Targetted leads

Lead Response Rates – So you’re telling me there’s a chance

One of the problems that occurs frequently in Marketing is the qualification of what constitutes a good lead. You can spend time defining all the rules such that the list of leads produced (whether from models or Events) are the best possible ones. But you always come up against the Sales group who want more leads.

This reminds me of the film “Dumb and Dumber” when Lloyd asks Mary if there is a chance for a guy like him with a girl like her. She says “One in a million.” To which Lloyd replies, “So you’re telling me there is a chance.”

response rates curve

When you tell the sales people that the response rate for a particular group of leads is 1 in a million, they reply that they don’t want to lose this opportunity and  they then force you to add this group of leads to the contact lists.

This happened recently with one of our customers. They have a Large Deposit Event and which generated average positive response rates of >34%. Given that they generated about 1,000 leads per day, this resulted in over 300 positive responses.

the best response

This was great. So great that sales wanted more leads like this and to do this they asked Marketing to change the parameters to be less restrictive. In fact they did this several times so that in the end they had almost obliterated the original Event’s parameters. They no longer had a Significant Large Deposit. They had “Someone has put a couple of thousand into their account”.

This resulted in more leads but with less quality, lower accuracy and lower response rates. In fact an extra 24,000 leads only generated less than a 1,000 responses. The end result was that the Event leads were generating response rates of around 3-5% and sales then said that the Event wasn’t working very well.

So what to do about this?

Well the first thing would be to prevent Sales from tinkering with your work and watering down the criteria. The problem here is that it can be very hard to deny the sales group, especially when they have product sales targets to meet (like Wells Fargo).

In the end we came up with another approach.

In our software it is a simple thing to be able to clone an Event and to give the clone different parameters. Thus Marketing created three separate ‘Large Deposit’ Events.

  • Significant Large Deposit
  • Possible Large Deposit
  • Deposit that needs to be checked (when you have time).

(You can of course do the this with lists from models/segments).

all responses

The results were good, in that the Significant Event responses again rose to above 30%, whereas the other two gave response rates of 8% and 2%. Sales soon learned that the latter two Events were lower probability, and only used them when they had spare time, after processing all of the ‘real’ Events provided by Marketing.

So, in summary, if faced with the problem of providing more leads, by all means do so, but keep them separate from the quality leads that you have generated.

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