It’s Q4 and your digital marketing budget is still kicking. Now you’re faced with trying to use all remaining spend before the year is over.
Some may suggest letting the cash roll over into the new year. That could be risky. Here’s why. Let’s say your mom gives you $100 for groceries; you use $80. The next time you need groceries, she gives you $80. After all, that’s all you needed the first time, right? The same principle applies to advertisers’ budgets.
So, in order to avoid that, you have spend now.
In an effort to quickly max out your budget, it can be tempting to use your leftover funds on anything and everything. But carelessly throwing money away can harm your brand compliance in the long run.
Here are three things you shouldn’t waste your leftover budget on.
1. ‘Quantity’ Traffic
Marketers often throw their leftover dollars on extra website traffic to keep or increase their marketing budget for the upcoming year. This is a huge mistake. The saying ‘quality over quantity’ rings true here.
Poor traffic not only will harm your ROI because you’re not getting real conversions, but it puts you at risk for bigger problems like ad fraud!
Still continue to invest in traffic, but make sure it’s quality. However, if you don’t have time to properly vet traffic, hold off on acquiring new traffic sources until after the first of the year.
2. Lead Lists
When you buy a lead list, you’re asking for trouble. By potentially purchasing a fraudulent lead list, you could be putting your company in danger of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Let’s say you work for Dunder Mifflin. It’s Q4 and you’re struggling to use up your budget. You purchase a lead list, unaware it’s rife with fraud.
Your sales team starts making the calls. Uh oh. Half of these leads have never heard of Dunder Mifflin. Somehow these consumers ended up on your purchased lead list without ever opting in. Now you have a TCPA compliance issue and could have a class action lawsuit on your hands.
You should always check the legitimacy of your leads before contacting them. Instead of spending your extra money on more leads, try spending it on a third-party solution to verify lead information.
3. Email Lists
Email lists are another one of those sticky situations. Let’s go back to the above example.
Instead of purchasing a lead list of phone numbers, this time you purchase a list of emails. Soon the sales team is confronted with unhappy consumers who want nothing to do with your product. Turns out the individuals on the list never opted in, their emails were scraped.
However, this issue doesn’t fall under TCPA. Instead, it’s a failure to follow the CAN-SPAM Act. This act covers all commercial messages including email that promotes content on commercial websites. Failing to abide by these rules can result in penalties of up to $40,654. Ouch.
Don’t risk your business just because you want to finish up that budget.
How to Spend Your Leftover Budget
So, the big question: If you have leftover budget, what should you spend it on? Consider investing in an ad fraud solution. Not only can it give you the data and analytics you need to improve the quality of your traffic, but it can help keep your brand compliant, too.
Before you choose a solution, make sure you do your homework. Not all ad fraud solutions are cut from the same cloth.