Episode 28: Lead Scoring Best Practices

Episode 28: Lead Scoring Best Practices

ActiveCampaign's own Adam Tuttle returns to the podcast to discuss lead scoring best practices with Director of Education and podcast host Chris Davis.


If you’ve been avoiding our Lead Scoring feature because you don’t understand it, or feel intimidated or overwhelmed by the question of how to get started, you’re not alone! According to Adam Tuttle, sales manager at ActiveCampaign, it’s “the most powerful feature in ActiveCampaign that no one knows how to use.”
In his second podcast appearance, Adam provides insight into how ActiveCampaign’s sales team uses Lead Scoring to identify the most engaged leads, and answers your burning questions about the feature: Should you have one or many scores? Which contact actions should you be scoring? And exactly what numerical value should you assign these actions?
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Chris Davis: Welcome to another episode of the ActiveCampaign Podcast. Today we’re going [00:00:30] to take the spotlight from our users and point it back on to the application. The reason being is because there is a feature in our application that is the most overlooked and underused, but one of the most powerful features, so I wanted to take the time and expose not only the feature in itself, but provide you all with the framework in how to get started with it quickly so that you can start witnessing, you can start experiencing [00:01:00] the power behind it. So today I have Adam Tuttle, who is what I would call our sales lion, ActiveCampaign sales lion. He set up our entire lead scoring strategy, so if I haven’t said it by now, that hidden feature or that overlooked feature is lead scoring.

What I want to do is talk to Adam today about three things, three ways to establish this framework. One is, do I need to use one [00:01:30] score or many scores? Two is, what activities should I be scoring, and three what value, what numerical value should I be placing on those activities? These are all questions that I myself have struggled with in the past and when I finally figured it out, the light bulb, it was amazing. I just wanted to just jump in the application and just do as much scoring as possible, so I’m hoping that that same [00:02:00] light bulb goes off for you, and let’s not belabor the point. Adam, I am so excited to have you on today. How are you doing?

Adam Tuttle: I’m doing great. Thank you so much for having me back.

Chris Davis: Yes, yes. Adam, I know you and I have talked about this quite frequently lately because it’s one of those things where it’s just like, “Oh, more people need to use this more.”

Adam Tuttle: Yeah.

Chris Davis: If they only knew how effective it is, and once you experience the effectiveness [00:02:30] of it, you just want to share, so in so many words, how would you define lead scoring?

Adam Tuttle: I think that lead scoring is a way for you to have a visual representation of how somebody is tracking along in their progress with you. That could be a score on, say, like a 1 to 10 scale. You know, where do they fall into that bucket? It could also [00:03:00] be a way for you to identify highly engaged users. Again, it’s visually representing a number. That’s the metric that we’re using, is this number, but it’s letting you actually see this number, and how those people are stacking up in your engagement and in other parts of your process. Now the thing that’s very cool about lead scoring is that can be both marketing-focused and/or sales-focused, so there’s a lot of flexibility to it, so [00:03:30] it’s definitely a broad topic for sure.

Chris Davis: Yeah, and that’s where I’ll kind of draw the line in the sand between ActiveCampaign and your traditional CRM. I don’t care if it’s Salesforce or Agile CRM or whatever CRM you want to name out there, the ability to create multiple scores is specific to ActiveCampaign as far as it being native in pretty much every plus account and up. There are some platforms [00:04:00] that you can do a special request based on your usage and based on the amounts you pay, and get some similar type of functionality, but we don’t hold back, Adam. We don’t hold back.

Adam Tuttle: Right.

Chris Davis: We give you full force and flexibility, so in that vein, when much is given … which is required, right? We give you all of this ability, this capability, flexibility, but then there’s an understanding that needs to go along with it. I know, speaking from personal experience, I’ve shied [00:04:30] away from lead scoring, so me let everybody off the hook who’s just kind of like, “Oh, I haven’t been using it. Am I wrong?” My hand is up right now. I have shied away from it because I didn’t understand it. The second you go into lead, contacts and then click the link that says Manage Scoring, you go there and you create a score, you realize that you can create multiple scores. I’m used to seeing one score and just setting up criteria for one score, so what framework, Adam, would you give that person [00:05:00] getting started with lead scoring as far as, do they need one score or do they need multiple scores?

Adam Tuttle: Sure. You’ll probably hear me say this over and over again as we go throughout our conversation because I think it’s very relevant, but I think that that really honestly comes down to the use case press. It depends on the business and it comes down to the need of the customer. You know, I think that we’ll have some opportunity here to dive a little bit deeper into [00:05:30] use cases for both opportunities of a single score or when to use multiple scores. There’s absolutely, without a doubt, use cases and opportunities for both. It’s just having yourself in the right mindset of when to do it and I think that, to kind of echo your point, I think that this is … What I have always liked to say about lead score is it’s the most powerful feature in ActiveCampaign that nobody knows how to use.

