The Importance of Lead Validation in Internet Marketing

After building a lead generation campaign, one thing should be clear: how you are going to manage the many inquiries your site will generate. If you mismanage your leads, your site can turn into a wasteland, and that won’t be good for anyone. While many companies rely on Google Analytics for this task, there are a few holes in that type of tracking:

  • There is no qualitative analysis; it only counts form submissions.
  • Sixty percent of vital data is excluded because phone calls are not included.
  • The Google Analytics goal doesn’t show the actual form submission.
  • Most importantly, you cannot validate that the completed Google Analytics goal was a sales lead.

Those kinds of holes can cause you to miss out on valuable opportunities — so, what is the alternative? Lead validation, which is the process of separating sales leads from non-sales-related conversions, will give you the most accurate data from your lead generation campaigns. “The Critical Importance of Lead Validation in Internet Marketing” study reveals that half of a company’s website inquiries are not sales leads. Other key findings from the lead validation study:

  • The highest number of leads, with 19 percent for both days, converted on Mondays and Tuesdays, followed by 18 percent on Wednesdays and 17 percent on Thursdays.
  • Most leads, 85 percent, converted on the first visit. After the first visit, the drop-off is significant, proving that site quality is a big deciding factor for website visitors.

Having this critical data will aid you in filling those holes in your lead generation campaign because you will discover:

  • Which online marketing channel was responsible for each validated sales lead.
  • The accurate number of sales inquiries versus other non-sales conversions (e.g., customer service communication, sales solicitations, job applications, phone misdials, spam form submissions, etc.).
  • The cost per lead will be accurate as opposed to the cost per conversion, which the study proves can be misleading.
  • How to optimize campaign performance based on sales leads instead of only inquiries, which can include a large amount of other types of conversions.

When marketers judge the success of their campaigns (SEO, PPC, email, etc.) on the number of inquiries they receive, there is a chance their results are largely overstated. A campaign that brings in a lot of inquiries may in reality be generating very few leads, whereas a campaign that generated few inquiries may be generating more solid leads. Lead validation will ensure that marketers work off reliable data so that they can adjust campaigns accordingly to generate an abundance of quality leads.

This will improve the efforts of your sales team as well, and who doesn’t love great sales and marketing alignment? When the marketing team validates leads, the sales team spends less time sifting through a lot of non-leads and more time moving prospects further along the funnel. This will get the best leads into their hands in the most effective way, improving follow-up response time and quality close rates.

For more valuable insight into lead validation, check out more data in the presentation below:

Aaron Wittersheim is the Chief Operating Officer at Straight North

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