I know the answer is going to be "It depends!"
But let me give my scenario and someone tell me what the going rate could/should be. I am contacting a sector of clients (Digital media companies, doctors, etc.) and I am hiring freelancers to scraped data by Googling and using directories. They get the email and the person's name and send an email using a template. Basic stuff. What should the rate be for this on a per lead basis?
I am trying to find more info/articles about this, but I can't seem to find anything that is concrete. Only stuff that does math (A client is worth $10,000 and one in a hundred does a deal, then we divide by a hundred and get...blah blah).
re: "What should the rate be for this on a per lead basis?"
This is not a matter of what the rate "should" be. There is no should.
Are you worried about paying "too much"? Or "too little"?
What you SHOULD be concerned about is YOUR business and YOUR goals. How will you maximize YOUR profit?
Hire various freelancers, who have various rates and approaches. Carefully evaluate their work. Continue working only with the freelancers who produce the MOST VALUE for YOUR.
If you hire "Anthony" for $5.00 per hour, that's a great deal, right? But he only produces 5 leads per hour and they are low quality.
But you also hired "Sam." His rate is $40/hour, but in that time, he produces 60 high-quality leads?
Which freelancer is the better deal?
You can do similar evaluation whether or not you use fixed-price or hourly contracts.
This is basically the answer I was trying to avoid. I was hoping there are some stats or metrics that I am unaware of. I am relatively new to upwork and don't want to overpay for leads, but I want to try and think about what is reasonable and fair. Thats why I am asking this forum.
How I will maximize my profit is trying to get that number down as absolutely low as possible.
In this scenario, the person you pay significantly more will not produce significantly more leads. We would like to think that, but it's not the case.
re: "We would like to think that, but it's not the case."
I'm not saying it's always the case.
I'm saying it's the case in THIS example.
This was a hypothetical example.
You need to do your own testing.
There is no way to compare the productivity of freelancers without hiring them.
If measuring productivity and maximizing output is important, you'll simply need to hire multiple people.
You can NOT assume that the highest-priced freelancer will yield the best results and best value for YOUR project.