Stop Wasting Your Money on Lead Generation Marketing

I simply cannot not deny the conclusions of years of solid research. The numbers may vary from one study to the next but the pattern is clearly the same. Up to two thirds of all companies are not able to make contact with leads or turn them into sales. Why you pay me to build your multi-channel, integrated, personalized and segmented marketing campaigns if they don't result in sales?  The science makes it clear. The odds are that your lead gen marketing and probably a good share of your sales marketing is a waste.


But what about that other one third of companies? Why are they successful and what are they doing differently than everyone else? Again the research reveals their secret. The truth is their success has little to do with their marketing. But they all share one unique trait or practice.


They Respond Immediately


They know that your only chance to convert any lead is to follow up, every time and Right Now. When they receive a web site inquiry they respond. When someone sends an email they respond. And if someone calls, you respond right now.  Their goal and their practice is to respond to all inquires and within minutes. Not hours, not days and not weeks.


  • The likelihood of conversion (making contact) drops significantly during the first three minutes after the lead’s inquiry.
  • The odds of qualifying a lead contacted within five minutes are 21 times higher compared to 30 minutes.
  • Contacting a lead within the first hour increased the likelihood of qualifying the lead by seven times compared to a two-hour window, and 60 times in comparison to companies waiting 24 hours or longer.

(Conversica  - Sales Effectiveness Report 2017)


Size Does Not Matter


Over the last forty years I've worked with every size company from large multinational corporations to solopreneurs and they all have the same problem. They do not follow up their leads. Why spend money on marketing campaigns if no one is going follow up the leads that marketing brings in?


The Results Can Be Astounding


One company's internal study found that only 27% of all their leads were ever followed up. Another company moved their average response time from 6 days to 1 day. Their close rates went from 3.2% to 7.5%. Results more than doubled with nothing else changed.

One study looked at 10,000 companies over five years. They found the average response time to online inquiries was 46 hours and 53 minutes. And if a sales rep did respond he/she only made 1.3 call attempts before giving up and moving on. 

(Why Companies Waste 71% Of Internet Leads, Forbes 2012)


The Bad News


So the bad news is you are probably wasting your money trying to generate leads because nobody is chasing the leads down. And if they do make any attempt it is much too little and much too late.


The Really Good News


The good news is you can fix a lot of this with little or no money. You can change policies and practices to ensure your sales staff responds to inquiries within 30 minutes. You can make it standard practice to make at least 8 or more attempts to contact any lead. You can make use of your existing technology. For instance your email system can generate triggered autoresponders and respond to online inquiries in seconds.


The studies I quoted here focused on responding to inquiries. Yet improving responses to just this one group of leads doubled successful outcomes. Imagine the boost in sales if you responded not just to inquiries but new subscribers, web site Looky Lou's, card droppers and trade show visitors?

The lesson here is that regardless of what technology, processes or policies you deploy make sure your company responds to all legitimate leads. That is how you build your list, make sales and grow your business. And that is how you make every dollar spent on marketing worth every penny.

Article by Dennis Schafer, founder of Copy For Customers