VendorSeek.com – I Still Probably Wouldn’t Recommend Them
A few months ago I was contacted by Tara, a representative of the company that bought out Vendor Seek. She told me that they wanted to reach out to unhappy former clients to test the changes they had made. Although the start was a bit bumpy, Tara was correct. My complaint in the past was that none of the leads were of any quality. I got leads for sites that weren’t in English, and some sites that were even on free hosts. Tara set up the account and put in some new restrictions such as the size of the company, and their monthly budget. True to her word, the leads came in they were of better quality. Out of about 50 or so leads, only one of them was bad (it had the incorrect contact information), and Tara even said if I was paying for the leads that they would have taken it back.
Although I received about 50 leads, not a single one has become a client. I did send out several proposals, and there is one lead who has promised to hire, but as of today my company has not generated any revenue from the test. At the end of the test I was informed that they had changed their structure and were now allowing advertisers to bid on leads. So, they setup my account with the minimum bid of $5, so I could continue to receive leads. In all honesty, if none of the leads convert then I probably won’t keep the account active. But I figured at 5 bucks a lead, it was worth continuing.
One thing I do want to point out is how nice Tara was to me throughout the process. In my experiences with Vendor Seek before, everyone I spoke to was rude and unhelpful. I was very glad to learn that some one with decent customer service skills had finally been hired, and I cannot tell you how good it felt to know that my complaints had been heard. I was a bit peeved when she emailed me asking that I update this blog entry, but in all honesty we both knew it was the reason for the free test, and I was happy to report on the leads that the test generated for us.
Soooo, I will continue to test out the leads at this discounted price, but my honest opinion really hasn’t changed. It is much more cost effective for some one to setup a pay per click campaign through adWords then it is to buy leads. HOWEVER, if you do not want to hassle with setting up an account and managing it, then a pay per lead service might be good for you. But, I would suggest starting off with a small daily limit. That way you can test the quality of the leads and judge them for yourself.
I meant to write this entry a while ago but it totally slipped my mind until I was speaking with a client yesterday morning. We were talking about other options for online lead generation besides a pay per click campaign and she asked me if I’d ever heard of a place called VendorSeek. As I informed her, yes I have heard of them and I strongly recommend staying away.
I signed up with VendorSeek a few months ago and I think I began with a $250 per month budget plus a $100 activation fee. Before I made the credit card payment every one I spoke to was nice and helpful. Then I started getting leads and frankly, they sucked. I got a total of ten leads, all for organic optimization, and not a single one converted into a client. Most of them were a complete waste of money. Some of the sites weren’t even hosted on domains, and one even had ad supported hosting. Then one of the leads I got was for a site that was in a foreign language.
So I contacted my representative, who transferred me to some one else, who forwarded me to the complaint department, etc. The result was… nothing. They wouldn’t refund my money even though most of the leads were of no value. They told me they could make some notes in my account to try to filter the leads better but the problem was that I had a 30 day window that I could request a refund of my startup fee. So if I chose to continue, I would essentially be sacrificing $100 to try their service again. I declined, and to their credit they did refund my startup fee with no hassles.
The problem with VendorSeek, and any other pay per lead program, is that they need to profit off the leads. They get their leads as cheaply as possible and send them to five or more different vendors to get as much revenue as they can. It is much more effective to setup and run a targeted pay per click campaign. Your total cost per lead may be higher, but your total cost per sign up is going to be much lower.
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Tags: opinion, pay per lead, vendorseek