7 ways to improve cost per lead campaigns

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When it comes to cost per lead (CPL) campaigns, quality and quantity matter — but it’s by no means an easy balance. When you have a higher CPL, it’s important that your campaigns not only generate plenty of leads but also conversions from those leads down the road. In this post, we’ll review several simple ways you can make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

1) Use negative keywords to narrow your audience

If you aren’t already, make sure to use negative keywords in your Google Ads (formally AdWords) campaigns, which allow you to exclude certain keywords. This helps you create an audience that is smaller, but more likely to be interested in what you’re advertising. For example, let’s say you’re running a campaign to generate leads for your paid media agency. It could be wise to add ‘SEO agency’ as a negative keyword to avoid advertising to potential clients who want SEO services that you don’t offer.

Just make sure you don’t go overboard — excessive negative keywords can restrict your audience too much and lose you potentially qualified leads.

2) Filter your audience by location, device, network, and time of day   

Don’t waste your budget on segments of your audience that are least likely to view or click your ads. This is especially important for companies who target specific regions or attract a lot of mobile traffic. In these cases, it could be wise to only target a specific geography or largely exclude desktop traffic.

In Google Ads, you can check the efficacy of previous campaigns according to user location, device, network, and popular times of day. Based on your findings, you can adjust when your campaigns run and who sees them.

3) Make use of retargeting campaigns

CPL campaigns can often be more effective when you use retargeting to get in front of an audience that has already visited your website. In this case, you can run a campaign specifically for this retargeted audience. (Make sure that these are people who have visited your site, but haven’t otherwise converted.) Then, create a separate landing page that speaks to an audience who is already familiar with what you offer — even better if you can create a landing page based on the browsing history of your retargeted audience!

4) Send your audience to an optimized landing page

A mediocre landing page can make even the most click-worthy ad obsolete. Make sure your landing page supplies the information your audience needs quickly and convincingly enough to get a sign up. For further reading, check out these landing page tips that can be applied to both CPL and PPC campaigns.

5) Track phone calls for a complete picture of CPL

Sure, a potential customer may fork over their information to complete a lead form, but what about those who just call you directly from the ad or landing page? To keep those individuals from falling through the cracks, use call tracking software. You can set up a campaign-specific phone number so that those who call from the landing page get counted into your CPL costs and campaign metrics. CallRail’s multi-touch CPL feature makes it even easier to give credit where credit is due.

And if you’d like some help figuring out how much your CPL should be, check out our handy Cost Per Lead Calculator.

6) Figure out your followup game plan before running a CPL campaign

It’s all too common for businesses to invest time and resources into a CPL campaign, only to drop the ball on followup and watch their money go down the drain. Before you run your campaign, make sure you know how you’ll be reaching out to your new leads. Have a CRM workflow set up to assign leads to sales reps as required, and consider segmenting your leads to create an email drip campaign. For example, you could have a field for “industry” on your lead submission form, and then split up out your email list accordingly.

7) Keep tabs on your campaign performance

Measuring your CPL campaigns is important not only for determining their success rate but also for figuring out what works and doesn’t work for future campaigns. You can, of course, measure success purely by lead acquisition. It will also benefit you to pay close attention to more incremental metrics, such as clicks and bounce rate. While these vanity metrics shouldn’t be used to decide whether your campaign was successful or not, they can help you determine what’s stopping visitors from filling out your lead submission form.

For example, let’s say you have a very high clickthrough rate, but a low conversion rate. This could mean that your ad copy is compelling, but the landing page isn’t. You may want to revisit your landing page and make copy or design edits to make it more conversion-optimized. If possible, try A/B testing your campaign to determine which elements are making a difference in lead capture.

CPL campaigns require a delicate balance of quality and volume to be successful. But with a little advanced planning, from setup to followup, you can make them lucrative for your business.

If you’re interested in adding the power of CallRail’s advanced call tracking and analytics to your next CPL campaign, you can start right now: Request a personalized demo of CallRail or begin your 14-day free trial.

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