The most common question with 3rd party leads is; should I buy them?
In a nutshell; yes and no.
There are a number of factors that determine whether 3rd party leads will work for your home heating business. Unfortunately the best way to determine, is to test.
Our clients experience with buying third party leads has been mixed. Ranging from worthwhile, to a waste of time and money.
Quality of lead supplier
There are literally hundreds of lead generation companies in the UK, several of which specialise in boiler leads;
- Holmes Media (Boiler Guide)
The best experience we have had has been with Holmes Media and Leadstoyou. Both companies generate the majority of their leads online and pre-qualify prior to selling them on. They sell the lead up to 3 times, so you will likely be up against a maximum of 2 companies.
In comparison, Quotatis do not pre-qualify the leads – the common consensus is that whilst they can provide volume, they cannot ensure quality. It’s been known for lead-gen companies to sell a lead up to 6 times. Some even sell their leads to other 3rd party lead companies, who then resell the lead another 3-6 times. This not only makes the chance of converting to sale more difficult, it also makes the chance of even getting your foot in the door lower. Home owners quickly become frustrated with their phone ringing off-the-hook.
Lead generation source
The better suppliers source their leads online through mediums such as Google Ads. These leads are typically the highest quality. The prospective customer tends to have a boiler that’s either broken or on its way out. They are actively searching for a solution. The solution these companies propose is simple; Get a free, no-obligation quote from up to 3 installers.
Unfortunately many companies use cold-calling tactics, meaning the majority of the time the prospective customer was likely pushed in to the idea of having a new boiler fitted. Promises such as saving money on energy bills, fear mongering the elderly with stories of boilers breaking down during winter etc.
Who else is buying the leads?
Your competition will be buying leads. To be successful with 3rd party leads, you need to ensure you offer better value than the companies also in the runnings. The considerations for the customers are likely to be;
- Price. You don’t want to be the cheapest, but you probably don’t want to be the most expensive either.
- Installation availability. If it’s a broken boiler, home owners don’t want to wait several weeks.
- Ratings and accreditations. We recommend Which? Trusted Trader and Checkatrade. If you’re Worcester Accredited that’s always a good selling point.
- Quality of the quote. Is it scribbled on a bit of paper or has it been printed off and put inside a nice A4 glossy folder?
Customers on comparison sites are often focused on price and this can be a major challenge.
Success with 3rd party leads
There are a couple of basic tips to follow to improve your chances of a positive experience buying leads.
- Call the leads quickly. According to Hubspot, coupled with our own experience, there’s a 400% decrease in chances of qualifying the lead if you wait more than 10 minutes.
- Call the leads regularly. It’s unlikely you’ll have your first call answered, try and try again. Several times a day, for several days.
- Return unsuccessful leads. Holmes Media for example have a great returns policy. If you’ve genuinely tried to contact the customer and cannot get a response, or they’ve had their boiler repaired, request a refund.
- Be competitive. I’m not suggesting you “drop your pants”, but you may have to accept there’s a little less margin on these leads.
- Follow up. Don’t provide a quote and then not follow it up. The following day call the customer, see if they have any questions regarding the quote and discuss other quotes. If you’re not chasing your customers, other companies surely will be.
What has your experience been like with lead generation companies?