Many companies spend a ton to generate leads for the sales teams. Direct in-home sales is my area of expertise. I run an offline/online hybrid leadgen service for a niche direct sales industry. Until the destruction of "ez-consumer credit" my business was booming. Here's how I did it: I created a series of sites that captured lead info, inticed referrals and sorted qualified leads. I convinced the heavy hitters in this niche to use my sites in their marketing Direct Mail pieces as the initial contact. It was easy to convince them because the old method of calling or mailing a piece back was losing it's effectiveness. So after a few months I had 30 plus locations paying $600 per territory to use my sites as a lead capture resource. They pay to mail out postcards with gift offers driving traffic to the sites. The offers are vague and people want the freebies... The prospects come to the sites and give up contact information, invite their friends to the offer via tell-a-friend form and pre-qualify themselves for an in-home sales presentation just to get the gift. Response rates are 7-8 percent on average as oppossed to 2-3 percent on th old direct mail campaigns. Referrals drive about another 30 percent of the traffic to the sites. I monetize on the frontend by selling the service (like renting the sites by 50 mile territory) and then after the lead is captured I funnel the traffic to non-abbrasive cpa offers for more monetization. The first Six months we're killer. The service got great review in the niche and clients were slaying it with the leads. Their sales were one stop to homeowners and it was possible to finance A, B, C, and D credit for their products. Each sale averaged 5k+. Then the recession hit and consumer financing all but dried up. Some of the banks these guys were using ceased ALL lending to the niche. Many of my initial clients struggled for months and eventually closed thier doors. The ones that hung on started mailing to credit qualified list, and tweaked their spending to adjust for less overall cashflow... That hurt my business. Now it's okay, I still have a handfull of regulars but as consumer credit starts to loosen in the next year or two it will boom again... I wrote a lot of code to sort and automate lead distribution for a national chain in my leadgen service and I'm hoping to put this to use in other niches with other companies soon. Anyway, I'm looking at this as a positive experience, a way I've made money offline/online and something I could share.