The entire lead generation industry is transitioning to ping post lead distribution due to its benefits to lead buyers, lead sellers and the consumers themselves. However, transitioning your lead company to ping post technology isn't as easy as flipping a switch. Luckily, we specialize in helping lead companies get up and running with ping post distribution as well as building the custom deliveries that allow you to post your leads into your buyer's CRM or lead management system. If you're new to ping post, we highly encourage you to download our basics whitepaper. We can walk you through the standard ping post process as well as get familiar with the terminology and options available.
Ping post allows a lead seller to send partial information, the ping, of a lead to their network of lead buyers. The buyer then determines whether he or she would like to purchase the lead based on this information. This ping delivers only the information that is required for the buyers to make an informed purchase but not the contact information of the lead. For example, a ping will include fields like geographical location and answers to qualifying fields specific to the inquiry but exclude any sensitive or personally identifiable information like name, phone number and email. The seller's software collects the responses from the buyers and then routes the full lead details to the winner(s), the post, based on the seller's distribution logic.
This process is done in real-time so it is not a situation where you can ping a buyer via email and wait for their response. Responses need to be within seconds so the seller can make a determination on buyers and the lead generator can communicate with the lead on the next steps (typically on the confirmation page).
The ping post process benefits all parties involved: the consumer, the lead buyer and the lead seller.
The consumer benefits from the ping post software by minimizing the number of companies that receive their contact information. The consumer also benefits by allowing companies that are technically competitors to work together more easily because the lead seller is only sharing the lead's contact information with the company that purchases the lead. This situation creates a network of companies all trying to find the best match(es) to the consumer's inquiry. Also, this process minimizes the number of databases in which the consumer’s information resides.
The lead buyer benefits from the ping post process in a different way. Buyers have more control over their lead buying process and can better align the price they will pay for a lead with the value of that lead to the organization. Not all leads (or lead sellers) are created equal, and ping post software allows buyers to return different prices to different leads based on the ping information. The buyer is then able to optimize their cost-per-acquisition (CPA) with each lead seller, manage their marketing budget more efficiently and reduce the time sales reps spend on non-qualified leads.
Lastly, the lead seller also benefits from the ping post process by helping to maximize the revenue on each lead. The primary way this is accomplished is by only routing the full lead details to the buyer(s) willing to pay the most for that specific lead, thus increasing the revenue-per-lead. This process also protects one of the lead seller's most valuable assets, the contact information of the leads, and institutes a level of self regulation for the company. The more companies that utilize this process, the more self regulation occurs, making it less likely for governmental bodies to pass more restrictive regulations. Finally, by having an alternative to the traditional process of establishing fixed price-per-lead pricing, lead sellers eliminate a barrier in pre-close negotiations and can more efficiently move through the sales process.
As discussed above, several parties in the lead generation process may use ping post due to its benefits to all the stakeholders in the process.
Lead sellers that generate their own leads utilize the ping post process to maximize their revenue on each lead. Each lead they generate is pinged to their buyers, the bids are collected and then the full lead details are posted to the buyer(s) willing to pay the most for that lead at that snapshot in time.
Lead brokers that aggregate leads from other lead generation companies also utilize ping post software. In an effort to refine their lead buying on behalf of their clients, ping post allows lead brokers to alter things like profit margin to hit their clients' cost-per-acquisition (CPA) goals. Having one central platform to manage various lead sellers and have greater insight into the lead flow is another benefit of utilizing ping post software.
Service providers with large marketing budgets for lead purchasing use ping post software as well. These types of clients use ping post as a way to manage their affiliates, provide consistent and reliable specifications to their affiliates for integrations and for reporting payout information. Lastly, these types of clients also utilize ping post to be able to dynamically return bids to these affiliates, thus optimizing their lead buying to hit their CPA goals.
Service providers who have a large variance in the price will pay for a lead, given they have the right answers to specific qualifying questions. Having ping post software reduces the need for upfront negotiations with lead sellers to establish a fixed price-per-lead (CPL) and allows the lead buyer to instantly adjust their bid price based on the success (or lack thereof) with leads from each lead seller.
While ping post is a common practice in home- and auto-related verticals like home improvement, auto finance and all types of insurance, it is not restricted to these verticals. Any vertical can apply the ping post process to optimize their lead generation operations.
As we have discussed, ping post is a method of lead distribution that sends partial information to a potential lead buyer, allowing them to dynamically return a bid. The lead seller's ping post software collects the bids, sorts them (typically by price or priority) and then delivers the full lead information to the winner(s). The entire process is handled automatically and in real time, within just a few seconds. To learn more about the basics of ping post, click here.
There is no shortage of buzzwords when it comes to ping post. This can lead to confusion both when trying to buy and sell leads via ping post. Click here to view our ping post definitions and no longer be in the dark!
One of the advantages of using ping post software is that you can manage multiple lead sellers and provide consistent posting specifications to them, minimizing setup time and allowing them to start selling you leads sooner. While there is some variation to this process, this page discusses what is needed to provide to lead sellers in order to get set up. It is worth noting that your lead sellers will need to have this capability to get you set up correctly.
There are certainly more options, and variations, when it comes to selling leads via ping post. In many cases, the process can bend around your needs, but if you are looking for more details on a typical setup for selling ping post leads, this page is a great reference.
