The Cost of Online v. Offline Lead Generation


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What’s the difference between online and offline lead generation? Aside from the obvious difference of the lead’s origin, each category of lead has their own set of costs and characteristics – and they are differences that are worth learning!

This infographic created by Salesforce takes a look at the major differences between online and offline leads, and illustrates a more detailed picture of the costs and benefits of each one. Let’s take a look:

Cost Per Contact

  • Offline lead generation can cost between $300-$500 per contact, including field staff salary and travel
  • Online lead generation will cost about $25-$30 per contact for an inside salesperson (My note: for a more indepth look at the cost of a B2B lead, click here).

Face-to-Face Close Rates

  • The conversion rate for offline face-to-face customers is about 40%
  • Online virtual sales prospects tend to convert at a rate of 18.5%

Feeling Pressured

  • During the follow-up stage, 17% of offline leads report feeling too much pressure due to sales tactics
  • Online leads are a little more sensitive, with 23% experiencing the feeling of pressure

Essential Traits of Online Customers:

Timely response is the best way to turn online leads into conversions. Immediate and persistent response can lead to a 340% lift in results.

  • Potential customers who received a query within the first hour were 60x more likely to convert than those who waited a day or more
  • They were 7x more likely to convert than those who received a response after waiting an hour
  • The odds of qualifying a lead are highest if you make contact within the first five minutes but only 0.9% of companies polled attempt contact within that window
  • Only 29% of polled companies attempted first contact within the first 4 hours

Outbound v. Inbound Marketing

  • The average cost of a lead derived from traditional outbound marketing comes to around $373
  • The average cost per lead when it comes to inbound marketing is 62% less – about $143

While the inquiries generated from online appear to be less expensive and more plentiful when it comes to engagement, the more expensive offline inquiries still have the edge when it comes to conversion and developing into a lead. Does your business have a strategy in place for both online and offline lead generation? What’s been your experience? Share in the comments below!

Online vs offline cost of lead generation infographic

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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