20 Lead Scoring Criteria That Will Weed Out Your Weakest Leads

August 31, 2015 Jonathan John

Lead Scoring Criteria

Lead scoring is easily one of the most helpful tools the marketing automation world has given to Internet business.

The ability to track a lead's conversion probability has to be one of the greatest productivity inventions ever — without it, your sales team will unintentionally waste valuable time trying to convert leads that simply won't buy.

If you're totally new to lead scoring, then I recommend that you check out this blog post to get you started, which details a few of the ways Uberflip scores leads.

However, if you've already started using lead scoring to streamline your marketing, then read on to discover 20 criteria that will help you score more accurately and more efficiently.

1. Form Completion

In most cases, the only information that a lead should be required to fill out in an opt-in form is name and email address. However, adding more non-mandatory fields can give you additional useful information about your lead, should they choose to give you the details.

If they do give you the details—even when they don't have to—then it's probably a good indication that lead is engaged with and committed to your brand.

2. Education Level

Analyze your current customer base to find out what education level your highest-value leads typically have. A pattern here is very likely; you can use the results of your research to give higher scores to the leads with the education level that aligns with that of your best customers.

3. Job Title

The decision-making ability of your lead will play a large part in whether or not they use your product/service. For instance, a C-Suite lead will obviously have a lot more purchasing power than middle management staff.  

4. Budget Size

If you sell to enterprise-level businesses, a four-figure budget may not be good enough. As such, a lead with a budget below your starter pricing may not be able to cough up enough cash to convert; a lower score should result.

However, remember that a bigger budget doesn't always equal better conversions. If a lead's budget is significantly larger than your customers' average, then it's possible that the lead may be looking for a different level of functionality and features that your product/service doesn't offer.

5. Traffic Source

As you probably already know, conversion rates for your leads can vary wildly dependent on traffic source. A study done by Statista showed that in 2014, traffic that came to eCommerce websites via email converted at nearly 3 times the rate of social media traffic.

Similar trends could exist for your traffic as well; leverage them for better lead scoring.

6. Resource Downloads

Does your content marketing strategy call for the production of lead magnets to attract conversions (eBooks, for instance)? If a lead has downloaded several of the free resources that you publish, then it's obvious that he/she has taken a liking to your brand's content.

Below, you can see an example of one of Uberflip's own free-to-access marketing resources (this one's on content marketing productivity).

How to 10x Your Content Team's Productivity

7. Blog Post Engagement

Just as with resource downloads, a high engagement rate in blog posts typically shows that a lead is very engaged with your brand. If a lead has made it a point to read several of your posts, comment on them, and even share the links to social media, that's another good indication that the lead could be close to the sale.

8. Webinar Viewing

Like blog posts, webinars are another great content format that drives high-conversion leads. If you host a webinar on a certain topic and some of your leads attend, that shows the leads are committed to educating themselves on that topic.

9. Total Number of Page Visits

A lead that's visited ten of your site's pages is decidedly more engaged with your brand than the one who's visited just one or two pages. Score accordingly.

However, also remember that the type of page visits counts as well, not just the total number. Read on about the next scoring criterion to see what I mean.

10. Multiple Pricing Page Visits

Of all lead scoring criteria, this is probably one of the best.

If a lead visits your pricing page multiple times, that usually shows that the lead has his/her wallet out, and is seriously thinking of becoming a customer. Thus, you should weigh this visit considerably more than a blog post or home page visit.

Keep in mind, though, that if a lead visits your pricing page just once, it could mean that he/she is simply curious about your costs (but not really interested in becoming a customer). Multiple visits, however, signifies more than just random curiosity.

11. Time on Site (Avg. Visit Duration)

The more time a lead spends on your site, the more time he/she spends learning about your business. No lead is going to spend 10 minutes browsing your website if he/she isn't interested in what you're doing.

12. Search Activity

If a lead searches for "contact us" or "pricing" on your website, it's a safe bet to assume that the lead is considering a purchase. Set up an automation to boost leads' scores when they search similar keywords on your site.

There's also another reason why you should start tracking search activity: it can help you to uncover problems with your website's navigation and structure. For instance, if one of your most frequent search terms is "pricing", then it could be that your pricing page isn't easily accessible from all parts of your site.

13. Social Media Activity

What brands do your leads follow on Twitter, 'like' on Facebook, or 'plus' on Google? How often do they engage with them? What do they post about?

A lead with social media activity that's very relevant to your brand’s industry merits a higher score.

14. Demo Request

If you sell a digital product or SaaS, then a demo request from a lead shows that he/she is only a few steps away from the sale. Mark up the lead's score accordingly.

15. Email Opens

Does your lead regularly open each email you send, and click through the links found inside?

If so, that demonstrates engagement. If not, it shows apathy.

16. Event Attendance

Not all the activity that determines a lead's score will be online. A lead that comes to an offline event — like a conference, networking session, or a simple meet-and-greet — obviously believes that engaging with your brand is worth the time and money it takes to attend your event. 

You'll also gain more information about the lead based on which event they may have come from, if not your own. For instance, if they registered for a demo from Marketo's Marketing Nation, you'll likely know whether or not they're a Marketo user.

17. Geo-Location

If your business is local, then geographic location is obviously a major criterion. But even if your business is global, geo-location can still play a big part in determining your lead's score.

For instance: in 2014, North America's eCommerce sales accounted for 33% of global sales, even though less than 10% of the world's population resides in that location (eMarketer). It could be that conversion rates for your global brand are similarly better when leads are based in Western countries. Use this to ensure that such contacts are given higher priority.

18. Survey Completion

Do you currently use surveys to gather information about your target audience and their demographics? (Hint: you should.)

If you do, then there's another way you can use these surveys to advantage: every time a lead completes one, increase their score. Why? Because once again, this action shows commitment to and engagement with your brand.

You can even use the answers to some of your questions (e.g. "What's the one thing holding you back from becoming a customer/client?") to further develop this scoring criterion.

19. Purchase History

If you sell multiple products or services, then your leads will never stop being leads — even when they convert.

You see, even after a lead becomes a customer, they can still purchase upsells and cross-sells (reverting them back to a “lead” status).

Purchase history is a valuable scoring criterion to use for leads like these. A customer that has purchased one of your higher-end products will be more likely to continue spending money on your brand than one who has gone with an entry-level product.  

20. Negative Mentions

It's important to think of automation rules that decrease a lead's score, as well as ones that increase it.

For example, if a lead talks negatively about your brand on social media, in your posts’ comments, or even on their own blog/website, then your sales team probably doesn't need to waste time trying to convert it. Consequently, the lead's score should be decreased to ensure it doesn't bubble up to your high-priority list.

Conclusion

Start using the above rules to score your leads, and I guarantee that your marketing department will start generating better, more qualified leads that your sales team is going to want to work with.

What other scoring criteria do you use? Have you seen some awesome results with any of the above? Let us know in the comments!

Learn how to capture, nurture and ensure high quality leads. Watch our webinar now!

About the Author

Jonathan John

Jonathan John is a freelance writer and a digital marketing enthusiast, helping businesses leverage the power of content marketing and blogging to increase website traffic and boost brand authority.

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