Increase PPC ROI with Lead Nurturing

by Matt Sullivan on May 15, 2012

Depending on which marketer you talk to, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is either the devil or an integral part of a company’s marketing mix. True defenders of inbound marketing will beat their chests and say that focusing on organic traffic is the best way to go, while others will point to the competitive landscape and proven ROI of well managed PPC campaigns.

Wherever your allegiance falls, I believe that PPC can be an incredibly effective tool in a company’s search engine marketing belt. Do I believe that you need to know what you’re doing and have someone constantly monitoring the ROI of these campaigns? Yes, which is a bit more overhead than organic optimization, but bad traffic from SEO doesn’t increase your advertising spend the way that high click-thrus in PPC would.

Increase the ROI of PPC

Typical sales funnel...

So, if you’re doing PPC, you need to focus on the ROI. Because most people don’t click on paid search listings, a click-thru and form submission are HUGE buying signals (salespeak for “they want to give us money”).

At one job, where the annual PPC budget was quite large, keeping the cost-per-lead (CPL) and cost-of-customer-acquisition (COCA) under control was extremely important.

In fact, we found that if a sales rep could connect with a lead with 48 hours of the form submit, the conversion rate to an opportunity was quite high. But, we also had a high rate of leads that ended up being killed due to lack of contact; in fact, 60% of all killed leads were due to “No Contact”. This is why we put in a lead nurturing track for all PPC leads.

The premise was simple: remind the lead why they filled-out the form requesting our services. The emails included brand building messaging, links to ebooks, and very direct calls-to-action to follow through on their intent. The cadence was 4 emails over the first 5 days, not counting the immediate “Thank You” email.

Keeping the data at just the yield levels, the results looked like this:

  • Qualified opportunities from leads increased by 20.08% (6.13% to 7.36%)
  • Proposals sent to opportunities increased 37.38% (3.07% to 4.21%)
  • Revenue from PPC increased 11%

If we had the ability to integrate with our CRM, it would have been easier to use the full power of the marketing automation/email marketing software to branch content according to behavior and alert our sales staff when the lead was active on the site.

PPC can be a great lead generation source, but every marketer needs to be very aware of how well their spend is producing sales and pushing opportunities through the funnel. Hopefully this trick helps you get a bump for PPC efforts.

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