Data quality is a huge issue in the marketing world and more organizations are beginning to realize that poor quality data can hurt them. According to research by D&B Canada, “dirty data” costs US businesses six hundred billion dollars per year, on things like hiring unnecessary contact center staff, printing unnecessary promotional material and postage.
With this kind of money at stake, data quality is something that should be at the forefront of marketers’ minds. Christopher Petix, President of Data Marketer and Online Lead Generation specialist, Clash-Media, shows how to improve data quality by using new online techniques that provide fully opted-in leads to increase conversion rates and dramatically improve the bottom line.
Why targeting leads is the key
Even when the leads obtained from massive databases work, there is no guarantee that the person you are contacting will have any interest in your product. The lead may fit the filter categories by age, location and broad interests, but still select people who have no inclination towards your product. Ideally leads need to not only fit the target demographics of a company, but also have shown a genuine interest in the product or service provided.
Online Lead Generation targets interested consumers
Instead of delving into a huge database of information, Online Lead Generation (OLG) collects leads to a company’s specific requirements. So instead of data sitting in a provider’s database waiting to be used, Online Lead Generation will actually collect new data for every campaign and companies using the service can be sure that the leads they acquire will be brand new, unique and specific to them.
Stringent data cleansing processes increase conversion
Although OLG collects unique and fresh leads specific to the company that requests them, some leads will inevitably slip through the net that are not completely relevant. Online Lead Generation has strict data cleansing processes in place that filter all of the leads again after they have been collected and take out all of the irrelevant ones. So if a 45 year-old man has registered an interest in a product, but the criteria was men under 25, OLG will remove that lead in favor of one that fits the collection criteria.
Companies using Online Lead Generation can also opt to have leads sent directly to their CRM system or contact centre for immediate follow-up, which also increases the value of the data. Rapid response times are essential to conversion because data decays over time – if a consumer registers interest in a product and you don’t follow up with them for the next four weeks, chances are they will have forgotten they registered and will either have bought the product already or lost interest. If you contact them within the next few days however, the lead will still be ‘hot’, the consumer will still be interested and it is more likely to result in a conversion.
Performance based methods allow complete control over budgets
It can be difficult to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of traditional data collection from large data houses, as clients will usually pay for a bundle of leads, say 10 or 20 thousand, regardless of their quality or conversion rate. However with Online Lead Generation clients can opt to pay on a cost-per-lead basis for new and unique leads – and if they have already obtained the lead from another source, they can reject that lead in favor of a new one. This flexibility means that OLG is very cost-effective as marketing managers are not paying for any ‘dead’ leads – they only pay for the leads that they use. Because of the higher quality of the data provided, there is also less of a waste margin, so companies can ask for less leads initially. They may get the same number of conversions from 5,000 leads as they would from a 10,000 lead bundle from a larger ‘blind’ database.
Data quality has the ability to save marketers a considerable amount of money and is a completely transparent process – it is easy to see which leads have converted and which haven’t. The cost-per-lead pricing system and extreme data cleansing also means that marketers are getting excellent value for money. The highly measurable nature of an Online Lead Generation campaign and its ability to suit almost any budget is what makes it attractive and it is easy to see how it will fit into a larger, complete marketing campaign.