Lead analytics software: Is using Lead Forensics etc. worth it in Germany?
Last year, two sales professionals from Lead Forensics contacted us. They told us that, with their help, we can find out what companies our website’s visitors are working at. In this way, we can identify additional leads for our services and convert them much more easily into clients.
As an online marketing agency, we do lead generation, lead nurturing and conversion rate optimization on a day-to-day basis. Assessing the value proposition of Lead Forensics and passing on this knowledge to others is a matter of the heart to us.
We describe our experience with Lead Forensics, analyze if it is worth it and explain, why we have not only decided specifically against Lead Forensics, but also against lead analytics software as a whole.
Who is Lead Forensics?
Lead Forensics is the provider of a same-named software that is specialized in analyzing website visitors. Aside from a breakdown of companies visiting their website, the user gets real-time notifications, a breakdown of the user journey and sometimes even contact details from decision makers of the visiting company.
How does Lead Forensics work?
First, the software is installed via tracking code in the back end of a website, where it starts recording the IP addresses of the visitors. Then, the data is used to screen a huge database owned by Lead Forensics, which contains IP addresses paired with company data. If the IP address of a website visitor matches one in the database, the software returns the corresponding company name and further data.
Lead Forensics share little information about how they acquire the data for their database. Upon request, they reminded us of how many privacy policies users habitually accept every day without reading. Certain privacy policies come with a (default) consent option that includes permission to share the data with third parties – third parties such as Lead Forensics.
What is Lead Forensics good for?
According to Lead Forensics, knowing which companies are visiting your website will benefit your new customer acquisition, customer relationship management and recruiting of new employees. In addition, you can see if competitors visit your website and which sections of the website they visit in particular.
What makes Lead Forensics attractive?
In Germany, lead analytics software is widely unknown. Hence, Lead Forensics has a certain novelty value to it.
The professional sales team of Lead Forensics knows how to make use of that. Partially lifting the “veil of anonymity” of website visitors appears to resolve a real problem in marketing – a problem you may not even have been aware of in the first place.
The emotional value proposition of Lead Forensics, as well as the high degree of customization during the trial period, are further adding to the attractiveness of the software.
Is Lead Forensics GDPR-compliant?
How does the trial period work?
Lead Forensics generate a unique tracking code for each website property, which attributes the IP addresses and user journeys of its visitors to a customer account. During the trial period, Lead Forensics keep the login to the customer account for themselves, but they periodically share updates on what companies visit your website via telephone and email. The trial period is very personalized – Lead Forensics are extremely proactive and share actionable advice on how to process the leads.
How much does Lead Forensics cost?
Lead Forensics negotiate the pricing of their software with each of their clients individually. In comparison to other lead analytics software our agency has screened, Lead Forensics position themselves as a premium provider with their proposal for us.
The pricing is shared after the trial period, and based on the website’s traffic, as well as the average revenue per conversion, which are different for each company.
Their business model probably involves price discrimination to charge the maximum price the prospective decision maker is willing to pay. Lead Forensics seem to enter the negotiations with an initially higher offer, which they can discount if necessary.
Price perception is a subjective matter and quality has a price. However, it is worrying that the minimum terms of a contract with Lead Forensics start at 12 months.
What kind of reputation does Lead Forensics have?
Our research shows that Lead Forensics seems to polarize. The first indicator are the related search terms, which appear in the result pages of Google and other search engines:
Lead Forensics – pros and cons
|Allow for a qualitative screening to check if your marketing reaches its designated target audience.||Long minimum contract terms and moderate to high costs|
|Collect empirical data to learn which sectors and geographies are particularly interested in certain products and services.||Short trial periods, whose duration is barely sufficient to make your own, representative experience|
|Based on the user journey of a visiting company, you can guess which type of lead you are dealing with: Sales, HR, press, etc.||It is very hard to reach leads from large enterprises, as you don’t know who is visiting your website: The head of the purchasing department, or an intern? How are you supposed to get the decision maker on the phone?|
|If you combine Lead Forensics with effective outbound marketing instruments, you may be able to convert a few leads into clients, as long as you can reach the decision makers.||Lead Forensics cannot detect all companies visiting your website, because many businesses are not recorded in the database|
|Very positive experience with the sales team from Lead Forensics, good experience reports about the onboarding and customer success management||In the era of the home office, much less companies will be detected|
|Some companies use VPNs specifically to evade lead analytics tracking|
In summary, Lead Forensics can help you double-check your own marketing and improve the focus of your products and services on particular target audiences. If you have received your proposal from Lead Forensics, are aware of the minimum term and it all sounds like a sweet deal to you, go ahead with the purchase.
However, if you treat Lead Forensics as an instrument to increase your conversions via outbound marketing, it may fall short of your expectations. In practice, there are simply too many limitations that prevent you from reaching the actual decision maker. The reasons for that may be plausible, but in the end, you’ll have to evaluate the tool by how much value it adds in everyday business life. Lead Forensics cannot replace a conversion rate and search engine optimized website.
For businesses who mostly serve local clients, agents or proxies, we cannot recommend Lead Forensics. Such target audiences are rarely included in the IP address database. For local businesses, we recommend opting for Local SEO instead.
Alternatives to Lead Forensics
If you would like to use a lead analytics software, but have reservations about Lead Forensics, e.g. due to the costs or minimum terms, you could look into the following software providers:
- A1Webstats: This provider presents themselves more holistically than Lead Forensics. They see themselves as an integral tool for conversion rate optimization, rather than a mere “company detective”. Their pricing appears to be more moderate and there are no long-term adhesion contracts.
- Leadfeeder: This provider has a similar positioning to Lead Forensics, but the prices start at $79 with monthly billing and thus, a shorter cancellation period as well.
The best alternative to lead analytics softwares
We have studied Lead Forensics thoroughly and identified another two promising providers in the same field.
However, we have arrived at the conclusion that, for us, the best alternative to Lead Forensics is not using any lead analytics software at all.
This is because good online marketing depends on a functional sales funnel. Our services need to be visible, reach the designated target audiences and convince them to choose us.
We can already identify all leads who complete their journey through our sales funnel: They introduce themselves and their companies in their contact form or telephone inquiries.
There is little value in chasing after leads who have aborted their research and purchasing process.
The real deliverable of effective online marketing activities is our continuous sales funnel optimization and generating excellent results for our clients.
In the big picture, Lead Analytics – and the like – only play a very minor role.
Successful without Lead Forensics
Your company needs more website visitors, more leads and a higher conversion rate? Let us discuss what our online marketing can achieve for your business. Simply use the contact information in the right column or send us a message through the contact form.