Newsflash: Lead generation isn’t easy. Whether you’re running marketing campaigns to generate leads for your own company’s products or services, you’re a lead generator, or you’re buying your leads from one or more lead generators, you’re going to have some issues with fraud.
Consistently generating “clean leads” is the key to success in lead generation. Practicing good lead hygiene is easier said than done; and like most things in life or business, the difference between long-term lead generation success and failure is what you do when things start to go awry. How do you recognize where you’re falling short? What do you do about it? What do you learn and how do you move forward? Once you’ve course-corrected, do you expect smooth sailing, or do you continue to look for bumps in the road?
Lead Generation: First Things First
Another newsflash for you: It’s almost impossible to have zero fraud. While it’s not ideal, a small percentage of fraud is not uncommon and not always a cause for concern.
If you detect fraud in single-digit percentages, or simply aren’t getting the valid leads you anticipated, make sure these things are working:
Let’s assume you have content that goes beyond product and service descriptions: a blog, videos, infographics, etc. There are several reasons that your content may not be working as well as it should. Does the content provide useful information? Are you addressing your prospective customers’ pain points? Think about the questions your customers ask and create content that answers questions like: What are the advantages of a solar roof? How can a driver save on car insurance? Informative content that your target audience can find online helps establish you as a trusted advisor which can lead to more quality leads.
Once your ideal customer has found you and wants to learn more about what you have to offer, are you making it easy for them to get that information? Check your landing pages and make sure your call to action (CTA) is clear and has proper disclosures.
Marketing technology tools
Just as you probably have several different types of content, you need a full suite of martech tools for your lead generation efforts. You must know how to use the tools and they must be fully integrated to effectively track your results from start to close. Otherwise, it’s like staring at “extra” pieces after you’ve assembled that new piece of furniture.
You’re all over the place
Sales reps always want more leads. Marketing teams often assume the best way to get more leads is to be everywhere all at once. If you’re running campaigns on every social channel, running programmatic ads, and buying leads from multiple lead generators, it’s hard to tell what’s working. You’re also opening yourself up to more fraudulent activity and fake leads. When it comes to lead generation, think quality over quantity.
These are just a few of the marketing basics to consider for lead generation and lead management, and they help set the stage for successful campaigns. But let’s say you’ve perfected your lead generation strategy and despite your best efforts, your fraud problem only gets worse, and you have no idea why. It’s time to call for backup.
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How an Ad Fraud Solution Can Improve Your Lead Generation Results
Marketers hear from their sales teams that as many as one in four of the leads they’re getting are bogus. Lead generators lose clients due to poor lead quality. When fraud starts costing a lot of time and money, lead generators of all stripes begin to actively look for a fraud solution. They often rightly assume they have a bot problem, but they don’t know how to solve it themselves; sometimes, they don’t even know how to find a solution that can help them detect and stop invalid traffic, which is often the root cause of ad fraud.
Choosing the right ad fraud solution can be overwhelming, but there’s one way to quickly narrow down the nearly 100 providers to fewer than 10; ask if they are third-party certified and follow the standards for a fraud solution set by the MRC. This could be certification from the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) or accreditation from the Media Resource Council (MRC).
Now that the options are greatly reduced, it’s time to start asking some tough questions:
Does the solution detect both General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) and Sophisticated Invalid Traffic (SIVT)?
Most can identify GIVT, the most common type of invalid traffic and the least harmful; it includes search engine bots that help customers and prospects find the relevant, updated information they’re seeking. SIVT, on the other hand, is harder to detect and is malicious by design; its purpose is to defraud advertisers and generate fake leads.
How do you detect SIVT?
It takes more than a handful of data points to determine if a visitor is a malicious bot or a real human with a real interest in your product or service. A thorough solution will leverage machine learning along with extensive human experience and expertise to stop invalid traffic and virtually eliminate false positives.
Does it provide real-time responses for real-time decisions?
Time is money. You need to know right away if a lead is real or fake, so you don’t miss out on an opportunity or pay for a lead that has no chance to convert.
What kind of support do you provide?
If you’ve tried to contact your cable or cell phone provider, you may have noticed that customer support is practically nonexistent. Again, time is money, so when it comes to an issue with ad fraud detection, you need help right away, no matter where you are or what time it is. Your chosen solution should also offer ongoing training and reviews to ensure you’re getting the most out of the tools and to address any issues or concerns that may otherwise go undetected.
Can you detect validity or fraud regardless of the vertical industry or visitor’s network?
Privacy regulations can limit information that can validate a lead in a particular vertical, such as financial services. And networks may have additional privacy restrictions; Google’s privacy restrictions are effective globally and don’t allow using certain criteria for ad targeting.
Do you integrate with other platforms?
Just as you need a suite of martech tools to effectively implement and track your marketing campaigns, you need an array of tools to improve your campaign’s performance. An ad fraud solution is the first line of defense in preventing fraudulent leads. It works even better when it easily integrates with other platforms that support your lead generation efforts, including Google, social media channels, and other providers in the lead generation chain such as compliance and consent solutions.
And a bonus question
Can you help focus our marketing efforts?
A good fraud prevention partner can not only detect where your fraud is coming from, it can identify the best source(s) of good leads. With this information, marketers can stop wasting time and money on channels that aren’t working so they can concentrate their resources on efforts that generate quality leads.
Tired of wasting your ad budget and valuable time on efforts that produce more lead generation fraud than quality leads? Learn about the legal and financial ramifications of lead generation fraud, and how you can minimize risk.