83 Proven Local Lead Gen Niches

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People looking to get into local lead gen often wonder what niches they should try.  It’s true that getting started and finding  your first customer is the hardest part.  With so many types of businesses it can be overwhelming.  Theoretically, almost any business could work in some way with the local lead gen model, but some business types are a better fit for LLG.  Many of these niches are already accustomed to buying leads in one form or another.  So the transition to working with a internet marketer can be easier.  Here are 83 niches that work well with a local lead gen model.  Obviously it is also a good idea to think outside the box when finding new businesses to work with, but this list is a good start.

Automotive
Auto dealers
Motorcycle dealers
Auto Financing
Auto Repair
Car Rental
Window Tinting

Legal
Lawyers
Divorce Lawyers
Bankruptcy
Personal Injury
Estate Planning
Business Formation

Insurance
Car
Life
Health
Dental
Independent Agents
Annuities

Profession Services
Accountants/CPAs
Financial Planners
Consultants
HR Specialists

Real Estate
Realtors
Home Inspectors
Home Appraisers
Mortgage Brokers
Real Estate Investors
Foreclosure/Short Sale
Movers

Events
Florists
Catering
Photography/Videography
Disc Jockeys
Weddings
Limousine
Personal Chefs

Health and beauty
Hair salons
Nail salons
Day spas
Cosmetic Surgery
Dermatologists
Tanning
Chiropractors
Dental
Gyms
Personal Trainers
Weight loss specialists
Dieticians
Massage Therapists

Education
Private schools
Technical training centers
Vocational training

Travel
Travel Agents (yep, they still exist)
Small non chain hotels
Resorts
Timeshares

Construction/Home Services
Air Conditioning/Heating
Handyman
Heating And Cooling
Housekeeping/Maid Services
Painters
Plumbers
Bathroom Remodeling
Kitchen Remodeling
General Contractors
Pest Control
Carpet Cleaning
Decks & Porches
Pools & Spas
Roofing
Fencing
Landscaping
Siding
Flooring
Locksmiths
Glass repair
Security Systems
Interior Designers
Home Theater Services

Misc
Child care
Veterinarians
Pet groomers
Tattoo shops
Karate

This list is taken from Chapter 2, “Finding Customers” of Local Lead Plan

Posted in General, Lead Generation by cdfnetworks on 07|09|10
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Local Lead plan is live – win a free copy

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Local Lead Plan is now live! If you want to find out what it’s all about, head on over and watch the video. I know its pretty boring, but hey, I never said I was a dynamic speaker;)  So far the feedback from people who have tested the course has been great.

http://www.localleadplan.com/

To commemorate the launch I am giving away a free copy.

To enter tweet: just entered to win a free copy of the Local Lead Plan course http://bit.ly/95sLqy

Or if you don’t do the Twitter thing just leave a comment to this post.

I’ll pick the winner in 2 days, on Friday at noon.

Update: Due to user feedback for a place to continue the local lead gen discussion, I just launched a forum on the site!

Head on over and check it out, everyone is welcome!  Local Lead Plan Forum

Posted in General, Lead Generation by cdfnetworks on 14|04|10
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Local Lead Plan coming April 14th

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I’m really excited to announce a project I have been working on for long time. It’s called Local Lead Plan, and it’s the first totally comprehensive local lead generation course. I’ve been involved in local lead gen for the last 4 years, before anyone was even calling it local lead gen. Back then I was just helping some business drive web leads. It has really blown up in the last couple years though. Now my company works with local businesses all over the country as a main revenue source.

Through working with countless businesses, I have developed a lot of systems and strategies for local lead gen.  I realized that although some people have written some great posts about certain topics of local lead gen, there was really no way to for someone to learn the whole process, from start to finish. I know there was a demand for this kind of information because I get tons of questions about the specifics of local lead gen. This course should answer all those questions.

I wanted to write an actual old school book, but I quickly found out the publishing process takes too much time, so I reluctantly decided to put it out electronically.  I say reluctantly because I’ve never been a fan of most e-book marketing tactics.  So I decided to make it an info product that I would actually buy – I made it the “anti-ebook”.  There’s no sales page, no pressure,  no hype, no limited time, etc.  The price doesn’t even end in a 7!

Once the product is released there is a long video that shows exactly what the course is about so you can decide if it is something you are interested in.  The price is well under $100, and a one time fee, not recurring.

The site goes live April 14th at 9:00am PST.  If you go there now and sign up for the mailing list, you will be able to buy it through a special link the day before.

I hope you check it out!

