The Critical Importance of Lead Validation in Internet Marketing

If you’re investing in a lead generation campaign, it’s safe to say you want a bang for every buck you spend. The last thing you’d want to do is to invest in campaigns with little or no return in sight, but the reality is many companies have unwittingly fallen into that trap.

Over the last 18 months, we have collected and analyzed more than 373,000 inquiries. This “Importance of Lead Validation” study indicates that as many as 50 percent of website conversions are not sales leads.

So, what are they?

Customer service communication, forms missing emails and phone numbers, spam forms or phone misdials, to name a few.

When non-leads are mixed in with actual sales leads in a “conversions” bucket, you’ll be left with an inflated impression of results that could do more harm than good. To improve your lead generation, your data needs to be as accurate as possible. The best way to get that is to implement lead validation, the process of reviewing every phone call and form submission to separate leads from non-leads.

Here are some key advantages to validating your conversion data:

  1. You’ll isolate the cost per sales lead from the cost per conversion — obviously a far more important and precise measure of effectiveness and ROI.
  2. You can better optimize your campaigns because testing will be focused on what is producing leads rather than mere conversions.

Another surprising finding in our analysis of over 300,000 validated sales leads from our agency website and multiple client websites: nearly 85 percent of conversions came on the first visit. This is a clear indication that a lead generation website must make a strong first impression; if a visitor doesn’t convert on the first visit, the chances of generating a lead go down dramatically.

To capture those first-time visitors, things like quality content, easy navigation and convincing calls to actions should take top priority when building your lead generation website. Here is a breakdown of conversions after the first visit:

  • 10 percent on the second visit
  • 3 percent on the third visit
  • 1 percent on the fourth visit
  • 1 percent or greater on the fifth visit

The SlideShare presentation below presents more data and a deeper analysis of how lead validation improves online marketing effectiveness and gives business owners and leaders a much clearer picture of how well their marketing campaigns are working. Since few businesses bother to validate leads, those that do gain an important competitive advantage: a bigger pipeline of online sales leads. 

About the Author


Chief Operating Officer, Straight North

Aaron Wittersheim is Chief Operating Officer at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency. He has helped startups, middle-market firms and Fortune 500 companies improve organizational structure and grow through his expertise in process conception, task automation and internal project management.