Wednesday, 8 February 2012 by Peter Bell

Is your database built on quicksand?

Ive got 5m names on my email database!  Well, Ive got 10m on mine!  Weve all heard the boasts of having humongous prospect databases without being backed up by any similar boasts about performance. Whether you are an email list owner or a blue-chip brand with a enquirer file - the problem remains the same.  In times of need when you email said database to generate revenue on a penny broadcast basis, it still returns a pitiful amount of value for the effort.  You can test all the subject lines, times of day and creative treatments in the world but if your database if not highly engaged with your brand it wont make a blind bit of difference.

So honestly ask yourself the question - Is your database built on quicksand?  Are you constantly topping up whilst the bottom falls out of it every month?  This strategy of diminishing returns cant go on forever!

In the case of databases, size simply doesnt matter.  The boast should be Ive got a database that generates 10k customers for me/my clients every month!  Care about the size of the return not the number of random email addresses on file. This is something Groupon perfectly exemplifies as a marketing machine.  Their model tells them exactly how many customers they deliver for their advertisers every month. It is the role of the advertiser to package up the right incentives and margins to create long term value from the campaigns.

So try to change the mindset away from size of database towards size of return.  This focus will help build the proper foundations for a database judged on engagement and value. Then pretty soon youll be boasting about its performance but never its size.

Thursday, 26 January 2012 by Peter Bell

Wanted - Co-reg Copywriters

For the many millions of lead generation budget that is spent on co-registration (co-reg) its amazing how little time and money is spent on creating a compelling advertising creative that consumers want to engage with. Essentially marketers have a 6 word header and a further 50 words to convince a consumer to opt-in and respond to the offer.

I tend to use freelance copywriters for campaigns that is 1,000 times more effective than your average co-registration copy. Remember great copy not only increases the volume of leads generated but also raises the quality by recruiting people more relevant and in tune with the brand. Far too often, copy is left to the last minute and involves rehashing promotional blurb from a homepage - I admit Ive been guilty of this in the past.

Great advert copy neednt be expensive and when you are spending millions generating leads online it is a small price to pay when you consider better copy can uplift conversions by min. 10%.

At the very least, if you are a last minute copywriter by default rather than choice, I recommend reading Olgivy on Advertising to get the creative advertising juices flowing.

So if anyone out there describes themselves as a co-reg copywriter then be sure to drop me a line? - I think you are alone in this profession in the UK!

Friday, 13 January 2012 by Peter Bell

UK Exclusive - Google Affiliate Network is here

It has been rumoured for a long time, now Google has launched (albeit quietly) their very own UK affiliate network using the adsense publisher base. Is this good or bad news for the performance marketing industry? Only time will tell...

Should you want to sign-up to Google Affiliate Network, youll get this bounce-back message:

Thanks you for your interest in Google Affiliate Network, a leading provider of affiliate marketing services and technologies. Please note that we are currently in limited beta outside of the United States and are only working with a small number of advertisers at this time. Well keep your submitted information on file and contact you as soon as we expand our product offering.

Google Affiliate Network

As predicted at the start of the year, Google is turning up the heat in the lead generation and performance marketing space - making 2012 the most exciting yet. Watch out, you have been warned!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012 by Peter Bell

Detox your Lead Generation campaign before it's too late!

Last year, sales were walking in the door and your performance marketing garden was full of roses. Now things that used to fly arent flying so high any more. That hard won extra budget only seems to be propping up a stalling campaign. Theres no extra cash but something needs to be done - quick!

Dont be tempted to simply cut your way to your CPA target by negotiating down your leads costs and employing cheaper marketing tactics. Instead, put your lead generation campaign on Detox by giving it the five point health-check:

  1. Creative - Time to freshen-up advert copy, email creative, subject lines and from addresses
  2. Relevance - Are your prospects still as interested in the 2011 brand proposition?
  3. Audience - Tighten up the targeting to remove dead wood thats bringing down responses
  4. Incentive - Is that 5% off really pulling in the punters in todays aggressive discounted markets
  5. Conversion - Analyse leaks in the follow-up process from tele-script, email copy to DM pack that can cause those sales to fall through at the final hurdle
Put this plan into action and come Spring youll be enjoying the results of a fresher more effective campaign.

Monday, 12 December 2011 by Peter Bell

Performance Lead Marketing: 2012 Top 6 Lead Generation Predictions

  1. Mobile Lead Generation - its not big (yet) but it is clever. Many more performance media opportunities are popping up in a good way rather than those standard annoying in-game/in-app ads that people accidently click on.
  2. Content (non-incentive) Lead Generation - When premium isnt enough, non-incentivised will take over, its a niche space but is the way ahead to achieve high conversion rates which attracts similarly high cost per lead rates. If you could get 90% conversion, how much would you pay?
  3. Google does Lead Generation - Not content with promoting their own comparison ads first in travel/mortgage search rankings and buying a UK comparison site, expect their appetite for lead generation revenue to increase.
  4. Client in-sourcing Lead Generation - brands are beginning to get serious, realising that buying the leads is only one part of the equation. A performance marketing strategy is required to fuse the right mix of systems, process, know-how and people to ensure long-term ROI which grows their customer base.
  5. Lead Nurturing - Wham bam, no thank-you mam! Leads must be cared for, treated with respect and gently encouraged to buy. Put that conversion sledgehammer down and instead test, learn and develop a lead nurturing strategy that suit both your audience and business model within cost per acquisition.
  6. CPM Advertising RIP - Its nearly 8 years ago that a certain Charles Morgan (former CEO of Acxiom) announced the death of CPM and that was when he had a UK CPM business doing £10m+!!! The argument for CPM is painfully weak unless you have super premium, context rich inventory and even then it will become a hard sell in the face of advertisers who put performance before brand in the harsh new financial reality of 2012. As the head of a large digital agency recently commented, the race over which agency can buy at the lowest CPM is nearly over, as advertisers look to pay on a performance basis. Inside Facebook itself comments, Across the industry, advertisers are moving away from CPM models that do not ensure that consumers are truly seeing their ads. Cost-per-conversion, action or engagement are much more desirable because companies do not have to pay unless an ad is effective.