RANT: Third Party Leads

October 2nd, 20127:49 am @


So I pretty much went on a total rant the other day when I got asked this question:

I’m working a deal with a Ford store in XX,XX who’s asked if we have any recommendations for a 3rd party lead provider who’s hot right now.
Anyone know of any you’d suggest they look into?

We are a marketing company, and we’re pretty darn good at it, too. My response, in short, is below… Agree? Disagree? Have anything to add? Comment below.

The game of chasing the next “hot” 3rd party lead provider is never ending, and rarely fruitful. I, like you and many of the rest of us, have spent tens of thousand of dollars for low-performing next-greatest-thing 3rd party leads, when the real ROI was very low. The highest ROI comes by marketing to his own database (via GoldDigger; also the eDigital team puts together some amazing email marketing; and I’ve heard great things about our direct mail campaigns). Then, home grown 1st party leads have super-high ROI and, again, our eDigital team puts together some great on/off-site SEO, profitable microsites, PPC campaigns; and if he still has just the default Ford dealer website he could probably double his leads quickly just by changing that. Or at the very least, optimizing the site he currently has (most I see are terrible). He’ll get the best bang-for-his-buck here. There’s really enough leads to be gotten from 1st party web leads he shouldn’t have time to look at anything 3rd party.

Then, there’s the question of– what is he doing with the leads he’s got? Is he at a 15% + closing ratio on internet leads? What’s his process? If they aren’t handling the leads he has now properly, how will his money be wisely spent throwing it at lower-quality 3rd party leads? Why spend more money for a lower ROI, when you can invest a little in training that will help him spend the same for a higher ROI?

Sorry, I know you know all this, but it’s a peeve of mine that I keep hearing so many dealers ask about 3rd party leads when there’s a harvest of better 1st party leads at their feet and they just won’t bend down to pick them up!

— to answer your question, I’ve not seen any 3rd party provider that more than just 1 store was happy with.

William Bryant | National Trainer