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Thoughts on Data Quality and Contact Validation

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Posts Tagged ‘Lead Scoring’

The Cost of Incomplete Leads to Your Business

If you are old enough to remember the disco era, one of its biggest hits was “Got to Be Real” by Cheryl Lynn. (And if you’re younger, it’s been sampled over 100 times since.) Decades later, if you work in marketing, this tune should become your new theme song.

The lifeblood of any marketing operation is its lead generation efforts. And sadly, many of these leads aren’t real – according to industry figures, as much as 25% of your contact data is bad from the start, and from there 70% of it goes bad every year as jobs, roles and contact information changes. This ranges from fake or fraudulent contact data, often entered to gain access to lead generation bonuses, all the way to fat-fingered data entry.

Unfortunately, when your contacts aren’t real, the costs involved are very real:

Marketing costs: Direct mail costs can easily total $2-3 or more per piece mailed, while outbound telemarketing costs can top $35 to $60 per lead. In both cases, there is direct cost in both time and resources to working with bad contacts. Nearly any lead conversion strategy has a scalable cost per prospect, and bad or fake leads directly eat into these costs.

Wasted human effort: Take the labor costs, taxes and benefits you pay for the direct employees on your sales and marketing teams. Add in the costs of the overhead and infrastructure they require to do their jobs. Now multiply that by the percentage of time these people spend mitigating bad leads, and this total probably adds up to a very real and tangible cost, as well as impacting sales conversion rates.

Inefficiency: Ultimately, every business must deal with the problem of bad contact data. But the real question is when you deal with it. In many businesses, where data quality is no one’s responsibility, it gets fixed the hard way when prospects don’t answer and direct mail pieces bounce back. We describe it as the 1-10-100 rule, where it may cost a penny to catch bad contacts as they are captured, 10 cents to cleanse them after capture, and a dollar to work with uncorrected data. In addition, bogus leads can bog down your CRM or Marketing Automation platform, driving up costs and negatively impacting marketing campaigns.

Customer service reputation: Your all-important first impression on a potential customer pivots around responding to their requests – and if you fail to respond due to bad or misdirected contact information, the damage is often permanent. For example, if a customer enters their email incorrectly but are waiting to receive information from customer service, causing dissatisfaction and frustration.

The good news is that each of these costs can easily be controlled by automating the data quality process for your contact lead data, using tools that range from address verification to filtering out fraudulent names. For marketing operations, you can also use bundled lead validation capabilities that check over 130 data points to yield a lead quality score from 0 to 100, as well as lead enhancement that appends phone and contact information to your existing lead data.

The key to success in marketing, according to Forbes Magazine, is to know your customer. Data quality – making sure every contact record in your database is as genuine, accurate and up-to-date as it can possibly be – represents an important and cost-saving first step for this. Or as Cheryl Lynn would say, they’ve got to be real.

The Importance of Address Integrity

“We all know that direct marketing can be tough when at least 30 percent of all leads generated online are bogus. Here is the problem: marketing departments are incentivized to bring in as many leads as they can. However, it is nearly impossible to know which leads have potential just by looking at them.” – Geoff Grow, Founder and CEO, Service Objects

Service Objects’ Founder and CEO Geoff Grow understands better than most people the importance of having quality leads, increasing conversion rates and lifetime customer value, while avoiding fraud and waste. This is why Service Objects offers real-time API data quality solutions and cloud-based connectors for leading CRM and Marketing Automation providers. These solutions are designed to improve your marketing efforts through data quality excellence.

This video will show you how you can instantly identify, verify, and qualify lead information at the point of entry. You will learn about tools that verify and correct your contact information, score leads from 0-100 using proven audience and conversion models, validate addresses against geographic IP locations, and append neighborhood-level demographic information to your leads to increase their value.

Lead Validation ROI in Plain English: Save Thousands per Month; Get 5.8 days ROI

A recent study by Marketing Sherpa found that when filling out web forms less than 40% of those surveyed provided accurate phone number and custom information—such as address—all of the time. The reality is most people are reluctant to give up their precious contact information when doing research or filling out requests for information. More often than not, the data is inaccurate, incomplete or fraudulent.

Where does this leave marketers, sales managers and lead generators? It leaves them sifting through mountains of contact data with the hope of isolating the true and valid leads that will bring more revenue to the bottom line. According to the Direct Marketing Association, 93% of marketers cite contact data quality as one of their most important issues.

Implementing a lead validation or verification solution is one way marketers and business managers can improve lead quality in real-time and at the source, and ultimately save money by shifting focus to high scoring leads, fixing questionable leads and discarding downright bad leads. 

Do the Math-
Here is a simple calculation showing where businesses save money by validating their leads:

Let’s say your business generates 100 leads per day or around 3,000 per month. 20% or 600 of those leads turn out to be bogus or bad leads. If your telesales team spends around 5 minutes per call and calls each lead an average of 3 times before qualifying and discarding bad leads, that is 15 minutes per lead. At $23/per hour that’s about $5.75 per lead—or $5.75 wasted on pursuing a lead that was ultimately determined to be bad. Multiply that by the estimated 600 bad leads per month and that’s $3,450 per month wasted telesales resources. Using a service like DOTS Lead Validation℠ will validate leads in real-time, before they arrive at telesales, and costs only about $.22 per lead or around $678/month for 3,000 transactions.

That is a savings of $2,772/month-with an ROI on the use of the Lead Validation solution in about 5.8 days.

In a nutshell, lead validation works by:

Validating whether the contact information is real. Is it a real address? Does 100 Main Street actually exist in the zip code provided?
Verifying that the contact name or business is associated or linked with the address, phone number and even IP Address provided.
Correcting address, city, state, and email elements as needed to make the lead data as complete as possible.
Scoring the lead based on the quality of data. Estimating the quality of data entails not only a check on data correctness as entered but quality as established through a method of proprietary checking and sophisticated cross correlation of supplied data with other data sources. An overall score is provided based on the quality of the pieces of contact information such as name, business name, email, IP address, phone number and street address. Recommending that you Accept, Reject or Review the lead.

Download our case study for more details on how DOTS Lead Validation can save your business money today!

Posted by Gretchen N.

Service Objects is the industry leader in real-time contact validation services.

Service Objects has verified over 2.8 billion contact records for clients from various industries including retail, technology, government, communications, leisure, utilities, and finance. Since 2001, thousands of businesses and developers have used our APIs to validate transactions to reduce fraud, increase conversions, and enhance incoming leads, Web orders, and customer lists. READ MORE