The Fastest Way to Test a Lead Generation Campaign If You Don’t Have a List

 Recently I was hired to create an online lead generation campaign for a client in the debt industry. The key issue I always encounter when I’m asked to create a lead generation campaign is TRAFFIC. Many businesses simply don’t have enough traffic to their own websites to test a lead generation campaign.

So, in this case, the only real option to get traffic is to buy it. The usual suspects for buying traffic online are pay-per-click advertising (Google Adwords, Facebook), banner ads, search engine optimization, and email advertising. There are others, but these are the most common.

Why Adwords, SEO, Facebook & Banner Ads Aren’t The Best Choice For Testing Lead Generation Campaigns

This particular client has attempted online lead generation using Google Adwords and SEO in the past without much success. Although Adwords can produce instant traffic – without a high-converting sales process in place from the start, it can be painfully expensive. And SEO can be painfully slow and take months before there is any noticeable bump in traffic. What’s worse, all that waiting can amount to nothing without a high converting sales process in place. Banner ads can be effective, but the testing process can be long and painful, and the media buying process for large-scale banner ads potentially incurs high financial risk.

So for this client, we suggested using a solo email blast to a rented list (not SPAM) as the traffic source. There are thousands of high-traffic websites with very large email subscriber lists who are willing to sell the opportunity to send an email to their list, for rates that are usually quoted in the cost-per-thousand (CPM). For example, one such email vendor is Newsmax.com, a popular conservative news, health and investment website with over 3 million email subscribers. According to the Newsmax rate sheets, CPM rates vary from $18 per thousand to $180 per thousand, depending on the demographics of the list.

Even though open rates have went down the last few years, email is still a tried-and-true medium for virtually instant testing of your campaigns and gauging response. Not only does is enable you to test quickly, once you have a winning campaign, you can begin to test that same campaign using other advertising mediums. Once you have a winning campaign across multiple mediums, eventually you could choose to make your winning campaign available to affiliate networks and pay others to generate leads for you. This is one proven way for a small company to get big in a hurry.