<< by on May 23rd, 2008
An effective PPC campaign will drive targeted traffic to a website at an efficient cost. But of course, the ultimate goal behind any paid search program is not just to get traffic for traffic’s sake. Even if unarticulated by a client, the underlying motivation of a site owner to participate in a PPC program is presumably to make sales, produce leads, or get signups. Conversion (and cost per conversion) is usually the real metric of interest for site owners.
However, achieving conversion requires further considerations beyond merely bringing a customer to the site. What happens after the customer arrives? Is the site usable? Is there an effective landing page in place? Does the site clearly lead customers to convert?
Now, landing page design is a science all its own and is fortunately being emphasized more and more in conjunction with PPC campaigns. However, another piece of the puzzle that should also be considered and discussed before launching a PPC campaign is lead management.
While many ecommerce merchants have at least some sort of repository in place to manage incoming leads, some just do not. And when a PPC program begins to bring traffic to a site, an often overlooked consideration is how the site owner will deal with a new stream of leads.
The issue of lead management is perhaps more relevant for small businesses (or companies with a low volume of high-margin sales). When these merchants start a PPC program to ramp up sales, they may be overwhelmed when sales really do start to pour in on a scale that they have previously not had to manage.
Here are a few specific points on lead management to consider before starting a PPC program. Not only are these useful for site owners to ask themselves, but PPC managers should discuss them with clients to manage expectations and ensure that the PPC campaign runs at its most efficient:
1. Determine the Quality of Leads. Internally, a company must decide what constitutes a quality lead. This can vary greatly across different industries, and it is not something a PPC agency should necessarily advise on. But SEM managers can advise clients to pick a few different qualities which typically indicate whether a lead is ready to buy. Then those qualities can be incorporated into a landing page form to make the scoring of lead quality easier once they reach the database.
2. Decide how to deal with low quality leads. Perhaps the first step here is to decide whether a lead is in fact low quality. Some leads may not be ready to buy right away, but it might be worth it to maintain contact as you lead them through the buying cycle until they are ready to buy. Many clients are happy to pick out the really good prospects but then don’t have a plan for following up on each and every lead.
3. Create an information loop with the PPC campaign. Having a database of lead information over time can really be quite useful for making a PPC campaign run at its most efficient. If a site owner realizes through lead management that a certain keyword is delivering leads which consistently do not convert over time, that keyword can be paused over in the PPC campaign.