How Much Does a GOOD Marketing Lead Really Cost?

Spoiler (but read on to see some other great info)


One question on the mind of many business owners and marketing professionals today is figuring out what a marketing lead really costs. There are some major differences in how marketing leads work in B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) worlds. But one thing that all businesses can have in common is that inbound marketing is much more cost-effective than out-bound marketing.

HubSpot did a study which revealed that those companies that predominantly used inbound marketing had a cost of 60% less per lead than those that predominantly used outbound marketing. Inbound marketing is using social media, blogs, and your website. Outbound marketing involves advertisements placed in magazines, newspapers, and even billboards, and direct mail. Essentially, inbound means attracting customers to you whereas outbound is about pushing your message out. More and more, inbound marketing is becoming increasingly effective.

To be fair, measuring marketing success using cost-per-lead as a metric isn’t necessarily any good on its own. You have to figure which of those leads are actually ready to buy, of course. The truth is, no matter what method of marketing that you use, your time has to be a factor. Inbound marketing tends to take a lot more time and direct involvement than outbound marketing, but its rewards are greater for several reasons.

Obviously, getting a ton of leads is good. But inbound marketing is about nurturing relationships and while on paper, yes, the cost is lower, it’s more of a time investment. The problem with outbound marketing is that you oftentimes won’t exactly know what may have brought a lead to you. Sometimes, they’ll tell you, of course, but more often than not, it’s harder to gauge effectiveness with outbound. Within inbound, you have a better idea of what’s working and what’s not simply through the amount of engagement or lack thereof.

That doesn’t mean outbound marketing doesn’t have its places, of course. The idea is to use the outbound marketing techniques to drive people to your website, blog, and social media pages. It’s what HubSpot calls “closed-loop marketing.” The idea in all marketing is to capture leads, and your outbound and inbound marketing must work together. That way, they aren’t working separately, which so often happens, and outbound marketing effectiveness is relatively unknown. That you most certainly don’t want.

The actual dollar value of a marketing lead is going to wildly differ not only based on your industry, but what sort of customers you are specifically seeking. What is true, however, is that besides the dollars put into building a website and maintaining advertising channels, it’s time and effort in nurturing those that are your target audience. If you’re focusing on those that you know will be your best possible leads, your cost-per-lead, of course, will rise. So it’s not about how much a lead costs, so much, as much as how much they inevitably become valuable to you.

There are ways to determine if a specific marketing campaign is effective, but if you are curious on an overall level try this very simple calculation to determine how much you spend per lead:


This of course, does not allow for the cost of time, including your time for hiring and training staff, overseeing various marketing activities, etc.

What qualifies as “Marketing / Advertising” can be a subject of debate. I would consider:

  1. ANY paid advertising costs offline and online
  2. Direct and indirect Marketing staff costs.
  3. Job signs, business cards
  4. Vehicle Printing
  5. Website costs
  6. etc…

Some costs you may wish to exclude are:

– Printing Costs (except if used for a trade-show or Marketing event)
– Memberships on Marketing-focused groups (may also be an exclusion – only you can decide)

In any case, the true cost of a marketing lead is how much time and effort you put into obtaining and nurturing each one that you get. The less expensive it is money-wise to obtain them, the better, but no matter how you get your leads, a lot of your time and energy must go into developing them into sales-ready leads and hopefully into loyal customers. 118group focuses on getting you as many inbound leads as possible so that you can spend less of your time looking for leads and putting it all towards nurturing them.

No matter how you boil it down. Leads are probably more than we want to pay. We recommend the use of a tracking tool – or CRM. 118Group has developed its own custom lightweight CRM tool that will allow you to keep in touch with that contact – for as long as they wish to be contacted. Given that a single contact may hire you to perform multiple projects throughout their lifetime, your costs per lead will drastically be reduced.

Interested in our CRM tool? Contact 118Group today to find out more.

The cost of building a website customized to your unique needs depends on a wide variety of factors, including your specific industry and the quality of competitor’s websites. Some industries require a far deeper marketing investment than others.

Spoiler Alert: Custom websites can range from $1,000 – $5,000+ depending on what you put in – and what you want to get out. Read on to find out more…

In the past, there have been websites that were chock full of good information, but were so cluttered and gave too much information to digest. Much of that potentially useful and valuable information was being wasted on pages that never saw any visitors. Other websites have just been filled with cut-rate marketing copy that adds little value to the business. Others still simply present contact information and perhaps a few testimonials from cronies in the industry. Some are functional, but don’t work well at all on mobile and could use streamlining to their design.

A good custom website should at a minimum:
1. Be visually appealing
2. Load properly on a mobile phone (link to responsive design blog post)
3. Provide “just enough” information – in an organized manner.
4. Answer the most common questions your potential clients may ask.
5. Include services offered and service areas.

At 118group, we look to the most affordable ways to create a responsive design website that incorporates only the most important elements that you need. Anything beyond that we will suggest should be used as content for your company blog. With the help of 118group, you can turn a lot of your old website content into good, strong content that can be repurposed in a wide variety of ways. It’s also important to look at what your competitors are doing, see what they’re doing well, and what you can even do better.

A GREAT custom website should at a minimum:
1. Include a blog with fresh content – at least 2-3 times per week.
2. Link to your Social Channels
3. Include an e-Newsletter
4. Compel visitors to contact you
5. Track and store all of those visitors – remind you if you forget to contact them.
6. Have other tools that fuel sales and position you as a market leader.

A GREAT Custom website from 118Group is a lead-generating and client-keeping machine. Every $ you spend will pay you in dividends.

We start simple. Focus on the most important questions your potential clients may have on their mind. If they cannot find an answer, or do not feel you are a good fit – they will go on to your competitor.

We’ll then help you to use any additional content you might have to your advantage: photos, videos, articles, etc. While a beautiful website with a fancy user interface and bright colorful pictures is certainly doable (and can be done for less than you might think), it’s the content that will bring the visitors in. How pretty it looks may keep visitors there for a bit, but it’s the carefully chosen pictures and infographics along with crisply written informative content with powerful calls to action that will convert visitors.

Keep in mind that your website is often a prospect’s first impression of your business. Once you make a great first impression, you keep those leads interested with content from your blog until they’re ready to purchase your services. Of course, not all leads turn into customers, but if your content is good enough, it’s likely it will be shared by those that don’t even purchase your services. You can make fans from your information alone that can then refer your services to others. It’s a win-win situation.

Call us today for a more in-depth analysis of what a realistic website budget looks like for you and your business.

When I was thinking of some tips for this month, I called Kevin Dee of PC House Calls. After a recent PC issue they superbly resolved for me, they have become my “go-to” source for computer information. PC House Calls will either come to your home to fix your PC issue, or if possible, even fix it remotely!

Kevin indicated a recent issue on the rise is Wireless Printer Connectivity issues. Wireless printers have tiny, tiny brains, he says. They’ve become well-known for low reliability. In fact, despite being called “wireless,” you will find that you need a USB wire to at least 1 host machine for it to work properly. A wireless printer is more likely to lose connection than any other wireless device, and they often do not have the capacity to automatically reconnect effectively. This can lead to a lot of headaches and calling up support to print a single piece of paper!


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Search Engines, Social Media channels, and Offline Marketing attract website visitors. Useful and usable websites transform visitors into readers and ideally into clients.

Although there are many important characteristics of a useful website, this post will focus on the importance of your websites ability to be viewed on different computing devices. As mobile phone and tablet usage continue to skyrocket – so does the need for your website to cater to these visitors.

Years ago, the best websites were simply about looking beautiful. However, in 2014, having a just a beautiful desktop website is not nearly as important. It needs to be functional right away, especially for mobile readers. One of our clients, Sell My MetroWest Home receives 50% of their traffic from a mobile device (read the blog about it here). In all honesty, I NEVER thought it would be that high.

Morgan Stanley actually made this prediction in 2010 (Data Source: Business Insider)

Unfortunately, many websites today simply don’t work well on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. They either shrink down to the point of being unreadable, or require an ungodly amount of scrolling around to see what’s going on. Almost no one will stay on a site like that, but more often than not, most websites suffer from this problem.

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Everyone knows that the most important aspect of Marketing a business today is having a strong online presence. Small business owners are always asking about how to boost their online reputations and position themselves personally as industry leaders. Just as it has been for a very long time, your website is still extremely important. While having a regularly updated blog and active social media presence is more relevant than ever, a strong and flexible website is still very important.

Consider the following Infographic below to understand how all of the pieces work together.


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Aside from your online presence playing a vital role in your Sales and Marketing system, face-to-face communication and first impressions remain equally important.

When you smile at someone and hand them a business card, a judgment will be made very quickly about you and your business. Incorporating these 5 Basic Elements of a terrific business card are sure to impress anyone you meet! Read more