Tips for Contacting an Online Lead

After investing in a lead, it’s important to do everything you can to contact the consumer. This is one of the most important steps in launching a lead campaign, as the rest of the process depends on you getting a hold of the potential customer. To help, here are some battle-tested tips for contacting an online lead.

1. Ring, Ring, Ring = Bling, Bling, Bling

Keep reaching out until you make contact. Resist the temptation to call the consumer once, leave a message, and hope they call back. They probably won’t. We’re all busy, but it’s worth it to invest a little time in calling back. Call back and keep trying until you get them on the horn while making sure not to break any rules in the Telephone Communication Protection Act (TCPA).

It’s important to follow TCPA rules when calling the customer, as you can receive $11,000 per violation.

The current commissioner of the FCC, Michael O’Rielly, wrote that TCPA “restricts making telemarketing calls, using automatic telephone dialing systems, and artificial or prerecorded voice messages (often referred to as robocalls), and sending unsolicited faxes.”

Here are some important notes about the act, although you should familiarize yourself with the entire regulation:

·       When choosing where you get your leads, it’s important to make sure you are working with a publisher/affiliate networkthat clearly asks the consumer for permission to use their phone number for telemarketing communications. Also, the consumer needs to know that providing their phone number is not a requirement.

·       If a consumer provides their cell phone number when applying for credit and gives their consent to be contacted through that number, you should be allowed to contact them at that number in an informational or transactional capacity. However, if you obtain their number after they have applied, you cannot autodial that number without getting prior express written consent through signed writing.

·       As soon as you form an established business relationship with a customer, no consent is required to contact them on the phone over the next 18 months (unless they ask not to be contacted).

O’Reilly said that the TCPA is supposed to protect consumers from unwanted commercial robocalls, texts, or faxes, but that some “of these prior interpretations of the TCPA, while well-meaning, may have contributed to the complexity by enlarging the scope of potential violations.” He said the rules have become complex and unclear, and he is pushing for better-defined regulations. We should not be surprised to see TCPA change in the future, but for now, you should try to follow the current rules best you can.

2. No Pickup? Try Email, Text, or Post

Lots of people don’t answer the phone anymore. Many have deactivated their voicemail service, while others download apps that keep callers from ever reaching their mailbox. When they don’t recognize a number, they do not answer.

If you want to contact these people, you will have to do it through email, text, or old-fashioned snail mail. Make sure you have the proper consent beforehand, of course.

Email at a Glance

It’s good to send out an automated email as soon as you get a lead. The email needs to include your business’s contact information. Keep in mind, though, even if your email reaches their inbox (which is hard), there’s no guarantee that the customer will open it. In fact, only about one in five emails are opened. SMS messages have a much higher open rate.

Text messages should be as simple as possible. Try not to use dollar signs or any trigger words that may get your message blocked (loan, cash, money, offer, etc.) Keep in mind that there are also regulations for email and text.

You should read up on CAN-SPAM to make sure your emails are compliant. Here are some things to watch out for:

·       Keep the header information accurate – the recipient shouldn’t think the email is coming from somebody else

·       Use a subject line that reflects the email’s overall message

·       Clearly note that the email is an ad

·       Include your physical postal address (a post office box counts for CAN-SPAM, but check state regulations, too)

·       Offer a way for the consumer to unsubscribe from future communication from you (make sure the unsubscribe link is noticeable)

·       Make the unsubscribe process as simple as possible

·       Honor unsubscribe requests within 10 business days

You also need to make sure anyone doing email on your behalf also follows these rules.

If sending SMS, you need to remember that the law considers SMS a “call” under TCPA. As such, you need to make sure the consumer has given their prior express written consent to receive any marketing calls or SMS messages.

3. Try, Try Again!

You can reach out to a lead up to five times within the first couple of days. If you don’t reach them after that, then chances are you lost your chance to fund this specific financial emergency. However, the consumer will most likely need another loan in the future, and if you have a properly timed remarketing campaign in place, you may be able to reach the customer exactly when they need more funding.

If you buy a lead, you owe it to yourself to try to convert that consumer. That all starts with contacting them. We hope these tips help you reach more of them, and thereby increase your ROI.

Michael Needham is the director of content at dot818, a performance marketing company that offers an advanced, turnkey solution for real-time customer acquisition. Using unmatched data intelligence, dot818 works with advertisers and publishers to build and manage high-performing campaigns. Visit to learn more.