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.
Over the past years we have analysed the Google results that appear when searching for ‘Lead Forensics Reviews’.
We’ve done that because:
- People who are considering Lead Forensics want to gain other perspectives before committing to what is a long-term and costly commitment (compared to other solutions on the market, including ourselves).
- We feel that the Google results do not actually provide much in the way of impartial reviews (see further down for more details on this).
We’re going to focus on both organic Google results for reviews and also what appears in paid adverts …
2016 Lead Forensics Reviews – Paid Ads
Something that’s changed hugely since we first started analysing the data, is the increase in Lead Forensics competitors who use Google Adwords, but also, in Lead Forensics ‘friends’ who use paid ads in response to those competitors!
Those paid ads change all the time but at the time of writing, this is how they looked:
What’s interesting about those is that only one (whoisvisiting) is a direct competitor to Lead Forensics. Two of the others are resellers of their product. One is Really B2B, which is part of the same group as Lead Forensics – play spot the difference between these two …
…. although there is at least a disclosure on the Really B2B site for those eagle eyed enough to see that it’s just another way to push the Lead Forensics product from themselves, clogging up the organic search results and Google being too stupid to realise it:
If it’s Lead Forensics ‘friends’ in those paid adverts then they could hardly be considered impartial reviews (as those advertisers make money from selling the Lead Forensics product).
If it’s Lead Forensics competitors then you’d expect them to draw comparisons but again, not exactly impartial.
If it’s Lead Forensics themselves then obviously, it’s not going to be impartial.
What’s interesting in 2016 though is that the business world is gradually waking up (this sort of thing has been around for 10+ years) to using analytics in a more intelligent way and although Lead Forensics are directly dominant and aggressive in their sales approach, both competitors and Lead Forensics ‘friends’ are putting a lot more into visibility via the paid search results. There’s probably going to come a time when (especially after the Google paid ads changes) that Lead Forensics financially support their resellers to dominate the paid search results in an effort to reduce awareness of competitors.
So the paid adverts can’t be really considered impartial reviews, which brings us onto …
2016 Lead Forensics Reviews – Google organic search results
Here’s the picture of the top 9 (couldn’t fit 10 into the screen, but the tenth is their own Facebook page) at the time of writing:
To briefly summarise those Google organic search results for ‘Lead Forensics Reviews’ …
Three are Lead Forensics themselves (so not impartial reviews).
Two are direct competitors (ourselves (A1WebStats), and WhoisVisiting). So neither should be considered to be impartial (even though we tried to give a balanced view of why people should consider products other than Lead Forensics).
One is Glassdoor, which has reviews about the company itself, from people who work there. So not reviews about the product itself (and to be honest, based on conversations we’ve had with ex-Lead Forensics workers, not a full reflection).
One is B2B Marketing, and it’s not a review, but makes people buy into what they’ve got to say by having to be logged in.
One (sixwebster.com) is intriguing. It appears to be a website set up purely for SEO purposes but ultimately it’s attempting to push people in the direction of Lead Forensics. There are no other services on offer, no address (always raises suspicion), and ultimately doesn’t seem to be an ‘independent’ review.
The only website that has a strong cross-section of views (both for and against Lead Forensics as a business and a product is http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk/threads/anyone-use-lead-forensics.247390/. There’s a lot of posts on there from 2012 onwards and they vary widely in the opinions people give. In our view, this is the only website on that first page of Google results that actually gives a proper and balanced review of Lead Forensics.
So what are your concerns?
It’s likely that you’re reading this because of one of the following:
- You’ve been contacted by Lead Forensics and are considering their offering but want to see what other people say.
- You’re an existing user of Lead Forensics, are having doubts about what you signed up to, and want to see what other people have to say.
- You’re an agency thinking of reselling Lead Forensics and don’t want to commit the resources into it unless you’ve got a better picture of things. On this point, if this is you, our resellers page should be of interest).
