How fast is the service?
DOTS Lead Validation is a composite service that makes use of many of Service Objects other web services. So the times will vary depending on the Test Type used, which will tell DOTS Lead Validation which other services to call. The calls are threaded and optimized to be as fast as possible. Currently, there are two main types of Test Types, normal (normal1p and normal2p) and full (full1p and full2p). The normal types should take about 1 second per lookup while the full types may take 2-2.5 seconds. The full types return alternative data (phone numbers, name, address) in the cases perfect matches weren't found. Unfortunately, these lookups require information from earlier calls and are therefore not as efficient as the normal test types. If you need to run LV in a live environment where performance is a critical factor, it is highly suggested you use the normal test types.
What does it mean when an operation ends with _V# (e.g. ValidateLead_V3)?
It is very difficult to add new functionality to our services because new inputs/outputs and changes to outputs can cause problems to our client's implementations of our services. When we create important new functionality that includes changes to the inputs or outputs, we create a new version of an older operation. Higher V# operations should always be considered superior to the older operations as they may contain important new tests not available before.
So what is this Overall Certainty score? What does it mean? How does it apply to me?
The Overall Certainty score is Service Objects' best judgment of how clean a set of contact information may be. We've seen many contacts and sets of data, and we've acquired a definitive feel for what fields are important. Then again, this is merely a subjective opinion of the contact's makeup, and you can always evaluate our comparisons using your own scoring rules. Interpreting the score is somewhat dependent on what your business needs are. If your contacts were expensive, or are worth a good deal to your customers or call centers, you will want to accept a greater range of scores. If your contacts were relatively inexpensive, or you're going through a large number of contacts, you may want to be a bit pickier and accept only a higher range of scores. If you are using our standard scoring system, lower scores generally correspond to bad phone data, and higher scores generally correspond to good phone data. Often, users will take lists and sort them by their score, contacting the leads with the highest quality scores first. Service Objects has seen that high-quality leads typically want to talk to you, and have a higher probability of picking up the phone when you call.
So does a score of X mean that a contact is good or bad?
Neither! In most cases, a low score is a bad lead and a high score is a good one, but there is no one score that fits everyone. If your business relies mostly on phone numbers, then for you the best contacts may be the ones with solid phone information. If you want to reach leads by mail then the address tests would be more important. Our scoring system is designed to fit as many of our clients as possible, but every company has different needs.
I want to score things differently. Can you change the scoring for me?
Yes. While we are attempting to come up with a scoring system that will please most of our clients, all companies have different needs. Whether it's scores that are too low, tests that aren't wanted, or inputs you don't have, we do have a solution. We can help you build a custom test type that might suit your needs more. It may be more preferable to stay with the tried and true test types, but it's possible they just don't work for your needs. Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any specific scoring needs.
Help! Yesterday this lead was giving me a score of X and today it's different! Is something wrong?
We are constantly striving to improve all of our services. Lead Validation is built upon a very complex set of tests and scores. From time to time through testing and customer feedback we will adjust scoring to account for both new tests and results we didn't expect. Most adjustments will be very minor, but it's possible we may find a new test that can with high certainty make a formerly good lead into a bad one or vice versa.
So it should be expected that over time the scores may change some. There will likely be new Warning messages added from time to time.
Lead Validation gave a low score to a lead that I know is good!
It's more difficult to determine a lead's validity if there are issues with the phone number. If your lead is unlisted in the phone book, we cannot validate if the name given matches the reverse phone lookup's name. Other issues may be causing the lead to get a low score, such as a totally bogus address, celebrity name, or phone number that has a non-existent area code. The warnings output should give you a good idea of what went wrong with your lead.
Do you have wireless phone contacts?
The operation ValidateLead_V3 return contacts for wireless leads. Wireless contacts can be returned for the ValidateLead_V2 operation in the older ASMX version of the service but not the original ValidateLead operation. Wireless coverage is not as extensive as Landline coverage but added contacts only improve the overall accuracy of the service.
Do you discern between residential contacts and business contacts?
Yes. The Phone1NoteDesc output field returns whether the phone's address is a residential or business location. We have found that leads with business numbers are slightly less responsive, so we give them a small penalty.
Can you find whether a phone is disconnected?
Yes! The functionality for determining whether or not a phone is disconnected is built into the ValidateLead_V3 operation.
Where do you get your information?
We get our data from a mixture of public and proprietary sources. Using multiple sources of data means we can verify that one source is not compromised or deficient.
I'm not technical, but I have a list of leads I want to validate. Can you run my list of leads for me?
Yes! We run LV batches for users quite often and would be happy to run your list for you once we discuss your needs. We also offer a free trial batch a hundred leads. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
The Sample Code is Giving Strange Errors or is Crashing!
Most likely, the sample code cannot connect to Service Objects. Many environments will not allow you to connect out on port 80, or will clip out XML data from these requests/responses.
The easiest way to check for this is to open a browser on the machine running the sample code. In your browser, navigate to: https://trial.serviceobjects.com/lv
Then test the ValidateLead_V3 operation with your trial key. If you get a browser error or get no data back, then the sample code isn't able to connect, either. Contact your systems administrator to resolve why you are not able to connect to Service Objects.