One answer to this challenge is provided by "post-click marketing," a.k.a. lead automation management vendors. While the specifics of each service vary, all of them essentially:
- automate the process of extracting visitor IP information from your log files;
- match the IP address to an organization;
- filter out ISPs; and
- map the company name to one or more external databases to provide additional information (company size, industry, key contacts etc.).
Critics of these services refer to them as "spyware," though that term isn't really fair. These services don't collect any information beyond what Google Analytics, WebTrends or other web analytics packages do. They can't identify the specific individual who visits a site, only the network location from which the visit originated. The distinction is that they filter out ISPs and supplement network location information with data from third-party sources.
What's key is how this information is used. If a marketing group uses the information collected to segment their market and provide relevant, targeted follow up messages, then the services ultimately benefit both buyers and sellers. But if used by sales to make an immediate call ("Hi Bob, I noticed that someone from your office just visited our website. Was that you? If so, I'd like to tell you about a special offer we have going..."), that's where the creepiness factor comes in.
These vendors are quick to point out that you've already paid for the traffic to your site through PPC, SEO, interactive PR, banner advertising or other activities; their services simply help you learn more about the 97% of visitors who don't immediately convert into a lead. They aren't so much "lead generation" as they are "lead extraction" services.
The bottom line is, with pressure to generate more leads with flat budgets, these services are likely to get increased interest. And again, if the used properly, they can be helpful in engaging site visitors who perhaps aren't quite ready to become a "lead."
Here are six services that offer post-click marketing analytics:
VisitorTrack, from netFactor—in the company's own words, VisitorTrack is"like caller ID for your website...(it) integrates Website Tracking, Business Intelligence and Sales CRM into a powerful on-demand application for capturing detailed information on your website's Business Visitors." VisitorTrack service provides robust geo-targeting (so you know exactly where visitors are coming from) and email notification, but it's biggest strength is detailed and customizable reporting capability. Contact names are available free through LinkedIn or on a pay-or-play basis from Jigsaw. Pricing starts at about $300 per month.
Demandbase—referring to its service as a "lead quality platform...that unlock(s) the potential of online advertising, search, CRM, and social networks," Demandbase provides both a desktop wideget similar to a stock ticker that displays website vistitor information in real-time, as well as daily summary emails and 90 days worth of visitor data for reporting. Demandbase is a simple, elegant lead enhancement solution with an affordable starting point at under $200 per month. You can use the widget for free, but won't get any data stored for reporting. The platform only provides data on North American visitors for now, though international tracking capability is in the pipeline.
LEADSExplorer from Engago Technologies is a powerful service that helps marketers discover who's visiting their site, identify their interests, segment visitors based on company size and industry, track results through reporting, and integrate visitor data with backend CRM systems.
Based in the U.K., the LEADSExplorer staff is sophisticated about website lead capture technologies and practices, and easy to work with for both U.S. and European countries.
LeadLander is one of the most mature providers of what they term "real-time customer intelligence." LeadLander is a robust, proven platform that shows you who's been visiting your site, what they've been looking at, how much time each visitor has committed to reviewing various pages of your online collateral, the search terms used to find your site and more. It's also fully integrated with Salesforce.com.
LeadGenesys offers broad functionality for tracking email campaigns and website visits. The service is integrated with Salesforce.com and is used by a blue chip customer base including RR Donnelly, Praxair and AMD.
Opentracker is a simple yet powerful service that provides real-time visitor monitoring, search term analysis, online reporting and other analytical capabilities. While it doesn't offer all the features of other services, Opentracker offers smaller companies an extremely affordable entry point into post-click marketing starting at about $20 per month.
Forrester's Laura Ramos provided an excellent summary of what she broadly termed lead automation management in August of this year, though it seems a bit odd to place Hubspot (inbound marketing / website optimization), Leadlander (site visitor tracking) and Zoominfo (an online directory / database) in the same group.
Other bloggers that have reviewed these services include:
Capture Website Visitors To Know Who Has Been Visiting - They Might Be Qualified Leads from ReadyContacts
Qualify Leads with VisitorTrack from Manoj Jasra at Web Analytics World
Turning Web Site Visitors into Paying Customers from Jim Berkowitz
Demandbase launches lead generation platform with Adobe funding from Enetlive.net
Visitr - No, I am not scared you know my location but dammit I respect you from 640K Ought to be enough for anybody
Demandbase Raises $8 Million For Online Lead Generation Platform from Jason Kincaid at TechCrunch
How Do I Build a List of Target Companies and Contacts? from Aaron Ross at Build a Sales Machine
Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom