lead generation

By Ryan Kh

Inbound marketing has made growing a B2B business easier than ever. Companies on bootstrapped budgets can generate a large volume of leads with a small budget. According to HubSpot, 68% of inbound marketers believe their lead generation strategy is effective, compared to only 48% of outbound marketers. Using inbound marketing strategies is clearly the best way to generate leads in 2017.

However, they need to be very strategic and make every penny in their marketing budget count. Here are some tips to help you run a successful B2B lead generation campaign with under $1000.

Block poor performing targets quickly

Whether you’re running CPC, PPV or CPM traffic, you’re going to find that most targeting options won’t back out well. That is alright, because you can always pause them and the ones that are profitable will more than make up for it over the long-term.

The trick is to monitor volume of every target carefully and pause them after you have enough data showing they won’t convert. David Ford, founder of AffPlayBook, has a great rule of thumb – you should spend twice the value of your average lead testing every target. If the average value of a lead is over $20, you can use half of this limit.

Here’s an example. You are promoting a CPA service for local restaurants on AdWords. The average patient will spend $500, so you should spend about $500 testing every keyword. If you don’t generate any leads with a keyword after spending this much, you should pause it.

The difference in performance is very clear with PTV traffic, since you are purchasing a large volume on a small budget. I have found that the highest volume domains tend to perform the worst.

For example, I promoted a client on Propel Media. I spent $20 and generated one lead. My landing page click through rate was 3%. However, one of my targets got 500 impressions and only five clicks to the offer. I paused similar targeted and focused on building a list that was similar to the ones that were performing better.

Set a reasonable budget and track it carefully

Many entrepreneurs are very frugal in their personal lives, but do a poor job of tracking and controlling their business expenditures. You can’t afford to make this mistake when you’re running a digital lead generation campaign. You can easily blow through your money if you aren’t careful, so set a strict initial testing budget and track your spending very carefully.

It is also a good idea to separate your personal and business accounts. If you are using your personal credit card to find a $1000 testing campaign, you may damage your credit and end up paying higher interest rates. It is a good idea to check your credit if you have been financing your campaigns with your personal credit card already. You can qualify for lower APR financing with a business line of credit instead.

You may need to test multiple angles. It is a good idea to create separate campaigns in your advertising dashboard to make them easier to manage and ensure the targeting is relevant to each angle. WordStream has some great tips on setting a budget for your smaller campaigns.

Test two or three very different landing pages

If you have been reading about lead marketing, CPC, landing page optimization and other digital marketing strategies, then you have probably come across a number of case studies. Many of these case studies show that you can significantly improve your campaign by making small changes.

While testing different images and CTAs can make a big difference, they aren’t usually enough to turn around a losing landing page. On average, the ROI of a landing page will be -70% to -50% on the initial test, depending on your industry and the cost of traffic in the region you are running. Replacing one or two elements won’t be enough to create a profitable campaign.

Your best bet is to test two to three very different landing pages. If the ROI of one of them is -20% or better, you can start testing other elements to improve it.

Stick with one traffic source to begin with

There are numerous traffic sources that you can use to generate online leads, including:

  • Google AdWords
  • Bing
  • Facebook
  • Media buys
  • PPV
  • Contextual

The biggest mistake that I see new lead generation marketers make is spreading themselves too thin across too many advertising platforms. It takes a lot of testing to master any of them. If you only have a budget of $1000, you want to stick to a single traffic source and really master it.

You Can Run a Lead Generation Campaign on a Small Budget

Inbound marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate business online. However, you still need to map out your strategy carefully and watch your budget. If you follow these tips, you can create a profitable lead-generation funnel with only a few hundred dollars.

Ryan Kh is an experienced blogger, digital content & social marketer. Founder of Catalyst For Business and contributor to search giants like Yahoo Finance, MSN. He is passionate about covering topics like big data, business intelligence, startups & entrepreneurship. Follow him on twitter: @ryankhgb.