Another Day – Another Online Marketing Cost Metric

Yesterday my colleague, Erin, wrote about Google’s test of a “cost per action” pricing model for content network advertising. Here’s hoping that this test gains a little more traction than the ill-fated “click-to-call” beta. (Sure, I’ll pay $80 for the chance to sell my $15 widget. Thank you, um, NO!)

While Google’s efforts of late are all fine and good for folks hawking widgets right from their e-commerce website, I’d like to take it one step further for those of us in the online lead generation biz.

With an offline conversion model, typically the only online “action” that occurs is the generation of a lead, and we all know that in this corner of the marketing world “quality is king.”

Rather than an “action” or “conversion” based metric, there’s been buzz within the online lead-generation zeitgeist about measuring the cost of a qualified lead. That’s right, not just any old lead, but a well-qualified, living, breathing & shouting “yes I’m buyin what you’re sellin” person.

Paying only for a well-qualified lead may seem like a dream for the online lead-gen community, but this holy grail is not far off. As with cost per action, demand for such metrics/pricing models will drive technology.

Some time ago, I wrote about evaluating the value of a lead, and how it compares to the cost one should be willing to pay for a lead. Those formulas change dramatically when considering the value of a well-qualified lead.

The correlation between increased lead quality and increased close rate or conversion rate is as natural as flowers in spring. So to is the increased value of said well-qualified lead. Listen up G.

So tell me, fellow online lead-gen pros, how much are you willing to pay for a well-qualified lead?