So if you’re listening to this podcast and you’re [00:06:00] like, “Man, I’ve had ActiveCampaign for a long time” or maybe you’ve not ever used ActiveCampaign, but you’ve kind of been looking around, and you saw the lead score and glossed over that part of our feature set, I would say don’t feel bad. It’s not an uncommon thing. I actually remember when you first came out with lead scoring in 2014. Everyone was asking for it as very like big buzzword at that time. Everyone was saying, “Do you have lead scoring? Do you have lead scoring? Do you have lead scoring?” Then we came out with it. [00:06:30] I remember it was like, you hand someone the keys to the Ferrari and all of a sudden they’re like, “How do I turn the car on? How am I actually supposed to drive this thing?” I think that that’s why we’re doing this podcast, is to hopefully help educate people and take away some of the mystery, and break it down to a list like, “Hey, here’s the basics for getting started,” and it doesn’t have to be intimidating.

Chris Davis: Yeah, yeah. Really, like after we’ve talked and I’ve kind of been bouncing my ideas around [00:07:00] and doing some research, I would say that a similar approach with automations can be taken with lead scoring to the point where when you’re just getting started with automations, you may just need one, right? One that you have a form on your website. That starts an automation, sends out four emails, and then checks to see if they’re a customer. Right?

Adam Tuttle: Totally.

Chris Davis: At that point, nobody is going to say, “Oh, you need to have 20 automations,” but as your business grows, and your needs develop and [00:07:30] mature, now you’ll start having another automation that goes from customer to evangelist or then you’ve got some engagement tracking. Then before you know it, you look up and you’ve got 10 separate automations. Would you say that you can anticipate having a similar approach to lead scoring? Like maybe you start out with just an overall general engagement score and since you can only get so much from one score, as your business needs develop, you start saying, “Okay, I need a score on like events. [00:08:00] You know, how many events do people come to or things of that nature?” Is that kind of the progression people can expect when they’re getting started with lead score?

Adam Tuttle: Yeah, absolutely. You and I have kind of talked about this together in our personal conversations, but I think that lead scoring, it’s like one of those that’s like, you have to start somewhere and you have to start with an intention, so you have to know what you’re going for and most likely, again mostly likely, in most use cases, [00:08:30] people aren’t going to have 10 separate use cases right out of the gate for lead scoring because they’re just learning how to use it. I think that we could paint a picture of how to maybe give them two or three ideas of where they could get started, and they could pick one of those ideas and say, “Okay, this is the first lead score that I’m going to implement. I’m going to get going with it.” Then when they start learning from that lead score, then they’re going to start understanding the use case of it better, they understand how it’s starting to influence their day-to-day with their marketing automations or their sales automations [00:09:00] or their sales funnels, whatever the situation might be.

Then that kind of sparks, “Oh, hey, I could tweak this a little bit, and I could add in a second score and learn this.” Again, as they’re doing that, they might refine those two and change them as they’re learning, and then six months later like, “We need another data set. Oh, well, now we can paint a picture and add another score in.” It’s one of those things that you don’t have to have [00:09:30] 10 different scores or even 10 different ideas, but I say you got to just start with step number one, and that’s just having an idea, having something actually that is worth measuring, and then being brave enough to take that first step and see what the data tells you. Then being confident in it and in your abilities, and come up with the next idea.

Chris Davis: Yeah. I like that a lot because I was just thinking and I believe this is episode eight, everybody, so activecampaign.com/ [00:10:00] podcastepisode-8 where I talk about tags. In that episode, I mention that tags tell a story, right? You should be able to look at a contact record and see by the tags present, get a quick CliffsNotes version of what that contacts journey has been like and it’s very hard to get the CliffsNotes version if you’re tagging every single action. Right? At that point it’s nothing but smeared text, you know? You’ve got your CliffsNote. You open the book up and you’re [00:10:30] like, “I can’t read any of this,” right? If tags tell a story, I look at lead scoring as, they can be an even better storyteller.

Adam Tuttle: Right.

Chris Davis: Right?

Adam Tuttle: Yeah.

Chris Davis: Because that number that you assign to one or two or many scores becomes more and more accurate the more marketing that you exercise, the more experience you get, and you go back, and like you said, fine tune it, analyze, and revise.

