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How to Solve the Dreaded Duplicate Lead Issue

Marketing leaders today are overwhelmed by many complicated challenges, such as how to acquire more customers with the same spend and how to increase the efficiency of their digital marketing channel, all while ensuring that every consumer they call will not sue them for unsolicited communication under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

With these large hurdles in mind, it is easy for marketers to lose sight of simple issues that can actually have a huge impact when not resolved, including the thorn in many a marketer’s side: duplicate leads.

It’s not always so simple.

Duplicate leads can come in many forms. Yes, duplicate leads come in from the same lead provider.But, many companies are also getting the same exact lead event from multiple vendors who have aggregated that lead from the original lead generator. This gets even more complicated when a consumer fills out multiple lead forms, and even more so when the consumer uses different email addresses and phone numbers, thus bypassing any dupe logic an advertiser may already have in place and making a true duplicate even more difficult to detect. In fact, marketers often don’t even realize they have a duplicate until their call center calls the consumer and realizes it is the same person they spoke with earlier. And that is not exactly the ideal customer-facing experience, is it?

To make matters worse, many companies I speak with complain of their CRMs automatically overwriting duplicate information to eliminate redundancy, so they are not even sure if they are looking at the duplicate or the original. This makes it impossible to even understand the scope of the problem.

Can you imagine how frustrating it is to stem the bleeding of a problem when you cannot get to the root cause because you do not even have an accurate way to identify it?

Although it may seem like a small and simple issue at first, my customers have told me that it has become a five-figure per month problem for them, so it is typically the very first issue that I help my customers resolve. In fact, just as I sat down to write this, I got an email from a client dealing with this exact issue.

What can be done about it?

First, you need to confirm what kind of duplicate event you have—a consumer duplicate or a duplicate lead event. If it is the same consumer with a brand new inquiry about the good or service you sell, that may actually be a good thing. Without knowing which it is, you may be missing out on an excellent opportunity and “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

With standard lead intelligence, there’s no way to distinguish between a recycled lead and a consumer who is raising his hand again and is actually actively in market. Additional information that enables you to distinguish between these two situations is invaluable. A lead that seems like a duplicate but has a new event identifier is the best tool to help you understand what type of lead you are dealing with.

Once you have used an event identifier to determine you have received consumer event information you paid for previously, there are two ways you can approach it:

1. Leverage a solution that can help you identify duplicate event leads in real-time. This way, you can determine what to do with them in real-time and decrease your cost per acquisition with very little work.

2. If you are not in a position to decline leads you receive from your providers, you can leverage the lead identifier to determine which provider is sending you the lead first, so that you can contact the other partners that sent the dupe. Aside from having data to support a potential credit, you can avoid costly operational expense and ultimately preserve any egg on your brand’s face for calling the same consumer multiple times.

Either way you handle it, as long as you’re working with a solution that can uniquely identify each lead event, you can have a filter set to identify if you’ve seen a lead or consumer previously and take action on it – all with a few clicks of the mouse.

Jeff Piotrowski is Senior Director of Insurance at Jornaya. 

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