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4 Reasons Why This Lead Gen Campaign Didn't Work

I recently worked on a lead generation campaign that the client gave up on less than a month after it started. I've been trying to connect the dots on exactly what happened and even asked my digital advertising consultant to hop on the phone with me to deconstruct the project. Here's what I came up with.


While I thought expectations had been set with the client as to how this was going to work, I believe that it either wasn't communicated clearly or wasn't understood. Within less than a week of starting the campaign, the client asked us to change the audience parameters and experiment with that more. It should have been made clear that we can't get accurate data from a campaign less than two weeks after launching. In our effort to make the client happy, things started getting muddled with quick changes and that's where problems began.


Once the ads and audience started changing, the messaging got confusing. While we started out with one landing page, the changing ads weren't reflecting what was on that landing page. You never want to confuse an audience with mixed messaging; they shouldn't click on an ad that takes them to a landing page that says something else. It needs to be clear and cohesive.

Goal Setting

We set our goals from the beginning; we knew what audience we were going after and what leads the client was looking for. However, the client was getting feedback from others in the industry on their traffic for the ads that they had created. Unfortunately, it's difficult to compare your campaign to that of others who might have different goals. For example, if another company is targeting people around the country, but your campaign is local...that makes a difference. So, while it's useful to get feedback from other business owners, you have to look at it through the lens of your own goals.


This is the hard part. After speaking with my digital ads consultant, it became clear that the client didn't have the budget to make headway as quickly as they seemed to want. When it comes to digital space...the space is limited and you could be competing with large companies spending thousands of dollars per day, which is virtually impossible for a small business. This is when it becomes important to remember the goal: if what you're looking for is a handful of viable clients, that could take time on a smaller budget. It's crucial that that expectation is clear and remembered over time.

My takeaway:

Thinking back on this situation, there are things that we could have done differently and things the client could have done differently. Rather than change the campaign on the fly to satisfy the client, we should have scheduled a strategy meeting to revisit our goals and make sure that the ads and opt-in landing page were consistent. We should have been clearer about what the client was up against with the proposed budget, so they understood that this is a marathon and not a sprint. We should have better communicated with the client that while others in their industry might be getting more traffic, what we were going after was quality, not quantity.

As with anything in life, we can look at this as a failure or an opportunity to learn. I don't ever like setting my team up for failure, so this was a great chance for us to talk about what should have been done differently.


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