In marketing, lead generation (/ˈliːd/) is the initiation of consumer interest or enquiry into products or services of a business. Leads can be created for purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or for sales leads. The methods for generating leads typically fall under the umbrella of advertising, but may also include non-paid sources such as organic search engine results or referrals from existing customers.
Buyer data is the new business currency, but data gathering is a gambler’s game. The more data a lead generation team has, the more likely they are to find actionable leads. Then again, some lead generation companies source and resell leads, buying them from other providers and selling them to you at markup. This not only means you pay more per lead to cover the middleman costs, but you also run a higher risk of getting outdated or unethically sourced leads.
Working with lead generation teams in the past I have found that company size is one data element that is a bit harder to track than others. For instance, if you pull up a list of companies using the WhitePages or Manta you will likely end up with companies of all sizes and predominantly small business which make up 80% of businesses out there. Sorting through a list like that may be a hindrance if you plan to sell an enterprise solution costing over $10,000, say.
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REDX is a real estate lead generation company specializing in For Sale by Owner (FSBO), For Rent by Owner (FRBO), foreclosure, and expired leads costing $39 to $79 per month. REDX is niche-specific among real estate lead generation companies because they’re the only provider on our list that focuses on these type of listings. Therefore, REDX is best for agents focusing on niche market leads like FSBO, FRBO, foreclosures, and expired listings.
With the new buyer it is important to note that your marketing efforts don’t end once a new lead comes into your system – what we call Top of the Funnel (TOFU) marketing. Many companies do a good job at generating leads, but the problem is that most new leads are not ready to buy yet. And if a sales rep does engage and the lead isn’t ready to talk with them, it reinforces the notion that marketing sourced leads are not great. As a result leads get lost, ignored, or snatched up by your competitors.
BoomTown is missing a lower-cost option for smaller agencies and individual agents. Even though their lead generation marketing efforts and CRM combine the best use of communication and technology to produce a great product that stands out among real estate lead generation companies, BoldLeads or Real Geeks might be a better choice if budget is an issue.
The beauty of lead management software is that it can help you capture information at a point of contact with your organization such as a landing page visit, white paper download, or email open. Based on the action, leads are scored and the next action defined. Having information about when and how your customers are interacting with your brand online allows you to create a one-to-one customer journey and helps your salespeople personally focus on well-qualified sales leads, while other leads can be automatically nurtured.
The problem is that information abundance equals attention scarcity. This is known as attention economics. Social scientist Herbert Simon was the first person to discuss this concept when he wrote “in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.”
Of course you want to fill the top of your marketing funnel with lots of leads. But as soon as they enter the funnel, you also want to start qualifying them to see which ones are worth the additional time and effort to guide toward the bottom. Lead scoring and grading help you do just that, calculating a lead’s value to your company (score) and likelihood of converting to an active customer (grade). Using lead scoring and grading together can be an effective way to ensure that only high-quality leads are passed on to your sales team. Lead management software can automate lead scoring and grading as well.
The main reason I would suggest paying for leads is in order to obtain data that you would otherwise not be able to. A lot of database companies will try and sell you on the fact that they have specific names and e-mail addresses but these are not hard to figure out as I show in another article. Also, it is unlikely you will get a list of the perfect contacts that you will be able to call and they turn out to be the right person (another reason I encourage doing the work!).
The quality of leads from a large site like Zillow or Trulia can be an issue because property pages appear at the top of search results on Google, and the people viewing these listings might only be window-shoppers. If wasting time or money verifying leads is a problem for you, then you might want to try Market Leader because there is a 48-hour lead return guarantee.