This post was written by Matthew Umbro from http://theppcblog.com.
Matthew has been in the PPC industry since August 2007 and has earned his Google AdWords and MSN adExcellence certifications. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Twitter @Matt_Umbro.
As a PPC campaign manager for business-to-business (B2B) clients, there’s one question I always ask: “Will you share your leads with me?” I don’t want to muscle in on their territory. I want to know how effective their PPC campaign is.
I recently read a great article by pay-per-click (PPC) Guru Brad Geddes concerning Post-Click Conversion Optimization for Long Sales Cycles that really made me think about how PPC conversions and revenue are tracked for B2B clients. Geddes states that for most companies, “single click-to-purchase transactions are rare,” and can require “several visits and multiple touch points before any revenue is generated from initial clicks.” I understand exactly where Geddes is coming from. Finding the ROI of a PPC campaign for long sales cycles can be difficult, especially if you are only managing the paid campaign and have no insight into what becomes of the leads you bring in.
I strongly believe that the PPC campaign manager must have insight into the leads in order to better optimize the campaign. This statement sounds obvious, but often the leads will go right into the clients’ sales automation system and not be shared with the PPC manager. And if PPC is being outsourced, it can be extremely difficult for the PPC manager to know how relevant the leads are. I can tell a client that his campaign saw 25 conversions last month, but I cannot share which keyword and text ad brought in each specific lead. For example, I want to be able to tell a client that the term “IT disaster recovery plan,” led to a whitepaper download by a network engineer. When I can do this, I am not only reporting a number, but the actual quality of that lead.
Whenever I begin a campaign for a B2B client I stress conversion optimization. In other words, the primary goal of the PPC campaign will be to garner quality leads. I stress the importance of sharing these leads with me so I can see what is and is not working. I need to make sure that the quality of leads coming in aligns with the goals of the campaign.
Sometimes clients are hesitant to share this information or claim it will require too much work to get the leads to me. I understand their concerns. However, I present a way that I can receive the leads with little client involvement. Often, B2B leads are generated when a visitor fills out a form in order to receive a whitepaper or some other download. These leads can go into a sales automation system, but they can also be sent to a special email address (i.e., email@example.com). I ask to be added to this email list and, through the analytics, I can break out the leads by source. In the monthly reports, I list all leads captured through the PPC campaign and ask the client what is happening with these leads. Through this simple process I know the quality of the leads and I am able to show clients the value of their PPC campaigns and, ultimately, the ROI.
I understand that not all clients will be willing to share their leads, but it is imperative that you ask. Not only will you be better able to optimize the campaign, but it is also an opportunity for you to be more involved in the sales cycle and know exactly what happens to the leads.
How do you track the quality of PPC campaign leads?