You’re about to find out the dirty, low-down dirt on shared internet roofing leads…
Cheap leads are cheap for a reason. Those crappy, cheap, internet roofing leads — the kind who won’t answer their phone, and refuse to call or email you back — are much worse than the money you blow buying them.
When you feed your sales team a run of bad leads it kicks off a chain reaction death spiral in your company.
You’re sweating bullets because of all the money you’re investing. You’ve got your hopes up because you want to believe your new source of cheap roofing leads is going to pay off big time. You’re already counting all the money you’re going to make. You’ve got your fingers (and toes) crossed for good luck.
You start spending some real money as those leads start coming in bunches. Meanwhile, the pressure is on for your sales team to produce the contracts. They have to make your investment pay off.
Unfortunately, they aren’t having a lick of luck.
Even your best salesperson can’t get those leads to call them back. They’ve even driven by a few of the homes, but still, no sales.
You keep waiting for good news, but your good news never comes.
Sales Get Worse
This is where things get worse–much worse.
Eventually, your sales team will quit working your few good leads as hard as they could because now they’re thinking all your leads are bad.
Their confidence is shaken because they aren’t closing, and that is having an impact on their motivation and attitude.
You’ve even tried running a few of those bad leads yourself and now your confidence is shaken, too. You try to keep a positive attitude, but you know something is wrong with your leads.
We all know that commission salespeople who lose their confidence go broke really fast.
If your salespeople aren’t making money, you aren’t making money.
That money you wasted on cheap internet leads was just the tip of the iceberg. If you don’t cut your losses now, cancel the service, get out of the contract, and give up on those bad leads, you’ll eventually drown your sales team in a depression that could take your whole company down.
My Marketing Background
I want you to know why you should take my advice when it comes to the success of your online marketing.
When I advise you to steer clear of almost all shared online roofing leads, I know exactly what I’m talking about because I’ve been behind the scenes at the highest levels of internet marketing and lead generation.
According to my wife, I have a lot to learn about some things in life, but on a few important topics, namely sales and marketing, some people say I’m a genius. Hey, we all have our blind spots, don’t we?
I took a job with a Fortune 500 corporation a few years ago when roofing work was super slow–and we desperately needed the health insurance.
The company needed a lead generation expert to help manage their advertising staff and I came highly recommended. I was entrusted with a team of more than 50 account managers who handled over 17,000 advertising accounts with millions of dollars in monthly advertising spend.
When it comes to lead generation, I know what I’m talking about.
Good Traffic & Good Leads
Here’s an important question you should be asking…
Exactly how do lead generation companies get the roofing leads they sell you?
Most want you to believe they’re doing SEO (search engine optimization) to get quality traffic. Ranking a website high in the search engines can bring in a lot of free traffic. To be fair, most of these lead generation companies are at least trying SEO because the lure of free traffic is hard to resist.
Unfortunately, the rules for ranking with SEO are constantly changing. What works today may not work tomorrow. It is hard to build a lead generation business on traffic that is inconsistent. When their website disappears from the first page of the search engines, most of their free traffic goes away, too.
Those companies will also tell you they’re buying PPC (pay per click) traffic from quality sites like Google. They have to spend money on PPC to get consistent, quality traffic to their lead generation websites — there’s your 1st clue as to what really works in lead generation.
Remember, Google does not make money from SEO (search engine optimization), but they make stacks of cash from selling PPC (pay per click) traffic to advertisers.
The bottom line is that companies who sell good roofing leads need a steady stream of high-quality traffic.
When they can get some of that traffic to fill out a lead form on their website, they make money when they sell that lead to you — and a few of your closest competitors. They know the fastest way to get quality traffic is to buy it, but it can be extremely expensive to buy clicks.
Those expensive click charges, and the fact that SEO is so unreliable, is why many lead generation companies start using affiliates for their traffic and leads. That’s where things can go terribly bad.
Let me explain how things can go so bad…
Because buying pay per click traffic can get expensive, and search engine optimization traffic isn’t always dependable, lead generation companies might buy the leads they sell you from an affiliate marketer.
An affiliate marketer gets paid for generating leads.
