In this article Databowl CEO Simon Delaney and Head of Marketing Daniel Hopewell strip things back to basics to try and answer a simple question - What is Validation in Lead Generation? As part of this discussion the following questions are answered.
- What is validation in Lead Generation?
- What are the different types of validation?
- Who needs to be doing validation?
- Is validation for lead buyers too?
- Why is validation so important?
Below are some of the key ideas discussed, but to learn even more about validation be sure to check out the full podcast that looks at this topic as part of the B2C Lead Generation Podcast Series.
We tend to deep dive into all things lead generation, but sometimes it’s important to strip things back to basics and ensure people listening - or reading - have a clear understanding of the fundamentals. With that in mind, what does it mean when we say validation in lead generation?
Ultimately, the way we use the word validation (in lead generation), means ensuring the data you’re collecting is accurate and real… or valid. That is the ultimate aim of validation.
Where it gets more complicated is to do with how and where you apply it, what you apply it on, and when you apply it. Let’s look at some scenarios.
There is front end validation which you would apply straight onto a form - let’s say you have a landing page or website with a form on that is collecting people’s details - so prospect is on this page and you’re collecting TITLE, FIRST NAME, SURNAME, EMAIL ADDRESS and Telephone Number.
You obviously want to make sure that’s accurate. You’ve paid money to have that lead generated and you need to ensure the details submitted are accurate.
Also, the prospect could be genuinely interested and has accidentally put a wrong digit in their number by accident and you’d have no way of contacting them unless you use validation on the front end to catch this before the lead is submitted.
What you’d look to do is verify that the mobile number is correct and you can do this by doing a live lookup.
Live lookups for a mobile or cell phone, called HLR, is where the HLR pings the network that the users mobile phone contract is with and determines from that whether the telephone number is actually live or not. It can tell whether it’s switched off, out of network, live or a dead mobile number.
So if someone enters a bad telephone number on the form, thanks to validation, you can stop them at that moment and let them know the number is invalid. At this point they can then put the correct one in.
This is also stops people time wasting. Validation is so important because if you’re driving paid traffic to a form you want to ensure that you’re getting 100% correct details to maximise your ROI.
You can do things with the name too. So you can put in a salacious name lookup on the form, or you can do famous people’s names etc. This further helps prevent people entering “Micky Mouse” details in.
What about back end validation?
If you’re doing validation on the back end it typically means you are buying leads in from elsewhere. In this scenario, what you need to do is confirm the accuracy of the leads that you are buying in, of the data you are being sent.
You don’t want to be buying the leads of people who aren’t real. That’s just a huge waste of money.
So if a lead generator sends leads out to a buyer, and the buyer validates that data and rejects leads on the grounds of them being “invalid,” who incurs that costs?
The lead generator does, so the both lead generator and the lead buyer really need to be running their own validation - at both the front and back end respectively - to guarantee that the leads represent real people who can be contacted, and to protect both parties.