The post that LeadPoint and Quinstreet may not want you to see

Actually, put a big asterisk next to the title for now. A colleague of mine asked me to help him evaluate the solution of company called Kaleidico today.

(A few disclaimers: I don’t know anyone at Kaleidico, nor do I know how much currency and traction they have in the space.)

Kaleidico bills itself as a tool to manage lead quality, but what really enraptured me when I visited their Web site was their public display of a “30-day application” rate by lead provider across what would seem to be there clients. (I tried to cut-and-paste an image here, didn’t work. So just visit the site and check it out).

Having spent time in a very competitive lead generation vertical, lead quality was evaluated across every grain:
– by publisher
– by day (would you believe that quality of leads drops to make numbers, oops, I mean towards the end of the month)
– by creative message
– even by lead client

By lead client? Yes, would you believe that there are consistently lead buyers who purchase leads and fall below the baseline for application rate.

For example, if all clients’s close rate were “down” for a specific source and below baseline, that might finger the publisher as the culprit for quality. However, if all clients were up against the baseline and one client was down, we would assume that it was the client issue. If a certain lead client was always down against average, we had two concerns:

1) That the customer wasn’t getting the best option or the customer wasn’t be serviced
2) More importantly for our business, that a client who can’t close leads on par with the average is destined not to be a client (or in business) upon a shakeout.

What Kaliedico is doing is creating a network effect amongst buyer by exposing their close data in aggregate. This is a very powerful tool, if accurate. I say if accurate, because I would like to understand how Kaleidico reaches these numbers.

If accurate, consider some of the consequences of the tool though:

– as a lead buyer, it allows me on further step down the funnel to evaluate my distribution or marketing mix (if I haven’t built this in house already)
– as a lead buyer, it tactically it allows me to guess my effective lead price by a provider *before trying their leads
– as a lead buyer, it allows me to understand if my agents or sales staff are closing leads above or below baseline on a per provider basis
– as a lead officer or agent, it creates a brand value around a lead. A Root lead I might work harder, than a Quinstreet lead in this case (which impacts the close rate).
– as a lead provider, it either gives me pricing leverage or handicaps by pricing

However to make Kaleidico’s chart truly valuable and actionable, you need to show not only the close rate by provider (Root, LMB, etc.), but you need to show the close rate by advertiser or client as well (UofP, AIU, etc). Isn’t that fair?

For example, why should LeadPoint suffer if Countrywide buys all their refinance leads at the best price, but has a terrible close rate. (Disclaimer: I know nothing of Countrywide conversion; using Countrywide to make a point)

Given their technology and business model, this probably will not occur because the Kaleidico is getting paid by the client.

For an industry that is razor focused on daily metrics and sees sporadic innovation, Kaleidico’s product, again if accurate, is something to pay attention to.

More on lead gen from LeadsCon:

What agencies are seeing on leadgen.

A perspective from the search world.


4 comments so far

  1. Bill Rice on


    Hopefully, we can help your colleague improve their success with their Internet originations and lead buying.

    I appreciate you taking the time to see the possibilities within the Lead Marketwatch tool. I thought I might help with a bit of clarity on the simple automation behind the widget.

    0. It is automated and includes no manual manipulation
    1. The application rates are calculated daily on the aggregate data of the entire Kaleidico network of users
    2. Application is a consistent status for every user regardless of the company or instance–data integrity
    3. Each lead (provided for action one at a time) must be given an action status before the next lead is viewed–more data integrity
    4. The application rate is calculated as the number of applied leads divided by total leads, within the measurement period (7 or 30 days), that were received and statused application in the same rolling measurement period
    5. The widget only reflects the top 10 lead providers (since we have up to 65 lead providers feeding the network at any given time)
    6. The lead provider must have provided at least 100 leads within measurement period
    7. Over time we have had to create some fairly clever fraud detection in the algorithm as you might imagine

    Hopefully, that sheds a bit of light on the process.

    The core value is to give lead buyers a place to start the discussion and begin with reasonable expectations about doing business this way. No one should stop at the widget and buy. Dig deeper and learn more:

    Thanks again for taking the time to evaluate our passion!

  2. saveproduction on

    Thanks for responding here Bill. For the edification of the audience, a few follow-up questions:

    1) About how many leads do you see per day?
    2) How many lead buyers participate?
    3) What are your thoughts on a mechanism for “buyer application rate?” Any attempts to tackle that?

  3. Bill Rice on

    1. Several thousand. I have not checked the exact count recently
    2. We have over 100 organizations buying leads on the network
    3. I think revealing buyer application rates would be revealing information that is proprietary to our clients. However, clients on the network to have the ability to compare/observe their performance against network benchmarks. So, they can see if they are better or worse. Similar to what you see in Lead Marketwatch they are aggregate benchmarks, not specific client results.

  4. saveproduction on

    Thanks for responding Bill and adding follow-ups to question one and two.

    For question three, it is a bit tricky. The reverse might be argued for lead providers; as in, their close rate is proprietary. Given that the lead “servicer” if your client, it certainly makes sense as well.

    It would be both helpful and appropriate if the lead app rates (perhaps in a drill-down type feature) were available by category (auto, mortgage, etc) and further by lead type (new car, california refinance).

    Thanks for the response.

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