Create your own lead generation business

Affiliate marketing definitely has its downsides. Crowded niches, low payouts, offers ending, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could use your internet marketing skills to promote your own “offer” in a niche you created? Well you can.

One of the very successful techniques we use is our own lead generation websites. It became very clear to me early on that the skills learned marketing CPA offers can be leveraged with your own lead capturing websites. I’m not talking about running lead generation offers on networks, I mean creating your own site to capture leads then reselling them to local business. These sites can be built in virtually any niche where businesses need new customers. Some of the advantages of creating your own lead sites: you have total control, conversion tracking/analytics are a breeze, PPC campaigns have great quality score, you collect exactly the data you want, make your own landing pages, and set your own prices.

Many companies are used to buying leads. Real, estate agents, lawyers, financial planners, are all buy expensive leads. Those are very competitive niches, even locally, so I wouldn’t suggest them. But virtually any business can be sold leads. One of the first small niches we tried 2 years ago was personal training. We ran a site that captured local leads for people searching for personal trainers, and offered discounts for training services. The leads went to a local personal training business who paid us a per lead basis, and allowed the customers the discount our site promised. It was a win win for everyone. We pushed traffic to the site through local PPC, social networks, and SEO.

Do you have to keep it local? Of course not, you can sell leads to companies wherever you want. Its usually just easier to use your local knowledge and proximity to clients in your area.  If you live in a decent sized city you probably have access to more business than you can ever handle.

Getting customers:

This is probably the hardest part to get started. Expanding into B2B lead selling will take you out of the comfort zone that you enjoy as an Internet marketer. You actually have to contact businesses and sell your product to them. Again, you can probably use your online marketing skills to get some customers, but you may have to resort to old school techniques. Once you have a few customers in a certain niche though, word of mouth can quickly spread among business owners and professionals.

Pricing:

Customer acquisition costs are high and most companies know what that average cost is to them. Once you research the going rates for leads, you can usually undercut the established rates due to the low cost of operating online. When you are setting up your contract with the company buying your leads, everything is negotiable. You can sell leads at a flat rate fee, a percentage of sales from lead, by monthly subscription, using a sliding scale based on lead quality, etc.   Just make sure everything is very clear in your contract.

This topic is so huge its a whole industry in itself.  I haven’t even scratched the surface.  My point of this post was only to get the ideas flowing and let you realize you probably already have the skills to do this.  If there is interest though, I can dive into this topic more in future posts.  Good luck!

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Posted in Affiliate Marketing, General, Lead Generation by cdfnetworks on 03|11|09
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39 Comments »

Comment by Jason
2009-03-11 16:26:07

Great idea chad.

I’ve thought about this in the past,but never got around to building a team to pursue it.

One of the main obstacles (that all PPC firms deal with) is when you have 2+ doctors / dentists / etc. and then bidding against each other in the engines?

I guess you could create “firewalls” between each account manager.

Jason

Comment by Erez Barak
2010-04-22 01:43:12

Bidding is just one element, getting all data in one place to create a single source of the truth is key to get business lead generation right, I also suggest reading this business lead generation blog

 
 
Comment by Martin
2009-03-11 16:32:11

Excellent post & perfect timing I’m doing a presentation in front of 30 local businesses tonight about IM for local business. Tell me more!

I think this is the perfect time to do this…unfortunately I live in a small town and the local businesses are technophobic and don’t really understand the power of online marketing. This might be the answer…are you doing this? Do you have any case studies?

Comment by Chad
2009-03-12 16:06:47

Sure, I’ll post a more complete case study in the future.

Comment by Ken Savage
2010-04-17 04:52:45

Boom! and now a year later we got Local Lead Plan

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
Comment by Jim Banks
2009-03-11 16:46:09

This is so true.

One of the things we’ve done in the past is because of the nature of the business it pays to get more than one quotation (home improvement loans, for example) so have more than one buyer and sell the leads a few times. Gives you more money to market with, gives the person filling in the form re-assurance that they are shopping around and gives the buyer of the lead the opportunity to be competitive to win the business.

Finding buyers to cover the geography was always the hard part, but with Facebook ads giving you the opportunity to dial into your target audience with demographic data it should be game over!

 
Comment by Jon
2009-03-11 17:31:57

Chad,

You are a stud. This is why I read your blog and follow you on twitter. Keep up the good work.

jreaves

 
Comment by Allen
2009-03-11 18:09:03

Chad,

Tell us more!

