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Amanda Orson (aka Phillian) and Ad Hustler (aka… Ad Hustler) presented at Affiliate Summit West 2011 on Local Lead Generation. This was one of the best-received sessions at Affiliate Summit, based on the non-scientific Twitter chatter I was monitoring.
They started by throwing some facts at the audience about how 90% of purchases are made within 20 miles of the consumer’s home, and that 75% of new vehicle buyers began with internet-based research.
There is little competition in local lead generation, so it can be an attractive means for an internet marketer to make a buck.
Currently, local businesses are spending their money with print (newspaper, phone book), radio, cable, direct mail, and outdoor advertising. But, as we know, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to track the ROI on these media purchases.So why aren’t companies doing internet lead generation themselves? They have little or no knowledge about the Internet, it’s too complicated, they can’t afford the testing, and most don’t even know where to start.
As an internet marketer, you can get your traffic from paid search, organic search, the content network, Facebook ads, or media buys (independent or network). Ad Hustler and Amanda recommend dayparting, as most people who are doing local search are doing so during the day.
There was a conversation on building a landing page versus sending the traffic directly to the client’s website. With a landing page, you have more control (over tracking, split-testing, etc) and if you lose the client contract, you can sign a new client and sell the leads to them. However, sending traffic to the client website directly could give you the advantage of the domain’s age and better quality score for PPC.
In local lead generation, tracking has to be done over both e-mail leads and phone calls. With e-mail, you can start with simple mail forwarders but if things really pick up, you’ll want a database keeping track of things.
However, phone tracking requires a bit more. You can use a service such as Hosted Numbers (I previously wrote a post on how to track calls for local lead gen) for tracking these calls. Of course, if you’re doing local lead generation, getting a local number converts much better than a toll-free one.
It’s important that your client is able to answer the phone or, if the lead comes in via e-mail, call the contact within 10 minutes. If the call-back happens later than 10 minutes after the user requested the information, 90% of the time, the sale is lost. Remember this when creating forms – if the form is submitted after-hours, let the user know this so they’re not expecting a call-back at 2am!
Amanda and Ad Hustler showed a slide with tons of proven niches, from CDFNetworks, then went on to discuss some case studies, and finally some pros & cons of local lead generation.
The business behind local lead generation was only touched on as they discussed how you could charge if you wanted to get into the business: per lead, per sale, hybrid (client pays ad spend, plus per lead), or a management fee. I wish they had time to talk a bit further about how they pick up clients (other than word of mouth, which they mentioned during the presentation) but I had a chance to have dinner with Ad Hustler, so I asked everything I wanted to know about local lead generation 🙂
Slides from this presentation are available on Amanda’s blog at www.amandaorson.com/local-lead-gen-presentation-slides
Thanks for writing up such a comprehensive recap Eric.
When Ad Hustler and I were gathering ideas for the presentation, neither of us really knew where our audience would be coming from. Local Lead Gen encompasses *a lot* of ground which, fortunately, draws from the knowledge base that most affiliate marketers know. Since we didn’t have the demographic of who would be in attendance though, we had to keep it broad.
He can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think if we were to do a similar presentation in the future we’d probably go with more intermediate/ advanced angle and save ourselves having to spend time in the beginning explaining what it is- so we could get to things on the backend, like pricing models, contracts, negotiations, and some of our client war stories.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if you’re new to affiliate marketing or SEO and you’re looking for a way to make money now, I can think of no better industry to cut your teeth on *and* pay the bills with. Start small, make mistakes, do honest business and you’ll grow.
It’s really as simple as that.
I always appreciate your recaps – especially since I wasn’t able to attend ASW this year.
Keep on keeping on!