A question that is often asked in the lead generation business is: how long can a lead be monetized? While there is not really a consistent answer (each case is going to be unique) there are some general rules that can be applied with planning out your campaigns/monetization strategies. One thing that needs to be understood right off the bat is that email addresses (and other forms of data that make up the lead) have a timeline of responsiveness. The best results are going to come earlier on and as the lead ages, responsiveness will drop and complaints will rise if you’re not very transparent.
I always recommend giving the user the option to confirm their email address (double optin). This way you know the data is accurate to that person and they are generally interested in the product/service you are offering. Because of this, confirmed/double optin leads have more value as well as a longer “shelf life.” Being transparent also helps… At the top or bottom of your email copy remind the users where you got their email address. Let them know that they did subscribe for your mailing and you are sending related information to what they were initially looking for.
You want to keep the same principles in mind if you’re collecting phone numbers/mailing addresses. If you plan on utilizing call centers to monetize the numbers it’s important to send them off in a timely manner. Same for your direct-mail campaigns. If a user forgets about your website (where they initially entered their data) it’s likely they’re not only going to not convert but also complain to your monetization providers (such as AWeber).
Monetizing 1,000 “fresh leads” can often provide you with better results than monetizing 10,000 “old leads.” In today’s wired world people are all the time submitting their personal information at the drop of the hat and it’s very easy for them to get confused/frustrated when they don’t understand why you’re contacting them (especially if you’re aggressively pitching products/services). For example, just the other day I had a charge on my credit card for an online purchase. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what I had purchased so I contacted the merchant. It was actually for a website template for one of my landing pages. Completely forgot about that even though I’ve been actively working at getting it setup. Had I noticed the charge as soon as I purchased I would have simply went about my day.
Throughout all of your lead generation campaigns you want to offer the user the best experience as possible. Be transparent with them so they know exactly how you harvested their information and clearly show them how they can be removed from your monetization methods. There is a lot of money to be made in this business and new leads are relatively easy to collect. Don’t hang on to your data so long that you end up attempting to monetize hundreds of people that are no longer interested in the product/services you are offering.
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.