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BIAKelsey-SMB-Quality-Assessment-Lead-Sources-Mar2014After releasing lists revealing SMBs’ most effective social channels and traditional media advertising types, BIA/Kelsey is at it again, this time detailing the sources that SMBs consider best for leads. The data shows that there’s nothing quite like the sound of a person’s voice: calls and in-person interactions are rated as “excellent” lead sources by the highest proportion of respondents. But SMBs are enthusiastic about online forms, too.

Depending on the perspective, those 3 are rated by SMBs as being the best sources of leads:

  • Some 28% rated calls an excellent lead source, while another 38.4% rated them good (66.4% combined);
  • An equal 28% rated in-person interactions as an excellent lead source, though a relatively smaller 26.1% deemed them good (54.1% combined); and
  • While fewer – 19.5% – find online forms to be an excellent source of leads, a hefty 38.7% rate them as good (58.2% combined).

Email is the best-of-the-rest, rated by 43.7% of surveyed SMBs as being an excellent (15%) or good (28.7%) source of leads. The remainder of the lead sources identified are more tightly bunched, with Facebook pages tending to garner slightly better ratings than Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social channels.

The results serve as a reminder that phone calls are an important source of leads for SMBs – and that click-to-call features can be an important benefit for advertisers. A recent report from xAd revealed that last year, mobile-local ad clicks were most commonly followed by phone calls. Prior to that, Google revealed that search ads experience an 8% increase in click-through rate when call extensions are enabled, also noting that 7 in 10 smartphone users in the US claim to have used click-to-call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page.

About the Data: The BIA/Kelsey data is based on a survey of 568 SMBs fielded during Q3 2013.

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