Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bogus Leads

When is a lead really bad?

At a recent meeting of the Wasatch Online Marketing group there was a discussion of a search campaign that produced bogus leads. The client has a very technical product and a very narrow audience they are trying to reach. So, they introduced a white paper describing their solution and got a lot of leads. Unfortunately many were "bogus" and the discussion turned to search-bots, mad-robots, click-fraud, and auto-populating the form.

In reality, the issue was the offer and information had general appeal to a wider segment. While the audience that requested the report aren't buyers, many may be influencers or users of the category. So, before throwing the baby out with the bath water ask yourself: are other people interested in what I have to say?

If the goal is to increase lead flow among a highly-targeted group then there will be spill over into non-buyers. These may be useful or they may be chaff. If they truly are chaff then general search strategies aren't appropriate and vertical or niche engines a better option. The smaller the market, the more targeted you should be - up to picking up the phone and calling them.

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