The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Online Lead Generation Best Practices

From the Interactive Advertising Bureau:

The IAB Lead Generation committee was created in Q3 2005 responding to the need for a group of industry leaders to address the issues facing this emerging interactive communications channel. The first initiative, Lead Generation best practices, is a very high-level approach to lay the foundation for ethical practice in lead generation, specifically handling of consumer data, expectations of reporting leads and dealings with consumer transparency.

At this time, this document deliberately does not address individual business practices by implying or defining specific executional considerations or tactical standards. Instead, the committee developed a companion document to provide specific detail about lead generation, the nuance of its practice within various vertical categories and its application within a CRM campaign. This document is available in the Interactive Advertising Basics sections of

The committee recognizes this is an emerging area and maintains a philosophy of continuous review and further elaboration.

Best Practices Overview

Consumer Transparency

  • All lead generation efforts should be strictly permission-based; consumers should not be coerced or otherwise unknowingly misled to accept an advertiser’s offer.
  • Advertisers/Publishers/Vendors should only send consumer offers or information that strictly adheres to the offers and information they have requested. For instance, if a consumer asks for mortgage information, that consumer receives only mortgage information.
  • Advertisers/Publishers/Vendors should not rent, resell or trade the lead without consumer’s consent as outlined in their privacy policy.
  • Advertisers/Publishers/Vendors should provide a clear, concise privacy policy that fully-explains to consumers how their data will be used. The policy should be readily accessible to consumers for review.
  • Publishers/Vendors should fully-disclose the data consumers share and identify its source to advertisers in the instance that proof of permission is requested. Advertisers should make the data and source accessible to consumers.
  • Auto-responder and prompts are recommended to confirm the consumer’s interest and to provide an opportunity to halt/ continue marketing. A clear opt-out should be visible.
  • Data Integrity

  • Publishers/Vendors should deliver consumer data that meets the advertiser’s criteria for a quality lead, as determined by the advertiser’s marketing objectives. The advertiser should inform the publisher of unacceptable lead quality within a reasonable time predetermined by the publisher/advertiser agreement. The recommended timeframe is five-(5) to seven-(7) business days.
  • Publishers/Vendors should make available the registered consumer’s IP address and time stamp to show proof of registration upon request by the advertiser.
  • Publishers/Vendors may pre-populate the information fields that a consumer has already provided.

Written by Tom Fox

06/03/2007 at 8:50 am

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