The information provided here has been checked as being up-to-date as at July 2017.
If you’ve found this page then it’s likely that you’ve been approached by Lead Forensics, or are an existing subscriber to their service, and may be looking for alternatives. If you’re currently trialling Lead Forensics then you may be interested in our guide to Lead Forensics pricing, and then return to this page.
If you’re in a hurry to see the types of features that A1WebStats offers you, please go to this page.
Also, if you suspect that your website may be getting low levels of website traffic (under 200-300 visitors a month), then we would encourage you to look at our blog that focuses on analytics software for low traffic websites, and then come back to this page afterwards.
Four years ago
Five years ago we wrote an article that compared Lead Forensics to A1WebStats. We thought it was quite a balanced article that encouraged people to try both systems and to go with the solution that best matched their requirements. It resulted in some very positive feedback about the openness of that article.
Fast forward to 2017 and we’ve had years of conversations with hundreds of businesses who have tried/bought Lead Forensics and are looking at alternatives to consider (of which we’re one, but not the only one). We’ve also spoken to many people who later wished they’d researched the market more (before committing to Lead Forensics) and so we hope that the insights here are useful to you.
The most frequent question we get asked is:
“What’s the difference between A1WebStats and Lead Forensics?”.
There are many differences, both in our favour and in favour of Lead Forensics. Here’s our summary of those differences …
In our view, a free trial should be as open and flexible as possible.
- Our free trial is 30 days and gives you full access to your data via login details that you get from day one. You get all data from us – every visitor, whether or not they can be identified as a company. You are totally in control.
- Lead Forensics give you tracking code to put on your website, don’t give you access to your account during the 7 day trial, and take you through your data on a call. You get to see the data that they want you to see but can’t get your hands on your account.
When making a spending decision, it’s worth spending time to compare options side by side.
- We actively encourage people to trial us alongside other systems so that you make the choice that’s right for you. Although it may seem like extra effort to have two, three, four, or more trials running on your website at the same time, it’s time well invested as it will lead you to the solution that’s right for you.
- Lead Forensics will be reluctant to do side-by-side tests because it conflicts with their sales path.
Your budget can be spread in so many directions that will benefit the success of your website. Some things are worth paying more or less for.
- We’re priced much cheaper (£59 + VAT per month) and we’re not on commission.
- Lead Forensics cost more because they believe their data is worth the extra cost. They also have sales people to pay and an expensive infrastructure. Their typical charges are £150+ per month, although we have heard of people being offered it cheaper, particularly when they’re considering us as well. It’s worth looking at our more detailed blog about Lead Forensics pricing.
And on the subject of price, A1WebStats see our customers as being an opportunity to help them gain more business from their websites (with the help of our system), and not a sales transaction to notch up against targets. As you can see from the video below (audio is not compulsory but further reinforces the message), Lead Forensics have a more sales-focused culture …
We feel that no-one should feel long-term committed to any form of online software.
- We provide a month to month payment as standard. Subscribers can optionally gain discounts by pre-paying for 12 months. There is never any form of contract.
- Lead Forensics lock you into a contract, typically of 12 months.
It’s important to ask yourself questions about elements of a service that are not openly shared.
- We are very open about ourselves. We show our pricing. We try not to make wild claims about our system functionality. We try to remove any barriers to people like you seeing us as everyday people who just want to help companies gain more business from their websites.
- As at 2017, Lead Forensics don’t promote their pricing or contract periods on their website, and certainly don’t put articles on their website referring to competitors. There’s a simple reason for that – they don’t want people believing that there are other options out there, because they will often lose out (whoever those competitors are).
Relationship not sales
We believe in finding the right solution to your needs, not selling for the sake of it.
- You never get a sales pitch from us. All communication within the 30 day free trial is purely to ensure that you get the maximum benefits from your trial, whether or not you decide to go on to buy.
- With Lead Forensics you’ll get a professional sales person who hopes that you haven’t trialled any similar systems and, based on what our subscribers tell us, will get more salesy and less friendly as the prospect of the sale starts to slip away.
Are the details of companies visiting your website really all you should be focusing on?
- Although we provide details on companies that visit your website, we were originally created as an analytics system designed to help businesses win more business from their websites (by using data that’s not easy to get from Google Analytics alone). The identification of companies who visit websites just happens to be part of what the A1WebStats system offers, but it is what businesses seem to be most interested in. We firmly believe that it’s a business-limiting weakness to purely focus on companies that visit websites because it detracts from the fact that those companies didn’t make contact for some reason (which needs analytics to build an understanding of why, in order to make the website stronger).