The lead generation company doesn’t pay an affiliate marketer a dime until their traffic converts into a lead. They only pay for leads; not traffic.
When the affiliate gets a lead, the lead generation company pays the affiliate for the lead, and then they sell the lead to you. The lead generation company pays the affiliate more for some leads (e.g. full replacement, metal roofs, etc.) and less for other leads (e.g. roof repairs).
This kind of relationship can work out great for the lead generation company because they don’t have to spend as much money on PPC or worry about website rankings with SEO.
Again, they only spend money when their affiliate generates a lead — which they immediately turn around and sell for a nice profit to you (and a few of your closest competitors.)
Sounds legit so far, right?
Unfortunately, not all internet traffic is created equal. You have good traffic and bad traffic.
Good traffic, the kind that can generate good, solid roofing leads, is usually expensive. If the traffic is good, it will probably be expensive because the law of supply and demand will drive the price up. Nothing good is ever cheap for long. Good costs money because good can make money.
On the other hand, bad traffic can be cheap — super cheap!
Liars, thieves, and cheaters would rather work with bad traffic, or buy a little good traffic and sprinkle it in with a bunch of bad traffic to lower their overall costs.
The most common trick bad affiliates use is incentivized traffic.
They’ll buy some cheap clicks and send those people to a landing page offering a free drawing for an iPad, or some other attractive incentive, in exchange for a completed lead form.
It doesn’t take many cheap clicks to find someone willing to fill out a roofing lead form in exchange for a chance to win some cool electronic gear. The bad affiliate knows their new roofing “lead” has no intention of buying a roof. They just wanted to win an iPad.
The worst kind of affiliate fraud happens when a bad affiliate pays someone to visit their website and fill out a bogus lead form so they can get paid. This kind of fraud is extremely common, but seldom talked about, because it makes the lead generation company money.
There’s even some shady companies, many in third world countries, that will fill out forms all day long for a few dollars a day. They use automated software tools to create fake names, match them with existing addresses, and register a new email addresses to submit on the lead form.
If you wonder why your cheap internet roofing leads won’t call you back, it’s because those people either had no intention of ever buying a new roof, or they simply don’t exist.
I have to say this because it is only prudent, but not all affiliates are bad. There are good affiliates. However, if you’re getting a mix of cheap internet roofing leads from one good affiliate, and ten bad affiliates, you’re still flushing your money down the drain, killing your salespeople’s confidence, and risking the future of your company.
Most lead generation companies offer lead credits for bad leads.
If you’ve ever tried to get a lead credit for a bad lead, you know it isn’t always easy to get your money back.
There are strict rules about what they consider a bad lead and how quickly you have to report the bad lead back to them. If you don’t abide by their return rules, you lose your money.
Most lead generation companies make it easy to take your money, but harder to get a refund.
Here’s another important point: Because the lead company didn’t directly generate the bad lead, there’s a thin layer of plausible deniability that allows them to deny any knowledge of alleged fraud, if there was any fraud at all. Fraud is extremely difficult to prove in affiliate marketing, especially when you don’t want to prove it.
It’s also difficult to prove affiliate fraud because when an affiliate is generating leads, and making the lead generation company money, it’s hard for them to want to get rid of the bad affiliate. No lead generation company ever wonders how they can make less money.
Cancel Shared Leads
Yes, some roofing companies will finally get wise and cancel their shared internet roofing leads. Others will continue to pay for the leads because not 100% of the leads are bad. They know they aren’t making much money, but they’re too afraid to quit. They don’t know what else to do.
Lead generation companies with an affiliate fraud problem will sometimes make an attempt to clean house if they start losing enough business, but it’s much easier to just find another contractor to replace the one they lost. As W.C. Fields once famously said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
This is why it’s almost always more expensive (and usually much better) to generate your own roofing leads. You can generate good roofing leads that are exclusive to your roofing company. The leads are more expensive because the leads are better.
If you want to know how much it would cost to develop a professional roofing leads program for your company, contact me.
P.S. Yes, it is entirely possible to build a professional marketing program to generate roofing leads using SEO, MAPS Optimization, and Social Media marketing. Contact me and we’ll setup an appointment to show you waht is possible for your roofing company.