Why Online Leads Give Bad Information and How to Engage Them Anyway

Last Updated July 2nd, 2019

Have you ever generated online leads only to find out that some of the names and phone numbers they provided were inaccurate?

Of course you have. It happens all the time.

Sometimes, it’s a typo. More often, it’s intentional. Regardless, inaccurate form fills makes effective lead response much more difficult.

Beyond that obvious implication that they’re just “browsing” and not yet ready to connect, learn about a couple new data points from Adestra’s 2017 Consumer Digital Behavior and Usage Study and what they mean for your lead response and, ultimately, your lead conversion.

Read time: 3 minutes, 20 seconds
Video length: 5 minutes, 6 seconds
Takeaway: Why you get bad contact information and practical tips for engaging online leads


Online Leads, Bad Contact Info, and Email Engagement


Watch the video above to learn more about the problem of bad lead information, why it happens, how the Adestra study informs us about the problem, and tips for better lead response and conversion.


44% More Comfortable Sharing an Email Address

Published in a 39-page document, the Adestra study is deep and interesting. Here’s one question with responses that jumped out at me.

How comfortable would you be in providing each of these elements of personal information to a company which has products or services that you are considering purchasing?

online privacy, consumer comfort, comfort level, email for lead response, lead follow up, lead conversion, communication channel


Across teens, millennials, and boomers, the comfort level with email address was 4.9 on a 7 point scale. Very comfortable.

Across the respondents, phone number scored a 3.4 – on the uncomfortable side of average.

People are 44% more comfortable sharing their email address than phone number online.

Especially when the value being derived online by the person is delivered through email (access to property details, ability to download a guide, etc), this explains in part the incidence of wrong name, wrong phone number, but right email address from your leads.


In other words: sometimes email is the only method to initially reach and engage your online leads.


Strong Preference for Email Communication

Will some of your exchanges with online leads move into text messaging? Of course. Facebook Messenger? Sure! Phone call? Yep.

On average, though, people prefer to hear from companies by email. From the survey …

If you could select a communication preference from a business, which would you choose?

lead response, email for lead response, lead follow up, lead conversion, sales tips, research, email marketing


Takeaway: even though some communication will move to other channels, it often starts and sometimes stays in email.


How Video Email Improves Lead Response

When you’re stuck with just an email for an online lead, when they’re hiding behind that cloak of digital anonymity, when you want to differentiate yourself and build trust quickly,

Your plain, typed-out text looks just like his. And hers. And theirs.

Traditional email doesn’t differentiate you and doesn’t build rapport. And it engages the labored, rational, and slower part of your leads’ brains.

Video email, on the other hand, is uniquely you – your face, voice, personality, expertise, and more. Because it’s more human and natural, it engages the effortless, instinctual, and faster part of their minds.

[Click to see Video for Sales: Thinking, Fast and Slow]

Think about the last time you met someone and within 5 or 10 seconds had a good feeling about him or her. That’s your instinct working and that function dominates our decision making. It’s most often after the decision that the rational brain kicks in to justify our decisions.


For more replies to your lead response emails, include a simple video message. People will feel like they know you before they ever meet you (in customers’ words).

And 80.7% of our customers report more replies when they send video email compared to traditional, typed-out text emails. And 68.2% report higher lead conversion overall.

This is how the conversation starts. And this is how you stand out against competitors.


More Like This

6 Reasons Your Email Sucks and How to Fix It
Jump to the 14 minute mark in this webinar to see a script and performance for engaging leads with bad contact info.

Increase Lead Response: Pair Phone Calls with Email
Learn two approaches that generate more email replies and calls back from new leads.

Video for Sales: Thinking, Fast and Slow
Learn about the dual-theory of the mind from Nobel Prize winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman.

Top 10 Times Video Says It Better Than Typed Out Text
See lead response and lead nurturing examples, among many other great times to reach out with video instead of text.


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Reach out to new leads from BombBomb, Gmail, Zillow/Trulia, mobile apps, or your CRM.



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Ethan Beute | About The Author

Chief Evangelist at BombBomb, host of The Customer Experience Podcast, and Wall Street Journal bestselling co-author of Human-Centered Communication and Rehumanize Your Business, Ethan Beute collects and tells stories of clearer communication, human connection, and higher conversion through simple, personal video messages. BA: University of Michigan. MBA: University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.

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