Likely the answer to this question is either telemarketing or email. For demand marketing these are the most responsive channels. Some might use paid social or PPC however, if they feel the campaign is suitable. This can increase your own internal costs however if they bid against your own campaigns and keywords. If possible ask the publisher to list which channel was used on every lead uploaded. And if telemarketing is being used get call scripts and run as much due diligence as possible – there is nothing wrong with good TM – but you need to control it.
2. How quickly can you get me the leads?
Most CPL publishers batch upload. This means the leads are not coming through in real time – usually due to validation and verification processes to ensure leads meet a specification. This interesting study from MIT is still one of the best on lead decay. It shows a lead is 100 times more responsive when contacted within 5 minutes vs. 30 minutes. The average lead decay on B2B leads is 42 hours. If you are using a supplier that only uploads weekly you need to question how long those leads have been sitting around for?
3. Do you use third parties to provide leads?
To be clear almost all lead providers selling on a CPL will be using list vendors. There is nothing wrong with this in B2B as long as they are targeting people effectively. Some simply outsource the leads to third parties. When this happens you lose control over who is supplying the leads and the channels they are using. You might even be sent an HTML email proof that will never actually be used. These sub-providers operations teams are usually based in Pune in India and are charging between $10 -$20 as a CPL. The front end publishers that buy from them can be selling for as much as $100. There is nothing wrong with outsourcing lead generation to India as a cost efficiency, some of the companies there are very good and are run by extremely clever individuals. But you should know where your leads come from and not pay an unreasonable markup to brokers. If there is a markup is this because surge technology has been used to ensure leads are more qualified?
4. What is your process in the event of a subject access request?
More often than not, a subject access request (SAR) comes from a pedant who read something about GDPR on the news. But being able to handle these well and document how and why the person’s data was passed over, and do so within the timelines set out by the ICO is important. It is usually worth running a dummy SAR with CPL publishers you use to see how they respond and what documentation they provide.
5. Who do the calls/emails appear to come from?
Sending large numbers of emails required for lead generation makes it likely for a publisher to get spam listed. This means they will frequently need to change their IPs and the sender name on their emails. Remember these publishers are running campaigns for numerous tech vendors and so they likely have a different workspace for each. If your brand name is used is the ‘from’ field then you need to have your unsubscribe link on the email. And that would be an extremely unwise thing to do! Likewise if using a publisher for telemarketing you need to ensure the calls are coming from the publisher on behalf of your brand and not direct from your brand.