LeadScoringAll leads are not created equal. Just because you have, say, a customer’s email address doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to buy something.

On the other hand, you could have customers that are raring to go and that are just waiting for that one good offer before making a purchase.

How do you differentiate these groups?

That’s where lead scoring comes in. With lead scoring, you’ll finally be able to separate serious customers from those on the fence. You’ll gain the ability to send different messages to potential customers based on where they reside in the purchasing cycle.

Lastly, you’ll develop an understanding of the people that patronize your product, enabling you to understand what you have to do to convert more leads.

The best part about lead scoring is that you can use whatever metrics you want. Your business is different from every other business, so you should use whatever works for your industry. That said, here are four common metrics you can use that will help you to optimize the effectiveness of your lead scoring.

Demographics

The most basic data you have can help you to learn more about your customers. Demographic data isn’t perfect — far from it — but it’s a start in terms of making heads and tails of your customers. For instance, you might not want to aggressively pitch your products to a college student. But if you know that a lead is an established professional, that’s someone you’re much more likely to have success while pitching.

You can also use age as a determining factor in lead scoring. While all customers are different and there are no hard and fast rules in relation to age, you can safely assume that an older customer has more money than a younger one.

You might also guess that older customers may have more trouble navigating your website, which can be useful information when tailoring your calls to action.

Activity

Demographics are good for what they are, but they only give you so much. To take the next step in lead scoring, you’ll have to look at how customers behave.

You can create your own lead scoring model based on how important you feel each step of the buying process is. A lead who clicks on a link in an email, for example, might be worth ten points. You can then assign point values based on the pages visited by the viewer, such as product information pages and whether or not the potential customer registers for the site.

You should also establish a threshold at which a bona-fide lead is established. Those who qualify as legitimate leads are the ones you want to heavily target.

While this lead scoring metric is extremely beneficial, it’s important to remember that the scoring is only as good as the model you create. If your point allocations fail, so too will your lead scoring.

Content

Similar to activity, you can score leads based on how seriously they take the content you distribute to them. The more engaged the lead, the higher their scoring will be.

A common way to get customers to submit their information for future promotions is by giving them content, such as an ebook or white paper. If you give this content away for free and people come back for more, you know you’ve got something.

You should then dig deeper by determining how much content each lead has looked at, then assigning point values for all of the content you offer.

Remember, the whole point of lead scoring is to pitch customers on taking the next step in the buying process. It’s great that people are loving the content you give them. But if they’re happy just watching your videos and reading your white papers, it’s time to start convincing them to buy something.

Funnel Level

Many marketers view the purchasing process through the visual of a funnel. Customers first work through the information at the top of the funnel, such as social media pages, corporate websites and basic company-generated content.

As they move to the middle of the funnel, they move into more serious material, like personalized quotes and free trials. The bottom of the funnel is where the purchase is made, and that’s where you want to move all of your customers at some point.

It’s a good idea to label all of your pages and content in terms of where they sit within this proverbial funnel. If customers are skimming the top of the funnel, that’s wonderful. But it’s even better if they’re moving downwards towards a purchase. Again, each level of the funnel should get a different pitch so as not to overwhelm the recipient.

You can use the funnel model with the other metrics for lead scoring. In the end, all of the different lead scoring metrics work together to create the ultimate profile for sales and marketing. The more you know about your customers, the better you can meet their needs, and the more likely you are to convert on your leads.