Nearly half of all leads generated by your marketing campaigns are not actual sales leads, Straight North reported in its latest study. Over the last 18 months, Straight North collected and analyzed more than 373,000 inquiries, including online form submissions and phone calls, and found that only about half of all inquiries were sales leads.
Without validating your leads, you risk overestimating the ROI of your marketing efforts and investing in activities that generate very little or no value, which only adds to ad waste. If you want to accurately evaluate and improve the effectiveness of your lead generation campaigns – everything from SEO to pay-per-click, social media and display advertising – it is essential that you add lead validation to your marketing strategy.
What Is Lead Validation?
Lead validation is the process of separating sales leads from other types of conversions generated through your marketing campaigns. Non-sales leads may include sales solicitations, customer service communication, spam calls and form submissions, job applicants and phone misdials, just to name a few.
Going through this process helps you determine which specific campaign elements are driving more sales leads and which are generating minimal returns, so you can adjust your strategy and resources accordingly to maximize your marketing ROI.
Tuesday Is The Best Day For Validating Leads
Straight North’s study further breaks down performance of validated leads by day of the week. While both Monday and Tuesday came in at 19%, the study states that Tuesdays usually outperform Mondays by a narrow margin. Wednesday stands at 18%, with Thursday and Friday at 17% and 15% respectively. We see a drastic drop on the weekend, with Saturday at 6% and Sunday at 5%.
First Visit Is The Most Crucial Time To Convert
The study found that, with a lead generation campaign, 85% of visitors convert into a sales lead on their first visit. This tells us how important it is for companies to own the digital destination for their target customers and publish relevant, high-quality content that they are looking for.
Customers are searching for the best company who can help solve their biggest business challenges, and based on the quality of website and content they find, they make decisions on their top choices and convert into a sales lead.
After the first visit, conversion rate drops significantly to 10% on the second visit and 3% on the third visit. On the fourth and following visits, conversion drops to a dismal 1%.
Challenges With Existing Lead Tracking And Validation Systems
The majority of companies currently use Google Analytics and other analytics services to track data and evaluate performance. But according to Straight North, these solutions have limitations in their lead tracking and validation functionality.
First, they are only capable of tracking the counts of forms submissions, but cannot qualitatively analyze them. Second, they are not capable of tracking phone call data, which excludes as much as 60% of all leads generated.
With Google Analytics, you do not have the capability to view actual form submission that came from the Google Analytics goal, and you also cannot validate that the completed Google Analytics was an actual sales lead.
Lead Validation Is Key To Marketing Success
When your marketing ROI and cost per lead calculations are based on lead generation data that is only 50% accurate or complete, it will almost certainly lead to ill-informed decisions and incorrect adjustments made to your marketing programs.
For example, basing your decisions on inaccurate data, you may be investing more in one conversion source over another when it should really be the other way around. As a result, your campaigns generate minimal returns or potentially even losses. And when you cannot accurately evaluate the effectiveness of your sources, it becomes significantly more challenging to improve and optimize your existing campaigns.
Through an effective lead validation system, marketers will be able to identify the source of every validated lead and how many are actual sales leads versus non-sales conversions, and to accurately calculate cost per lead, as opposed to cost per conversion, which can be misleading.
Lead validation gives you the ability to make better, more informed decisions and adjustments based on data that is more accurate and aligned with actual lead generation performance, allowing you to truly maximize your marketing efforts and ROI.
What do you think? How are you currently tracking and evaluating your leads? How are you improving your existing process and what are some of the challenges you’re trying to solve right now? I’d love to know, so please share in the comments section below!
Are you interested in engaging and converting new customers for your business? Contact me here and let’s talk about how we can help. Or follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and if you like what you see, Subscribe here for regular updates.