Lead generation as an alternative way to monetize a site

    For those of you who are involved in or plan to develop media resources, Oleg Khrienko continues to share tips on monetizing them. This time we will talk about lead generation.

    You can design a site for several years, sharpen it for media or context, and then still come to the conclusion that all the work done was not worth the effort. Advertisers do not want to be placed on the resource even on the conditions of the preliminary test period, and contextual advertising does not bring enough money to recoup the costs invested in the content. But there is still traffic, and this is far from being schoolchildren. Maybe there is still an opportunity to increase the income of a resource without even making large investments in its processing and development?

    The model of selling leads (applications for the services of potential advertisers) comes to the rescue. Simplified, it looks like this: you host a certain creative that encourages the participant to make an appointment / get advice / call a window measurer, etc. People leave a request for a service, the advertiser processes it, and you pay some fixed fee.

    If you have at least minimal common sense, you can easily turn your resource into a lead collection machine.

    Determine your abilities

    Carefully examine your resource again. Write down all the pages of the project that have at least some constant traffic and try to answer the question - what services may be most demanded by your readers.

    As an example:
    • Article about problems with appearance -> cosmetology or plastic surgery
    • Legislation and legal advice -> paid legal advice
    • Old wooden windows -> installing glass packages / window restoration
    • Symptoms of pregnancy -> gynecologist consultation
    • Engine problems -> car workshop
    • Sick gums -> dentistry
    • List of drug treatment centers -> drug treatment services

    Next, you need to carefully analyze the failure rate of each article. Given these data, identify the number of potential customers for each service, based on a conversion of 1%


    After we have decided on our potential, it is necessary to understand the prices and understand how profitable all this is. Write the average bill in front of each service. Decide whether the service is one-time, or a person will apply for it again and again. The higher the average check and the more often the repeatability, the higher the possible price on your part.

    Write down the maximum (within reason, so that on the other side the potential advertiser does not immediately hang up) and the minimum price for yourself. This is, firstly, your benchmark for bargaining, and secondly, it will give you the opportunity to calculate your income

    Cheats and Landings

    Now let's move on to the most difficult - the mechanics of lead generation. It is worth saying how not to get leads:
    1. Using banners
    2. Using links in the text leading to the landing
    3. With the help of special news from the editorial board with the recommendations of a particular service

    Your main competitor is context. You can’t use the same mechanisms as in contextual advertising and count on big returns. The advantage of lead generation on your side is that you can use non-standard advertising equipment, which will give a result higher than the standard scheme with an ad in contextual advertising leading to the landing page.

    This does not mean that you should also not get a landing page and buy ads in context. If you have agreed with the advertiser for a decent amount and feel the gift of an arbitrator, why not give it a try?

    Here are a few rules according to which you must act:
    • Service offer must be intrusive
    • A person should not immediately understand what exactly they are being offered. Play the paternalistic dream of most Internet users about the Internet as a store of free services and advice
    • At the end of the path, open the cards and report what exactly the user will receive all the same (unless you have agreed in advance with the advertiser on the low quality of leads)
    • Constantly hint at the benefits of a professional approach to solving the problem yourself (you can treat your teeth with folk remedies for a long time, but it’s better to go to the dentist if, of course, you don’t plan to become a new icon of the punk movement in the near future)

    Do not be afraid to copy or immediately reject the decisions of competitors. The best mechanism for lead generation is one that you would be “led into” yourself.
    Good examples of lead collection scenarios:
    1. A widget with a free consultation from a doctor on a medical site. After the user enters his question in an online chat, the robot doctor reports that, unfortunately, this issue cannot be resolved online and offers to schedule an appointment at his clinic.
    2. In articles on protein diets, an extensive block is inserted with an “expert opinion” on the possible consequences of this diet. A person who uses this method for weight loss, after reading, finds the symptoms in himself and wants to know what to do. At the end of the article, our expert calls not to self-medicate, but to immediately fill out an application and get advice at his diet center on how to lose weight and not ruin one’s health
    3. Insert in articles comments from “experts” with a proposal to immediately sign up for this expert for the service (button with the text “Sign up for .... for consultation”)

    It is worth considering that lead generation does not harm contextual or media advertising, therefore, you do not need to think about possible losses when changing the priority source of income.

    We are looking for an advertiser and work with him

    After you have prepared and tested the script, realized your potential and decided on a list of services - it's time to find a potential advertiser. Do not be afraid to tell him about your methods. On the contrary, he should know them in order to optimally accept applications on his side.

    It is worth considering that applications work best while they are “hot”. That is, if the advertiser cannot immediately respond to the application, it is better not to even start working with it, since there will be eternal debate about the quality of leads.

    The sale process itself is extremely simple. You find a potential advertiser, offer him free weekly testing, and connect him to your lead collection system. If all your predictions and tests are true, the advertiser will receive good leads and after the bidding will agree to work with you on a reimbursable basis.

    In principle, a “happy end”, however, may not happen if you do not take into account the following points:
    • Leads need to be filtered. Avoid spam and low-quality applications on your part (it is best to filter manually through freelancers)
    • Leads need to be controlled both on the side of the advertiser and on their side. The advertiser should be able to access the list of leads on your server if it has a failure in accounting on its side
    • It is necessary to negotiate specifically on applications, and not on actual customers (do not take responsibility for the work of someone else’s sales department)
    • Advise the advertiser how to increase the return on your leads, help set up your work and the work of sales managers.

    Actually, that’s all! Good luck in monetizing sites!

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