In B2B marketing, a great deal of time is spent analyzing data to assess performance. This is what enables marketers to constantly evolve and grow their strategies. One value we’re all keen to decipher in marketing is the CPL- cost per lead. This is simple to work out, you take the overall spend on a specific marketing channel or campaign, and divide it by the amount of leads it generated. This allows you to see how much each lead physically cost you. This figure is so crucial because it helps you discover the position of your ROI- return on investment; the lower the CPL, the better the ROI.
When aiming for a low CPL, you need to find that window of lead perfection- leads that were cheap to generate, but sell for big money. These will give you the best ROI you could ask for. Why not check your ROI today by downloading our free ROI calculator! You’ll need this to know where your CPL stands, and how much work is needed to cut it down and keep it low.
Now we know more about CPL and why it’s so important, how can we reduce the cost? Here are some ideas…
Learn from experience
Never underestimate the value of knowledge. The first step on a journey to low CPL involves some more of that well- loved analysis, as you look at your current costs and how they’ve changed over time. If you’re looking at a channel wide CPL, investigate individual campaigns and the costs they carried, then assess their overall impact. What campaigns seemed to work, what didn’t? Aim to take at least one lesson away from each campaign, and use these to create a list of improvements you could make to lower CPI.
Learn also from the outside world, and the experiences other marketers can share. The more knowledge you have, the better changes you’ll make; this will also give you some sort of benchmark figure to put your numbers against. You may see a CPL and think it’s anomalous, but it’s actually completely normal. The average cost per lead is $26-50 for companies with $250,000- $10 million in revenue. How does this sit with yours?
Findings like these also tell us that inbound leads are twice as likely to have a below average CPL than outbound leads. Use these figures and facts to normalize your CPL report. You may also find struggles you’re facing are common, and the answers could be simpler than you think.
Refine your buyer persona
This is such an important part of marketing, we cannot stress it enough. 71% of B2B companies who exceed revenue and lead goals have documented buyer personas. Buyer personas are awesome! They’re an outline of your dream client, containing broad surface level details like industry and company size, alongside more intricate information, such as online behaviors, preferred content and ranks within business. The more detail your buyer persona has- the better! You can make multiple personas too- which is especially useful if you market to a broad range of industries (as they all use different terminology and have preferred methods of contact). 83% of B2B marketers expect to use personas in the near future, whether its enhancing the ones they have or starting from scratch. If you’re not already using personas- then it’s time you did!
Personas also do wonders for lead generation, as 82% of companies using buyer personas have managed to improve their initial proposition by understanding the buyer’s needs, making them four times more likely to exceed lead generation targets. So if you want to hit that low CPL- get these personas sorted first.
Maximize on what’s free (or low cost…)
This sounds obvious I know, but surprisingly, it’s easy to forget how cost effective some lead generation options can be. Here are a few free or low cost ways of raising brand awareness and gaining a few extra leads- helping that CPL get lower and lower!
- Boost your social media accounts- Unless you take out paid advertising (which can still work out fairly cheap on some platforms), social media accounts are essentially free to set up and use. Sharing content, images and offers on these accounts is known to bring home the bacon in terms of leads; just make sure you keep it prospect orientated instead of self-promotional! There are plenty of ways to enhance your online following by tactically planning your social media. 55% of B2B buyers say they use social media to research products/vendors, so take this opportunity by the horns!
- Organic search- 94% of B2B buyers consult an internet search when looking for a business solution. Obtaining a high organic ranking on search engines can cost you nothing, it just takes a little hard work and some SEO. Use your persona(s) to build relevant content, and get a high Quality Score buy running relevant copy across every advert, blog-post, landing page and website tab. Your rank on search engines will climb and soon you’ll see the benefits of maximizing organic search to bring in more leads.
- Website- Stemming from a discussion on SEO and organic search- never forget what an asset your website is to lead generation. If you already have a website, then you’re paying the costs to maintain it regardless of how you use it- so don’t just have an average website- have a brilliant one! Your website is like a shop window for passers buy, enticing them into wanting more- make sure it’s easy to navigate, mobile friendly and littered with subtle but strong calls to action
- Earned Media- Earned media is tricky because you have no power over it; word of mouth and customer reviews are earned by a good reputation and outstanding customer service. As 84% of buyers start their buying process with a referral, which physically costs you nothing, look over your current systems to see what more you could be doing. Do you respond to every customer comment on LinkedIn? Why not?! That’s missed earned media right there! Don’t miss out on free leads because you didn’t spare two minutes to interact with someone.
Do your research
Again this sounds obvious, but we don’t mean do your research into CPL, we mean check your ROI. It’s like starting at the end to tackle the start- but it can bring huge benefits. Where you see a negative ROI, question the investment. The CPL is hinged on how much you spent getting that lead- why does it cost as much as it does?
Look at the market and see if someone else is doing it cheaper. There are constantly free demos, trials and deals on offer for the systems your channels rely on, be savvy and save the pennies. If you feel loyal to the companies and software you’re already using, but find someone cheaper offering the exact same, then go to your current provider and discuss pricing- remember you hold the cards here- this is your CPL!
Spend some more time researching what solutions you could bring in house too. If you spend a lot on copy creation, could you hire someone to do it for less? If you want to do a direct mail campaign, would it be cheaper to package and address it yourself instead of outsourcing the services? Approach each channel with this mind-set and run the processes through- you’ll always find ways to cut that cost just a bit more.
Check up on your sales team
It’s all very well to pump buckets of effort into marketing and lower your CPL, but sales need to do their part too. They need to make revenue from the leads you bring in so you can obtain that key, positive ROI. Teaming up sales and marketing means you’ll close 67% more deals and see 38% higher business wins- so it really is a win-win situation! It also allows marketing channels to free flow across the departments. For example- if you’re investing in content anyways- a blog or whitepaper for example, share it with the sales team; you can use it to gain leads, they can use it to make sales. No cost added, more revenue generated- better ROI! It can be easy when looking at CPL to end up in a little bubble of investment and lead generation, but that revenue return remains just as important to the overall goal.
It’s easy to lower your CPL when you put your mind to it. If you haven’t checked your CPL in a while, it can be a little daunting- much like checking your bank account after a few weeks of spending! But don’t fear; no matter what the number is, these tips will help you cut it down. And if you maintain them, your CPL will stay wonderfully low allowing your ROI to continue rising.
Why not see how Lead Forensics can help lower your CPL? By identifying your anonymous website visitors, you can get started on making your cost-per-lead the lowest it’s ever been! Check out our free demo to find out more...
Free guide - Effective multi-channel models for marketing and sales has plenty more information in about lead generation strategies with a low CPL. Download for free today!