When I talk with movers about their business, one topic comes up again and again:
How bad their online moving leads are.
The thing is…Internet leads seem like an amazing businesses opportunity.
What’s not to love about in-the-moment contacts for people seeking a mover? They do bring in business, but unfortunately, there's a lot of shady business and poor management in the background that dilutes their value for movers.
Just last week I had a great conversation with Nick, a mover in North Carolina, who says on average 30% of his online leads (from a MAJOR provider) are bogus. Even I was shocked.
A 30% failure rate!
What else can you bomb that often and still have a business!?
If you’re paying $5-$10 per lead, it should be possible to get great leads but most providers aren’t delivering quality. Each bad lead costs you time & money, creates unpleasant experiences, and...increases the likelihood of profanities when you call.
So, why aren’t your internet leads better? Here are a few insights to help you understand what’s going on behind the scenes.
WHY SO MANY INTERNET MOVING LEADS SUCK
First things first: What is an Affiliate?
Moving lead providers pull leads from their websites when site visitors fill out a moving quotes form. Even huge sites need more volume than their sites can provide — so they build affiliate relationships with Third Parties. A "Third Party" can be anyone (including a college kid sitting around in his underwear).
They pay these affiliates for the leads they deliver.
Ok, everything seems just hunky dory so far…but things get messy fast.
In the hunt for leads to sell, a lot of providers get in bed with some pretty questionable folk…
Bad affiliates swamp the system with worthless leads. There are a lot of ways that an affiliate can provide poor and down-right false leads to your provider. From robots (that auto enter info into forms) to selling their data to every buyer they can find…it’s a bit like the wild west.
I actually caught one affiliate going through Craigslist "moving sales" advertisements. Any time there was a name or phone number they would type it into a leads form and get $7.
Not only is that completely fraudulent, these were terrible leads for professional movers. The movers who called them probably got an ear-full of 4-letter words.
Moving lead providers also buys leads from other businesses that overlap their industry. The theory is that the same customers will be valuable leads to movers too.
And, in theory that’s true, but the reality is that most are worthless to a pro mover. How many people who are on an apartment rental or DIY truck rental website hire a professional moving company? Not many!
Nick also estimated that roughly 5% of his paid leads led back to a person who was shopping for a Uhaul. That consumer has absolutely NO intention to use a full service mover... (So, we're up to 35% crap from his leads provider!)
Since providers are focused on quantity of leads (not quality) they take in a lot of brokered leads that really aren't a fit for your target market.
But my lead is only going to 4 other movers…right? Wrong.
Though a lot of lead providers claim they are only offering that lead to 4 or 5 movers, the “customer” may have entered their info into several competitor websites.
So, even an “exclusive” lead may have sold to multiple providers and a single consumer could be getting calls from over a dozen movers. Those homeowners are going to be tired of people trying to sell them…greatly increasing the odds of you getting a heaping scoop of profanity.
VETTING THOSE LEADS & AFFILIATES
It’s really important that the lead provider vet any affiliate, and they do…but they don’t do it well or consistently. In the face of so much fraud, most providers put the onus on the lead buyer (AKA - You) to prove the leads are bad.
Instead of improving upon their success rate, or guaranteeing a level of quality, you have to run a leads gauntlet. Anyone else think this is a bad system?
HOW BAD ARE YOUR ONLINE LEADS?
I was shocked by a 35% crap-rate in moving leads. Are you? Do you see better or worse leads from your provider?
DEALING WITH BAD LEADS
Movers can go back to their provider and challenge EACH bad lead they have...on a case by case basis. Clearly that’s a pain in-the-ass and shouldn’t be your job.
At the end of the day, it’s a often a bad experience for the consumer and a tough process for moving companies. The only winner is the lead provider & affiliates.
IT'S NOT JUST MOVERS
Over 70% of Insurance agents say that exclusive leads were not exclusive.
Online leads accounted for less than 5% of most real estate agents deals in 2014.
Over 50% of Insurance agents called close rates on Internet leads “terrible” or “not so good.”
We can get better internet moving leads
I’m currently testing ideas to improve online leads for pro movers. The goal: eliminate scammers, focus on quality, and creat a leads service that is a win for EVERYONE involved.
You’re on the front lines and I’d like to hear your stories and experience with Internet moving leads. I know there has to be a better way to do them and your insights could help!
Give me a call (303.443.0767 or email me at -- brian (dot) long (at) movingleads (dot) com.
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