I find it interesting as I begin evaluating prospective clients how infatuated they are with a single metric in their lead generation – volume. Search volume, click volume, impressions, number of calls – whatever it is they watch it like a hawk and sadly make a lot of decisions based on it alone.
I think it comes from the common idea that marketing is a numbers game – so if you want more sales, you simply pump up the volume of impressions, clicks, calls, etc. and eventually a certain number of conversions will take place.
While that may be true to a certain extent, a few highly qualified, highly interested leads are way more valuable than thousands of unqualified leads that you have to wade through over and over until you find the one that may be in them.
Volume is one of those things that can be seductive. It makes you feel like there is something going on, that you are making progress, or that whoever is making your phone ring is doing a good job. It also gives you hope because if there is a high volume someone has to convert soon.
But the problem is, while it is an important metric, it is the wrong metric to measure to determine the success of any campaign.
The only metric that matters when it comes to success or failure is conversions. How many people bought, or signed up, or enrolled?
Whatever directly affects income generation, not lead generation is what should be measured and watched carefully.
I’ve had clients that were so addicted to the volume metrics that even though in the first month of taking over their campaigns we generated more actual enrollments or sales than the previous company did in an entire year, they were a little disappointed that the call volume wasn’t as high as before. They measured success by calls, not conversions.
Volume for volume’s sake just dilutes good data, wears out salespeople, and generally costs as much as targeting more qualified leads – but it takes more work. A lot more work.
Can I make your phone ring off the hook? Yes, it’s easy. I just run a campaign to an audience of people “who breathe” offering a free iPad to anyone who calls the number and talks to a sales person to see if they “qualify.”
You’ll get thousands and thousands of calls, and I’ll bet that out of all of those calls your sales people will be able to find someone who may want to sign up for the product or service. The law of probability says it has to.
Unfortunately, this is exactly how so many online lead generation campaigns work. They cast a wide net, offering something vague or general enough that a ton of people will call, and then they coach you to watch the volume – “See how effective we are? The phones are ringing off the hook!”
Remember, more isn’t better – better is better.