How Internet Debt Leads are “Like a Box of Chocolates”

April 14, 2010
Forrest Gump is an example of a frame story.

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Forrest Gump said, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Internet debt leads are not so different. They come from lots of places, are generated in many different ways, and they have various levels of quality.

Getting the most out of this diversity means understanding what makes debt leads different and how to most effectively manage these diverse leads to maximize conversion.

Generating Internet Debt Leads

Internet debt leads are generated in any of a variety of ways: email, SEO, PPC, squeeze pages, co-registrations, and many more niche techniques. Each has it’s own unique characteristics and tends to attract different types of customers. For example, leads generated by natural (organic) searches can attract researching customers that are often very early in their buying process. However, pay-per-click or email generated leads may be later in the process, but may also be more likely to shop your offer.

Getting Debt Customers to Inquire

Getting customers to your lead form is one thing, but getting them to give you all the personal financial information is another deal altogether. That means it becomes very tempting for lead generation companies to provide some form of incentive to get the lead–iPods, eBooks, outrageous financial promises.

Unfortunately, you rarely know what is offered the customer for their name and telephone number.

Filtering and Delivering Debt Leads

There is one more significant factor in the lead generation business that will inject diversity–how they chose what you get.

Lead generation companies, like any good businesses, are focused on making money. That means they are looking for best execution on every lead. Ideally that benefits the customer in that every lead gets a home (or is paid for). However, for you, that might mean you have even more variables.

 

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Most lead companies will allow you to request certain filters and characteristics for your leads. This helps a bit, but it is hard to determine when those various lead types will be delivered and in what quantity.

Managing Debt Leads

Now that you have this “box of chocolates” you have to manage them all into some form of success. Here are some of my principles to successfully managing debt leads:

  • Every lead goes into a lead management system of some form
  • Everyone gets an email–immediately, automated preferably
  • Everyone gets a call–even the ugly ones
  • Nothing gets killed without 5-7 attempts
  • I suggest everything ends up in an appropriate email nurturing campaign

You number one goal in managing a diverse set of inbound leads is that nothing gets lost and everything gets multiple touches. I can’t for the life of me see why any organization would kill any lead they ever buy. It should simply get handled in a different way based on customer responsiveness (or lack thereof).

Nurturing Debt Leads

Debt leads have a tendency to be long sales cycles. And many of them (unfortunately) tend to need debt relief service more than once in their life. That means lead nurturing is critical in this lead category.

Email is the best way to handle this process. However, I do recommend working in regular telephone ticklers along the way.

Segmenting your debt leads into various campaigns based on their characteristics and responsiveness can help you efficiently manage any diversity that comes into your sales pipeline. Researchers can get all the education and information their hearts desire, without tying you up. Meanwhile, those ready to solve their debt problems have you in their email or on their telephone ready to go when they are.

Converting Debt Leads

At the end of the day, converting debt leads is about being there when the debt customer is ready to change their situation. And on any given lead that timing is different. Therefore, realize that, understand it, and design a lead management process to service any lead you might get in that “box of chocolates.”

About Troy Wilson