I thought I would do a short review of a new service I came across recently: one called Lead Forensics.
Essentially it’s a sales tool that registers who has visited your website and gives you all their details so that can follow up with them. It works by capturing the IP address of the visitor and then turning that into the name, address etc of the company visiting.
It may be a bit “Big Brother-ish” following up with someone who was just passing by your website, but there are ways of handling that conversation to over-come that.
Nevertheless, it sounded like a good service to consider and so I spoke to them a couple of times and they ran a test on my site last week.
When we went through the results on Friday, it was very interesting. It does indeed do what it says it will do, and there are lots of clever bits of gadgetry in their system that means you can filter visitors by type, the pages they visited and so on.
However, at circa £200 – £250 a month, depending on the number of visitors you get (so it could be more) it is relatively expensive. That is for a year’s commitment by the way. You could argue that if it brought in thousands of pounds worth of new business every month then it would be worthwhile, and I agree, but as my test showed – strangely – a handful of universities searching my site, I was yet to be convinced of the value, particularly as I know my target market DO visit my site!
The sales guy, whilst friendly, threw all the sales tricks he could at me: “my supervisor says that we can give you a discount….” “If I got you a discount today could you commit…”. Personally, I hate that kind of sales approach, but was willing to consider it further. So I politely refused his offer of extra discounts that day so that I could speak to another business owner I know who uses it.
This business owner is very happy with Lead Forensics but made a valid observation. His company targets big businesses. The IP address that Lead Forensics picks up leads directly back to his website visitors, and so this system works beautifully for him. And the fees paid by large blue chips would more than cover the cost of it.
However, what he did say was that it won’t pick up all traffic, and it doesn’t pick up the IP addresses of small businesses. (Funny that Lead Forensics didn’t tell me that!!). So if your target clients work at home or in a serviced office (such as Basepoint) then it won’t pick up those IP addresses. It will pick up the IP address of the serviced office itself, but not the individual business. So it’s not much use if you’re targeting smaller businesses.
And this is why it picked up universities visiting my site: I could tell from the blog posts they visited that it wasn’t the Business Managers needed marketing help (not that they’re my target market) but the students using the universities’ network to do research for their end of term papers! The IP address would be the same whoever is searching, so you’d have to do a bit of detective work to find out who has been looking at your site.
In summary therefore:
I think it’s definitely worth considering if you target large organisations, and I think it would bring you some great results.
However, be aware that it doesn’t pick up all the traffic to your site, and you need a good follow up sales process in place so that you can determine who was interested in your service and thus go on to convert them.
If you target small businesses, however, then – in my opinion – it’s not worth it.
To your success,