Companies use web-to-lead forms to gather information about their customers and determine their needs; however there are companies out there that actually make a business out of selling that information to many companies at once, who all reach out to the consumer to buy their products and services.
Web-to-Lead forms are forms that companies use to obtain information about a potential customer. These forms are relatively new to online marketing and have grown in popularity over the last fifteen-years, and many companies find them useful to not only learn more about the people who are interested in the products and services they offer, but to also determine who is actually interested purchasing a product or service.
Within some industries though, web-to-lead forms have taken on a new role and a new purpose – one that is neither favorable to the potential customer, nor to the company that sells the good or service. A lead generation company is defined as a company whose business model is to introduce for money (sell) potential customers to companies that sell the good or service sought. When these lead generation companies misuse the information obtained about the potential customer and try to maximize the profit they can squeeze out of that customer’s information – the result is seldom a sale, but rather a whole lot of stress and aggravation. This is primarily because, in many instances, the lead generation company does not just sell that customer’s lead information to one company that sells the good or service sought, but rather to several companies. As a result, that customer suddenly finds themselves being marketed to by several companies that they do not know, all for the same good or service. These marketing efforts typically take the form of direct mailers, emails, and most annoyingly, phone calls.
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The one industry where this misuse of the web-to-lead form marketing method has skyrocketed is the healthcare industry. An uninsured shopper needing health insurance, who fills out the wrong lead form on an abusive lead generation's website, who is expecting to receive quotes for health insurance plans, but instead gets either messaging advising them that someone (truthfully, many someones) will be in touch or, worst yet, a pop up full of other advertisements, should expect either way to not only be inundated with phone calls, but to also wish that they did not need health insurance.
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