In online lead generation, most of us are familiar with the age-old battle between quality and volume. Most marketers will tell you they want quality leads first, specifically quality leads that convert into buyers. However, once they find leads that work, their appetite for these leads increases. Many times it's tempting then to start pushing for volume over quality. But how much quality are you willing to sacrifice to drive volume? And how do you achieve volume without sacrificing quality?

Whether judged by return on investment, customer engagement or sales effectiveness, sacrificing lead quality for volume is usually a poor investment for marketers, and ultimately a bad practice for online lead generation companies. What all marketers know instinctively -- that one good lead is worth a handful of mediocre leads -- has been confirmed by recent industry analyst reports and news stories that suggest focusing on lead volume generally does not result in lead quality. In many cases, this approach can lead to an erosion of online lead generation best practices and a corresponding erosion in consumer trust that can ultimately hurt not only your conversion numbers, but also harm your brand equity and image.

Maintaining a constant focus on lead generation best practices promotes high-quality leads without sacrificing volume, ensures campaign success and discourages abuses of consumer privacy. There are a number of important steps marketers can take to make sure that their online lead generation efforts are effective at delivering a high volume of quality leads, promoting and preserving the brand, and encouraging consumer interaction.