If you are new to PPC, you probably scramble to find the right combination of keywords and ad text required to convince users to become leads and will fail. You hear that consumers on the internet look for businesses like yours – but when you launch your campaign you hardly get any relevant clicks, and no leads. You stay up late at night and feel like Neo in The Matrix – you just know you are missing something about PPC for lead generation. Why do qualified consumers click on your competitors ads instead of yours? When consumers do come to the site, why don’t they fill out the form? Allow me to be Morpheus: I am here to tell you that it is not a keyword and ad text issue. The piece missing from your PPC campaign is a compelling offer for PPC lead generation. I do not mean that your business does not have a solid product to offer (hopefully it does), I refer to the need to provide a compelling offer to entice users to fill our your form. You create a compelling offer for users to fill out a form, put that offer on both your landing page and ad and you will see an increased click-through rate and conversion rate. Consumers value their information and privacy, you are going to have to bribe them with compelling lead generation offers.
But Adam – are these users still qualified if they just became leads because of a compelling lead generation offer? In one word – yes. Take some time and look at the largest and most successful lead generation companies in the country. You see these companies do just fine by providing compelling lead generation offers in exchange for leads. Like any other way your business acquires leads, not every lead is qualified but it is a far better business situation to have too many leads than too few. If you are receiving too many leads, you can screen them by adding a qualifier to your form such as When do you plan on purchasing or Size of company or whatever you use to qualify your leads. As a definition: a compelling lead generation offer for PPC lead generationis an offer that a consumer receives, that has perceived value to the consumer. To receive this offer a consumer provides their information to the company, usually via an online form. Compelling lead generation offers come in many forms ranging from white papers, to audio, to free trial offers. Here is what a compelling lead generation offer from a PPC campaign looks like on a landing page:



Looking at the example (for Eloqua) this type of compelling lead generation offer is for a white paper and allows the consumers to feel like they receive something of value in exchange for their information. Offers allow users to feel good about providing their information and are less scary than signing up for a service right then. Think about it logically – a user comes to your site and has no idea about your company. It is pretty unlikely that they are just going to make a large purchase right there on the spot. In terms of the sales funnel this consumer is near the top and what they require is more information. Lead generation businesses typically are part of a longer sales funnel and this gets your company’s foot in the door

Here are three compelling lead generation offers that we recommend utilizing:


1. Free Trial Offer


The above offer is from our friends at MOZ (which we highly recommend for Inbound marketing). Offering a free trial is the most effective form of lead generation offer that we know of. This is because a free trial immediately benefits both the consumer and the company. From the consumer side:

  • The consumers side they risk nothing
  • It is literally a trial they get to judge if they like the product or not

From the vendors side:

  • The user becomes invested in your product
  • The user is exposed to your culture
  • You get the users information and can continue to market to them

To make it easier for the user, you may want to even extend the offer without taking their credit card information. It has been our experience that this will increase the amount of sign-ups, but then you have to deal with the problem of sign-ups from the same consumer from different email addresses.

Additionally, if you do not offer a software I have seen many companies successfully offer a free consultation. The problem with the free consultation, is that there are so many companies offering that lead generation offer that you may just become another voice in the crowd.  See the example below for Philadelphia lawyers. A lawyer could probably stand out from the crowd and generate leads by offering a free eBook, or a discount.


2. White Paper/eBook


A white paper is an educational report that helps to guide the user. They are often a “how-to” guide that simplifies a difficult process and while doing so discusses your product or service in passing. In the example you can see that the white paper is Automated Lead Scoring and Nurturing and is for the company Pardot (an automated marketing software). The white paper is semantically related to the service which a consumer should be interested in. It is important that white papers/eBooks actually provide educational value or it will turn the consumer off of you business. you don’t want them to just be a promotion for your product or service. Benefits of the white paper to the consumer are:

  • They get to see the quality of work that your company puts out
  • They learn something valuable

Benefits of white papers/eBooks to the vendor are:

  • You get to demonstrate that you are an expert in the field
  • You get to demonstrate the quality of work that you put out
  • You get to frame the conversation and can lead consumers down the path that you want
  • Can help build your brand image and differentiate your company from the competitors

3. Offer the Use of a Tool

AdWords Grader

This example comes from WordStream, which allows you to use their grader tool in exchange for your information. This is a common tactic for digital marketing companies and insurance companies. If the tool is constructed well it provides value to your visitors.

What types of offers are you using for PPC lead generation?

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Adam Lundquist (@adamlundquist) is the Paid Search Director at Majux Marketing a Philadelphia based digital marketing company. He was Santa Barbara’s #1 Morning Show Host, an Army soldier, and recently a Harvard graduate. Adam cuts through the marketing noise to create digital marketing campaigns with clear business oriented goals and objectives. He has been featured in The Harvard Gazette, Search Engine Journal, Mtv, Vh1, Sports Illustrated, and Moz.