Update 2017 – please feel free to read this page but there is now an updated page that focuses on Lead Forensics reviews in 2017, and how Google has improved it’s focus on impartial reviews.

We originally posted this blog in December 2012 so thought it was time for a 2015 update to see how things have changed.

You’ll likely have found this blog because you’d like to get some impartial insights into Lead Forensics.   In the original blog over two years ago (included further down), we believed that reviews from people would rise up the Google rankings at a faster pace than they actually have …

2015 Top 10 Lead Forensics Reviews Google results

At the time of writing, the top 10 Google results for the phrase ‘Lead Forensics Reviews’ could be categorised as follows:

  • 5 websites were Lead Forensics themselves/pages directly related to themselves.
  • 2 websites were competitors (including this blog).
  • 2 websites were effectively their business friends so not exactly impartial.
  • 1 website was a forum that had a range of opinions about Lead Forensics.

It’s interesting that in over two years, the first page of Google results for that search phrase has not evolved in the way that was anticipated.  If you take Lead Forensics themselves, plus what are clearly their business friends, 7 of the 10 page one Google results are not impartial reviews at all (although one does allow comments to be posted).  The two competitors also won’t be impartial, leaving just the UK Business Forum posting referred to in the original blog (which gives a range of comments).

What’s quite surprising is that no-one has come up with a reviews website that reviews products such as Lead Forensics, A1WebStats, and others, with the intention of getting that website on the first page of Google.   Maybe the time has come to have something like a Trustpilot or Checkatrade type setup that those of us in the industry can sign up to, and that guarantees that reviews are totally impartial.  When you want to go on holiday, what do you do?  Yes, you tend to look at TripAdvisor and although you’ll take some comments with a pinch of salt, the overall ‘review’ of the destination is going to give you a picture you can rely on.

While we’ve got our own views of how we compare to Lead Forensics (if interested, look for our Lead Forensics category within our blog), including who Lead Forensics may be most suitable for, it is of course a biased picture.   What’s needed is for potential buyers of such solutions to have an independent view of them, from a wide range of people that have used them.   Of course everyone has the option to try before they buy but many people would rather get a general idea of which to try and which to steer clear of.

Focusing here on just Lead Forensics (although this applies to any business in this sector), if there was a scheme to be signed up to, that independently got reviews from buyers not just at the start but at time periods thereafter, then a good and fair picture could be built up.  For example, if 70 out of 100 people who signed up with Lead Forensics gave the thumbs up in the early weeks but later weren’t so keen, the gradings of ‘satisfaction’ could change over time, giving an accurate representation of how happy people are with them.

Who knows what the coming years will bring but until such independent review sites/systems are in place it looks as if the only realistic option is to try before you buy, but try several services at the same time as each other.

Click here to see 16 reasons why A1WebStats will get you more business than Lead Forensics.

For historical reference, the original blog posting is below …

As the web gets more ‘social’, the power of reviews is going to grow, with people (generally) liking to buy on the basis of what others have recommended.

For some time now we’ve been getting feedback from people who have been using a product called Lead Forensics, as a trial or fully paid.  More on our views on that further down.

Looking at the top 10

At the time of writing, the top 10 Google results for the phrase ‘Lead Forensics Reviews’ could be categorised as follows:

  • 2 websites that had a single review
  • 1 website that had multiple views (top of Google)
  • 1 of their parent company’s pages about the product
  • 1 sales pitch from a reseller
  • 1 valuation of the business worth
  • 1 directory listing
  • 1 general review about the company itself
  • 1 job vacancy for the company
  • 1 irrelevant search result

What was refreshing about the top 10 results was that there wasn’t the mass of hard sales pitches from various resellers (often seen with various software products).  However, of actual reviews, there were only 3 websites that could be considered impartial and the one that had the most interaction (http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=247390 – goes on for a few pages) has quite a range of viewpoints about the product (and alternatives).

Even then though, the first page of Google at least (and how many people go much further!) doesn’t give a lot of detail about the actual system and whether it’s good, bad, or otherwise.  In short, a mixed bag of search results for the chosen search phrase.

Our view

Obviously, we’re biased because one part of our own website visitors analysis software offers similar functionality to that offered by the Lead Forensics products.  Many people think we’re competitors but we believe that the offerings are quite different in how they’re intended.  In fact, we’ve written about this before.

We are though on the receiving end of various views of the Lead Forensics offering.  We get enquiries from people who fit within the following categories …

  1. Existing users of Lead Forensics, reviewing alternatives.
  2. People who have trialled Lead Forensics and are seeing what else is around.
  3. People unhappy with Lead Forensics.

We actually get the views of those people, talking openly about the system they’ve been using.  Those views come back as being as mixed a bag as the top 10 results of Google, and comments are best grouped as follows:

  1. Lots of bells and whistles and useful for companies that have dedicated sales and marketing people who are hungry to do something with the information about companies who visited their website.
  2. Sales staff that are sometimes too pushy when wishing to convert trials to a sale. The word ‘arrogant’ has been used several times in conversations.
  3. Quite costly for smaller businesses.
  4. Dissatisfaction at contract lock-in periods.

