what drives up your cost per lead. Even if a few people purchase, you're spending a lot of time and a lot of money to reach those few.
Unpredictable List Quality Can Lead to Penalties
But on top of that, you have no guarantee that the list you bought is a good quality, up-to-date list. Bad lead lists can be 60 percent more costly than a good lead list.
Sending out thousands of emails to bought lists can hurt your reputation with your email service provider (ESP). If you seem to be sending emails to people who never opted into your email, then there's a good chance that this will impact your sender score.
If your sender score is low, you risk being flagged as spam. Then you end up missing out on reaching the inboxes of people who do want to hear from you.
How Businesses Get More Qualified Leads
We work with many businesses in the real estate and construction industries, and when they bring up buying lists we always introduce them to Inbound Marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is a method in which you reach the right people with the right content and the right time. Here's how we do it:
Attract More Qualified Buyers: Instead of buying lists, you can use a combination of SEO, social media and content development to attract qualified buyers to your website.
You're getting in front of people who have a need now, instead of hoping you reach the right person among the thousands on your list.
Convert Visitors into Leads: Once they're there, you can use forms and special offers, such as downloadable pamphlets or samples, to capture the contact information from your website visitors.
Build a Relationship: After you have their contact information, you can use marketing automation tools, such as HubSpot, to nurture that lead. Using an automated email drip, you can build a relationship with leads before sales even reaches out.
When you do email or call your new inbound leads, you'll be in a much better place than cold-calling:
- The lead already knows your company and what you provide
- They showed you they are interested in your services by filling out a form
- They have already received some value from you already, so there's a greater degree of trust.
Effective For Super Specific Audiences
If you are going after a very specific group of people or building a business in an incredibly niche industry, inbound marketing can work for you.
Our friends at HubSpot once told us about a very interesting case study: inbound for a roller coaster design company. Talk about niche, right?
They had a very small audience of very specific people. But through inbound marketing, they were able to put themselves in front of the right people when they came looking. Even if they had met these leads at a trade show, when they came to their website they were able to capture their contact information, offer them value and start a conversation.
A Better Way To Grow Your Business
Inbound marketing is proven to work. Even we here at 41 Orange have used inbound marketing to grow our business.
What inbound gives you that lists can't is a self-sustaining sales funnel. The activities you do today will help you continue to get leads months later. You won't need to buy new lists to fill your funnel; inbound will bring your leads to you.
Save yourself the money and stop buying those lists. Talk to us about how inbound can work for your business instead.