Adam Tuttle: Yep. Absolutely. You know, again, it comes [00:11:00] down to having purpose behind it. I think that whether it be email marketing, so if you’re sending an email campaign out, a newsletter, whatever it might be, an automation, the way that you set up your pipeline and your funnel and your CRM, lead scoring, even forums for capturing information, if you just go into it without a purpose and a plan, the effectiveness of [00:11:30] that action, whatever that might be, especially within ActiveCampaign, is much more limited. I think that this is something that digital marketers have really been having to adapt themselves to and change their mindsets on over the last five to 10 years. When I started with ActiveCampaign five years ago, we only did email marketing. We didn’t have any lead scoring, CRMs, automations, anything like that, and everyone was completely [00:12:00] okay with blasting, and I hate that word, but blasting out emails to their whole list.

Segments were like, people knew they should use them, but they didn’t really feel like it was that important. Nowadays if you are an email marketers that’s not using segments, that’s not filtering contacts, you are like five years behind the times and you really need to … I cannot emphasize enough the importance of getting with the picture and getting with the program and trying to [00:12:30] step up the game. Lead scoring helps you do that. It is an incredible way to help you measure a lot of different things, potentially, but it allows you to focus on specific areas of your business and measure the success or failure of that. That way you know how to reach out and it further allows you to reach out to the right person at the right time with the right message as opposed to just sending the same old thing to everybody.

Chris Davis: Yeah, and I like what you said and in [00:13:00] fact, I’m going to make an executive decision right here on the podcast. You mentioned you have to be clear with your objective, right? For everybody listening right now, if it’s still unclear to you like, “Okay, I like what they’re saying about lead scoring. I’m still a little nervous getting started,” your main objective for setting up lead score needs could be whatever your product is, okay? So if you have a product, that becomes your main objective and you have a score relative [00:13:30] to the product, so you can go into your account right now and say, “Okay, my product is a book, so I’m going to have a lead score for that book.”

My book is marketing automation, how to automate, right? I could have a lead score that’s like my book buyer score, whatever you name it, but now I have one score specific to my product. The next step, and this is what we’ll get into, Adam, is now I’m going to determine the criteria [00:14:00] that makes up that one score. Now before we go into that, everybody remember, this is just a framework, a foundation for you to start with. I can’t say that one score will suffice for one day for you. Maybe after you’ve set up one score, you’re like, “Oh, got ideas for three more.” Right?

Adam Tuttle: Exactly.

Chris Davis: That’s the whole goal, right?

Adam Tuttle: Yeah.

Chris Davis: We just want you to get started and if at the end of it you’re like, “Wow, I have five lead scores and I didn’t know,” [00:14:30] that’s exactly what we want, so just because we’re starting with one does not by any means limits you to one, but we figured if we give you a framework, something easy to follow, your creativity and your experience in your own business can take you from there. With that being said, Adam, I have this score now and I’m ready. I’m at the keyboard. My fingertips are ready. What do I score? Right? Like, how do I identify what to score?

Adam Tuttle: Well, don’t we take just like a half a step back and [00:15:00] we give an example?

Chris Davis: All right.

Adam Tuttle: Again, like Chris mentioned at the very, very start of the podcast, we use lead scoring internally for our sales teams, and so I built at the end of last year … we were kind of giving a lot of our sales processes and our CRM and our automations connected to our sales team and all that, we gave everything a pretty big overhaul, like six to eight weeks’ worth of brains from all over the company coming [00:15:30] together and really taking the time to evaluate what are we doing good, what are we doing bad at, how can we improve, how can we make ourselves better, etc.? Part of that lead scoring, and so let me, maybe if I could, just paint a context of what were we trying to accomplish with lead scoring, what was the goal, and then what did we do to step it up. Does that work?

Chris Davis: Yeah, that works.

Adam Tuttle: Cool. All right, so what we were trying to do is figure out how do we get more leads into our pipelines [00:16:00] from the thousands and thousands of trials users that we have on a monthly basis? How do we filter out good leads from bad leads? Because just because you have thousands of opportunities, doesn’t mean all of those opportunities are good, and when have a limited sales force — and you know, we’re not infinite in our resources as a sales team — how do we try to identify potentially, I’ll call them “hot leads” versus leads that are maybe a little more static or a little more [00:16:30] non-engaged with us. What we did is we came up with one score and we still use one score for the sales team right now. I could see us adding more down the road, but as of today it’s still at one, and there was a few elements of that score.