Hmmm, that doesn’t appear to be a very balanced view (even though it’s what people tell us and yes, they do also sometimes refer to the more positive aspects of their experiences so it’s not all one way) so in the spirit of fairness (after all, it is Christmas!) we want to reiterate that the Lead Forensics product is very much the perfect solution for some types of buyers, as already referred to in the link further up.  Just because we offer something quite different, doesn’t mean that Lead Forensics isn’t ‘right’ for many types of buyers.

Our views though are based purely on people who have already gone down the Lead Forensics path, and have been open in their comments to us, prior to, and during, taking the free 30 day A1WebStats trial.   We actually enjoy helping them to gradually shift their focus from purely looking at companies who have visited a website, and into the mindset of doing something about the website weaknesses that stop those companies making contact in the first place.  We very often say “would you prefer to be able to identify 100 companies who visited your website, but didn’t make contact … or would you prefer for more of those 100 companies to find enough reason to make contact with you in the first place?”

All this talk about reviews though does highlight something that appears to be lacking … a decent number/quality of reviews about website analytics or lead generation products.  Could we yet see a day when people type a (website analytics or lead generation) product name along with the word ‘reviews’ and they get a good selection of search results giving varied reviews that help them make the right decision?   Hopefully, in time.  For now though, it appears that people wanting to see reviews of such products are stuck with having to try them out and then judge from there.

Comments

  1. Very interesting. Andy was very helpful when I called. Just started the trial. Looks very useful at the moment. I will update you (the investigator) again soon.

    I do like the fact that it is just a rolling month contract.

    Cost is also a factor. As they say down the local supermarket…. Every little helps.

  2. Do your due diligence and avoid Lead Forensics at all costs. They are drinking some nasty kool aid at their offices and I know karma will get them.

    Quality of Data: not ‘the best’ as they claim to have the largest and most accurate DB in the business. I started using a competitor (LeadLander) and I’m getting more actionable data.

    Culture: these guys are shameless vultures. Think boiler room sales. they will say anything to close the deal. DON’T SIGN A PARTNER CONTRACT as I cancelled because I was getting calls from customers I was recommending who said they felt harassed by the sales teams tactics.

    I’ve had to leave and tell them to cease & desist our relationship because of how poorly I’m being treated and how much they harassed the leads I gave them. Despite being told verbally that the relationship would work a certain way, things have turned out the opposite and they are defaulting to a one sided contract I made the mistake of signing. I only did so after investing time with their sales team having them explain to me that I could end the contract anytime with 30 days notice. That just wasn’t true…now they tell me I’m locked in for two years.

    I’ve made it my mission to share my experiences and warn everyone about how shady they are…do you research and find other options. Don’t believe the tricks like ‘my manager gave me a deal that only lasts today’ as I let that go for a week and the once in a lifetime deal never changed. I wish I had just told him to stop calling and moved on.

  3. These guys are relentless. I showed the smallest glimmer of interest and it was an onslaught of calls that just wouldn’t stop. I would never do business with these guys EVER !!

    1. What can we say Eric – you’re a man echoing the voices of hundreds of others we’ve spoken to, so you’re not alone. And of course we agree – it’s an extremely strange way of ‘sales’ that lives in the stone age.

  4. Impossible to get out of a contract early. They make the “pre ghost version” of Ebenezer Scrooge look kindly. Avoid signing with them unless the money for an entire contract is entirely something you can afford to write off if it doesn’t work. The data for the US seems less good than the UK data, and the happiest customers seem to be from the UK.

    Now the good side – the idea they sell is sound. (maintain a massive database of IP addresses and cross reference it with Google data), and sell you the cross matches.

    It just not necessarily going to work out profitably for everyone, and that is something they won’t admit, which I would always take as a sign of weakness even if it had worked out for me.

  5. Do not deal with Lead Forensics. They will miss-sell their product to you due to the sales staff being paid largely on commission and on a constant caffeine high (the latter being assumed) . Then they will tie you down to a lengthy contract so that when you realise that the data they supply is of a poor quality (and not what they promised) you are stuck with no option to end early.

    There are far better and more reliable lead generating tactics out there. See Approved Index/GVF.

  6. im a small business and i was told this product would help save my business by giving me the details of companies that come on to my site. i thought brilliant… the bit they didn’t tell me was the company has to have a static IP address and my targets customer is small business’s
    i have asked my existing customers to enter my site and not one of them showed up in lead forensics. so i know i am getting small businesses entering my site but not getting those details… i am in week 3 of a 12 month contract and hoping i can get out as £300 a month could kill my business if i don’t get out of this as it’s not supplying any names for me to sell to….

    i really hope someone can help me get out of my contract i am a disabled small business owner that relies on just small jobs for me to work on at home. if i knew this product wouldn’t supply me the names of the small companies that come in to my site i wouldn’t have taken the contract on.

    so if anyone is reading this and can help me get out of this contract after just 3 weeks please help me

    1. This is such a horrible thing to see Mike but unfortunately all too common. The reality is that, contrary to how this industry is sometimes portrayed, many businesses (particularly smaller ones) can’t be easily identified.

