Shared Leads vs. Exclusive Leads? What’s Better and Why




Generating leads is one of the most difficult tasks for any business, which is why people compare purchasing shared leads vs exclusive leads. However, one is more expensive than the other, but one can also bring more benefits or the opposite. Thus, it is important to choose the right one for your business based on your budget for this expense.

Lead generation is key for any business, but it isn’t something you can avoid as much as you would like to. After all, it is the way to bring clients your way and ensure you are growing as a company.

Although there are organic options to generate qualified leads, it is also possible to purchase them, which brings us to the main topic of choosing between shared or exclusive leads. But before that, you need to choose whether you will buy them or not.

Also, do you choose to work with a lead aggregator? Are you buying exclusive leads or shared leads? This is a lot of information, which can quickly become confusing. Continue reading to find out more about the lead-purchasing options available and which one is best for you.

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Choosing: Lead Aggregators vs. Lead Generators

Both the terms “lead-aggregator” and “lead generator” are frequently used interchangeably. Although they sell leads, generators and aggregators are very different.

  • Lead Aggregators.

Companies that buy leads and then resell them back to other companies are known as lead aggregators. While some may be able to generate leads on their own, most of their business is based on leads that they get from third-party sources.

Although the best companies source their leads from reliable sources, they don’t always deliver them in real-time. Keep in mind that these companies may sell leads to multiple people.

Lead aggregators have the main advantage: they are often affordable. Because these companies resell leads to multiple agents, leads tend to be less expensive and quite affordable for startups above anything else.

Unfortunately, by the time you speak with the leads you buy, they might already have decided to work with another company in the niche. The money you spend on the leads will go to waste as they cannot be considered qualified ones or prospects.

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  • Lead Generators.

Lead generators, on the other side, source their leads either organically or through a partner. They don’t buy and resell pre-generated lead lists.

With a variety of digital and traditional marketing strategies, lead generators drive traffic towards their websites. Generators deliver leads in real-time, as they are often fresh and available immediately after customers fill out their online forms.

Working with a lead generator has the advantage of allowing you to choose a flexible work schedule. This allows you to purchase and receive leads at your convenience during working hours. To get things moving, you can reach out to leads as soon as they are received.

However, with more value and lead quality comes higher prices. This means you will need to pay more per lead provided or generated.

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What Are Exclusive Leads?

With generators and aggregators clear, let’s dive deeper into the leads we will discuss. In the case of exclusive leads, this means only one recipient can receive the leads that are being purchased.

You own the leads you buy, and you won’t need to compete for them once you receive the contract information. These leads are rare and often only available in small quantities. Companies tend to sell them at a premium.

Live-transfer via click-to-call functionality is one example of the most sought-after types of exclusive leads. These leads are from verified customers that match your filters, such as demographics, risk type, or geography.

The shopper contacts the lead generation company via phone or online. The company will then match the leads with you after screening the potential buyers for intent.

Now, although you get leads that won’t be provided to anyone else, nor are you at risk of losing potential clients, lead generators sell these leads, which doesn’t mean they will always convert into actual clients. In other words, you get the prospects, but not all of them are clients or customers in the long run.

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Why Would You Purchase Exclusive Leads?

Many people consider purchasing exclusive leads useless because you are not guaranteed that every lead will convert into a client. However, they think this probably is because they haven’t tried shared leads before.

But before knowing more about the other option, you must know there are many benefits involving exclusive leads, and you ought to learn them to make your decision later on:

  • Get access to better-quality leads. These leads are more likely to have high purchase intentions. Lead generation companies can also identify and track bad leads back to their source easier, which allows them to improve and adjust. Most companies have a return policy if you get a bad lead.
  • This gives you a competitive advantage. Your exclusive leads are yours only. This can be a huge advantage for smaller businesses but also large ones.
  • Target more specific demographics. This allows you to target your ideal customer more effectively.
  • These offer greater opportunities to achieve your goals. Perhaps your current lead generation strategies don’t seem to be working. Maybe you are close to reaching your sales goals but not yet at the top. In any case, exclusive leads can help with your sales goals.
  • They can increase brand awareness. Potential customers may not be aware of you. You can generate more business with exclusive leads and increase your brand awareness until you are able to generate organic ones on your own or decide to continue betting on the purchasing option.

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Does This Mean Exclusive Leads Are Perfect?

Although exclusive leads can offer many benefits, they are not always the best as they might not be the best fit for certain companies, like insurance and mortgage businesses. Thus, before you make your decision, here are some disadvantages to consider:

  • These leads are more expensive. Exclusivity comes with a price, and it isn’t any different for this option as you get total and unique access to the leads provided.
  • You might get fewer leads. Lead generation tools send prospects your way based on the filters you select. These filters can help you pinpoint the right customers, but they also limit how many leads you get.
  • These leads require much more attention. You could be limiting your ability to reach leads quickly and effectively.