I’m working with my 1st local business on a flat-rate CPA basis. So far, the results are promising and I’m excited about the ability to scale the “system” to other businesses / towns.

Allen

 
Comment by Michelle
2009-03-11 19:02:27

Please write more. Very interested — the hard part seems to be getting your first few businesses to buy leads from you.

 
2009-03-11 22:04:17

[...] See the original post here:  Create your own lead generation business [...]

 
Comment by Ken Savage
2009-03-12 00:00:27

Hey Chad? Shut your mouth!
If anyone is reading this in the Boston area Chad is full of BS. :)

I’ve been doing this on a small time basis with a wedding photographer, landscaper/snow plow, and face painter. I find them interested people on the internet and come up with an email and then a CSV file at the end of the day/week/month of people who are interested in their services.

I bill monthly which can be difficult when I’m paying my PPC bills weekly but it’s how the businesses wanted it. I get from $10/lead for the landscaper/plow company to $55/lead for the photographer.

One thing you have to keep in mind, you have to specifically agree upon the quality of the leads and there can’t be any backing out. The photographer didn’t want to pay the $30 for a few leads I sent him because they were in a lower income town/neighborhood. Too bad man! I just said I’ll sell them to his local competitors instead and he shut up quick.

Keep it small and steady when you first start and then grow it to more and bigger businesses afterward. That’s what I’m working on now. Mo money mo problems though.

Comment by Chad
2009-03-12 16:04:25

You can have Boston, I’m still only targeting the west coast. For now ;)

 
 
Comment by Juice
2009-03-12 00:49:11

This is one of my first campaigns using this method.

The main concern with biz owners are the quality of the leads. Depending on the industry, you have to figure out how to filter junk leads.

I know it’s not possible to weed out junk leads but that’s just part of the business.

Personally I think this is a great way to start ppc because you are in control.

Comment by Ken Savage
2009-03-12 13:17:20

Juice, it’s not possible to filter them but you can qualify them more by asking the right questions. For wedding photography I ask them the date of their wedding, where it’s taking place and their address. If they don’t enter in a date greater than 2 months from the time of submission or they leave out info, I mark it as low.

Also in the form I say when and how would you like a wedding photographer to contact you. Why go through the trouble filling out the form if they weren’t serious. Occasionally there are a few Bart Simpson or Donald Duck but that’s how it goes and at less than $1 per click it’s IS worth my time.

Comment by Chad Frederiksen
2009-03-13 18:52:37

Yes, you can use the form to pre-qual. A good PPC marketer can prequailify leads with every step of the process from keyword selection and ad copy to landing pages. You definitely want quality over quantity (as opposed to most CPA offer marketing).

Another way to alleviate biz owners concerns is to use a performance based pricing model. They only pay for sales, not leads. That throws the risk all on you, but it can work great for some types of business.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
Comment by Garrett
2009-03-12 14:57:42

Ken, good comments and advice. I’ve got one question though…I’m from the Boston area and I don’t see many people walking around w/ their faces painted. Is this a micro-niche that you’re exploiting? Clowns & carnies perhaps?

Comment by Ken Savage
2009-03-12 18:19:40

Someone who does kids face painting parties in the Boston area asked me to help get more gigs booked. I put up her site and run ppc ads and she books 1-3 parties per weekend for the last 6 months now.

She does some body painting too but that’s been a little bit harder to marketing in search.

 
 
Comment by Clint Lenard
2009-03-12 19:05:16

Awesome post, Chad!

I’d love to read more about this topic. I actually picked up some Lead Generation book recently, but have been too busy to go through it.

I’d rather read what you have to say, since it’s more focused on us IM’ers, going offline as a sort of hybrid IM-Biz :)

 
Comment by Matt L
2009-03-13 02:28:46

This is an excellent method & it’s so under-utilized that I’m not pissed at Chad for sharing ;)

Most companies servicing this niche do semi-automated junk or pitch them on the whole kit-n-kaboodle w/ a website and full marketing plan. The per-lead is perfect for a company who has aggressive or skilled salespeople.

Comment by Chad Frederiksen
2009-03-13 18:43:34

I agree. I find it works best to just worry about pitching the leads or sales to the company, whatever works better in each case. The website and marketing plan are details you work out on your end. The product you are selling is new customers for the company.

 
 
Comment by Perry
2009-03-13 05:54:30

Actually, the challenge of a lead generation business is very huge. You always have to come up with fresh leads for the lead distribution process of companies. You need to have good analytic skills to be able to somehow generate leads that are suitable for the desired niche market of your future clients.