      Our view is always going to be that if someone has a decent length trial (e.g. the month we offer, rather than a week), then there’s enough time to judge whether such software would be useful. We actually have a policy whereby, if we feel a potential paying subscriber isn’t going to benefit, we will actively discourage them from buying. Sadly, others out there are happy to take money from buyers, regardless of the cost or impact.

      I’ll privately message you as may have some insights that will be useful to you.

  7. What a huge disappointment. Trial was misleading and we’re now tied into a 15 month contract. We haven’t been able to engage with one genuine prospect seeking our services, and certainly no clients have come from this. It took Lead Forensics 3 minutes to respond to our request to engage their services, yet near 3 months to respond to our complaint. There are alternative providers.

  8. I too am a small business in a 12 month contract and 4 months in. We are always struggling when larger organisations visit the site who are nationwide with several regional offices, impossible to identify where the visitor is based. We had one direct success but sales attributed to using Lead Forensics info is now outweighed by the cost. The past month has had telesales follow the leads but limited success at getting through to the right people. I’d like to cancel, use something different that is cheaper and can go month by month. Any thoughts

    1. Hi Stuart,

      In some cases those larger organisations can be sub-identified (by regional offices). Using a hypothetical example, ABC Corp could have a head office and several regional offices. Within A1WebStats it may show the head office phone number for ABC Corp but within each visit there is a link to a Google Map that focuses on the IP address of the visitor. In some (but not all) cases, clicking on that link will take you to the geographical area where the visitor came from. So, if ABC Corp was headquartered in London and had a regional office in Barnsley, then the Google map link may reveal where the visitor actually came from.

      You can have a play with the Google Map links from with our live data page http://www.a1webstats.com/stats/live-data.aspx, and naturally, can test it for yourself on your own data if taking our 30 day free trial.

      With regards to cancelling your contract, there may well be answers to that – watch this space.

  9. Small agency with limited resources and we are definitely disappointed with the lack of value the software has been for our business. We gave it a good try for four months now and it hasn’t proved useful. Most of our clients are small businesses and frankly, that sort of data never shows up on the platform. Found this page by searching about getting out of the contract. Any advice?

    1. Hi Tim,

      Yes, that’s going to be the case with most such solutions (not being able to identify many types of small business), whether it’s Lead Forensics, us, or others. We hear a lot of people saying words to effect of “it’s not fair, I’ve bought into a long-term contract for something which looked good at the time of trial”.

      If it’s any consolation, many people don’t get trapped like that, because of blogs like ours and also comments that people make on other sites (UK Business Forums being an example).

      One thing we do advise businesses to do is look at free legal advice that they may have as part of memberships they have (e.g. Chamber of Commerce, FSB, etc.) as that may at least give a good starting point to finding a way out of the contract.

  10. Lead Forensics Support – I’m still waiting for the phone call from 6 months ago. We rearranged in March and again no phone call ever came. Finally, the customer services manager gets in touch a few weeks ago – Great! …. He has now dropped off the radar and is not returning emails. Hmmm…

  11. So refreshing to see I am not the one who can’t stand these vultures and cowboys.

    What began as a “thanks but no thanks” to one of their team morphed into something I actually take pleasure in taking the piss out of them on LinkedIn for and IDGAF if anyone thinks that’s “unprofessional”.

    Almost daily one of their “Global International Strategic Partnership Universal Strategist” (or what other pathetic attempt to avoid admitting they are salespeople they are using today) views my profile page (8 this week!) , I still get messages from some n00b very often and I tell them every time, you are wasting your time, take me off your lists and harrass someone else or I will just carry on calling you tits out on LI.

    Linkedin has already become a joke with the Facebook style memes and humblebragging, these clowns just add. Glad I don’t pay for my subscription!

    I like your style and approach A1 – keep doing what you do with integrity and humour. Let them hang themselves.

  12. you guys are so right, i would rather be questioned by KOJAC than deall with these salesmen at Lead Forensics, so so pushy and on a weak day i sIgned on FOR A YEAR and every lead i get is 2000 plus employees, after 3 months i have not found 1 lead, not 1, what a wast of money!!! Buyer BEWARE DO NOT BUY THIS SERVICE!

    DO NOT BUY THIS SERVICE IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMON SENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks for taking the time to raise awareness for others Gary. We always hate it when we hear of people who have committed to a long contract, but haven’t seen the benefits.

      Our view is that a decent length trial (e.g. 30 days) gives the potential customer the chance to see whether the data is useful to them, AND whether they can turn that into business. At A1WebStats we’d much rather say “thanks for trying but not buying – we’d rather lose you as a potential customer than sell you something that didn’t work for you”.

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