What's an Inbound Lead Worth?
Creating "goal" page values is challenging for some Websites because not all goals are tangible. If you're selling widgets at $20 each, your goal page will be the “thanks for purchasing” page; the goal value is the amount of each purchase. That’s an easy e-commerce scenario.
However, if the goal of your site is to capture inbound leads, it’s far more challenging to determine the value of each lead. Such cases include:
- Newsletter subscription: "Thanks for Subscribing" page
- Contact us: "Thanks for Your Inquiry" page
- Other intangible goals: site engagement, visit depth, visit duration, etc.
Establishing a goal value for pages such as these noted above seems elusive. Still for computing ROI on pay-per-click campaigns and other Web marketing objectives, you should at least set rough values. Here are a few ways organizations can do this:
1. In some industries, leads are bought and sold like commodities. For example, in the finance industry a lead might be worth $30. If your business buys leads from a 3rd party, you have a good start at determining your goal value.
2. If you buy marketing lists you can do the math to figure the value of a single email newsletter subscriber. Best to do this not based on price per address bought, but instead price per real subscriber after initial "cold" emails.
3. In some cases, you can "back into" a goal value. Start by figuring what percent of leads your sales team can close and the average value of a closed sale. For example, if your sales team can close 10 percent of leads, and the average sale amount for each closed lead is $2,000, use 10 percent of $2,000 or $200 as your goal value.
4. You also can ‘back into’ values dividing last year’s sales by the number of leads you had. As an example, $2,000,000 in sales divided by 4,000 leads =$500 value per lead.
5. If you do a lot of coupons or discounting, chances are that those values are close to your goal value. If a $50 coupon is common for you, start with that as your goal value.
6. Guestimate! The main thing in goal values is to have some kind of benchmark even if it’s an estimate. You could establish that newsletter subscriptions are worth $20, ‘contact us’ requests are worth $40, and a 5-minute site visit is worth $5. Use a rough number if necessary and try to refine it as you get more data about the quality of your inbound Web leads! It is far better to have some benchmark than none.