Totally biased review of Lead Forensics
Before A1WebStats started, we used Google extensively to see which companies appeared when we made various searches (for example, ‘companies visiting my website’). There was nothing of significance there, and certainly not Lead Forensics.
So we launched with a model focused on:
- Month to month payments with no contracts (with optional discounts for paying longer periods of time) and easy to cancel at any time.
- A fee (£49 per month) that covered our costs, made some profit, but focused on the pockets of our target audience – small to medium sized businesses.
- A product that doesn’t just track IP details, but goes into great depth about website visitors, finding ways to get more results from website traffic overall. In short, doing the bits that Google Analytics doesn’t do well.
Over time we became aware of Lead Forensics because they actively contacted our customers and trial subscribers, effectively trying to ‘muscle in’. Then we realised they’d been around for awhile but weren’t focusing their visibility on ‘online’ (hence being invisible). Hands up – we should have researched the market a bit more than we did!
So we responded accordingly, making ourselves visible when people were looking for alternatives to them. Think: small company (us) vs big company (them).
Since then we’ve become hugely proud at the level of attention they give us (and also by the increase in new entrants to this market since we started). In a strange kind of way we love Lead Forensics because they help us to sell more, which is really kind of them. They visit our website most days, they have lots to say about us to people they speak to (negative of course) and through it all we’ve always been very honest by saying:
Try Lead Forensics and try us and others all at the same time. Don’t be forced into a sale but do be open to discussing what your website data actually means because our history is in website success, not purely trying to follow up on companies that have visited your website (which is such a limited approach). Having invested time in looking at a range of solutions then you will make your own mind up about what’s right for you.
Yes, we have frequent and daily conversations with people who have trialled Lead Forensics and have trialled us. We know about the sales tactics, spin etc. It’s just part of the daily routine. It doesn’t really matter what Lead Forensics try to do to us or others in our industry – it’s ‘business’ at the end of the day.
What does matter to us though are ethics. We are 100% against any business paying for our type of software if they’re not going to gain from it. Whether that’s at Lead Forensics high pricing or at our lower pricing, there still has to be a return on that investment, and (in our view), that should be possible within a decent length trial period (30 days with full access to the data in our case, about a week typically with no login access to the data for Lead Forensics).
Something that we’re seeing a lot more of now are companies that approach us, having been users of Lead Forensics but have decided that they don’t want:
- The costs being so high.
- All the features Lead Forensics offer.
- They find that the usefulness of the data wasn’t as great as they initially thought it would be, but had signed up for a long contract they couldn’t get out of.
In short, they don’t need all the ‘bells and whistles’ or the costs, so they come to us to trial.
We’re actually very proud of our policy that stops people feeling as if they’ve made a mistake. That policy effectively says:
- If paying month to month (most do) then you can cancel, directly from your account, at any time you want to, and there are no more payments from then onwards.
- If pre-paying for 6 or 12 months (to get the discount) then that doesn’t automatically renew each period, and there are no contracts.
- We want our subscribers to throw their website-related problems at us so that we can show them how the A1WebStats system can help them. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship where we’re only as good as the month to month payments being gained, and we’re so happy to have an extremely low cancellation rate and subscribers that have been with us for years (many right from the start).
We’ve been advised so many times (by well-meaning business consultants) to “be more like Lead Forensics – go out there and push for the sales at higher prices”. But that’s not us – we’re all about helping businesses to succeed (via their website strength) in exchange for a fair fee, creating many subscribers who feel more like friends than customers. There is no-one in the world who can say that we’ve tried to ‘sell’ to them, nor will that ever be the case.
To summarise our totally biased review of Lead Forensics, regardless of what we, or anyone else says about them, they are very successful. Whether it’s our review or anyone else’s, there is no substitute for doing a side by side comparison of similar software products so that you can make the decision for yourself.
The UK Business Forums thread referred to earlier is as close as you’re going to get to unbiased reviews of Lead Forensics, which does at least give you a flavour before then deciding what to do next.
Whatever you decide to do, we hope you get the system that gives you the functionality that best matches your business culture and targets.