Duplicate leads, often referred to as “dupes,” are found in a CRM when an exact copy of a contact is created as a different entry in the same database. Unfortunately, dupes have become one of the biggest problem areas for marketers in all industries – in fact, duplicate rates have been shown to reach as high as 20%-30%, while poor marketing data has started costing US businesses $611 billion per year

With bleak statistics like those, it’s easy to label all dupes as bad for business and seek ways to prevent duplicate leads from getting stored in your CRM. This may come as a surprise, but there are duplicates that should absolutely not be thrown away. The key is to discern the dupes that are wasting your marketing spend from the dupes that may still have a shot at converting, and take action accordingly.

First, let’s take a look at what defines a bad dupe:

Typically, a bad duplicate is a lead which you’ve already purchased that is not yet a customer and falls within a pre-defined duplicate window. For example, if you purchase a lead from one source and then see that same lead purchased from another source two minutes later, you’re essentially paying for the same lead twice – making the second lead a bad duplicate.

Examples of bad dupes:

  • Duplicate of an existing subscriber to an email newsletter.  You can’t be on an email newsletter list twice with the same email. 
  • Duplicate of a lead you just bought from another vendor recently (within the past couple of weeks) that you are actively working.

But what if that same lead came through again a few days later, or even a few months later? 

Let’s take a look at what makes up a good duplicate lead:

There are often cases in which there’s a strong chance that you’re dealing with a duplicate lead that could be back in the market for your product or service. In this case, although they’re labeled as a duplicate, they still have a high chance of converting – making them a good duplicate. 

Examples of good dupes:

  • Duplicate of an existing customer list: This is an existing customer that is shopping, so buying these leads can be a powerful retention strategy.  
  • Duplicate of a lead that never converted: This is a prospect that expressed interest in the past and is back in the market. For example, let’s say you’re a mortgage lender and spoke to a prospect about a new purchase loan six months ago, but they never converted because they didn’t buy a house. Now, they’re out shopping for a loan again six months later. This could be a great prospect!

At ActiveProspect, we find these questions helpful to determine bad dupes from good dupes:

  • If a duplicate lead comes through in your database, what makes it worth acquiring again? 
  • How long do you want your duplicate window to be?
  • Do you want to recapture existing customers and/or leads that fall outside of your conversion window? 
  • What are the dupe leads that you want to avoid purchasing because they would be wasted spend?

These are all key business decisions that can have a high impact on your marketing spend. Thankfully, there is now new technology that can help you make these decisions and implement them in a simple, iterable way.

Here at ActiveProspect, we enjoy coaching clients on how to determine the right duplicate windows for bad dupes, as well as offering the best ways to take action on good dupes. As part of our product suite, we help you put the right filters in place on duplicate leads, often saving customers as much as 20% on their marketing spend. 

To recap, when it comes to duplicate leads it’s a good idea to:

  • Determine the right duplicate window for leads that are not customers
  • Ensure you have a platform in place that allows you to adjust your duplicate window easily as your needs change, and reject the leads that fall inside your duplicate window so you don’t have to pay for the same lead twice
  • Determine a separate treatment of leads for current customers

A well-designed duplicate management solution will allow you to handle a wide variety of these situations for your business appropriately. If you’re in need of a platform that will help you reduce marketing spend on bad duplicates and increase ROI, contact us today!