Fresh Leads or Aged Leads?

Fresh leads or aged leads? It is a classic lead generation debate. I heard it discussed in some of Twitter chatter from the recent LeadsCon. Most often the discussion is around the speed at which Internet leads reach the lead buyer.

The Debate

It seems most buyers of Internet leads have this intuitive perception that real-time Internet leads are better. In the perfect world they should be, because in the perfect world leads (customer inquiries) are generated and find a home in sub-second timing. The reality?

Internet lead generation is a complex ecosystem of websites, marketing, consumer behavior, affiliates, lead aggregators, lead exchanges, lead brokers, filters, data verification, matching, and inefficient waste. For this reason, there is opportunity in aged leads.

Internet Inquiries are Imperfect

The opportunity in aged leads starts with the imperfection of the Internet inquiry. This classic process of driving consumers to take an action online is very much an art, not a science. As such, you will have imperfections.

Here are just some examples:

  • Technical errors and lost inquiries
  • Misrouted inquiries
  • Confusing or misleading calls to action
  • Incomplete actions
  • Unexpected capture process

All of these examples can leave a consumer lost in the lead ecosystem–unserved.

Consumer Behavior is Imperfect

Consumer behavior is no less imperfect and leads to just as many unserved leads. Internet users are notoriously unpredictable in their actions and inactions. As a result, they create more imperfections in creating the ideal real-time lead.

Here are some examples of behavioral errors:

  • Follow the wrong capture path
  • Make mistakes in completing the inquiry
  • Abandon the inquiry
  • Intentionally enter partially errant data
  • Objective in submitting inquiry is misaligned

Again, these simple and unexpected behaviors will again cause consumers to be lost in the lead ecosystem.

Imperfection Creates Opportunity

Of course, many of these imperfections produce an aged lead. They either get misrouted to a buyer that can’t help the customer, the buyer is not diligent in following up on all of the contact information, or the lead generator simple loses the lead in its delivery process until it is too late.

Fortunately, for the aged mortgage or debt lead buyer these are easy challenges to overcome with a solid, diligent sales process. And for a fraction of the cost an enormous marketing ROI opportunity.

The verdict? Be cautious in assuming real-time, fresh leads are perfect and try a few aged leads to see if “there is gold in them thar hills!”

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About Troy Wilson