Not so fast. Clicks can outperform paid leads
Regarding the quote by Jeff Ramminger ("Vertical Search Heats Up," August 9, Page 1), which implies that a marketing program with leads as its "currency" is better than one with clicks as its "currency," I beg to differ.
First, to give pay-per-lead its due, the one nice benefit is that there is no question as to the source of the lead. This makes it very easy to track the ROI of the marketing campaign, since you know exactly which leads were generated from the program and you can track the quality- good or bad-of each lead. This can certainly also be done with pay-per-click, but it is not as easy, since a Web site tracking tool must be utilized to monitor where your Web visitors are finding you and which ones are converting into leads. Score one point for a pay-per-lead model.
However, the real marketing question to ask is, "How much do I get per dollar spent?" If a pay-per-click strategy brings more leads for less money, then it really doesn't matter that you are paying for clicks since it is the resulting leads from those clicks that really matter!
Specifically, let's assume that you have two choices: pay $40 to get one lead or pay $40 to get 15 to 20 people to click through to your Web site. On average, two of these people will convert into qualified leads after visiting the vendor's site. And the ones that did not convert were at least exposed to your Web site and may return in the future.
Score two points for pay-per-click. ROI trumps "currency" any day of the week!
Michael Ortner C
Falls Church, Va.
Publishers need to update their game playbooks
Business-to-business publishing can prove better return on investment than any other medium-always has, still does, always will.
But some publishers are still playing out a position they did in 1980: Playing print versus Web rather than print plus Web, promoting their own Web sites rather than their advertisers', delivering information to readers the same way (and at the same pace). They are ignoring the tools and the rules of the new game.
The key to winning in this new game is coordinating and selling all the tools. Just selling a page of advertising does not work anymore. You must sell programs. You must prove return on investment.
Advertisers run print ads to drive buyers to their Web sites or 800 numbers, not to your magazine's Web site. Proving that a print ad in your publication sends buyers to the advertiser's Web sites is not an option, it's a must. Sending literature requests within days is not an option, it's a necessity. Getting face to face with your advertiser's customers at special events is not an option, it's smart business. And selling readers products and services online is not an option, it's e-business. It's part of the new game, and the potential of new revenue from your readers is waiting.