Survey Say’s: Approximately 5% of random web leads convert to anything worthwhile

NewImageIn a quick talk this morning with another consultant we both compared notes about the likelihood of prospective customers who found us only via the Internet to convert into a paying customer.

Separately we both indicated through our experiences that the percentage seemed to hover about 1 in 20.

That’s a 5% conversion ratio for a non-referred customer who calls or submits a web form requesting some type of information — AND — is willing to pay a fee that’s more than a lowball hourly rate.

Before you laugh and state that your closing rate is much higher than 5% – let me define what a customer is:

a. Someone who has a need

b. For a service or specialty that we offer

c. And is willing to pay a fixed fee (mutually agreed upon) including a diagnostic charge

For our purposes we both agreed a customer is NOT:

a. Someone who has a need.

b. For a service or specialty that we offer

c. And is only looking for the cheapest rate and the lowest incremental portion of an hour that they will be billed
d. And that they’ll only be billed if the question is deemed difficult.


PS – We also both agreed that customers who were not referred and found us solely via a web search tended to be the most disloyal and make up the bulk (or all) of our client losses in any year.



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  1. So the million dollar question … why put so much effort into social media, blogging, etc. when it attracts these folks? Is there a better way?

  2. Because the value of our average new web customer who we do accept starts at about $4,000 per year. That’s each and every year. A conservative 3 year lifetime value on that is $12,000. Some customers stay longer (though I will admit those who find us via the web tend to be less loyal).

    Hosting and social media costs are negligible when done properly.

    Where I have learned this model does not work is when VARS look to chase every incoming caller who wants to pay with a credit card in 10 minute increments (but only when the question is deemed other than easy or quick) and at the lowest rate offered and then call back 5 times for “followup questions”. This is probably the experience that 95% of the VAR channel has when they shrug their shoulders and admit they have no idea if they’re making money on a web customer.