Really the goal of it was, like I said, to help us find leads. That was leads that are engaged with us. We use also, our site, an event tracking tool, specifically the event tracking to actually tell [00:17:00] us what account users are doing within their account, so are they creating campaigns? Are they creating automations? Are they turning on automations? Etc., etc. We’ve got a number of these events that we’re looking at. What I did with the lead scoring was I figured, well, hey if I could look at these events, I could, based on the type of event, create some sort of scoring system for them to go through and then when it reaches a certain threshold of a score, [00:17:30] then we have an automation kick off and it creates the deal in our CRM. It creates a task and it automatically assigns is to one of our sales reps. That was kind of the goal and I guess maybe a lightweight description of the framework of how we ended up setting it up.

Basically what we did was we looked at events that would be tied to things that indicate one of our higher tiered plans, something like using the CRM. That’s not on our most basic plan. It’s on the higher tier. [00:18:00] When someone does one of those scores, they get a score of five points. When someone does something generic within the platform, so an action that could applicable to any of our plan types, that is three points. It’s still valuable to us. It’s just not quite as valuable. Then we did look at a few pages on our website, specifically our pricing page, the request a demo page, and a couple of others. When people go [00:18:30] to those pages, that’s one point because they could be just browsing around the site. There’s value to that, but in our case right now, we haven’t said that that is a high-value event, and so I just created a very simple score of one, three, and five. I needed it to be something that I could scale, so as I add more event tracking options in, I want to be able to keep it within that framework as well.

Then what I’ve done, like I said, is we have automation that says, “Hey, if someone gets [00:19:00] to X amount of points, trigger a deal to be created.” The really nice part about that is when our sales team is really busy, if our calendars are booked out, so like a week in advance, I will set the threshold of that much higher. I’ll change the trigger of the automation to a much higher score so it’s harder to get to because I don’t want to dismiss anyone, but I want to make it where like we’re only going after kind of the potentially really engaged people that are quick closes [00:19:30] and that we can move along our process quickly. Or if we’ve noticed that we’re in a little bit slower, or like we’re always adding new sales reps, so we’re expanding our team a lot, I can bring that threshold down so that more deals and more opportunities are being engaged with to meet the bandwidth of our team.

Chris Davis: Yeah, and you bring up a really good point that I wanted to highlight, and that is the ability for our sales and marketing to talk so closely together. [00:20:00] That’s not the case in a lot of other platforms. I tell people all the time, a lot of times in other CRM, traditional CRMs, all conversation happens through the contact, so if you can envision the contact saying, “Hey, sales, what did you want me to tell marketing?” And then the contact goes and says, “Hey, marketing, sales said this.” Right? Everything is through the contact record, where as an ActiveCampaign you can communicate through, to, and around the contact record, right? [00:20:30] What makes this powerful is exactly what you know said, Adam. As you were talking, I was envisioning, because it just clicked when you said it, but the use of automations, once you have your criteria set, you have these automations that are now looking, “Hey, did you do this? What did you do? Okay.” And giving you points. Then you have thresholds, right? You can have an automation with a start trigger that says, “When the contact’s score is over 25, [00:21:00] create this deal.” Right?

Adam Tuttle: Right.

Chris Davis: “When the contact score is over 50, create this deal.”

Adam Tuttle: Exactly.

Chris Davis: Those start triggers now create those deals, and then we could take it a step further and even assign them to specific people on the team. This is the pure form of marketing automation because you’re using the technology to do some stuff that it’s better at than any human being. No human being [00:21:30] is going to look at every contact and say, “Oh, they visited today. Let me add a point. Oh, they did …” You know? We have people at scores tables in MBA games that mess up the score and it’s just one focus that they have to look at. Did the ball go through the hole? Imagine a human being looking at every single contact, every single action. Of course they’re going to get it wrong, so why not empower technology to handle that and then hand off? You know, it’s that technical, that automated to manual handoff, [00:22:00] and say, “Here’s the deal. Do what you’re supposed to do. Do whatever the next steps are. Reach out, call them, whatever.”

Adam Tuttle: Yep. Absolutely. I think because there is so much flexibility, what it does is, I’ll just say this. I think that lead scoring is applicable to every single ActiveCampaign customer and that’s a bold statement because we have a lot customers, but I believe that we could always find a use case for this to help the customer [00:22:30] be more successful or provide a little bit more insight into their efforts or to provide a little bit more intuitiveness into their sales process. Whatever it might be, there’s always a use case for this. That’s the reason that we’re talking about this topic, is because it’s one highly unknown and I would say honestly it’s a little bit intimidating for people, so it’s good to have these just very honest conversations of, “Hey, like, we understand that this is not necessarily always easier on the forefront [00:23:00] of your mind, but it’s something that we actually believe in and we believe that it’s worthwhile for you.”

