Organizations collect leads in many different ways. Leads are collected when prospects respond to offers, fill out forms in websites, or send email inquiries. Leads can occur simply by word of mouth or other lead capturing tools as well.
Once a database of leads has been created, what can be done to improve the value of this asset that helps drive all future sales? How can the data be leveraged to optimize the time of the sales organization before they receive these leads?
There are 3 main ways to improve the value of lead data:
The first is to eliminate bogus or phantom leads. One way to do this is by validating the existence of email addresses for leads. This not only removes obvious fake email addresses, but also filters email addresses from domains that are not operational and have been turned off or cannot accept email. Other data such as phone numbers or mailing addresses can also be used for lead validation. Lead filtering such as this can prevent the sales organization from wasting valuable time on these phantom leads. It can also reduce spend for marketing campaigns and keep an organization off of spam lists.
Secondly, improving the quality of lead data is also important. This means ensuring that phone numbers are correct, addresses are accurate and do not contain typos, any missing information like zip codes or area codes is added, and correcting anything else that require members of the sales team to waste time chasing down a lead. Incomplete or inaccurate information and associated lost time hinder a sales force from understanding and meeting the needs of actual prospects.
Third and finally, appending additional information to each lead can help provide data points that can be used for segmentation, personalization, localization, and other forms of targeted marketing. For example, appending latitude and longitude data can help with market visualization and opportunity identification. Combining that data with census and other demographic information help score leads for sales to prioritize opportunities.
Sales leads are the lifeblood of revenue generation. The smart organizations recognize that and treat them as such.
Affiliate marketing is much like the Wild West — full of digital cowboys, vigilantes and outlaws. White hat, black hat, and gray hat techniques abound, and there are myriad ways to win big in this industry.
StrikeIron works closely with several affiliate marketers. Many are combining digital and physical lead generation techniques, so every bounced email or returned flyer has an associated cost.
Efficiency is key. We’ve created a list of the affiliate marketers who we think are the fastest-growing, most-established, and most-exciting right now:
- Red Ventures is a Charlotte, N.C.-based direct marketing and lead generation firm, representing top brands like DirecTV. They have grown a highly effective business in lead generation and customer acquisition. The company owns hundreds of Web properties specifically for individual lead generation efforts. Red Ventures is as persistent and persevering as its CEO, Ric Elias, who was one of 155 survivors of the famous US Airways jet crash landing on New York's Hudson River.
- TranCos is a digital marketing and customer acquisition firm that works on behalf of some of the country’s largest retailers, including Walmart, Gap, and Kohls. It has been a regular feature on The Inc. 500 list and continues to push the bar in customer acquisition and lead generation.
- Prospectiv focuses on connecting brands and women online. For more than a dozen years, Prospectiv has specialized in customer acquisition. It has more recently expanded to launch Eversave, a national daily deal company. Propsectiv has shown the affiliate marketing industry that once you develop expertise in getting leads for others, great execution can lead to a booming lead generation business for your own properties.
- MediaTrust has seen more than 600% growth since its founding in 2006. The New York-based company — one worth continuing to watch — has developed a proprietary cost-per-action platform that it uses to help online performance marketing campaigns.
As affiliate marketing continues to evolve, look to these companies to innovate and develop successful techniques and best practices that lead.
...who are collecting, selling, or buying email leads.
We are excited to kick off an encore of our wildly popular 'Evaluate StrikeIron's real-time Email Verification for a free iPad 2 promotion' this time at ad:tech New York.
Here is how it works:
1) Sign up at offers.strikeiron.com/ipad2
2) A StrikeIron representative will contact you to arrange a free Email Verification evaluation. 10,000 email addresses is the norm to ensure that we have a reasonable sample size. The evaluation will use StrikeIron's new Trident Email Verification algorithms which provide even higher accuracy than prior versions.
3) We will run the list through our Email Verification service before the show.
4) Setup a time to review the results at ad:tech New York (November 8-10) and walk away with your shiny new iPad2.
No purchase is necessary but we have found that once we have the opportunity, you will see how easy, accurate, and cost effective it is to verify your email leads in real time.
See you at ad:tech Booth #2153!
A lead, as we all know, is an individual or company that has indicated some level of interest in potentially buying a product or service. This is an important first stage categorization of any sales process.
Technically, a lead is represented by data, and the potential value of that lead is dependent on the level of accuracy, how current the contact information is, and the comprehensiveness of the data that constitutes the lead. In other words, a lead is only as valuable as the data that comprises it within a CRM application or other sales-driving system.
Fortunately, lead value ROI is generally pretty easily obtained as a function of the sales line. It is very measurable, and one can see over time that the more accurate, complete, and timely leads are likely to drive the most revenue and have the greatest value to the sales organization. Therefore, investing in the quality of lead data can have a measurable and rewarding payoff.
This is one of the primary reasons many organizations come to StrikeIron - to enhance the value of their lead data. Our real-time customer data quality offerings can validate email addresses, physical addresses, and phone numbers to ensure a lead is accurate, and it can even correct missing or inaccurate contact lead data where possible.
We can also add a sizable list of additional data points, including company demographic data points, residential information (from sources such as the Census Bureau), latitude and longitude coordinates, and other data points that add some additional value to the lead and optimize it for the purposes of a sales organization.
Best of all, our easy-to-integrate APIs are available out in the Cloud (meaning no reference data maintenance and a flexible subscription model), making it easy to plug into just about any CRM, marketing automation, or other lead management system via the Internet.
So as we are in the sweet spot of need for a large number of attending organizations at LeadsCon, we have found much success in the past with this conference. As a result, we will have a pretty sizable contingent of folks at the event in New York City this week.
Drop by and say hello (booth 202) and learn more about how to rev up the value of leads. Oh and by the way, we will be giving away some iPad2's. Hope to see you there!