You’ve now mastered an important section of marketing automation software. Creating, designing and sending email campaigns is the best way to begin your new program. Email recipients are opening and clicking on your message, then engaging with landing pages to receive additional information from your company.
Now the question is, how do we turn those enthralled recipients into qualified leads? And then turn qualified leads into happy, contract-signing customers?
It’s time to build a lead scoring module. Lead scoring is the concept of applying point values to actions taken by leads. It’s a method shared by both the Marketing and Sales departments that scores leads to determine their readiness to buy. This readiness is based on their interest level with your company and their place in the buying cycle.
Work with your sales team and build a profile of your perfect customer. Brainstorm actions that are both explicit, such as company size, title, or industry, and implicit, such as online engagement, social presence, or interest level. Based on their scores, leads can be categorized as either hot or cold.
- Hot leads are actively engaged in your content, whether through email campaigns, your website, online information, or events. Their explicit actions meet your qualifications – usually someone in a management position with purchasing power.
- Cold leads are less engaged with your content and require continued nurturing through email campaigns to educate them and maintain open communication. Their explicit actions might lack purchasing power or they work for a small company.
So, how should you be scoring these leads? Start by assigning point values for each page on your website. Let’s say you’ve decided to give every website page a base value of one point, this means that as a lead explores your site and jump from page to page, their lead score increases by one point for each page.
For example, if someone visits five pages on your website, they’ll end that session with a score of five. You can take this a step further and provide additional points for the amount of time they stay on each page, as this implies increased engagement.
There are high value website pages that should be worth more points based on the quality of the content. Pages with event registrations, demo requests, product details, downloads, etc. should be worth 2+ points. This highlights leads that engage with your most important pages.
On the other end of the spectrum, you might not want to assign any points to your careers page. If a lead is looking for open positions with your company, they might not be interested in investing in your product as much as finding a new job.
Make sure your marketing automation software is equipped with its own lead calculator tool. This allows you to define scores across the board, plug them into your MA system, and watch the numbers come in. No need to manually tabulate score – as marketers we know, the less math we have to do the better!
Outside the website, leads can be scored based on their engagement with email campaigns, assets, events, and any additional correspondence. Assign points based on the value of the content – the more time, money, and resources you put into it, the more points it should be worth.
Leads gain and lose points throughout their engagement – as they continue interactions with your company, their score increases. However, if interaction becomes stale and the lead slows engagement, points can be subtracted as well.
Effective lead scoring models have many benefits for your company, beyond making you look like a marketing hero:
- Increased sales efficiency: Sales representatives are able to focus their efforts on leads that have been qualified and educated about your products/services.
- Increased sales success: Cold or unqualified leads are placed in a continuing nurture campaign and never passed along to sales for engagement.
- Increased marketing success: Lead scoring patterns will form, showing you which characteristics matter most and how to segment and target content based on those characteristics.
- Stronger ties between sales and marketing: Scoring actually defines hot and cold leads across departments, minimizing conflicts that result when qualifications have multiple interpretations.