Basics of Marketing Automation Score Concepts - dummies

Basics of Marketing Automation Score Concepts

By Mathew Sweezey

Marketing automation scores are used for measurement. They can tell you whatever you ask them to tell you. For example, a score can tell you when leads are cold, when they are hot, whether they are likely to churn, how many times they have logged in to your application, or whether they are interested in a specific piece of your solution.

Basics of what a marketing automation score can tell you

You use scores to measure all kinds of engagement. Before you start scoring and building scoring models, make sure that you understand these three common lead-scoring goals:

  • Sales readiness: If you want to measure a person’s sales readiness, score her based on interactions with sales-ready content. That way, each sales-ready asset she engages with adds to or subtracts from her overall sales-ready score. Set your overall score equal to a level of interaction that a prospect typically exhibits when she’s ready to talk to a salesperson.

  • Product interest: If you want to measure a person’s interest in specific products or services, consider combining multiple scores, one for each product or service line of interest. That way, you can see the level of interest across multiple products.

  • Cold lead indication: Scores show activity. So if no increase in score occurs over a period of time, you can pinpoint the score that identifies an inactive prospect as a cold lead.

Marketing automation score behaviors versus actions

Actions are engagements with your marketing assets. Behaviors are exhibited by a person but not expressed in terms of actual engagement with your marketing assets. Knowing the following behaviors can help you create and refine your scoring model:

  • Lack of activity is a key reason for a salesperson to reach out. Inactivity might also be a good reason to lower a prospect’s sales-ready score. Both of these automations can help you identify trends in behavior and appropriately take action.

  • Length of video play should be thought of in terms of percentage of play rather than time. For example, if a person watches one minute of a one-minute video, he shouldn’t be scored the same as a person who watches 10 percent of a ten-minute video.

  • Number of pages viewed assumes that the more pages a person downloads in a visit, the more engaged he is. When you score total number of pages, make sure that you are scoring people based only on pages that help you identify them as sales ready.

The best opportunities with marketing automation account-based scoring

A committee, rather than a single person, makes many of the organizational purchase decisions. When leads are identified with a marketing automation solution, they can also be associated with an account.

Account-based scoring is a way to identify groups of leads related to the same purchase decision under the same account. Scoring leads based on an account of multiple buyers gives a much clearer picture of the sales readiness of a business and can easily be used as a tool to help you identify the very best sales opportunities.


Understanding account-based scoring is an especially large benefit of marketing automation for business to business companies with complex sales cycles.

How to take action on marketing automation lead scores

You won’t get the full value out of scoring unless you use your scoring model to recommend actions based on the scores. Here are the most common actions you can take based on your lead-scoring model:

  • Lead Qualification: Using lead scores as data points for lead qualification is the most common use of scoring. To qualify leads based on a score, you need to have an automation rule to monitor lead scores, looking for those leads that match specific criteria.

  • Segmentation: A powerful use of segmentation is to sort your database by lowest lead scores. After you have this segment, you can give the segment a special campaign with the goal of driving more actions. Or, sort your database to find the leads with the highest scores and give them all a personal interaction on Twitter.

  • Lead nurturing: Leads showing inactivity have scores that aren’t increasing over a period of time. Use lead scores to identify cold leads based on inactivity so that you can place them on a lead-nurturing track.

  • Reporting: Scores can help you identify where a lead is in the buying process. Look at your database and track the percentage of your leads in each buying stage by assigning a score to each stage. That way, you can identify very accurately how many leads will convert to the next stage.

How to score marketing automation leads over time

Scoring models aren’t effective if you set them up once and then forget about them. You need to devote ongoing attention to your scoring model if you want your scoring model to give you relevant information over time. When setting up your scoring model, keep the following points in mind:

  • Scores are a constant work in progress. You need to start with a basic scoring modeland be diligent about reviewing it and updating your scoring model over time.

  • Scores can go up and down. An increase in score helps you to measure sales-ready actions, and a decrease in score helps you track a lack of engagement over a period of time. Remember to keep these uses in mind when setting up your scoring model.

  • Scores are relative to time. Scores matter only at the time they are created. For example, a person who racked up a high score last year is not as likely to be sales ready this year. Scores are timely and should reflect the time of inactivity in more advanced scoring models.