What is the difference between pay per click strategy with lead generation and e-commerce campaigns?
In my experience with pay per click marketing, there are usually two main ROI focused end goals of most of the pay per click campaigns I have dealt with: lead generation and e-commerce.
In lead generation, you are using your campaigns to direct the right visitor to a landing page. The landing page is essentially a very well optimized page designed to get the web visitor to submit his/her personal information. This visitor (the “lead”) will be submitted to an online database in which he/she will be (hopefully) evaluated for quality, scrubbed, and then compiled into giant targeted lists in which future services or products will be sold. Common industries in which lead generation is common is online education, the mortgage loans industry, or business to business. For example, an online lead generator may collect qualified, quality leads to sell to schools such as University of Phoenix. These schools can never have enough students to fill their digital classrooms, so they are always on the lookout for students who would be likely to sign up and enroll for their classes.
What should your strategy center around? In many cases, the process of filling out a form and hunting around for the perfect service or solar generation can involve you filling out forms for several different companies. Because of this, you will have to ensure that your form process is simplistic, does not cause any headaches and be aware that your mission is not done after you obtain the lead. You will have to work the lead with a streamlined lead management process. A great customer may seem unqualified at the beginning of the funnel, but your sales team or other lead closer can finish the job at the end of the funnel. The ROI factor in lead generation can be fuzzy, so make sure that your process of generating leads is multifaceted and diverse.
E-Commerce is a different beast altogether – you are also responsible for figuring the initial cost of goods, the gross margin on each good, and the expected return on investment (ROI). Your campaigns will be varied and complex with all these variables in play, and the process of optimizing conversion rates on your website will become even more critical. A difference between a 2% conversion rate and a 3% conversion rate can mean the difference between breaking even and driving a brand new Maserati into work.
Instead of having the luxury of focusing on soft costs and long, time-intensive funnels, your campaigns will need to be structured for pushing sales at every turn, increasing average order values, and bringing the customer back for as little cost as possible (remarketing, loyalty campaigns, etc). You will also need to be hyper vigilant about your e-commerce specific strategies, such as product and shopping feed integration, dynamic retargeting ads, behavioral product badges and the close integration of social media and PPC.
All in all, it takes a significant amount of time and energy to adapt your strategy to either e-commerce or lead generation, but the end results are definitely worth it!