If you’re a contractor you, quite literally, have a lot on your hands. You’re probably juggling multiple projects simultaneously, each requiring different skills, expertise, tools, problem-solving, and labor. Aside from repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals (which reflect just how credible your business’ reputation is), how you acquire new customers is something you’d probably like to take off your hands and pass on to someone—or a company—whose focus is just that.
Enter: lead generation services. Lead generation pricing models for contractors vary quite a bit, but can be tailored to suit your specific needs, your business offerings, and your budget. But before you pull the trigger on a lead generation service, it’s important that you understand a few fundamentals about the basic offerings, what they deliver, and how you’ll be charged.
Not all leads are created equal.
Approaches to lead generation that offer performance-based pricing can add value to a contractor’s advertising campaign, yielding more bang for their buck. Additionally, there’s an important distinction to be made between shared versus exclusive leads. While the latter are more expensive, they also are more likely to be successful.
The actual prices of leads can vary depending on the company you work with. But you’ll find that in the world of lead generation—whether you’re a contractor or another home services business—there a few key terms that are regularly used. It’s important to understand these terms before you move forward with hiring a lead generation service.
Pay Per Lead (PPL)
As a standalone term, PPL is a bit vague, so exercise caution when looking into any service that solely categorizes its offerings as “pay-per-lead." Part of the ambiguity here stems from the ongoing evolution of lead generation methods. It used to be that PPL was a form of affiliate marketing. Advertisers would pay ad hosts only when a lead actually converted. Another facet of the ambiguity is the fact that, technically speaking, this term could be used for most lead generation services.
So, it’s important to be sure that you know exactly how any given PPL service works before engaging. With all of that said, the landscape of PPL has changed dramatically in recent years. Flushed-out PPL programs now exist in places like Facebook and Twitter, among others platforms.
Pay Per Click (PPC)
This is an advertising model that charges advertisers every time their ad is clicked, whether that ad resides in search results or on a social platform. One of the clearest benefits to PPC lead generation is that if the ads are created and targeted well, then a click is a truly promising lead, worthy of a fee.
PPC also offers an effective way to ascertain what’s working about a given ad and what’s not. This is in direct contrast to services that charge per impression, which basically leaves advertisers paying for visibility rather than leads. While visibility has its value, it doesn’t always translate to new customers.
Typically, PPC is structured to allow the advertiser to pay either a flat rate for each individual click or to bid on the price they’re willing to pay. In the case of the latter, advertisers privately try to outbid their competitors. One consideration for PPC is that it can be vulnerable to abuse. Competitors have been known to engage in click fraud, which is a concerted effort to click without any authentic interest as a way to drive up costs. Click fraud is much better understood, identified, and managed than it used to be.
Pay Per Call (PPCall)
With pay-per-call advertising, buyers pay lead generation services when they receive a call, provided that the lead is valid. A quality pay-per-call advertising company won’t charge the advertiser unless the lead is relevant, which is a great tool to have in your belt, especially as a contractor. With the ability to target a local audience searching for the specific services you offer—many of which could be in need of either immediate services or large-scale projects—pay-per-call advertising allows you to actually speak one-to-one with your lead and close the sale. The conversion opportunity literally falls in your hands.
The take-home here is that lead generation for contractors, in general, is absolutely a good idea. But the lead generation pricing models and techniques vary, so arm yourself with this information before procuring lead generation assistance.