Chris Davis: Yeah, because these lead scores, they express true intent, right? That’s the power of behavioral-based marketing, is that we’re able to see what people are doing and categorize them or put them in groups or label them as hot, cold, warm, whatever the terminology is. Extracting from what you’re saying, I would then say [00:23:30] part two of the framework, once we have a score set up that’s specific to our end goal … and I’m glad you said everybody could use it, Adam, because I agree. Even if you’re not selling something, you’re using ActiveCampaign to achieve something. Right?

Adam Tuttle: Yeah.

Chris Davis: Whatever that something is for you to achieve, this score can help be a better or a quick indicator of how close somebody is to actually achieving that outcome, so [00:24:00] now that you have a score set up, if we dissect everything that Adam said very briefly in a bird’s eye view, it’s now you need to identify which steps along the process are the biggest indicators of someone taking or going and meeting your initial objective. I’ll stick with the book. You know, if I am trying to sell a book, I’m interested in if you downloaded [00:24:30] by three sample pages. Right? I want to score that and then I’m interested if you go to the sales page that has the book and the outlines. I’m very interested in that. If I’m running a promotion, I’m more interested in you opening that promotional email than any other email. You see what I’m saying? I get now, Adam, why in the beginning you were like, “Chris, it really depends [00:25:00] on the business.” Right?

Adam Tuttle: Yeah.

Chris Davis: Because there’s just no cookie-cutter formula that we can give people, but by following this framework with a little bit of thought on your own business, you can figure this out, so create your score specific to your objective. From that, go and identify which steps you’re looking at as the biggest indicators of intent. Honestly, Adam, I don’t think we mentioned it, but all of this can be done [00:25:30] before you even log in to ActiveCampaign.

Adam Tuttle: Yeah. I was literally about to interrupt you and interject you. I would absolutely say, before you ever do this in ActiveCampaign, sit with a notepad, a whiteboard, Google docs, whatever you use to brainstorm, whatever works best for you. Sit down and actually take a few minutes and figure out, “What is my goal and then what contributes to accomplishing [00:26:00] that goal?” Take the time to think it out and write it down ahead of time. What’s your big picture objective? What are you trying to learn from this? Because I think that where lead scoring can be, I would say that where it’s made people lazy, and sometimes is in other tools, not every tool, but in a lot of them that have lead scoring, the system dictates the lead score [00:26:30] 100%.

Again, that’s not across the board, so I don’t want to make it sound like ActiveCampaign is the only one that gives you control, but it’s very common to have the score controlled by the tool that you’re using, whereas ActiveCampaign gives 100% of creativity and capability to the user to create the scores. That’s why it can be intimidating or maybe a little overwhelming at time, so I think that going into it with a plan and intention [00:27:00] is a great way to start. Before you ever log in to ActiveCampaign, like Chris said, take some time to write down and just give yourself that grace to kind of think about it and really give yourself steps A, B, and C. Then you log in to ActiveCampaign and tie all the pieces together. [00:27:18]

Chris Davis: Yeah, and with that, also understand … Everybody, listen to me. Understand that you’re not going to get it right the first time, okay? I feel like if you’re [00:27:30] not new to ActiveCampaign and you’ve been building automations, this is not earth shattering for you because you’re like, “I always mess up in my automations.” Listen, everybody. I still mess up building my automations for the first time. This is why we test everything, so with lead scoring, you’re testing it setting it live, right? You set your criteria and then you see. You just monitor and say, “Okay, this person has a score of 56. What does that …” Without looking at the contact record, right? A score of [00:28:00] 56 should let … I’m thinking based on the points, and we’re going to get into the points in a minute, based on the points that I have set, this is a good lead. Then you go into the contact record and they’re a bad lead, so that lets you know. Then you look and see, okay, how did they get these points? Then you adjust from there.

Then on the flip side, you say, “Okay. They’ve got 20 points. This is probably a bad lead.” Then you go into the contact record and you see, “Oh my gosh, this is one of my better leads.” Then you go back and see what actions they took, and you refine from there, but the idea, everybody, is that you have [00:28:30] to know your objective and the most important actions that a contact can take to achieve that objective, and that is specific to your business. We can help. You can schedule a one-on-one. You can talk to us, You can email us, you can engage on the Facebook group, but ultimately when it comes down to that final decision, it’s going to be up to you.

