7 ways to improve lead gen campaigns (and drive down CPL)

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When it comes to focusing on lead-generation campaigns, quality and quantity matter –– but it’s by no means an easy balance. When you have a higher CPL, it’s important to factor in LTV (lifetime value) to make sure that your acquisition cost is profitable. 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 from causing your ads to appear. 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 PPC-only agency. It could be wise to add ‘SEOas a negative keyword to avoid advertising to potential clients who want SEO services that you don’t offer.

All that said, 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 geographic area 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

Lead-generation campaigns can often be most effective when you use retargeting to get in front of an audience that has already visited your website. Make sure when you’re building your retargeting audience that you exclude visitors to your site that have converted already. 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 that speaks to the specific pages of your site that this audience has already visited.

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 them to convert. For further reading, check out these landing page tips.

5) Track phone calls for a complete picture of CPL

Sure, a potential customer may fork over their information to complete a lead form or get a discount, but what about those who just call you directly from the ad or landing page? To keep those individuals from falling through the cracks, you can use call tracking software to both track the sources of calls and dive into these calls to glean information to improve your campaigns. Once you’ve set up a specific number for each campaign, you can easily factor in calls to your CPL reporting. CallRail’s multi-touch CPL feature makes it even easier to give credit where credit is due as we track calls and conversions across all the channels you’re advertising through.

Here are some tips for setting a PPC budget, complete with a calculator.

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

It’s all too common for businesses to invest time and resources into a lead-gen campaign, only to drop the ball on follow-up 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

Close measurement of your lead gen campaigns –– and how efficient they are at driving an affordable CPL –– will eventually reveal common denominators to help you run more successful campaigns down the road. Success, of course, can be measured in a variety of ways, from low-funnel metrics (like pure lead acquisition) to high-funnel, incremental stuff, like 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 or calling your business.

For example, let’s say you have a very high CTR (click-through rate), but a low conversion rate. This likely means 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 optimized to convert. If possible, try A/B testing with both your campaigns and landing page elements you’ve changed to determine which elements are making a difference in garnering new customers.

Lead-gen campaigns require a delicate balance of quality and volume to be successful. But with a little advanced planning, from setup to follow-up, 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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