If you care about your personal health, you probably pay attention to the quality of the food you eat – where it comes from and how it’s made.

Leads are your company’s food.

Quality Fresh Leads = Good Food For Your Business = A Healthy Bottom Line

What makes a Good Quality Lead?

Actual intent to buy your product or service.

Sounds like a no-brainer. If someone volunteers their contact information they must want to talk to someone about buying something, right?

Not so fast.

There are multiple methods for generating leads – some arise out of an actual intent to buy – some…well….don’t.

Legitimate methods for generating leads capitalize on a person’s actual interest in getting work done. This is demonstrated either through that person’s internet search patterns or responding to an advertisement or offer that speaks to their current need.

Legitimate Lead Generation Methods can include

  1. Organic search traffic
  2. Google or Bing search ads
  3. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ads
  4. YouTube ads
  5. Display ads (Retargeting)
  6. Email campaigns
  7. Many, many other methods

However, a lot of companies use “tricks” and misleading information to get people to give up their contact information even though they don’t actually have any current intent to get work done or buy anything.

This results in the “Why are you calling? I didn’t sign up for anything!” response to your appointment setting team.

Misleading Lead Generation Tactics include

  • Incentivising the lead to give up their contact information using a giveaway or lottery. (“Sign up here – you could win a free TV!”)
  • Free Work – Ads that include offers of seemingly free services or products that appear to be part of a legitimate market entry plan (“We are giving away 10 roofs in your state – see if you qualify!”)
  • Someone else will pay for it – Ads that strongly imply that a homeowner’s project will somehow be paid for by a “government program” or other third-party. (“Enter to see if your house qualifies for a new program in your state!”)
  • Co-Registration – Leads sign up for one offer and have their information sold for other unrelated offers using the fineprint in the opt-in form (“You agree that we can sell your information to whoever we want, for whatever reason we want. Keep your phone handy – because we intend to sell your info A LOT”)
  • Reselling old leads – yes this actually happens. (“Why are you calling now? I had this work done 3 months ago!”)

It gets worse – increasingly, the leads you are buying for your company are not generated by the company you are buying them from.

We know – we’ve sold leads to almost every large lead provider in the home services market. Together those companies sell the lion’s share of all leads sold to contractors in the United States.

Some resellers buy leads directly from the company that did generate them – the generators are called “publishers” or “affiliates” depending on the buyer.

However, many (if not most) leads are now purchased through open markets using a method called “Ping/Post” where leads might pass through several hands before making their way to your CRM.

If you aren’t familiar – here’s how Ping/Post works –

A lead generator (who can be located anywhere in the world) produces a lead from whatever their preferred method (legit or not). It’s very hard to tell exactly how the lead is generated because publishers often “mask” the ad copy that generates the lead.

The lead is instantly offered or “pinged” out to potential buyers for that type of lead in that market. Each of those prospective buyers then submits a bid for the lead and then the lead is sold depending on the bids. Sometimes a lead is sold once – sometimes it’s sold multiple times.

  1. Exclusive Leads are supposed to be sold only once and delivered to a single end user (the contractor). In our experience “exclusive” is not always truly exclusive.
  2. Shared Leads are sold to several buyers who all call the lead at the same time and fight for the business. Each sale of that lead is called a “Lead Leg”. Leads are only supposed to have 4 legs. We’ll resist calling them “dogs”. Also we’ve had some experience with shared leads that seemed more like spiders or squids. We don’t deal in shared leads anymore unless a client specifically asks for them.

Once all the bids are in, the seller determines their best sale scenario (sell to multiple buyers at a lower price or one buyer who bids enough to buy all the Legs) and “posts” to the winning bidder(s). And it may be sold again from there.

This all sounds time consuming but the entire ping/post process happens automatically and in microseconds. Millions of times a day.

Does your lead provider buy at least some of their leads on Ping/Post? – Probably.

Are they going to tell you which ones? Doubt it.

How do you protect yourself from getting Bad Leads?

The closer you are to the original lead source the easier it is to determine whether a lead was legitimately generated and the easier it is to do quality control.

You should make sure you are dealing with a lead seller that

  1. Is transparent about where their leads are coming from.
  2. Will use your data and theirs to dial in which campaigns (internal or external) to match your goals and expectations.
  3. Has a Value-Driven Returns Policy that insures that you are not paying for garbage leads.

Ask your lead provider whether they are using the Ping/Post market to buy leads or if they are generating leads with their own media-buying teams.

Yes media-generated leads are more expensive – but the higher intent and exclusive lead opportunities they provide typically result in a better return on your investment.

If you want to learn more about this topic and want to see what we might be able to do for your company, then let’s hop on a quick call to see if we can help.

Go here to book a time and answer a few quick questions about your business.

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