Adam Tuttle: Yep. Absolutely, and I think maybe an example I can give of the way that it was done in the wrong way, which I think is often helpful [00:29:00] for people to understand, “Here’s what I shouldn’t do when I’m getting started,” is early on after we had released lead scoring, so pretty soon after that feature came out, I was working with a customer that I was doing of a personal training with and things like that. They were saying, “Lead scoring is not working,” and so I’m like, “Oh, man. There’s a bug.” I go in and I’m trying to troubleshoot and figure it out. I’m looking at it and I’m starting to ask questions. “Why [00:29:30] is this score here?” Let me put it in the context. A score that had like 50 plus conditions in it, 50 different things that can contribute to the score, and it was literally connected to every email.

They were pretty frequent senders. They sent usually two to three times a week, and email one of the week would be worth five points if someone opened it. Email two would be 15 points if someone opened it, so I said, “What’s the difference? Why is there a difference? [00:30:00] Why is there a 10 point difference from the same action, just two different emails?” The response was, “I don’t know.” There had not been that thought, and so I basically kind of said, “I think that you honestly need to rebuild scoring, and get rid of it altogether and start over” because, going back to your tags illustration a little bit ago, one thing that Chris has seen and I’ve seen a lot of times is people with tags will come and they have, “I need the tag Every Open. I need the tag every [00:30:30] Link Click. I need to tag it uniquely.”

Well, then what happens after about six months? They have somewhere between 300 to 500, if not more, tags and there’s no real way to tell which tags are actually important to them. The same thing very much happen with the lead score. You create a score and every time that someone opens an email, it’s 15 points for this, you know, it’s 15 points for that. There’s link clicks tied into that. There’s site visits tied into that [00:31:00] score, so there’s one huge score that’s trying to tell you a lot of different things, and there’s no rhyme are reason to the actual process. That’s why it’s so important from the very, very beginning to take those baby steps, if you would, and write it down. Write out your logic. Does this make sense?

Does this actually go towards the goal? If not, that’s where I think that a second score is applicable. If you really break it down and you’re saying, “Man, I’m really trying to accomplish two separate things here,” [00:31:30] that’s when it’s time to split it up into multiple scores. If you can keep it within one objective, you can have your score with maybe four or five, or how many ever criteria, contributors to the score, but if all of a sudden the goal of the score changes, it’s time now to split that up into two separate scores.

Chris Davis: Yeah. That’s a good one. Let’s move to the next topic, or the final one, is how to determine the scoring, the point amount. [00:32:00] I’ll start this one off by saying, you know, everybody just start with 100, okay? Start with 100 being like the max amount of points and anything over 100 is equivalent to 100, so somebody could have 150, somebody could have 120. We all treat it the same, as 100. Just starting out, I feel like 100 is a good metric, like a good range to start with. Before we go into the actual points [00:32:30] beyond 100, there’s two things that you should know. In ActiveCampaign, lead scoring really takes place in two different areas. One is in contacts managing scoring, anything that you set up in the contact settings as far as lead scoring is going to happen once, so it’s not like if I have submitted a form, give them 25 points and they submit the form five times or four times that they’re going to have 100 points.

They meet that criteria one time and that’s it, you know? they get those points because [00:33:00] they’ve done it, all right? It is not additive. Now if we do the process of adding points within an automation, this is the second way, it is very much additive, so now whenever they enter that automation, if it’s going to add 25 points and they enter it four times, they will have 100 points, so with that knowledge we know that we now have automations for adding up points. You know, actions that people can take more than once that we want to add [00:33:30] a score to, and then we have the one-off actions that when they do this, give them these points, but don’t give them these points every time they do it.

Adam Tuttle: Yeah. Let’s just give a really simple example of how you could set up 100 point system very quickly to measure engagement.

Chris Davis: Yes.

Adam Tuttle: We’re going to say that when someone reaches 100 points that they’re highly engaged and you could tag them through an automation once they’ve reached that threshold. Again, it doesn’t matter if they go beyond 100, but 100 points is [00:34:00] our base. Let’s just make it as simple as every time that somebody opens an email, they get five points. Every time that somebody clicks on a link, they get 10 points. Again, I would set the foundation up under the contacts tab and then what I would do beyond that is go into an automation to have it cycle so every time this action takes place, it adds those points up. Then once you get to 100, you can have it run a tag and [00:34:30] mark them as highly engaged. That’s something that is cool.

Now we probably won’t go too far down this path, but I’m going to throw our a little bit of a teaser there. One of the really, really cool things about ActiveCampaign once you’re confident with at least how to set up a score and the way that works is that you can actually have your scores depreciate over time. They can decrease in value at set times, so with that being said, you could say, “Hey, whenever a [00:35:00] point is added, it’s good for one month, but if after a month that point goes away, and so that means that the person has to keep engaging with you.” Or maybe we say three months, give them a little bit of grace here, but those points could go away. Then if they fall below 100 points, that tag Engaged could be removed and they could add a new tag, like maybe like Formerly Active Engager, but again, that’s maybe a little bit beyond the scope of today’s podcast, but [00:35:30] it’s a good teaser to throw out there of, get the wheels turning for where you could take this down the road.