Ping post is not just for companies with only dynamic buyers. Lead sellers can set up both fixed price lead buyers and dynamic buyers utilizing ping post software. As your system receives bids from the dynamic buyers, your lead system automatically compares them to the fixed price buyers to calculate your best scenario to decide which buyer(s) receive the lead. So what really is the difference?
With dynamic pricing, a lead buyer can return different bids to the lead seller's ping. This allows the buyer to have greater flexibility among the other benefits described above.
With static (fixed) pricing, a lead buyer agrees to pay a set amount for all leads with a given set of minimum criteria. For example, a mortgage broker may agree to buy leads that have a $100,000 minimum loan value and not more than a 90% LTV. A home improvement contractor, on the other hand, may negotiate to buy a roofing repair job in their area for one set price and a roofing replacement job in their area for another set price.
What Are Ping Post Scenarios?
When it comes to lead distribution there's so many different verticals and situations that they all shouldn't be treated the same. With ping post scenarios, your system automatically calculates the best revenue scenario by comparing the best exclusive buyer against the sum of the non-exclusive buyers, takes out the profit margin, and then returns your represented bid back to the seller. Assuming you are the best bid in the seller's ping tree, they post the full lead details to you and your system begins to distribute the lead according to the best scenario. If a buyer rejects the post, the system automatically recalculates the next-best scenario and continues to distribute the lead as long as that scenario's total revenue is more than the bid returned to the seller. For examples relating to scenarios, click here.
There are often questions about what exactly Return Best Price is in the lead system and how it fits into ping post; return Best Price is quite literal in this case. When a vendor includes the parameter Return_Best_Price=1 AND you have the source setting configured, the system will consist of a price in the response. What that price is and how it is calculated will vary. To learn more about how return best price works, check out this page.
Ping post (as of today) is not like Ebay; it is a closed, single bid process where a potential lead buyer does not know the final price at which the lead sold. If a lead buyer does not receive the post to their bid, they can conclude the lead sold for more to another buyer in the sellers ping tree. So how does a lead generation company figure out what the optimal profit margin is for their unique mix of traffic? How does a lead buyer figure out what the "right" price is to pay for a lead? The answer, not surprisingly, is testing, testing and more testing. Bid experiments allow lead buyers and aggregators to scientifically test their lead bidding strategy by setting up AB tests for incoming pings. So why would you ever use ping post technology without it? Click here to learn more about ping post and bid experiments.
Ping post has many different features that are used within a lead distribution software. Some features help with the process of ping post, others are used to help with A/B testing. A few advanced features include: dynamic pricing, bid experiments, duplicate checks and source/buyer fail safes. This page discusses those options in more detail.
What is a ping tree?
A lead seller's list of potential buyers is sometimes referred to as a ping tree. This is because, for each incoming lead, there are usually several outgoing pings to the potential buyers. If you are a lead seller though, be aware that not all solutions treat your ping tree the same.
What verticals use ping post?
Currently, home improvement, solar, auto finance and all types of insurance are the verticals in which ping post is most common. However, any vertical can utilize the ping post process from a technical perspective, and it is becoming more prominent in verticals like mortgage, financial services and some subprime lead types like tax and credit card debt settlement.
Is ping post a lead exchange or network?
In a word, no. Ping post is a lead distribution process but it is not an exchange where you can anonymously buy or sell leads. An exchange standardizes a contract but there is a huge variance in the quality of leads based on the lead generation method, the lead seller and the lead buyer's sales process. It is important to establish your own network to control the quality and add value in the supply chain. This post talks more about lead exchanges.
What if some of my lead buyers are not set up to handle ping post?
The good news is that your lead buyers have to be set up to dynamically return bids to operate in ping post. Utilizing boberdoo's scenarios, lead generation companies can build their best scenario of static (fixed) price buyers for each incoming lead and sell it to whatever combination will yield the highest revenue, whether that is from an internally generated lead or a ping coming from another lead seller.
What are ping post specs?
Ping post specs are the instructions given by a lead buyer to a lead seller that allows the lead seller to build the process to ping the buyer and receive a bid, then post the full lead details if they are the winner. boberdoo clients provide sellers with the ping post specs as well as a source (SRC) value and API Key for tracking and security purposes.
How are margins calculated with ping post?
Ping post margins can be calculated in several different ways, depending on whether it resides on the lead buyer side or the lead seller side. boberdoo's standard ping post process uses scenarios, which depends on the margin residing on the lead seller side.
Is ping post only for web leads or does it work with calls too?
The ping post process is not just for web leads. Live calls can also be sold dynamically. In this process, the lead seller pings partial information about the call (campaign, answers to IVR questions and area code) which allows the potential buyer to return both a price and a dynamic number (DID) to route the call, should they win the call.
The entire lead generation industry is transitioning to ping post lead distribution due to its benefits to buyers, sellers and the leads themselves. However, transitioning your lead company to ping post technology isn't as easy as flipping a switch. Luckily, we specialize in helping lead companies get up and running with ping post distribution as well as building the custom deliveries that allow you to post your leads into your buyers' CRM or lead management system. If you're new to ping post, we highly encourage you to download our basics whitepaper below. This will walk you through the standard ping post process as well as help familiarize you with the terminology and options available.