What’s the best pay per lead campaign?

There are lots of different forms of Pay-Per-Lead campaigns out there. We regularly discuss these options with clients so here we thought it’s worth showing their pros and cons here. We go through the 3 most common types here for you to determine which is the best pay per lead generation method for you.


What does ‘Pay-Per-Lead’ actually mean?

What ‘Pay-Per-Lead’ actually means essentially is that you’re paying for a lead where the conversation has reached a certain point. Typically this has a few parts to it;

  • Prospect – A particular prospect type
  • Interest – Which has reached a specific degree of interest
  • Next steps – Which would like to take a specific action (A callback, receive a quote, have a demo, etc)

It’s the Next Steps bit is where it’s passed over to you for you to work your magic. In theory this sounds great right? Well, what’s important is to be clear about what you want from these 3 categories. Because as we discuss below, this is where certain options shine or fall down.

Pay Per Lead Generation Campaigns

Option 1: ‘Buying’ Leads

These are quite common, where you can ‘Purchase’ leads like bark.com. There are lots of others out there too but they all have a similar model which we go through here. I’m not saying Buying leads is bad per se. If fact, it can be a great way to grow your business, provided you avoid/are okay any pitfalls as we’ll discuss.

How does it work?

The company has gone to a lot of hard work to find specific prospects who are interested in a specific product. This can be done in a variety of ways. Typical ways include creating a platform to attract specific prospects (like review sites) or finding the prospect through online checkout surveys, NFC marketing, etc.

Their job is to connect these prospects with a variety of companies who can provide quotes for them to select the best option for them.


What's the best pay per lead option for us?


  • They have prospects who are looking for a quote immediately
  • You only pay for the leads you decide to pursue


  • Many other companies will be quoting for the same work many companies expect low conversion rates
  • It’s a buyer’s market so low prices is the name of the game


Give it a try if your product works well in a high volume, price driven arena. If so this can be a great way to increase sales. Remember, you’re playing by the buyer’s game though as they’re comparing your quote to potentially dozens of other competitors.

Option 2: Buying Data

You’ve probably had 10 emails or LinkedIn messages this week about buying fully GDPR compliant B2B data. In our data-driven age, it’s never been easier to contact your ideal customer to pitch your product. Companies like B2B Experian Prospector sell B2B compliant data to companies for them to then contact.


What's the best pay per lead option for us?

How does it work?

They work similar to how Buying Leads companies work. They’ve gone to the trouble to find out lots of information about a company. When I say lots of information, I really do mean a fair bit. What’s more, they’ve found out the specific decision maker for you already and in many cases, their direct contact information.


  • Buying data is much cheaper compared with buying leads, £0.20-1.00 per contact usually
  • You can be incredibly specific about the type of company, decision maker and contact information you require


  • The prospect has never heard from you
  • You have to do the leg work to turn it into a lead and then a sale


Whilst it’s great that you have a direct line to the CEO of XYZ Corp LLC, she’s never heard of you or your product before.  Buying data can sound super enticing as it forms a really good foundation on which you can build a good sales funnel. But just remember, you’re buying the “Do It Yourself” version of Pay-Per-Lead. You need to put in the leg work to get a quote and sale.


Option 3: Pay-Per-Lead Agencies

As this is the service we offer, you’re probably expecting me to say ‘Our Service is superior, No.1, buy buy buy’. Whilst it is true that we’re a lovely bunch, I’m keeping things objective.

Instead of finding Interested Prospects under a different platform or brand, Pay-Per-Lead agencies build the prospect pipeline under your brand. They contact prospects as you, engage prospects as you and only pass the leads to you.


What's the best pay per lead option for us?

How does it work?

Whilst the Buying Lead agencies find Prospects and then offer you to purchase the lead, Pay-Per-Lead Agencies identify who you are looking for and find the Prospects for you. To give you an example;

LinkedIn – On our LinkedIn lead generation campaigns, we identify the ideal prospect for our clients. We then create key message they’d like to say. We then go after that company specifically. Only when there’s a positive response does it count as a lead.

Web Chat –  On our Web Chat lead generation campaigns, we engage with our client’s website visitors. By qualifying on specific criteria, we book meetings in a more ‘customer service’ style.


  • Only you receive the leads for your campaign, minimising your competition
  • We only pass you leads that you know can give you a great ROI


  • Depending on your current website traffic you might need to also look at increasing your website traffic to ensure a steady stream web chat leads
  • To find the prospects who are looking to buy, we need to reach out to them first on your behalf. LinkedIn leads start coming in within the first week or two


Having an exclusive channel through which Prospects find you makes for a much stronger bargaining position. But with owning the channel, there may be elements of upkeep required. For example, if you don’t have thousands of visitors to your site per month already, there may be work you need to do on your SEO as well.

The good thing is that you’d have an agency ready to convert that traffic right from the start, so that the growth of your business can be naturally customer funded.


Common pitfalls for Pay-Per-Lead

Here are some common scenarios that companies tend to miss. These questions don’t have a specific ‘right answer’. It’s an important consideration for you to take so that you can decide how important that is for you:

  • Focus on what sales previously converted – Is your qualifying criteria based on your most successful previous sales? Or is it based on an idealised concept of what a good customer might be?
  • Value of Sale Vs. Cost of Acquisition – How much money do you make per client?  Make sure that you are focusing on clients which will definitely make you a good profit
  • Value Vs. Price – What kind of conversation do you want to be having with your customer? In telecoms, you can usually be price focused to win the sale. In design, you need to show less tangible value to win the sale. Make sure that this is being accounted for in your qualifying criteria
  • Who else knows about this opportunity? – How many others are you quoting against? If you can consistently come out on top against 30 competitors then this should matter less to you. However if you want to optimise your chances, go for something a bit more focused
  • Don’t expect every lead to convert – Leads need to convert, yes. Definitely compare the leads you buy to your other channels to see which has the best conversion rate. Just remember that you’re paying per lead so it’s still down to you to convert. (This is actually why we offer monthly sales coaching sessions in our pay per lead packages)


Use data to determine the best Pay Per Lead channel for you

One final point, always focus on what’s worked before. Try out a pay per lead channel and focus on customer types which have converted before. Use this information to build a next step


Got a question? Get a response in 20 seconds or less

I hope you found this comparison to be even handed and insightful. Do you have a question about how our Pay-Per-Lead campaigns might work for you?

Why not say ‘Hi’ to one of our colleagues in the chat widget? We’re available 24/7 and happy to answer your questions