Chris Davis: Yeah, absolutely because the depreciation of points is huge, because again, if lead scoring is going to be a indicator of intent and somebody did something a year ago, like a year later, I don’t want to look at them as they’re a flaming hot lead, right?

Adam Tuttle: Exactly.

Chris Davis: So that’s very important. You know, in closing this I wanted to just dig a little deeper with the points, and this is something that Adam and I have talked [00:36:00] about. I’m going to throw it out there and we’re going to kind of discuss it a little bit, but a very easy frame … Like I said, so you’ve got your objective, you’ve got your one score, and then you’ve identified the important steps that display intent towards meeting that objective. Let’s say in your case it’s four. You’ve done the work. You mapped it out and said, “Okay, these are the four things that when people do these four things, they are ready to go.” All right? Now let’s take your maximum score and divide it by the number [00:36:30] of steps that are important in your process, so now I have 100 divided by four. Now what amount of points do I give to each step?

Well, it’s easy: 25 because if they take each step, they will achieve 100 points, okay? Now 25, 50, 75, and 100, those become like my borderlines, my caps, so [00:37:00] 25 is a clean cap, 50 is a clean cap, 75 is a clean cap. Now I can go and say, “Okay, but within there …” Adam, you mentioned this earlier, kind of like the general actions, so these are specific actions that people take that show intent towards my objective. Then there are general actions, actions that people are taking that may or may not show intent, so for those … Everybody, check this out. You can give those smaller points, and here’s why it works giving them smaller points and I’m going to give an example. I’ll say opens an [00:37:30] email is one point, right? Clicks a link is three points, and then we’ll say a website visit is five. Just numbers for example, okay?

Adam Tuttle: Sure.

Chris Davis: Now what will I be able to tell when I log in and I see 25? I’ll know exactly that they took one step of intent. If I log in and I see 50, I know that they took two steps of intent. This is all from the score because I know my score. I set it up. Now [00:38:00] contrast that to what happens when you go in you see 33 with respect to somebody who has 25. Now you know the person who did 25 took one step, but the person who has 33 has taken one step and some other engagement, right? The same could be for 50 and 57, 75 and 86, so when you’re not on that clean cap number, the [00:38:30] clean … I don’t know what I want to call it, but that clean number of 25, 75, or 50, or something like that. Then you can easily tell from the score that there’s some engagement. Now if you know your emails are one point and link clicks are three points, and somebody has like 27 points, you know exactly what they did. They took a step of intent and opened two emails, you know?

Adam Tuttle: Yeah.

Chris Davis: That’s really how [00:39:00] lead scoring should work so that when we look at the number, it not only tells us how hot or how ready they are, but it also gives us some quick insight on what they’ve done.

Adam Tuttle: Yeah. Absolutely. Then that’s the whole goal, right? Again, like I said, it’s setting the right message to the right person at the right time. That message could be to you, the end user.

Chris Davis: That’s a good point.

Adam Tuttle: You know, “Hey, this person is a hot lead. You need [00:39:30] to reach out to them” and that could be as much as what this lead score is telling you, is it’s painting that picture. It’s letting you, the user, know this is the right time to reach out to this person. This is the right time to engage them through a separate automation, through a personal email, whatever your process is doing. If you’re doing out of the marketing or the sales side or the CRM, it doesn’t matter. Again, it’s trying to let you know when to do it. It also gives you some ways to take scores [00:40:00] and look at things like ratios. You know, what’s my open to click ratio? What if I give one point for an open and one point for a click? I have two separate scores though: opens, clicks. Very simple. It doesn’t go deeper than that. Literally there’s an open score that every time someone opens an email it’s one point and the way go for clicks.

Well, if those scores are stacked next to each other in your client dashboard or the contact record, you can see, “Man, this person has 30 [00:40:30] opens and only 10 clicks. Well, the next guy has got 30 opens and 40 clicks. Oh my goodness. That’s a much better ratio. I really need to engage with this person.” There’s just a lot of ways that you can bend this to make it work for you and that’s the goal.