Although exclusive leads remove the competition, they are often sold at much higher prices (as briefly mentioned before).

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What Are Shared Leads?

Many internet lead companies offer shared leads, which means they can sell them to multiple agents, and this is the main difference with exclusive leads.

This model is the most popular when selling leads because it allows companies to make more per lead by selling them on a share basis. Depending on the lead type and location, a company or person selling a lead can expect to sell it to between two or eight people and companies.

Although there is more competition for shared leads, most lead companies offer exclusive carrier rights, which means that you won’t have to compete with other agents if you are a captive. The average cost of shared leads is between $5-15 per lead, depending on the line. This can increase if you add custom filters or limit competition.

Although exclusive leads are more popular, most lead generation companies offer shared leads, which means you will find more of these than the previous option.

Now, while shared leads can increase buyer competition to a certain extent because multiple buyers have the lead’s contact data, you are in a race against time to get the prospect first and capture their attention and interest.

Shared leads can be made to work for buyers who have a strong brand and are able to follow up quickly. These are two key factors in converting leads in a shared model.

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Pros & Cons of Sharing Leads: Are They Worth It?

Shared leads can offer many benefits that could make them well worth your time and money even when it seems like competitors will be hard to deal with when going for them.

However, we would recommend considering the bigger picture with the benefits and disadvantages. For the first ones, you have:

  • They are cheaper. Because aggregators/generators sell to multiple companies, they can keep the cost down.
  • You receive a greater volume of leads. This gives you more chances to convert.
  • Shared leads can be a great way to get started for new companies. You’ll have the opportunity to sharpen your skills, gain new clients, and grow your company, all at a lower price.

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Now, for the cons of considering these types of leads, you will notice they are a bit more than the pros. The most common are:

  • Low-quality leads are common. Shared leads companies to do everything they can to avoid fraud and errors. However, it is more difficult for them to track down bad leads. This could lead to incorrect contact information.
  • Customers have more choices. There is a lot more competition because contact information can be sent to multiple companies.
  • Converting leads may prove more difficult. Customers may feel overwhelmed by how many phone calls they get as their information is sent to different insurance agencies. You might get annoyed, and they may become frustrated. You have to make sure that these leads are aware of your brand so they can convert into customers.
  • They can end up costing more long-term. The initial cost of shared leads is lower. However, lower conversion rates could force you to contact more people, resulting in higher long-term costs. No matter whether the lead converts, you will usually be charged a flat fee. Service fees and subscription fees may be charged by some companies as well.

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Which Lead Type is Right for You?

We can jump to the other part with a clear idea of what shared and exclusive leads are: Which ones are the best for you.

First, you may be considering purchasing leads to boost your company’s profits since buying them is much faster than working with lead generation on your own.

But to decide which one would be a better fit, it can be helpful to compare the pros and cons of each choice. We know that if you do this, you will find that shared leads seem to be “worst” than exclusive leads, but it is a matter of perspective and occasion as you should also consider other factors when making a decision.

Some companies, for instance, will prefer to purchase shared leads as they are less expensive. But if you are looking for less competition and have experience with converting prospects, you may opt to buy exclusive leads.

Usually, companies interested in more quality than quantity will go for exclusive leads as well.

In case you are going for shared leads, a predictive dialer is a great investment. You can move through more prospects quickly and get the results you want, so this idea of sharing leads isn’t the doom of your company.

Based on the information so far, we can tell you not to be afraid of trying both exclusive and shared leads if you are just starting your company, regardless of the niche of field you are in.

You can try each option without being bound by any long-term contracts that you may not be able or willing to break since lead aggregators and generators do not make you sign them whenever you acquire leads from them.

When going for this strategy of trying both, you will need to track your results. Divide the conversions of each type by their costs to determine which one offers you the best return on your investment.

But here is a question we get quite often: Is it worth the cost for exclusive leads?

No matter what type of lead you buy, the bottom line remains that you must buy high-quality leads from reliable lead generation companies.

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You should aim to purchase internet leads from a reliable lead generation company that was generated using the correct marketing strategies. But to answer the question directly: Exclusive leads are worth the cost if you don’t want to compete with other companies or if you don’t enjoy being the first to call.

You can choose to buy exclusive leads or shared leads, depending on your sales style and the amount of work you are willing to do.

Companies like insurance businesses and real estate may prefer to purchase both exclusive and shared leads. They also like to make live-transfer calls. These are more expensive but offer a better close ratio.

