Rented Names Are Not Leads

Click to enlargeTerminology makes a big difference when discussing direct marketing or any subject for that matter. In fact, deceptive advertising runs rampant in the direct response world.

Take note of the Pay-Per-Click advertisements taken from a Google search page using the key words “leads.”

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In every case, these “leads” are actually cold names.

By definition, leads refer to names that responded to an offer of some kind. They are inquiries.

The names in the advertisements above are essentially compiled from public records and have no proven interest in any product or service.

Turning those names into true leads requires spending money to isolate 1% to 2% leads that will likely end up costing a B2B business $50 to as much as $1,000 per name depending upon the product or offer.

True leads costs a great deal to interested prospects. 

Such advertisements are nothing more than businesses or individuals pulled from phone directories, associations, driver’s license files or other publicly available information.

It is true that with enhancements such names can be selectable by all types of demographics and psychographics. But they certainly are not leads.

Lead generation uses such data as mailing lists or phone files for prospecting. But any one using them as raw data will not find them very useful.

Put commissioned sales people on straight commission on them and they may survive 3 months to a year. But they will eventually starve leaving the company for greener pastures. What a waste of energy and talent. Companies that provide such names to their sales force deserve to fail.

So call these names cold names, a calling list, and a prospect list, anything but leads. Please do not deceive your sales force or waste their time with such unrefined prospecting.

Spend the money and pay sales people a lower commission to fund the lead flow. Your turnover will be a lot less and they and a chance of survival. Treating them otherwise is inhumane.

Posted on May 14, 2013 and filed under Mailing List.