Ad fraud is the silent thief of the digital age, silently syphoning away profits and damaging brand reputations. As the battle against ad fraud rages on, lead generation businesses are losing billions of dollars annually to malicious actors. To shed light on the path toward a more profitable and secure future in lead generation, ad fraud solutions provider Anura and Phonexa recently co-hosted a webinar titled, "Source to Success: How Clean Lead Management Drives a More Profitable Outcome." Hosted by Anura CEO and Co-Founder Rich Kahn and Phonexa COO Jeff Schaffer the webinar delved deep into the art of creating a clean foundation for lead generation and management to mitigate fraud. You can watch webinar on demand here. Phonexa recently partnered with Anura to release an integration for clients and prospects to eliminate ad fraud and reduce spend on fraudulent campaigns. This innovative partnership equips lead generators, advertisers, and affiliate networks with the tools needed to effectively combat ad fraud and curtail wasteful spending on deceptive campaigns. The following statistics underscore the magnitude of the ad fraud epidemic: \tAdvertisers are projected to lose a staggering $100 billion to ad fraud this year alone. \tA quarter of all paid traffic is fraudulent, infiltrating marketing campaigns and diluting their effectiveness. \tProgrammatic campaigns, a cornerstone of modern digital advertising, suffer from fraud rates averaging a startling 50%. It's a daunting reality, but Kahn and Schaffer's captivating conversation offered a beacon of hope. Let’s dive into the actionable insights and strategies shared by the two industry experts. To help you gauge the effectiveness of your fraud prevention measures, we've introduced a brand-new tool: the Marketing Fraud Prevention Proficiency Quiz. Take the Quiz The Need for Operational Excellence and Focus To Ensure Clean, Fraud-Free Lead Intake The webinar started with a conversation centred around making sure marketing efforts are efficient and effective in light of rampant ad fraud. Schaffer noted that experienced marketers utilise available technologies to analyse data and make business decisions in real-time. “Clean and profitable lead management is not a 'set it and forget it' process," said Schaffer. "Even a small percentage of unclean or fraudulent leads can not just drastically impact business economics in the near-term but it can completely torpedo established relationships, create compliance exposures, and more." Schaffer stressed that the ability to have real-time decisioning and having the tooling to be able to, at times, dynamically change and modify the customer journey is just as important as capturing clean data. Modifications made to the customer journey can be based on: \tWhatever first-party data the consumer may have voluntarily provided \tThe behaviour of that consumer \tAny third-party data sources that can give you a more holistic view of that consumer \tHistorical data derived from other sources ”Being able to have all of those touchpoints and all of the information about the consumer journey, motivations, other third-party consolidated in one place is crucial,” said Schaffer. “It’s a constant battle. Every week we’re seeing one or two new types of threats that are coming through that need some type of adjustment, some type of correction, or just some type of update to our machine learning to understand we’re already protecting against that type of attack," said Kahn. "We’re very big on making sure we’re listening to the voice of the customer just like we expect lead generators to listen to the voice of their customers." Mitigating the Risk of Non-Compliance The webinar then shifted to a discussion on regulatory compliance, particularly as it relates to spam calls from fraudulent sources. “What the TCPA set out to do didn’t solve the problem. just gotten worse and worse because people are finding ways around it or just totally ignoring it," said Kahn. "We believe that you do not have consent to call somebody if it’s a fraudulent lead that’s being filled out. The question is can you identify that fraudulent lead before it gets to the call centre? That’s where we step in." Schaffer then warned about the legal consequences of living in a "sue first, ask questions later" world. “Anybody that’s ever been involved in a TCPA lawsuit or anything related to that knows it’s not fun," said Schaffer. "What we’ve done is build out an ecosystem of partnerships where we’re able in real-time to integrate with not just companies like Anura to ensure that those leads never enter the ecosystem.” “That’s where our relationship with Phonexa comes into play because if you’re in the lead space, you need a management system — you’re not going to do it with paper, you’re not going to do it with index cards,” said Kahn. “You need some type of to handle the volume and scale that a lot of these clients have, and you have to have enough decisioning power before passing it on to a call centre to feel 100% confident that a real lead.” Improving Overall Lead Quality To Boost ROI Kahn then focused on the importance of filtering out fraudulent paid traffic to improve overall lead quality and, ultimately, increase ROI. “If you’re selling those leads down to another client (a buyer) and 25% of those leads are fake and they’re not going to generate any return, that automatically waters down the ROI that they’re getting," said Kahn. "It also their call centre resources because now it takes longer to reach somebody who’s not expecting their call, they’ve got the risk of TCPA violations, there’s a lot that goes on with that.” With regard to affiliate marketers, Kahn then reiterated how buying and selling fake leads have a domino effect, resulting in dwindling ROI. “When the ROI is lowered based on the source that they’re buying from, they’re going to want to smart-price what they’re paying per lead and reduce what they pay per lead because of that water down effect,” said Kahn. “Flip the switch — eliminate that 25% so that everything coming in has the potential to convert. You’re going to see a lift in ROI which means a higher demand for your traffic, and the worst is your customers are demanding more than you have because then supply and demand kick in and you can start raising prices again.” For Kahn, it all comes down to developing high-quality traffic by using a variety of tools to ensure you’re delivering the best quality of leads possible, which will ultimately help grow your business. In the affiliate marketing space, emphasising quality leads over high volume is the key to sustained growth. Nurturing Leads and Guiding Them Through the Sales Funnel The conversation concluded with Schaffer sharing strategies on how to support clients when nurturing high-quality leads. According to Schaffer, the more insight marketers have regarding a customer’s lifecycle — their intent, what led them down their path into your ecosystem, etc. — the better equipped you’ll be to optimise their journey, increase conversions and profitability, and provide a better overall customer experience. “There’s no ceiling or limitation to the extent to which a business can A/B test various lead nurturing methods and work to optimise to a desired end result,” said Schaffer. “But, you can’t really do that until you trim the fat. You have to be able to make decisions based on data that is clean … and is as close to fraud-free as possible. “Once you can confidently say that you’re operating with a truly clean dataset and you have the mechanisms in place to keep it that way, then you can make better decisions,” said Schaffer. “Giving the consumers the ability to interact in the way in which they want to is key as far as lead nurturing having a singular system where you track all of that.” By joining forces with Anura, Phonexa enables businesses to take a proactive stance against the threats of bots, malware, and human fraud in their lead processing operations. Cheque out our latest blog to learn more about how Anura and Phonexa's fraud-detecting integration works, and be sure to also review Phonexa's go-to list of anti-fraud features and integrations. To continue the conversation with Schaffer, connect with him on LinkedIn.