Inbound lead quality control - make or break your campaigns

7 minutes read
Adam - 01.02.2016

Inbound lead quality is the most important element of customer acquisition. There's no point in generating thousands of leads if they don't convert to sale. This can be a deathblow for campaigns early on. If you're running a trial with a client you need to show ROI quickly and although big numbers look great, a clients bottom line return is what retains business.

Brands that perfect their inbound lead generation strategy see falling marketing costs, better quality leads, greater client engagement and other benefits that outbound methods simply can't provide. If you want to know more about inbound lead generation read our guide "Everything you need to know about Inbound lead generation"

Six months ago, we started a multi-channel lead generation and brand awareness campaign for a client. It's doing incredibly well, the client is happy and returns are outstripping even their most positive expectations. Quality control has been a big part of that.

Earlier this month we opened up some new channels and saw great results. Over night, we'd tripled the normal daily lead volume and there were hi-fives all round, until we looked at the HubSpot CRM report.

",," - All leads with little value

On the day we launched the new channel, only 70% of the leads were what we would classify as "good" - and that's not how we work. We couldn't and wouldn't work to those metrics on our own campaigns, and we most certainly wouldn't expect our clients to stomach it either. So we had to rethink our methods. We revisited our existing campaigns and built out some logical steps to ensure quality remained while volumed increased. Below we outline some of the basic measures you can take to keep your leads converting.

Facebook advertising

Facebook is leading the charge with new advertising techniques. Normally with a good audience selection the quality controls itself but issues can and will arise, particularly with the new lead generation card campaigns. Traditionally you would link to an external page where the customer could fill in details but FB changed the process.

Facebook advertising inbound leads

Lead gen cards are simple, effective and solve a host of accuracy and mobile optimisation issues for businesses. However, FB have almost made the process too simple - accidental submissions are far easier to come by. So when our client rang the leads, some had no recollection of filling in the form.

So how do you get past this? Answer: By adding in two custom questions, the first regarding the proposition "do you want to do this" and another "are you happy for a member of our team to contact you?" . This achieves two things. Firstly, you ensure that the lead is genuine and interested. Secondly you gain explicit consent to ring the contact (which is a big deal).

This method may drop your overall lead volume but the inbound lead quality and sale conversion rates will go up. CPLs may increase, but with an increasing CVR cost per sale will come down.


Twitter is a great lead generation tool and normally the quality of leads is good. Due to its micro-blogging nature the interactions are normally fresh in the mind of the consumer ensuring the intent is clear. Also Twitter tends to lean towards affluent audiences so you're going to get less time wasters but also more informed trolls.

Twitter Advertising

To control quality, you need to have objection handlers and a strong audience selection in place from the start. More informed trolls mean you are going to get pinged with a lot semantics and pseudo facts and opinions.

"This post doesn't comply with Reg 7.45 Section 2 line 4" & "65% of people based in Finland find this offensive"

Build out a list of common objections and consistent all base responses with a calm informative approach. People love to argue but if you give them a pleasant and informed response it reduces the backlash. This improves inbound lead quality by informing your customer base, reducing negative perception and showing prospective consumers you know your stuff.

Secondly by building a strong audience selection you ensure that your audience is receptive to the message. Twitters behavioural and follower targeting allows you to get really specific in who you target. Take time to build out your audience and apply some hard logic to your selection. Be sure to balance inclusions with appropriate exclusions. Audience selection is one of the best ways to control quality and reduce over spend.

PPC and Display

Normally you don't need to question the quality of a PPC campaign. If people are actively looking for your product or service, then you can assume they are less likely to be leaving false details.

The problem occurs when you begin to expand to less related search terms. The clear answer to this is to build tight keyword lists that convert well and control costs, but when your aiming for volume this isn't always possible. To find a balance between quality and quantity we use tight keyword list twinned with display and strong remarketing lists. However, when running a display campaign, the issue of quality becomes more apparent.

Display campaigns can be rife with "hollow traffic" which converts into hollow leads i.e false details false numbers etc. To get around this you need to be URL scrubbing on a regular basis.

So if you go into your account and open the placements tab you will be able to see metrics based on the URL. You need to pair this up with your analytics conversions to find what is producing traffic and where the conversions are coming from. If it's a reputable site linked to your consumer's needs keep it, if it's risqu� or a dodgy gaming site block it. Its sounds over simplistic but its incredibly effective.

On Site UX Difficulty

The second way to ensure quality is in your site User Experience. A great site UX with a simple customer journey will ensure your on page conversion is high but if its too easy you open yourself up to time wasters. Captchas are great for blocking robots, but terrible for conversions. To stop time wasters you need to have two things; form verifications and qualifying questions.

Form verifications ensure that the details entered are syntactically accurate (right amount of characters etc.) however this is a minimum of what you need as details entered can still be fake.

By adding additional questions that require your consumer to consider the product in some way you are affecting their behaviour positively. The hard part is balancing this with an easy process. As a rule of thumb your consumer should be able to navigate and leave details within 30 to 120 secs on page and should have at least 2 questions which relate to your proposition and are necessary.


In order to control quality on Gemini you need to remember two words, "Conversion Tag".

In its simplest form your tag tells Gemini where the conversions are coming from, it then targets that audience segment to gain more conversions. Iterative improvements increasing the likelihood you're ad will sit in front of the right pair of eye, at the right time.

What you need to do is look at what conversions its sending through. If they aren't converting, or if the CPLs are spiralling out of control, delete the pixel, create another, start again. Repeat the process until you begin to see inbound lead quality improve. Once its firing, let it run. If you get this right, you will begin to see conversions which convert and cost a fraction of PPC leads.

Brands that perfect their inbound lead generation strategy see falling marketing costs, better quality leads, greater client engagement and other benefits that outbound methods simply can't provide. If you want to know more about inbound lead generation read our guide "Everything you need to know about Inbound lead generation"

Unleash the power of RevOps

Maximize revenue and sales today.

Begin experiencing faster growth by managing revenue generation cross-functionally. Download the complete guide to RevOps to learn how you can align your teams and scale revenue.

Get The Guide