Why Your Lead Gen Brand MUST Implement Lead Scoring

Julie Zubak
By Julie Zubak

What Is Lead Scoring?

I cannot emphasize enough that if your business has a lead generation model, then you need to have a solid lead scoring practice in place. Surprisingly enough, a lot of brands are not doing this, even though they should be.

It’s so important to have a system set in place where you are tracking behaviors on your site or inside your emails. By identifying which actions or pieces of content are different parts of the funnel, you are moving people through the buying journey.

Lead Scoring Examples

For example, if you implement lead scoring in your business and look at Power Digital as an example, reading a blog post may qualify someone with one point, and requesting a demo (something that has much more impact) gets 20 points. The principal is to assign points to different actions that are tied to their level of intent and use their score to put them into a funnel track that is based on where they’re at in their purchase decision.

Here are a few examples of scoring that you could implement into your lead gen business:

  • If they open an email, they earn 1 point
  • If they click a link to a resource, they earn 3 points because they are showing more intent
  • If they register for a webinar, they earn 5 points because they have already surpassed the top of the funnel and have moved further along
  • If they watch the full webinar, they earn 10 points because they have now been educated and showed the intent to be closest to a purchase decision

Pardot Lead Scoring

If you are using a sophisticated system like Pardot, and someone enters your funnel as a potential customer, their journey may look like this:

  • User is on your business’ email list
  • User opens the email and clicks a link in the copy
  • From there, the user views a pricing page

At this point, a system like Pardot knows at what point in their buyer journey they are and will send this user an email that is catered to the page they last viewed. In this case, Pardot knows that they viewed the pricing page, and would score them higher and deliver content that is catered to more bottom of the funnel. This is hyper-targeted and talks to the buyer about exactly what they are interested in without having to guess.

Alternatively, if a user downloads a white paper, they would go into a more top of the funnel position, and then from there, they would receive a piece of content to push more towards the middle of the funnel and work their way down.

If someone watches a demo, they will be more toward the bottom of the funnel, which means we are going to try sell them hard because they are already at that stage in the funnel and we can bypass the content that caters more towards the top or middle of the funnel.

Segmentation & Personalization

A lot of people don’t think segmentation and personalization are different, and in fact, think they are synonymous. The days of spray and pray don’t work anymore. We need to serve the right content at the right time based on where the buyer is in the funnel.

There are three stages of buying, so if someone is top of the funnel and you try to sell them you are going to lose them. The goal is to move to the middle of the funnel and consideration, not to sell them. Brands who try and skip this are failing and unable to get their audience to convert.

Segmentation is placing your leads into generalized buckets. For example, placing together all those who opted in for a webinar. If the Marketing Manager opts in, the messaging is going to be about how we will save their time and help them with their job. Alternatively, if someone opts in and says they are a CEO, the messaging is going to be different because they care about money, so the messaging will be shorter and about ROI.

The personalization layer comes in from exactly what they are doing. If they downloaded a white paper, watched a webinar, or looked at the pricing page, you will immediately send them an email saying you want to chat about pricing for services and include that you are running a special. That’s because you understand that they have intent and are further along in the buying journey.

Getting Hyper-Targeted

You can use automated triggers to move people around in the funnel in a more efficient way. For example, you can use these triggers when someone is at the “request an assessment” phase or the pricing phase. In this instance, the buyer would be served content that applies to the middle of the funnel if you are going from the top of the funnel to these pages because it means you can bypass middle of the funnel since the user is ready for the bottom of the funnel content.

Tone and messaging are different based on segmentation. The type of content is based on personalization, i.e. what they are actually doing as an individual. This can include things they are clicking, opting in for, downloading, or subscribing to. Messaging will depend on who the user is and how they are engaging with your site and content.

Nurturing at Power Digital

Nurturing is moving the lead through the buying cycle and customer journey, and delivering the right type of content to them based on their current mindset.

Let’s take a look at an example of what we could do at Power Digital Marketing based on the interaction of a user with the site.

if someone downloads the SEO Checklist, we’re not going to push them to the sales team to convert them. Instead, we will send them more information on SEO, including blogs and webinars about SEO to get them learning and further nurture them.

From there, we offer the user the option to watch the Content Marketing SEO webinar to explain how critical this is to your business from an SEO content perspective. If they watch this, you follow up to recap takeaways of the webinar.

Three days later, you should be asking if you can talk about this more and offer a free assessment based on what they watched. Then, if they fill out that form, they are going right to sales.

Working Through the Funnel

If you’re sending someone a webinar and they are not watching it, or clicking or engaging, then you should serve more top of the funnel content. Our goal is to figure out their pain point, i.e. how can we make it hurt and educate them that they do have a problem.

From there, we introduce solution-based content that is deeper in the funnel to move them into the next stage. Here are the different types of content you can push at different points of the funnel:

  1. Awareness Phase – in this top of the funnel phase you should be sharing educational content that informs the lead of a problem they might not know of, i.e. white paper, downloadable, educational blog post. Now, they are aware of the issue.  
  2. Consideration Phase – this is the middle of the funnel and gives a solution to that problem. This is where you explain why you are the experts in this, i.e. case study, deep dive webinar.
  3. Decision Phase – this is the bottom of the funnel, i.e. offering demos for them to watch, providing testimonials shows we are the best at this and why we are the best option to provide this solution.

You need multiple pieces of content in each of these phases, with the end goal of getting them to purchase.

The best way to do this is lead scoring. Especially on the lead gen side, you need to protect your sales team, so that the only people talking to sales are people that have shown enough intent through lead scoring, and that they are ready to talk to sales and not waste their time.

Digital Listening

Everything within sales comes down to digital listening. Digital listening means what are they doing, and more importantly what are they not doing.

This ties into the personalization element and how you are going to talk to a CEO versus a Marketing Manager. You need to know what their pain points are and what drives them. It’s important to know ROI versus tactical implementation in order to segment well and deliver messaging that will actually resonate with the person you are speaking to.

If you speak to everyone, you speak to no one.

This is the biggest differentiator between those in lead gen that are crushing, and those that are failing, because what drives one person is not going to drive someone else.

Digital Marketing Assessment

Julie is the VP of Email Marketing at Power Digital. A Chicago native and University of Arizona alum, she focuses on creating lead generation funnels, product launch strategies, and email sequence maps.