Lead Generation Interview with Marketing Expert Ethan Taub

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lead generation expert interviewWe recently interviewed Ethan Taub, a CMO with billion-dollar enterprise experience in Consumer Credit, Lending and Data with a track record of success. As a marketing expert, Ethan understands how important it is to generate high quality leads at scale for companies in any industry. Having years of experience in exceeding company goals under his belt, we knew that this would be a helpful interview for our readers and anyone interested in the best lead generation possible.

Whether you work with a company in solar, mortgage, auto, or any other industry, we hope this interview gives you some helpful insight to make the best marketing choices for your team moving forward. Enjoy!

Q: As a renowned marketing expert, what are some of the challenges for you when it comes to lead generation?

Ethan: There aren’t challenges in any one direction when it comes to marketing. It’s all about having the right marketing mix. One thing that direct mail does well, if you do it right, is that it complements and improves your other lead generation sources.

Direct mail, unlike other lead generation sources, is extremely targeted because you are able to integrate multiple prospect databases, use predictive modeling and really zero in on leads that meet your criteria for a customer before marketing to them. This allows you to generate the exact customers you need at the right time. If you have a lead generation partner that does this using a Pay Per Call or Pay Per Acquisition pricing model, then all the better. Since everyone has an address and can receive mail it gives you access to customers that you wouldn’t normally see in other channels such as online. It’s not so much an issue of “problems” within the marketing channels. It’s more about accessing highly targeted leads and customers that you may not see in those other lead generation channels.

Q: What are the differences (in your experience) between generating inbound leads using different marketing channels? Such as online, radio, TV, and direct mail marketing.

Ethan: They are all separate channels. Each marketing channel has its own limitations; they either hit a certain audience or they hit a certain plateau or saturation point. They function really well, but they’re also highly competitive.

One of the key opportunities with the direct mail marketing channel, especially on a Pay Per Call or Pay Per Lead basis, is to use multiple data sources to find the people that you haven’t been able to target previously. You achieve this through the things that InboundProspect does better than anybody I’ve known, by using multiple and different data sources.

The data sources include transactional, financial, behavioral, psychographic, demographic, credit, and so on. You take those different data sources, and you use the models, and that’s where the brilliance is with InboundProspect. They model those different data sources to match to your ideal customer.

That’s the behind the scenes or backend. That’s the black box that makes the entire direct mail marketing campaign work. Because by the time there’s a response to a call to action, a lot of the heavy lifting to qualify the lead to buy your product, is done. He or she has already been identified as a qualified lead.

Q: Would you say this pre-qualification process would yield a better Cost Per Acquisition?

Ethan: We already talked about the backend of direct mail marketing; and then there is the front end. I would say that InboundProspect is very creative in the way that they come up with a direct mail marketing campaign to achieve response rates and consistent lead volumes you need.

What I mean by that is there is an art to the science that is in the back end. The art is in the front end, which is getting a lead to respond in a way that doesn’t necessarily need to be from a very expensive, high-velocity, show-off creative, but a compliant creative that gets somebody to respond and is very clear to the consumer; not “fishy” – that’s art, right?

My experience with InboundProspect is that they do this very well. If you combine the science of the back end (i.e. the data components and the modeling that goes into the data) with the front end (i.e. the creation of the direct mail piece that gets a lead to pick up the phone or go online and complete a lead form), then in my experience the result is a lower Cost Per Acquisition.

Q: At what point did you decide that Pay For Performance direct mail leads were a good option for you?

Ethan: A Pay For Performance option is always best. At what point did I decide it was best?

When I wanted a very predictable number of conversions.

In this way, you can judge what you’re going to get ahead of time. A Pay For Performance model is another way of saying InboundProspect is willing to put their money where their mouth is, which is an interesting way to say they back their work. It’s also a very predictable way for the client or advertiser to forecast the end result.

So when you use a Cost Per Call, Cost Per Lead or Cost Per Acquisition pricing model as InboundProspect does, it gives the client more predictability in terms of what the marketing spend and ROI will be over a specific time frame. When you’re talking about lead quality, lead volume and scalability, that’s going to come from your direct mail marketing channel, and that’s what I’ve seen with InboundProspect. When done right, your lead to customer conversion rate is usually much higher with direct mail marketing than other channels, which translates into a higher Return Per Acquisition.

If a potential customer or current customer understands that, then they can justify the marketing spend.

Q: How would you compare direct mail leads to other lead generation sources, like online, TV or a radio, and what are the pros and cons of each one?

Ethan: The pros are predictability when it comes to Pay For Performance direct mail leads. Predictability is the good part for a marketer. There can be cons for direct mail when using a traditional Cost Per Piece pricing model, however using a Cost Per Acquisition or Cost Per Call pricing model like InboundProspect does can be great because they shoulder the investment up front, which eliminates much of the performance and financial risk for the marketer or client.

But again, the pro is that the right lead comes to the door wanting your product or service, and since it’s the right lead, the likeliness of you closing that lead is good.

Q: Do you have any final advice for other companies that might be considering working with a lead provider instead of continually trying to generate leads in house?

Ethan: For direct mail, in particular, I think it’s harder to build in-house because so much goes into the analytics and the creative, and the years of experience that Scott and his team has over at InboundProspect.

I would say that it’s difficult to do this in-house because you don’t have the wide perspective. Another reason is because you might not have the experience across multiple clients. You would be isolated to your own experience.

If you were doing a scientific experiment and you only had one control group and no data to support it, it wouldn’t be a very good scientific experiment, now would it; versus, if you have multiple test groups, and in this case multiple clients, then you would be able to refine your results and hit the target every time.

In marketing, much of the science is in your ability to hit the target consistently. One of the difficulties when you’re talking about marketing through online channels or through traditional media like TV and radio is that you have to continue to keep expanding.

The next month you want to increase your sales, and it’s hard because you can’t hit certain households and demographics, but with direct mail, you can hit the sweet spot first and get the best results. Really, the only vehicle is direct mail to be able to do that. You can’t hit the perfect target every time in any other channel, not even email because email has all kinds of complications – direct mail doesn’t get caught in spam filters.