Jan RoosFull-stack lead gen from clicks to phone calls
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Founder Expert Engines. Full stack lead gen from clicks to phone calls with success in dozens of the most competitive markets in North America.



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Hi Jad,

I run in a similar space (lead generation for law firms) and the options for partnership are similar despite the deal size. You basically have (from least to most involvement):

1. Set up only
2. Retainer for service
3. Pay Per Lead
4. Commission on closed business
5. Equity ownership

I also get offers for pay per lead arrangements regularly, and have also paid for services to generate leads for my own business in the past. Here are the challenges I see with the model.

1. More demanding on cashflow. My company uses google ad funnels to generate leads but even if you're pure play service you have wages to take care of before you're seeing money. Much more challenging to take on a client like this.

2. Very high touch. I consider myself a pretty easy customer with most things. When I was paying $XX per lead for emails generated, I became very aware of the quality of each individual lead. If someone responded 'k' and that was forwarded to me with the same enthusiasm as 'yes I'm interested let's book some time to talk', I wasn't too happy. I would get in touch with the lead generator and say that's not a lead I want to pay for.

You're setting yourself up to be questioned on every lead if this is the case. Also, due to point #1 you're also in the hole financially when this happens.

With a retainer it's easier to look at things on aggregate and accept the bell curve of lead quality that will come in a given billing cycle.

3. Lack of commitment. In my experience clients are seeking arrangements like this because they don't have the budget to commit to a retainer which almost always has more upside. You could spend a lot of time and money on a client that has none and will never have any.

That's why I don't do pay per lead. Hope this helps!

Jan


As a consumer, I'm a big fan of disintermediation as a business model. I can buy a mattress for under $1000 that would have cost 3-5x that because of companies like Casper and Leesa. I'm not paying for a bloated, unnecessary supply chain to get it to me.

MLM introduces more hungry mouths to feed by the nature of it's business model. Where is that profit comings from? Three possibilities

1. Nowhere - the company is operating at a loss
2. The consumer - paying far more than they would for an identical good to support the passive income lifestyle used in recruiting materials
3. Failed distributors. There are pyramid scheme investigations for huge MLM companies making in some cases under 20% of profits from 'non-distributors' ie real customers.

I'm not in favor of any of those so I do not agree with multi level marketing business. Not here to make an ethical argument, it just doesn't add up from an economic perspective.


Why a coach? You'll probably have an easier time finding a hire or someone outside to help. There's no shame in bringing on skills in another person instead of building them in yourself.

If a venture backed startup founder told you that they've lost tens of thousands in revenue from server downtime, would you recommend that they hire a coach and learn it themselves?

It would likely be cheaper, faster and more effective to get an outside IT service provider, and at some point it would make sense to build a team internally.

Maintaining a competitive skill set is tough enough in one discipline. There is a big opportunity cost to trying to chase two.


It's sort of an own vs. rent question. You can get advice on demand from someone on clarity whenever you want, but it's not likely they will go to bat (or go to bat for free) in the same way someone with equity will.

I viciously defended equity in my first company but my partner and I were responsible for all growth. The big upside connections, etc that can a good mentor can bring (especially one with relevant industry experience and contacts) are not something you'll be able to get on an hourly rate.

It kind of backs in to the old 100% of a grape or 50% of a watermelon question that comes up when raising VC. Except in this instance it's 100% of a grape vs 99%+ of a watermelon because advisory roles usually don't take a ton of equity.


Lot of ways

1. Target their fans on facebook - if they are big (20k+) you should be able to select them as an interest
2. Bid on the same keywords as them on adwords search and/or display - this requires some technical chops but there are ways to find your competition's placements. If you can get there and present a better ad and/or outbid them, you can get the clicks they are used to getting.
3. Find where their customers are spending time online - another thing that will take some chops but you can find out what blogs, facebook pages, etc your competition's fans are looking at and get in front of them there. This is an indirect method.

Most of the other options you will have are some variation on that theme. Make sure you have a way to stay in front of them (like retargeting or email marketing) if you want to make your investment go as far as possible!

Good luck


Do you know how your best customers are finding you through adwords? If you have a big enough data set there's likely some commonality.

It's a gross oversimplification but if you can track them from start to finish, there's no reason you should have to continue acquiring the $30 customers.


If you're CAN-SPAM compliant, showing unsubscribe links, physical address etc, you don't have a policy problem. You have a relevance problem.

Frequency and chasing prospects are not bad, as a matter of fact they can be quite good. But you have to be relevant to what the customer expects to get this to work.

Let me go through a purposefully ridiculous example: let's say I run a pet store that sells dogs, cats and fish.

You're in the market for a puppy. So you click on my facebook ad for the puppy owner manual (or the google ad, or the list drop, or whatever) and enter your email.

You get your puppy email but you also start getting cat and fish emails. 2 out of 3 emails are about litter boxes and aquariums. Worse yet, it's international cat week and I'm hitting you every day with a liquidation sale offer for kittens.

You unsubscribe. And you hit SPAM. Because you never asked for that.

On the other hand, if you happened to get dog emails, you would probably be interested in them and stay on the list. In fact, since you're in the market you would probably take as much as you can get.

Same frequency on the surface, totally different story with relevance.

You don't have to have multiple products to take advantage of this. You always will have multiple customer motivations and often will have separate avatars.

It boils down to marketing strategy and is implemented throughout your customer acquisition process from inbound/outbound lead gen all the way through marketing automation.


To build on what Sarah said - you can also look within channel if you have access to someone with the technical chops.

Some ad groups or campaigns could be driving "worst" leads and others could be driving "best" ones. To cut off the channel is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

UTM tags in adwords (or any other platform these days) will be key to figuring this out. If you get leads on the phone, there are awesome solutions out there as well.


The typical consultant answer is 'test it' but there are some good places to start.

People generally start checking email when they show up to work (yes that includes personal). Sending around 8:30AM will give you a good shot of being at the top of their inbox then.

Another good time is before lunch break. Shoot for something around 12:00PM for this.

If you have an email provider that allows you to adapt your send to the local time, use that. But if not, go for EST. Close to 50% of the US population lives in that, with another 30% one hour behind in central.


Everything has a root cause. Let me run you through a personal example.

I live with my girlfriend and we used to have problems with not having dishes. Instead of looking at the symptom (no dishes) I decided to look at the system (the dishwashing cycle in our apartment).

Dishes start in the cupboard, are taken out as needed during the day, go to the sink, are cleared to the dishwasher, are cleaned, and then are returned to the cupboard.

In our case, the problem was in dishes not returning to the sink or piling up in the sink. The fix was to make sure dishes are in the dishwasher at the end of the day - this was the "SOP" I added to our life as a result of this problem.

The result? No more dish problems.


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