Cost-Per-Lead Search Advertising: Generate Leads and Connect with Future Customers at the Zero Moment of Truth

by Keisha Stephen-Gittens

Why Cost-Per-Lead ads for your business?

Wouldn’t our business world feel like a better place if we had unlimited advertising budgets? Sadly, this is not the reality and limitations sometimes challenge us. Brands and small businesses in particular are constantly looking for reasons to justify spending or making wise and appropriate investment decisions for search marketing strategy. ROI is always key. Therefore, generating quality leads and establishing relationships with customers can impact on long term business success.

Imagine being able to capture valuable information from your target audience at the ‘Zero Moment of Truth‘ while they are actively searching online within your product or service category. Yahoo! in conjunction with Inadco (a CPL ad network for display advertising) is now offering this option to businesses right from their search engine results page (SERP) with the introduction of the Cost-Per-Lead Search Ad Format in Yahoo! Search.

CPL Ad Format in Yahoo / Inadco

Yahoo Cost Per Lead Ad Example

What is clever and quite interesting is that the new ad format appears on the first page of the Yahoo! SERP under a company’s organic listing as a short form that can be completed by the user, blending paid advertisement into organic search results.

According to Search Engine Land, it is marked as, “Ad from”, with the advertiser’s name following; and can collect demographic information, email addresses or phone numbers. The layout consists of a headline, logo and up to six individual fields for users to fill out. A customizable message can also be included to respond to users who have completed the form, for example, “Thank you” or “We will contact you soon.” Advertisers who add this CPL feature to their search campaign will only pay for each completed form or valid lead. It is not clear at this time if the format will be adapted to mobile searches.

Businesses can generate leads, signups, subscriptions all from the search engine results page and use this information to build their own email lists to inform users about special sales, news, events and drive traffic to their website. This feature is also reported to give a 6% lift to organic traffic just by having the ad form included. But most importantly, this information can be used to collect audience research. Knowing who your potential customers are and exactly who is searching for you can be instrumental in forming personas for SEO content creation and tailored messaging.
 

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Let’s put this into perspective. If a user is searching for “cookies,” a bakery that appears in the organic listing using the CPL feature can then ask that user to sign up for free recipes and specials. That bakery now has the user’s email address, telephone number and geographic location.  A restaurant can ask a user for his/her name, age and other information to sign up for birthday dinner specials or discounts; or a tax company can ask users to complete the form to be contacted for a free tax evaluation.  The possibilities are many and leads can equate to new business.

Lead Generation Strategies in Yahoo Search

 

you got leads
Face it – you can never find out too much about your audience, but with consumers becoming ever so aware and in some cases paranoid about spammers and their privacy, will they be willing to participate and view this as trustworthy? Leveraging Yahoo’s brand equity, Inadco is uniquely positioned to divert some search marketing dollars from Google, who has not introduced a similar paid advertising product into its organic search results and geographic location.  business. Testing this innovative trend will be the only way to answer that question objectively. The fact is that people who do complete the form are those who hold more of an invested interest in your product or service and may be easier to convert once targeted properly. The key may be to communicate this engagement in a direct way that will be helpful or the answer to consumers’ needs.

Keisha Stephen-GittensKeisha Stephen-Gittens (@KeishaSG) is enthusiastic about digital marketing and is currently completing a graduate degree at New York University in Integrated Marketing. Before becoming an NYU student she worked at McCann Worldgroup in Trinidad and Tobago. One word that describes Keisha: effervescent! Learn more about Keisha here.

About Matthew Capala

Matthew Capala (@SearchDecoder) is a growth-focused Internet marketer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of SearchDecoder, a place for bootstrap marketing ideas for entrepreneurs, Adj. Professor at NYU, Author of "SEO Like I'm 5" and dynamic speaker.

4 Responses to Cost-Per-Lead Search Advertising: Generate Leads and Connect with Future Customers at the Zero Moment of Truth

  1. Amy January 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    Very good read. I just recently read a article that indicated that very few marketers generrally really understand search marketing and how to monetize this. While not directly impacted by the ZMOT principle cited here, it is a general indication of how much growth there is to become more educated on paid and organic search (Aricle: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/190603/study-consumers-dont-fully-understand-social-med.html#axzz2HZyaLZTG)

    Regarding this post, I was wondering what Yahoo’s share of the search spend is compared to the other search engines and whether it was growing or decreasing? Does it cost the advertiser more $$ to have this tool? Also considering the privacy nature of the internet and desire to protect identities, people are going to be less willing to provide personal information unless there is an explicit benefit for doing so. There are plenty of benefits for the advertiser here so it will be great to see how creative companies will be in gathering this detail. Thanks for sharing this!!

    • sear1425 January 10, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

      Hi Amy – thanks for sharing your thoughts and the article – to answer your question, my best estimate is that Yahoo’s share of PPC ad dollars would be comprable to its search market share – in the US it is around 12% now and it has been declining for the past few years – worth mentioning that Yahoo is using Bing’s search technology so that advertisers are buying paid search on Yahoo through AdCenter platform – bringing the CPL in organic search to market – this product is actually bought through Inadco and works like a media buy on a fixed CPL basis

    • Keisha Stephen-Gittens January 11, 2013 at 5:28 am #

      Hi Amy!
      With regards to your comment on the privacy nature and people being less willing to provide personal information, I agree that there needs to be a benefit or a need being met to encourage this type of engagement. Persons who are actively engaged searching for related products or services may take interest in receiving information about free offers, financial tips or receiving a personal phone call for more details. We will be sure to continue paying close attention to this ad format and follow up with any developments.

  2. Monica De La Villa February 24, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    Hello everyone!

    The first thing that came up in my mind was the willingness of people to not only share their information but also to take the time to do it. I agree that businesses need to give them a strong reason why.

    If I were an advertiser I would try to explore a crowd-sourcing kind of approach, in this way it would be a win-win interaction instead of just the business being benefited from people’s data. In a crowd-sourcing environment people feel that they are actually contributing, therefore their engagement is inevitable.

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