Choosing Between Exclusive & Shared Leads

February  12,  2020

Assuming you are or would like to buy leads from external parties, it is important for lead buyers to know the available options between different shared and exclusive lead models, and what the pros and cons of each model are.

Let’s take a look at the differences.

Shared Leads

Most lead generation companies offer both shared and exclusive leads, although shared leads are very common. When you’re buying a shared lead, it means the lead can be sold up to multiple times to you and different buyers.

Although shared leads increase competition for buyers to a certain degree, since multiple buyers have the lead’s contact data, they are sold at a much lower price than exclusive leads enabling advertisers to buy more volume.

Usually, buyers with a strong brand and optimal sales processes can really make shared leads work for them since their brand awareness is high and they are able to follow up fast – two factors that are helpful in converting leads in a shared lead model.

The Pros:

  • Shared leads are cheaper than exclusive leads
  • Creates more value for consumers because they are able to obtain and compare multiple quotes
  • Potentially higher volume available

The Cons:

  • It may be harder for buyers to convert shared leads when their brand awareness is low, or if they haven’t defined an optimal sales process
  • Creates a lack of transparency because buyers don’t have insights into how many times leads were sold and to whom
  • This model increases the chance that bad leads may be forwarded 

Exclusive Leads

As mentioned above, most lead generation companies offer both types of leads. Exclusive leads take away the competition factor but are often sold at a much higher price. The most common type of exclusive leads is a live transfer, for example via click-to-call functionality. While exclusive leads allow buyers to have dibs on certain leads, they have less of a chance to be selective about leads.


  • Overall quality may be higher
  • If your public brand awareness is low, exclusive leads may be the way to go
  • Puts you at an advantage because you are more likely to contact leads first
  • Exclusive leads give more possibility to target on certain demographics (if required)


  • Higher cost

It’s important to define well which types of leads you would like and what results you are looking for. In a healthy model, advertisers should be able to analyze which model works best for them by having an efficient sales process, and by measuring which lead model produces the highest ROI. That’s also why it’s beneficial to have a good lead management system in place that allows you to analyze the buying process per lead or source in order to define which model works best for you.

At Output 360 we only offer exclusive leads as we want to separate away from other lead gen companies. So if you are looking to generate 100% exclusive leads then let’s talk.

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