- Lead Forensics focuses much more on the identification of visiting companies, including various ways to use that data. If your goal is nothing more than identifying visiting companies, you have the budget, and don’t mind the contract lock-in, then Lead Forensics may well be an option for you. But if that’s purely your focus then you should also be looking at other products that are similar to them.
When people test us side by side with Lead Forensics they usually comment that we have some companies that Lead Forensics don’t, and vice-versa, plus there are also recognisable companies that we have but they’re sometimes not presented in the same way as Lead Forensics. We don’t pretend that we’re perfect but we are constantly evolving and we have a subscriber churn rate of less than 3% (as at 2017). Yes, we lose some trial subscribers to Lead Forensics but we win a lot more than we lose and it’s very rare for us to have a paying subscriber that then goes to Lead Forensics. Perhaps more tellingly, we gain subscribers who trialled us but then bought Lead Forensics, then realised the mistake, and came back to us after their Lead Forensics 12 month contract expired.
For businesses with a CRM, integration with other systems can be a key expectation.
- We have our API available, so that you have the option of pulling your data into CRM systems. We don’t currently have much ‘out of the box’ linking with specific CRM systems, but that’s in development.
- Lead Forensics beat us on integration to some CRM systems (although we’re more flexible via the API offering). If specific CRM system integration is something of particular importance to you then Lead Forensics could be a choice for you, but there may also be other providers who offer the same types of integration.
While we can see the benefits of CRM integration, we also take the viewpoint that there will be numerous visitors to your website, who are from companies (but aren’t connected to their company network at the time of visit) and so you won’t be able to identify them. That’s why we recommend thinking deeper about your website visitors overall.
De-mystifying IP address tracking
There’s a lot of hype around the subject of IP address tracking. Lead Forensics make plenty of noise about investing huge amounts of money into databases etc. etc. but the whole concept is very very simple:
- Someone goes to your website and they’re identifiable by their IP address.
- That IP address is recorded and compared to a database at your provider (A1WebStats, Lead Forensics, others).
- A match is found and company data relating to that IP address is shown to you.
It’s not rocket science and it’s not as expensive to create and maintain databases, as you may have been led to believe. Our business founder has been using this sort of technology for 16+ years, long before Lead Forensics existed and even before Google Analytics was born. It’s been very slow for businesses to become aware that such things are possible and because it seems like the newest shiny thing (but it isn’t!), it’s easy to get tempted to buy into the first solution offered (which is usually Lead Forensics because they actively ring businesses more than any other provider).
David and Goliath
Years ago we chose not to cover this subject but there’s no hiding the fact that Lead Forensics see us as a big threat. As we’ve already said, we’re not perfect, but we do offer a solution that matches the budget of those businesses who are looking for the ability to see companies that visited their website, plus dig a lot deeper into overall website visitor patterns (in a way that isn’t easy with Google Analytics).
It’s understandable that if a smaller business takes potential business away from a larger business, then it’s going to lead to a battle. We’re a small business compared to Lead Forensics but in reality, probably their biggest competitor. We know this because over the years we’ve heard a multitude of negative comments about us (by Lead Forensics staff) that have been made to the many people who are kind enough to share with us. We don’t take it personally – we know it’s purely down to them losing sales and not liking it (when in reality they should be thinking about what the potential client actually needs and should pay a fair price for).
What’s ironic is that the only reason we ever decided to go head to head with Lead Forensics is because they tried to poach our subscribers. Before that we didn’t even know they existed because they were invisible in Google when relevant search phrases were used. Big company trying to beat much smaller company – it happens all the time in business but in our case, we’re only going to become stronger and stronger. And that sums A1WebStats up nicely – we offer a solution that’s designed to make small to medium business websites stronger than their (often bigger) competitors, and within that overall offering, it just happens to offer the same type of functionality that Lead Forensics does.
Buy Lead Forensics if …
- You have the monthly budget
- You’re not adverse to the contract lock-in time
- You have sales people that you want to allocate leads to, and who are going to act on the information
- You want to see very detailed information about visiting companies
- You purely want to be able to identify visiting companies and don’t want to know much else about your website strengths and weaknesses.
Buy A1WebStats if …
- You want details of all website visitors, not just companies. This includes getting an understanding of how email marketing respondents interact with your website, and how all PPC visitors interact (not just the company-identifiable ones).
- You want an affordable solution
- You don’t want to be locked into a long-term contract
- You want to improve your website strength, not just identify companies who have visited your website
- You want to deal with people who actually care that you win more business from your website.