Posted in General, Lead Generation by cdfnetworks on 09|04|10
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Pay per click, pay per call, click to call mashup

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About a year ago I was brainstorming one night about the future of internet marketing. I wrote in big letters on the top of my whiteboard:

Mobile + Pay per call = Future

With mobile penetration continuing to go through the roof, and pay per call technology rapidly evolving, those 2 points will converge at some point. We are still in the very early stages of the merging of these technologies. The few early players in the game up until now have been mobile service providers who can implement their own customer pay per call display ad solutions.   Now Google has quietly introduced click to call, allowing everyone to access mobile users with a real solution.  Basically a mobile user sees an ad and clicks it to be connected directly to the number, rather than having to enter the number and dial manually.   The clicks are charged to same price as regular web clicks.

As a marketer, I immediately thought how this could work with pay per call.  I do a lot of work with pay per call on local lead gen, so click to call seemed like a perfect fit.   Now you can actually integrate pay per click, pay per call, and click to call in one easy step.

Pay per click ad >  Click to call > Pay per call number

Why would you want to do this?  Here’s an example:

• Say you were running a local lead gen offer. You had a unique trackable phone number set up to capture phone leads (pay per call).
• Now say you wanted to reach local mobile users browsing the internet on smartphones like IPhones, Droids, Blackberry, etc. (pay per click)
• Finally, you want those users to be able click directly on the ad from their phone, rather than having to dial the number into their phone. (click to call)

Some of the benefits:

  • You get the benefit of 2 options in your ad, clicks or calls
  • You get the increase CTR from having they extra information on your ad.  Any extra information in your ad, like a phone number, makes it stand out from the rest.  It also adds legitimacy to your ad.
  • If they do click through on the phone number, you have the huge benefit of excellent phone lead conversion rates, compared to website conversion.
  • You could even use the click to call reports from Google to track and bill your local lead gen client!  A built in tracking solution.

Setup is simple, in the Campagin settings under Networks, Devices and Extensions, click the checkbox to enable click to call under ad extensions.  Enter your phone number (your trackable pay per call number).  Then under Devices, to make sure check the box to show ads to iphones and other mobile devices with browsers.

Keep in mind this is not going to be a large traffic source right now, but I think is going to be huge going forward.  Start playing around with it now before it gets saturated.

Interested in this kind of local lead gen stuff?  Then you’re going to want to sign up to my new list!  Something big is coming soon.

Posted in General, Google, Lead Generation, Pay Per Call by cdfnetworks on 23|03|10
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Mad lib form style testing results

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Back on Feb 26th @affbuzz posted a link on Twitter to a post someone did about a new form style called mad libs. This is a conversational style, paragraph type form instead of the standard forms we are all used to. The post claimed these form styles increased conversions 25-50%.   Some pretty big car sites are running these types of forms, like KBB and Vast, you can see a live example here.

I was pretty shocked and skeptical with the claimed results, because you just never know with anything internet marketing related until you test it out for yourself.   The only source of information you can really count on is your own data.   So I called up my designer and with 4 hours had an A/B split test up and running.  The landing pages were to capture leads for a local/regional lead gen campaign I’m running in the financial services niche.   The only difference on the two pages was the form.  Here is what those forms looked like:

Test LP-A, regular form

Test LP-B, conversational style form

The results:

After running for 20 days, I finally have enough data to see the overall trend.

As you can see, there wasn’t exactly an earth shattering outcome, but surprising nevertheless.  The 10.49-11.79% change is actually a 12.4% increase for the mid-lib style form.  That’s 24 extra leads in this case.  It wasn’t the 25-50% increase the other study had shown, but to be honest I was just happy it didn’t lose money.

Bottom line:

Like every landing page element, form styles are a good thing to test.  Do conversational style forms always work better?  No.  I actually think I got lucky with this test.  The niche I used had a primarily older demographic which my instincts told me might respond to this style form.  There are a lot of niches where I think this form style would underperform regular styles.

Just another thing to add to the testing list!

Posted in General, Landing Pages, Lead Generation by cdfnetworks on 18|03|10
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Reducing lead scrubbing

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Lead scrubbing is an important step to maintain the integrity of any offer or lead generation campaign.  It basically just means removing leads or sales that contain bogus, inaccurate, or incorrect information.  These leads are useless and kill the ROI for any campaign. There seems to be a lot of confusion over lead scrubbing.  Some affiliates think that it involves a network stealing leads from them after they have been reported,  but that is usually called lead shaving.  Lead scrubbing is a necessary step to make sure all leads or sales going to the advertiser or client are valid.   Without valid leads the advertisers doesn’t make money and closes the offer, and everyone loses.

Typical scrub rates vary for certain industries.  Mortgage leads usually average about a 15% scrub rate, while certain free offers can run 50% or more. Everyone wants to keep scrubbed lead rates as low as possible.  So how can you reduce the percent of leads scrubbed?

From the perspective of the affiliate:

Much of the lead scrubbing is done on the actual offer page, which is out of the hands of the affiliate.  But there are several things you can control to affect scrub rates of your traffic.

