It’s the end of the quarter. You’re running out of marketing budget, and you’re now stretching every dollar. You’re (almost) about to take the empties from the office and return them to the beer store in order to run a few more ads.
And your Sales team... your Sales team is looking at you for more leads, devouring them even faster than you can generate them.
Well, I have good and bad news for you. The bad news is that I won’t lend you the money to finish off this month. But the good news is that I can help you dramatically decrease your cost per lead for the next quarter so you can get more bang for your buck.
Breaking down your cost per lead
First, let's talk about your levers.
Your cost per lead (CPL) is the function of your cost per click divided by your conversion rate. And when paying on a per-impression basis, your cost per click will also depend on your cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and the click-through rate (CTR) on your ads
Cost per lead = Cost per click / Conversion rate
So you can either work on reducing your cost per click, or increasing your conversion rate.
Let’s do both.
How to reduce your cost per lead
The first idea I want you to try in order to decrease your CPL is to create more landing pages. Not creating landing pages just for the sake of creating more landing pages, but for your offers to appeal to various audiences.
More landing pages will allow you to tailor your messaging to different audiences in your ads and at the same time, will keep your landing page messaging tightly aligned with your ad copy. The more tailored your ads and your landing pages are to a target audience, the higher the CTR and the lower the CPC will be.
This doesn’t necessarily mean creating a thousand entirely unique landing pages. You can use various personalization features and tactics to dynamically replace the content of your page and take advantage of existing assets. Features like Dynamic Text Replacement in Unbounce, and the Uberflip and Optimizely integration will allow you to personalize pages without the need of any programming skills.
Another way to increase your conversion rate is to reduce the number of steps required to complete a conversion. For example, a Wistia video’s Turnstile email collector and Uberflip’s Overlay CTAs allow you to place your form right over your content, without the need for the visitor to go through several pages. This improves the user experience, and at the same time increases conversion rates. Brands like Monetate have seen an increase of 250% in conversion rates simply by doing that. Try it yourself!
One more way to reduce your cost per click is to be willing to take some risks and try new things. Historically speaking, new advertising formats and channels are less crowded in their early days and generally offer better pricing to reward risk takers.
From our own experience using Twitter advertising, testing out Twitter lead generation cards while they were in beta allowed us to acquire B2B leads for only $6.74 in the very crowded space that is the marketing software industry. If I could turn back time, I would probably spend more money on this ad format before it inevitably becomes too popular and costs start going up.
It still makes sense to use tried and proven channels that will provide you with a stable number of leads every month, but when it’s time to grow your lead gen without expanding your budget, experimental channels are worth a try.
Bonus: Get free leads
It’s no question that inbound leads are much cheaper than running ads, and that they reduce your average cost per lead. But how can you generate more of them?
One of the best ways to increase inbound leads is through the social sharing of your content. Here are a few ingredients that will improve the viral coefficient of your content and increase the speed at which it will be re-distributed:
- A highly sharable headline: Does it make them look smart?
- A meta image that displays nicely on LinkedIn or Facebook.
- A call to action: If you’ve read this far, you might as well share this post! ☺
As it turns out, stretching your marketing dollars doesn’t mean you have to rely on the cash return from your empties. All it takes are a few subtle tweaks to dramatically decrease your cost per lead.