A company that specializes in digging up sales leads has made the merchant-acquiring business one of its main areas of specialization.

San Diego-based InsideUp Inc. finds prospects through Internet ads, social media, videos and targeted telemarketing, says CEO Asad Haroon. For a fee, it then passes along the leads to independent sales organizations.

“Our company’s background is business marketing and creating a business-marketing infrastructure,” Haroon says. “We use that expertise to understand what works in lead generation.”

Buying the leads frees ISOs and sales agents to concentrate on their forte – selling, he suggests.

“A simple way to look at it is as a marketing platform for ISOs,” Haroon says. “Clients are essentially outsourcing their marketing to us.”

The company finds leads by making itself known to businesses likely to change merchant-services providers, he says.

To that end, the four-year-old firm’s ads appear on the search pages of users deemed likely to switch transaction-services companies based on their searches and the articles and blogs they’ve been reading, he says.

It’s the same principle that causes ads for motorcycle jackets to appear after a visit to www.leatherup.com.

InsideUp also maintains a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn to ferret out prospects, while a third-party service distributes its video ads to thousands of sites, Haroon says.

When the company makes cold calls to businesses, it uses its database of companies likely to entertain the notion of changing merchant-services providers, he notes.

It matches the leads it comes up with to its ISO clients. The criteria for matching include how much the ISO is willing to pay per lead, how many leads it wants, how much transaction volume it requires of its merchants and whether or not it takes on startup merchants, Haroon says.

The fees ISOs pay InsideUp fluctuate based on volume and other factors.

“We’re flexi ble,” Haroon says of the fees. “But we do have certain monthly requirements.”

ISOs could attempt to generate their own leads by mimicking InsideUp’s strategy but that wouldn’t allow them to control the cost of each lead, he notes.

“We guarantee a predetermined price per lead,” Haroon maintains. “We will never exceed that amount.”


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