 
Comment by Yeikow
2009-03-13 15:25:01

More on this please!! It seems to turn the whole affiliate marketing skills into a definitely long term business strategy.

Comment by Chad Frederiksen
2009-03-13 18:47:29

Its definitely more long term and stable. Lead generation has been around forever, but its still largely dominated by an old school mentality. People sending out physical mailings etc. Internet marketing is obviously the way everything is going in the future, and its only going to get bigger.

 
 
Comment by Andrew
2009-03-15 13:41:19

Good post! Please tell more, especially for local businesses.

 
Comment by Jon
2009-03-17 22:25:45

Excellent post, Chad.

Affiliate marketing is definitely getting more competitive and I agree that focusing on local marketing is truly and untapped goldmine.

Looking forward to a case study!

 
Comment by Ad Hustler
2009-03-20 20:06:01

I’d love to hear more about this if you do other posts

 
Comment by seo india
2009-04-02 17:13:14

Hey most interesting post i found, sure i waiting for more interesting case study, brilliant post made.

 
Comment by Richard Reichmann
2009-04-19 20:20:03

Interested in selling leads to the insurance industry as well as other industries. Doesn’t seem to be much information online.

 
Comment by Oz Dan
2009-09-15 10:51:37

Just wondering how you generate leads without example works, gallery, testimonials etc? Or is it more along the lines of discount/promotion call to action?

 
Comment by Brandon
2009-09-17 22:54:35

I know it likely varies depending on the niche, but how much volume are you seeing on your local campaigns? I’ve run two local campaigns for affiliate offers, but the impression volume was laughable… what’s your experience?

 
Comment by Dennis
2009-10-04 06:35:29

What I do is offer “real time” leads. This really puts the biz owner at ease. What you do use Aweber or some other autoresponder system to forward the leads in real time. There’s a box in the Aweber admin panel that lets you set a forwarding e-mail address when the lead gen page is filled out. You put the BUSINESS e-mail address in that box.

Guess what happens? The potential customer fills out that form at 2am and it shows up in the biz e-mail box. It’s so full proof and its in REAL TIME.

You could then collect these leads and sell them as “secondary” for a little bit less. Tell the business you have two pricing levels. One for EXCLUSIVE leads for a higher price and non exclusive at a cheaper price. You make money on both sides!

Local SEO PPC is so cheap it’s not even funny. I suggest focusing on service business’s such as Plumbers, Electricians, Landscaping, Home Remodeling as these are high dollar. They just need one client and can make thousands. They know it and will pay up!

 
Comment by larry
2009-12-05 07:14:16

Hey Chad,

I would like to start my lead generation business so if u have any company looking for lead generation you can send me a email.

Larry

 
Comment by Jesse
2009-12-08 19:16:22

Hi… Are there any laws regarding lead generation? I have a call center and want to generate leads for other call centers. We have everything set up, figured out and ready to transfer calls… We just can’t seem to find anywhere that we should register, and we don’t know if we have to. Do we need some special license? Do we even need our reps to have telemarketing licenses if they are just asking survey questions?
Thank you

 
Comment by Ruben@OurBlogLog
2010-01-10 23:26:35

So much ambition and motivation needs to be involved in this type of project , but definitely possible. Great Post

 
Comment by Pieter
2010-01-12 17:52:25

I created a plastic surgery site for the Portuguese market and am selling lead for one plastic surgeon. I get a commission on each plastic surgery that he can do with my leads, after they go in for the first consultation.

I need a tool where the Dr. can interact with the leads and that I have control over. I thought about gmails on the domain but I would like something better.

Does anyone have any suggestions what should I use for this?

 
2010-02-01 17:18:51

good post very informative and straight to the point, every body ahs business ideas but putting them into practice isnt easy.

 
Comment by ron
2010-02-05 17:17:48

would moving companies be a good niche to target?

 
2010-04-30 19:02:59

Good info. Thank you for sharing.

Would be happy to work with you on lead generation for our clients utilizing our Pay Per Deal advertising model. We pay min $1,000 per sale, provide training and tracking technology for our affiliates, so it’s all covered.

Ping me if interested.
bizdev, Alex

 
Comment by Lead Girl
2011-08-14 17:46:11

I do only ac and duct cleaning roofs, now getting into roofing jobs. But man, these people are hard deal with, They dont want to pay on time!!What can I do to them legally? And what kind of license do you need to generate leads , I mean Im advertising on a site, I answer the phone

 
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