1.  Pre-qualifying your clicks is very important to weed out random clicks.

2.  Accurate demographic targeting is another.  By closely matching the  demographic of the person to the offer, you increase the chances of valid information.

3.  Correct GEO targeting.  If you send traffic from outside the accepted geographic area, the leads will be scrubbed.

4.  Using quality traffic sources.   Pay per click traffic will always yield lower scrub rates than un-targeted display traffic.

From the perspective of the advertiser or local lead gen:

If you are running a local lead gen or private affiliate offer, you want scrub rates as low as possible since you are paying for each lost lead.

Form validation is your first line of defence against bad leads.  There are 2 basic methods of form validation: client side (Javascript) and server side (PHP).  I prefer to use a mix of both.  The key is to validate every field as much as possible to not leave anything to chance for the user.  Check for blank fields, invalid entries, phone numbers, credit cards, invalid email addresses, URLs, invalid field lengths, numbers only, etc.  Basically you need to think of every possible way someone could mess up a form and get them to enter it correctly before they hit submit.   Proper form validation can make the difference between a successful offer and and failure.  It really is that important.   If you are running your own lead gen campaign, you also need to look at your traffic sources, as discussed above, to reduce scrub rates.

You can never get rid of scrubbed leads completely, but by setting up the forms correctly and sending quality traffic, you can greatly decrease scrub rates.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, General, Lead Generation by cdfnetworks on 04|11|09
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Local lead generation to the next level

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I’ve been talking about local lead generation for a while now and the topic always generates a lot of interest. One of the best decisions I ever made for my company was moving away from CPA network based offers and creating my own direct offers with businesses. I was doing pretty well on various networks, but local lead generation took it to the next level.

Local lead generation can be great, but the biggest problem is that local can mean small markets and limited profits.  What really kicked my company into high gear was what I call direct lead generation. This is basically local lead gen on a national level.   To do this, we seek out companies that have a large regional or national footprint to partner with on private affiliate offers.   This allows the company to have a much larger advertising/marketing budget than a local mom and pop type business.

The ideal company to find would be a smaller national company with a limited online presence and no affiliate marketing program.  There are actually still a lot of companies like this out there.   Most of the time they are new to the whole performance based advertising concept.  It could be product based CPS, CPA, or straight lead gen, depending on the company.   You approach them just as you would a local business, but just on a larger scale.  It’s best to have proven case studies and a solid track record before approaching a large company.   They tend to go for hard data, not promises and hype.

Here’s a tip:  If you aren’t good at sales or just don’t like it (me), consider hiring a sales person to contact companies that you have targeted.   If you outsource design, coding, accounting etc, why not contract a sales guy?   A good sales person can be a huge asset to your business.  All you need is that one large account to take off.

There are obvious benefits to having an exclusive affiliate contract with a national company:  large budgets, national advertising reach for targeting, big volume, total freedom of advertising, etc.  The downside is that they are hard to find and take a lot of up front legwork to get established.    Up front work that you are not getting paid for…

But the rewards can far outweigh the risks and time investment.

So if you ready to take local lead gen to the next level, think national and go after some big fish!

Posted in General, Lead Generation by cdfnetworks on 21|10|09
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Pick one vertical and run with it

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One of the biggest mistakes I made early on was trying to run too many offers. Its easy to get pulled in many different directions with affiliate marketing. You might even have some success with in a particular niche and think it would be best to try to duplicate that success in other niches. But I have found the best thing is to pick a niche, and stick with it as much as possible.

A great strategy is to pick a certain vertical market and scale that market until you have tapped every traffic source, researched every possibly converting keyword, optimized every site, owned tons of domains, and basically became the #1 expert on marketing that niche on the Internet.  If you look at many of the really successful guys in our industry, they heavily invested in one vertical.   Sure you always want some diversification in case it completely dries up, but you can spread the risk around by having different offers and clients in the same vertical.

Here’s an example. Say you had an interest in chiropractors. These guys spend a ton on advertising (check out the back of a phone book), and are in every city. You could find local chiropractors in your area and set up local lead gen or CPA offers for their business. Once you honed your techniques you could branch out to other areas in the state, then region, then nationally. Travel to all the chiropractor trade shows, set up a booth, advertise in their publications and journals, etc. Eventually you could become the #1 “go to” Internet Marketer for that field so any chiropractor who even thought of marketing would think of your company.  This is a long term business strategy that is very profitable.

The great thing about become a dominant expert in a certain niche is the longer you do it, the cheaper your costs are and the more profit you can make.  This lets you dominate your competition even more and is a powerful snowball effect.    So if you are struggling to find your way in affiliate marketing, maybe its time to stop trying so many different things and stick with just one.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, General, Lead Generation by cdfnetworks on 25|08|09
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