Keep in mind that the connection with your leads and how profitable they end up depends a lot on how you contact and nurture them later, so you could fail in your way to convert them, not in the type of leads in specific.

So, to summarize this section, this is what we would recommend:

  • Choose shared leads when you can’t afford exclusive leads, need more volume, and can call them before your competitors do, or maybe all at once.
  • Bet for exclusive leads if you have the money and need a better conversion rate due to poor marketing strategies or just want to handle potential prospects instead of trying to get clients from a large list of leads.

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Tips to be a Success when Buying Leads

When you decide to buy shared or exclusive leads, you will need to make sure that you know how to get the best out of them since this isn’t the same as working with organic lead generation.

In this case, you are investing money, time, effort and need the prospects to convert to avoid losing all the previously mentioned. Thus, to ensure you are successful in your road to purchasing them and conversion, these are some tips we are sure you will find valuable:

  • Purchase leads on evenings or weekends.

Most companies are open from 8 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday. They tend to purchase leads during regular business hours to cover their working hours.

Therefore, purchase leads over the weekend or evenings to reduce competition. You may even be able to negotiate your price and get better leads.

  • Get in touch with your leads right away.

Even if you buy exclusive leads, don’t hesitate to call new prospects once you have received them. You may not be the only lead generation company that sends to a prospect, but they may visit other websites to get additional quotes.

  • Personalize your contact.

Personalize your contact with leads when you reach out to them. Name them. Mention any pain points they have identified.

Respect their time. If they are not available at the right time, give them another call.

  • Use automation.

Technology has made it so easy to run a business that there is no excuse when it comes to lead generation. Automation can help you increase the number and quality of leads that you can reach quickly.

No matter what type of lead you purchase, be quick to respond to prospects. To increase your success, invest in a predictive dialer and lead nurturing system.

  • Filter to get more specific results.

Many lead generation companies offer preset or custom filter options. These filters allow you to target specific audiences more precisely and pinpoint potential customers based upon demographics and geographic location.

You can be more specific with your results if you use more filters. Remember that more filters will limit the focus to fewer leads. It is best to test them all.

You can start with just a few filters and then add more. You can always delete one or two filters if you don’t get the lead volume you desire.

  • Measure your success and track it.

You will need to measure and track your results, regardless of whether you choose exclusive or shared leads. You won’t be able to determine if purchasing leads is really helping you if you don’t do it.

All of your lead generation strategies, including lead buying, should be tracked and measured. You’ll be able to calculate your revenues and profits accurately this way. To achieve better results, you can make adjustments to your strategies.

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Why Exclusive Leads Are the Best Option

When weighing the pros and cons between shared and exclusive leads, you will see that exclusive leads are more effective in terms of quality and conversions. However, they are generally less affordable and not as plentiful as shared leads.

But exclusive ones are worth the time and money for those willing to make an investment and to bet on their skills to get the best out of those leads.

Just make sure you choose the right company to buy from since this plays an important role in the lead quality and whether they are qualified for your business in specific.

The lead generator or aggregator should help you determine your budget and target audiences and set the filters to get the most leads possible.

Some companies create a custom-tailored and customized lead generation strategy for your business, which can be more expensive, but worth it if you are aiming for a big boost in your customers and how they get to your company.

Overall, exclusive leads end up being the best options because they are usually ready to convert even when there is a small chance you won’t get clients from some of them.

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Meanwhile, shared leads are more “random,” and their quality can be questionable not only for the company selling them but also depending on how they receive someone’s services and products.

Most shared leads are tired of getting messages and calls since they are part of those leads many businesses buy. Thus, you ought to consider if you want your company going down due to the shared leads lists you get or if you know how to utilize them properly.

The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Business

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All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?

The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).

Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:

The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.

Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”

You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.

The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.

The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.

To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.

Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.

To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.

By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.

An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor

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You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.

HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.

They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.

If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.

HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.

Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services.  They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).

Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?

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They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.

However, you need to remember two facts:

  1. Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
  2. They don’t generate “natural” leads.

Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.

Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.

What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.

When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.

What Is Local SEO?

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Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.

What does this mean?

Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.

To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.

If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.

Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.

“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.

Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.

Can My Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?

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If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.

Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.

Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.

How Powerful Are Organic Leads from Google?

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For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.

This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.

I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.

However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.

On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.

You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.

What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?

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Here it goes: you can work from home.

The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.

We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high.  Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.

You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.

Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.

So, let’s summarize this:

  • You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
  • You can bet on passive income.
  •  There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
  • You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.

How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?

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Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.

Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?

You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.

You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.

Learn more about local lead generation below.

Take a sneak peek into our proven strategies to build a passive income by building a local lead generation business from your laptop...