Chris Davis: Yeah. You know what I just realized right … oh my gosh, you just gave me a nugget, Adam. I hope this is a nugget. Everybody, test this out for yourself as well, but thinking of messaging, like you said, the communication [00:41:00] doesn’t always have to be external. In marketing automation, as experts, we know that it’s a two-way, two-way communication: internal and external, so when you’re setting up your lead scoring for the first time, have automations at those thresholds. That’s the word I was looking for, Adam. Thresholds, 25, 50, 75. Those threshold points, and send an internal notification to yourself, and this is part of the testing process of refining your [00:41:30] lead scoring.

They could say, you know, “So and so just reached 25 points. Log in and see what actions they took to see how accurate this score is. So and so now has over 75 points. Log in and see what they’ve done, and see how accurate this score is.” You can send yourself these reminders so that you can be fine-tuning your score, and at some point you’ll get your score to the point where you’re like, “Okay, I’m confident in this” and you could just turn those automations off.

Adam Tuttle: Right.

Chris Davis: [00:42:00] Right?

Adam Tuttle: Yeah.

Chris Davis: Then you could start looking at your customers and making sure, “You know what? My scoring is right because there may be a standard deviation of like five points with every customer, but all of my customers are right around 85 to 90 points.” It’s a different level of power in knowing more about your business and its operations that we want every ActiveCampaign user to have.

Adam Tuttle: Yep. Absolutely.

Chris Davis: [00:42:30] Adam, oh man, this was great, man. I thank you for shedding some light on your process, and you’ve been using it far longer than I have. The results show, the sales team, it’s a strategy that is relied upon daily, so thank you for being on and just helping us, because I’m included in this. Helping us understand this seemingly complex feature [00:43:00] within ActiveCampaign.

Adam Tuttle: Sure. Absolutely. Hopefully it’s helpful to everyone that listens to this and it can help yield some really positive results.

Chris Davis: Yeah, and everyone, be on the lookout for a guide to follow this. This is episode 27 of the podcast, or I should say this is episode 28. I’m sorry. This is episode 28 of the podcast, so depending on when you’re listening to this, the guide may or may not be [00:43:30] available because we’re writing it as we record this, so activecampaign.com/learn is where you will find all that guided content, but we want to make sure that you have a framework. As long as I’m here and have breath in my body, my goal is to never have you start from scratch. You should never have to start … from our automation recipes to this framework for lead scoring, to templates in our email library. [00:44:00] We know the challenge that is ahead of you automation your business with marketing automation, and we want to make sure you’re not only well-equipped with the best tool, but the best tutelage as well.

Again, Adam, thank you so much for being on. This is number two, and guess what, man? I’m not x-ing out a number three. Who knows what the future has to hold, man? Just promise me you’ll be back when the time permits [crosstalk 00:44:24].

Adam Tuttle: You’ve got it, man. Of course.

Chris Davis: All right, Adam. I appreciate it, man.

Adam Tuttle: Take care.

Chris Davis: [00:44:30] Wow. Really enjoyed this podcast. I hope you enjoyed it as well. Like I mentioned, the goal of this was to provide you with a framework, okay? Take this. Take everything that you learned about lead scoring and put it into action. Don’t bypass the time of just sitting down, collecting your thoughts. If you’ve got a whiteboard, use a whiteboard. If you’ve got a Moleskin or just some printer paper, [00:45:00] do whatever it takes to get clear on the steps in your business that show the most intent towards your objective. When you’ve done that, get something in place using this framework to get some scoring started. Once you start seeing contacts with scores and it’s going up and down, I’m telling it can be a little addictive. I’m not going to lie, so I want you to try it out and let us know, give us feedback on not only the podcast, but on this strategy in itself.

[00:45:30] There are multiple resources for you here, whether it’s one-on-one, attending office hours, or just engaging with our guides and blog post, all right? If you’re looking for some one-on-one attention and some help, activecampaign.com/training. All of the guided content to really walk you through the application and marketing automation in itself, activecampaign.com/learn. Listen, if you’re not subscribed to the podcast, [00:46:00] I really have no clue what you’re waiting on. I would love, I would love for you to just take action right now and subscribe. If you are subscribed, thank you. Leave a five star rating and a review. Let us know what we’re doing. Every bit of feedback that I receive from you all, I’m grateful for and I take it into account, okay? We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, so go out, subscribe, and make sure you don’t miss an episode.

We are focused on consistency, [00:46:30] so you can expect every Friday a new episode to come out, so if you subscribe, check your feed. You should get a notification every Friday. New episode. This is not stopping any time soon, everybody. We are here to stay and I’m here to serve, and it is an honor to me. This is the ActiveCampaign Podcast, the small business podcast to help you scale and propel your business using marketing [00:47:00] automation. I’ll see you on the next episode.

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