to Ask When Choosing a LEAD GENERATION VENDOR

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1 5QUESTIONS to Ask When Choosing a LEAD GENERATION VENDOR A white paper from emedia In the world of the modern day marketer, directly driving revenue for the company is quickly becoming a priority. Top level executives are pushing harder on marketing departments to produce ROI from every campaign. With this in mind, many marketing executives are expanding their online lead generation initiatives in At first glance many of the vendors appear to be similar, but contrary to popular belief there is no one solution that works for every company. How can you be sure which vendor is the best fit for your company's products/ solutions? This whitepaper will review some key questions to ask yourself when researching and evaluating online lead generation vendors.

2 1 Is My Vendor Sufficiently Flexible for My Needs? Flexibility should be a high priority when choosing a lead generation vendor. It should be the marketing manager s objective to make sure that your vendor is creating a campaign to specifically meet your needs. As campaigns become increasingly complex, the majority of marketing professionals simply do not have the bandwidth to customize their campaigns to meet the needs of their vendors. That being said, your vendor should have the following: Flexibility in Collateral: Each campaign has its own goal, and thus collateral designed specifically for achieving that goal. Whether it be a whitepaper, webinar or a free trial promotion, a vendor should have the flexibility to promote any and all of your collateral with confidence and success. Flexibility in Campaign Invoicing: Does your company have invoicing guidelines that must be adhered to? Some companies prefer to invoice their campaigns up front, while others prefer to pay as the leads are generated. Is your vendor willing to accommodate your invoicing needs? Flexibility in Campaign Management: There are numerous lead management and nurturing systems available to businesses. It s important that your lead generation solution work with your particular Customer Relationship Management system. Vendors should have the ability to send respondents directly to a landing page or to send your leads to you in your preferred format (.XLS,.CSV ect.).

3 2Does My Vendor Offer the Right Audience for My Solutions? Probably the most critical element in deciding which lead generation vendor to work with is whether their audience is a match with your target audience. Some vendors offer a blanket approach to reaching prospective buyers while others offer incredibly focused niche channels for reaching prospects. Which one is best for you? Find the Middle Ground: The key to running a great campaign is finding a vendor that can deliver the best of both worlds. While a vendor who can reach a large target audience is appealing at first, your sales representatives then have to sift through leads that simply don't match up with your company's solutions. A niche vendor also has a certain attraction, but consistent lead flow can become a major concern with small lists or circulations. It is impossible for your sales staff to close a lead that never gets generated. Your vendor should be able to deliver a large audience segmented down into specific targets. Common segmentation can be broken down by industry topic, vertical, and/or job title. The key is generating the most consistent flow of qualified leads per campaign.

4 3Does My Vendor Offer a Lead Guarantee? A minimum or guarantee should be attached to every campaign that you run with a lead generation vendor. The vendor should contractually commit to delivering a set number of leads to you within a set timeframe. If the lead guarantee is not met within the set time parameters, the vendor is still obligated to deliver the remaining leads. A good lead generation vendor will review your collateral and design a campaign which not only meets your needs, but does not exceed their limitations. Beware of empty guarantees and upfront invoicing! Be precise in the terms of your campaign. Should your vendor provide a set number of leads at a fixed CPL, or run your campaign for a fixed period of time with a set minimum and maximum number of leads at a fixed price? A good lead generation vendor will give you the option to add profiling questions to your leads without an additional charge. These questions are specifically designed to direct your sales team to the hottest opportunities first, thus immediately impacting ROI. Be on the lookout for hidden costs. The goal for a lead generation vendor should be to provide the highest quality collateral to their audience. A vendor should be 100% flexible with all of your collateral and give you the opportunity to promote as much of it as you like without additional costs.

5 4Is My Vendor Customer Service focused? Lead generation via content promotion can be incredibly labor intensive and time consuming for today s marketing managers. With trade shows, database management, corporate communications, and branding all being on the same plate, most marketing managers simply don t have the resources to put an extensive effort into lead generation. And, as with vendors of any product or service, communication is key to a successful relationship. According to Brian Carroll, author of Lead Generation for the Complex Sale, We [vendors] can t force companies to skip steps [in their buying process], but we can help with lead nurturing by instilling regular and meaningful communication that aids their progress and their process. It is important to find and work with vendors who are flexible to your needs and willing to take on the workload involved with your demand generation initiatives. Does your lead generation vendor offer creative services/support? Writing and designing copy for your promotions is incredibly time consuming. But, different audiences react to copy differently, so it s important to have a vendor who knows how to best market your collateral to your audience, and keep your legwork to a minimum! How many contacts do you have with your vendor? Common rule of thumb, the larger company, the more red tape. If you call to inquire with a vendor, and it takes their sales team more than 24 hours to return your call, imagine how long it will take if the campaign has unexpected problems? Customer service begins way before the contracts are signed, and will be a huge factor in making or breaking your demand gen programs. Has your lead generation vendor ever told you no? A good vendor will always put you, the client, in the best possible situation for success. There will come a time where you have a campaign or initiative that does not match well with their products/services. A customer service-oriented vendor one with your best interests at heart - will openly and honestly pass on the opportunity. A bad vendor will take the money and run.

6 5Does My Vendor Adapt to the Constantly Changing Marketplace? No matter what product/service your company sells, there is one common factor: Your marketplace is always changing/growing. Thus, it is critical that your lead generation vendor is expanding and adapting to mirror the marketplace. Would it be possible to market to IT professionals if your lead generation vendor s audience was still focused on Windows 95? Probably not! Every year companies revolutionize their industries with new products and services. The key to their success is finding a vendor that has the adaptability and foresight to expand their audiences to maximize lead flow - and sales revenue. Does your lead generation vendor continually work to expand its audience? It is important to see a steady trend of growth in their target audience. Without adaptability and growth, your collateral/products will inevitably become stale, and response rates will suffer significantly, impacting your ROI. Lead generation is the foundation of growth and stability for any organization, directly impacting the sales revenue and thus the bottom line of the organization as a whole. Therefore, choosing a lead generation vendor is a key element in the success of your company. While there are numerous considerations, concentrating on the essential elements mentioned above should keep your marketing campaigns on the right track. Never settle for second best or a subpar campaign - demand the very best from your demand generation vendor.

7 About emedia emedia has specialized in generating B2B sales leads and building demand since The company publishes weekly, permission-based bulletins to the desktops of decision makers. These regular releases serve as flexible, very well-received vehicles for getting the latest offers white papers, guides, webinars, trial offers, etc. - to these time-challenged individuals. Our company s expertise and personal service permit routine use of guaranteed costper-lead programs for most clients. emedia publishes nearly 70 niche-oriented bulletins that generate sales leads and drive demand within the following B2B sectors. Companies with solutions targeting decision makers in any of these areas rely on emedia bulletins to hit their demand generation numbers: Information Technology Finance Human Resources Logistics/Manufacturing Electronics Construction Marketing/Sales B2B Events Environmental Mgmt Occupational Health Small Business Project Management Packaging Professional Development Healthcare Tech Design/Control Engineers & Much More Contact emedia at , , or ACCELERATED LEAD GENERATION - ON DEMAND

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