Every year brings more and more online business opportunities and ways to make money online. However, the art of selling leads is a great opportunity that is often overlooked. Selling leads can be a great way to make money online and even generate passive income. Let’s take a closer look at how to start selling leads from your website in 2022.
Selling Leads from Your Website: Another Way to Monetize Your Site
While there are many ways to monetize a website and make money online, almost all businesses grow by making sales, and sales are made by contacting leads. In other words, your site may already be generating valuable leads, and you may already have a new potential revenue stream available to you.
There are typically two ways that sites monetize their leads:
- Selling excess leads. If you have a very effective e-commerce funnel, you may be getting more customer inquiries than you can handle. Instead of disappointing potential customers, you may sell these excess leads to other companies that want more business. In this way, you can prevent negative public perceptions, make extra money, and can also turn competitors into partners.
- Creating a lead generation site. While many websites collect leads as part of doing their ordinary operations, and have other sources of revenue, lead generation sites exist exclusively to collect and sell leads. This specialization allows them to focus on only one step in the customer journey, and concentrate on targeted verticals or demographics. In 2022, lead generation websites are more popular than ever, and are a very effective way to make money online.
Whichever method you decide to pursue for your online business, here is a brief overview of how selling leads works.
What are Leads?
Put simply, leads are the contact information for a real person who has expressed interest in purchasing a product or service. A lead can be as simple as a name and a phone number or email address, but the more information a lead contains, the better.
In most cases, buyers are only interested in “qualified leads”: a real person who is actually interested in purchasing the product or service the buyer is selling. In other words, this person didn’t simply fill out an online form in order to win a prize, make a comment, or download a pdf; they are actually a potential buyer.
While it is always possible to simply purchase or create lists of people’s names and contact information, those lists aren’t really “leads.” An attempt to contact those people and sell them a product or service is likely to be perceived as spamming, and the buyer does not get much value from such lists.
How to Collect Leads?
To create qualified leads, a potential customer has to voluntarily provide their name and contact information. In most cases, websites collect this data when the potential customer fills out an online form. But it’s important to consider what motivates people to fill out these kinds of forms.
After all, every website, and almost every web page, has a “contact us” link. Collecting leads means motivating people to fill out the form, which means considering your vertical.
Your vertical is simply considering the specific product or service your website is selling, and making sure that your website is compelling enough to motivate visitors to fill out your collection form. If you choose a highly specialized industry, you may be able to attract very motivated visitors who want exactly what you are offering, but you may collect fewer leads per week.
If you choose a more generic industry, you may get more traffic, but have a harder time attracting highly qualified leads. Some of the most profitable verticals for lead selling are:
- Home services
- Mortgage and real estate
- Senior care and assisted living
When gathering leads, more information is better. While many visitors won’t complete long, detailed, personal forms, if your site has a clear and specific offer, your leads are usually more specific and easier to qualify.
- Lead 1: Jane Doe at [email protected] signed up for my free stuff newsletter
- Lead 2: Joan Doe at [email protected] wants to hire a Mandarin tutor for weekly lessons in her CST time zone
Lead 2 is a more valuable lead, because she seems more likely to actually make a purchase when contacted by the appropriate company.
How to Sell Leads from Your Website
There are many ways to sell leads from your website. Most people choose one of these options:
Work with a Lead Purchasing Company
There are hundreds of lead brokers, working in networks or wholesale, who are happy to buy qualified leads. There are also hundreds of specialized lead buying companies for specific verticals, which may offer more money for qualified leads in that industry. When working with a lead broker, there are a few things to consider:
The Value of Your Leads
The company you work with may have specific requests or guidelines for qualified leads, so you may need to adjust your site, strategy, or collection process to get the leads that are worth the most to that brokerage.
Can You Add Value to Your Leads?
There are many ways that you can add value to your leads, but they can be monotonous and time consuming. For example, if you use the provided contact information and make sure that the provided email address or phone number is valid, the lead becomes more valuable. If your lead generation form includes specific opt-ins, your leads may be more valuable. If your site creates highly motivated buyers, your leads may be more valuable.
Create Their Own Lead Market
Unlike affiliate marketing, there are no rules that govern how and to whom you sell your leads. You may choose to contact the sales department at a huge range of companies and make a deal directly with them for your leads. You may partner with similar businesses around the country and sell leads based on geographic area. When creating your own lead market, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Exclusivity. The most valuable leads are leads that are new, and have only been provided once to one company, but many leads are sold over and over. Will your lead network allow leads to be re-sold, or will you offer/require exclusivity?
- Data management. Many larger lead networks have apps and established processes that collect and deliver leads, as well as automating payment. Many of these systems also work with the end buyer’s CRM, so their database is automatically updated. If you need to manually format and distribute your leads, as well as collecting payment, your administrative costs may be higher.
Use a Lead Generating Site Creator
Just like the many online services that will sell you a ready-made, white-label, e-commerce website, there are many services that will sell you a ready-made lead generation site like Human Proof Designs for example. For these kinds of services, your primary task is simply to generate enough traffic to the site to create the leads that you are paid for. When working with these sites, here are the factors to consider:
- Is it a good fit for you? Some of these services don’t even allow you to edit the site they create for you. Many online entrepreneurs want to express their interests, connect with their community, and showcase their expertise. Would you rather grow a business of your own, or simply make money promoting someone else’s?
- Does it make sense financially? Some of these sites are scams, offering passive income and then charging you money for services and information that can be had for free elsewhere. Because the websites are generic and use very similar language for everyone using the service, it is hard to generate unique traffic and stand out. Be skeptical of these claims, do the math, and make sure it’s a good decision.
Lead Generation and Security
Because generating and selling leads requires you to collect, store, and distribute customer data, there are a few things to be mindful of:
Using two-factor authentication keeps customer data more secure, and also adds value to your leads. You may also need to protect your site from API threats and use secure means of exporting and transporting lead data.
Disclosures and Opt-ins
High value leads have “opted in” – in other words, they want someone to contact them with more information about the offer on your site. Some of the most effective lead generation forms include checkboxes that ensure that your visitor is opting in for your data management practices.
Selling leads from your website is a great way to make money online, especially if you are an expert at crafting a great funnel and generating traffic. It’s an excellent online business for people who are independent, entrepreneurial, and naturally good at sales.
You can create as many different lead generation sites in as many different verticals as you choose, and find or create many different markets for your leads. For people who find affiliate marketing too restrictive, lead generation is a great alternative.