How good are the leads that call centers are purchasing?

At Throttle Media we provide a lot of data leads for call centers all over the world from investment leads to payday leads and whether these call centers are in India, the U.K., Canada the U.S. or anywhere in the world there is one thing that they all have in common; they all want lots of leads for little cost.  They all want a lead that provides them with a good ROI and the pressing question here is what the definition of good leads are and what are the expectations of most call centers?

Before that question is answered, a little background information first; most data today is generated online, whether it is generated from email campaigns, banner ads, or traditional marketing it is pushing people to a site to fill out a form based on the particular type of information that is being gathered.  Most if not all of these landing pages have mandatory fields and the commonality of those fields across all verticals is telephone and email address are almost always mandatory and this is where the problem starts for call centers.

So to answer the previous question of what is the expectation of most call centers the answer is that besides the obvious of fresh and accurate leads they also expect a large majority of the phone numbers to be good working numbers and this is where we run into trouble because it is not unusual to have disconnects, non working or wrong numbers anywhere from ten to thirty percent. As a data and lead provider if you provide a call center with a list that has a thirty percent bad number ratio they will no doubt be sending furious emails and calling you asking for a refund, or threatening to never do business with you again. The question is just because thirty percent of the numbers are bad does that mean you sold them a bad list of leads?

The answer is absolutely not, most leads generated in the U.S. cost anywhere from .05 cents to up to .10 or .12 cents a lead largely depending on the type of leads, and most importantly the volume being purchased, and if you are going to sell to a call center, then you need to educate your client in advance, and if you are a call center you need to understand in advance that it is typical to have up to 30% bad number on leads. Why? Because these leads were generated online, those filling them out don’t want to be called, they want to be emailed information, they only provided a phone number because it was a mandatory field and many people put in a fake number but a correct email address. It does not matter how good your leads are you cannot control this because most leads are self reported, meaning the lead contact provided the information themselves, and the only way to know if a number is disconnected is to call the number . There are companies that do this, they call every single phone number and send an email to every person on the list. These are referred to as verified lists and the price goes up considerably, and there are companies that will also call every single lead and confirm the information as well as confirm that they did want to talk to someone about whatever the vertical is, and once they have done this they will transfer the prospect from their agent to your agent and you only pay for the transfers. This is called a hot transfer lead and the cost is anywhere from $45 to $75 per lead.

At the end of the day it is important that whatever type of lead you are selling that you educate your client so that they understand upfront what it is they are buying.  If you are the end user of leads you need to educate yourself on what to expect when purchasing leads.  Education before the sale is extremely important and will save a lot of time and aggravation for both buyer and seller.

In the next article we will discuss the value of using a lead to its full potential.

Coming soon: Series of articles on Marketing and the small business. Stay tuned in July for an Interview with Best Selling Author Dave Chaffey.