Marketers say one of the biggest challenges they will face this year is generating more leads. While always a priority, economic uncertainties could make things more challenging as consumers and businesses may put off certain purchasing decisions.
We don’t expect to see these challenges across the board, but certain industries will be more affected than others. Logically, fewer potential buyers in these verticals could mean less product demand, but the need for sales leads will not wane. So instead of worrying about how to generate more leads in this environment, it’s time to shift the focus to improving the quality of their online leads.
Why Quantity Is the Enemy
We all know that generating sales is a numbers game: it takes 10, 100, or even 1,000 “Nos” to get one “Yes.” Unfortunately, the odds of getting a “Yes” are even harder when you consider that as many as one out of four leads is fraudulent.
Lead generation fraud is one of the many types of ad fraud, an umbrella term we use to include other types you may be familiar with, such as click fraud, impression fraud, and eCommerce fraud. However, all of these have a few things in common:
- They occur as a result of digital advertising, which is projected to make up almost 70% of total media in 2023.
- They cost companies billions of dollars a year.
- They all start with invalid traffic.
Invalid traffic, including bots and human click farms, accounts for more than 40% of internet traffic. In addition to wasted marketing dollars, form bots and human click farms can generate seemingly legitimate leads that also waste time because they won’t lead to a sale. Only real humans who have a genuine interest in your product or service will convert to a sale. Generating more leads isn’t the answer when many of these leads are fraudulent.
The solution is simple, right? Just keep out the invalid traffic. Not only is that easier said than done, but it can also cause short-term pain and revenue loss for publishers and lead generation services. Marketers often see invalid traffic and all forms of ad fraud as just something to be expected with digital advertising, even as they see significant cost-per-lead increases due in part to decreased conversion rates.
At this point, you may be asking why the advertising platforms aren’t more proactive in preventing ad fraud since it would be in their best interest to provide better results for their clients. Google, Facebook, and other large platforms do understand this and have invested in technology to reduce invalid traffic. Much of the problem is with programmatic advertising, the automated placement of online ads. Programmatic advertising makes up more than 90 percent of digital advertising budgets and has fraud rates of 40 to 50%.
It is possible to reduce ad fraud in all its forms while maintaining—or even increasing—the number of qualified leads.
Getting to Quality Over Quantity
There are proactive steps that can improve overall lead quality, but these don’t do much to address the issue of invalid traffic and stopping ad fraud in its tracks. This is best accomplished by partnering with an ad fraud platform.
Many services claim to address the ad fraud problem, but evaluating the options can be confusing and tedious, especially when all platforms are not created equally. While some are equipped to stop general invalid traffic (GIVT), most don’t have the knowledge and technology to prevent sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT).
Some platforms rely on IP address data to identify and verify traffic, but with hundreds of available data points to analyze, relying solely on just one possible indicator is not enough to find and prevent fraud.
Some platforms combine data points to create a “numerical score” for traffic and leads, allowing those who meet the assigned approval score to continue to the site. Unfortunately, this method allows a significant amount of fraudulent traffic to pass through and creates false positive rates of as much as 23%. Furthermore, these false positives can cost much more than the ad itself.
What If You’re Purchasing Leads?
If your business relies on leads from sources other than your website and marketing efforts, it’s not enough to know who you’re purchasing from. You need to know that your vendor knows their customers and that the leads they are providing are not fraudulent. How can you be sure? You can take a cue from many of our clients who will not consider a new leads source unless that source also relies on Anura’s technology to eliminate fraud.
We know that lead quantity still matters, so we work to keep bad actors out but ensure that valid users—including gamers and legitimate human prospects—are not blocked, no matter what device they’re using or where they’re logging in. We can do this because we never stop looking for sources of fraud, which are constantly changing.
Is It Possible to Improve Quality AND Quantity?
The short answer is yes, with the right partner. It isn’t a question of IF you have fraud, it’s a question of HOW MUCH you have and where it is coming from, and you need a partner that can help you identify and address these areas. But unless you’re an expert in the many causes of ad fraud, it’s hard to evaluate which platform is best for your business’s unique needs, one that can not only detect and block fraudulent traffic, but can also identify the sources of your good leads.
We understand the dilemma, which is why we offer prospective clients a fully-functional free trial. We know time is money, so we will quickly identify which traffic sources generate good leads and which generate fraudulent leads. During trials, we have identified as much as 60% of traffic is invalid, so it can be a bit scary when we first start turning that traffic away.
The good news is that since we have identified the sources of good leads, you can begin to invest more of your efforts in those channels. As a result, you’ll see traffic return to normal levels, and the quality of your leads will improve, and you’ll see an increase in your return on investment (ROI).
Prospects who go on to become Anura clients enjoy peace of mind, knowing that we detect fraud with a 99.999% accuracy rate. Our detection methods ensure we are completely confident when we say a contact did not fill out an online lead form. That’s quality!
During a webinar with Rob Seaver, executive director of the Professional Associations for Customer Engagement (PACE), we recently discussed this topic and much more. If you missed it, you can watch it here.
Don’t miss future conversations with other industry leaders; check out our monthly webinar series, and register today.
If you’re ready to prioritize lead quality over quantity, contact us for a free trial.